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Probably from the St Johns water dogs that were the ancestors of the modern lab. Came from the St Johns area of Newfoundland around 1814 alot of them had white on the chest and paws. Over the years most of that has been bred out but I guess it sneaks back in occasionaly.
 

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last i heard this was an acceptable flaw in the dogs genes. "A small white spot on the chest is permissible, but not desirable. " you can get more info at the following link. by the way, i don't give much credit to those standards. my dog (size wise) isn't even close to the male height/weight standards they have. anyway, here is the link. hth!

http://www.akc.org/breeds/labrador_retriever/index.cfm
 

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shrp thats for all those fancy showings and all I assume, I just register with AKC and UKC to go have fun at the trials. Heck with all that rule stuff, we are into hunting not tying a pretty bow around the dogs neck :toofunny:
 
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