Chocolate Labrador: Everything You Need To Know

Chocolate Labradors is one of three different types of Labrador Retriever color variations. Labrador Retrievers are considered the most popular breed of dog and can be chocolate, yellow, or black in color.

Retrievers were initially bred to help fishermen catch nets and retrieve ducks. Unfortunately, during the 20th century, Chocolate Labradors were avoided in favor of the more traditional black.

Despite years of selective breeding, the brown gene survived. Today, many owners love the rich deep chocolate color of this dog.

If you are interested, learn what is different about chocolate-colored retrievers, if they are as healthy as other Labradors and their temperament, then read on.

General Description

Chocolate Labradors are a specific color variation of the Labrador Retriever. Even though labs were popular for most of the 20th century, it wasn’t until the 1960s that people realized the beauty of the color brown.

Before the brown-colored labradors, classic black was highly preferred by hunters and fishermen for its ability to blend in with the environment. The yellow and chocolate colors were more easily identified.

Chocolate Labradors are very similar to their yellow and black siblings, but there are some stigmas that continue to surround this color.

Chocolate Labradors are believed by many to be less intelligent. This is not true and stems from the assumption that breeders only breed for the brown color and do not take into account other traits such as intellect and trainability.

One myth that is true is their poor health. Because they are less common than yellow or black siblings, they have a smaller gene pool. This explains a lower genetic diversity and reduces their life expectancy by 2 years to an average of 10 years.

  • Weight: 55 to 80 pounds
  • Height: 21.5 – 24.5 inches
  • Price: $800- $1200
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years


During the 16th century, Newfoundland fishermen wanted a hardworking dog that could withstand fierce Canadian winters. Small water dogs were bred with Newfoundland dogs to create the St. John’s water dog.

Three hundred years later, visiting English nobles discovered the Saint John’s water dog. The nobles were amazed by the dog’s agility and work ethic and quickly imported them to England. They selectively bred this dog for shooting sports and named them the Labrador Retriever.

Since they first appeared in the US in the 1900s, chocolate labradors have become extremely popular. Labradors are popular because they are extremely friendly, easy to train and adapt to many different types of owners.

The only exception may be the elderly or inactive due to their exercise needs. The first canine club to recognize Labrador Retrievers was The English Kennel Club in 1903. The American Kennel Club registered its first Labrador in 1917. Both clubs group them as medium sporting dogs.


Chocolate Labradors are a beautiful brown color. Most are a solid brown without any pattern. Silver Labs is sometimes confused with this variation, but they are a cooler diluted shade.

This breed is limited to a rich brown color. Many people identify Silver Lab as a separate variety as its color is less intense.

Their coat should always be short and straight. A slight wave on the spine is also acceptable. They have a very dense coat with a soft undercoat that protects them from the cold.

Why do we love chocolate labradors?

Chocolate labradors make not only excellent family dogs but also great hunting companions. These are some of the main reasons why they are so appreciated:

  • Chocolate Labradors are exceptionally friendly and will make friends with anyone they meet.
  • They are very smart and can be trained to perform a variety of tasks.
  • Labrador Retrievers are very good-natured and are assigned many functions, such as service or rescue dogs.
  • Their joy and gentleness make them great companions for children.
  • They are very energetic and will have a great time walking, swimming, or playing fetch.

How big does a chocolate lab get?

Labradors are medium to large-sized dogs with floppy ears and chiseled heads. Healthy Chocolate Labrador Retrievers weigh 55 to 80 pounds and stand 21.5 to 24.5 inches tall.

All purebred retrievers look very similar, the only difference is their coat color. Labradors are easily identifiable by their short, single-colored fur, stocky build, and floppy ears. They still have an agile body from their work past that allowed them to move quickly and smoothly. Their legs are webbed and they have an otter-like tail that helps them swim.

Chocolate lab temperament

  • Very sociable
  • Smart
  • Playful
  • Very high prey drive
  • Constant energy
  • Mouthing

Labrador Retrievers are one of the most delicious dog breeds. They are incredibly friendly to both humans and animals.

These dogs trust everything they do. Their loyalty makes them want to protect their family, however, their kindness keeps them from being good watchdogs, they are just too nice for the job!

