Despite genetic testing carried out by the AKC, many dog enthusiasts and Labrador purists are persuaded that Silver Labs are not purebred. Black, chocolate, and yellow are the only three approved Labrador colors. The plurality of individuals believes that the Silver Labrador is a mix of Labrador and Weimaraner, with others also attributing it to the diluted chocolate hue. Keep reading to know more details about silver labs and learn how they were created.
How Were Silver Labs Created?
Newfoundland is a region located off the Labrador Sea coast. In this region, St. John’s water dogs were used to establish the Labrador breed. These canines, often known as smaller Newfound lands, were black. They are water dogs, like their Newfoundland relative, and were popular with fishermen because of their kind dispositions.
Labradors are the most popular breed in the United States and make excellent family dogs. However, these silver Labrador Retrievers have recently gained popularity due to their unique coat color.
Appeared in the 1950s
The color black was the preferred option for Labradors, and this desire is still prevalent today, particularly among hunters. Silver Labs were first developed by Kellogg Kennels in the 1950s. Since many puppies with undesired coat colors were killed or left unregistered, nobody had heard of them until that time, which is not unexpected.
Breeders frequently maintain detailed records, though, and while various mismarked puppies like vitiligo, brindles, and even black and tans have been mentioned, there have been no references of any diluted pups, whether blue, grey, or silver.
Mary Roslin-Williams, a breeder and lover of Labradors, wrote a record that is frequently disregarded in her book All About the Labrador. She mentions that Labrador and Norwegian Elkhound crossbreeding occurred in the 1940s, along with the introduction of Pointers to certain lineages.
The Golden Retriever, Flat-Coated Retriever, Curly-Coated Retriever, and Chesapeake Bay Retriever are all distant relatives of Labradors. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever was used to fine-tune the Lab. Given the variety of breeds utilized to improve the Labrador, the breed might have acquired the gene for dilatation from any source.
Some contend that Labradors evolved with other breeds throughout their early development, rendering the discussion of breed purity irrelevant. Additionally, adding new genetic material to the gene pool can benefit a breed. However, you can register them under the Chocolate category because the American Kennel Club no longer recognizes silver as a color.
Do Silver Labs Eyes Stay Blue?
The silver lab’s eyes set it apart from other canine breeds. Up to the age of 6 to 8 months, silver lab puppies are pale blue in hue. The beautiful blue tint fades into pale yellow as they age. Additionally, brown and hazel eyes were seen in some dogs with silver labs.
Similar to humans, animals with appealing eyes immediately elicit affection. The lab’s eye color does not remain constant, but rather evolves throughout time. Beautiful hues are always changing.
Is a Silver Labrador Related to a Weimaraner?
The gene “d,” which is also found in Weimaraner dogs, is responsible for the silver color of Labradors. People, therefore, believe that Weimaraner and Chocolate Lab crosses produced silver labs. Some Silver Labs have ears that are similar to Weimaraner ears. Cross-breeding is, therefore, more likely as a result. However, there is no conclusive proof, as there will eventually be no purebred Labradors left if people simply keep crossbreeding for the sake of color change.
What are the Causes of Silver Color in Labradors?
The following are some factors that might be responsible for the silver color of Labs.
Weimaraner crosses – Both labs and Weimaraner have the “d” gene that produces silver color. Therefore, a mix between the two breeds can result in labs turning silver.
Biological mutation – Genetic mutations are possible and we all know that several genetic disorders are caused by a single gene mutation. The same thing might have happened to Labradors where a single change in the genes changed their hue.
‘D’ gene present but concealed – The “D” gene may have been present in Labradors from birth, but it did not manifest.
What is the Size of a Silver Labrador?
Silver Labs can be taller than typical Labradors. A healthy dog will reach a maximum height of 22.5 to 24.5 inches (57 to 62 cm) and a weight of 65 to 80 pounds (27 to 36 kg). Female members don’t grow as large and are typically 21.5 to 23.5 inches (54 – 60 cm) tall and 55 to 70 pounds (25 – 32 kg) in weight.
You might be surprised to find that Silver Labs can be content with apartment life. This medium to a large-sized dog doesn’t require a lot of room if given enough exercise and mental stimulation.
Is a Silver Labrador Easy to Train?
Most of us are concerned about a puppy’s trainability before we adopt it. However, Labs are known for their intelligence and respond well to their owners. Silver labs are not much different and may even proof smarter than ordinary Labrador retriever puppies. This could be because of a DNA mutation that might have triggered the color change.
You also need to take other factors into account to ensure a smooth experience. Labradors are an extremely active and spirited breed and would demand a lot of mental and physical effort. A silver lab is advised only if you have an active lifestyle and can devote some time to your dog. This is because lack of activity can cause boredom and your pooch will stop listening to you. Having said that, a silver lab will perform at its best with the correct workout.
Who Should Get a Silver Labrador?
Consider getting a silver Labrador if you’re excited about exhibiting your dog. This is because these canines do encounter bias in the ring and are more likely to attract attention. The popularity of Labs and even Lab hybrids as guide dogs have a good reason. They take training well and are simple to train.
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