The truth about Chocolate Labradors

11 August 2023

Eagle-eyed Seeing Eye Dogs fans may have spotted some chocolate-coloured new additions to Seeing Eye Dogs’ puppy program.

Yes, you saw right, our Seeing Eye Dogs mums in the puppy centre gifted us with a few lovely chocolate Labrador puppies. In recognition of this surprise appearance, we wanted to give you five fun facts about chocolate Labradors, and introduce you to one of our working teams Des with his chocolate Labrador Seeing Eye Dog Champ.

Five fun facts about Chocolate Labradors:

  • Chocolate Labradors can be successful Seeing Eye Dogs! There are some myths around the differences in the colours and their ability to work- we have a number of wonderful chocolate Seeing Eye Dogs working with handlers across Australia.
  • Chocolate colour is recessive which means that both parents need to carry the gene for the puppies to be chocolate coloured. That’s why they do not appear often in our colony, as not all of our dogs carry the gene.
  • Chocolate is one of three colours recognised by Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) the others are yellow and black. Chocolate colouring can also be referred to as “liver”.
  • Seeing Eye Dogs breeding program breeds for temperament and health, so we are less likely to have chocolate puppies born. Our focus is producing the best possible Seeing Eye Dogs we can, so the colours produced by pairings are more of a fun surprise. Sometimes two black dogs will produce chocolate or yellow!
  • We love our chocolate Labradors at Seeing Eye Dogs!

"Champ smiling and lying down on a wooden floor."

Meet Des and Champ

"Des and Champ walking along a suburban street."

Des calls chocolate Labrador Seeing Eye Dog Champ his perfect match.

“He’s the greatest working dog. I trust him with my life every day.”

Champ’s keen so show the world how smart chocolates can be “His working ability and way of thinking is like nothing I’ve come across. He can look at something and process it, and do whatever he needs to do,” he says. “Most of the time I don’t have to say a thing.”

Together, the team are active and keep each other fit. “Sometimes I just tell him ‘take me where you want to go’ and we go for a long walk. We walk along the path by the river, have a coffee at the end of the track then go home. I tell him to take me home and I know he’s going to do that, take me home. He keeps me real young, keeps me fit.”

"Des and Champ walking in their local town"

“I’m out and about all the time, he loves every minute of it. He loves an active lifestyle. When he’s working, he’s at his happiest. He likes being out and about in public.”

“He’s spirited. And for me personally, that’s the type of dog I love. He is a rebel in birth. He plays tricks on me, the personality is over the top. When he works he works, but when the harness comes off I become the man-slave.”

"Champ lying on some carpet."

“He’s extremely smart. Before I leave home, I tell him where to go and he takes me there. A lot of the stuff he does, no one taught him, he just picked up. Everything is so natural with him. Every day you go out with them, it’s a training session but it’s a fun time. When they do it right, you make a fuss of them.”

“From the day the trainer brought him here, he came up and put his head on my knee and we haven’t been apart. It was an instant bond. Didn’t need to get used to each other, it was straight away.”