Acquiring A Labrador Retriever – Some Facts To Consider

lab-fciIf you plan to acquire a purebred Labrador Retriever, there are some facts to consider. 

  1. A “silver”, “charcoal” or “champagne” “Labrador” is not a purebred Labrador. Labradors only come in wholly black, yellow or liver/chocolate. Yellows range from light cream to red fox. Small white spot on chest permissible. Any “Labrador” carrying, or being affected by the dilute gene (d) which causes the non recognized colours mentioned above, is called a dilute. An affected’s DNA is dd, a carrier’s DNA is Dd. The dilute gene is alien to the Labrador Retriever breed, but common in the Weimaraner.
  2. One would expect that Kennel Clubs only register purebred Labradors, so that the pedigree of your dog is proof that you acquired a purebred dog, but that isn’t true. Some Kennel Clubs, like the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the British Kennel Club will register “silvers” as chocolates, “charcoals” as blacks, and “champagnes” as yellows.
  3. Despite the fact that we have been able to show the presence of the dilute gene in DNA since 2007, the Kennel Clubs just look at the phenotype of a Labrador, not at the genotype. So, a dilute who only carries the dilute gene without being affected by it, will be seen as a purebred Labrador, while a simple and inexpensive DNA test would show it’s a Dd. (Purebred Labradors are always DD.)
  4. If you acquire a dilute and you ask the AKC with which colour you should register it, the AKC will advise you to register it as black, chocolate, or yellow. The problem is that there is an agreement with FCI Kennel Clubs and the U.K. Kennel Club, which says that they shouldn’t question the AKC’s export pedigrees. So, even when the Kennel Clubs know that the imported dog comes from a long line of “silver” “Labradors”, they have to register such a dilute as “black”, “chocolate” or “yellow”, when the AKC has registered it as such. Of course, the Kennel Clubs could cancel this agreement, but they don’t. The result is that any “silver”, “charcoal” or “champagne” registered by AKC as “chocolate”, “black” or “yellow”, will be registered by FCI and U.K. Kennel Clubs, without any restrictions. This means that AKC registers dogs which are not purebred Labradors, and that other Kennel Clubs allow these dogs into the country, where they can produce dilute offspring, registered as purebred Labradors.
  5. If you want to be sure that your Labrador is purebred, you should examine the dog’s pedigree. We are able to help you with that. Below you will find some tools you could use. Also, you should require a DNA test which proves that the dog’s DNA is DD, meaning that the dog is dilute free. Don’t hesitate to ask us for help.
  6. Every reputable Labrador breeder is against dilutes and will make sure that you will get a purebred, dilute-free Labrador. They will not hesitate to show you the evidence that the sire and dam of your dog are dilute-free.
  7. Dilutes are alien to the Labrador breed. Besides the non-recognized colours there is also the risk that they bring skin diseases and behavioral problems into the breed.
  8. No Labrador Club will accept you as a member when you own a dilute “Labrador”, even when the pedigree says it’s a purebred dog. You will not be able to show your “silver”, “charcoal” or “champagne” dog in any conformation competition. When you walk your dilute, Labrador lovers will ignore you, pity you, or both.

– British registered dilutes and their parents in the LabradorNet database. How many more will there be before the LRC and the Kennel Club will stop this?

Dilutes and their parents in the LabradorNet database. The international list.

Jack Vanderwyk,
October 2014






About Jack Vanderwyk

Hey! What am I like! :-)
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