The mere mention of chocolate lab puppies is enough to melt the heart of most dog lovers and pet parents.
And why not? Chocolate labs are among the most friendly, fun-loving, and lively dogs. This breed is also smart and confident. Further, they make amazing companions as they usually live for up to 12 years.
If you’ve added or are planning to add a chocolate lab pooch to your family, here are a few fun facts about them you should know of.
1. They Have an Interesting History
Labradors are originally from Newfoundland, and not Labrador. They originated there in the 18th century. It is widely believed that they are a crossbreed between the Newfoundland dogs and the now-extinct St. Johns dogs.
In the 19th century, the Labradors were brought to Britain and moved across other European countries. They would often accompany their owners on hunting trips, and when a bird or a small animal was shot, the Labradors would retrieve the hunt.
They are, therefore, also called retrievers. The origin of chocolate Labradors goes back to the eight original bloodlines. However, their color was seen as unique only in the 20th century.
2. They May Have Been Named by the Earl of Malmesbury
In the 1880s, the Earl of Malmesbury brought Labrador puppies back home to England, and referred to them as “Labrador dogs.” The regions Newfoundland and Labrador are close-by, which is why several believe that the name Labrador comes from both territories being grouped together. Some also believe that these dogs were named so because they were often seen swimming in the Labrador Sea.
3. Brown Was Considered Flawed
The Scottish Lords would bring Labradors to the UK, but these were almost always black in color. Black was the preferred color, and a brown coat was looked upon as a defect. In fact, chocolate labs were once referred to as Liver Labs.
4. They Worked alongside Fishermen
In Newfoundland, Labradors often worked with fishermen in severe conditions. They would swim in freezing water while retrieving nets and even fish. As mentioned, they would also accompany hunters and retrieve hunts for them.
5. They Are Waterproof
Blessed with webbed toes and a rudder-type “otter tail,” these dogs are complete water babies. However, it is their double coat which allows them to swim effortlessly even in freezing water.
Labradors have a thick coat consisting of a layer of dense, straight, long hair along with an undercoat that traps heat. Their coat is essentially waterproof as the natural oils don’t allow water to stay.
While a double coat is perfect for keeping the labs warm, their owners have a hard time when they shed it twice a year.
6. But That Doesn’t Mean They All Like to Swim
With its waterproof coat, excellent swimming skills, and a history of working with fishermen, you may think Labradors love being in the water. However, not all of them take to it. In fact, water can make some labs nervous.
7. You Can Get Three Colors in One Litter
Did you know it is possible to get black, yellow, and chocolate lab puppies in a single litter, irrespective of the color of the parents? This is because of the two genes that determine the pigment of the coat.
8. They’re Usually from Show or Pet Lines
It is believed that many American chocolate Labradors have descended from show-bred lines. This could probably be due to the fact that black dogs were considered more suitable for fieldwork in certain regions like the UK, with chocolate labs becoming associated with show traits.
9. They Can Suffer from Some Serious Health Issues
Labradors of every color suffer from a variety of genetic disorders.
These dogs are generally healthy and can live for up to 12 years. However, when bringing chocolate Labrador puppies home, you will do well to document every health test they undergo for your future reference.
Typically, Labrador’s health depends on three important factors:
Healthy adult chocolate Labradors grow between 21 and 24.5 inches in height, and should ideally weigh between 55 and 80 lbs. You need to keep their weight in check as they are prone to obesity and related health issues.
Apart from this, chocolate labs may suffer from elbow and hip dysplasia, i.e. developmental deformities in the joints. They are also susceptible to vision problems such as progressive renal atrophy. They may also develop cancer and experience other inherited health conditions like exercise-induced collapse, centronuclear myopathy, dermatitis, and epilepsy, among others.
10. Color Does Not Indicate Temperament
A lot of people believe that the color of the Labrador’s coat says something about its temperament. Some think that brown labs are the laziest, while the black ones are the fastest hunters. However, none of these beliefs are backed by science.
Every dog is unique in its own way. Some breeders focus on skills in the field, while others are concerned with conforming to breed standards. None of these qualities, however, are determined by the color of the Labrador’s coat.
11. They Are America’s Sweethearts
The American Kennel Club (AKC) confirms that Labradors have been ranked right at the top in the list of the most popular dog breeds for over two decades, which is the longest in AKC history. This isn’t surprising as Labradors are extremely lovable. They may be big in size, but they are gentle.
They are also highly intelligent, which makes them easy and fun to train to retrieve objects. No wonder they are often used as service dogs! When they are socialized and trained adequately, they can become your best friends.
There you have it! These are some of the most interesting facts about chocolate lab puppies that most people probably don’t know of. We hope this information will help you understand your chocolate lab pooch better.