Black and Tan Labradors

                  (This is Quick)

Most people have heard of or seen black, yellow and chocolate Labrador Retrievers.  Fewer people also know that purebred Labradors can also have tan markings on their black or chocolate coat.   


The black and tan coloring is due to a modifier gene normally present in Labrador Retrievers.  It is recessive and therefore requires each parent to contribute the black and tan gene to an individual for the color to show up.   It can modify a black or chocolate Lab to have lighter tan markings in the usual locations of a Gordon Setter, Doberman or Rottewieler.  There is also a brindle coloring that Labs can have.  We see it less often.  Labs with brindling have tan speckling on their forelegs, muzzles and chest.  


Brindle or black and tan Labradors can not compete in the show ring because these colors are not accepted as desirable by the breed standard and are deemed mismarked.  The breed standard is a guide line for breeders so they can strive for the physical, temperamental and working qualities that the breed was established.   Black and Tan and brindle Labradors can however be registered with the AKC and these color choices are on the registration slips.


At Guiding Eyes, our breeding colony has been derived in part from the Whygin Labs, a prominent kennel  that was very successful with show and hunting dogs in the 1970s.   We have produced mismarked dogs from the Whygin line as well as when breeding to other show dogs throughout the Northeast.  


Because we breed only for dogs to serve the blind, our primary criteria are confident, easy to handle dogs with excellent health and a sturdy conformation.  We do not remove breeding dogs from our breeding colony if they produce these coat colors.   The only dogs that are allowed to reproduce are those that are under direct control of a service dog school with the sole purpose of producing more service dogs.


Due to the fact these coat colors require both parents to carry the genes, we do not have many black and tan or brindle Labs produced.   As with dogs of any color, a small percent do not pass their puppy test for guide dog work and are available as pets which must be neutered.  Other than their color, these pups have the same temperament and health traits as their solid colored littermates.  If you are interested in applying to adopt a black and tan or brindle puppy, please make us aware by selecting the black and tan color choice on the application.