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If you have first hand experience with silver labradors, or if you are familiar with these animals, please let me know what you think of them, how physically sound they are, general comments.

I have looked around a little, I didnt know there was such a divide between the colors (yellows, blacks, chocolates).

To the unexperienced and ignorant (me) a lab is a lab, but now that I have looked a little bit into the breed, I have found that depending on what color someone has, the dog is perceived as smarter, better retriever, better field dog than another color. Is this so?

Or are silver labradors, just a color genetic thing, like white german shepherds, blue pitbulls, and blue dobermans?
 

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Wish I was in Mexico Huntin!
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As far as I know according to paperwork there are offically only 3 colors (I know yellow and black, and assume chocolate is there too). However, while saying that people refer to the color of my lab as fox red but the paperwork says he is yellow, I loved the color and fortunately have a good dog too. I think this goes back to AKC and breeding for show, the yellow breeders are actually trying to get white.

As far as colors, yes there is some folk lore about colors. A lot of people say chocolates are dingy, but I know of a few good chocolates out there. Most important thing to do is look into the blood line, that will give you an indication of how your puppy will be.

Also, you will want to look into trainers and get that lined out ahead of time. You can also talk to them to get their opinion and probably leads on puppies too. I have always steered clear of puppy farms, where they are professional breeders.

Of course if you aren't careful this will turn into a "my dog is better than yours" thread!
 

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An Over 60 Victim Of Fate
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I was going to buy one a few years ago. What I learned is that they are Labradors, the one's you get that are registered with the AKC are pure and that the Silver color is listed under the Chocolate color designation on the paperwork.

Pretty dogs and I liked them but after a lot of research and time I decided I wasn't going to get back into waterfowl hunting so I dropped the quest.

I've always owned black Labs so I'm partial to them but the very white yellows and those silvers are awful pretty.

try http://www.silverlabs.com/ for a lot of good information.

TH
 

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My take, for what it is worth, is that your chances of producing a healthy, good-performing dog are better if you can breed from the best dogs available rather then breeding for a special color trait. I think that is why chocoloates got a bad reputation early on. Not a knock on any particular dog, and I suppose there have been enough good chocolates out there for long enough that there is a deep gene pool now. But if you want the heathiest, best hunting dog you will have more to choose from if you don't worry about the color.
 

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Silver Labs

Dinho,

I will give you my opinion for whats it's worth. I grew up on a kennel training
retrievers and although I operate a machine shop now my father still owns a kennel in conroe and has been training Labs for 40yrs.
I would definately stay away from "Silver Labs". Here is my logic for that opinion.
For many years Black labs have been bred for intellegence and performance.
They have been breeding good dogs to good dogs and producing great dogs.
However, To produce a silver coat color then the traits that make a good
retriever(desire,intellegence,ability) must be sacraficed to develop a breed simply to produce a particular coat color. This was evident with "Chocolate Labs" in the past. Not to offend anyone with a chocolate because there are very good ones out there but in the beggining the coat color was the sole trait sought for breeding and in the process bred allot of the retriever out of the dog. The breed has been around awhile now and so there are better dogs
out there but I guess what I am trying to convey is your chances of getting a good dog go up 10 fold with a black or yellow lab vs. a silver lab.
If you just want a pet then I am sure a silver will be a good one but If you want in a dog what I want, one that will break ice on Christmas Morning picking up a mallard for me or hitting a crippled goose like a middle linebacker
then I would consider the good ol' Black/Yellow Lab. I have a suspicion that these "Silver Labs" are a product of the breeders and puppy mills and are
not coming from the reputable dog trainers who are more concerned with ability than coat color.
If you get a puppy drop a PM on me. I live in Cypress and always welcome someone new when i go and work my Lab.

Regards-Brian
 

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Color doesn't fetch geese. Buy your pup based on the parents' ability not the color of their hair. A really sharp looking silver lab that won't work and is a total spaz isn't going to impress anyone. Unfortunatly that is what you will find at times when folks breed for a specific look vs for ability.

In general you are right, folks will tell you to buy a black lab, that they are smarter and that chocolate labs are retarded. I have hunted with great labs that were black, yellow and chocolate. I have also hunted with terrible labs of all 3 colors. Don't let all that muddy up the waters. Whatever color appeals to you find some good proven dogs in that color to get your pup out of and everything should be fine.
 

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Here's my 2 cents on this guys. A few years back when I had my labs, (before we lost my hunitng male). I had a litter of pups and one came out a smoke grey or silver color. How this happened I have no idea, my female was straight yellow bred and male was pretty dominantly black bred. This pup was the largest of the litter and a real good looking dog, but he had some serious issues. Like gumbo stated sometimes to get the desired color you loose other traits you would like. I ended keeping this pup until he was 14 weeks old because nobody wanted him. He was 10 times more timid than any other pup I ever had, he had no desire to warm up to people, and in general he wasn't real intelligent. That being said I can't say it was all because his color, but I can't help but think he had a few too many recesive genes. I sold all the other dogs as hunting dogs and gave that pup away as a house dog. My money is on black or yellow, unless you find a well bred chocolate. Just my thoughts no science behind 'em.
 

