100% Dilute Free – It Had To Come This Far


100% Dilute Free – Graphics by Anne Switzer

You will find them increasingly: Labrador breeders who test their Labradors for the dilution (Dd and dd) gene, just to be 100% sure that they’re not carrying this gene, which is alien to the Labrador Retriever breed.

It had to come this far. Kennel Clubs, especially the American Kennel Club (AKC), refusing to take their responsibility, state that they are merely a registering body, following the guidelines of the parent breed clubs and breed councils. Parent clubs and breed councils state that they have expressed their objections against registration of so called “silver”, “charcoal” and “champagne” dogs as purebred Labradors, but the Kennel Clubs keep registering them. As chocolate, black and yellow Labrador Retrievers. Which they are not.

The Kennel Clubs and Parent Clubs/Breed Councils are blaming each other and nobody takes responsibility. Meanwhile the dilution problem spreads from the United States to the rest of the world. Many good things came from the United States, but diluted dogs with an AKC pedigree stating that they’re purebred Labradors certainly isn’t one of them.

So it’s up to the Labrador breeders to tackle this problem. They have to check the DNA of their dogs to be sure that they’re purebred and 100% dilute free, while the pedigree certificate should be a guarantee of that. They have to tell their clients that a pedigree certificate has become a worthless piece of paper, unless it is accompanied by a DNA test result stating that a dog is 100% dilute free.

dilutetest1It had to come this far. Owners of stud dogs from all over the world have to protect themselves against accusations of producing dilutes, by having their dogs’ DNA tested for the dilution locus.  Also, they need to demand such a test in regard to every bitch coming to be conceived, if they don’t want to see the name of their stud dog appear in the pedigree of a “silver”, “charcoal” or “champagne” “Labrador”.


Of course there are exceptions. I know many reputable Labrador breeders who know their bloodlines inside out, for decades on end. The possibility that one of their dogs might carry the dilution gene is zero, and I would acquire a puppy from them without questioning the dilution matter. I understand the breeders who say that they don’t need a DNA test to prove that their Labradors are dilute free.


In my Labrador database I register Labradors in the breeding process, including diluted “Labradors” (with a clear caution). I encountered several (too many) non-dilute ancestors of these dilutes, field- and show champions from reputable breeders, and I’m sure that most of them were duped and didn’t have a clue, at the time. But still… it happened.

It becomes even more worrying if you search the database and you come across a diluted dog who’s parents are 100% dilute free, from reputable breeders. Then you know that there was foul play and someone fiddled the books, but how do you prove that?

Most dilute breeders are extremely well organized. A frightening development within these organizations is the “Improvement Movement”. “The “Improvement Movement” represents the devoted Silver Labrador Retriever breeders to improve their Labrador Retriever lines. Improving the breed is accomplished only by deliberate effort to better the genetics by expanding the gene pool and to strengthen the pedigree through titling and breeding to titled lines.”
In other words: they are after your champions’ bloodlines, and fully aware of the fact that you won’t cooperate with them, they will dupe you to get what they want. And like I said, they’re extremely well organized.

These people know exactly what they’re doing. They know that it can be difficult to acquire a breeding or a puppy from a reputable breeder. They know it can take one generation or two before they get the desired result from a breeding with your champion stud and one of their dilution carrying bitches.

What you can do about this is to demand an official DNA test from a recognized laboratory, stating that the bitch is 100% dilute free, and have your stud tested as well, in case they perform one of their infamous “switch” tricks.

With the rise of the dilute breeders, and their devious organizations, the dog world has changed. The difference between the dilute world and the regular Labrador world is not simply a different coat color. It’s a different world altogether. These people do not respect our sportsmanship, our standards and values. They teach each other all the tricks in the book to get their hands on your bloodlines.

The Kennel Clubs are fully responsible for this horrible change in the dog world. If they would do something about this problem instead of encouraging it, we could be more trustful and at ease.

Jack Vanderwyk,
March 2014

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About Jack Vanderwyk

Hey! What am I like! :-)
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