View Full Version : black or yellow lab

Jeff Lewis
03-11-2003, 12:02 PM
I've always hunted with black labs but have found a light colored yellow lab puppy that I'm thinking about buying.

Black labs seem to blend in well with a decoy spread, anyone ever had any trouble with geese spotting a yellow?


Joshua Folkerts
03-11-2003, 12:10 PM
Personally, I own a yellow lab and i do not think geese will have a problem with him/her. If they lay still they will not mind. depends on what kind of field you are hunting in. I think that if you are going to hunt ducks, he will blend into the rushes alot better than the black but if all depends on what you are hunting. Black field, corn stubble, winter wheat, etc,etc, here is a pic of my lab young 8.5 weeks old here and now he is 12 weeks old and 22lbs. be is a brute now http://www.honkerhunters.com/images/Pictures/AverySmall.jpg

03-11-2003, 12:22 PM
I try very hard not to let color or sex determine what puppy I buy. What is more important is finding a good breeding where both parents have all their clearances. If both parents don't have good clearance or the breeder does not offer a written guarantee hang up the phone and find one that does. Tell the breeder what you want in a puppy and between them and you make a choice. A good puppy will start at 400.00 dollars and go up. Any thing less than that stay away from them.

03-11-2003, 12:23 PM
Oh yes I own one of each color black and yellow!!

03-11-2003, 12:49 PM
I own a chocolate but have hunted over blacks and yellows as well. I think as stated before the colour isn't as important as is the proper training and blind/field discipline. If the dogs steady to the sound of the gun or sight of the birds approaching his movement should be minimal and the birds concentration should be on the decoys movements not the dog.

03-11-2003, 12:55 PM
I am a big fan of Blacks, I have had two yellows and three blacks, Believe that the black labs have been better, but on the other hand I know some poeple that have great Yellow's I think it is all in the training and the background of the dog, I have just had better luck with blacks,

One thing I might add though don't let price make the choice because I have had dogs that I paid 175 for and they would out hunt these so called 1000, 2000 dollar dogs, that just all depends on how proud the seller is, Go with field trial background and you can't go wrong,

Good luck,

03-11-2003, 01:29 PM
theprof if you find a litter of puppies for under 200.00 dollars I will guarantee you that they will be poorly breed and the parents will not have any of the necessary clearances. Most all of the breeders of this type donít know what the term OFA rating means and they really donít care. If you want any more information on what to look for in choosing a breeder or a puppy PM and I will give you my phone number.

03-12-2003, 07:06 AM
You are asking a terrific question. One that I wished I had asked myself before getting my last pup.

I have a dog that has just turned his first birthday, and he is a great hunter and a great companion. I checked his heritage and did all the research before settling on a litter, paid the appropriate $$$ for a good lab and am totally satisfied with the dog, which weighs in the mid-80's.

However, when it snows, I litteraly can loose him in an open field. He is as white as the t-shirt on my back. Even his ears are as white as snow. The problem is, in the early morning light of the marsh, he glows like a neon light. Even with a neoprene camo jacket his legs and head stand out. I verified this by setting a video camera on a hill 1/4 mile from our spread and as we sit in the marsh, the first thing you see is that white dog.

I wish he was actually more yellow, but I will hunt him just the same and work on concealing him.

One the other hand, my other yellow lab was very light when she was a pup, but at about 12 to 15 weeks she started to darken and now as a 3 year old, she is pretty much standard yellow.

Good Luck with your new pup.

03-12-2003, 12:30 PM
and to be perfectly honest, the dog is only as good as it's trainer/teacher. No matter what color you get, if you don't spend time training the pup and introducing it to various habitats and situations - it won't be worth a darn in the field or marsh! Go with what you are comfortable with! Research the parents and grandparents backgrounds, look for CERF & OFA certs., and look for hunting/FT/HT stock. That pup will be with you for many years, but what it learns in the first year or two is what will make it!!! Good Luck and have fun w/the new pup!

03-12-2003, 12:47 PM
The only REAL color of lab is black isn't it?

Seriously I have a black but her mom was beautiful cornfield yellow color. Blends in with a cornfield nicely.


03-12-2003, 01:49 PM
It is my understanding that the "original" Labs were all black and that somewhere, sometime yellows and chocs popped out. The breeders liked the coloring so they kept them and started the color phases. Some people say they are genetic defects but I don't agree. Sorta like the blue geese, things just evolve. Yellows are just a pigment thing and true yellows have the "dudley" nose, pink not black.

Nevada Jim
03-12-2003, 02:13 PM
Yep ... ya gotta be real careful with those durn yellars, they just don't blend in and the geese can spot em everytime (as they're being brought back into the blind). HA!

Nevada Jim
03-12-2003, 02:35 PM
This honker couldn't see my boy at all ... it's head was hanging down and eyes were closed. Atta boy Cap ... fetch em up, bud!

Jeff Lewis
03-12-2003, 08:01 PM
Thanks for the great advice!

Great thing about asking a group of goose hunters is that if you wait long enough, someone is going to tell you what you want to hear :)

I'll probably be posting some pictures in a few weeks.

