Can Yellow Labradors Have Black Puppies? Explained!

Coat color is a significant consideration for dog breeders and owners with different references. But can yellow Labradors have black puppies?

Can Yellow Labradors Have Black Puppies 1 Can Yellow Labradors Have Black Puppies? Explained!

Can two yellow Labs have black puppies?

Mating two yellow Labradors will not result in black Labrador puppies. The color a lab puppy eventually gets is dependent on the genetic code, but two yellow labs cannot result in black lab puppies.

We sought to understand this phenomenon better. This journey led us to interview vet specialists that deal with Labradors. We also talked to Labrador breeders to learn how to create a multi-colored litter of pups. Read on and understand how Labradors get their color coat.

What are the Basic Coat Colors Labradors Have?

Generally speaking, Labradors come in three primary colors. These include brown, which is often referred to as chocolate, black labs, and white labs. 

In addition, yellow Labradors come in different shades, including pale cream to rich red. However, the colors are only for aesthetic. A Labrador is still the same despite the different colors.

How Do Brown and Black Labradors Come About?

Whatever determines the brown or black color of a Labrador pup is passed through their genes. These are often referred to as bee genes. Each Labrador inherits two of these genes from each parent.

The bee genes come in two types. One of the genes is the big B gene which is the dominant gene and one that is responsible for the black coat color. The second color is small b, the recessive gene that causes the brown or chocolate color coat.

The three different color coat Labradors result from three different combinations of these genes. The black coat forms when the dominant genes B and B combine. It also results when dominant B and recessive b combine, whereas brown coat results when two recessive b genes combine.

Black is the Dominant Color – Here is Why

Can Yellow Labradors Have Black Puppies 1 1 Can Yellow Labradors Have Black Puppies? Explained!

Dominant B tends to switch off or overdo the recessive gene. This is what happens when the B gene is involved. So any gene combo with a dominant B gene will result in a black Labrador coat. Only dogs that fall on the bottom of this chain will become brown.

So How Are Yellow Labradors Created?

Now that we have learned about the different combinations of genes, the question remains of how the yellow Labradors come into existence. It can be confusing, but the reality is that the said combos with the two genes sometimes don’t result in the brown or black shed.

A different type of gene set is responsible for the yellow color. This is the ‘eee’ gene set. The gene set is powerful enough to switch off the bee gene sets responsible for black and brown color.

Dogs with the ‘eee’ gene have two types of genes. The big E is the dominant gene and doesn’t interfere with the bee genes. Little e is the recessive gene capable of switching off or masking the dominant bee genes.

The switching happens when the little ee gene is present since the dominant E switches off the masking gene. Therefore, the dogs will have a yellow coat only if the recessive e gene is present. Dogs with these gene traits have to inherit each of the E genes from the parents.

Yellow Labradors, therefore, have two recessive e genes from both parents. Note that Labradors are born with both the bee and ‘eee’ genes. This means that a Labrador pup can have various gene combinations that eventually affect their coat’s color.

What is the Potential Gene Combination in Labradors?

Genotype Phenotype

  • EEBB – Black
  • Webb – Black
  • Webb – Brown
  • Webb – Black
  • Webb – Black
  • Webb – Brown
  • eeBB – Yellow
  • eeBb – Yellow
  • eebb – Yellow

How to Predict the Colors of your Labrador Pups?

Breeders can predict the color of the Labrador pups they will get in a specific litter. However, it only happens when they are sure about the genotype of their parents. The first generation of Labradors may look a specific way and produce different colored pups.

Second-generation dogs may be black but give birth to brown pups. Similarly, fourth-generation dogs may appear black and get white puppies. The only way to know the color of the pups your Labradors will have is to know the genotype of the parents you will be mating.

What do you get when you Mate Two Yellow Labradors?

One thing is clear: two yellow Labradors will undoubtedly have the recessive eee gene. Mating the two dogs will only result in a yellow offspring, not black or brown. Yellow Labradors do not possess the dominant E, which is likely to mask the color.

What is the Outcome of Mating two Chocolate Labradors?

Brown Labradors are fondly referred to as chocolate Labradors. Brown Labrador parents will also not result in a black puppy because they do not contain the dominant Bee gene responsible for the brown color.

However, two white chocolate puppies if the parents are carriers of the eee gene. This possibility happens when the parents have the Webb gene combination.

The different color combinations from the gene variations are slightly complicated and not the typical color you would expect. The yellow shade will certainly be very different from the original eee gene combination that would typically result in a yellow-colored Labrador dog.

It also matters what genotypes are involved. For example, this makes it possible for black Labradors to get yellow puppies. This genotype combination is what is referred to as genetic code.

What are the Different Ways to Get Black Labradors?

Can Yellow Labradors Have Black Puppies 2 Can Yellow Labradors Have Black Puppies? Explained!

