Chocolate Labrador retrievers are all-brown in color, although the exact color can vary from a lighter brown to a deep chocolate. These friendly dogs may occasionally have a small bit of white hair in their coat, but American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standards are quite specific about where that is permissible.
Breed Standard Coat Color
A breed standard is essentially a "picture in words that describes each breed of pedigree dog," as explained by the Kennel Club of Great Britain. The AKC breed standard states that Labrador retrievers may have one of three coat colors: black, chocolate or yellow. For all three Labrador retriever coat colors, the actual shade may vary. For chocolate Labs, the shade of brown permitted ranges from light to dark brown. Of course, Labs with coats that don't conform to the breed standard can still be great pets; just don't expect them to win any ribbons.
Color Combinations not Permitted
Color combinations of any type are not included in the AKC breed standard. For example, a chocolate Lab should never have any yellow or black fur. A chocolate Labrador retriever may not exhibit any tan or brindle markings at all, as that is a disqualification from breed standard.
White Spot on Chest
A small spot of white fur is sometimes seen on the chest of chocolate Labrador retrievers. This spot of white fur may be found on Labrador retrievers of any age, and is "permissible, but not desirable," according to AKC breed standard color guidelines.
White Hair from Aging
Older chocolate Labrador retrievers may have quite a bit of white hair in their coats, but this is something that occurs naturally as dogs age and does not disqualify the dog from meeting breed standards. White hair from aging is completely normal in chocolate Labradors, or in any other breed, and should not be considered a detriment. Your chocolate Lab may grow white in the face over time—but that just means he's growing older and better!
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