Silver Labrador

We all know the Labrador. But many have certainly not heard of the silver Labrador. You could say that it is the twin brother of the “normal” Labrador, except that it has a silver coat.

And this is exactly his special feature. But of course he is also a dog that brings fantastic abilities with him and makes certain demands on his owner.

Character of the Silver Labrador

The top premise of the Labrador is that he wants to please his master, his family. For this reason, he eagerly uses his intellectual and physical abilities to follow the assigned lessons.

He wants to fulfil the tasks as well as be the “dearest friend” of his family. Sometimes it is difficult to reconcile both abilities. But no matter how committed he is to his lesson, he is always friendly and affectionate towards people.

Whoever forgets to give the Labrador his daily petting will find that he is vehemently made aware of this “misbehaviour”. For the strokes are not only a balm for the dog’s soul. They are a true elixir of life for him.

The historical background of the Silver Labrador

The exact origin of the Labrador is still not 100% clear. The origin is assumed to be in Portugal or England. From there, it found its way to Canada, to Newfoundland to be exact.

Originating from the Molossians, it was used there especially by fishermen and hunters of the wetlands for retrieving. In the course of time, further cross-breeding followed in order to be able to produce him more effectively in his work.

In the 1980s, breeders began to change the colouring to make him more attractive, especially for showing at dog shows. No one thought about the possible consequences of this genetic manipulation.

This is because two branches have developed in the breeding process: The branch that focused on showing dogs, and the second branch that focused on breeding hunting dogs. Today’s family dogs emerge from both branches of breeding.

Certainly, there are still many Labradors among the show dogs today. However, the majority of the dogs of this breed are with their people as working or family dogs.

The colours of the Silver Labrador

As you can already see from the name, the coat of this Labrador is not black or black-brown, but silver. Although this is actually not quite a correct description. Strictly speaking, the Silver Labrador also has a brown coat.

But due to a specific breeding, which started in the USA, the brown colour was diluted, giving it a silvery shimmer. This was achieved by crossing the dilute gene. It causes the pigment granules in the coat to clump together, so that the pigments of the brown colour could no longer reach the tips and surfaces. This is called a recessively inherited gene.

It should be added that the dilute gene was not only used in brown Labradors. It was also used in black Labradors and produced the so-called Charcoal Labrador, i.e. the “charcoal-coloured” Labrador. In the yellow Labradors we have the champagne Labrador, whose colouring is also due to the dilute gene.

Basically, it is a short-haired dog, which is easy to groom. It is usually sufficient to brush out the coarse dirt by hand or to use a medium-coarse brush for this purpose. Water and shampoo are hardly needed at all. Nevertheless, the coat is very dense and therefore a good protection against the cold even in winter.

By the way, the mentioned special colours are not recognised by the FCI. The reason given for this is the health problems associated with the cross-breeding of the dilute gene. More on this later.

What are the requirements of the Silver Labrador?

As a former hunting dog, the silver Labrador still needs sufficient daily exercise. This can turn out to be long walks, bike rides, exercise sessions on the dog sports field, or swimming sessions in the nearby lake or river.

It is generally important for the Labrador to be left alone only rarely, and then only for short periods of time. If he is left alone too often and for too long, he may develop a habit of unruly behaviour, such as loud, sustained yelping or barking, as well as psychological problems.

Certainly, this lesson can also be practised and extended accordingly. Initially, however, long absences should be avoided.

Because of his intelligence, the silver Labrador should be encouraged not only physically but also mentally. Search and trial games are suitable for the beginning. Later, you can move on to mantrailing, among other things. But of course he is open to any physical and mental challenge. The main thing is that he can be with “his humans”.

The Silver Labrador and his health

The silver Labrador is more likely to suffer from the skin disease “CDA”, Colour delution alopecia. This is a really serious disease. In the course of the disease, there are kidney problems of various origins, but also skin eczema and, above all, itching.

In many cases, CDA first appears between the ages of 1 and 2. This disease leads to permanent stress in the affected dogs. In most cases, only a reasonably effective treatment with antibiotics is possible.

Due to the fact that it is the result of genetic alteration of the hereditary material, CDA cannot be cured. It can only be alleviated to a limited extent. Unfortunately, this also applies to naturopathic therapy methods.

BUT: Of course not every silver Labrador is actually affected by CDA. In this respect, care should be taken to ensure that the breeding line is as “free” as possible. This means that it is a breeding line in which these diseases have not (so far) appeared. Nevertheless, every owner of a silver Labrador should be able to recognise the signs in order to be able to act quickly.

Advantages and disadvantages of the Silver Labrador

This dog is loved by everyone. After all, you can’t help it. He is very easy to groom, as dirt falls out of his coat as if by itself. Because of his intelligence and his willingness to learn and please people, it is quite easy to train and educate him.

Therefore, he is not only ideally suited as a family dog, but also as a therapy, school and companion dog. Training as a rescue dog or “sniffer” for police and customs is also quite conceivable.

Due to his docility, but also the strong desire to please his master, this dog can, with the adept support of a dog school, be well trained even by a beginner.

As beautiful as the silver coat is, it should always be remembered that due to genetic manipulation there can be a tendency to kidney problems, eczema of the skin as well as itching. In order to be able to intervene in time, it is important to deal with the symptom complex of the CDA.

