Long back when someone asked me about buying a blue Labrador, I was completely shocked to hear the name. But later came to know that there were breeders who claim to sell blue Labradors and claim them to be very special.
But I have never seen a blue Labrador retriever that looks like the blue sky or blue sea in my entire life.
Then what is this blue Labrador actually?
Do blue Labrador retrievers really exist? Find out the truth in this article below
What is this blue Labrador?
Firstly let me come to the question directly, Do blue Labradors exist?
The answer is, “No”.
But what is all the fuss about this blue Labrador and why people are talking and asking about it?
Actually, blue Labrador is the name attributed to a silver Labrador. A silver Labrador is sometimes usually called a blue Labrador by some people because of its appearance. The dog has a silver coat with a bluish tinge, because of which it is called the blue Labrador.
pic credit: Ghilt
Hence blue Labradors are nothing but silver Labradors and there is no special Labrador known as a blue Labrador retriever.
Hence, whenever somebody talks about a blue Labrador, he is just referring to a silver Labrador.
Is it a pure Labrador?
When we usually think about Labradors, a common image that comes to our mind is a yellow happy dog, sometimes a black dog, and maybe sometimes for some people a Labrador that is chocolate in color.
But what about the so-called blue or silver Labrador? People usually do not assume a Labrador to be of a silvery and bluish color.
Because of this, the topic of silver or blue labradors has been quite controversial and debatable. These controversial debates are present from the early days when silver Labradors were first born.
Although some people claim silver Labs as pure Labradors, some do not consider them as pure breeds. The people who do not consider them as pure breeds argue that there is a mixture of other breeds in the Labrador lineage such as breeds like Weimaraner.
But there are many people who consider silver Labs as pure Labs and say that the silver color is due to the recessive gene present in the Labradors. They treat silver labs like every other Labrador.
But what is the truth?
The color of your Labrador coat depends upon its genes. It is the genes that determine its coat color.
Thus based on the various gene combinations various colors of Labrador puppies are born, such as black, yellow, or chocolate.
Your dog’s lineage may contain various genes such as strong genes and recessive genes. Because of the presence of the dilute gene which is a recessive gene various different colored Labs are born. For example charcoal Labs from the black ones and the champagne colored Labs from the Yellow labs.
In a similar way, the so-called blue labradors or the silver labradors are diluted chocolate-colored Labradors.
Till now there is no concrete evidence that proves the possibility of cross-breed mixing for the occurrence of silver labs.
Does AKC recognize blue Labrador or silver Labrador as a pure one?
According to AKC, there are only three recognized colors for Labrador retrievers. The first one is black color, the second one is yellow and lastly chocolate.
So doesn’t AKC consider silver Labs as pure ones?
Before answering this question, I want you to know that many silver Labradors have been registered as purebred Labrador retrievers with the AKC. But how?
Although silver is not recognized as a color, silver Labs are registered as chocolate Labs. So according to AKC, a silver lab is considered a pure Labrador but registered as chocolate.
But silver Labradors are not permitted in the show ring. They are allowed into field trails if both their parents are registered with AKC.
Blue lab characteristics
pic credit: ghilt
A blue Labrador or a silver Labrador is playful, friendly, loving, and sweet, like any other Labrador.
As i told you that a blue or silver Labrador is as similar to a normal Labrador, it does not have any unique characteristics that a usual Labrador doesn’t have.
The only unique characteristic is the bluish silvery coat that makes it stand apart from Labradors of other colors.
The other physical difference is its blue eyes when it is a puppy. Usually, chocolate Labs have blue eyes when they are born and this is a similar case with silver Labs. Thus silver labs have beautiful blue eyes when born and their color darkens to a brown shade as the dog grows.
The other difference is its nose, silver Labs usually have light brown noses.
Blue Labrador price
Whatever is rare, it gets costly. It’s a simple marketplace rule and as the availability of commodity gets difficult, the price of it usually hikes up.
This happens the same with silver Labs too.
Many Labrador breeders claim the blue Labrador as a rare breed and try to make more money out of it. They make use of the rarity of the dog’s unique coat color and sell it for heavy prices.
But some genuine breeders do not increase the price of silver Labs and sell them at the price of normal Labradors. Some even decrease the price as they know that silver Labs are not suitable for the show ring.
Hence the price of the blue Labrador depends upon the breeder you choose to purchase your dog.
Issues with blue labradors
The main issue with respect to blue or silver Labradors is that they cannot participate in the show ring. The AKC doesn’t allow them to compete in show events.
But this could not be an issue if you are a pet owner who wants to get a silver lab into your family as a family dog.
The other issues that arise are related to its skin. Issues such as color dilution alopecia occur that cause flaky itchy skin and even hair loss. This issue could not be found when the dog is a puppy but slowly emerges as it grows. Around 6 months of age, the puppy’s hair may start thinning.
Another issue that occurs in a blue Labrador is follicular dysplasia which is caused due to the misfunctioning of the hair follicles that makes it impossible for this breed to grow hair in some areas. The hair may grow in the form of patches.
The blue or silver Labrador is as loving as any other Labrador. Although it is not allowed in the show rings, it can be a good family dog like any other Labrador.
But the only thing you need to consider while buying a blue Labrador is regarding the breeder. You need to do a good amount of research about the breeder who sells you these blue Lab puppies.
You should check for the dog’s parental lineage and check for the chance of the presence of various health issues before getting your loving silver or blue Labrador to your home.
Karen A. Moriello, DVM, DACVD, Hereditary Alopecia and Hypotrichosis in Animals, msdvetmanual.com.
L.Brancalion, Canine Coat Pigmentation Genetics: A review, Animal genetics.