Long Coats

Ashland Labradors

Long Coated Labradors?

 
Never say “never” in the world of pure-bred dogs!    After 29 years in the Labrador Breed, it finally happened.  I got Long Coats! Three in ONE litter.
No, they are not rare and we surely did not breed to purposely produce long-coated offspring.  Matter of fact, this was a repeat breeding which a litter of nine pups born to the same parents 2 years earlier produced NOT ONE long-coat puppy. Go figure!
Long coat puppies are born looking just like their normal litter-mates.  It is not until around 3 weeks of age you start to notice certain pup(s) have such a stunning looking coat and wonderful “otter tail”.  You’re really thinking “this is my keeper”.
Another two weeks pass by and you say “Ooh Lord, this pup is looking GOOD. Wow, coat, bone, head, tail. You’re in love!

   
 

  
Then another week and POOF go’s the hair.  OMG!! “Did someone add “grow coat” to their water”!?!? WTH happened? Someone stole my pup and replaced it with a Flat Coat..or is it a Newfie?  THEN you realize……I have a LONG COAT!  Ooh my!!



 

The long-haired coat is inherited as a autosomal-recessive trait.  Therefore, the parents of this litter, we “obviously” know NOW are both carriers of the long coat gene, even though they both have normal coats.
Therefore, dogs that are carriers of the long-hair mutation will appear to be normal (short hair) themselves, but will likely pass on the long-hair allele 50% of the time.
Being that the gene is recessive, it can lay hidden for many generations before two parents carrying the gene are bred which results in an average of 25% of the offspring affected, and thus they will be long-coats. 

Because I want to share this information freely, so people can learn more and be "assured" that if YOU happen to produce a long-coat,  it is NOT the end of the world.  I feel breeders should be much more open instead of secretive. Why some breeders feel they need to "hide" the fact that there stud dog or bitch is a long-coat carrier is ridiculous. It would only appear to help other breeders make better breeding decisions and avoid intentionally breeding carrier.  For anyone wanting to do more research into bloodlines of which our long-coats were produced, please click here to see the pedigree.

There are many theories on how the long-coat gene originated in the Labrador Breed.
“One needs to understand that the dog that these text books call a “Labrador” isn’t necessarily the same as the breed called the “Labrador retriever.”  The modern Labrador retriever traces to the 1880′s, when the line of smooth-coated retrievers that was kept by the Dukes of Buccleuch was combined with that of the Earls of Malmesbury. This was the only British retriever to be selected for the dominant smooth coat. Modern Labrador retrievers are almost universally smooth-coated dogs.
However, although seldom, a long-coated puppy is born.
The exact origin of these modern long-haired Labradors isn't exactly clear.
They could have always been hidden within the smooth-coated St. John’s water dog bloodlines that eventually gave us the Labrador retriever, but if this were so, it probably would be more common in the breed than it is today. I think a much more likely source for this coat is cross-breeding. Labrador, golden, and flat-coated retrievers were considered varieties of a single breed, and interbreeding the varieties

was very common. When the Labrador retriever needed fresh blood, it was occasionally bred to wavy or flat-coated retrievers, which may have included dogs we would call golden retrievers. The Dukes of Buccleuch and the Earls of Malmesbury tried to keep their dogs from being bred to long-haired retrievers, which is one reason why they were so eager to import more smooths from Newfoundland. However, other breeders certainly did outcross.
Figure 2 The St John's Waterdog or "Lesser Newfoundland"

 
 
 
  
Long-haired Labrador retriever puppies.
Long-haired Labrador retrievers are a sort of atavism. The dogs look very much like the old wavy-coated retriever and the long-haired St. John’s water dogs, which were essentially the same breed. They also point to the simple reality that Labrador, golden, and flat-coated retrievers are much more closely related than one might assume.”
 
There is nothing “genetically” wrong with a long-coat. They are 100 percent Labrador in every way, maybe even more special as many of them retain some of the truly wonderful Labrador Characteristics of yesteryear. 
Regardless, they do tend to be stunningly gorgeous with their fine, wavy long coats but breeders should never intentionally breed for long-coats as it not in our breed standard.  Since it is a recessive gene, it can lay hidden for many, many generations and just pop up. Breeders can test for the Long coat Allele if they have dogs from lines known to produce Long Coats.
 
 
 
 
Here she is at 9 weeks.  Stunning!!!




As she grows...............

 
 
Below, Fully mature female Long Coat Labrador. (This is Jammer) Photo courtesy of Bryan Edwards.

                                                                                                              
 

26 comments

  • Darylann Turner

    Darylann Turner Florida

    Thank you for sharing I would keep her forever..

    Thank you for sharing I would keep her forever..

