Unusual Coat?

Discussion in 'Labrador breeding & genetics' started by Teller's mom, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Teller's mom

    Teller's mom Registered Users

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    So, it’s been a while since I’ve visited the forums but I’ve been really busy with my new job and life in general. Anyways, I thought this the best place to turn for a question about Lab coats lol.

    Teller was a rescue from a local shelter, I got him at 13 mos and while they labelled him as a mix - according to them because he was too leggy and slender to be a full lab (I asked) - but his trainer, who is around the FT circuit and does dock diving with a bunch of labs laughed this off and told us he looked like any lab from working/pet lines she had seen; she also said he was in his ‘awkward teenage phase’ and would definitely fill out as he matured over the next year or so. Well, she was right about that! He’s a tall boy (as mentioned) standing at the upper-end of the American standard at 24” but was a mere 45 lbs when he came home. He just turned 3 this past August and now he’s 80 lbs with lots of muscle. Since filling out he has more of that ‘solid’ lab look about him, although he’s still sort of leggy and lighter in bone, I’m positive this is mainly owing to his being neutered at just 4 months of age at the shelter’s doing. Of course it doesn’t matter whether he’s 100% lab or not because he’s my lovely yellow boy, I just think it interesting that he is like prototype lab in terms of traits and personality and can’t see any other breed traits in him.

    Right, boring background aside, I’ve had all sorts of people ‘question’ his breed, some rather forcibly and passive-aggressively; I know most people are ignorant when it comes to dog breeds and the differing ‘types’ found within certain ones and that I shouldn’t be bothered but sometimes it annoys me. I don’t know if it’s because we Americans tend to either go over- or underdone with things (including dogs) and 95% of people are used to seeing those cumbersome show-line labs we churn out with barely any leg or what...

    Now to the point of the post - sorry about the rant lol - the other day a lady came up to pet Teller (a common occurrence) and says, “Oh, this is probably the most handsome lab mix I’ve seen, usually they look like total mutts.” I sort of awkwardly brushed her comment off by saying he’s a lab - not the best bred specimen - but from working or pet lines. She looks at me and says, “How could he be a lab, he has such a short and thin coat! No, I think he’s probably a pit mix. Does he like the water?” I told her that you couldn’t keep him out of water and was thankfully spared any continuing conversation by virtue of my friend arriving with our drinks. Afterwards I was mad for probably longer than I should have been but sadly this isn’t the first time this specific comment has happened.

    For the record Teller does have a rather pathetic coat for a lab lol. I even asked the vet if it was due to poor nutrition and he said some labs don’t have that nice thick coat prized in the show ring he also said it might have something to do with our living in a subtropical climate. His coat is hard to describe... it’s quite short and thin but not at all like his Pointer brother nor is it anything like a pit bull’s or any other single-coated short-haired breed. For one it’s not soft and velvety as any of the aforementioned and for another it’s noticeably thicker, longer (especially on his back). He also sheds a literal ton, mainly in fall and spring but doesn’t blow big hunks of undercoat because he barely has any at all! The only time you really notice his undercoat is when he’s wet, it’s thickest around his neck, back, and bum but nonexistent on his sides, chest, and stomach (in fact his underside is mostly bare). Even so his coat does repel water and bathing him is a pain because you really have to work to soak the hair through and get the soap in; you can brush the water right off his coat. The texture is coarse and stiff, not super oily but were you to try and part the hair you’d meet with resistance, although it’s smooth to the touch. Compounding the problem he has a really striking ‘chinchilla effect’ going on and it makes his coat look shorter than it would were he a solid yellow.

    Does anybody else have a lab with an ‘improper’ or odd coat? Is this just one of those random things amongst those dogs not in the show ring? It doesn’t matter in the end but I am curious.
     
  2. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

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    A side on picture would be good. all my labs have had different coats. 2 with the classic thick coats and one with a closer but still undercoated coat. I find people everywhere are experts on my dogs. Moo is always been mistaken for a lab mix as she's tiny and Rory for a pointer cross lab. I don't care, empty vessels make most noise.:D
     
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  3. Snowshoe

    Snowshoe Registered Users

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    Here Labs from field lines are often missing the undercoat. Our field trainer's puppy had a single coat. But it was soft and oh, so nice to pet and bury your face in. VEry unlike any other Lab I have ever petted. She came from quite a line of field champions and was definitely purebred. I say puppy but at the time we were training she was 18 months. Meanwhile his older male had a single coat more like a Boxer. Short, straight and hard. They differ. Oban doesn't have nearly the undercoat Jet had and they are both from the same show breeder.
     
