Every registered dog breed has a standard. The standard tells how the dog should look to qualify as a pedigree of that breed. Among other things, the standard gives specific detail about the color of the dog.
Black Labrador Retriever standards say that the dog must be entirely black. A small white patch on the chest is permissible, but not desirable. Aside from Black Labrador Retrievers, there are two other Labrador Retriever colors: chocolate and yellow. Where, then, do we find the Black Labrador Retriever that’s silver factored?
A Black Labrador Retriever, silver factored or not, that does not meet the standard is not a pure bred dog. Despite claims of disreputable breeders, it is not a rare, prized strain of the breed. It seems to be, at most, a cross between a Black Labrador Retriever and a Weimaraner.
A Black Labrador Retriever, silver factored or otherwise at cross purposes to the color standard, would have to overturn all that has been learned about the genetics of Black Labrador Retrievers.
- Two pairs of genes are present in every Black Labrador Retriever: one pair from the mother and one pair from the father.
- The first pair of genes, B or b, determines whether the coat will be black or dark brown.
- The second set of genes, E or e, determines whether that color will be expressed, i.e., whether it will be seen.
- A dominant gene, B or E, always wins on coat color, no matter what other gene is present.
- A recessive gene, b or e, can only determine color when no dominant gene is present.
- When color cannot be expressed (shown), the dog will be a shade of yellow – almost white or reddish yellow are possibilities.
Black Labrador Retriever Possibilities
A Black Labrador Retriever that’s silver factored is thus impossible. No gene or gene pair in a Black Labrador Retriever would result in this.
If the dog receives a dominant “color expression” gene, the coat will have to be black or chocolate. There are no other options. It cannot be rather black, rather chocolate, or silvery. It must be all or nothing.
Black Labrador Retrievers may be pure black, carrying no other gene. The genetics makeup of such a dog would be BBEE. It would have the dominant, black coat color, and full ability to express, or show, that color. If two dogs with a pure genetic makeup of this nature are mated, the puppies should be all black.
Black Labrador Retrievers may be black carrying a chocolate gene. The genes would be BbEE in this case. Black (B) is dominant, and “beats out” chocolate (b). “EE” makes the black coat color fully visible. Puppies of two such dogs could have a litter of chocolate and black puppies.
If a black Labrador Retriever carries a yellow gene, the genetic pairs would be BBEe. It is genetically black, and carries a dominant E gene to show the color. It also carries one recessive e gene that could be passed to offspring. Puppies of two genetically identical dogs could be black and yellow.
Finally, a Black Labrador Retriever with gene pairs BbEe will be black, carrying chocolate and yellow genes.
Silver-factored Should Be Avoided
A Black Labrador Retriever that’s silver factored should be avoided unless you simply want a pet. It should not be purchased at high price or even regular pedigreed dog prices. It should be purchased at cross-breed prices.