There are four different ways that black Labradors can be bred. Each puppy with a specific coat results from combining different genotypes of the mother and father. Below are potential gene combinations and color of pups likely to result when the male and female parents mate:

  • EEBB and EEBB – Black puppy
  • EEBB and EEbb – Black puppy
  • EEBB and EeBB – Black puppy
  • EEBB and EeBb – Black puppy
  • Webb and EEBb – Black choc puppy
  • Webb and EeBB – Black puppy
  • Webb and EeBb – Black choc puppy
  • EeBB and EEBB – Black puppy
  • Webb and EeBB – Black Yellow Puppy
  • Webb and EeBb – Black Yellow Puppy
  • Webb and EEBB – Black puppy
  • Webb and EEBb – Black choc puppy
  • Webb and EeBB – Black Yellow Puppy
  • Webb and EeBb – Black choc Yellow Puppy

When the black labs have the little b gene, there is a high likelihood that a least a quarter of the litter will be brown or chocolate, especially if the double eee gene overrides the bee gene combos.

Can Black Labradors Lead to the Three Labrador Colors

Black Labradors can have offspring in three colors: yellow, black, and brown. The colors are affected by the different genotype combos from EeBb,  all of which have the little e and little b recessive genes.

What Happens when you Mate a Yellow Labrador and Chocolate Labrador

Different possibilities result from mating a yellow lab and a chocolate lab. However, the results can be complex, complicated, and random. There are six possible outcomes from this combo, including:

  1. Yellow &black puppies
  2. Yellow, chocolate, & black puppies
  3. All black puppies
  4. Black and chocolate puppies
  5. All chocolate puppies
  6. Yellow & chocolate puppies

Yellow Labradors can occur in three ways, while chocolate Labradors in two ways. First, chocolate Labradors are either Webb or EEbb. On the other hand, yellow Labradors are created from the eeBB, eebb, and eeBb genotypes.

The little eee genes trigger the yellow coat, which switches the possible Bee gene combination.

What Happens when you Cross Black Labradors with Chocolate Labradors?

There are different ways black Labradors come about, as already seen above. However, chocolate Labrador puppies come in two genotypes. The different combinations will result in 8 possible outcomes. These include:

  1. Webb and EEBB – Black puppies
  2. EEbb and EEBb – Black choc puppies
  3. Webb and EeBB – Black puppies
  4. Webb and EeBb – Blackchoc puppies
  5. Webb and EEBB – Black puppies
  6. Webb and EEBb – Black choc puppies
  7. Webb and EeBB – Black, yellow puppies
  8. Webb and EeBb – Black Yellow Choc puppies

Crossing black Labradors with most other colors will always lead to a coat color with black in it. This is because black remains a dominant gene and will thus appear in the most color combo.

What Happens when you Cross Black Labradors with Yellow Labs?

Since there are four ways to get black Labradors and three ways to get yellow Labradors, mating black and yellow labs will certainly lead to various outcomes. Possible outcomes include:

  • eeBB and EEBB – Blackpuppies
  • eeBB and EEBb – Black puppies
  • eeBB and EeBB – Black Yellow
  • eeBB and EeBb – Black Yellow
  • eeBb and EEBB – Black puppies
  • eeBb andEEBb – Black choco puppies
  • eeBb and EeBB – Black Yellow puppies
  • eeBb and EeBb – Black, Yellow, choc puppies
  • eebb and EEBB – Black puppies
  • eebb and EEBb – Black choc puppies
  • eebb and EeBB – Black Yellow puppies
  • eebb and EeBb – Black choc yellow puppies

The possible combinations show that most puppies will have a hint of black in their coat. Black is the dominant color in this case.

How Do Silver Labradors Come to Be?

Besides the three common coat colors most Labradors have, the rare silver coat also exists. This is brought about by another different set of genes known as the Dee gene set. The Big D gene is dominant, while the small d is the recessive gene.

The presence of the D gene can override all the other genes described above. However, even in such cases, the change happens very subtly. The gene tends to dilute the coat of the Labrador.

For example, the black Labrador will have a faded or light charcoal coat. On the other hand, the yellow Labrador coat will appear a pale champagne yellow color. However, brown or chocolate Labradors will have a striking silver coat, which Labrador fans still contend about.

Is it Possible to Determine the Color of your Labrador Puppies?

Determining your Labrador coat color can be elusive unless you are willing to undergo genetic testing. Unfortunately, most breeders can only do this for the first generation of puppies as the color diversity and dilution continues to be more complex with the second, third, and fourth generations.

However, this diversity in the gene pool among Labradors makes them unique. As a result, most breeders are often surprised at the colors of their puppies. Although the Labrador retriever does not have the most complicated gene pool, it is certainly one of the most complex.

Attempting to come up with or breed specific colored puppies can be an effort in futility. Breeders may not have the means to follow each gene pool, as this can make breeding super expensive and unsustainable.

More importantly, your focus should be to ensure that the breeding parents are healthy and in great condition, as this. Health makes a huge difference in the outcome of the puppies as it determines how healthy and strong the puppies will be regardless of their coat color.

Key Takeaways

  • The color of the Labrador puppy coat depends on the gene they inherit from their parents.
  • Yellow Labrador parents cannot give birth to black or any other colored puppies except for yellow.
  • The gene combination determines the Labrador coat color, which is why most Labrador puppies have unique coat colors due to their diverse gene pool. 
  • It’s hard to predict the color of puppies before they are born.
  • Breeders get surprised  by the color of the puppies.

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