Labrador Retrievers are good dogs to have; some would say they are America’s favorite dogs. For over two decades, they’ve been the most popular dog breed, possibly because of their great qualities.
However, the variations of Labrador Retrievers may have you feeling a little complex when it comes to buying one of your own. For instance, would you want to pay the cost to have a silver Labrador Retriever, given the controversy around this silver Lab?
The Silver Labrador Retriever (silver Lab) is a popular new designer Labrador. If you’re wondering how much silver Lab puppies cost, they could cost an average of $1,500 to $2,000 if bought from a breeder, but a lot less if adopted.
Continue to read as we learn more about how much is a silver Lab and whether or not this is a good breed for you.
What is a Silver Lab?
Silver Labs are Labrador Retrievers that have a unique color: a coat that’s a light shade of gray. They’re a color variation of chocolate Labrador Retrievers with a dilute gene that makes their coat a watered-down version of the chocolate coat. In some aspects, the coat is even a shade of blue. This is why the silver Lab is sometimes referred to as the gray/grey Labrador or blue Labrador.
What’s All The Controversy?
Labrador Retrievers are beautiful dogs that have three main colors associated with them: black, yellow and chocolate. In fact, most people will tell you that a Labrador Retriever in any other color, isn’t a Labrador Retriever at all.
Technically, silver Labs are chocolate labs that are not chocolate at all. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club’s AKC breed standards, chocolate retrievers can vary in shades from light to dark. However, the debate still continues. Not all experts are convinced that silver Labs are purebred dogs, claiming they are a product of crossbreeding.
What Does The Controversy Have to Do With How Much They Cost?
Anyone comfortable with AKC breed standards would not have an issue paying north of $1,000 for a silver Lab. However, for those looking for purebreds, there may be concerns.
According to the Labrador Retriever Club, there is no such thing as a silver Lab. In fact, they go as far as to say that silver Labs are being marketed as pure Labs so breeders can sell them at a higher price.
This has been one of the most noteworthy controversies about silver Labs. The truth is, depending on who you ask, you will likely get a different answer about the authenticity of the breed of silver Labs. But possibly, knowing the history will help.
Silver Lab Origin
The Labrador Retrievers were first recognized in the U.K. in 1903 and in the United States in 1917. Prior to that time, there was no recognition of the silver Lab. A lab with that color coat did not exist. It was in the 1950s when silver Labs first made an appearance from breeders. The other important piece is that silver Labs carry a dilute ‘dd’ gene, and this gene was not found in Labrador Retrievers during the time the breed standards were set.
The ‘D’ gene is carried by all purebred Labrador Retrievers and is considered the dominant gene. However, ‘d’ genes are recessive genes. Thus, Labs will either have a ‘DD’ or ‘Dd’ combination — this is why they have such a rich color. The ‘dd’ gene is unusual and results in a diluted shade or color and explains why they have the shade of gray. However, the labs have to be registered as one of three colors of the purebred: black, yellow, or chocolate. The AKC allows silver labs to be fully registered as chocolate Labs, with a recessive gene. And this is the height of all the controversy.
Others in support of the authenticity of the silver Labs argue that they have always been around. Because of their color, they were either not recognized or immediately euthanized to prevent mixed breeding. While silver Labs can be registered as purebred Labradors, they are not allowed to compete in show events. This should be taken into consideration if your purpose for purchasing a silver Lab is to have it compete with other show dogs.
On top of all of this, with no real proof of their authenticity, breeders were selling the pups at a higher price. Some argue that the silver Lab is not purebred and is a mix breed between a Labrador Retriever and a Weimaraner. With no official evidence of crossbreeding, you’ll have to be the judge if these precious little pups are worth the asking price.
Attributes of a Silver Lab
Silver Lab Appearance
Silver Labs resemble other Labrador Retrievers with the exception of their color. Most of them have a silver coat in different shades of gray, to the point of being a bluish color. Most of them have brown noses and light-yellow eyes. The ears of a silver Lab due tend to be a little larger than traditional Labrador Retrievers, and the muzzle is longer and thinner.
