How Do Labrador Retrievers Get Their Color?
Labradors have three basic colors: yellow, black, and chocolate. The yellow coats are a mix of white, cream and gold with a dark or light cinnamon-red back.
The black coats are all black with no white markings. The chocolate coat is an off-white to pale gray with a large black mask, tipping, and tail.
These colors of labs are determined genetically, just like all of the traits that offspring get from their parents. Some dogs will only resemble those colors and have no other color to speak of.
All labs are tri-colored, meaning they are all one of the three basic colors: a yellow coat, black coat or chocolate coat. The color is determined by how much white there is in the coat, just like all aspects of inherited traits are decided by genes.
Different genes can cause different changes in your dog’s coat color to come out in its offspring. These genes can make your dog or puppies look different than the basic colors if they carry a different gene.
Labradors can also have a Chesapeake Bay yellow pigment that is carried on the E locus (E is dominant over e) and is seen mostly in black-coated Labs. If a Labrador carries the yellow gene, they will have a pale yellow appearance to their coat. The darker the color of the Lab, the more diluted their coat color will be.
Labradors can inherit these coat colors in a variety of ways. The most common mode is autosomal, which is not related to the sex of the dog. A dog can inherit the coat color from one of the parents.
The other way a dog can receive their coat color is through the use of a recessive gene, which means both parents must carry that gene in order for their puppies to show it.
The dominant color genes are ee, g and ag. An ee dog has an extra e on its coat. A g dog has an extra g, and an ag dog has an extra ag gene.
The tri-colored coat has one e and two recessive genes (ee). This means that an ee dog is completely white, while a gg dog will be a solid color. An ag or E dog will be chocolate, while a GG dog will be chocolate with black tipping.
Labrador Retrievers are also able to carry dilution genes, which are ash-red (as) and wolf gray (wx). These genes dilute the color of the coat and make it look lighter than it really is. The “ash” gene is dominant over the wolf gray gene, so an as dog will be a combination of the two plus red (the ash).
In most cases, if a dog carries these dilution genes, they will also carry the recessive white gene.
The traits are very dominant in Labradors, so you can expect all offspring will have them in some degree or another. There are many variations to the basic colors that are possible, and you may have a yellow Lab one time and a chocolate lab another. Black Labs have much fewer variation.
How Do Labrador Retrievers Work?
Modern Labs work as retrievers for hunters, assistance dogs, show competitors, and search and rescue dogs. They are also used to help people with disabilities live independently.
Labrador Retrievers have a strong work ethic and are eager to please. They are excellent choices for jobs or training that involves retrieving, as they were bred specifically to do this.
The breed is also very good at learning tricks, joining in games, and performing other commands with enthusiasm. Labs that are trained well will enjoy learning something new and may be more willing than other dogs to keep working in the yard or another area without getting distracted by their surroundings.
Labs can also make excellent companions for people with disabilities. They are very grateful and intelligent and make good service dogs because of their natures.
Labradors have a lot of energy, so they need to be well-trained before going on daily walks or runs. This will teach them the proper way to expend that energy and fine-tune their cooperation with their humans. Labs are also very independent when it comes to being alone, so training will be important for these dogs as well.
How Long Do Labrador Retrievers Stay In Heat?
Most female Labrador retrievers stay in heat for 2 to 4 weeks. The length of time females are in heat ranges from 2 to 4 weeks, with some dogs staying in heat for 8 or 10 weeks. Females will go into heat each year when their body is ready for breeding.
Females are typically in heat for about 10 to 14 days each cycle. The surge of hormones that makes a female go into heat begins at puberty and will continue to occur until she is around 2 years old.
Labrador retrievers can mate and conceive at any age, with the first heat occurring around 6 months of age and continuing through the dog’s life cycle.
About 10 days into her heat cycle, your Lab will ovulate, which means her body will release eggs that can be fertilized. Ovulation typically occurs once a month and lasts for about 36 hours. The egg on its way to the uterus is called a follicle.
An ovulated egg will form into one of those follicles and be placed in the uterus. The yolk sac, containing nutrients for developing the fetus, is transferred to a tunnel inside the blastocyst. A blastocyst is a fluid-filled ball that contains 2 or more cells that are destined to become an embryo and then a baby. The blastocyst sits in the uterus until the dog is pregnant and ready to have a litter.
Once a female conceives, she must produce sufficient quantities of milk for her puppies, or else she will not be able to sustain herself. The quality of the mother’s milk varies from dog to dog, but the mother’s diet should always include protein like fish oil or lamb meal.
Most dogs will produce a normal amount of milk in their first puppies and then produce less as they get older. The amount of milk a dog produces also depends on the number of pups that are born.
Labrador Retrievers are very intelligent and eager to please, but they need training to do their jobs well. A Lab will learn many commands even if you train them for the first time when they are just puppies.
Training starts with basic obedience, then progresses to problem-solving tasks like opening doors, retrieving things from high places, and performing tricks.
How Long Do Labrador Retrievers Sleep?
Adult Labs are extremely successful at sleeping for more than six hours a day. They will sleep for over half of every 24 hours, which is a lot. However, puppies under four months old may sleep as much as 20 hours a day.
This is due to the super-sized puppy brain, which needs more time to grow and mature. By the time they are adults, Labs have mostly stopped need frequent naps, but will still snooze for up to 10 hours a day.
As Labs get older, some of them develop issues with their eyes and overactive bladder, which can cause them to wake up suddenly during the night. These dogs may need help relieving themselves before they get back to sleep for the night. You can learn more about these problems by clicking on the links.
Labrador Retrievers are playful and energetic until they reach adulthood, when their weight and overall health slows them down a bit. Labs also have a lot of endurance and will run for quite a while even as they age. They are also very capable swimmers, so you don’t need to worry about them if you have a pool or spend time at the beach.
How Long Do Labrador Retrievers Teeth?
Labradors stop teething between six and seven months of age on average. The average age for a Labrador to start teething is six to seven months. A Labrador’s adult teeth grow in between their baby teeth on either side of the bottom lip. This is the usual order of events:
Labrador Retrievers have 28 milk teeth, or deciduous teeth, as a puppy. These are shed as the dog gets older and fall out.
Puppies get their first permanent teeth, also known as canine teeth, usually at around three months of age. The cycles of eruption are from four to seven months, so the puppy’s incisors and canines should be fully formed by six to eight months.
There are 42 permanent teeth in a Labrador retriever’s mouth. These teeth are so sharp that they are sometimes called needle teeth. The incisors, canines and premolars are used for tearing and sheering, which makes it easy for them to eat their favorite foods.
There are four pairs of premolars and the canines are single-cusped. The molars have a flat surface suitable for crushing food and the premolars have pointed cusps that help to tear food apart.
Why Do Labrador Retrievers Eat Everything?
Labradors are genetically programmed to eat everything. This is because the Labrador retriever was originally bred from different types of retrievers, including the Newfoundland dog and the Irish water spaniel. Both breeds were used to hunt in water and would eat whatever they could find.
This Labrador mutation is associated with higher body weight levels and increased food motivation. This can be a desirable trait for Labradors who live in colder climates, but not so much of an advantage when they live in warmer climates.
This is also why Labradors are less attracted to food when they are older, as these dogs have learned to control their cravings.