Labrador Retrievers are some of the most popular dogs in the world. They were originally bred for hunting, to retrieve land and water fowl, and are still used today for hunting. They are also very popular as family pets and used as seeing eye dogs as well as therapy dogs, among other tasks. Labradors are very loyal dogs. They are intelligent and have excellent temperaments, which is why they are often used for jobs in so many areas. Labradors make good family pets because they are known to do very well with children, and the elderly. This large breed of dog typically comes in three colors; chocolate, yellow, and black. Outside of the three traditional colors, there is also a silver Labrador that is a controversial color for Lab breeders. It is a rare color for a Lab and many breeders have issues with the dog even being a full bred Labrador. If you have seen a silver Lab, you may know a little bit about the breed, but here are seven things you didn’t know about the silver Labrador.
1. It comes from a diluted gene
For years, breeders and Lab enthusiasts have questioned where the silver Lab came from. There have been many genetic specialists who have taken to the task of determining what causes a Labrador to be born with silver hair as opposed to the chocolate, yellow and black. After years of genetic testing, it was determined that silver coloring was the result of a diluted d gene
2. Not all pedigree registrations accept them
Because there has been so much controversy about the silver lab, not all pedigree registrations in all countries allow you to register a silver Lab, while some will allow the registration of a silver Lab, but it must be registered under a different color. For instance, the AKC will allow you to register a silver Lab, but it must be registered as a chocolate, since that is the color it stems from. On the other hand, the UK Kennel Club only allows it to be registered as “unrecognized,” as its color status.
3. Is there Weimaraner in the blood?
There are many Lab breeders and enthusiasts who believe a silver Lab came about due to cross breeding with at Weimaraner dog. They say that to look at a silver Lab, it does have a lot of Lab traits and characteristics, but it does not fit the Labrador bill altogether and that it is a product of a crossbreed between a Lab and the Weimaraner. Which is where it would get the silver coloring, since that is the natural color of a Weimaraner. Breeders of the Lab, however, strongly disagree and say that you can follow the lineage of these silver Labs and see the history, that there is not Weimaraner in the blood.l
4. Appeared out of nowhere
The Labrador breed wasn’t recognized and formalized into the AKC until 1917 and the standards had already been set for the breed. No where was there a recording of a silver Lab until nearly 4 decades later, in the late 1950’s, did the silver Lab start to be advertised for sale in gun magazines, and it is assumed that it was well after the Lab standards had already been set. The AKC and Lab breeders and began to wonder where the silver Lab all of a sudden emerged from because it seemed that they appeared out of nowhere.
5. Have the same personality traits
Just because the Lab is silver and not a traditional color, it does not mean that the dog will exhibit any difference in its personality and behavior characteristics that are commonly known for the Labrador breed. Those that own a silver Lab know that the dog is a typical Labrador in every other fashion, outside of its unique coloring.
6. Have the same health risks as any Lab
Some people think because the silver Lab is different than the other colors, that its health risks are going to be different as well. This is not necessarily true, however. Silver Labs are susceptible to the same health issues as any color of Lab, which include, eye problems, such as retinal dysplasia, cataracts, progressive retina dysplasia, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and epilepsy. Some may suffer from neurological issues, but most are treatable. Keeping up with your dog’s health check-ups on a regular basis helps your vet to be able to catch medical issues sooner, and start treatment sooner.
7. Money making dog for some breeders
Whenever there is a rarity about a dog, such as a unique color or other characteristic trait, some breeders will glom onto the rarity and start charging extremely high prices for the dog. They turn the uniqueness of the dog into a money-making gimmick and advertise the dog(s) as rare and hard to find in order to capitalize on the difference in the breed. Legitimate breeders will not do this, however, so you should always be aware that these types of breeders are out there and walk away from the sale if they try to charge you more for a silver Lab than the other colorations.