There are so many options!
Deciding on what breed of dog would be a good fit for your household is a major decision. As of 2018, the AKC recognizes 202 different dog breeds! That is a lot to choose from. Continue reading to discover if a chocolate Lab might be exactly what you are looking for.
Why are Chocolate Labs So Popular?
Chocolate Labs are at the top of the list of the world’s favorite dogs and for good reason. They are famous for their affection, loyalty and gentle disposition. Their sweet faces seem to just melt hearts. Highly trainable and eager to please, chocolate Labs are winners all around.
Although chocolate Labs do indeed make wonderful companions and will bond with the entire family, they are actually members of the sporting group and are considered to be working dogs. They are used extensively in a wide variety of jobs such as search and rescue work and hunting.
Learning About the Breed Will Help You Decide if a Chocolate Lab is the Choice for You
If you are looking for a loyal, intelligent, gentle and loving dog, then a chocolate Lab might be the answer. However, you should be aware that they are generally high-energy dogs that will require lots of walks, attention and play time. Discovering the breed’s traits and characteristics can help you with your decision.
Here is a Brief History of Chocolate Labrador Retrievers
Did you know that Labrador retrievers are not from Labrador at all? According to Pippa Mattinson, they are actually descendants of the St.
John’s water dogs which were raised in Newfoundland to assist fishermen. Working with these dogs, two kennels in the United Kingdom eventually developed the breed we now know as the Labrador retriever.
What about that beautiful chocolate color? It was originally thought that labs should be black. The dominant black color gene produced many black labs. However, brown and yellow dogs would pop up too and sadly, were often culled at birth.
Although many brown Labs had been produced, they just were not popular. It wasn’t until 1932, according to Lorken Farms, that the AKC registered the first “liver-colored” lab.
The first clearly American bred chocolate Lab was registered in 1940. Finally, that wonderful chocolate color began to gain popularity.
Today, there are two distinct types of chocolate Labs – the American Lab and the English Lab. Dog Breed Info explains that the American version tends to be taller and lankier than the heavier- set, blocky English version.
What Does an Ideal Chocolate Lab Look Like?
The American Kennel Club states that a fully grown Lab should weigh between 55 and 80 pounds and be between 21 1/2 and 24 1/2 inches tall at the withers, depending on the sex.
The dog should be well proportioned, strongly built and have a broad head and the signature “otter” tail. The coat should be dense, short and weather resistant.
What is a Chocolate Lab’s Temperament Like?
Chocolate Labs are famous for their sweet, easy going dispositions. They are specifically bred to be friendly, intelligent, adaptable and non-aggressive. These are traits that make this dog such a popular choice with families.
Are Chocolate Labs Easy to Train?
By nature, Labs are eager to please and adore positive attention. These two characteristics can make training time a pleasant experience for both you and your dog.
The Labrador Site explains that because these intelligent dogs were bred to work with people and are usually food-motivated, small treats and praise are the only rewards a Lab will need.
Chocolate Labradors can be quite playful and energetic, but they do grow up to be big, strong dogs. Teaching obedience to puppies is critical if you want to develop a great relationship with your dog.
Stonnie Dennis offers some great advice in his video on how to ensure that your puppy will grow up to be a calm, well-mannered dog.
Are Chocolate Labs Playful?
Yes! Chocolate Labs are full of energy and definitely need a way to release it. They will delight in playing games with you such as fetch.
Two reasons that Labs are such wonderful family dogs are that they play so well with children and are celebrated for their gentle nature. They will happily spend hours outside romping in the backyard with the family.
If your chocolate Lab is not given enough regular exercise, his high energy could produce some unwanted behavior. Long walks or vigorous play periods will go a long way in allowing your dog to release some of that energy.
In order to provide a better workout for your dog and make life a bit easier on you, you could invest in a Chuckit!. This toy allows you to repeatedly throw a tennis ball for a rousing game of fetch without getting slobber and mud all over your hands. It also eliminates bending over to pick up the ball.
Another favorite with Lab owners is Kong. This incredibly durable toy can satisfy the dog’s desire to chew on something, is fantastic to use when playing fetch and can be stuffed with treats to occupy your dog for a while.
Are Chocolate Labs Prone to Any Health Issues?
Like any other breed of dog, Labs can also suffer from various ailments. Labrador Training HQ reports that obesity, bloat, heart disease, and hip or elbow dysplasia can all occur with this breed.
Unfortunately, those silky, floppy ears can be prone to ear infections. Routine check-ups with your vet will help keep your dog healthy and happy.
Meet a Lab Before Making Your Final Decision
Spending time with a chocolate Lab can be the best way to get to know and appreciate this amazing dog breed. Allow the breed to speak for itself!