Silver Labradors have received a lot of attention. These are very pretty silver brown or slate blue dogs that otherwise look like Labradors. Some people claim that these are incredibly special dogs and charge a lot of money for them. Others say they are not even laboratories. Are Silver Labradors purebred and where do they come from? Let’s see this interesting color and what you should know about it.
Some breeders go to great lengths to establish the Silver Lab as a legitimate type of Labrador Retriever. According to them, the American Kennel Club (AKC) has conducted genetic tests that prove that their dogs are real. The problem with this claim is that the AKC does not conduct testing and does not set breed standards. That’s the job of another organization entirely.
The AKC allows Silver Labradors to be registered, but not as Silver. Instead, they are considered a variation of the renowned chocolate lab. That’s because the most likely genetic match for these animals is a chocolate lab with a diluted gene that causes silvering of the coat. Blue Labs are actually black Labradors with a dilute gene that makes their fur bluish-gray.
Another problem with many of the breeders that offer silver labradors is that they do nothing to test or demonstrate the quality of their breeding animals. A large percentage of Silver Lab breeders are not testing their animals to ensure that raising them will contribute to the quality of the breed, and they are not participating in quality competitions that would convince others of the quality of these dogs.
That makes it sound a lot like these breeders are looking for a showy dog that is worth a lot of money, but not that great for the Labrador Retriever breed in general. Many owners have bought dogs, only to find that they had temperament or health problems. Buyers should be especially careful if they are interested in adopting a silver lab.
There are even those who feel that Silver Labradors cannot be purebred. Since breeds like the Doberman and the Weimeraner are prone to the diluted gene, they argue, these animals or some like them must have been introduced into silver lab bloodlines. That would mean that these animals are mixed breeds, although the non-lab genes were introduced a long time ago. However, we cannot prove this and it is possible that the diluted gene appeared on its own.
For buyers, this means that a silver lab should be treated like a novelty and that you should be very careful if you want to adopt one of these animals. Don’t pay a high price for a silver lab puppy, don’t believe breeders who claim to have AKC evidence to back them up, and avoid unscrupulous breeders. After all, while this unusual coat may be interesting, it could have some serious health flaws.
There is a good chance that a Silver Lab is a purebred lab, but it is not a special type. These are just a variation of the chocolate lab, and they really aren’t worth showing off. That means, unless you want an unusual pet, it is best to choose a more conventional type of Labrador.