“Labradors are like a comfortable pair of shoes, you just have to have one in every color!”
NO…..They are not mixed with Weimaraner
YES….They are 100% Labrador
YES….They are able to be registered with the AKC (as chocolate, black or yellow)
NO…..They are not more high energy that their other colored siblings (as a matter of fact, I have seen all the colors be both high energy, as well as docile. I definitely would not attribute it to their color, as much as I would say the ‘American’ lab is more high energy and the ‘English’ lab is more laid back)
Let me start by saying, no matter what your thoughts are about the silver lab, you can most definitely find information to back up your opinion, somewhere on the internet…whether it is accurate or not. My suggestion to you would be to find articles that scientifically support both sides of this debate, and only then, should you make your final decision as to which side you believe. Do your own research, listen to the scientific data, not to individuals comments that may just have an uneducated opinion based on what they were told to believe. With that said, the following information that I have collected, IN MY OPINION gives the most detailed description as to what exactly a silver/charcoal/champagne Labrador is and how they came to exist.
First off, lets address the easy debates. “Are silver Labs mixed with Weimaraner?” A simple cheek swab of any dog in question will easily set the record straight. All of our dogs have had genetic testing done before they enter into our breeding program, and ALL of them have come back 100% Labrador Retriever. As for AKC Labrador colors, it is true, Labs only come in 3 colors, black, chocolate and yellow, here is where I believe some people get the wrong idea. According to Pawprint Genetics https://www.pawprintgenetics.com/products/tests/details/170/?breed=76 “The D Locus (dilute) corresponds to a region of the MLPH gene that is important in determining coat color in dogs. This gene variant modifies the expression of the pigments eumelanin an phaeomelanin in the hair. A genetic variant within this gene results in a ‘diluting’ or lightening of the coat color of dogs.” Dogs carrying this gene can have a dilute coat color, this is what causes a black lab to be charcoal, or a chocolate lab to be silver. Both parents must carry the D Locus in order for the offspring to be the dilute color. If only 1 parent carries the D Locus gene, the offspring can carry the D Locus gene as well, but cannon BE the actual dilute color, as 1 copy from each parent is needed. This is why, according to the AKC a silver is registered as a chocolate and a charcoal is registered as black, because technically that’s what color they are, but with the extra D Locus gene that causes the color to be lighter in shade.
From where did the silver Labrador originate? It’s kind of like saying ‘who made the first ever…insert food item?’ There are rumors, there is speculation, there are always claims, and then there is the truth, but one may never really know. I’ve heard it stated that when the Labrador was becoming popular, black was the desired colors and chocolate and yellow were culled at birth, but were they the only colors culled?? As I mentioned previously, you can always count on the internet to find a story that will tell you exactly what you want to hear, so you really have to see what fits together logically. For my research, I went back to the oldest “silver lab” claim I could find. As the story goes, the silver lab first popped up around 1940/1950 from Kelloggs Kennel who advertised them in a hunting dog magazine. They can be traced back to two breeders, Dean Crist (Culo) and Beaver Creek Labs. Both of these lines can be traced back to Kellogg Kennels. As for how the gene started appearing in the first place, well that’s just as controversial as the color itself. It could have always been present, but overridden by the dominant gene. It could have been introduced by another breed, but the DNA tests do not support another breed being present. The last scenario is that it could be a spontaneous mutation of the dilute gene. No matter how it arrived, or where it came from they are beautiful and carry the same temperament that their other colored siblings possess. And NO, I do not believe that different color labs have different energy levels! But that’s a debate for a different day!