Discussion in 'Technical & Help' started by Barkton, Aug 25, 2016.
Does anyone have any experience with Silver Labs?
I don't personally, and have never seen one, but here is an article from our main site about them: http://www.thelabradorsite.com/silver-labradors/
Do you have any specific questions?
I saw one here in Germany a couple weeks ago. He was beautiful and very high energy. It was in our local dog bakery and he was literally surfing the countertops. Of course, who can blame him really.
To me he looked like a Lab and Weimaraner cross (W eyes and coat, Lab shape), but the owners were very proud that he was a "silver Lab" and he was gorgeous so I didn't rain on their parade by voicing my (uneducated) opinion that he was a mix.
My concern with silver above and beyond "is this really a Lab?" is that when breeders go for color they tend to not put so much thought into temperament and health. That goes hand in hand with charging the moon for people who are generally first time buyers who don't know any better and get taken on the "fashion" of having an unusual color or other physical feature that isn't to breed standard.
My family had poodles for years and this is exactly the weirdness that happened with that breed, either trying to make super small sizes (there is no such thing as a "teacup" poodle) where the poor things literally had no brains, or trying to sell bizarro colors which are not in standard (Hello, black and tan "parti-poodle"!) as exotic and therefore overpriced.
There's a lot of ranting online about silver Labs, so just do a Google search and you'll see a lot of blogs and such devoted to the topic. It's really interesting reading.
I think people often like to rant for the sake of ranting
From what I can gather, it is certainly possible to have a dilution of the colour gene to give the silver colour on what is otherwise technically a choccy. Whether there have been any shenanigans to create the colour by mixing, who knows? Not me. You could do a DNA test on a particular dog, which would give you the answer. If we're to assume the best, then we can say that they're certainly striking (and rare) dogs, and therefore maybe deserve a premium. But, as @Emily_BabbelHund has said, the danger is that people start breeding for colour, rather than for temperament or health, and that's a dangerous thing. However, if there is such a thing as a reputable breeder of silvers, who performs all necessary health checks and who breeds for a good temperament, then great. If I were to buy one (not going to happen, but if), I think the first thing I'd do would be get a DNA test done so I could show people - because you're putting yourself up for a lifetime of "that's a mix"...