The History of Silver Labradors
The controversy among breeders of Labradors.  This is what I have learned about 'how' you get a Lab
to turn out Silver or Charcoal.  

When a Labrador who is Silver-factored is bred with another Silver-factored Labrador, Silver puppies
can be produced in the litter.    What I  know is that the genetic make-up of both parents is what
determines what the puppies will turn out like and provides the possibilities for the different colors.
There is much negative talk going on about the Silver (Gray) Labrador, but be assured that these dogs
are as pure to the breed as the more common Black, Chocolate, and Yellow Labradors.  They are
classified by AKC as a diluted Chocolate.  Charcoal pups are classified as Black and have been called
"Smoky Black" by some breeders who produced Charcoal unknowingly.  

Labrador Breeders have been accused of cross-breeding Chocolate Labradors with the Weimaraner
breed to achieve the Silver color which is completely untrue.  Non-Silver breeders have been known
to say that this color comes from interbreeding which is also untrue.

Silver Labs have been 'advertised' since the 1950's in the western U.S., and have also appeared in
other countries (especially the United Kingdom) before making their appearance in the U.S.  

The first U.S. Kennel found to be breeding and producing Silver Labradors was investigated
thoroughly by the AKC.  The AKC verified that the bloodlines of the Silver Labradors were in fact a
pure Labrador Retriever, and the breeder in question had no links to any other breed of dogs
(specifically the Weimaraner) in his kennel.



The AKC Stand on Registration of Silver Labradors

Response of Jack Norton of the AKC on 1/24/00 giving AKC official position on the issue of Silver Labs:

The registry of the American Kennel Club is based on parentage and not the coat color of a member of
any breed.

In 1987 the AKC, in corporation with the Labrador Retriever Club of America, conducted an inquiry into
the breeding of litters that contained members that were registered as silver. An AKC representative
was sent to observe these dogs. AKC staff and representatives of the Labrador Retriever Club of
America reviewed the report and color photographs of these dogs. Both Parties were satisfied that
there was no reason to doubt that the dogs were purebred Labrador Retrievers, however they felt that
the dogs were incorrectly registered as silver. Since the breed standard at the time described
chocolate as ranging in shade form sedge to chocolate, it was felt that the dogs could more accurately
be described as chocolate rather than silver. This remains the current policy of the American Kennel
Club.

-Jack Norton
Special Services Dept
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