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Raising A Labrador Retriever- Yellow Lab Puppies
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Raising a Labrador Retriever- Yellow Lab Puppies

Labrador Retriever puppies come in Three basic colors. You might have Yellow Lab puppies, Black Lab puppies or Chocolate Lab puppies. Of these three colors, the Yellow Lab puppies are the most popular. Many people will call these Golden Lab puppies, this is an incorrect term. Golden Lab puppies are a mixed breed between a Golden Retriever and a Labrador Retriever. While this might be a desirable cross-breeding for a hunting dog, if you are interested in a pure bred Labrador Retriever, you will need to stick with one of the Three colors.

Yellow is a recessive color in Labs. This means that under normal conditions only a small portion of Labs will be this color unless the breeder selects the breeding for this color. There are two chromosomes, or genetic building blocks, that control the color in Labrador Retrievers.

The two main contributors to color are Chromosome 11 and Chromosome 5. Chromosome 11 selects for Black and Chocolate. Chromosome 5 selects for Yellow. Each parent will supply one part of the combination for each Chromosome. The Alleles (piece of a Chromosome) combine to select for the dominant or recessive trait. To get Yellow Lab puppies, Chromosome 5( the E Chromosome) must combine to get two recessive alleles (ee) this overrides the color of Chromosome 11 ( The B Chromosome).

What colors might produce Yellow Lab puppies? First, there must be a small e allele present from each parent so that they can combine into the ee that is required to select for Yellow. This can be present in Black parents that have a yellow parent. Each Black parent must have a yellow parent for this to happen. In this case, because the parent is Black we know that they have a small e from their yellow parent and a big E from their Black parent to give an Ee gene. A 25% probability that a yellow pup will be produced with this breeding. Most likely there will be a mixed litter of Black Lab puppies and Yellow Lab puppies.

Putting a pair of Yellow parents together has a much better chance to produce Yellow pups. In fact, since both parents have ee genes, there is 100% certainty that your litter will produce Yellow pups. So, if color is a concern for you when you get a Labrador Retriever and you want to have Yellow Lab puppies, then a breeder with Yellow Lab parents will provide you with a good selection.


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