  4. Teller's mom

    Teller's mom Registered Users

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    Pictures, of course! I was on my phone earlier and linking to pictures is a bit tedious on mobile devices.

    [​IMG]
    His less dense, 'summer' coat.

    [​IMG]
    And, again you can see the shortness of coat but can't see skin.

    [​IMG]
    The area approaching his flank that looks like tiger stripes is where there is no undercoat.

    [​IMG]
    His nearly bald belly.

    [​IMG]
    Fluffy bum/tail.

    [​IMG]
    The crazy 'chinchilla effect'.

    I've met one other lab with a single coat but her hair was longer than his and as you say, @Snowshoe, very soft. I wouldn't describe his as soft, it's definitely coarse and sort of hard to get your fingers into. His is straight but in the winter he will get a small wave between his shoulders and in the spot right before his tail.

    @SwampDonkey - People are terrible at identifying dogs as a whole our Pointer, Rigby, is a prime example, he's liver and white with ticking and when he was a puppy at least 10 people came up and asked if he was a Springer Spaniel or GSP. o_O The latter I could see based on the color and general look but no docked tail - most of the breeders in the States still dock - but Springer, what? Normally I don't let it bother me but sometimes they are just so pushy and rude about it.
     
  5. SilverFalcon

    SilverFalcon Registered Users

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    That "chinchilla effect" in the last photo, are you referring to the whiter patches? Those are common to yellow labs.

    My boy, Beau, doesn't have a thick coat. It is lovely to stroke though.

    If you're really curious you could try one of those DNA tests, although I'm not completely convinced they're always accurate.
     
  6. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

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    I've seen plenty of yellow labs who have that mottled colouring and his coat seems lab. He's lovely
     
  7. edzbird

    edzbird Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Teller is a lovely lad. I love the stripy effect on his flank. You'll just have to rise above the questioning. On the other side of the coin, I love being asked what mix Coco is. Because he IS a mix. It's a conversation opener.
     
  8. JenBainbridge

    JenBainbridge Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Oh Teller is a lovely lad! He looks lab to me, I don't really see anything else in there. I don't know why people think it's ok to comment.

    Someone told me Stanley was part springer spaniel the other day. I was like o_O I just laughed, I mean I don't know where you get any springer from in this dog..

    IMG_9311.JPG
     
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  9. Ski-Patroller

    Ski-Patroller Cooper, Terminally Cute Forum Supporter

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    He sure looks like a Lab. If there is anything else in the mix, it did not affect his appearance much.

    Both of our Labs have double coats, but Tilly's coat is much softer and somewhat shorter than Coopers. Tilly's mom looked more English style, even though she was a Master Hunter. Her dad was Field Trial Champion and definitely looked more like a field bred dog.

    Both of Coopers parents were field style dogs, pretty tall and lean with long legs. Cooper is over 24" (actually 25" in the rear) and almost 80#. Her mom is a Senior Hunter and her dad is Master Hunter. She has a long fairly harsh coat that doesn't soak up as much water as Tilly's and also drys faster.
     
  10. Teller's mom

    Teller's mom Registered Users

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    Yes! I've heard those light shoulder patches called 'angel wings' as well. I know it's common in yellows, especially variations in shading around the ears, shoulders and skirts but the 'chinchilla effect' refers to the variations of color in the hair shaft.

    [​IMG]
    Here's another picture showing the darker stripe down his back, lol. He's a big goof.

    As far as the DNA tests go, I was considering one but from what I've read they won't accurately tell you if a dog is purebred. They tested a purebred poodle and got all sorts of other breeds in there as well. It's not that big of a deal to me lol.
     
  11. Teller's mom

    Teller's mom Registered Users

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    @SwampDonkey - Thanks! He knows he's handsome and frequently capitalizes on the fact lol.

    @edzbird - From what I can tell of your avatar, Coco is adorable. I see that he has the agouti shepherd coloring about his face but what does he look like overall? I don't think I've come across a GSD-lab cross before. I'd love to see a picture!

