Black And Tan Labrador Retrievers

I thought I new a decent bit about Labrador Retrievers, but I had never heard of purebred Black and Tan Labrador Retrievers until I began volunteering as a puppy raiser working with Stetson (my GDA puppy) and his guide dog training. I’ve seen many other dog breeds with similar markings like Dachshunds, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, but never a Black and Tan Lab!?!  From the Guiding Eyes website:

“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.”

Black and Tan and Brindle Labs are not allowed to compete in the show ring because they are not considered desirable traits for the standard lab. However, they can be registered with the AKC (American Kennel Club) and these color choices are available on the registration slips.

Their coat color may be different then your standard black/yellow/chocolate lab, but they have the same temperament as their solid colored littermates. Take a look at these pictures of Billy one of our readers Black and Tan Labrador Retriever:

Another trait I noticed was a small white spot on some of the black labs in our group. After doing a little bit of research I found that this trait is also permissible in the AKC Labrador Retriever Standard. If you know of any other unusual traits found in purebred labs please leave a comment or let me know. I’d love to see any images you have of black and tan Labrador Retrievers or Brindle Labs. If you have some great pictures please send them over and I’ll try to post them to the website. I have received many images from others who own purebred black and tan labs and brindle labs.  Moving forward I plan on appending the new images to this post.  If you’re interested in sending me your images of purebred black and tan labrador retrievers and brindle labs then please email me at ckmorita [at] puppyintraining [dot] com.  Also, be sure and include a short summary/description of your puppy.

Benny the Brown and Tan Lab

This is our brown and tan labrador Benny. It was only one brown and tan Labrador in a “draft” from 12 Labrador babys. He is a kindly dog. He loves child and he learn fast. He grow up with two child. We looked for a dog for our son, who suffers from selective mutism. And we find the right dog. He is tomorrow 19 weeks old.

Brindle Lab Puppies

I saw the pics of the brindle lab dogs on your site. We didn’t know what to think when our female had 3 out of 9 that came out with the brindle color. One has just a bit on the paws, another has it on his paws and a little on his chest, the other one has it on his paws, chest face and neck. They are so pretty.

Black, Yellow, and Black And Tan Lab Puppies

The Puppies

Mom and Dad

I am sending you Pictures of the Black and tan pups and Mom and Dad I was very surprised to see this color of pups come from my Chocolate Female and my Yellow Male The pups were born on Jan 15th 2010 here are some Pictures of the Black and Tan and the rest of the Litter and Mom and Dad.

Have any of you heard of or seen a black and tan Labrador Retriever.  If so tell us a little bit about your experiences in the comment section below.


  1. Peggy Shay says


    We have a female that we have bred twice that throws chocolate and tans and brindles. We will breed her one more time with the same stud dog. Both are pure bred chocolate labrador retrievers. I can not guarantee that she will have a chocolate and tan but I can keep you in mind when we have the litter. She will be going into heat within the next month or so. She is a decendent of Sir Hershey of Surrey. Please let me know if you want me to contact you when she has her litter. I live in Northern PA but have made arrangements for puppies to travel to Delaware, Virginia, Connecticut and Colorado. Tora, a female chocolate and tan we had is in Colorado with Bill Patterson. There are some pics of her on this website somewhere. She is a beauty. Anyway, my e-mail is

    Peggy Shay

  2. Nestor Colon says

    I just take home a little lab puppy black with tan legs for my kids. Eveyone told me is not a labrador because a labrador are justo one color. But he is just like a Labrador. I “m scare about a mixsure with an agressive dog. My boys are in love with him. He just look lovely and love to play. He looks just like the one you have in the photos. Did you know is there is posossible that a labrador come with this combination of colors?

    Thanks so much for your help,

    Ponce, PR

  3. Michael Gelatt says


    Do you know of any breeders in Virginia or surrounding areas that breed black and tan labs?


    • says

      @Mike Unfortunately we are no longer uploading new photos of puppies to this page. Thanks for visiting our site and please let me know if you have any other questions.

