Can labs have any color puppies? Here’s What to Do Next

Can 2 black Labs have a yellow puppy?

Can two black Labradors have yellow or chocolate puppies? Depending on their genotype, two black Labradors can indeed have yellow or chocolate puppies. Remember from our grid above that there are four different possible genotypes for a black Labrador. The genotype refers to the genetic code that the dog carries.

Why Black is a Dominant Lab Color

The three different combinations of B genes that a Labrador can inherit from his parents are:

Dominant genes to switch off, or override, recessive genes. So dog with BB genes will be black, because he has two genes for a black coat. And a Bb dog will be black too, because the dominant B genethe recessive b gene. Only a dog with a matching pair of bb genes will express the instruction for less eumelanin in their coat, and be brown.

Here’s a handy table to help you picture that relationship between B gene combinations, and Lab coat color. Remember that the black dominant gene always switches of the brown gene, so only the dog with two copies of the b gene will actually look brown.

Can labs have any color puppies?

Chocolate Labradors have grown steadily in popularity in recent years. But the dominance of the black color enabled our chocolate friends to remain hidden and rare with the breed, for many decades. Generation after generation of black dogs can continue to have only black puppies if dogs with the Bb gene are only ever mated to dogs with BB genes. Let’s see how that looks:

Can labs have any color puppies?

So you can see how the little b gene gets passed down through the generations without ever being expressed. In fact, it would take two black Labs both carrying the little b gene to produce chocolate puppies. Like this:

Can labs have any color puppies?

Statistically, one quarter of their litter would be chocolate colored. But like tossing a coin and getting heads several times in a row, it’s also possible for a Lab with Bb genes to pass the B version to every puppy in a litter, and only throw black puppies. And of course, some Labradors are neither black nor brown.

Labradors Are Genetically Predisposed to Color Change

Like in humans, genes play a role in a dog’s hair graying with age. As such, some dogs may be genetically predisposed to graying early, and others may gray later. This variation is thanks to the genes inherited from their parents.

Genetic predisposition to early graying explains why perfectly healthy Lab puppies may show gray hairs as early as age four.

Nonetheless, early or later graying genetic predisposition should not be confused with progressive graying. Progressive graying happens when a dog inherits the gray gene (G locus), which causes progressive premature graying in black and liver-colored dogs (the eumelanin pigment).

However, this is not the case in Labrador Retrievers because Labs are not among dog breeds that inherit the graying gene.

Can labs have any color puppies?

What Causes Labradors Colors Including The Famous Silver Labs

No, yellow labs can’t biologically have black puppies. Mating your two yellow labs will never give you black puppies unless you breed them with your black lab.

Generally speaking, genetics greatly influence fur pigmentation as well as other traits. It plays a significant role in controlling the color outcome of your labradors.

If you learn enough about labrador fur pigmentation, you can predict possible color outcomes when breeding different colored labs.