- Activity Level: high
- Grooming Level: low
- Trainability: high
- Adaptability: high
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Medium
- Average Lifespan: 10-14 years
- Prey Drive: low
- Watchdog: aware
- Registered?: aca, akc
Silver Labrador Retriever Breed Profile
Did You Know?
Silver Labrador Retrievers, or Silver Labs, are relatively new to the scene. Contrary to their Yellow, Chocolate, and Black cousins, which have recorded sightings from 1800 and before, Silver Labs have only cropped up since 1950. There seems to be a heated debate over their authenticity, as many breeders believe the silver tint appeared from outside the breed. However, genetics has been able to provide more than enough evidence to support that these are 100% Labrador Retrievers. They’re just a rare coloration of the dog breed.
A diluting factor in coat color dominance traits is responsible for the silver hue – something that is also present in Charcoal and Champagne Labs as well. The jury’s still out on whether they’re simply subset colorations from their purebred parents, or breeds in their own right. At any rate, they’re regal, loyal, and friendly Labradors that have a lot of love to give!
Silver Labs are curious and playful dogs. Their curiosity will often get the better of them and they may wander off in search of adventure. They’re so good-natured that they’ll almost never lose their tempers. Because of this, they make the ideal family dog. After all, with children around, there’s always someone to play with and something to explore!
These dogs are highly adaptable. Although they’re on the larger side, they will still do well in apartments if taken outside often enough to run around. They prefer bigger spaces to stretch their legs and explore, but will take an outside adventure over an inside one any day. With some training, they’ll control their barking instincts without issue. As long as you can keep them mentally stimulated and loved, these dogs are happy. Their double coat also makes them a good fit for almost any climate. As with most dogs, they are sensitive to extreme heat or cold.
Silver Labs are very healthy dogs. They tend to overeat, and if you’re not careful may become overweight. They can develop eye disorders and joint problems, but as long as they are attending regular veterinarian visits will stay perfectly healthy. Asking the breeder about the genetic history of the parents and to see any health clearances can help allay concerns about potential health issues.
Silver Labs’ intelligence, adaptability, and independence make them excellent dogs for beginners. Keeping their brains occupied will go a long way towards ensuring good behavior. If not, and they get too bored, they may get into things they shouldn’t. They like to dig and may chew on your shoes when looking for something to do. The good news is, they’re easy to redirect with attention and a little training.
Labrador Retrievers have very short, water-resistant fur in two layers. Because of this dense double coat that protects them from the cold, and love for swimming, they may go for a swim regardless of the season. They shed more heavily twice a year and will shed slightly throughout. Their fur should be washed down every so often, especially if they’ve been swimming or hiking with you.
Brushing their coat a few times a week or once a week will usually be sufficient to keep your dog’s coat healthy. Plus, your Lab will love spending the time with you. Other grooming tasks include trimming their nails on a monthly basis, regularly checking and cleaning their ears as needed, and proper dental care for dogs. It’s important to brush your dog’s teeth or use an enzyme toothpaste every day to prevent the tartar buildup that causes gum disease and tooth decay.
This dog breed tends to be very active. They were bred to be working dogs and crave exercise. A good hike, or run, or swim, will soothe a Silver Lab’s need for speed. If you don’t have a yard for them to run in, Labs are often happy with a trip to the dog park.
Silver Labs are classified as medium to large dogs. They reach an average height of 23 inches at the shoulders and have an average healthy weight of around 75 pounds.
A Silver Labrador Retriever will generally live 10 to 14 years.
Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds used as guide dogs, therapy dogs, and search and rescue dogs.