Yellow and Black Labrador playing with a stick

Labrador Breeds and Colours: A Comprehensive Guide

There’s yellow, black, chocolate and even fox-red Labradors, but did you know different types of Labradors have distinct characteristics? Along with different colours, there are different breeding lines too. Let’s explore the different breeds and colours of Labradors. 

The Labrador Retriever

Often simply referred to as “Labrador,” is the most common type of Labrador. They are known for their friendly and outgoing nature, making them great family pets and service dogs. 

Labradors are highly intelligent and trainable, and they excel in activities such as retrieving, hunting, and obedience trials. 

They have a short, dense coat that comes in three standard colours: yellow, black, and chocolate. Yellow Labradors can range from a light cream colour to a rich golden shade, while black Labradors have a solid black coat, and chocolate Labradors have a rich brown coat.

Labrador Show Line

A chocolate English show line Labrador standing in the ocean
English, or show line Labradors are stockier with a thicker coat and wider tail

Labradors bred for the show ring, also known as show line Labradors, have slightly different characteristics compared to the traditional Labrador Retriever. Labradors with show lines are also known as English Labradors.

Show line Labradors, or English Labradors, are typically more stocky and have a blockier head shape as well as a shorter muzzle, thicker coat and wider tail. They are often bred for their conformation and appearance, with an emphasis on meeting breed standards. Show line Labradors may have a slightly calmer demeanour compared to field line Labradors, and they may be more suitable as companion animals or show dogs rather than working or hunting dogs.

Labrador Field Line

A yellow American Field Labrador stands on the street by a road
A yellow field Labrador, or ‘American’ Labrador is more athletic and energetic.

Labradors bred for field work, also known as field line Labradors or American Labradors, are typically more athletic and energetic compared to show line Labradors. Field line Labradors are bred for their working abilities, such as retrieving, hunting, and field trials. 

They may have a leaner body structure, with longer legs and a narrower head compared to show line Labradors. Field line Labradors were bred for working in the field where they need speed, agility and energy so may have a higher energy level and may require more exercise and mental stimulation compared to other types of Labradors.

Other Labrador Colours:

A Fox Red Labrador

In addition to the traditional yellow, black, and chocolate colours, Labradors can also come in other colours, although these are considered less common and may not be recognised by all breed standards. 

Some examples of alternative colours in Labradors include silver, charcoal, fox red, and champagne. While these colours may be visually striking, they do not affect the Labrador’s temperament, health, or working abilities.


Labradors are a diverse breed with various types and colours, each with its unique characteristics. Whether you are considering getting a Labrador as a family pet, a working companion, or a show dog, it’s important to understand the different types and colours of Labradors to make an informed decision.

Remember to always research reputable breeders and choose a Labrador that fits your lifestyle and expectations. Check out our guide on finding the right breeder. With proper care, training, and love, Labradors can make wonderful and loyal companions for many years to come.

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