Silver Labrador Retrievers: Controversy, Puppy Prices & More

Last Updated on November 11, 2022 by Becky Roberts

*The Silver Lab is an adorable dog with the classic look of a Labrador but with a shimmery silver twist. He is beautiful and has a great temperament. This dog is the center of much debate. His past is a mystery. He could be a purebred Labrador , or a Lab mixture .. The debate is not only raising his profile, but also increasing his popularity.

Unfortunately the Silver Lab has come under fire for being a subject of canine controversy. Many people hate the Silver Lab, but others love it. There are many theories about how the silver lab got its hair, and many breeders and clubs have divided this topic ..

Let’s take a look at the facts today. If you are thinking about getting a Silver Labrador you will have all the information necessary to make a decision on whether or not this puppy is right for you. If you’re here because you enjoy a little doggy drama, you can continue reading!

Silver Labrador Retrievers

History and Controversy

The Labrador Retriever’s popularity originates from the early 19th century in Newfoundland in Canada. He is a hunter dog and collected small water creatures .. He was and is the favorite canine companion of a fisherman.

His ancestor, the St. Johns Dog , was called and he looked similar but was black in color. He was renamed the Labrador Retriever by visiting English nobles. He has been a family favourite around the globe ever since.

The Labrador community’s opinion on the Silver Labrador is split into two .. Some believe they are purebred Labradors, while others believe they are mixed Labradors and a .Weimaraner.

The unresolved debate first began when Kellogg’s Kennel advertised ‘rare gray Labradors’ for sale in the 1950s. This raised questions from many breeders and Labrador enthusiasts worldwide, as it would appear that this silver color suddenly came from nowhere. Similar debates exist for other color variants of Labradors ,

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The Silver Lab is not officially recognized despite the controversy. They can still be registered with kennel clubs around the globe as a Labrador . However, they can be registered with the AKC as a Chocolate Labrador.

It is also possible to register as a “non-recognized colour” in the United Kingdom’s equivalent to the AKC. It is not clear how common the Silver Labrador breed is. The surrounding controversy is raising their profile.

Theory 1: The Silver Lab is a Purebred Labrador

Purebred supporters often suggest that they have been around since the beginning. To prevent silver Labradors from entering the Labrador genetic pool, they were either immediately killed or not recognized . They did not want to be accused for mixed breeding.

*These silver dogs may have an inherited rare Labrador gene. One could conclude that the Silver Labrador may be a purebred Labrador.

Therefore, no one raised any questions until the 1950s when Kellogg’s Kennel was the first one brave enough to advertise their dogs as Silver Labradors publicly.

Supporters claim that the answer lies in the genetics of the breeds used to refine the Labrador as we know it today; the British used the St. John’s, a black dog, and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

Silver Labradors were bred to produce more Silver Labradors. As a result, this rare color has become more accessible than it was before. The silver color originated in the UK but has gradually made its way to the US and has both bench and show lines.

Theory 2: The Silver Lab is a Mixed Breed

Those who are against the notion of the Silver Lab being a purebred suggest that the only possible explanation lies with the Weimaraner’s genes being mixed into the gene pool. The Weimaraner is similar in appearance and size to a Labrador, except his coat is distinctively silver.

The two original Silver Labrador breeders were Crist Culo Kennels, and Beaver Creek Labradors. Their litters can be traced back to the first litter advertised in 1950 by Kellogg’s Kennels. The rare silver color suggests that the dogs were bred to the same color as their relatives. This practice is commonly called inbreeding and is known to cause a variety of health problems.

Campaigners against the color claim that Labrador breeders are infecting the breed pool of the Labrador by introducing another breed. They claim that inbreeding Silver Labradors can cause a variety of health problems. These dogs are considered mixed breeds by breed purists.

They also claim that Silver Lab breeders ‘in the money .’. The common argument is that they don’t care about the Labrador breed. They want to breed the most Silver Labradors possible without regard for their health.

