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Lab Colours VS Temperament

Discussion in 'Behavioural science and dog training philosophy' started by IanT, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    It is an interesting article! Although....he misses out the bit where the fox red colour came to an end in working line dogs and was revived from show lines....and the Chocolate gene goes all the way back to the very first foundation dogs of the modern Labrador. It didn't just "appear" in the 1930s, Chocolate dogs are recorded well before then, I believe.

    I'll just add a caveat that I looked this up well over a year ago now, and I'm recalling these points (I haven't checked my notes again).
     
  2. MaccieD

    MaccieD Guest

    From articles I've read 2 "liver" coloured puppies were born in 1892 at the earl of Buccleuch's kennels, probably sired by Buccleuch Avon, the sire of many dogs that are chocolate or carry the chocolate gene.

    I also read somewhere that breeders used to cull the chocolate puppies in a litter as they were "undesirable", but I can't find where I read that.
     
  3. Boogie

    Boogie Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I asked for a fox-red boy for my next pup, but I was told I can only ask for black, yellow or choccy - if I ask for yellow I may get a fox red.

    :)
     
  4. Cherry

    Cherry Registered Users

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    Just read this with interest as since becoming a lab owner I've heard fox reds are aggressive and chocolates harder to train. Opinions about yellow and black seem to be similar though (lovely dogs).
     
  5. MaccieD

    MaccieD Guest

    I've had 2 yellow girls and a chocolate girl and have to say there has been no difference in trainability or temperament :)
     
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  6. Cath

    Cath Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I don't think anyone has told the dogs what colour they are. I have always had black Labs and my niece yellow and they have all been lovely trainable dogs.
     
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  7. IanT

    IanT Registered Users

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    Hi Team - completely forgot i wrote this last year - thought i would give you an update.

    Billy has come along leaps and bounds - still very very timid & barky with people - however its more to do with him challenging him "you know the type - walk straight up, comments on how good and jams their into his face = growls and backing away' instead of of waiting for him to step forward and engage.
    Still a little wary of men but will follow them when on the lead.

    Will give you an update next week when his sister arrives.
     
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  8. Oberon

    Oberon Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Thanks for the update :) Hope all goes well next week.
     
  9. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Great update! Sounds like he is doing really well, look forward to the update when his sister arrives...are you keeping her or is it just a visit? oh..photos pretty please! :)
     
  10. Ski-Patroller

    Ski-Patroller Cooper, Terminally Cute

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    We have only had Chocolates. We just like they way they look and all have been very trainable. They have all had different personalities, but all within the normal Lab spectrum. Ginger was a rescue, so we don't know much about her background. Tillys mom was a Chocolate, Master Hunte (Dad was a Black, Field Trial Champion). Both of Coopers parents were Chocolates, Mom was a Senior Hunter, Dad was a Master Hunter. Anyone who says that Chocolates are untrainable or hard to work with has not seen our dogs.
     
  11. T Reischl

    T Reischl Registered Users

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    Murphy is a dark chocolate, auburn in the sunlight. I have seen very few dogs that were more easy going that he is. Training difficulties? More like "what training?" Beyond sit and lay down, nada. He is very outgoing, loves people, dogs and little kids. Is very careful with kids. Does not jump on people or furniture.

    If there is some difference in behavior due to coat color one would have a difficult time proving it to me. :::::shrug:::::
     
  12. Master Bowie

    Master Bowie Registered Users

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    Anyone knows much or has thoughts of a dudley labrador? I kinna suspected mine is :wasntme:
     
  13. Xena Dog Princess

    Xena Dog Princess Registered Users

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    Do a search for "Dudley" there have been heaps of discussions on here about them. I think there's even a post on The Labrador Site about them :)
     
  14. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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  15. AngelConradie

    AngelConradie Registered Users

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    I've also heard the "chocolates are a bit stupid and can't be trained" thing, but I have seen all colours trained as Guide Dogs, Service Dogs, and Autism Support Dogs, so I've just laughed it off.
    With the nine Guide Dog Puppies I have been involved with raising (four of them from 7 weeks), I've had black and yellow Labs, all with their own personalities and quirks. :D
     
  16. RyanRJ

    RyanRJ Registered Users

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    This certainly is an interesting question. My brown lab Olive, who unfortunately died a year ago, was one of the smartest and most well bahaved dogs I have ever had. In fact, she has served as my guiding princicple in my choice to get another lab. Her intelligence and aptitude speficially with training and learning new tasks was more than I could have asked for.

