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Silver Labs Reality or Myth?

a supposed silver lab

What are Silver Labs and Are they Real?

Diana came to me the other day with some form from CKC that she wanted me to sign. Something about whether I agreed or disagreed with registering the so called Silver Lab. Well, in order to not be a stick in the mud, I said I would not sign it. I have my concerns about silver labs and the breeders who deal them but at the same time, I do not breed them and don’t feel it’s my responsibility to get involved at all in the discussion other than this blog article. It’s buyer beware when purchasing from a breeder so as in most of my articles, I suggest getting to know your breeder before buying anything, and educate yourself. There are many breeders out there with what I consider some questionable things going on.

What are they?

supposed silver labThis is a silver lab puppy. Looks like a lab, smells like a lab, farts like a lab. But, is it a lab? It could be. Or it could be a cross between what I showed you in the top picture, which is a purebred Weimeraner, and a Labrador Retriever. I’ll let you decide. The breeders will guarantee hands down that they are some dilute color based on some form of chocolate lab breeding and so on. 

I can tell you this. We see none, and I mean none, on the field trial circuit. Why, because they’re not bred for it. In my opinion, the silvers are probably not the same temperament as the rest of the labrador breed based on what my vet tells me. I’m also sure that throwing all that recessive genetics together to produce a designer color comes with all sorts of excess baggage in the form of health problems.

So, I’m not going to sit here and argue one way or the other about the legitimacy of whether silvers labs are purebred or not. CKC can decide whether to register them without the benefit of my opinion. It’s none of my business. I don’t breed them and never will not because they won’t sell or not because we can’t make a pile of money doing it. It’s just not our thing.

We like to win and produce winning Labrador Retrievers in whatever you decide to do with them. From a performance and health standpoint, silver labs don’t cut it. That’s about all I’m going to say about that. Know your breeder and educate yourself before jumping in to someones narrative with both feet.


    • Stu Mead

      Well, I didn’t sign the CKC petition or dig at other breeders specifically. I’ve been breeding a long time and we pretty much don’t breed any of the colors other than black any more. Because I get inquiries all the time I decided to write this brief article. What other people do doesn’t really concern me. That was my point. Thanks.

  1. Gwenda Davies

    Thank you for this well-written and informative article regarding “Silver Labs”. I was a breeder (*********, Perm. Reg’d.) for 23 years, Permanently Registered with the Canadian Kennel Club and, like you, bred for the love of the breed and not to become rich. My Mentor was **** **** (**** Labradors, Reg’d.) whom became as a “mother” to me. It was her line I continued to breed. I showed, did Working & Junior Hunt Certificates, obedience and had dogs working with Autistic Children (one was both for Austism & Hard of Hearing) with the National Service Dogs Association. A service blub purchased a pup from me for Leader Dogs for the Blind and she went on to raise pups for working with the blind. I specialized in chocolates and then started a separate line for yellows. My motto was “Chocolates are Specialty ~ Yellows Our Dream ~ Blacks Our Reality”. I mention the afore information to let you know that I am and, although I don’t breed any more, I, too, believe that Silvers are not true and do not relish the fact that CKC would consider diluting the standard of our breed for those who wish to make a profit and not for the betterment of what Labrador Retrievers are known for and do. I just wanted to thank you for your candid response to this belief that silvers are a true colour which is incredibly wrong. I do not have a website any more since I shut my kennel down in 2005 and wanted to leave breeding while I was ahead and considered to have good dogs with excellent temperaments. I saw too many breeders that got in too deep and kept pups that they couldn’t sell for their breeding stock, thereby producing inferior Labradors.

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