"For the both of you - what is your take on the origin of the Silver Lab? I know thats a highly controversial issue and my research has led me to believe that they in fact did originate with the mixing of a weimaraner, though some swear its a recessive gene.
What are your experiences?"
***This question was posed by Ansy in another thread, so I just pulled it out and started a new topic.
I raised Labs for 24 years and never heard of a Silver Lab until this year. I really have no experience with them, so I am hoping someone else can provide more light unto the subject.
From what I understand, it is supposed to be a recessive gene and there is a lot of health problems with dogs that are considered "Silver Labs".
I guess some less than trustworthy person, at one time or the other, could have mixed a Weimaraner with a Lab, selling it as a purebred "Silver Lab."
AKC recognizes over a dozen variations (I believe it is 17) of yellow Labs, so I am assuming that the silver Lab is a variation of chocolate?
Who can provide more information for Ansy and for myself? Hope this topic is of interest to more than just the 2 of us. :)
i have read about this and can't remember everything, but when registering a silver is a variation of chocolate. but i think in showing it's a disqualification??? i'm sure some people have mixed in weimeraners, and i also think it's a gene in chocolate. going to find what i read in the past.
***Edited By: pearl on 12/17/2004 2:16:00 PM*** Reason: x
This is the info I received when inquiring about the silver labs. Hope this helps!
The registry of the American Kennel Club is based on parentage and not the coat color of a member of any breed.
In 1987 the AKC, in cooperation with the Labrador Retriever Club of America, conducted an inquiry into the breeding of litters that contained members that were registered as silver. An AKC representative was sent to observe these dogs. The report and color photographs of these dogs were reviewed by then AKC staff and representatives of the Labrador Retriever Club of America. Both parties were satisfied at that time there was no reason to doubt that the dogs were purebred Labrador Retrievers, however they felt that the dogs were incorrectly registered as silver. Since the breed standard at that time describes chocolate as ranging in shade from sedge to chocolate, it was felt that the dogs could more accurately be described as chocolate rather than silver. This remains the current policy of the American Kennel Club.
In reference to exhibiting Labrador Retrievers of this color, The Standard also states that dogs of " any color of combination of colors other than black, yellow, or chocolate as described in the breed standard" are to be disqualified. It is up to the judge in the ring to determine whether, in his or her opinion, a Labrador's coat color meets the qualifications as defined in the Breed Standard.
If a reply is necessary, please include a copy of all previous correspondence. For more information, please visit our Customer Care Center at https://www.akc.org/insideAKC/customer_care.cfm Krista Woolf, Special Services Coordinator
I do know that it began when the AKC did not have standardized registration forms for each breed of dog. Before the computer age, if you will, one form could have been used for several different breeds of dogs. On the particular form that the labs were registered under the color choices were :yellow, black, chocolate, and 'other'. The first silver labs were registered with the AKC by someone checking the box for 'other' and writing in Silver.
Once the controversy started, the AKC sent someone out to this particular kennel who confirmed that both the labs they had were in fact AKC registered - so even if the dogs were mixed with weim, there was nothing they could do about it because the puppies were already registered as silver. Later on, the 'other' box was taken off the list of coat colors and now silvers are registered under 'chocolate', saying that the silver is actually just a variation of chocolate.
I have also read that all original silver labs (not the ones who are clear crosses today) can be traced back to one kennel - and this kennel also owned weims.
There is no documentation of silver labs before this occurnace, so if it really was a recessive gene there should have been some 'rare' silver labs born and documented.
For those who say it is a true lab, but just a recessive gene, you are correct - they cannot be shown as it is considered a dis-qualification.
I was just wondering if any of the lab breeders here have ever produced on. I have not met a lab breeder yet who has produced a silver lab due to recessive genes which confirms my belief that they originated with the mixing of a weim.
The sad part, is IF the weim is the reason......in the litters you have both silver and chocolate pups born. These chocolates are called Silver Factored Chocolates. People will buy them thinking they are 100% lab and may breed them only to produce a silver pup (due to the weim in them). And the cycle goes on and on - you have people selling pure bred labs that are not pure bred.