The perfect person for a Silver Labrador

  • Likes to exercise outdoors, in nature, on the dog sports field
  • Can provide the dog with a garden
  • Likes the dog to be a family member and therefore the secret centre of the family
  • Loves the interaction between dog and human in all circumstances
  • Loves to be able to fully rely on his dog when he has finished his training

Buying Silver Labrador puppies

In this day and age, it is more important than ever to look for a reputable breeder, who preferably operates his breeding according to FCI standards, if you want to buy a Silver Labrador puppy.

The “dog market” is empty because many people, many families have time to take care of dogs due to the Corona situation with one. However, this has also opened up the market for dubious breeders and multipliers who conduct their breeding in a dubious manner and rarely in compliance with animal welfare. You should stay away from these breeders.

Ask the breeder to show you the records of the breeding line. Reputable agents are only too happy to do this. Ask questions about the parents, the imprinting phase at the breeder in the first weeks and the examinations and vaccinations the animals undergo.

Only take over a dog that is to be handed over with proper papers and complete examinations / vaccinations. In addition, several introductory visits should be possible so that the dog and the new owner / family can already get to know each other.

For the good of the dogs, be an annoying prospective buyer who is interested in the animals and at the same time gives the breeder enough time to look after the animals until at least 12 weeks of life and prepare them for their coming life. You will see that this approach pays off and brings only positive consequences.

First equipment for the Silver Labrador

  • Dog collar
  • Dog harness
  • Dog leash, in addition possibly a drag leash
  • Water and food bowl, if possible easy to clean
  • Dog bed / blanket for the resting place
  • Long hair brush
  • Undercoat brush
  • Dog comb / lice comb
  • Dog food
  • possibly toys
  • possibly treats

Dog food for the Silver Labrador

The silver Labrador needs a balanced diet. However, whether this is fresh, home-cooked or home-bought food is irrelevant. Only the quality and quantity are important. If the dog is not sufficiently exercised, the quantity should be reduced as soon as possible, otherwise he will quickly gain weight.


The silver Labrador is a rather rare representative of this breed, but comes with the same fascinating characteristics of the Labrador itself. This makes him a great family, school, therapy and companion dog, but he is also not reluctant to be trained as a rescue or hunting dog. All in all, he is a fantastic “all-rounder” that you can only love.


How much does a silver Labrador cost?

The question about the price is not easy to answer at the moment. Usually the price for a silver Labrador is between £1500 and £2500.

Currently, however, the demand for dogs is fundamental, which drives the prices for a puppy in general to horrendous heights. It can happen that prices of £3500 and more are asked for a silver Labrador.

But it is not only the price that is important: Take a close look at the breeder and his references. There is currently an acute danger of getting into the hands of a so-called multiplier who takes advantage of his breeding bitches, pays no attention to their health or that of the puppies, and the like. This does neither oneself nor the animals involved any real favours.

Where does the Silver Labrador come from?

The origin of the Labrador is in Newfoundland, a Canadian state. However, its ancestors are thought to have come from England and / or Portugal.

How old does the Silver Labrador live to be?

As already mentioned, the silver Labrador actually belongs to the brown Labradors. These have, in contrast to the black Labrador, a shorter life expectancy. They usually “only” live to be about 10.5 years old. This is about 2 years less than all other coloured Labradors have. As a member of the brown colour family, the silver Labrador can also be expected to have this life expectancy.

What is the size and weight of the Silver Labrador?

Males have a shoulder height of 56 to 57 centimetres and a weight of 29 to 36 kilograms. The bitches are only slightly smaller and lighter: 55 centimetres and 25 to 32 kilograms.

How many puppies does the Silver Labrador have?

The average litter of the silver Labrador comprises 5 to 7 puppies. In rare cases it comes up to a litter size of 10 puppies.

Is the Silver Labrador a hunting dog?

To be able to answer this question, one has to go a little further. Because the Labrador is no longer a classic hunting dog. Rather, it originates from the Molossians and was originally bred for hunting on and in the water. Especially for retrieving he was used there, but later also by hunters on land. As more modern firearms made it necessary for the Labrador to retrieve waterfowl that had fallen further away, other hunting dog breeds were crossed with it. Even today, a Labrador can be trained to be a good hunting dog. However, the demand in this sector is no longer as great as it used to be.

Is the Silver Labrador a family dog?

The silver Labrador, like all Labradors, is an almost perfect family dog. He is not shy, likes to be petted and “touched”. At the same time he is very patient and cherishes the offspring of the family, no matter what age. He also likes to take care of the seniors. However, in order to be able to really do him justice, the family should be eager to move. For he does not only need to play with the children or in the garden, but long walks or an appropriate challenge on the dog sports field.

Can the Silver Labrador be kept in a (city) flat?

In order to please his family, his owner, the Labrador would also be able to feel comfortable in a spacious flat. However, the conditions would have to be created to be able to satisfy his urge to move.
If he is not physically and mentally exercised, he may well become compulsive, which would not only bother the dog, but also the neighbours. A flat with an adjoining garden, however, would be a very good compromise. Of course, he still needs the physical balance.

Is the silver Labrador in good health?

His special coat colour is due to a genetic mutation. Unfortunately, this leads to a tendency to skin diseases with and without itching as well as kidney problems. These diseases can appear, but do not have to.

Is the silver Labrador easily footed?

Basically, he is not a food lover, so you should keep the amount of food in moderation. Nevertheless, pay attention to the quality of the food. BARFING would be a good option, but of course he also accepts dry and wet food.



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