  • JoAnn Davis

    JoAnn Davis Pennsylvania

    Thank you for sharing! Exactly what we needed to show people who don't understand why our long coat pup is a long coat. He looks just like your puppy pics!

    Thank you for sharing! Exactly what we needed to show people who don't understand why our long coat pup is a long coat. He looks just like your puppy pics!

  • park

    park Winnipeg mb

    Thanks...my lab is long hair too

    Thanks...my lab is long hair too

  • T

    T Florida

    THANK YOUUU. My baby girl looks exactly like that and she came with papers, people always try to tell me she's mixed with something else and no other lab they've ever seen besides a golden retriever has long hair. Now I can factually tell them where to stick it. ☺

    THANK YOUUU. My baby girl looks exactly like that and she came with papers, people always try to tell me she's mixed with something else and no other lab they've ever seen besides a golden retriever has long hair. Now I can factually tell them where to stick it. ☺

  • Mary Nilsson

    Mary Nilsson Sweden

    THANKS. My puppy bitch looks just like that. People usually joke and say that it is 50% lab and 50% golden, solid pedigree says 100% Labbe. Have never heard of longhaired gene.

    THANKS. My puppy bitch looks just like that. People usually joke and say that it is 50% lab and 50% golden, solid pedigree says 100% Labbe. Have never heard of longhaired gene.

  • Joe Andres

    Joe Andres North Carolina

    Our longhair(Fluffy) is turning 3yrs next month. We also have a standard 6 year lab and the fluffy is a touch taller and a little wider. Living in North Carolina we cut his body hair short in the summer leaving the neck up and tail natural. He is the friendliest dog I have ever had.

    Our longhair(Fluffy) is turning 3yrs next month. We also have a standard 6 year lab and the fluffy is a touch taller and a little wider. Living in North Carolina we cut his body hair short in the summer leaving the neck up and tail natural. He is the friendliest dog I have ever had.

  • Martina A. - BlackSheep

    Martina A. - BlackSheep Vicenza - Italia

    Queste casistiche sono ampiamente spiegate nel forum Retrieverman, inoltre uno studioso Italiano (Giovanni Todari) ha studiato le razze oriunde del contenente Americano, dove evince che questo cane a pelo lungo era tanto funzionale quanto il pelo corto. Inoltre ci sono registri di razza dove troviamo cucciolate Flat x Labrador, o Flat x Chesapeake, queste ultime per accentuare la presenza del colore cioccolate nella razza (tra gli anni 20 e 30)

    Queste casistiche sono ampiamente spiegate nel forum Retrieverman, inoltre uno studioso Italiano (Giovanni Todari) ha studiato le razze oriunde del contenente Americano, dove evince che questo cane a pelo lungo era tanto funzionale quanto il pelo corto. Inoltre ci sono registri di razza dove troviamo cucciolate Flat x Labrador, o Flat x Chesapeake, queste ultime per accentuare la presenza del colore cioccolate nella razza (tra gli anni 20 e 30)

  • Lisa

    Lisa Pittsburgh,Pa

    I rescued Kota after are golden passed! He is what they said a lab retriever. We always questioned this! Thanks for the story! I know now that he is truLy unique! He is massive and the most loving dog you would ever meet!

    I rescued Kota after are golden passed! He is what they said a lab retriever. We always questioned this! Thanks for the story! I know now that he is truLy unique! He is massive and the most loving dog you would ever meet!

  • Thais

    Thais Puerto Rico

    Thank you for this post! My baby Onyx (Ok he's now 8 y/o but will always be my baby) is a long coat and looked just like that as he grew up! They are so beautiful! I am sick of telling people yes he's a Lab, no he's not a mix, and NO he's not a Golden (you wouldn't believe how often people ask that!) Anyhow, beautiful pups!!

    Thank you for this post! My baby Onyx (Ok he's now 8 y/o but will always be my baby) is a long coat and looked just like that as he grew up! They are so beautiful! I am sick of telling people yes he's a Lab, no he's not a mix, and NO he's not a Golden (you wouldn't believe how often people ask that!)
    Anyhow, beautiful pups!!

  • David

    David Ft Worth

    Took me 35 years to see one come from our bloodline. Then 3 in 2 litters. Our Ollie has grown into one of the most magnificent beasts ever.

    Took me 35 years to see one come from our bloodline. Then 3 in 2 litters. Our Ollie has grown into one of the most magnificent beasts ever.

  • Wes

    Wes Lexington, KY

    We have a long coat too. Legitimately looks identical. Same fluffy coat and ear curls as a pup, he's 16 months now, has looked identical the whole way through. Have yet to meet another, apart from his brother when they were 4 weeks and again at 8 weeks. Wish I could attach a picture, it's uncanny how identical they are.

