The Labrador Retriever is a popular type of retriever-gun dog that is one among the most popular breeds of dogs in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
This is a dog breed that is prominently used for disability assistance in many countries hence are frequently trained to aid the blind, autistic patients, as a therapy dog, or to perform screening and detection work for many official agencies. The labs are prized as a sporting and hunting dogs as well.
The major kennel clubs around the world recognize only three major variants in the Labrador Retriever breed that include Black, Yellow, and Chocolate.
Yellow Labradors are seen in a wide range of shades, from almost white, through cream and butterscotch right up to a relatively dark red. Black Labradors have a uniform black and Chocolate Labradors range from a medium to dark brown.
In recent times a new variant of Labrador “Silver Labrador Retriever” is passionately recognized by many breeders in the world.
Origin and History of a Silver Labrador
The science says that the Silver Lab is a variation of the chocolate Labrador that is bred to have a gene that is seen to dilute its usual brown coat color, there are some who believe that this color variant was an outcome of the crossbred of a chocolate lab with Weimaraner.
This coat color is caused by the appearance of two recessive genes rather than the usual dominant-dominant or dominant-recessive gene combinations. The recessive gene, in this case, is termed the ‘dilution gene’ because it is seen to dilute the coat color of the dog.
For example, Chocolate Labs are usually pure brown in color. If a Chocolate Lab has two recessive genes, this is seen to dilute the normally solid color into a lighter version producing a Silver Lab. Diluted black Labs are called “Charcoal Labradors” and yellow Labs are called “Champagne Labs.”
Reports of silver Labradors seem to have first appeared in the USA in the 1950s. Culo Silver Labs was one of the earliest kennels to breed this new silver color.
Silver Lab Temperament
One of the most popular dog breeds of the United States of America. The silver lab is easy to train, cooperative, enthusiastic and friendly in nature. The dog is not a particularly vocal breed but is known to bark if it gets bored when left with nothing to do. The mischievous pup resorts to finding their own ways to entertain themselves which often involve chewing up things all things it comes across.
Make sure to provide them with entertainment and refrain from leaving them all alone the whole day. These dogs enjoy being around other dogs and animals. They are excellent with people of all ages if they are socialized properly from a young age.
Silver lab appearance and characteristics
The Silver Lab has all the characteristics of a normal lab but only differs in the color of the coat. This dog type is broad throughout the skull, chest, and hindquarters and has a pair of floppy ears and a thick tail.
The coat of a silver Labrador is short, dense, straight, and hardy, with an eye-catching silver-grey-blue color that gives them their name. This dog breed has a double coat which means they shed quite a bit, especially during Spring and Fall. But this double coat keeps them warm in cold weathers and is waterproof.
Occasionally one can see a blue-eyed silver lab – this is very rare and very beautiful. An average adult silver male lab will weigh between 55-80lbs and is seen to be around 21 to 24 inches tall. There is no noticeable difference observed between the female and the male silver Labradors. This pooch type tends towards being slightly overweight, hence one needs to closely monitor its diet.
Silver lab feeding and diet
Labradors are medium size dogs hence they need to be fed with around one and a quarter cups of high-quality, dry food twice a day. To form a well-balanced this can be mixed with high-quality wet food. The dog food fed to the labs need to have a high composition of protein as 25% of a dog’s diet should consist of protein. These dogs are prone to obesity hence limit the number of treats you feed it.
Note: One should avoid feeding foods that contain dyes, rendered fats, and corn or wheat gluten.
Training a silver lab
Positive reinforcement is the best way to train any dog including a silver lab. This includes rewarding the dog with treats, toys or affection for its correct behavior. Labradors are highly intelligent, so they enjoy training sessions. Consistency and repeated training are the most important elements for any successful training. As these pups get bored easily one needs to mentally stimulate them to refrain them from getting bored.
