Black And Tan Labrador Retrievers

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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.

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  1. My dogs mother was a full blooded Golden Retriever. She disappeared one day for about 3 hours and 2 months later, delivered 1 chocolate lab, 3 black labs, 1 solid brindle and my beautiful Sam, brindle legs, chest, and muzzle! Everyone said he was a hound dog mix. I thought when he was first born that he was a rottie mix. As he got older, I kept saying, that he looked exactly like a lab! If only he was solid black. I later did research to find if there was any such dog as a brindle lab… I was ecstatic when I found out all about brindle labs! He looks nothing like his mom! He’s the love of my life! The smartest dog I’ve ever owned, and still eager to learn new things, and so eager to please! I only hope if my sweet boy passes, that I can find another brindle lab. It’s the only dog I ever want!💙💙💙

    1. We love the Brindles too! We used to see the brindle and black and tan Labs fairly regularly at the Guide Dog school. However, they stopped breeding for these traits and I probably haven’t seen one at the school for over 10 years. I’m glad your dog is so wonderful. I hope he sticks around for many more years to come.

  2. I have a male American Chocolate and female English Black labs… my female just had a litter and I now have beautiful Black and Tan with brindle on the lower legs Also brown and tan puppy. She also had a black, brown and yellow puppies… ❤️

  3. Our pure bred English lab looks so much like a Rottweiler except in all black fur. Has anyone else notice the similarities between English lab and German Rottweiler? I know english lab is a bit shorter but everything else is the same.

    1. Yes our pure bred black English lab looks exactly like a Rottweiler but snakier and shorter frame. The head and eyes are so much alike. He’s so handsome

  4. Wow!!
    Thank you for sharing. We have a pure Chocolate male and we bred with a pure Blonde female and we have been very perplexed as one of the five pups is Black and Tan. He’s the only one in the litter that did not have the standard color.

    1. Thanks for sharing! I was surprised the first time I saw a black and tan in our guide dog group. Sadly the school stopped breeding dogs that produced black and tans. 🙁

  5. One of the pups that came out of a blonde and chocolate litter is Black and Tan with a milk stain on it bottom lip and white marks on its toes. We named him Macchie, which means spots or blotches in Italian.

    1. Zoie, the first ever Dual Championed Labrador Retriever was in 1910 I believe.
      His name was Banchory Bolo.

      Bolo had some white Pads on his paws…

      Google his great story.

      Labs born with White Pads or White hairs between the toes etc are often called Bolo Labs, many people think it’s a very solid signal that you have a very good dog…

  6. My yellow lab just had her second litter and two pup have brown on them also the male is a akc blk lab i was worried. Also

  7. My female (black) had a litter 5 weeks ago and ended up with a black and tan pup. My male is yellow. Had 4 yellow, 2 black, and then the black and tan. Thank you for all the info. I will try to post a picture.

  8. I think I may have one of these puppies, that is black and tan. I had never seen this before. He is two weeks and 3 days old today. Dad is a silver lab (chocolate) and mom is yellow. I have pictures but wasn’t sure how to share. Mom is akc and ukc registered, and dad is akc registered. All other litter mates are solid black.

    1. We don’t update this page with new pictures, but we’d still love to pics of your beautiful puppy. You can send us emails at ckmorita [at] puppyintraining [dot] com.

    2. I am very interested in the black and tan labrador coloring. Is this puppy for sale?



  9. I am a puppy raiser for Southeastern Guide Dogs. We have several lines of Black and Tan labs. If both parents carry the recessive gene, there is a good chance if getting B&T pup in the litter. Currently, we have 3 B&T breeders so we are getting more and more of these beautiful puppies.They are just as pure-bred, intelligent and sweet as any of their yellow or black siblings. I tried to add a picture of Fred, my current pup, but can’t figure out how.

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      If you want I can get a blog post about your puppy Fred. Send me a bio about Fred and anything you’d like to talk about including puppy raising, Southeastern Guide Dogs, and Black and Tan Labs. I’d love to hear all about your experiences. You can also upload images through or contact form at or if it’s easier just send me an email at

      Thank you for all you do as a puppy raiser!

      Take care,

    2. Hi Elizabeth,

      Would you be willing to share the list of breeders that have black and tan labradors? I am very interested in this coloring, and I cannot find any! I grew up with a yellow lab and I absolutely love their temperaments.

      Thank you!

  10. My parents reserved a purebred lab puppy for my son and when they went to get him he was black and tan almost like a German shepherd. Not all black with tan markings, but like black and tan mixed fur with the tan markings. All the other puppies were solid. Is this possible for a purebred lab or did the breeder lie to us?

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