A fully grown male silver Lab usually measures about 22.5 to 24.5 inches in height and weighs 65 to 80 pounds. Fully grown female Labs usually measure 21.5 to 23.5 inches in height and weigh 55 to 70 pounds.
Silver Lab Temperament
Most Labrador Retrievers are sport dogs. They are bred to hunt and thrive when they have a purpose, so they make a great working dog. They’re used to being active dogs and require regular exercise to maintain their way of life.
Silver Labs are very obedient dogs with a friendly nature. They live to please and they’re great with small children, which makes them good family dogs. They’re energetic, joyful and affectionate. They are very intelligent and train well. They are true companions, extremely loyal and make really great family pets.
How Much Does a Silver Lab Cost?
When bought from reputable breeders, the cost of a pure chocolate Lab, yellow Lab, or black Lab can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000. However, silver Lab puppies will cost anywhere from $800 to $1,500. Breeders will tell you that the gene pool is small which accounts for the higher price. There are only seven traceable bloodlines. It’s just a matter of basic supply and demand. Finding a silver Lab to adopt, however, will cost much less. Typical adoption fees are between $100 and $300.
The Lifespan of a Silver Lab
The life expectancy of a silver Lab is between 10 and 14 years. If the silver Lab is well taken care of with good care, nutrition and regular exercise, the average dog lives for about 12 years.
Health Risks for Silver Labs
In addition, you should be aware that Labrador Retrievers have certain health issues that could affect their lifespan. Most Labs can suffer from Hip/Elbow Dysplasia and Patella Luxation. Hip and Elbow Dysplasia occurs when a Lab’s hip or elbow joints don’t develop as they should. The pain can worsen over time and could even lead to corrective surgery. However, if caught early enough, the condition can be managed with the proper medication and physical therapy. With Patella Luxation, the Lab’s knees become dislocated and won’t extend as they should. This can be treated with corrective surgery.
Silver Labs come with other possible health problems and risks due to their diluted gene. They can suffer from Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA), which will cause flaky and itchy skin and hair loss. Veterinarians tend to prescribe special shampoos and ointments to help with this condition.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is another condition a silver Lab can suffer with. This is the deterioration of photoreceptor cells in the dog’s eyes. This can lead to blindness if left untreated.
When silver Labs are purchased from responsible breeders, they’ll also provide a health screening, so you’ll be informed about any genetic risks.
Where to Find a Silver Lab
Because silver Labs are rare, they’re not always easy to find. If you’re looking to buy a silver Lab puppy from a reputable breeder or adopt it, here are some reputable places to assist in looking in the right direction:
– Worley’s Silver Feathers Labradors in Pennsylvania raises silver Labs on 110 acres of property. From time to time, they’ll even list some of their available silver lab puppies. – Silver Rose Labs in California specializes in charcoal Labs, champagne Labs, and silver Labs. You can check their listings for adult Labs and puppies.
– Silver in the South Labrador Kennel in California raises and sells high-quality silver Labs. All dogs come with six weeks of vaccines and health guarantees.
– Serenity Ranch Kennels on a 120-acre farm in Texas has been breeding since 2004 and they provide training and boarding services. Their puppies come with a 26-month health guarantee. Their puppies start at $1,595 and go up in price based on their color.
– Silver & Charcoal Kennels in Mississippi have been breeding Labs for over 20 years, and all dogs are one set price ($2,500).
– Heathridge Labs in Tennessee have been breeding for over 20 years. Their Labs start at $1,500.
– Adopt-a-Pet is a national website that’s been around since 2000. They can help you find a silver Lab near you just by using their search tool.
– Petfinder is also a national website that helps place abandoned dogs in their forever home. Visit their website and use their search feature to see if you can find a silver lab near you.
Is a Silver Lab Coming Home with You?
Silver Labs have awesome attributes, which is understandably why they are the most popular dog breed. The controversy around how they came to be may never end. Given their positive attributes and their beauty, the question around their price is debatable depending on who you ask. Unless you’re planning to make them a show dog, they may well be worth their sticker price.
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