The chocolate Labradoodle is the name given to a brown Poodle Labrador Retriever mix. They usually combine a Standard Poodle with a Lab, and have a dark wavy coat. Most chocolate Labradoodles weigh around 50 – 65 lbs.
The chocolate Labradoodle only differs from other “doodles” is their coat color. You can expect them to have the same temperament as other colors of Labradoodle. Could a chocolate Labradoodle dog be the right choice for your family? Keep reading. We’ll tell you everything you need to know.
What is a Chocolate Labradoodle?
Chocolate Labradoodles are just like any other type of Labradoodle. Except for the fact that they sport a luxurious dark brown coat. These dogs can be the standard or miniature in size. Standard Labradoodles weighs up to 65 lbs. Whereas the miniature version usually only weighs around 20 lbs.
Chocolate Labradoodles are popular dogs for families. Particularly those with older children.
Best Environment for Them
This breed prefers an active environment so they can run about and socialize with others often. But they can also be quite boisterous. So, they may not be suitable for families with pets or very small children. And they definitely shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time as they require plenty of human interaction and activities.
Are There Differences Between Chocolate Labradoodles and Other Color Variations?
There isn’t much difference between the chocolate Labradoodle and other colors of Labradoodle. The main difference is indeed the coat color of the coat. But, some evidence suggests the chocolate color might be linked to specific personality traits too. And we’ll take a more in-depth look at this in a moment! But otherwise, chocolate Labradoodles are just like any other Labradoodle. And also just like other kinds of “Doodles”.
For example, the Goldendoodle is a Golden Retriever-Poodle mix with similar traits to the Labradoodle. With obvious differences in appearance, of course.
Chocolate Labradoodle Defining Characteristics and Genetics
Both the Poodle and Labrador Retriever are among the most popular family dogs in the US.
Typical characteristics of the Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are are water dogs native to Newfoundland, Canada. They stand up to 24.5 inches tall and are relatively large, weighing up to 80 lbs. Labradors are prized for their companionship and outgoing nature. They love to swim and run, and make excellent service dogs, too. These agile natural athletes have a waterproof coat that helps them excel at hunting and retrieving waterfowl.
Labrador Retriever Coat Colors
Although there are many types of Labrador Retrievers, people generally break them down into types by color. The three main coat colors for Labrador Retrievers are
- and, of course, chocolate.
Poodles, on the other hand, have fluffy coats that can be multicolored, solid, or bi-colored. Chocolate brown is a popular coat color in Poodles, too.
Genetics Behind the Labradoodle
Two pairs of genes that determine the basic coat colors in dogs like Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, and of course, Labradoodles. While chocolate is not as genetically common as black, dogs of many colors can carry the genetic instructions for chocolate fur. And you might be surprised to hear that even two black dogs, can create chocolate Labradoodle puppies! Or a black dog and a yellow dog.
Chocolate Labradoodle Temperament
Chocolate Labradoodles behave just like any other kind of Labradoodles. But with one small exception.
Does Color Matter?
The chocolate coat color in Labs might be correlated to higher excitability. At least, one 2014 study published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science seems to provide some evidence of this. Scientists discovered a greater tendency to become agitated when ignored. And in addition, lower trainability but also lower fear of noise. These trends are based on owner-observed differences between Labrador colors. So, this won’t necessarily be passed on to a chocolate Labradoodle.
Of course, the temperament of the individual Labrador parent will be a large influence. Chocolate Labradoodles are usually also quite friendly, playful, and energetic. Although they can be somewhat reserved around strangers. This particular trait is common in Poodles. But it can be dampened down by regular socialization.
Labradoodles are strong and active. They are often chosen for hunting and farm work as well as for public service. In addition, Labradoodles make excellent seeing-eye dogs, guide dogs, and other types of service dogs.
Training Requirements of the Labradoodle
Labradoodles are easy to train and they respond best to positive reinforcement training. Plus, Labradoodles require frequent interaction and positive reinforcement training. This is something recommended for all breeds. They also benefit from lots of activity. This can help reduce behaviors like jumping around small children and other guests.
Chocolate Labradoodle Health
There is little detailed evidence to suggest the chocolate color has any link to overall health. But, a limited amount of research shows that chocolate Labrador Retrievers are becoming less healthy as a breed. And therefore, dying much younger sooner than black or yellow Labradors.
The gene that creates a chocolate coat is recessive. So, breeders that want to guarantee a high proportion of chocolate-colored puppies in their litters must mate two chocolate-colored Labs. As a result, the gene pool is much narrower and the risk of inheriting health conditions is higher. This includes problems like obesity, ear infections, and skin problems
As a result, it is possible that your chocolate Labradoodle may suffer from the same health conditions as its Labrador parent.