  4. Allyson says

    Hi, I am also interested in a black and tan lab puppy- if any of you know of a litter or breeder that seems to have them more often than not, I’d appreciate the information. I loved reading all these comments. Black and tan labs are beautiful dogs! I’ve been on the waiting list for a black and tan puppy from my local guiding eyes but the wait could be years. Thanks!

  5. Lynn says

    We own two chocolate labs that we bred. There was one chocolate tan point puppy. At first I was really worried that somehow our female had been covered by something like a rot..bu then I googled “tan point labs” and found them all over the place! Never knew there was such a thing in labs other than chocolate, black and yellow. The puppy went to live with my Mother so I get to watch him grow up. He is currently 10 weeks old and looks exactly like the picture of billy as a puppy.

  6. Trish says

    I have a black and tan lab, father is black and mom is yellow! he is georgous and a very good dog!Still hard to believe he is pure. My vet said not a chance, but I dont know.

  7. Vicki says

    We “Inherited” our dog in 2007 from our son. Now he is the love of our lives! But I have always been very curious as to what breed/breeds he is. When we got him we were told he was part hound and didnt know what else. About a month ago, I was in a pet store and purchased a “DNA breed identification kit”. We just got the results last week, and they say it is likely he is purebred Labrador Retriever. We were stunned, because we have never seen a lab that looks like this. Now we are wondering if this was a scam or something. I am NOT at all apposed to having a lab, I love all dogs,…..but this just dont look like one. He is fawn in color, and his face has the markings of a great dane, meaning the black around the eyes and nose. I have looked at all kinds of pictures on the web, and have seen nothing that looks like him. Any input?

  8. Vicky says

    Hi I have a black and tan lab how do I ffind out if she is purebread she has tan in the paws just a bit but look like a lab and act like one

  9. Jennifer says

    If you want you can get a DNA test and it usually cost $30-50. Go to the website and search for a certified akc vet in your area. The vet will do a DNA swab and send it off. The result take a couple of weeks and it will tell you if your lab is mixed with anything else. Unfortunatilly even if it is a purebred labs with marks are disqualified to be registered purebred. Hopefully eventually the will except lab marks as beautiful and not bad breeding. It’s good to get the test because if your dog us mixed it will help you know what heritary illness to watch for in your dog as it ages.

  10. Peggy Shay says

    Not true that brindled and chocolate/black and tan labs can not be registered as purebreds. They certainly can. They just aren’t allowed to be show dogs. We’ve had 2 litters with both and they are all akc registered/papered purebred dogs.

    • Bill Patterson says

      Hi Peggy. Long time. I hope everything is well. Was going to send a email re Tora and cannot find your address. If you want, email me and I will update you on our big baby Tora.

      • Peggy Shay says

        Hi Bill, Sent you an e-mail but not sure if you still have the USPS address. My e-mail is Would love to hear how Tora is doing and see some pics. Thank you!

  11. Linda Czarniecki says

    I would like to adopt a retired/rejected guide dog as a playmate for my chocolate lab (one year old male). Is that possible? I would love from both of them to have each other, although I am home all day.

    • says

      @Linda, I volunteer with Guide Dogs of America and they do have an adoption program. However, they currently have a six year waiting list and they are not accepting new applications to adopt a dog. You may try checking with some of the other schools. A couple others in California are Guide Dogs for the Blind ( and Guide Dogs of the Desert (

  12. Karen Henderson says

    I have a 2yr old black lab but it has aussie looking paws. Since I got him from the HS so I have no idea of the breeding. Any clues on wether this is usual in black Labs. My dog’s name is Bubba and has got more instinct than any dog I’ve had

  13. Dennel says

    Hi everyone. I am REALLY wanting to find a tan Points puppy if anyone knows a breeder that has a mismarked puppy I would love to hear from them.

    Thx Dennel.

  14. Kimbelry Adams says

    Hello Dennel I have a chocolate and Tan registered Lab for sale if you are truely interested in him email me at I will discuss price there He is still very much a puppy He was born December 21st 2010. Let me know if you want more info.