The hunt is in their blood, which is why they have a very high prey drive. This drive can be controlled with training, but you will still want to invest in a lot of training to remember. Lastly, Chocolate Labs don’t bark much unless they’re releasing some pent-up energy.

One of the many reasons they are so popular with dog lovers is because they are so lovable. Their breed standard describes them as active, friendly, and outgoing. They can befriend just about anyone and are amazing dogs for families.

Labradors love to play and will make a great combination with children or other dogs. This breed is also very eager to please. They love their owners and constantly want to make them happy. Unlike other dogs that can be taught to roll over or play dead, labs can be trained to do real work.

With their amazing sense of smell and confidence, this breed is known to be one of the best search and rescue dog breeds. These dogs are also dependable, hardworking, and good-natured service dogs.

Are Chocolate Labs more aggressive?

Aggression is not something you need to worry about when you have a Lab. They are so incredibly patient and gentle that they only bite as a last resort. On the downside, this means that they will most likely befriend a thief rather than try to scare them away. However, they can bark. Labs bark for a variety of reasons:

  • To alert their owners of something
  • To show their enthusiasm or excitement

If your dog barks excessively, it is usually because they are bored and need a distraction. Keeping them entertained will prevent annoying barking.

Are Chocolate Labs good family dogs?

Yes! Children and Chocolate Labradors get along very well. Teenagers love how calm these dogs are and will consider them best friends. Smaller children should be supervised. These dogs can get overly excited when playing and can accidentally knock over a young child.

Although these dogs are patient and good-natured, they are very active. This makes them somewhat unsuitable for older people, as they may require more exercise than an older person can offer.

Older people should consider adopting an older lab that doesn’t need as much physical activity as a puppy. Labs will be very friendly to guests, other dogs, and other pets in the home.

Are Chocolate Labs healthy?

Unfortunately, Chocolate Retrievers live shorter lives than their yellow or black siblings. The average age of a black or yellow Lab is 12 years old but it is only 10 years of age for brown or chocolate labs. To help them lead a healthy life, the main thing you can do is avoid obesity. Providing the right diet and sufficient exercise is also essential.

Most purebred dogs are at risk of inheriting genetic diseases. Chocolate Labs are at higher risk for genetic health problems because they have a smaller gene pool and are more commonly inbred.

Some problems include ear and skin infections.

They can also inherit joint problems such as osteoarthritis, which has no known cure. Some other health problems that are common among all Labradors include hip or elbow dysplasia, laryngeal paralysis, hypothyroidism, and cancer.

The most important thing you can do is find a responsible breeder and request health check documentation. You must ensure that the puppy’s parents are in excellent health to reduce the risk of purchasing an unhealthy puppy.

Chocolate Labrador Puppies

Chocolate Labrador puppies are born brown and remain the same color as they age. Healthy puppies will be interactive and curious. Physically, they should look robust and well-fed.

Chocolate Labs tend to have more genetic health problems than their yellow or black siblings. Therefore, it is very important to find a reputable breeder. Backyard breeders and pet stores should be avoided. It may seem less expensive to buy, but you will likely end up paying more in vet fees in the long run.

Once you find a breeder, ask about the parents:

  • Did they show any genetic concerns?
  • What was their personality like?
  • Why were they selected for breeding?

Don’t be intimidated to ask to see health documents and certificates. A responsible breeder will be able to provide you with tangible evidence that your dog and its parents are in good health. This will reduce the chance of your dog having inherited health problems.

How much is a chocolate labrador puppy?

Chocolate Labs sell for $800 – $1,200.

The most expensive dogs are of show or working bloodlines. The average litter size is five to ten puppies.

Once you choose a puppy, be prepared to wait until the puppy is old enough to leave Mom. Responsible breeders do not allow their puppies to leave until they are eight weeks old.

Choosing a chocolate labrador puppy is not difficult as they all look very similar. Your main focus should be on their health and personality. First, does the puppy look and act healthy? Second, what kind of dog would you like to bring into your home?

Where to adopt?

Unfortunately, it is common for chocolate labs to head to the shelters. They are known to suffer from health problems that influence why owners abandon their dogs.

Adopting a senior dog is an amazing act that allows many good dogs a second chance. Some organizations that focus on rescuing and relocating laboratories include Lab Rescue LRCP, Midwest Labrador Retriever Rescue, and Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue.