Q. Are Silver and Charcoal Labs like other Labs in Labrador behavioral traits?
A. This question is common. Aside from their Silver and Charcoal color,
there is no difference in temperament, hunting abilities, health or othertributes between Silver and Charcoal Labs and any other color Lab.
Q. How are Silver and Charcoal Labs registered with AKC?
A. Until 1987, AKC issued registration papers which listed Silver and Charcoal as a Lab's registered color on both AKC registration certificates and AKC color charts. After breeders who could not produce Silver and Charcoal in their bloodlines began to protest, AKC changed the Silver and Charcoal color to "a shade of chocolate". Admittedly this is an almost laughable form of denial, but it is currently the established policy of AKC to register Silver and Charcoal Labs as chocolate.
Q. Why are some breeders so adamant there is no such thing as a Silver and Charcoal Lab?
A. Breeders of black and yellow Labs saw their market share fall through the floor when chocolates became popular in the Lab marketplace. These same breeders opposed recognition of chocolates by AKC for decades.
Opposition breeders claim their resentment is based on breeding ethics. However, their breeding ethics extend only as far as their pocketbooks. Aside from the presence of a genetic combination which produces Silver and Charcoal coats, Silver and Charcoal Labs have the same genetic makeup as non-Silver and Charcoal Labs.
Some of these so-called ethical breeders freely admit killing Silver and Charcoal puppies to protect the breed standards. In reality, Silver and Charcoal puppies still have the same genetic make-up as the blacks, yellows, and chocolates they allow to survive. The only ethic these breeders are protecting is the ethical investment they have in their black and yellow bloodlines.
Q. How long have Silver and Charcoal Labs been around?
A. Some K-9 geneticists speculate the gray chromosome is in all K-9 species descendant from wolves. Labs were originally the product of several breeds of hunting dogs, contain a large percentage of Newfoundland breeding in their genetic background, and the production of gray Newfoundland pups is not uncommon in the Newfoundland breed.
Literature on Labradors mentions the occasional gray puppy since people first began writing about Labs. The problem was, there was never a large enough gene pool of other grays to replicate the color. With the recent large number of chocolate Labs, the Labs' gene pool now allows the replication of Silver and Charcoal color genetics.
Q. What is the controversy over Silver and Charcoal Labs?
A. At the end of the Twentieth Century the frequency of Silver and Charcoal (gray) Labs began to increase in North America due to an increase in the number of chocolate Labs in the gene pool of Labrador Retrievers and these Silver and Charcoal Labs in turn fueled an enormous controversy within the Labrador community. Fortunately, by the advent of the Twenty First Century, the controversy surrounding Silver and Charcoal Labs subsided except for a few remaining ignorant breeders of "old standard" colors.
Unfortunately, those ignorant holdout breeders (who refuse to acknowledge AKC's acceptance of Silver and Charcoal Labs as pure bred Labrador Retrievers) continue to confuse the public by making unfounded accusations regarding the genetic purity of Silver and Charcoal Labs.
In an attempt to quiet the ignorant ranting of the more vocal opponents of Silver and Charcoal Labs, Silver and Charcoal breeders offered a $100,000.00 Silver and Charcoal Lab Challenge to any "expert" who wished to put their money where their mouth was concerning their accusations surrounding the ancestry of Silver and Charcoal Labs. As a surprise to no one, not one "expert" you see on the internet was willing to stand behind their accusations regarding Silver and Charcoal Labs. The reluctance of those "experts" speaks volumes as to who is telling the truth in the Great Silver and Charcoal Lab Debate.
Q. Are Silver and Charcoal Labs pure bred Labrador Retrievers?
A. DNA testing and mapping of Silver and Charcoal Labs was done during the close of the Twentieth Century and meticulous investigations of each Silver and Charcoal Lab's ancestry was conducted by investigators from AKC.
All conclusions were the same, i.e., "there was no reason to doubt that the dogs were pure bred Labrador Retrievers" (see conclusion issued by AKC). Amazingly, the opponents of Silver and Charcoal Labs counter these scientific conclusions with the incredible accusation that the "cross-breeding" which was allegedly used to produce Silver and Charcoal Labs was either covered up by line breeding (a virtual impossibility with modern DNA tests); or happened too long ago to be detected by DNA testing (which apparently implies someone performed this feat of magic about 50 years ago).
If anyone ever needed an indication of just how opponents of Silver and Charcoal Labs are, their statements against verification through gene mapping should speak volumes.
Every K-9 carries in its genes a complete genetic history of its ancestors going all the way back to wolves.
Q. What is a reputable breeder?
Reputable breeders maintain a strict breeding standard and only breed brood bitches after their second or third heat
Brood bitches are only allowed to produce one litter/year; to do otherwise is a prescription for health problems with puppies and the bitch.
It is a reality in the world of Silver and Charcoal Silver and Charcoal Labs that you only get what you pay for.
Q. What is the future of Silver and Charcoal Labs?
A. There is no doubt the increase in popularity and demand for Silver and Charcoal Labs is applying significant financial pressure to breeders of black and yellow Labs, but there is also little doubt AKC will eventually have to concede to the growing public pressure to make Silver and Charcoal a recognized color for Labs in America.
Conclusion:Silver and Charcoal Labs are pure bred Labrador Retrievers and their ancestry is beyond reproach.