Inherited Health Conditions
Ultimately, any health issues your dog inherits will depend on the genetics of the parents. And how purebred the parents are. If your dog was bred from a purebred Labrador and a purebred Poodle, it can be tough to determine what kind of health problems your dog might have.
Breeders don’t have a reliable way of gauging which traits will be passed along to their puppies. After breeding further generations of chocolate Labradoodles together, it may be easier to determine which health conditions are genetic.
Always select a breeder who has tested the chocolate Labradoodles for known genetic health problems. According to the Canine Health Information Center, you may want to test your chocolate Labradoodle for problems such as:
- hip and elbow dysplasia
- eye problems
- cardiac issues
- thyroid problems.
How to Ensure a Healthy Labradoodle
The good news is that you can reduce your dog’s likelihood of suffering from these conditions. And also help alleviate any symptoms. For example, promoting a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise will improve your dog’s overall health. Moreover, proper annual screenings by a vet can rule out any problems before they advance.
Are Chocolate Labradoodle’s Hypoallergenic?
Chocolate Labradoodles are often referred to as “hypoallergenic” dogs. While there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic pup, chocolate Labradoodles are somewhat less likely to shed than other types of dogs. This is because they usually have thick, curly coats that will catch hair before it falls to the floor.
With that said, it’s important to understand that you will need to groom your chocolate Labradoodle. Probably more often than another type of dog.
Chocolate Labradoodle Grooming Requirements
Coat color does not play a role in the grooming you will need to do. However, the style of coat does. Because chocolate Labradoodles have thick coats, you will need to brush them once or twice a week. This will allow you to remove any tangles, dirt, or matting.
The amount of time you will need to spend grooming your dog also depends on which parent your pup takes after. If your dog is more Poodle-like, they’ll need more grooming. But if your chocolate Labradoodle takes after their Labrador parent, they won’t need to be brushed as often. But you may notice more shedding. Your chocolate Labradoodle won’t require much grooming as a puppy. Until these dogs reach about eight months of age.
How Often Should I Groom My Chocolate Labradoodle?
A puppy’s coat is not as hard to maintain as an adult coat. However, when your dog makes the transition to an adult coat, they’ll definitely need regular brushing. As well as a visit to the groomer once every six weeks or so for a haircut. It is a good idea to stock up on grooming tools before you bring your chocolate Labradoodle home. Because these dogs are known for being active, high-energy pups, you can expect a lot of grooming. This will help keep your dog looking nice!
You should have a good shampoo, conditioner, and detangling spray on hand at home. Even if you plan on bringing your dog to the groomer on a regular basis.
Is the Chocolate Labradoodle Right For You?
Chocolate Labradoodles are good dogs to consider if you are interested in a pet that has plenty of energy and loves to be active. However, health issues that can arise due to the genetic problems related to the chocolate shade. That’s why it’s so important to only adopt a chocolate Labradoodle from an established breeder.
A reputable breeder will be able to provide you with information regarding the background of your new puppy. Make sure you ask about any tests that have been conducted to rule out any potential problems.
Adopting a Chocolate Labradoodle
Don’t forget, you can always adopt an adult chocolate Labradoodle from a shelter, too! Plenty of dogs out there are in need of a new home. Unfortunately, the shelter may not have much information on the dog’s genetic profile. But you’re far more likely to observe health problems that have already manifested in an adult dog.
The chocolate Labradoodle could be an excellent pick if you’re looking for a dog sheds minimally and is a great family companion. Just make sure you are aware of the potential health concerns.
Tell us About Your Experiences
Do you have a chocolate Labradoodle? We’d love to hear your story in the comments below.
Want to Find Out More?
Check out some of the other guides below if you’re looking for more information on Labradoodles!
- White Labradoodle
- Australian Labradoodle
- Labradoodle Size
- Do Labradoodles Shed?
- Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle
- Labrador Colors
- Evidence for Positive Reward Training
References and Further Reading
- Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
- Lofgren S et al. 2014. Management and Personality in Labrador Retriever Dogs. Applied Animal Behavior Science.
- McGreevy P et al. 2018. Labrador retrievers under primary veterinary care in the UK: demography, mortality and disorders. Canine Genetics and Epidemiology.
- Bodkin, H. ‘Chocolate Labradors Die Younger and Have More Health Problems as Demand Narrows the Gene Pool‘, The Telegraph (2018)
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website