To protect breed lineage, it is not a good idea to mix other breeds and register them as purebreds. Campaigners rightly object to this practice as it is an unacceptable thing. Recent studies have shown that there are enough Silver Labs to reduce inbreeding concerns. Reputable breeders don’t participate in inbreeding and there is no evidence of wrongdoing ..

Silver Labrador Color Genetics

The color of the Silver Labrador can be described as a dilute form of the chocolate-colored Labrador. In genetic terms, color variations are often called a dilute gene. This causes the ‘watered-down color variation.

All coat colors are controlled by a set of genes. In Labradors standard, you’ll see that the B, E, and Yellow genes affect coat colors for Black, Chocolate and Yellow. The D gene controls silver color. All Labrador standard colors have the D gene.

The gene acts as an switch to turn on full color and off for dimming. It is important to understand that all genes are in pairs. This pair is the big ‘D” and little ‘d’. The big D gives you a full-strength coat color. The little d is a more subtle color.

The Silver Lab, a chocolate-colored dilute, is what we are looking for in a genetic pairing or color outcome for the Chocolate Labrador.

  • Chocolate Labrador: DD
  • Chocolate Labrador: Dd
  • Silver Labrador: dd

The big D is always dominant, so the pup must have two copy of the dilute gene to have dilute hair. Only the third combination of genes can produce a Silver Lab.

Weimaraners have two little-d genes in certain breeds. The Silver Labrador has been born because of the double little-d gene in Chocolate Labradors. This is why there was so much controversy.

In The Ring

The genetics of the color can only be speculated and not proved. The Silver lab can participate in AKC events. They can be registered as purebred Labradors but cannot compete in show events. This is not an issue if you purchase a puppy solely for showing purposes.

Many breeders are still challenging the AKC and champion to allow this line to compete. Others side with the AKC and are equally opposed to this pup ever competing in the ring.

Appearance

The Silver Labrador is the same as any other Labrador except for his color. His color is described as a diluted brown by many, while others refer to it as a shimmery metallic silver. Depending on his genes and parents, a Silver Labrador may be different colors of his color. Their noses are usually brown and their eyes .light-yellow tend to be a bit yellower. Many pups have light-blue eyes that turn to a pale yellow as they age.

Some people, mostly those who believe that he was bred with the Weimaraner claim that the Silver Lab is more ‘hound-like’ and that this looks are a result of his Weimaraner parents. Their ears have a larger size than traditional Labradors, and their muzzle is shorter and thinner. Others say he does not and looks more like a traditional Labrador.

The male Silver Lab measures 22.5 to 24.5 inches in height. Females will measure slightly smaller at 21.5 to 23.5 inches. He is quite a hefty pup, and the male weighs 65 to 80 pounds. Females weigh 55 to 70 pounds. They are well-built and balanced dogs. Silver Labs are friendly and playful with a strong neck and muzzle. Their otter-like tail , is thick and long, which they use to guide themselves in the water.

Temperament

The Silver Lab is intelligent, trainable, and simply wants to please his master. He will be the most loyal of all pups as long as you keep him in line with training and discipline. But he will also be always available to help when you need it. The Silver Labrador is a wonderful choice if you are looking for a true companion ,.

He is also a sociable pooch and loves to play with the kids in the backyard. He can retrieve any object you throw at him and will entertain you and your family for hours.

He is loyal to his master and will snuggle up with everyone in the room. He is also a good friend of animals and small children if he is socialized early in his life. This sociability comes with a drawback: he can suffer from separation anxiety.

He is a happy-go-lucky canine, and the AKC describes him as ‘friendly, active and outgoing’. His temperament is one of the main reasons he is the most popular dog breed and has been for over 23 years!

Exercises and Training

The Silver Labrador, a high energy working dog, is

. Silver Labs need around 60 minutes of exercise each day. However, this does not necessarily mean that a half-hour of walking per day is sufficient. Labradors require intense exercise in order to get more energy.

