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Brindle Labrador Retrievers

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Have you ever seen a Brindle Labrador Retriever? As far as I know I have not seen one in person. Although, I’m not too sure I’d recognize a purebred brindle Labrador retriever even if I saw one.

Just about everyone has heard of the Labrador Retriever breed. And I’d probably say that most people know the common colors of a lab: yellow, black, and chocolate (brown). Of course, there’s a lot of variation in the yellow coloring from a very light white color to as deep as red/copper color.

However, have you heard of or ever seen the other Labrador Retriever coat colors? A few months back I wrote an article about Black and Tan Labrador Retrievers. The coloring is very similar to a Rottweiler or a Doberman Pinscher. One of our guide dog puppy’s in training, Egan was black and tan lab. If you want to see a picture of Egan take a look at the article on Black and Tan Labrador Retrievers.

Brindle Labrador Retriever

The second unusual color variation in the Labrador coat color is brindle. As I mentioned in my previous article the brindle coloring is seen less often. Labs with brindling have tan speckling on their forelegs, muzzles, and chest.

Here at Puppy In Training we were lucky enough to receive some pictures from one of our readers who has a couple brindle Labrador Retrievers. Here are the photos I received:

Waiting For Her Treat

Good Down-Stay!

Learning To Retrieve

Here’s what Maia and Tora’s handler had to say about his two brindle Labrador Retrievers:

“Maia’s reddish/brown on black is more dramatic. Each leg has a different pattern. Her inner thighs have yellow hair as does her butt area. At 8 months I began training her to hunt pheasant, quail and chukar. Often times she will hold a strong point and I have hunted her with some professionals and she holds her own. Tora’s a chocolate with yellow markings on he muzzle, across her chest and on each leg. Her brindling is more uniform than Maia’s. At nearly six months she swims like a fish and retrieves very well. Soon we’ll go to the fields with a couple of birds and begin training in earnest.”

It’s interesting to see pictures and hear about the unusual color variations in Labs.

As you all know I’m working with my current puppy, Derby in hopes that he will someday be a guide dog. Raising a guide dog requires a specific training program as we prepare our puppies to lead their blind handlers in many different places and situations. One thing that caught my interest after reading the short snippet about Maia and Tora the Brindle labs is that they are being trained as hunting dogs. As with a guide dog I’m sure a hunting dog has a strict and specific training program. I would be interested to see exactly what kind of training a hunting dog goes through.

If anyone has any other pictures of brindle labs I’d love to see them. If you train hunting dogs I’d be interested to hear about how a hunting dog is trained. What do you think of these Purebred Brindle Labrador Retrievers?

Here are some more articles on Purebred Brindle and Black and Tan Labrador Retrievers:

Brindle and Black and Tan Labrador Retrievers

Black And Tan Labrador Retrievers

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  1. I’m happy to find this site, I researched a lot about brindle labrador here in Brazil and I didn’t find anything I’m about to adopt one.

  2. While they may not meet the breed standard, and cannot be shown, brindling DOES occur in purebred labs. It is the result of a recessive gene, so both parents have to carry the gene for it to be expressed. It is horribly irresponsible to assume that there must have been an interloper somewhere.

    I learned a lot in a real hurry when our stud, a gentle giant of a black lab with a long and rather proud pedigree, was bred with a sweet chocolate, with an equally wonderful temperment and lineage. Nine pups in the litter, and four demonstrate brindling. These are 100 percent lab pups, with good breeding. The brindles are absolutely adorable. The first two pups to be spoken for were brindled. It was his second litter, with the first throwing eleven beautiful, homogenous colored pups. (No brindling.)

    I don’t know if the brindled pups will be registered, but I know they have been a hit, and all of my research these last few weeks, comes up with no other known health risks or predispositions.

    Brindled labs are unique, and come pre-camoflauged for the duck blind!

    Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but

  3. I have a lab puppy that is 12 weeks old that we were told is Brindle but I have showed other people and they say that he looks like he is Lab and Rottweiler mixed. How can I tell and how can I send you a picture to see if you can tell.

