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Labradors Vs Charcoal Labradors: The Differences

Labradors vs Charcoal Labradors: The Differences

A Labrador can have black or chocolate brown fur, red or yellow pigment in its eyes, and a wiry or soft coat. Notwithstanding that, these popular pets can be silvery, charcoal or golden. There are actually many variations of the same breed. A gene mutation, which is known as the “dilute” gene adorns that dusky, coat on good looking charcoal Labradors. But does that gene also affect the temperament, physical looks and health of this unique ‘water’ dog? Read until the end to dig up bones of truth and dispel any myths. Firstly lets find out what is a Labrador Retriever?

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most common dog breeds in the world. Labs are known for being family-friendly, gentle, and very good with children. This makes them a great family dog and they love to play with the whole family and go on long walks. They are also good with other pets in the house, but because they are a hunting breed and have strong instincts, you have to make sure they are trained well from a young age.

This bold but beautiful breed of Charcoal Labradors are very easy to train, but they do have a strong hunting instinct so you have to keep that in mind when raising a Lab. Famed for their ability down the ages to retrieve a hunter’s prey, Labrador Retrievers are generally healthy, but they are prone to a few health conditions that can arise with the breed.

Labrador Possible Health Problems

Labs can get hip dysplasia, which is a genetic condition that can be very painful for the dog. They can also get epilepsy, which is caused by a genetic mutation. This is something that can be treated with medication. Labs can also get cancer, which is a disease that can affect all breeds of dogs.

What is a Charcoal Lab?

Charcoal Labs are a type of Labrador, but with a stunning black coat covered in silvery freckles. This stunning coat color is created thanks to a gene mutation, which is known as the “dilute” gene. The same gene mutation can be found in Chocolates, but they are darker and can be mistaken for Blacks at times. This breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and you cannot register them with the organization. This is because they don’t have a “standard” look. While their looks are stunning and very unique, they aren’t a recognized breed by the AKC.

How to tell Labradors and Charcoal Labradors apart?

To make sure you are buying the correct Labrador or Charcoal Labrador, you can look closely at their coat and eye color. Labrador Retrievers have black or brownish red pigment in their eyes, while the Charcoal Labrador has amber or yellowish-orange pigmentation in their eyes. Labrador Retrievers have a soft, thick, dark coat, while the Charcoal Labrador has a silky, shiny, soft, yet dense coat with a tinge of gray often around the snout. If you are trying to tell the two apart as puppies, it is harder to do so. Labrador Retrievers are generally larger dogs, but Charcoal Labs can grow up to be the same size as Labrador Retrievers. Some people suggest the ears on charcoal Labradors are longer and have a more ‘hound-like’ quality.

Differences in Appearance

It should be noted that physical descriptions of Charcoal Labradors are fractionally different from Labrador Retrievers with some breeders claiming observations a myth. Charcoal Labs are said by some to be more athletic and streamlined while Labrador Retrievers have wider foreheads and rounder skulls; Charcoal Labs have a narrower head with a more defined stop. Plus some owners say Labrador Retrievers have rounder eyes that are set wider apart, while Charcoal Labs have smaller, more almond-shaped eyes.

Labrador Retrievers have a deeper stop and a shorter muzzle, while Charcoal Labs have a more defined stop and a longer muzzle. Labrador Retrievers it is said also have shorter legs, a large chest, and a thicker tail. Charcoal Labs have longer legs, a leaner chest and a thinner tail. Features that are not disputed are the yellowy eyes and dusky – gray tinged coats of Charcoal Labradors.

Labradors vs Charcoal Labradors: The Differences
Labradors vs Charcoal Labradors: The Differences

Temperament and Needs of Labradors Vs Charcoal Labradors

Like all Labradors or Labrador retrievers, Charcoal Labs are great with all members of the family though as with all dogs should be watched around toddlers and babies. An important factor in its behavior and needs is whether your Labrador was bred from a show or working line of dogs regardless of whether it is a Charcoal or normal Labrador.

If you’ve spent any time researching Labrador Retrievers before buying one, you’ve probably heard of show lines and working lines. Working lines and show lines are two breed standards that outline how a Lab should look and act based on their breeding and usage.

What is a Show Line Labrador?

Show Labradors are bred toward a specific aesthetic. They’re bred to have specific physical characteristics that make them desirable in the show ring. Ideally, these dogs should be able to work, but that isn’t the primary focus. Usually, these dogs are also expected to be very calm and easy-going. Show lines are bred for specific coat colors and markings. This is done to make the dog more attractive while they’re in the ring. Unfortunately, it also results in some dogs that have specific health issues that wouldn’t be present if they weren’t bred for show.

