Controversy Over Silver Labs

At the end of the Twentieth Century, the frequency of silver (gray) labs began to increase in North America due to an increase in the number of chocolate labs in the gene pool of Labrador Retrievers. These Silver Labs in turn fueled an enormous controversy within the Labrador community.

Fortunately, by the advent of the Twenty-First Century, the controversy surrounding Silver Labs subsided except for a few remaining breeders of "standard" colors. These remaining opponents of Silver Labs are the K-9 version of the "Flat Earth Society". Unfortunately, those holdout breeders who refuse to acknowledge AKC's acceptance of silver labs, continue to confuse the general public by making unfounded accusations about the purity of the Silver Labs breeding. In an attempt to quiet the ranting of the more vocal opponents of Silver Labs, one breeder of silvers offered a $100,000.00 Silver Lab Challenge to any of these "experts" who wished to put their money where their mouth was concerning their accusations surrounding the ancestry of silver labs. And to the man, not one of those "experts" you see on the internet was willing to stand behind their Flat Earth accusations regarding Silver Labs.

Are Silver Labs Purebred Labrador Retriever?

DNA testing and mapping of silver labs was done during the close of the Twentieth Century and meticulous investigation of each silver labs ancestry was conducted by investigators from AKC. All conclusions were the same, i.e., "there was no reason to doubt that the dogs were purebred Labrador Retrievers," (see conclusion issued by AKC). Amazingly, the Flat Earth Opponents of Silver Labs counter these scientific conclusions with the incredibly insane accusation that the "cross-breeding" which allegedly produced the Silver Labs was either covered up by line breeding or happened to long ago to be detected by DNA testing. If anyone ever needed an indication of just how ignorant opponents of Silver Labs are, this statement should be the key. Every K-9 carries in its genes a complete history of its ancestors going all the way back to wolves.

Everything written about the Silver Labs is based upon speculation. One statement that is commonly made is that there had to have been a Weimeraner introduced into the bloodlines to produce the silver color. This statement has been proven false. UC Berkley studied the genetic makeup of the Silver Lab against that of the Weimeraner. Researchers concluded that it was not the same.

Why the AKC Registers Silver Labradors as Chocolate

“In 1987 we conducted an inquiry into the breeding of the litters that contained the dogs that were registered as silver and one of our representatives was sent to observe several of the dogs that had been registered as silver. Colour photographs of these dogs were forwarded to the office of the American Kennel Club where the staff of the AKC and the representative of the Labrador Retriever Club of America examined them. Both parties were satisfied that there was no reason to doubt that the dogs were purebred Labrador Retrievers, however both parties felt that the dogs were incorrectly registered as silver. Since the breed standard describes chocolate as ranging in shade from Sedge to Chocolate, it was felt that the dogs could more accurately be described as chocolate than as silver." – Robert Young of the AKC 3/27/00

Silver and charcoal are not AKC/CKC recognized standard colours, nor will they be registered as charcoal or silver. The silver colour is a very light shade of chocolate, and is registered as chocolate.

Silver Joy Labs © 2008