  4. Now I’ve grown up with black labs. I had never heard of or seen a brindle lab until about three weeks ago. Our neighbor had lab puppies and told my son he could have his pick. My son told me he picked out a really cool one that had all the colors. So I had to go check it out. The Neighbor told me she was what they call a brindle lab and he said he had never seen one either. Then he had another pup that was black and tan. He told me he researched that and those labs are breed as seeing eye dogs. Anyway the pup came home today at 7weeks and has already made friends with my 6 month old daughter. She seems to be a very well tempered lab. My son is looking forward to training her to pheasant and grouse hunt.

  5. We’ve had a chocolate lab now for 5 years. I’ve been told by two different vets that we do have a 100% Lab Retriever. We were hesitant at first because he has very short tiny black stipes here and there, almost like a brindle, but he’s mostly brown all over, his nose is also brown. Everything about him from body structure to his personality screams Labrador Retriever and the lady that sold him to us said that that’s what he is. I’m glad I found this site because I wasn’t sure if this was possible. thank you all for your facts and comments

  6. I have a brindle retriever. He is 9 months and he is a dark brindle all over. In his litter there was 2 goldens and a black.

  7. I bought a lab a few months back and she has yellow speckles on her front legs and chest, muzzle, and inner thighs. She Is chocolate lab and I’ve never seen anything like her

  8. I have alot of people telling me that my puppy isnt a lab either. he is a 9 week old brindle lab puppy. The father is a yellow lab and his mother is a chocolate lab. I too have never seen a lab with his colorings and it does not matter to me if her can be registered or not. He is sweet and smart and thats allthat matters. My goal is to train him to be a theraphy dog and work in the drug and alochol field. with his sweet disposition he will be sure to help people as they go through the healing process of recovery. He lays his little head (little for now) in your lap and your heart just melts.

  9. Just wondering why no one had mentioned that both akc and ukc standards state that a lab cannot be brindled. If in fact these are pure blood they are highly undesirable for the breed as they do not meet breed standards. Hunt training is done in a variety of ways depending on training styles. You should checkout wildrose kennels… They breed and train the ducks unlimited dogs.
    My answers come from breed research and many years of breeding labs.

  10. Our Yellow Female was bred to a chocolate male and has 4 black pups and 6 yellow. Three of the black pups have the Brindle markings. This is the first time that I have seen this occur. I am not sure if this is a desirable trait or not. If someone has any experience in selling them, please contact me with what you have experienced. E-mail or phone 254-985-2284.

  11. Sres, he dado con ustedes ya que tengo un cachorro de labrador totalmente atigrado. los padres son mios (con papeles) que se pueden ver y el cachorro tiene 60 dias ahora, a los hermanos los vendí todos unos amarillos y otros negros esta es la cuarta camada.
    si alguien esta interezado in cluzo me podria orientar en cuanto lo puedo vender, esta vacunado y desparasitado y tiene su pasaporte, muchas gracias mi tlf es 655992115

  12. So nice to find this site and read about other brindles! Our beautiful brindle lab, Duchess, died suddenly a year ago. Her coloring was very much like a tortoise shell cat. We’d never heard of brindle labs before we saw her. Her genetic “defect” was our blessing – the breeder didn’t charge us anything for her since she couldn’t be registered. She was the smartest, sweetest, most beautiful dog we’ve ever had. Anytime we left the house with her, people would stop us and comment on her coloring, and were always surprised to learn she was a lab, even though she had the classic lab shape. (They wanted to list her as a “Lab mix” when I took her to be spayed, and looked at me like someone had duped me when I told them she was purebred.) Her mother was a yellow lab and her father chocolate. The breeder told me he’d gotten a couple of brindles from different litters. Beautiful dog – we’d love to have another!

  13. That first picture looks like the dog i lost , her name was brownie and i was away for the summer that year of september ’08.. and was told so by my parents when i got home ,so i was a bit late on the story by the time i was home …so i was wondering who and where did the photograh come from.