    Kimbelry Adams

  15. Cathie Robinson says

    I have a litter of 9 labs. Mom black and dad is Silver. 3 females are black and tan. 1 solid black male, 1 solid chocolate male, the chocolate females have lighter patches on face and feet.
    Her first litter she was bred to a black male and we had 6 solid black puppies and 1 choc.
    Her 2nd litter she was bred to a yellow lab and we got 3 black brindled puppies and 1 choc with light patches.
    Her 3rd litter was with a black male and we got 5 solid black puppies and 2 solid chocolate puppies.
    So it seems when we breed with the lighter male we get the patches.

    • Bill Patterson says

      I own two brindled labs and as I understand it, both parents must have the defective allele (sp?), the coloration ‘genome’

  16. Allyson says

    Are you selling the chocolates with the patches? If so, I’d be interested in one.

  17. Cathie Robinson says

    Allyson – sending pics and information. Puppies are for sale and they are 3 weeks old.

  18. colette says

    hi came across your website was very happy when i saw it as i was told i have a purebred labrador but with all those markings would love more information if you can help thanks

    • says

      @Colette, thanks for visiting our website. All the information about black and tan labs are spread throughout the comments in this blog post.

  19. says

    I still have one female black and tan ACK registerable puppy left for sale. She is 8 weeks old. We are in Central Ohio and I do not wish to ship unless someone else takes care of all the details. She is listed as “blue”. $400.

  20. says

    Wo…the mixed color labs look really cool, I liked it than the usual tans, which is my favorite. It’s unfortunate that they are not allowed to compete in shows. They are also labs, only the color is new or unique, then what’s the difference? I hope the mix would be rated as the best dogs once, I love’em.

  21. Jack says

    Hello have some pictures of our 18week black and tanned lab, yes they are real! And what a lovely dog he is, would like to put some pictures up but don’t know how to? Is there an email so I could send them through? as there are not many of these dogs we find it incredibly hard for people to believe of his pure breed. Look forward to hearing back, jack.

  22. todd says

    We had a black and tan lab (yellow dad, black mom) who recently died-she was almost 16. Beautiful and sweet dog!

  23. WOW! I think I got one too! says

    Just found this web page and I am blown away! We adopted what we were told was a Lab/Rotti mix 3 years ago. He was a rescue dog, picked up because of abuse by the owner. We have been confused since. He looks like a Lab, all black face and neck, but has brindle legs and a tan butt. He looks much like the brindle puppy above in the right picture. Now I’m sure he was from a litter that, like the lady above, thought a Rottie had gotten in with her purebred female. His dew claws have been removed and tail docked. We’ve had Rotti’s, and he is definitely not one! Very devoted, loving, loves everyone, loves to chase ducks in the lake, and wants to be a 100# lap dog. No aggression here! How do I post you some pictures?

  24. Meliss says

    I have two chocolate and brindle puppies out of a litter of 13. I know that the Charcoal and Silver are a bit controversial but for sake of conversation I bred my Black Lab Thunder (ylw mother x Choc father) to my Charcoal (Silver father x Yellow mother) I had a litter of 13 . 5 yellows, 4 chocolates, 5 blacks. Out of the 4 chocolates 2 have the brindle on all 4 legs and side of face. I am having a hard time selling them, they are strictly being sold limited AKC Reg.

  25. Regina Skidmore says

    We have a beautiful black and tan lab named Ellie Bearey! I love her so much. Her parents were a silver and a blond! Everyone argues with me over her genuine looks… saying she is part rotweiler! I know better and I am tired of argueing this!

  26. Hendry Ho says

    Hi, Colby. I’m from Indonesia, and recently adopted one black & tan labrador puppy. His name is Arthur. My friend is a breeder, he said that the black & tan labs can not be registered here in Indonesia. So he can not sell the puppies, and giving them for adoption. Well, I love Arthur though, I think he’s just simply unique.

    • says

      Arthur sounds very special. I bet he’s a great dog. Black and tan Labs may be a different color, but they still have the personality of a Labrador Retriever.

  27. Sue Forrest says

    Omg I am so excited I found this to prove to people that I own a pure lab and even show my vet this he wanted to me to the test to find out what he was mixed with. Thank you for being able to prove everyone wrong that I do not own a mixed puppy. Wish I could post of pic of him.

    • says

      Hi Sue,

      I received your pic! Thank you! Do you mind if I share it on our Facebook page? I’ll send you an email to confirm.


