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Sunday, February 01, 2009

What are Brindle Labs?

It seems that there are many new Labrador Retriever owners that are confused about what denotes a purebred Lab. Some believe that any mismarks, brindling or mosaic coloration demonstrates a mixed Lab breed or a non-reputable dog breeder. This, however, is not entirely true.

My own purebred chocolate Labrador Retrievers are from a long line of purebred sires and dams. Both lines were responsibly bred with both black and chocolates to keep the chocolate line pure and a beautiful shade of mocha. They come from highly reputable Cricket Hollow Farm that has built their reputation on almost 2 decades of breeding this specific dog breed. My breeder goes above and beyond with health guarantees, AKC limited registration papers, biosensoring, socialization, puppy aptitude testing, microchipping, dew claw removal, and if you should ever have to get rid of your dog, they make you sign a contract that says you will return the pup/dog to them so that it does not end up in a shelter or put to sleep.

They have also had brindled puppies!!

How do I know? Well, my girls are from the same line - just two separate litters and although the first litter came out dark chocolate, the second had number of brindled pups. Yep! Brindled pups from a very pure Labrador Retriever line and a highly reputable breeder. Cheyenne showed no sign of brindling when we brought her home even though almost her whole litter was brindle. The ironic thing is that even though both had no brindle at birth, the brindle is quite obvious after a summer laying out in the sun. My girls become a beautiful reddish-brown all over and Dakota's tail and Cheyenne's legs will become a awesome red. Beautiful cannot even begin to describe it - and I promise you that they are all Lab!

So, to answer some questions about brindle Labrador Retrievers:

1) What is brindling?
"Brindle is a coat coloring pattern in animals, particularly dogs, cats, cattle, and, rarely, horses. It is sometimes described as "tiger striped", although the brindle pattern is more subtle than that of a tiger's coat." Labs with brindling have tan speckling on their forelegs, muzzles, and chest.

2) How does brindle happen?
It is all in the genetics. Why do two human parents with black hair have a brown haired child when there is no one else in the family with brown hair and it is not in their family line? Genetics.

3) Can brindle Labs be shown?
Short answer - no. The AKC only recognizes three coat colors: black, chocolate, and yellow. They allow for very little mismarking (if any) on the Labs in order to be in competitions.

4) Does this mean the Lab is sick or is more predisposed to illness?
No way! A brindle, mismarked, or mosaic dog is just as healthy as any other dog without color variations. It is only fur deep.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with brindle dogs - they make awesome canine companions and are as healthy as any other dog out there. However, keep a couple of things in mind when thinking about purchasing a brindle pup. 1) If you plan on showing the pup or breeding, look for another pup without color variations and 2) If a breeder tries to sell you a brindle pup for more money or advertises the pups as "special" or a "brand new color" run away very fast as that breeder is not reputable at all!



Blogger Chester's Mom said...

VERY interesting! I didn't know that. I would love to have a brindle lab. But you are absolutely correct, beauty is only fur-deep. Chester

February 02, 2009 10:21 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Yeah, brindle Labs are quite pretty... Dakota's tail gets a beautiful blonde/red color in the summer. I will definitely have to take some pictures. :)

The reason I wrote the post is because so many people think there is something wrong with brindle Labs or that they are a new breed (and some breeders charge extra for them). People need to be informed. :)

February 12, 2009 7:33 AM  
Blogger kirkygirl said...

I know that even though my pup is 1/4 Chock Lab, she actually DID have some brindling on her when she was still very young. I know that brindling is another genetic variation, and it makes no difference except the fur colour. So, brindle or not, she's still a cutie pie. And a biiiig suck. :P

February 12, 2009 9:42 PM  
Blogger toozgooma said...

Hershey Kisses gooma says Hershey has a brindle coat. She was a solid choc lab puppy and the variations developed at about 5-6 mo. solid choc undercoat with red and gold highlighting thru out the upper choc coat. She' got the block head and the bird hunter nose. Her 1st litter to a black /tan lab produced 1 black with a small white goatee and blaze on chest, a diluted chocolate, a black with tan chin and chest, and legs, and a black with brown head and brown stippling on trunk and legs. They all have the famous block head and started sniffing the ground when they took their first steps. I don't have a current picture at 5 wks. will try to zip one out later.

April 08, 2009 12:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad to hear people saying that labs can be brindled. I have a black lab puppy with yellow brindling. His brothers and sisters were all black. He was not from a pedigree line but from 2 working labs of whom we both saw. The amount of comments that we have recieved about him being mixed with a collie? a german shepard, a rottie, a doberman and even a Dahsund Terrrier all because of the dots above his eyes!!!! It really frustrates me. "He cant be a lab" is possibly the most used phrase around my very smal village at the moment.
Sorry for the rant

April 30, 2009 2:52 AM  
Anonymous Jen said...

I went to the pound to rescue a dog when my French Bull Dog, Maggie, passed. There was a beautiful brindle lab at the pound that was set to be put down that week because she had been there so long (over a month). I took her, having labs as a kid I loved them, and the pound told me she was a lab/boxer mix because of her brindle coloring. They had no information on the dog, Abbey, because she was just dropped off in their outside cage overnight. They had "guessed" she was a mix and I believed them because I didn't think Labs could be brindle. She is sooooo a lab! And I am happy to see that she most likely is a full lab because knowing now that they can be brindle! Thanks to all. How much trust does anyone put in the dog DNA testing? My Vet suggested it if I wanted to know for sure.

May 22, 2009 12:40 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

DNA testing is not worth the money just to know whether or not a dog is a certain dog breed unless you were planning to breed it. I would save my money and get your precious pooch a huge dog bone instead. :)

May 22, 2009 2:15 PM  
Blogger jgarcia said...

I just added a new member to my family and her name is Bella.She is a Lab.I was kind of confused because Ive never seen a Lab that is black with a tan face and tan paws.I am glad that there is such a color and that she could still be a purebred!She is really a pretty puppy!!!

May 30, 2009 11:19 AM  

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