    @JenBainbridge - Oh yes, Stanley looks at least 75% springer. :rolleyes: It's those lovely flowing, wavy spaniel ears that give him away. At least Rigby is of similar coloring to a springer lol. I don't know why people feel the need to offer their opinions but my favorite opener has to be, "Oh, what's SHE mixed with? Is it [pit bull, cocker spaniel, golden retriever, greyhound, etc.]?" Because they don't see that dangly bit Teller is so keen on. I know he doesn't have a big, blocky skull but he doesn't have the more refined features of a bitch either lol.

    @Ski-Patroller - Yeah, Teller just narrowly makes the standard for height/weight; he's laughable in other aspects like tuck-up and tail-set. When we first got him and thought he was a mix (before we spoke to the trainer) we spent hours perusing google and other forums to figure out what the devil he was mixed with but couldn't find any sort of lab cross that resembled him with regards to a combination of ears, head, face, paws, tail, gait, traits, fur, coloring. I contacted the shelter for more information on him and found out he was picked up in a parking lot at 12 weeks of age, healthy and alone; they suspected he was recently dumped and hadn't been born or living on the streets for very long as he had no parasites or any sort of medical issues common in stray puppies. Given what we know and the popularity of hunting with dogs in our area, we think he might have been the result of a backyard breeding and abandoned or escaped.

    I will say that this dog lives to hunt and retrieve so whoever cast him aside missed out on a natural hunter; he once jumped into a swollen river to retrieve a dead goose and thrives on finding game wherever we go.
     
  12. edzbird

    edzbird Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    small coco.jpg Here's a full one Coco (he's rubbish at posing, can't find a side on standing!). We met another GSD-Lab cross the other week - he was totally different. More like the German Shepherd but with a Lab shaped head, all black, long haired with pointy ears.
     
  13. Teller's mom

    Teller's mom Registered Users

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    Teller has a difficult time sitting still as well lol.

    What a dapper fellow! He definitely has more of the shepherd coat and muzzle but otherwise looks very lab. Haha, I love his big black nose, it's adorable, what my ex calls 'Scooby-Doo nose' lol. Is he of comparative size to a GSD or more like a lab?
     
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  14. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Was he bouncing around at the time? ;):D

    Ella (full lab) has a darker stripe down her back. The hair is more coarse in the stripe.
    rps20170521_200935.jpg rps20170401_211155.jpg
     
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  15. edzbird

    edzbird Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Size-wise - Coco is taller than most Labs I see, and smaller than most GSDs I see..but he is smaller than our Lab Scooby was - he was a gentle giant.
    Coco's measurements are 23.5" or 60cm shoulder height, 30" or 76cm chest and he is about 31kg. He has a narrow, deep chest and a tiny waist.
     
  16. Teller's mom

    Teller's mom Registered Users

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    @Emily - Ooh, it looks just like his except obviously a lovely chocolate color. Sometimes we refer to it as his 'racing' stripe when he has a bad case of the zoomies. :p I rarely see yellow labs here with a coat like T's, I'm sorry to say the breeders I've seen normally concentrate on 'white' labs. I think we've maybe seen 1-2 other medium yellows and none with a 'chinchilla effect' which leads people to (again) generalize and label him as a mutt. I'm honestly tempted to pull out the yellow lab color chart on Woodhaven's site and shove it in their faces sometimes.

    @edzbird - Coco seems to be about Teller's size. In the States T isn't exceptionally big for a lab even though he is at the very tip of the American standard and obviously too tall for the British standard. We've frequently met labs who dwarfed him in height and width. One of his playmates stood nearly as tall as a Mastiff and weighed close to 100 lbs but we'll see labs exceed that weight as well - 120 lbs isn't uncommon. Is Coco finished growing/filling out? I know shepherds take a little longer to mature and have an awkward gangly stage during adolescence.
     
  17. edzbird

    edzbird Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Coco's fully grown - he's 3 now. I hope he doesn't grow even stronger! Please! o_O
     
  18. Teller's mom

    Teller's mom Registered Users

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    Ooh, he and Teller are the same age and I feel you, T is quite strong lol.
     
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  19. SilverFalcon

    SilverFalcon Registered Users

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    Beau's hair is like that, lighter at the base of the shaft, darker at the tip.
     

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