Types of Labrador Dogs

Labradors are the most popular breed in the United States.

Labradors are the most popular breed in the United States.

The Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed of dog in the United States according to the American Kennel Club. This breed originated in Newfoundland as a working dog, used in warm and cold climates, to assist their owner. The Labrador is characterized by a friendly temperament, a fierce loyalty to its owner, and an athletic, high energy attitude. They are large dogs with a short, dense coat, and webbed feet that help them with swimming and in snowy conditions. They are used frequently as guide dog and police dogs due to their intelligent nature and ability to be trained easily.


The American Kennel Club recognizes three types of Labrador: black, yellow, and chocolate. The black Lab is solid black in color with no other markings. The yellow Lab is not necessarily solid yellow; it may vary in color from a cream shade to a reddish or strawberry color and still be considered a yellow Lab. The chocolate Lab ranges from light to dark brown in color. For American Kennel Club registration, these breeds must maintain the same color over the whole dog, with no other markings. However, non-show dogs may have white spots on their chest or other markings.

Silver Labradors

The silver Labrador is not recognized for registration by the United States or United Kingdom Kennel Clubs as "silver." These kennel clubs register only chocolate, yellow, and black Labradors. However, silver Labradors came into existence in the 1980s and are considered to be purebred Labradors. They have all the same physical characteristics of their breedmates as far as height, weight, webbed feet, and head shape. Their silver color makes them more difficult to find than other colors.

Field Bred Labradors

The Field Labrador is an informal distinction within the general breed of Labrador Retriever. It refers specifically to a dog that is bred for field work. They tend to be taller and lighter, with a longer nose than other Labs. The Field Labradors can be found in any of the colors: chocolate, black, or yellow. Field Labradors also are known as American Labradors, referring to the height standard in the AKC for a Lab, which is 57-62 cm for a male.

Show Bred Labradors

Like the Field Bred Labrador, the Show Labrador distinction is informal and not a standard recognized by any kennel club specific to registration. The Show Bred Labrador refers to dogs bred to a show standard type for judging in conformation dog shows. This Lab generally is shorter and stockier in size compared to the Field Labrador, and has a fuller face.

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Sharon Harleigh has been writing for various online publications since 2008. She specializes in business, law, management and career advice. Harleigh is a proud graduate of UCLA and Loyola Law School.

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