Some common mismarks in Labradors
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All these dogs are purebred Labs and no there is no paint or ink on these dogs.

A good link for learning more about color genetics in Labs. Lab color genetics


Black - Chocolate and Tan / Brindling / Mosiac - Black spots / Chimera / White rings / White spots / Other


White Rings around tails


Thanks to Karen
Classic white ring around the tail.


White Spots or splotches


A cute chocolate with a white spot on its tail.


These are very common and a "small white spot on the chest" is permissible in the AKC Labrador Retriever standard.

A version of misplaced white hair. Notice the front foot of the smaller puppy in this picture.
Look at the white hairs on the chest of the puppy on the far left and the white paw


Other markings

These are not considered mismarks.


Grey Factor

Here is a dog who has the grey factor which isn't technically a mismark. By the way, this dog had Bolo spots (see below) on all 4 paws as a young puppy. Could the greying be connected?


Bolo Spots/Marks


This is called a "Bolo spot" or bolo mark. Its named after CH. Banchory Bolo one of the early Labs who had these spots and passed them on to his get and future generations. Bolo spots are found on the back of the leg above the pad. This is NOT considered a mismark.
Thank you Karlene for allowing the use of this photo.
Another bolo spot but in a yellow.


While bolo marks are not considered a mismark, there is debate on whether or not it would be considered a disqualification in the conformation ring.  The Labrador standard allows a small white spot on the chest and states it is "permissible" to have one.  However, it doesn't mention bolo spots which makes it open to interpretation for a judge.

General consensus is that it would probably be allowed under a knowledgeable breeder/judge, but not under a all-breed judge.  The breeder/judge would know that these are common in Labs, but the all-breed judge might not.


White Flecks

This is another interesting case.  An owner posted this picture on an online bulletin board.  It is an 11 week old puppy with white-flecks of hair along its back.

This was a first for me, but according to the late Helen Warwick in her book "The New Complete Labrador Retriever" (chapter 6) she states in part: "White hairs first appear singly on the feet and legs, later spreading with varying density to other parts of the body... Usually the under coat grays, giving the coat a salt and pepper appearance. ...Development and disappearance of this condition may be rapid or slow. In my experience, the white hairs have disappeared by the time the animal is ayear old and the puppy coat has been shed. I know of no instance in which the condition has recurred."



Reddish Tinge

This dog not only has the greying factor, but also a reddish tinge.


Back to Mismark 1


PLEASE NOTE: None of these markings makes a dog unfit as a beloved pet. By the same token, no one should try to classify these markings as rare and charge more for a puppy who has these markings. We get mail daily regarding whether or not someone's dog might be mixed, but sold as purebred, due to some of the markings on their dog. These pictures are here for the sole purpose of education on what might occur on some puppies/dogs.


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