I have to tell you I am upset. I fell in love with the way silver labs look, and how I have read are. I want one! My dream would be to get one that "Santa delivers" for my children and have the puppy wake them up christmas morning. I can picture their faces and I really hope that can be a reality. Until I see the price. I can't afford to spend that kind of money on a silver lab, and buy other gifts. Plus I can't find any around NY so then there is shipping. Please help. If you know anyone that offers silver labs at a reasonable price ( the dog would be a family dog, the best friend to two little boys, not a show dog)please let me know. My boys have been asking for a dog for about a year now, and after doing reseach I have decided labs are the best way to go.
A lot of so called silver labs are weim crosses being sold as rare and unique to scam people who don't know better. Want a lab.. get one in a standard colour. No good breeder breeds for colours their dogs shouldn't come in. Have to have silver? Pick a different breed, or start searching places like petfinder and save a rescue.
A silver lab is technically a dilute chocolate, so why don't you look for a chocolate lab rather than buy from an unscrupulous breeder selling a silver lab for big bucks because it is so "rare"?
And I wouldn't buy an "inexpensive lab", either. 2/3 of all labs develop dysplasia because they are so overbred and poorly bred. I wouldn't even consider a lab from anyone who doesn't do OFA or PennHip testing and offers a health guarantee.
Dogs aren't toys and they should never be a child's sole responsibility. Have you researched Labs in general? Do you realize they are high energy, shed like crazy and often knock small children down. Their tails can leave welts. Are you willing to provide a Lab w/ plenty of exercise and take it to formal training classes? (Just putting them in the back yard won't cut it.) Health and temperment are so much more important than color. Anytime you have someone breeding for a particular color, it causes problems. (See red Standard Poodles, chocolate yorkies, white dobermans, etc.) Labs suffer from major health problems and there are more attacks everyday from poorly bred Lab w/ unstable temperments. You need to worry about finding a good breeder and choosing the right breed before you ever consider color.
I also agree that puppies don't make good Christmas presents, like a said they aren't a toy. Most kids get bored w/ their Christmas gifts in a few weeks and dogs deserve better than that. The are a lifelong commitment.
I would also expect to pay several hundred dollars for a Lab from a reputable breeder. For that cost, you should get a healthy, socialized puppy, from well tempered parents, a pedigree full of health testing and proven dogs and see the documentation of the parents health screenings. Health testing doesn't mean vet checked either, it means OFA ratings, cerf testings, cardiac tests, etc. I paid $400 for a BYB Rottweiler, that ended up w/ parvo. Treating the parvo costs and extra $400, so I could've purchased a puppy from a reputable breeder. If I had, the threat of HD wouldn't constantly be in the back of my mind. So far Harley has been healthy, but things change and I could end up paying for a hip replacement ($1000+) and having to watch my boy in pain.
In addition to what's already been pointed out, most of what I come across on the silver labs are complaint's about health issues. Many (of the issues listed per dog in most cases) seem to be the issues you would expect with most dilute dog's and the parent's weren't aware of them beforehand (or now apparently :-) but there seem's to be a lot of issues that also seem would have to do with the breeding in general. My breed is a walking genetic defect, why intentionally throw in the additional health issues that come along with the dilute genes on purpose because it's pretty (except for the additional skin problems and hair loss)? Sure, it could be said that it should have been expected and is rare and more money in the hand, but it isn't something most people who are knowledgeable and are trying to produce healthier pup's are going to do intentionally if it can be avoided I think. Please try not to think about the right now but the long term and how much your going to love that pup VERY quickly and how much 'cutting cost's' in the short run may cost you in the long run financially and emotionally. Here's the link to the parent club.
I would like to start by saying I know nothing about Silver Labs, but I would like to say one thing about getting a puppy for Christmas. My ex-boyfriend got his kids a Great Dane for Christmas of 2006. I moved in with them shortly after, mind you I had warned him the same thing everyone here is saying, and guess whose dog it really ended up being. If you guessed me your right, once the kids lost interest I tried to get him to step up but it didn’t work. So there was Geo the “unwanted” puppy. He was so big no one but me would even sit with him. I’m not saying that you would be that irresponsible, but I hope you understand it will end up being the one that has to want the dog. It won’t be a cute puppy long, but will still want and deserve lots of love and attention when it’s all grown up. It is a really nice idea and your kids would remember it for the rest of their lives but you would be the one making the lifelong commitment to this dog. Ok I’m sorry I lied I have two things I have to say, it won’t matter to your kids what breed of puppy it is. For my nieces 3rd birthday her mother and I let her pick a “puppy” at the SPCA for her first dog. She chooses Keisha, a 2 year old cattle dog mix. My niece is now 7 and Keisha is still her best friend, she doesn’t care about a pedigree. She sees no difference between Keisha and her stepfathers $1500.00 Boston Terrier. Look for healthy over what looks good in a Christmas card because you will have a dog around for a long time. Please don’t think I am trying to say it is an all around bad idea because it is not, as long as you are honest with yourself about the outcome. My sister and I have taken care of Keisha for 4 years and my niece is just now learning it is up to her, and we consider ourselves lucky she is doing it this young. I hope you find what you are looking for and remember to your kids Christmas is going to be magical no matter what.
Do not walk in front of me I might not follow. Do not walk behind me I might not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.