  14. My Winnie is a brindle Lab. She’s a wonderdog. Everyone mentions her markings.

  15. my black lab just had puppies 2 weeks ago and she ended up having 3 of the brindle colored puppies and omg they are so cute, and have not for this site I never would have known what they were, I thought maybe my lab or the male had a rottie somewhere in their lines but thanks to your site I now kow different

  16. We just had a litter with two brindel pups a dark chocolate,black and golden .

    The brindel pups are chocolate with black tiger stripes.

  17. We have a brindle who looks EXACTLY like the lab in the green collar in the “Good Down-Stay!” photo above. His daddy was a midnight black lab and his mommy was a beautiful yellow lab. Our male dog (Shane) came out of the first litter that his mom had looking like a peanut butter cup, and my son chose him immediately. His mom subsequently had another litter, and a female pup came out that looks like our dog’s twin sister.
    People shake their heads or voice their disbelief that our Shane is a lab, but he is, and he’s the sweetest most loyal dog we’ve ever had. Those same people can’t seem to resist petting Shane, and we’re lucky to have him. He’s been a tremendous, lovable addition to our family, and he is just the best with kids.

    if Shane is indicative of all brindles, I can’t recomend them enough if you’re lucky enough to find one!

  18. I am so happy to see this site. We purchased our pup from a lab breeder. The litter was bred with a yellow sire and chocolate dame. The litter had 3 yellow, 3 black, and 2 brindle. They breeders said that pairing has never produced a pure chocolate lab; only brindles. We didn’t want to breed or show our dog and we thought the brindle markings were really neat. We get a lot of weird looks when we tell people she’s a lab, but her personality and temperament are 100% lab. She is the sweetest dog and is a serious water bug. I am glad to see that there are others like her!!

  19. We currently have black lab puppies, and there are a couple with brindle markings and the feet but one that is just covered in the markings. Both parents are black, we thought what went wrong.. He is a beautiful playful puppy I just hope we don’t have trouble finding him a home.

  20. I could not believe the picture above with the black and tan laying beside the small chocolate lab,I thought it was my boy Bear spit and image of what my lab Bear looks like and I mean identical,he is the product of a chocolate mom and a black dad,when we first took Bear to our vet he said I dont know he looks like a rot are you sure a rot did not slip into the mix,well the next appointment he changed his mind and verified our Bear was full lab and just was a different color,he has the block head so many still confuse him with a Rot ,he has been the joy of our lives such a big sweet lovable guy,when his sister who is posted on here Dixie a brindle lab had puppies we chose a black one and brought him home,Tank remained fully black with a white spot on his cheast and a white foot that displays two white toenails and two pink pads,till he got close to 7 months old some light brindle has started to appear along his back and now as he has turned a year old it is slightly more noticable,I love the difference in color with my two boys and hope these unique colors catch on they are wonderful labs.

  21. @Peggy Shay, Congratulations on the new litter of puppies. I bet they’re keeping you busy.

    @Jodie, thanks for telling us all about Louis. He sounds like a wonderful dog. You can send pics to my email address at ckmorita [at] puppyintraining [dot] com and I’ll get them on the site.

  22. Hi, me again. We had another litter with the same parents that had the brindled labs before. This time we only have 2 out of the 9 that have the brindling. One has the cheek, paws and butt brindling and the other just has a small amount of splashing on all her paws. The brindling did not start to show up until they were around 3 weeks old. They are just beautiful dogs.

  23. Hi Everyone.

    It is so nice to see that people believe in the Brindled Lab. My fiance and I enquired to view a litter of puppies in December 2008 and were told that there was only one left and that he was a little different but we were more than welcome to go and see him.

    On arrival we were shown his mum…a beautiful small framed black lab with a perfectly welcoming temperament. Then was his dad, a big yellow monster with the softest eyes i have ever seen. He was simply beautiful. Then came the pups. Out of a litter of 7 black pups our little man stood out immediately. He was not a solid black colour he was yellow as well. Of course we were going to accpet this little bundle of fluff as our new companion especially as no one else appeared to want him.

