Labrador Retrievers are known as the most popular dogs in the world. There is some confusion exist about their purity because they are also being crossed with other dogs breed.
There are only three recognized Labrador colors, black, chocolate and yellow. Most people think that Silver Labrador is the result of the cross between Labrador and Weimaraner and some the dilution of chocolate color. So, here we are going to discuss in details about them, from where they came, how they develop and their problems.
Silver is a new emerging color of Labradors. This color has major controversy among dog breeders. Some breeders consider this is a mixed breed and some a pure Labrador with the only different color.
Labradors should have solid color with not patches except small white spots. Black is a pure color, other colors like yellow and chocolate have different shades.
Both Grey Labrador and Silver Labrador are names of same color with only a minor difference of shade, So don’t confuse them because in this article they refer to same color of Labrador.
What is the Problem with Silver Labradors
We know there are only three Labrador colors. Most people believe that silver labs are among cross bred dogs and not pure. This color problem is among people from decades and yet without any conclusion.
Breeders think that this silver color is actually affecting the pure Labradors because when these are crossed with other colors Labradors, their genes intermix.
But many people like this different color, the color choice is personal preference and people love this silver color yet some don’t want this color in Labradors.
Why AKC did not recognize other Colors?
AKC has only recognized three colors, Yellow, Black, and Chocolate. Other colors like Silver, Fox-Red, and White are not present in the list. White markings in the pure color are also considered under disqualification.
According to AKC:
” A black with brindle markings or a black with tan markings is a disqualification. Yellow-Yellows may range in color from fox-red to light cream, with variations in shading on the ears, back, and underparts of the dog. Chocolate-Chocolates can vary in shade from light to dark chocolate.”
As we can see Black should be pure black without any white markings or shades except a white spot on
Yellow can be of different shades, so there is a wide range. Chocolate can also be in different shades.
AKC has registered or not registered the silver color, you can read below in this article after we explain all the details.
What is a Silver Labrador?
Silver Labs are just like other Labradors with only a different color. So, we think that silver color is just the dilution of chocolate color. Chocolate color can vary from light grey to dark brown and in between is the silver color.
People say that these are not pure Labrador Retrievers, these are silver color dogs that just look like Labradors.
Some Say that these are actually pure Labs with just color variation, but did not have any documentary proof.
We can say, these are just people perceptions, but they are true in one sense that if they are not pure Labradors, they can destroy the original Labrador genetics.
LOOK: If we talk about the look of silver labs, they have grey or metallic appearance. They look like the color of Weimaraner dog breed. The silver color in Weimaraner is their genetic and in labs, it is a new concept. Silver Labradors are also known as Grey Labradors.
Some people believe that the silver color in labs may be the result of breeding between Chocolate Labrador and Weimaraner because, in some silver labs, their ears just look like the Weimaraner dogs.
What is the Reason behind Silver Color in Labs
The “d” gene is responsible for silver color in Labs. D gene may be Dominant (D) or Recessive (d). If both are dominant “DD”, then there will be a solid color in Labs like chocolate. If one is Dominant and other is recessive “Dd”, then there will be a solid color but when this dog is crossed with other having same “Dd”, then there will be chances of “dd” and these both recessive genes cause color dilution in next generation and give rise to grey Lab.
DD = Solid Color
Dd = Solid Color, but with dilution causing gene “d”
dd = Diluted Color
So, Breeders believe that only Labrador with “DD” is pure, others with “Dd” or “dd” are not pure because they contain the genes which cause color dilution and when crossed with other dogs, these can cause the same dilution in their generation.
Where Did the Silver Labs Come From?
When the first Labrador was registered by Kennel Club, there was only in black color, and then later other two colors, Chocolate, and Yellow comes in view and registered by KC.
Now the appearance of silver color, is nothing new, because if chocolate and yellow can remain hidden and registered later then why silver cannot be?
We can believe that the gene causes yellow and chocolate color was present in Labs but was rare and selective breeding causes their number to increase and maybe the second reason was people’s demand.
Initially, all other colors except Black were culled, may the reason behind that was a disqualification and lack of people interest in other colors. Then gradually trend changes, the demand for yellow and chocolate Labradors increases and breeders begin to produce these colors.
Same is with the grey Labs, Labrador lovers now want something different and they are coming toward other colors like Silver, Grey,
Until between the 1900-1950s, no one knows about the Silver Labradors, due to their culling soon after birth to avoid disqualification.
After the Labrador registered by major kennel clubs, the silver was not known by anyone, yellow and chocolate colors were also registered after the registration of Black Labradors.
Then suddenly, after 1950, Silver Labs were available for sale. People were started to believe that diluted gene was introduced for the sake of color change.
How the Silver Labs are related to Weimaraner?
The Silver color in Labradors is due to the gene “d”, the same gene is present in Weimaraner dogs. So, people think that the silver labs are the result of the cross between Chocolate Labs and Weimaraner.
Some of the Silver Labs have same ears like that of Weimaraner. So, that increases the chances of cross-breeding. But there is not any proved evidence, because if people just kept doing the crossbreeding for purpose of color change, then one day there will be not any purebred Labrador.
Causes of Silver Color in Labradors
Silver Color in Labs may be the result of following
- Cross with Weimaraner
- Genetic Mutation
- Presence of “d” gene but hidden
Maybe the cross with Weimaraner dog, result in silver color in labs because they both have same “d” gene that causes silver color.
Genetic mutation can occur. One gene mutation can cause several effects, we all know about genetic diseases, most of them are the result of a single gene mutation. The same may have happened in Labradors which causes color alteration.
The “d” gene may be present in the Labradors from their origin but did not express itself.
Is the Silver Labs are recognized by AKC?
The most important question rise in our mind, if we consider these are not purebred, are they registered by AKC. The answer is “YES”, they are registered by AKC but under the chocolate color. These are not being registered under the Silver color, because that color is not recognized by AKC.
But the condition for registration is the dog must not have dilution gene and should have all the standard characteristics of Labradors.
Silver Lab Puppies
The price of Silver Lab Puppies may be a bit higher than the black or chocolate color Labradors because these are rare and selectively bred. Before buying a silver lab puppies, be sure to check all the standards other than color.
The Silver color may be the result of cross-breeding, or dilution factor can involve. Carefully choose the breeder if you want to buy a Grey Labrador puppy because he may not be pure.
Your first priority should be to check the health of the puppy, a healthy puppy will live longer and his temperament will be normal.
Always check the pedigree of dog before buying it, remember that silver labs are registered under chocolate color. Also, check the health record of the puppy.
If you want to buy a silver Lab puppy for breeding or competitions, then you should always choose it with great care, in this case only purebred is recommended.
But if you just love the silver labs, then don’t care about their registration or any other problem, they look beautiful and attractive.
Silver Labs should be as healthy as other registered colors are and should bear all the marking points.
The future of grey labs depends on their demand and breeding. In America, they are being excluded from the gene pool.
The choice of Silver Labrador is all on you, if you love the silver color labs, then go buy it without any fear. All people are not equal, some will encourage you and some will say don’t buy it. After reading the article, you have known all the important aspects of Silver Labrador Retriever.
All you need to do is to get a Grey Labrador with pure genetics and without any bad habits. You can easily identify a Labrador with bad habit if he is adult and these are hard to recognize in puppies.
If you still have any confusion, please write below in comments or Contact Us!