Labrador gives birth to an incredibly rare litter of yellow, chocolate and dark puppies

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A Labrador produced a litter of pure yellow, chocolate and dark puppies in an extremely rare case as part of a fifteen year breeding program.

Four-year-old black Labrador Zola has given birth to ten puppies which are a mixture of the three different colors – seen only on a “handful” of occasions before.

Dog breeders Tina Davis, 62, and her husband Martin Davis, 63, started with a female chocolate lab in 2006.

Over the years, they bred a mix of yellow, chocolate, and dark Labs and decided to strategically blend dog DNA to produce a litter of all three.



Zola the Labrador with her 10 three-colored puppies

The couple used Wylanbria Kennels as a stud from the start of breeding.

Farm owner Diana Stevens, 47, worked with them to breed a breeding line with which their bitches could successfully produce mixed litter.

Zola was imbued with Diana’s Black Labrador Rocks, three, who were also uniquely bred to carry all three color genes.

It took over a decade to combine the right genes from both sides to make it happen, and even then the odds were still slim.

The ten adorable puppies – two yellow, three chocolate and five black – were born on October 18 and have already been matched with permanent loving homes.



The black coat gene is still dominant towards yellow in Labrador retrievers
The black coat gene is still dominant towards yellow in Labrador retrievers

When Zola walked in to give birth, Tina said she had her fingers crossed that it would provide the litter they were both waiting for.

Retired hotelier Tina, from Horsham, West Sussex, said: “We have always loved dogs, and when a friend decided to go overseas she had to relocate her two chocolate labs. .

“Chocolate Labs are not known to be good hunting dogs and we wanted to prove that with the right breeding they can deliver.

“Things only just progressed from there and we started to create a variety of labs of different colors.

“We had planned to produce a boy and a girl capable of giving all three colors since the day we started breeding, and now we finally have.

“Only a small handful of Labradors have the genetic predisposition to produce all three colors, and even fewer are mated to a partner dog to make this happen.

“Labradors can often carry a lot of genetic issues, so it’s not just about colors, you also need to make sure you’re producing a healthy puppy.”



Four-year-old Zola gave birth to ten puppies which are a mix of three different colors
Four-year-old Zola gave birth to ten puppies which are a mix of three different colors

Typically, a breeder can sell a Labrador puppy for up to £ 3,500, but Tina prefers to sell them for less because she doesn’t want to make them unaffordable for good homes.

The couple have a long waiting list of families eager to purchase one of their puppies, and their long history of breeding is reflected in the quality of the labs they produce.

Zola had a difficult experience this time around with the puppies due for Caesarean delivery, so Tina decided not to breed with her again.

However, 50% of this special litter will have DNA to reproduce all three colors again in the future.



The percentage of dark, chocolate or yellow puppies in a given litter is difficult to predict without knowing which genes are carried by the parents
The percentage of dark, chocolate or yellow puppies in a given litter is difficult to predict without knowing which genes are carried by the parents

In a few years, Tina plans to breed with one of Zola’s daughters, which will give her the freedom to choose between each color combination.

“By successfully breeding a litter of different colors we now have the right lineage to continue doing this which we are extremely happy with,” she said.

“If we wanted to, we could sell this litter for a much higher price, because it now contains extremely valuable genetics – but we are not interested in money.”



Zola seems to love her puppies regardless of their color
Zola seems to love her puppies regardless of their color

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“We would much prefer our labs to have a loving home and a good family that is committed to having a dog,” she added.

“Our puppies are not designer dogs to show off or use as a prop, and we care a lot about them.

“Zola had a hard time this time around and it was very stressful for both of us so we were planning on taking a little break before we breed.

“But regardless of the color of each of our puppies, we know they will all make amazing pets for the family they will be in.”


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