Recently I had a writer ask where Chocolates come from and when did the first one appear. Thank you for that question and let me try to fill everyone in on the beginnings of a Bosco.
The first statistics of a chocalate lab date back to 1870. Here is some info I grabbed off the net.
Studying the pedigrees of chocolate Labrador Retrievers
, you often wonder where the chocs are coming from. All of a sudden they are there, out of the blue. Files in the LabradorNet database contain the pedigrees of more than 34,000 Labradors, and researchers came to the conclusion that there are roughly 8 routes to the origin of chocolate Labs. One of the reasons that you'll find no chocolate Labs in the older files, is that they weren't in fashion for many decades, so they just weren't registered. However, the blacks and the yellows carrying the choc gene kept reproducing. and that's why we're able to trace them all the way back to the late 1800s.
The Earl of Feversham had some typical specimen of chocolates
, his Nawton Pruna (who produced yellow offspring) doing well at field trials in the years preceding the First World War. One of the chief supporters of chocolates was the Hon. Lady Ward of Chiltonfoliat, near Hungerford, the dogs from her kennel being very typical with particularly good tails and coats. Her chocolate bitch FTW Darry of Chiltonfoliat (Braeroy Darkie) (1930) was sired by an unregistered chocolate dog called Jimmy, while her dam descended from the chocolate Flatcoat Clyde (see further down). Mr. J.G. Severn of Tibshelf Kennels wrote: "My first experience of the chocolate Labradors was in February, 1938, when I visited Dr. Momtgomery of Sutton Ashfield, about three miles from Tibshelf. We had mated his black bitch Shelagh of Brasidonia to my black dog Danilo of Tibshelf. Result: 4 blacks, 2 chocolate dogs, 1 cream bitch. I later bought Shelagh and mated her again to Danilo. Result just the same." Miss Wills of Metesford Kennels produced several chocolates in the late 1940s, early 1950s, but their descendence is not known.
Further more we should keep in mind that there are a lot of missing links in our database, and sometimes the reasons for this are rather obvious. I found 21 interbred or fullbred Flatcoats or Chesapeake Bay retrievers in our Labrador retriever database, all born in the U.K. between 1914 and 1933. Of all the 21 interbred or fullbred Flatcoats or Chesapeake Bay retrievers, most of them being Field Trial champions, we could only track the ancestors for more than two generations of two dogs. The information about the ancestors of the other 19 interbred dogs was simply removed from the files in the 1930s. It seems that some well known Labrador breeders didn't want the public to know that their succesful dogs were partly the offspring of interbred dogs.
Two well known Chesapeake Bay retrievers were a dog called Jolly, who sired the male Labrador retriever Jolly Sam, born before 1933, and the bitch Corydalys, who was the dam of the female Labrador retriever Micklefield Juno, born before 1925. Clyde, born before 1923, was the "liver" (chocolate) Flatcoat retriever who sired the male yellow Labrador FTW Folkingham Bexter (1925), who in turn sired the yellow bitch FTW Limekiln Rhoda (1927). She and the yellow dog FTW Golden Morn (1926) had a litter that was registered as "half Golden Retriever and half Labradors". The separation was by coat length, because all puppies were yellow. Apparently the third generation showed some traits of the original breed involved.
For more on the different routes of the Chocolate Lab please read this page.
I hope that answers your question hank.