    Coming from a background of German Shepherds, English Bulldogs, Rottweilers and Great Danes, Olive was by far my most even tempered dog; and considering I spent the least amount of training time with her in comparison to my other dogs, I think that speaks volumes.

    But I certainly have heard the color versus temperament argument with labradors before. A survey conducted revealed that following information:

    Almost 2000 owners of Labrador Retrievers registered with the UK Kennel Club completed a demographic survey and the C-BARQ, a questionnaire that assesses canine personality. The survey included questions about exercise, and whether the dog was a family pet or a working dog used for retrieval or as a show dog.

    Gundogs were given higher ratings for trainability, fetching, and attention seeking than show dogs and pets. They were also rated as less likely to bark, less fearful of loud noises, and less likely to have a stereotypy (unusual behaviour).

    Most of these are not surprising as they fit with the requirements of a dog that has to work at retrieval in the field. For example, it’s good they are considered less fearful of loud noises since they will routinely hear gunshots as part of their work. They need to be good at retrieval, and they will spend periods of time waiting in between retrieves.

    The show dogs were rated as less fearful of humans, objects and noise, less aggressive to people who are not the owner, and less agitated when ignored. Again most of these fit with the requirements of a dog that will perform well in the show ring, where there are unfamiliar people and sounds, and the dog will be handled by the judge who is a stranger to them.

    Compared to black and yellow Labradors, chocolate Labs were given lower ratings for trainability and fear of noises, and higher ratings for unusual behaviours. Compared to black Labs, they scored lower on fetching but were more excitable and more likely to be agitated when ignored; however these were not different compared to yellow labs.

    It is not known if the genes for coat colour also affect behaviour in this breed. It is also possible that other genes exist by chance at greater levels in certain kinds of Labrador, particularly since some dogs were related.”

    More information can be found here: https://www.companionanimalpsychology.com/2014/10/are-all-labrador-retrievers-same.html#.
     
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  17. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Hi @RyanRJ, welcome to the forum and thank you for the interesting link!

    I also have a chocolate labrador and 2 black labs. I have also fostered medium term (1 - 3 months ) around 6 dogs now, all labradors.

    I too am a bit puzzled by the outcome of the data...but the below quote to me sums it up. You can train a dog to do practically anything these days, with of course the right approach. I think you obviously have spent time working alongside your dogs. :)

    My chocolate labrador (I know n=1 :)) is a fantastic "retriever" he loves it! OK, he may get a little emotionally attached to the article. My point is though, he is an amazing retriever. 100% show bred labrador. He oozes personality, loves training. I love training him. My mostly field trail black bitch, well, she will go long distances for a retrieve, but with little emotional attachment to the retrieve itself, which has meant the retrieve has been trained with her step by step. She is far more emotionally attached to my response which has made her a dream to train.

    My point being, dogs that are trained, would exhibit behaviours which would be different if they had not been trained. If you look at anxiety for example whilst it appears there is a a genetic component to fearfulness ref:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/030437628390010X) There all also environmental factors which can easily induce anxiety in dogs, irrespective of genetics. Under stimulation for one, poor habituation as a puppy, lack of training input, handlers dog experience, training ability vs working dog owners bias. So, these variables would need to be included in the study.

    Finally, maybe I have been lucky, I have only met lovely chocolate labs, with the best, forgiving, and the most lovely of temperaments. :) At the end of the day, chocs need to be fearless to strut their stuff round a busy show ring too.
     
  18. Jojo83

    Jojo83 Registered Users

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    Although C-BARQ data is used in numerous surveys, there is one fact that should remain in the forefront on people's minds is that this data is the result of 'owners' assessing their digs against criteria. Knowing how ill equipped most owners are to evaluate canine behaviour and what is a 'problem' for one owner is acceptable to another.
     
  19. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    As long as the study has been internally validated through robust statistical analysis, it is a good model to use. On the plus side, with just under 2,000 questionaires, I would think is a fairly good cohort number to start from. Looking at just one breed (labradors) would help in keeping the data accurate.

    I do agree though, us owners can be terribly subjective in terms of our dog's behaviour and health. :)
     

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