Silver Labradors require fast-paced, interactive activities. Training your lab to walk or run with a harness is recommended, as they make excellent jogging partners. They also enjoy fetching, agility and interactive games. They are the original fisherman’s friend and love to swim .

The Silver Labrador canine is the most intelligent canine on the planet. Labradors are often used in the working field because of this. They are often seen participating in drug detection and search and rescue missions.

When they combine intelligence and a love for their master, they will always try to impress you with all their talents. As long as they are trained consistently, this is possible. Make sure you have plenty of toys to keep your pup entertained.

Health and Nutrition

The Silver Labrador is a generally healthy dog, and he lives, on average, between 10 and 12 years. If you’re thinking of bringing a Silver Labrador into the family, you should be aware of these health issues:

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

This is a common problem in dogs’ later years. It can occur in the elbow and hip joints. It can lead to joint pain and even crippling arthritis.

Exercise-Induced Collapse

The pup can suffer a loss of muscular control following a period of excessive exercise. This is something you can’t prevent. In very rare cases, the dog can die immediately, but most cases last up to 25 minutes.

Color Dilution Alopecia

This is an exception to the rule for dogs with the color dilution genetic, dd. This is not a common condition in dd dogs and does not always cause alopecia. This is due to a bacterial infection of the hair follicles. It causes dry skin and hair fall. This can be treated with antibiotics.

Generally, the Silver Labrador will eat around 3 cups of food, and it should be a large breed formula made for Labs. He will eat just about anything that is available to him! To avoid obesity and other health problems, it is important to keep an eye on Labrador’s food intake and to treat any Labrador who eats Labrador food. You should give him small treats and avoid high-calorie, or human-based foods like cheese. He may be your best friend at the moment, but you won’t be his friend if he can’t eat the extra weight.

Grooming

To keep Silver Labrador warm in the cold, he wears a double-coated coat. His undercoat is thick and dense and water- and ice-resistant. They can stay in water for as long as they want without becoming sick. His outer coat is also thick and dense.

Labradors are moderate to heavy shedders. Their coats need brushing . once or twice per week. To keep his coat fresh and clean from the mud and lake water he loves, he will need to be bathed every six weeks .

Breeders & Puppy Prices

The average cost of a Labrador Retriever puppy ranges from $1,000 and up from a reputable breeder. The Silver Labrador Retriever can be rare so expect to pay more. From looking at reputable breeder websites, the cost is, on average, between $1,250 and $1,500.

Buying your puppy from a reputable breeder will not only ensure that the price is right, but also ensure that the pup has had the best start in life.

Should a Silver Labrador be my pet?

Does he want to participate in registered hunting or obedience trials? The Silver Labrador, as mentioned previously, is not considered a ‘Silver Labrador” by official kennel clubs.

Your Labrador will be less desirable than other Labradors because he must be registered as a Chocolate Labrador or another non-recognized breed. Many of the competitors claim that Silver Labradors are subject to color predisposition during competition. If you are serious about allowing your dog to participate in events, you should be prepared. Consider another Labrador color if this is a major factor.

Once the competition question has been answered, there are some things you should note. First, anti-silver campaigners claim that inbreeding can cause serious health problems. no evidence supports this claim Don’t let this deter you. His health is the same as that of any Labrador standard. Alopecia is also possible. There is a large silver gene pool. Reputable breeders won’t breed siblings or relatives.

Second, anti-silver campaigners suggest that Silver Labrador breeders may be in it just for the money. This is false. Your puppy must be examined by a registered breeder with the AKC. You can be sure that your puppy has been through the same health testing as a yellow AKC registered puppy.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of which side you are on and whether you believe the Silver Labrador to be a purebred, or a mixed-breed, there are two things that are certain. First, their history will likely remain a mystery as to the color of their coats. Second, and most importantly, regardless of their genetics, Silver Labradors make great family pets. You can have a happy, long-lived relationship with your dog as long as you’re both healthy and willing to make the commitment to owning a dog.

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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