A good game to keep this dog occupied is fetch game that can be played on walks in secure areas or in back gardens. These friendly dogs socialize well with humans and other dogs hence allow them to socialize from the puppy age to avoid behavioral problems.
Workout regimen of a silver Labrador
Labradors need around an hour of exercise daily. This can include two half-hour walks or a variety of other activities. They also need regular training sessions in their puppy stage.
They require separate time to socialize with other dogs hence take them to regular walks to dog parks for socialization.
Grooming of a silver Lab
The grooming requirements are quite simple for a lab. They need brushing twice a week for a healthy coat. Labs require all the usual care such as regular nail clipping, worming, and flea treatments. They also need their teeth to be cleaned regularly
with a finger toothbrush or with dental chews which have been shown to be just as good. Labs also love to swim hence are prone to ear infections, so one should be sure to keep its ears clean.
Silver Labs shed a fair amount of hair all year round due to their double coat especially true in the shedding seasons (Spring and Fall). Hence, they require regular brushing at least twice a week to maintain a healthy coat and possibly more during the shedding seasons. There are no specific coat cuts for Labradors, but it is generally kept short all over.
Health disorders of a silver lab
Labradors are usually quite healthy dogs. Silver Labs suffer from the same health issues that many other labs experience. These include hip and elbow dysplasia and eye problems. Always ask for the hip and elbow scores of a puppy while buying them from a breeder. One should also get an eye check for a lab puppy. Due to its unusual coat, a lab is prone to a specific type of alopecia called color dilution alopecia where their fur may fall out in patches when they are young. They also tend to have reoccurring infections in their hair follicles.
Pointers to look on while choosing a silver Labrador
The most important thing one can do while choosing to buy a puppy is to look for a reputable breeder who breeds responsibly and has a history of healthy, well-documented puppies.
These breeders will have silver Lab puppies that are fully health checked. Hence one may be put on a waiting list as this breeds popularity is growing.
When you meet the puppies, be sure to interact with the parents or at least the mother. This will help one check the temperament and personality the puppies may have inherited.
Be sure to ask for documentation from the breeder. Be ready to answer a lot of questions that the reputable breeder can ask before giving an individual any puppy.
Silver lab puppy price
The silver labs are a rare breed hence are quite expensive. A Silver Lab puppy will cost one around $1,200. Refrain from buying cheaper puppies as they don’t belong to the pedigree labs and will have many health problems due to bad breeding.
|Purpose||Disability assistance, therapy dog, hunting, or perform screening and detection work for many official agencies.|
|Appearance||Broad throughout the skull, chest, and hindquarters. Possess a pair of floppy ears and a thick tail.|
|Breed type||Pure breed lab|
|Height and weight||21-25 inches tall55-80lbsNo noticeable difference is seen between the male and female, but the female is smaller than the male.|
|Eye color||Brown, black, green and occasionally blue.|
|Life span||10-14 years|
|Coat||Dense straight double coat that is medium in length.|
|Color variant||Silver, grey, blue|
|Temperament||Extremely friendly, loving, playful, and energetic|
|Destructive behavior||Tends to get bored easily and hence chews things that are not meant to be eaten.|
|Litter size||4-6 puppies|
|Adaptability||Easy to train.|
|Barking tendency||Not prone to barking. But barks when it gets bored.|
|Human friendly||Loves humans|
|Pet friendly||Very good.|
|Workout||Requires one hour of exercise daily that can include a combination of walking and mental stimulating games.|
|Suitable for||Warm climates with or without a yard. But needs to be mentally stimulated and exercised for one hour a day.|
|Grooming||Medium maintenance. Sheds hair throughout the year due to the presence of a double coat. But shed excessively during the fall and spring.|
|Health issues||Hip and elbow dysplasia and eye problems.|
|Activity level||High activity|
|Watch dog ability||Good|
These fun-loving dogs are fantastic to have around as they are full of energy, love, and affection that will fill any house with joy and happiness.