Does Labrador Color Determine Temperament?

Welcome Home Labs Resources

Does Labrador Color Determine Temperament?

Posted by Welcome Home Labs
6 years ago | February 3, 2018

Sometimes people make coat color associations based solely on their experiences so we want to share the genetic piece to help shed some additional light on this topic.   There is the outward coat color of a Labrador and there may be other recessive colors in an individual Labrador.  The AKC recognizes three colors of Labradors which are the black Lab, the yellow Lab and the chocolate Lab.  At Welcome Home Labs we do genetic color testing so we know what recessive color marker or markers our dogs carry which aids us in each planned pairing.

Here is an over-simplified explanation of coat colors in Labradors.  Labs can carry chocolate and/or yellow recessive markers and they can sire or whelp pups that don’t share their same outward coat color.  If two Labs don’t share a common color marker with their coat colors or recessive colors then they will have black pups because black is dominant. It is possible to have all three coat colors in a litter. 

Temperament is NOT determined by outward coat color.  We know from a genetic stand point that one AKC recognized Labrador coat color is NOT smarter, more mellow, more adventurous, or anything along those lines.  The differentiation would be within English vs. American, individual differences between litter-mates and training or lack there of by the adopting families.  So, when families make generalizations like ‘all yellow are’ or ‘all black’ or ‘all chocolate’….they are most likely basing their generalizations on experiences.  You may have known or had an amazing, willing, smart, well-behaved, for example, black Lab so your experience sways your view that all black Labs are fantastic.  Another situation could be, for example, maybe a neighbor failed to train their Lab and it jumped up or didn’t have any manners and then you associate that color with that poor behavior.  That would be the fault of the people not the dog.  English Labs have focus and Labs want to please their people.  They are smart so if there is consistency and training with basic manners they WILL be great companions.  They have a wonderful natural temperament but they do depend on people to guide them and teach them to be well-behaved, adult  English Lab companions no matter what their outward coat color.    We have all three colors and they are all amazing Labs!  I encourage you to consider coat color as one factor based on your preference aesthetically or to match your clothing or furniture better or because of your positive association.  Behavior and energy are not determined by coat but by breed type, genetics, training and consistency coupled with care and love that are given or withheld.

At Welcome Home Labs our priorities are to raise pups with superior Lab health and an excellent family temperament with quality care in a family environment.

Call 319-214-0776 or email [email protected] for details.