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. Color 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."
Written by Robert Young of the AKC 3/27/00
Commonly Asked Questions About Silver Labs -
Are Silver Labs Pure Bred 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 above 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.
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.
Some K-9 geneticists speculate the gray chromosome is in all K-9 species descendant from wolves. Labs were originally the product of several breeds of hunting dogs, contain a large percentage of Newfoundland breeding in their genetic background, and the production of gray Newfoundland pups is not uncommon in the Newfoundland breed.
Why are some breeders so adamant there is no such thing as a Silver Lab?
Breeders of black and yellow Labs saw their market share fall through the floor when chocolates became popular in the Lab marketplace, and these same breeders opposed recognition of chocolates by AKC for decades. Opposition breeders claim their resentment is based on breeding ethics. However, their breeding ethics extend only as far as their pocketbooks. Aside from the presence of a genetic combination which produces Silver coats, Silver Labs have the same genetic makeup as non-Silver Labs. Some of these ethical breeders freely admit killing Silver puppies to protect the breed standards. In reality, the Silver puppies they kill have the same genetic make-up as the blacks, yellows, and chocolates they allow to survive. The only ethic these breeders are protecting is the ethical investment they have in their black and yellow bloodlines.
A Simple Explanation of Silver Labradors Genetics
Their are many genes involved in determining a Labradors coat color. Their are some critics of Silver Labradors so keep this in mind. All dogs have the exact same genes. Here is a simple explanation for these genes & how they work in Labradors & how we get Silver.
A This gene causes a solid coat color. EE This is a masking gene or epistatic gene so coat color is determined by the B gene Ee is the same as EE except the yellow gene is present. ee If the ee gene is present the coat color is always yellow. Unless ee is present the other genes below determine coat color. BB If this is the determining then the coat color will be Black. Bb If this gene is present the coat color will be Black but will also have the Chocolate gene. bb If this is the determining gene then the color coat will be Chocolate. dd This is the recessive dilute gene. When this gene is present in both parents the coat color can be Silver,Charcoal or Champagne.
Depending on which genes above are present or are turned on or working.
Here is a gene chart explaining the 3 common colors, Black, Yellow & Chocolate. Their are 81 possible crosses between parents for coat color in the litter outcome. Black EE BB Black only Ee BB Black/ Yellow carrier EE Bb Black/ Chocolate carrier Ee Bb Black/ Yellow & Chocolate carrier
Yellow ee BB Yellow/ Black carrier ee Bb Yellow/ Black & Chocolate carrier ee bb Yellow/ Chocolate carrier
EE bb Chocolate only Ee bb Chocolate/ Yellow carrier When dd ” dilute gene ” is involved & both parents are a dilute color. Their are 81 possible crosses between parents for coat color in the litter outcome. Here is a gene chart explaining the 3 Dilute colors in Labradors.
EE BB dd Charcoal only Ee BB dd Charcoal/ Champagne carrier EE Bb dd Charcoal/ Silver carrier Ee Bb dd Charcoal/ Silver & Champagne carrier
ee BB dd Champagne/ Charcoal carrier ee Bb dd Champagne/ Charcoal & Silver carrier ee bb dd Champagne/ Silver carrier
EE bb dd Silver only Ee bb dd Silver/ Champagne carrier
If both parents have the dd ” dilute gene” & one or both are not a dilute color their are 162 possible crosses between parents for coat color in the litter outcome. If this is the case their is a possibility of all 6 colors in a single litter.