Either way, I think they are BEAUTIFUL dogs. Their origin has sparked a huge curiosity in me and I'll continue my quest until I can find a true lab breeder who actually has produced a silver pup. Even then, whats to say thay they didn't purchase a Silver Factored lab and had no idea themselves? They think they have produced a true silver when in fact, it is a gene from the weim. Crazy ain't it?
***Edited By: Ansy1 on 12/17/2004 1:01:01 PM*** Reason: .
Animals was my first choice of professions - but no veterinary schools are near my home. I would have had to leave my family to go to school and get a degree in vet medicine - and I couldn't leave them.
I figured if I couldn't learn it in school - I'd find ways to learn it myself - and I still have a LONG ways to go!
Ansy, I've asked this question before and you've never answered. You say that all silver labs can be traced back to one kennel, that also had weimeraners. What kennel is it?
Also, the silver color in weimeraners is recessive. That means that no breeding from a single direct lab x weim breeding could possibly produce silver offspring. All of the offspring would be heterozygous for carrying the gene for normal color, and the one for the silver. Only breeding of two of those offspring would you be able to have silver dogs crop up, or breeding one of the het offspring with a weim would silver show up.
Also, I'd think that if the AKC and Labrador Club actually researched the origin of silver labs all back to 1 kennel that happenedto have weims, their official statement wouldn't say 'there was no reason to think that silver labs weren't purebred'. Because certainly there WOULD be reason to think they weren't.
***Edited By: Minniyar on 12/17/2004 1:41:31 PM*** Reason: add
I'm going to have to do more reading before I can catch up to Ansy and Minniyar! I've been reading a lot and learning a lot, but that is over my head! But I would still like to see a silver lab in person. Pictures just don't quite cut it.
Minniyar, the information I have read has stated that they are real and that they are not. I'm not sure what my stand is, I'm just saying what my research leads me to believe. Here is the exact quote:
"The silver color can be traced to a single line (and most likely a single litter) that was then linebred and eventually produced the silver pups. No where along the line was there an OBVIOUS attempt to bend the rules, but since AKC only requires the signatures of the sire and dam owners to register a litter, nothing can be done about it now. The error was set in the breed before DNA testing was being done, so it is really hard to undo it now."
The reason the AKC would not admit it is because it would be a slap in their own face. IF this is true then someone goofed and they can't go back on it. No business in the world admits a detrimental mistake like this - so they cover it with a nice statement like the one that was given. That was all they could do. They are the epitomy of the pure bred dog - they can't just admit to registering crosses as pure breds. Their organization would have no integrity at that point. It's kind of like the ENRON of the dog world.
I'm not saying that they don't exist......all I want is a labrador breeder to show me that they have produced one and show me that it does not have the facial structure of the weim.
You may remember a while back when I was looking for one to purchase myself. EVERY SINGLE BREEDER of silver labs would only sell them on a spay/neuter contract. Why would they do that IF these dogs are so rare? If a dog is THAT rare wouldn't you keep the puppies to breed or sell them to another responsible breeder who can keep the bloodlines going? Even if they are considered a deformity in color - if these breeders believe they are real (and are so rare)- why do they require s/n contracts? Thats like the Chinese spaying/neutering every Panda Bear because they don't want anyone else to breed it. They are nearly extinct! You wouldn s/n them unless you had a back-up means of producing them.
The lab is the most popular dog in our country, yet amazingly, there are very few breeders who can produce a silver and those breeders 'keep' those bloodlines to themselves via s/n contracts. The logic behind the silver lab just does not add up to me. Yes, they may be rare, but you would have more than a handful of breeders being able to produce them. If I remember correctly, there were over a million labradors registered last year - but only 5 to 10 breeders seem to produce the silvers.
You can find the information I posted above and more at the following links:
Are you still considering buying a silver lab? I wouldn't mind having one, but from what I hear, they charge outrageous prices for one. I can't see spending twice as much for a dog based on its color alone, no matter how beautiful it might be.
No, I am not considering buying a silver Lab or any other Lab for that matter. Unfortunately, due to an accident, I can no longer properly care for my outside dogs and was forced to re-home all of my Labs. It is a touchy subject and you can believe that it was a gut-wrenching experience to have to part with my babies, who have been such a big part of my life, for so long.
I was merely responding to a question posed by Ansy in another column, when I brought up the subject of Silver Labs.