Are Chocolate Labrador Retrievers good family pets?
This velvety chocolate breed was considered the “Ugly Duckling” for a long time but nowadays, it is noted as the most beautiful of the 3 shades.
Chocolate Labs came into existence just like the other lab breeds but they started gaining prominence only from the 20th century. Unlike Black Labradors, Yellow and Chocolate Labs were usually not considered good enough for show rings.
All the 3 gained equal importance as years went by.
Recommended Read: English Labs
Chocolate Lab Breed Characteristics Sheet
- Origin: Newfoundland
- Size: Large
- Dog Breed Group: Working / Herding /Pastoral / Guide/ Easy to Train
- Purebred: Yes
- Lifespan: 10-14 years
- Height: Male – 22.5-24.5 inches, Female – 21.5-23.5 inches
- Weight: Males – 66-88 lbs, Female-55-70 lbs
- Coat Appearance: Double coated
- Coat Colors: Chocolate
- Temperament: Loyal, Outgoing, Protective, Responsive, Social, Fun loving, Trustworthy
- Good With Children: Yes
- Intelligence Level: High
- Good With Pets: Yes under supervision
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Grooming: Moderate
- Shedding: High (seasonal)
- Suitable For Apartments: Low
- Need For Exercise: High
- Easy To Train: Yes
- Good For First Time Owners: Yes
- Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, hereditary myopathy, PRA
- Litter Size: 5-10 puppies, average-7-8
- Average Price: $800 – $1200 USD (US)
Chocolate Lab Size And Weight
- Height of a Chocolate Lab – This breed is mostly 57 to 60 cm tall. Females may grow up to 55 cm or more.
- Weight of a Chocolate Lab – This breed can weigh anywhere between 30 and 40 Kgs. Here again, the female Lab might weight slightly lesser than the males.
They have a thick velvety coat that keeps them warm and helps them stay water-resistant. Their brad head matches up with the muscular body. The most interesting feature is their eyes; its color may range from brown to hazel.
Chocolate Lab Lifespan
They can live within a range of 10 to 14 years and sometimes may even surpass this normal range if given extreme care.
Scientists have claimed that Chocolate Labs are less healthy than the yellow and black shades. Take your pet to a vet for regular check-ups and have yearly medical tests taken to ensure a long and healthy life.
Chocolate Lab Temperament
As a matter of fact, dogs love human company and Chocolate Labs are no exception to that. They aren’t aggressive by nature but they adore their masters and would protect them if the need arises.
Gentle, affectionate, extremely intelligent and very friendly – these are just a few characteristics that define them.
They love water games, so stay assured that the next time you drop your phone into the swimming pool, your Chocolate Lab will get it back for you. Hope your mobile phone is water resistant!
Getting them to socialize with other pets is not much of a problem; they easily get along with other animals like cats and are never snappy towards strangers. If you have kids staying at home, then Chocolate Labs would be the best pet choice.
They are friendly, extremely caring and gentle towards children, so you have always left kids alone with the Labs.
Summary of their temperament:
- Even Tempered
- Happy and playful
- Extremely Intelligent
Chocolate Lab Health Problems
They mostly suffer from genetic disorders like hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. It’s is not necessary that all Chocolate Labs get them but as per statistics, it is very common in Labs.
The gene responsible for the chocolate color is recessive, so breeders need two Chocolate Labs to produce the right colored Lab. Now since the gene pool is narrowed down, there is an increase in genetic diseases. Hence Chocolate Labs are more likely to suffer at a younger age.
Obesity is another huge problem in Labs. One in every 10 Labs is found to be overweight. So ensure to give your pet a balanced diet.
A rare deficiency of Type II muscle fiber affects the gait of the breed and is very common in Chocolate labs. If you find your pet change its gait after prolonged playtime or exercise session, then it is better to take him to a vet.
Tips To Train A Chocolate Lab
These training methods will help you instill intelligence and obedience in the breed;
Socializing With Pets and Friends
Chocolate Labs are friendly and sociable by nature but if you are buying a pup from a puppy mill or farm, then there are chances that the pet might display timid and hostile behavior.
It’s easy to get them to socialize with other pets with little but consistent training.
Positive reinforcement methods must be used to instill good habits in the dog. Never push your pet to complete a task and ensure to reward him whenever he succeeds in a task.
Labs love to please their masters, so this session shouldn’t be much of a problem.
Retrieving and Simple Tricks
When you have taught him the basics, try training him on new simple tricks like fetching a ball, etc. Start with easy tricks and gradually improvise on the methods and in no time, you will have your pet jumping around loops.
Handling Separation Anxiety
Chocolate Labs are not so good at handling separation anxiety, leaving them alone for quite a long time can leave them saddened and lost. Train them to handle lonely situations.
Read many other Lab training articles to help you train your dog.
Feeding A Chocolate Lab
At 3 weeks of age, you must introduce your pet to dry food slightly soaked in water. In the first few weeks, you should give them 4 meals per day because at this stage; the quantity and quality of food will define their body weight and growth.
After 32 weeks, you can start feeding him 2 times a day. Ensure to measure their food in an 8 oz cup.
Here’s a food table for varying stages;
- Weeks 8 -24 – 4 meals a day
- Week 24 – 32 – 3 meals a day
- Week 32 – 50 – 4 meals a day
Interesting Facts About The Chocolate Lab
- Primarily they were Fisherman’s friend; they were mostly used for hunting and fishing
- They were called Liver Labs till the second half of 20th century
- Chocolate Labs became popular only in the 1960s
- Researches on this particular shade claim that they do not fear loud abnormal noise.
- They love playing in water even if it is freezing cold.
Chocolate Lab Names
Chocolate Lab Price
The average price range of a Chocolate Lab is $800 – $1200. Healthy tested dog could cost you more than $1200 at times.
Chocolate Lab Breeders
Finding the right breeder is as crucial as finding the right pet. When it comes to buying Chocolate Labs, you must take extra care while selecting the sales store.
It would be best if you avoid mills and farms; choose a legit breeder who has the membership with the local Kennel club.
This particular breed’s gene pool is quite narrow and hence the breeder you rely on must have a good reputation in the locality as a breeder to certify his authenticity.