    We have a long coat too. Legitimately looks identical. Same fluffy coat and ear curls as a pup, he's 16 months now, has looked identical the whole way through. Have yet to meet another, apart from his brother when they were 4 weeks and again at 8 weeks. Wish I could attach a picture, it's uncanny how identical they are.

  • Fredo

    Fredo Kota Kinabalu

    Thanks...my lab is long hair too

    Thanks...my lab is long hair too

  • Lisa T

    Lisa T Hazel Green

    Thank you for being bold and speaking the truth. To many breeders want to hide this info and when questioned they lie. It's so frustrating and we have come to distrust many fellow breeders due to their inability to be honest.

    Thank you for being bold and speaking the truth. To many breeders want to hide this info and when questioned they lie. It's so frustrating and we have come to distrust many fellow breeders due to their inability to be honest.

  • Elvister

    Elvister Philippines

    I have a yellow lab with long coat named Andy. I have her since she was 2 months old from a breeder. Both her parents are black labs and produce 7 pups which comprised 3 black, 3 chocolate and 1 yellow. Then I had noticed in the litter, there are 1 chocolate, 1 black, and 1 yellow (which is my Andy) have fluffy hair. However, i decided to have Andy and the rest is history. I'm just glad to read this article to back me up!

    I have a yellow lab with long coat named Andy. I have her since she was 2 months old from a breeder. Both her parents are black labs and produce 7 pups which comprised 3 black, 3 chocolate and 1 yellow. Then I had noticed in the litter, there are 1 chocolate, 1 black, and 1 yellow (which is my Andy) have fluffy hair. However, i decided to have Andy and the rest is history. I'm just glad to read this article to back me up!

  • Mechelle

    Mechelle Georgia

    Our Bally looked like a small polar bear, and now she's a beautiful longhaired white/blond lab. Wish I could post a picture on here!

    Our Bally looked like a small polar bear, and now she's a beautiful longhaired white/blond lab. Wish I could post a picture on here!

  • Charlene

    Charlene SC

    I'm wondering if the long hairs 'blow' a coat in the spring. I have what looks to be a long hair but with a spotty black tongue. But his fur definitely came out in tufts like a husky we used to have. I KNOW he's not a purebred anything, just trying to identify a dominate breed. charlenealdrich@netscape.net

    I'm wondering if the long hairs 'blow' a coat in the spring. I have what looks to be a long hair but with a spotty black tongue. But his fur definitely came out in tufts like a husky we used to have. I KNOW he's not a purebred anything, just trying to identify a dominate breed.
    charlenealdrich@netscape.net

  • ASHLAND LABRADOR RETRIEVERS  "Keeping The Breed Pure". NO DILUTES!

    ASHLAND LABRADOR RETRIEVERS "Keeping The Breed Pure". NO DILUTES!

    Charlene: If you dog has a black tongue then I would suspect he is Part Chow. And yes, Long coats shed or "blow coat" as well.

    Charlene: If you dog has a black tongue then I would suspect he is Part Chow. And yes, Long coats shed or "blow coat" as well.

  • Tracy Widder

    Tracy Widder Newport Beach

    Our Augie is an adorable English longhair yellow lab. He will be 5 on New Years Day. He came from Mt. Meadows in AK. He was the only yellow, there was a black female too. He is the cutest, friendliest lab I've ever had. We keep his coat cut short, his hair gets matted, not silky like yours. People always ask if he's a golden and sometimes I get tired of explaining since you can tell they don't believe me so I just let them think what they want. My guy has an Instagram page @adventuresofauggiedoggie and I hashtag #longhairedlabrador so I can meet and see others like him. Great article, thank you.

    Our Augie is an adorable English longhair yellow lab. He will be 5 on New Years Day. He came from Mt. Meadows in AK. He was the only yellow, there was a black female too.
    He is the cutest, friendliest lab I've ever had. We keep his coat cut short, his hair gets matted, not silky like yours. People always ask if he's a golden and sometimes I get tired of explaining since you can tell they don't believe me so I just let them think what they want. My guy has an Instagram page @adventuresofauggiedoggie and I hashtag #longhairedlabrador so I can meet and see others like him.
    Great article, thank you.

  • Melanie

    Melanie NC

    We have a long-haired black lab that is the most beautiful and intelligent dog I've seen. She's also the best swimmer. She'll often go out for a long swim by herself in the mornings and if the kids are in the water, she'll swim with them for hours. I'm glad the breeder didn't put her down. Breed standards or no -- she's a gorgeous dog.

    We have a long-haired black lab that is the most beautiful and intelligent dog I've seen. She's also the best swimmer. She'll often go out for a long swim by herself in the mornings and if the kids are in the water, she'll swim with them for hours. I'm glad the breeder didn't put her down. Breed standards or no -- she's a gorgeous dog.