    With 2 yellow dots above his eyes, yellow patches coming through on his ears, a patchy muzzle, a big yellow chest, a stripe of blonde on his front legs and the rest yellow and black we recieved all sorts of comments as to the breeding of our new addition. Not one single person would believe that he was a lab…infact 8 motnhs later and most still dont.

    We have had all sorts of comments relating to his breeding from Alsation, Rotweiler, Border Collie, Hound, Daschund Terrier!?!?! etc etc. I researched into the colouring and realised that event the Kennel Club recognise it due to the rules and regs of showing labs. “Only solid coolours can be shown.” Still no one appears to belive us.

    Louis is the best ‘dodgy’ coloured lab ever! He swims like a fish, chases sheep rather naugtilly and loves runnign through bushes finding birds and rabbits. Chews and dies everything that a lab would or so i have been told, do! He has the best temperament and loves playing with any other dog or child! He is now 9 months old and getiing bigger by the day.

    I am not sure how to post pics but would love you all to see him.

    Let me know what you think to the pics.


  24. We have a lovely brindle labrador retriever. He is full-blooded lab and was the only one from the litter. He’s so smart and can do many tricks.

  25. I totally disagree with Jill (March 7th)- As a Breeder for years, we have never encountered brindling until our latest litter. We had a litter of 10. This litter included beautiful yellows,blacks, and 4 brindles. I was already aware of the brindle issue, but had never seen it first hand. I can assure anyone that noone has “strayed” from our kennels!!! it is a genetic trait. We have had some clients fall in love with them and other act like Jill. They are 8 weeks old and 100% Lab!!!!

  26. I just read the exchanges between Mimi and Peggy. Maia is six now. She’s the black with the reddish brown markings. I got her from a work friend and got to see the litter when they were tiny, when their eyes were barely opening. You could just see the markings on her legs. They have remained strong. The next visit was around at six weeks and you could see her muzzle coloring. Her brindling has not changed one bit. Like I said she is now six. I have wondered if the brown would be changing to gray first because Maia’s chin started graying a couple of years ago. This does not appear to be happening. The yellow on her butt hasn’t changed either.

    I got Tora from Peggy. She is the chocolate with the yellow brindling. You can see her at a couple of months old and then just a few weeks ago. these photos are on this sight, some showing up under Brindled Labs and others in Black and Tan areas. It’s hard to believe we have two brindles, and I’ll bet 90% of the people who have met them think I was taken when I bought them.

  27. We purchased an akc registered lab in Los Banos, CA. The backyard breeder claimed that it was rare and brindled. After a mixed breed dna check, we found out it was 25% Brittany Spaniel and 75% Lab. I recommend a mixed breed test for anyone claiming to sell you a “brindled lab”. Brindling is rare and if there are more than one of the pups in the litter showing brindling, rest assured, it is most likely a mixed breed. Unfortunately, we paid for our full-breed lab and ended up with a mix. Go to a reliable breeder and still remember….. Buyer beware.

  28. @Jenny, Thanks for telling us about Ranger. If you’d like just send me an email with pictures you’d like featured on the website and I’ll create a post with pictures of Ranger and any information you’d like to tell about him. My email address is ckmorita@puppyintraining.com

    Also, I just posted several images of Bill Patterson’s two Brindled Labs. Here’s the link:

    Brindle Labs

    We also have a post with some information on Black and Tan Labrador Retrievers

  29. Hello all…

    I’ve also got a brindle-coated lab, though I didn’t know it until we had a DNA test done on him.

    When we got Ranger from the North Shore Animal Shelter here on Long Island, we were told two things: he was from Tennessee and he was probably a hound mix.

    Well, he turned out to be the BEST DOG we’d ever had, and got curious as to his lineage. We thought maybe he was one of the large hounds with a dash or German Shorthaired Pointer and some Lab.