03-13-2003, 08:13 AM
Originally posted by Sandy
Yellows are just a pigment thing and true yellows have the "dudley" nose, pink not black.

I'm not sure what you mean by that Sandy, but here is a good article on the genetics of color in labs by Amy Dahl.


03-13-2003, 09:42 AM
The yellow labs blend in just like a black one would. I guess it depends on what type of cover you are hunting. Corn fields, tules on pond edge etc. A hide-a-pooch blind would also conceal either color.

03-13-2003, 03:53 PM
Thanks for the link to Amy's article. I had no idea "dudleys" had a hint of choc. in them! I had always been told that they had NO dark pigment genes and this is what caused the pink noses and eye rims. That they were "true" yellows! I read that three times and then printed a copy of it. I just bought my son a "dudley" female last Sept. and she is a crackerjack! One of THE prettiest Labs I've ever seen. And what drive, desire and nose! She's gonna be a d*#n good dog! Thanks again for that link!

Nevada Jim
03-13-2003, 04:19 PM
"Dudleys" are quite different than "winter nose," which is the lightening of black or brown to a pinkish color that some Lab's nose takes on in colder weather each year.

Two sets of genes, not one, control a Lab's coloration. One set of genes controls whether the Lab will be dark (either black or chocolate) or light (yellow). Dark is dominant over light. Thus a Lab whose genotype is EE (homozygous dominant) or Ee (heterozygous) will be dark; only Labs that are ee (homozygous recessive) can be light.

The second set of genes only come into play if the Lab is dark (either EE or Ee). This set controls whether the Lab is black (the dominant trait) or chocolate (the recessive trait). Thus, a dark dog (ie. EE/Ee) that is BB (homozygous dominant) or Bb (heterozygous) will be black, while the only way a dog can be chocolate is for it to be dark (EE/Ee) AND bb (homozygous recessive).

So now, the possibilities for black dogs are EEBB, EEBb, EeBB, or EeBb. The possibilities for a yellow dog are eeBB, eeBb, or eebb. And the possibilities for a chocolate dog are EEbb or Eebb. Remember that puppies will get one E/e from the dam and one from the sire, as well as one B/b from the dam and one from the sire to make up their complete "code". If you had two parents that were both EeBb (black in appearance), you can get all three colors in the resulting litter! Furthermore, when you realize that a pair of yellows can only give their puppies the ee combination, you understand why two yellows only produce yellows. In a similar fashion, two chocolates can only bequeath bb to their puppies, so two chocolates can never produce a black puppy.

The eebb is an interesting case, as this is a yellow dog with chocolate pigmentation on its nose and eyerims. A dog that is bb always has this pigmentation. Under the current standard, a yellow with chocolate pigmentation is disqualified.

If the Lab is mismarked, for example Black and Tan, or brindled, there are other allelles present in that dog's makeup. If you are interested in a further discussion of these genes, do look up Clarence C. Little's classic book, The Inheritance of Coat Color in Dogs.

Traditionally, the way to determine a dog's genetic background for color is to examine the whelping box: a dog that produces yellows and/or chocolate carries those genes. And dogs carry what their parents have; a black with one yellow or chocolate parent must carry the yellow or chocolate gene. But for those who really want to know for certain can now make use of a simple cheek swab test to determine their dog's genotype. VetGen (1-800-483-8436) has such a test for $85.

What is a Dudley?

This is a yellow Labrador with chocolate pigmentation (eebb). It can also refer to a Lab with absolutely no pigmentation on the nose or eyerims (all pink in color), but in actuality, this is extremely rare, and probably a genetic abnormality. Please be aware that, while this trait is considered undesirable, it does not indicate some sort of genetic abnormality. There is no known correlation between Dudley noses and poor health.

But I see some Labradors with a pinkish nose.

Yes, this happens with many breeds, actually. It is called "winter nose" or "snow nose." Many yellow Labs will have dark noses in the summer that fade somewhat in the winter and repeat the cycle the next year. It is not understood why this happens. You can see it in many northern breeds such as Huskies and Malamutes as well. This is not considered a fault in any of these breeds and is not penalized. To differentiate between Labs with faded noses and Dudleys, check the eyerims and gum tissue of the dogs. A Dudley will have only light pink or tan skin; the other dogs will have black pigment in these areas. Above reprinted in part from the Retriever Journal.

Look carefully here and you can see a hint of my dawgs pink or purplish nose that's slowly returning to its dark color as the temps warm up again. By July it will be solid black, but by the first week of next season it will start lightening up again.

03-15-2003, 09:47 PM
personally I was grown up with black labs with my brother Cself but I am getting a yellow this friday so I'll have to see bout it. There was a test taken not to long ago about what frightens ducks more. And the test showed that ducks and geese are most frighted by human voices and the test for the dog was a very low percent. So I think if you train your dog to stay still and to not jump around or anything while hunting I don't think it matters. good luck


Jeff Lewis
03-16-2003, 07:24 AM
my lead on the lab pup did not pan out so I am back on the hunt for a female yellow lab - any litters out there???

03-21-2003, 03:11 PM
This is a very good place to find a well bred puppy!

04-16-2003, 02:48 PM