  • ASHLAND LABRADOR RETRIEVERS  "Keeping The Breed Pure". NO DILUTES!

    ASHLAND LABRADOR RETRIEVERS "Keeping The Breed Pure". NO DILUTES!

    Melanie, I too am glad the breeder you obtained your Labrador from did not put her down. :( The Long Coat is no reason to PTS (put to sleep) any dog. I hope our article will help educate more breeders who have never taken the time to really research the Long Coat genetics. Long Coat testing has really taken off here the last few years. No reason for some breeders to skirt around the test. It is a simple recessive, super easy to breed around or away from. Thanks for your comment.

    Melanie, I too am glad the breeder you obtained your Labrador from did not put her down. frown The Long Coat is no reason to PTS (put to sleep) any dog. I hope our article will help educate more breeders who have never taken the time to really research the Long Coat genetics. Long Coat testing has really taken off here the last few years. No reason for some breeders to skirt around the test. It is a simple recessive, super easy to breed around or away from. Thanks for your comment.

  • K MacPherson

    K MacPherson Tucson

    Looks just like my pup. Wow thank you

    Looks just like my pup. Wow thank you

  • Samuel

    Samuel Ph

    Thanks for the info. I do have longhair choco lab ,his 2mons on april 1st. His so cute and adorable. Im so lucky to have him.

    Thanks for the info. I do have longhair choco lab ,his 2mons on april 1st. His so cute and adorable. Im so lucky to have him.

  • Steve & Carolyn

    Steve & Carolyn Eufaula Oklahoma

    Thank you very much. We have a 3 year old chocolate lab and just adopted a 3 month old black brother /sister combo. They are lab in every way except the male started showing a longer coat. We feel very lucky to have such a rare and unusual trait. He’s big, strong, smart and super sweet. We appreciate the new knowledge you have provided. Thank you.

    Thank you very much. We have a 3 year old chocolate lab and just adopted a 3 month old black brother /sister combo. They are lab in every way except the male started showing a longer coat. We feel very lucky to have such a rare and unusual trait. He’s big, strong, smart and super sweet. We appreciate the new knowledge you have provided. Thank you.

  • Melanie

    Melanie NC

    Our lovely long-haired black lab recently grew gravely ill and we lost her last night. After some time has passed, we would love to find another. We've had several black labs over the years, but none have come close in beauty, personality, and intelligence to our Long Coat. Do you know any way to find out when a breeder has a Long Coat puppy available? I would not be interested in breeding it, just in a family pet.

    Our lovely long-haired black lab recently grew gravely ill and we lost her last night. After some time has passed, we would love to find another. We've had several black labs over the years, but none have come close in beauty, personality, and intelligence to our Long Coat. Do you know any way to find out when a breeder has a Long Coat puppy available? I would not be interested in breeding it, just in a family pet.

  • Ania

    Ania Poland

    Hello, I also have long-haired brown lab, she has almost 6 months and she is beautifull. She's parents are registered in ZKWP FCI in Poland, but her mother has gen of long-hair. There were 10 puppies but only one puppy has long coats.

    Hello, I also have long-haired brown lab, she has almost 6 months and she is beautifull. She's parents are registered in ZKWP FCI in Poland, but her mother has gen of long-hair. There were 10 puppies but only one puppy has long coats.

  • Maureen

    Maureen Grafton, Ohio

    We are so blessed to have in our family the most beautiful long coated Chocolate lab . His name is Otto and he is just stunning to look at with the deep chestnut flowing coat and matching brown eyes. He literally stops people in their steps when they see him. We've heard hundreds of times what a gorgeous dog he is. We also have heard numerous times the uninformed say there is NO way he is a lab. Both of Otto's parents are chocolate and short-haired, and both are AKC Registered Labrador Retrievers. We feel we are extremely lucky to have him. He is a sweet and gentle dog and has amazing retrieving instincts and could not be any more 'labrador' in every sense. To us, he is PERFECT and we could not wish for anything more.

    We are so blessed to have in our family the most beautiful long coated Chocolate lab . His name is Otto and he is just stunning to look at with the deep chestnut flowing coat and matching brown eyes. He literally stops people in their steps when they see him. We've heard hundreds of times what a gorgeous dog he is. We also have heard numerous times the uninformed say there is NO way he is a lab. Both of Otto's parents are chocolate and short-haired, and both are AKC Registered Labrador Retrievers. We feel we are extremely lucky to have him. He is a sweet and gentle dog and has amazing retrieving instincts and could not be any more 'labrador' in every sense. To us, he is PERFECT and we could not wish for anything more.

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