What is a Working Line Labrador?

Working Labradors are bred toward a specific job. They need to be able to hunt, track, or otherwise perform a useful task. These dogs aren’t bred for looks or temperament — they’re bred to perform. Working dogs are often expected to have certain physical characteristics. For example, they should have a shorter, squatter appearance than show dogs. A shorter, stocky dog is more efficient in the field. They should also have shorter noses.

Most working handlers down the ages wanted dogs that are very driven and focused. They’re supposed to be very intense and driven so that they can perform their jobs well.

If working Labradors are more your style, then make sure you understand that they might not be fractionally as easy-going as show dogs. You can also try to find a line that has a little bit of both. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know exactly what type of Lab you’re getting. You can ask your breeder, for more information. However on the whole both lines of dog are known to be caring and friendly.

Working Lines of Labradors

Working Labradors have some of the most intense jobs of any dog. Because of this, it’s important to ensure they get enough exercise to prevent them from being overweight or developing other problems. But how much is enough? Working dogs require a lot of physical activity. They need to be able to run as fast as possible for long distances and then do it again soon after.

This tougher line also need strength so they can pull heavy objects and climb over things. A high level of endurance is also necessary so they can keep going even when the task at hand is difficult. Working dogs must have strong joints, bones, and muscles so they can handle all these strains on their bodies while still being able to continue working efficiently. The same goes for Charcoal Labradors or normal Labradors.

Lab bodies need to be able to perform a wide variety of movements with ease so they can complete tasks more efficiently and use their energy more wisely. And because these tasks are often done in extreme weather conditions, their bodies need to be tough.

Strong bones and muscles are a must for working Labradors, especially because they have a greater risk of developing joint issues. A healthy amount of exercise will help keep your Lab’s bones and muscles strong so they can continue working for years to come.

The more active your Lab is as a puppy, the stronger their bones and muscles will be. This will help them stay healthy as an adult, making sure they don’t develop any issues as they age. Working dogs are at a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis in their joints. Providing your Lab with enough exercise as a puppy can help decrease their risk of developing this painful condition. Working dogs need plenty of exercise so they can use their energy wisely. This will help them be more efficient and use less energy when completing tasks. If your Lab is getting plenty of exercise, they’ll be less likely to become overweight and develop other health problems.

What Kind of Activities Provide the Right Amount of Exercise for Charcoal or Normal Labs?

You can do a combination of different activities to provide your Charcoal Labrador or ‘normal’ Labrador with the right amount of exercise. These include: playing fetch with a ball or Frisbee, swimming in a pool, hiking, jogging, or even playing tug-of-war or fetch with a rope toy. You can also do some other types of activities to help give your puppy a good workout. These include: using a treadmill, playing fetch indoors with a soft ball or a toy on a hardwood floor, using a jump rope, and even cycling while Fido follows.

How Tall and Big Will My Charcoal Labradors Grow?

Labrador retrievers grow the same height and length as Charcoal Labradors often showing sexual dimorphism in height and weight when reaching adulthood. The female Labrador will usually weigh between 54 and 70 pounds and stand at 21 to 23.5 inches tall to shoulder height. A male Labrador will typically weigh between 64 and 80 Lbs and stand at shoulder height: 22.5 to 24.5 inches tall.

Conclusion – Charcoal Labradors Differences

Working Labradors have some of the most intense jobs of any dog. Because of this, it’s important to ensure they get enough exercise to prevent them from being overweight or developing other problems. And it is the question whether your Labrador is from working or show stock that is more important than the differences between ‘Charcoal’ and normal Labradors.

The differences between Charcoal Labs and normal Labradors stem from a recessive (dilute) gene that scientists believe may have been present all along in the Labrador retriever gene pool and may have been present in working or show gene pools. As in the wild where animals like black panthers, too have a recessive gene, the differences between Labradors with or without that gene are simply in their physical appearance. In the case of Charcoal Labradors you will notice they have golden eyes and dusky coats (often mistaken for coats of Black Labradors).

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Ed Gordon

About Author

Growing up around pets, including turtles, cats, dogs and eaven red eared terrapins, Ed Gordon Price, is passionate about their welfare and imparting useful, discovered facts and opinions about our furry, feathered, bald and scaled friends; plus the products taht help their lives. He has written a published novel about animals called The Zambezi Allies and invites you on this quest to discover pets and pet products.

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