      • sue forrest says

        sure you can post the pic I can send you updates if you would like as he grows also. I can tell he is lab he is such a good boy. The only problem I am having with him is crate training he is still sleeping with us since all he does is bark when he is in it all night long we even left the room and slept on the floor in our living room so he couldnt see us. Any other way to try to train him on this the people that walk by in the AM say they here him barking all day when they walk by but when he is out int he AM he dont make a sound and sit in stay’s in that comand when I tell him. So any help would be nice.

  28. M. says

    Wow beautiful pups…….
    My uncle has been breading pure bred AKC chocolate labs for over 10 years now. Recently he has been getting this chocolate/tan recessive gene popping up in pure breed chocolates and even confirmed it with in depth genetics of the parent dogs. He’s actively attempting to foster this trait into some litters because they look so cool.

    His website is (as his choco labs are specifically selected pointing retrievers for bird hunting, and their pedigrees are all Master Champion AKC bird dogs)

    My uncle is an awesome dude, and super nice, with really good prices that he posts on his site. So serious inquires only he would kill me if he got inundated with B/S requests.

  29. Brenda Aren says

    Hey, I’ve emailed you some images and summary of my black and tan lab named pixie. i’m so happy i found this page because people don’t believe that pixie is a pure bred lab. i guess now i can prove them wrong. even the people at the petshop thought she is a mixed breed lab.

  30. Betsy says

    We just had first litter of labrador puppies. Mom is yellow lab & dad is chocolate lab. She has not left our 8 foot fenced yard & did not come in contact with any other males. She threw three yellow one black, one chocolate with bolo marks, and two brindle chocolates…??? Both parents have ckc papers. Is this common??

    • says

      Hi Betsy,

      Congratulations on your new puppies! From what I’ve seen and heard these markings are not common in pure bred labs although it does occur.

      Good luck with your new pups!

  31. Sam says

    I am the owner of a Silver and a fox red lab, and I am desperately looking for a Black and Tan lab, our dogs go beating, a little agility and firstly pets, plenty of forestry and beach walking.
    If anyone has or is planning a litter with Black and Tans, pls let me know.
    Many thanks Sam

  32. chris says

    Great site and good info. I have a 1 year old black and tan who is my best buddy. I wish more people knew about the color mutation, I defend his coloring all the time, I will refer the “non” believers to this site! No, he is not a Rottweiler he is a 100% crazy, goofy, loveable and loyal lab!

    • jess says

      I got a black and tan pup at 6 wks old. He is now 3 months and I’m always defending his color too. He’s pure lab and everyone says that is not possible and he looks like a Rot. Even the vet said he’d never seen that. Thank you now I know it is.

      • says

        No problem and congratulations on your black and tan Lab! I just saw another one come through one of the guide dogs schools. Thanks for sharing!

  33. Rhonda says

    My yellow lab just had her puppies and two are chocolate with tan markings on face and all four paws they look like little rotts. I know the daddy is a purebred chocolate. I was worried until I saw this site.

  34. Tricia/puppy love says

    I have 3 mail black and tan purebred labs they are so cute thank you so much for the info on them . Just wanted to post incase someone was look for one. 541-212-7658 I will come back and post again with a picture.

  35. Tilda Van Dorp says

    Lynn, my daughter posted she gave me the black/tan marked lab.
    Bo, is short name for Rainbow. Grandbabies named him.
    He’s wonderful! A bit hyper, but great and fun dog.

    I’ll try to send pics if I can.

    • says

      I’m glad you got a wonderful black and tan Lab. I still see a few of the working guide dogs that are black and tan, but our school stopped breeding those colors.

  36. Jacqueline de Kruis says

    Hoi, wij wonen in België en hebben sinds enkele weken een zwart en tan Labradortje van nu 13 weken, haar naam is Yuki. Ze heeft een blonde mama en een chocolade bruine papa.
    Iedereen vraagt welke ras ze is en geloven bijna niet dat ze een zuivere Labrador is.
    We zijn heel blij met haar. Leuk o te lezen dat er meerdere van zijn.

    Groetjes Jacqueline

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