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Posts Tagged ‘silver Labrador retriever’

On my recent post in which I worried about the potential for a breed split in golden retrievers over color, I linked to a post in which I suggested that silver Labs become a distinct breed.

I was asked why I made these two contradictory statements.

There are two reasons:  the cream color in golden retrievers has long been established in the breed and it is  possible to develop a way for cream colored dogs to be accepted in the North American breed.

This doesn’t exist with the silver and charcoal Labs.

The Labrador Retriever Club requires that silver (diluted chocolate) and charcoal (diluted black) dogs be registered as either chocolates or blacks.

But their color does not meet the description of black or chocolate in the AKC Labrador standard— and that’s a big problem:

” Black–Blacks are all black. A black with brindle markings or a black with tan markings is a disqualification…Chocolate–Chocolates can vary in shade from light to dark chocolate.”

I don’t believe you can say that charcoal Lab is black. It looks blue.

And the silvers don’t look like “light chocolate” either. They look steely gray.

And because they don’t look like the colors under which they are registered, how on earth would they ever win at a dog show?

If the Labrador Retriever Club says that they won’t recognize these two diluted colors as they are, then how can we say they have a future in the breed.

Now, the problem is there is a demand for diluted Labradors.

Demand doesn’t go away because a breed club decides the color is wrong. Have a look at white German shepherds if you want to see where that leads.

In the end, I think the only thing that can be done is for dilution factor Labradors to become their own breed.

And if they become their own breed, they can do outcrosses to ash Chesapeakes and weimaraners to increase genetic diversity.

This dilution also exists in Newfoundland dogs, which strongly suggests that it’s been in retrievers since the time they were working dogs in Newfoundland.

But if there is no room for these Labradors within their breed, it sounds like they might be better off on their own.

I suggest they call the breed the silver retriever, even if it includes charcoal ones.

We already have a golden retriever. Why not a silver one?

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