Lab Temperament
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Thread: Lab Temperament

  1. #1
    fburke is offline Senior Member
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    Default Lab Temperament

    I am considering getting a Labrador Retriever puppy. I just lost my 13 year old Keeshound so this would be my first Lab.

    I was talking to someone and they told be that there is a difference in temperament between the Black, yellow and chocolate labs. Is this true or a fable?

    I was told that Blacks are higher strung than the yellows...

    I am just looking for a family pet nothing to show or work in any way.

    Any suggestion or information would be helpful.


    Thank you

  2. #2
    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Lab Temperament

    Color has nothing to do w/temperment.

    Bench v. Field MAY have some difference (individual performance will vary; check your owner's manual for details), with the benchies being a little more mellow and laid-back and the fieldies being a little more energetic and go-go-go. But I've seen many a benchy who would put a Jack Russell to shame, and many a fieldy that you'd have to light a firecracker under to get moving.....

  3. #3
    Tatyana is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Lab Temperament

    there is a difference in temperament between the Black, yellow and chocolate labs. Is this true or a fable?
    There is no difference in temperament based on color whatsoever. A good indicator of your future pup's temperament is the temperament of the ancestors. If you can visit the breeder, you'll be able to meet the mom of the puppy. Observe her. Also, if you can meet the dad, observe him. Look at the pedigree and the titles after the dogs' names. CGC is relatively new but means that the ancestor had basic manners. CD, CDX, UD, UDX are obedience titles. WC, JH, SH, MH are hunting titles. TDI is a therapy dog title. There are agility titles that I don't know. But if the ancestors have these titles, it usually means that they were trainable and had good temperament. Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Lab Temperament

    See, that's funny...I have heard the opposite, that yellows are higher strung than blacks. The training director at our obedience school breeds Labs, and she has even said that from her observations over the years, yellows seemed a bit more "crazy." :P Of course, we were standing there talking about my wild man Angus at the time...LOL

    But I do think it's an old wives' tale. Angus fits the "crazy yellow" mold, but there are many very laid-back yellows on here. It just depends. Probably the best indicator of temperament would be the parents.

    Another of our top trainers has Keeshonds. They are sweet, lovely, intelligent dogs. I'm so sorry to hear that you lost yours.


    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

  5. #5
    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Lab Temperament

    Quote Originally Posted by Tatyana
    there is a difference in temperament between the Black, yellow and chocolate labs. Is this true or a fable?
    There is no difference in temperament based on color whatsoever. A good predicament of your future pup's temperament is the temperament of the ancestors. If you can visit the breeder, you'll be able to meet the mom of the puppy. Observe her. Also, if you can meet the dad, observe him. Look at the pedigree and the titles after the dogs' names. CGC is relatively new but means that the ancestor had basic manners. CD, CDX, UD, UDX are obedience titles. WC, JH, SH, MH are hunting titles. TDI is a therapy dog title. There are agility titles that I don't know. But if the ancestors have these titles, it usually means that they were trainable and had good temperament. Hope this helps.
    RN - RA - RE - RAE are Rally Titles. Don't wanna overlook those! ;D

  6. #6
    luke from georgia is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Lab Temperament

    FABLE.

    each dog is a different dog. yes, knowing the parents will help, but there are no guarantees. slight advantage yes, but a dog's temperment is shaped not only by genetics, but environment, individual life experiences, and a beavy of other factors as well.

    once upon a time, i was a lab newbie. * *i searched for and found a local lab rescue and started volunteering there so i could "hang out" with all varieties of labs of all ages, and especially the grown up ones. *puppies don't stay puppies for very long, and i wanted a better idea of what i might be in for.



    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford

  7. #7
    HaleyJo03 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Lab Temperament

    I have a two year old yellow female that is so mild mannered you wouldn't even know I have a dog in the house unless I pointed her out. *She doesn't even bark when someone rings the bell or knocks on the door. *She let's it all hang out at the dog park but as far as hyper she just isn't. *I have always understood that chocolates are the hyper ones but we had a chocolate as well and he was a true gentleman. *I don't think you can determine the level of energy a pup will have based on color. *It depends on the parents.
    "In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."

  8. #8
    Djc1249 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Lab Temperament

    Mine's a 1 year old yellow male, bench type. We wanted a dog that was calm, and would hopefully learn easily. We were lucky; that's what we got. When we went to look at the puppies at the breeder's, we first watched and played with the mother....we wanted to get an idea of temperament. The breeder told us later that she liked the fact that we spent so much time with the mother. Many people don't even look at her, they just concentrate on the puppies. Since a puppy doesn't stay that way for long, they should look at the adult, also. He was so calm, quiet, and laid-back right from the start that I asked the vet about this...is he normal? She told me yes, that that's one of the characteristics of labs. Maybe it was the calmness in him, but honestly, he has trained and learned things almost effortlessly.
    <br />Did you say TREAT ?!?<br /><br />Tucker, 3 yrs. --- Tipper, 10 mos.<br />http://www.dogster.com/dogs/284460<br />http://www.dogster.com/dogs/715680

  9. #9
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    imported_bacatherine is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Lab Temperament

    As others have said it is not the color but the breeding and environment in which they are raised. I have a chocolate that is (by lab standards) relatively calm. The only difference I've been told by others on here is that the yellow ones tend to shed a little more than the others but they all shed a lot. Another thing to concider about getting a lab is that even if you don't plan to show training is going to be necessary. Not that you have to go to classes but you need to be able to find a way to communicate with them and train them. Labs are puppies until at least 2 years old some even longer and can take a lot of patients to get through that puppy hood as they can be destructive and trying. They are bred to be working dogs and most need a lot of exercise to be that laid back lab your always hearing about until they are 5 or so years old. They also enjoy training if done correctly so it can be a way for you to bond with you dog.

    I hope the statements here will help you make your decision. Labs are wonderful dogs and will be your loving friend for life if you treat them well. Also look at shelters there are so many purebred and mixed labs being put to sleep every day and most of them are wonderful dogs that just didn't get the chance they deserved.
    <br />Barbara, Mocha, Zeus, &amp; Smeagol

  10. #10
    WigWag Guest

    Default Re: Lab Temperament

    The color of the dog's coat has no direct correlation with a specific temperament. The pedigree and lines absolutely do and Tatyana is right in that the best indicator of a pup's temperament is to look at the parents and ignore colors. You can have all three colors in one litter and so just because one is yellow doesn't mean it will act a certain way over the blacks and chocolates.

    That said I do warn people looking for a chocolate to be careful. That color has been bred irresponably more than the other two. Of course you can get any color from a backyard breeder or puppy mill that can have issues as far as health and temperament, however chocolate to chocolate most of the time produces all chocolate so for generation upon generation bad breeders pump out chocolates with little to no concern for anything else except that the pups are brown. So a chocolate from a bad breeder (and sometimes a good breeder as well) can have more issues as far as health and temperament than a yellow or black. Once again this has nothing to do with the brown coat and everything to do with the breeding practices behind the dogs.

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