    You can imagine our surprise when the tests came back as 100% Labrador Retriever! I had never heard of a Brindle Lab before, but that is what he appears to be.

    When I saw the pictures of your puppies, Colby, I said, “Hey…that’s what Ranger looked like!”

    To the poster who asked if the brindling will remain after the dog is grown, all I can tell you is that Ranger’s coloration did change a bit as he got older. His muzzle and nose used to be a dark brown but are now a tannish-white. Also, Ranger’s coloring is less splotchy than some of the other brindles I’ve seen. He is completely brown on his back and completely very light tan (almost white) on his belly. He almost has a saddleback look to him, which is why we thought maybe he had hound or pointer in him. There are areas of his head that are a more golden brown. His ears, too, are a lovely golden color. His eyes are rust colored.

    I wish I knew how to post pictures. If anyone can tell me how, I will be glad to do so, as I have pictures of him as a young pup, an older pup and as an adult dog


  30. Hey, Mimi. Sorry it took me awhile to get back. I went through my records and noticed the pups with the brindling in our litter did not display it when they were first born. The brindling will not disappear to my knowledge. I have visited one of the females who had the splashing/brindling on her paws when we sold her. It does not seem as prevalent as it was when she was smaller, but I think that is just because she has grown so much.

    Colby, haven’t forgotten about the pics. Thanks for the info on Sir Hershey. I am curious to see if we have any brindled pups in our upcoming litter. We used the same stud dog with our other female. Looking to have them on Inauguration Day. Enjoy your holidays.


  31. @Mimi, Unfortunately I don’t breed dogs and wouldn’t know too much about whether or not your puppies will lose their brindle coloring. There are others who follow this comment thread that might know more about the brindle coloring in your litter.

  32. We have 12 puppies that came from our yellow bitch. Her line is way up the line all yellow. the stud who is also full bread is all the way up the line chocolate. However he does have a little brindle on him. The puppies are 5 weeks now and are showing increasing development of brindle in about half the liter. Most of their markings are on their paws. One has it on his face. I was wondering whether he will loose any of the brindle as he grows older. Is that true that they do loose it?

  33. @Peggy, updated pics of some of the other brindled labs would be great.

    I never heard about Maia and Tora’s grandfather, Sir Hershey of Surrey. I tried the link you listed, but it was unavailable. I did a little research and found this one: http://www.bearpointkennel.com/Dogs/Dogs_Hershey.htm. I read his biography and it sounds like he was an amazing dog.

    Thanks for stopping by! And yes I do find all of this information interesting.

  34. Wow, glad to see one of my little girls, Tora, making her debut on the web with her sister Maia. They are beautiful dogs. I will see if I can get some updated pics of some of the other brindled labs that were in the litter with Tora to send to you. Did Bill share with you that after some talking back and forth we found out that Maia and Tora each have the same great grandfather, Sir Hershey of Surrey? He was the Grand Master Pointing Champion in the Colorado Open State Pheasant Championship 4 times. There is a nice write-up about him at http://www.pointinglabrador.com/hershey.htm. The article says Hershey sired more certified pointers than any other dog in the country. He was pure chocolate but it appears he had some of the brindling gene in his lineage. Thanks for listening. Thought you may find this info interesting.

    Peggy Shay

  35. Hopefully my rambling last night gave a little info. There are, I’m sure, lots of books that will cover the techniques used.

  36. Oh yeah, I hope to hear back from some of my readers on their experiences training their hunting dogs. If I get enough material I’ll definitely get something on the site.

  37. Yeah, I hadn’t heard of a brindle or black and tan Labrador until I met Egan at GDA. I wrote a post on black and tan Labrador Retrievers a little while back. Since then I’ve received a few pictures of other black and tan labs and the picture I posted today of the brindle Labradors.

  38. Great write up! Never heard of a Brindle Labrador before. Hope you get enough material for a write up on hunting dog training. I would love to learn about training for the blind retrieve.

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