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I'm not sure I buy into the chocolates being inferior. I am definetly not a dog expert, and when I get a lab I want a yellow. But a good friend of mine who is a member of this board has a chocolate lab that is smarter than most of the labs I have been around.
 

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Dinho i totally agree w/you. thats why my choc. always rides in the truck with me. if i fall asleep or pass out, she can get me home. gotta be automatic though.

if you get out on a goose hunt with several dogs, i thinks you will find that it is the owners of the dogs that appear to be mentally challenged. don't matter if the dog is black/choc/yellow/
 

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Give it hell Remy!
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"if you get out on a goose hunt with several dogs, i thinks you will find that it is the owners of the dogs that appear to be mentally challenged. don't matter if the dog is black/choc/yellow/"

That is definately the truth!
 

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An Over 60 Victim Of Fate
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To produce a silver coat color then the traits that make a good
retriever(desire,intellegence,ability) must be sacraficed to develop a breed simply to produce a particular coat color.
Sorry, but that's not a true statement. It may happen some in breeding but it happens with all breeds and colors; some just don't make the cut, but the Silver Labs that I looked into came from some incredible blood lines and the few that I actually was able to watch work were as good as any I've owned.

Don't let the naysayers push you away from a Silver Lab if that's what you want. Do some research and decide for yourself after learning facts first hand.

TH
 

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I don't think it is a totally wrong statement. You have to be very careful and check things out very thoroughly regardless what color you go with. The fact is there are plenty of folks out there who will breed for certain traits at the expense of others or should I say not necessarily at the expense of but maybe with indifference towards other traits.

Like I said, whatever you do you want to make sure the parents are good dogs witht he traits you are looking for all the way around.
 

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We all have it coming......
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What TroutHunter and Salty Dog said.

Although, I think filegumbo makes some good points. I personally prefer yellows mainly because I think they do better in the heat down here. And, I think their coloring adds character that the blacks don't have. There have always been some great chocolates in the Northeast. But, I think chocolates got their bad reputation in this area, because they weren't real common around here and they were a novelty. To many people bred them in the way filegumbo described, for color only. And most were what I refer to as "backyard breedings." Some guy with a male chocolate notices his neighbor across the street has a female and says, "Hey, I got a chocolate too. Let's breed them." Just, do your homework. A wise man once said, "Don't pick a puppy, pick a breeding."

Basically, for me it boils down to breeding and the particular dog. As I said, I prefer yellows. But, just last month I bought a new black pup. And she ain't even the prettiest lab you've ever seen. But, by Gawd, she'll fetch it up!! Here's a couple of pics of her. She's 9 months old and not even 50# soaking wet.
 

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Dinho said:
http://www.silverlabs.com/adultdogs.htm

call me cheap or igmo, but for $4k, aside from retreiving that dog better be able to drive the truck(stick or standard), set the decoys and call the ducks in himself.
Four thousand DOLLARS???? Think about it, it isn't really too much to pay for a year and a half old trained labradore retreiver.

7 week old puppy (from good parents)..............$1,000
Puppy head start training (you and the dog) ..... 250 (three weeks)
Obediance training (unlearn your mistakes) ...... 500 (five weeks)
Gun dog traning ............................................ 2,250 (three months)
Having a raging lab puppie out of your house for 5 months of his first 14 months and having someone else train it.............PRICELESS

Consider too that a lab pup can chew up $5.00 worth of stuff a day.

Finding a GOOD hunting dog for only $4,000 is usually a pretty good deal.
 

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My best friend just got a couple of silvers in for gun dog training. I saw them a month ago at his kennel. They sure are strange looking when you first see them. The seem to be a variation or mutation of the chocolate gene. Black is the dominate gene in the breed. As pointed out, breeding for color only seems to develop some not so bright dogs along the way but breeding for ability and selecting the parents to produce the desired color usually is a win-win situation. Most of us have seen some pretty smart and well trained labs, but we've also seen some as dumb as a box of rocks and even those dogs are loved by their owners. At one time or another in every labs life his or her name is "you s. o. b.!!" The good ones work through it and for some, it sticks.

Check out my friends kennel... www.hightest.com
 

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I actually have some experience with a "silver" lab.

About 5 years ago, a good friend of mine in the Houston area bought one and had it flown in. He may have gotten it off that website posted above. It had a pretty coat, but the body didn't look like a typical lab to me. It was more of a lean and long shaped dog. I'm not sure that it was a pure lab, as he always thought it had some weimer in it and I agree. I have read where that is the place that these so called "silver" labs get their color.

About his dog, it never really was a working dog. He had a pool in the backyard and the dog absolutely loved the water. He lived in that pool. He also never seemed to grow out of the chewing stage. I'm not sure how many remotes, cell phones and cordless phones that dog had for lunch. I think he was sent to obedience training at least twice and never really learned anything. Now that is not speaking for all of them as has been said, there are bad dogs of every color.

I do think my 5 year old chocolate female that only cost $75 is a much smarter dog. And I did all the training myself from what I learned by reading books.

Tim
 
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