Color Myth

We are breeders to preserve the pureness of the breed, we are stewards of the breed always protecting our beloved Labrador. The goal of breeding is to improve. Responsible breeders never have, never would, never will **purposely** produce disqualifications in color that are not recognized by the AKC, nor would they knowingly advertise these disqualified colors as being a true, pure bred Labrador.

There are 3 colors of the Labrador Retriever, black, yellow (which can have an appearance of light cream to fox red) and chocolate (which can be a lighter chocolate or darker chocolate). Silver is NOT a color, Champagne is not a color (at times you may see a yellow being referred to as having a shade variation that matches what champagne, or Dom Perignon, looks like), white is not a color (this is a lightest shade variation of yellow) and Charcoal is not a color. Regardless of the catch words and buzz words that unscrupulous people (who call themselves “breeders”) are using to dupe the public into thinking the rhetoric spewed means responsible breeders are wrong and liars about their “truth,” is false. It has been argued the dilute gene causing these shades is in all Labradors rather than understanding the silver Labrador is a cross between a Weimaraner and Labrador. This argument is futile. If this were true, breeders of yesteryear, breeders of today who have been breeding for 20, 30, 40, 50 years, wonderful examples and teachers for the new breeder (both in show conformation and field work) would also have been producing this. They are not. For these same people that pretend this is a pure bred Labrador and who also say these true stewards of the breed, hundreds and thousands of people around the world, are actually producing this “color” but “cull” them out (kill them), is preposterous. Please do not fall for this scam. Please protect the Labrador Retriever which comes in three colors with different shades, black, yellow, and chocolate. The AKC Labrador Standard reads as follows:

black
Black
light-cream
Yellow: Light Cream

chocolate-lighter
Chocolate: Light
classic-yellow
Yellow: Classic

chocolate
Chocolate: Dark
fox-red
Yellow: Fox Red
(from Internet)

BLACK: The basic color. Black Labradors are solid black. A small white spot on the chest is permissible. Sparse white hairs in between the toes and footpads are common in some of the blacks. Some mature black Labradors will have a red or orange hue to their coats at certain times of the year. This is known as casting. Casting can occur when the Lab is shedding and the hair is dead but also can be a result of bleaching from prolonged exposure to the sun.

CHOCOLATE: Chocolate Labradors can range in shade from a light to very dark chocolate color. A small white spot on the chest is permissible. Eye color on chocolates should range from a hazel to a brown.

YELLOW: Yellow Labradors can range in shade from a very light cream all the way to a fox red color with various darker shading along the ears, top line, tail and hocks. A small white spot on the chest is permissible, however will not be noticeable in the lighter shades of yellow. Yellow Labradors should have black pigment on the nose, lips and eye rims with the exception of newborn yellow as they are born without pigment but within the first few days of life, the black pigment will begin to come in. Some yellows because of the chocolate gene factor may have no black pigment. Although this is not for the show ring, as a wonderful pet puppy it just does not matter. This puppy is called a “Dudley.” The black pigment on the nose of a Labrador can fade in the winter to a brown or pink color. This is referred to as “snow nose.” This is different than “no black pigment” and returns when the weather warms.

There are so many scams out in the world today;  people who are looking to do nothing but make a buck off of something rare. It is so easy for anyone to just turn on their computer, do a search for Labradors and get sucked right into the web sites that say “rare” or “dilute gene” or “we are the first to produce x color champions, it’s rather scary. Make no mistake, there are 3 colors and 3 colors ONLY of the Labrador. The “Silver,” “White,” “Champagne,” and “Charcoal” words are the be-all-end-all words these days that attract the person that is not educated on this breed.

People have the lingo down so beautifully now. They know exactly what to say, what to print, when to say it, and who to say it to, in order to make the sale. Those that produce “Silver” Labradors hide behind the dilute gene which does not even exist and are able to get away with this because the AKC will register them under the color “chocolate.” Regardless of anything anyone says or prints, there is one way to know what is accepted and what is not, what is real and what is not. Go to an AKC or FCI dog show. You will never, ever see a Silver Labrador allowed because the color is not even real, nor is it part of Labrador Standard.

Below are actual standards from all over the world. One does not need to be fooled by the wolf in sheep’s clothing out there. One needs only to do their homework, paying attention what the legitimate Labrador clubs and registries around the world have in their “bibles.” I hope the following will help make you more aware of the stance on the fake Silver and White Labrador Retriever …

American Kennel Club – The Labrador Retriever

The gentle, intelligent and family-friendly Labrador Retriever from Canada continues to be the most popular breed in the United States, according to AKC® registration statistics. This versatile hunting breed comes in three colors – yellow, black and chocolate – and because of his aptitude to please his master they excel as guide dogs for the blind, as part of search-and-rescue teams or in narcotics detection with law enforcement.

The AKC Breed Standard

Color: The Labrador Retriever coat colors are black, yellow and chocolate. Any other color or a combination of colors is a disqualification. A small white spot on the chest is permissible, but not desirable. White hairs from aging or scarring are not to be misinterpreted as brindling. Black–Blacks are all black. A black with brindle markings or a black with tan markings is a disqualification. Yellow–Yellows may range in color from fox-red to light cream, with variations in shading on the ears, back, and under parts of the dog. Chocolate–Chocolates can vary in shade from light to dark chocolate. Chocolate with brindle or tan markings is a disqualification. Disqualifications: Any other color or a combination of colors other than black, yellow or chocolate as described in the Standard.

The AKC Parent Club of the Labrador Retriever – position on Silvers

SILVER coat color in LABRADORS—Official Statement

There is no genetic basis for the silver gene in Labradors. The silver color is a disqualification under the Standard for the breed. The LRC does not recognize, accept or condone the sale or advertising of any Labrador as a silver Labrador. The Club opposes the practice of registering silver as chocolate.

Labrador Retriever Club, Inc.:

Is opposed to cross-breeding of dogs and is particularly opposed to the deliberate crossing of Labrador Retrievers with any other breed. These crossbreeds are a deliberate attempt to mislead the public with the idea that there is an advantage to these designer dogs. The crossbred dogs are prone to all of the genetic disease of both breeds and offer none of the advantages that owning a purebred dog has to offer.

The Canadian Kennel Club Breed Standard

  • Black: All black with a small white spot on chest permissible. Eyes to be of medium size, expressing intelligence and good temper, preferably brown or hazel. although black or yellow is permissible.
  • Yellows: Yellow may vary in color from fox-red to light cream with variations in the shading of the coat on ears, the under parts of the dog or beneath the tail. A small white spot on chest is permissible. Eye coloring and expression should be the same as that of the blacks, with black or dark brown eye rims. The nose should also be black or dark brown, although ‘fading’ to pink in winter weather is not serious.
  • Chocolates: Shades ranging from light sedge to chocolate. A small white spot on chest is permissible. Eyes to be light brown to clear yellow. Nose and eye rim pigmentation dark brown or liver colored. ‘Fading’ to pink in winter weather not serious.

The Labrador Retriever Club of Canada position on Silver: “Silvers are not a breed standard recognized color for the Labrador Retriever.”

The British Breed Standard: Wholly black, yellow or liver/chocolate. Yellows range from light cream to red fox. Small white spot on chest permissible.

FCI Breed Standard: Wholly black, yellow or liver/chocolate. Yellows range from light cream to red fox. Small white spot on chest permissible.

Australian Breed Standard: Wholly black, yellow or liver/chocolate. Yellows range from light cream to red fox. Small white spot on chest permissible.

The National Labrador Retriever Council of Australia Position on Silver.

No to Silver Labradors