Labradoodles are extremely popular family favorites that make an excellent choice of pets. The mixed breed is available in many different colors, including golden and silver!
But does the dog’s color influence health? Are silver Labradoodles more trainable than other colors? And how expensive are silver Labradoodles compared with more standard coat colors?
Read this guide to learn more about the gorgeous silver Labradoodle.
What Are Silver Labradoodles?
Most people assume that a silver Labradoodle is a dog with a very pale gray coat. However, that’s not necessarily the case; the random use of the term can cause lots of confusion.
All regular Labradoodles are created by crossing a purebred Labrador retriever and a purebred Poodle. Those first-generation crossbreed dogs are referred to as F1 Labradoodles. But there are several different crosses, depending on the parent breed used. You can read about the other Labradoodle generational mixes in more detail in the article at this link.
The Labradoodle’s silvery color is down to genes inherited from each parent breed.
Silver Labrador Retrievers?
You might have heard of three Labrador retriever standard coat colors:
Those are the usual distinct colors that you associate with Labs. So, what is a silver Labrador? It’s time for a brief lesson in animal genetics to find out!
Well, a silver Lab is a brown color dog with a dilute coat. That means that these individuals carry two copies of a recessive dilution gene. The dilution gene suppresses the pigment production of a dog’s fur, effectively making a brown coat look much paler, in this case, a silver color.
As dilution genes are recessive, a Labrador retriever needs to inherit a copy of the recessive gene from both parent dogs.
Interestingly, all silver Labradors are born with silver coat color, rather than fading as the dog matures, which happens in the case of dark red coats in certain breeds, such as Goldendoodles.
What About Silver Poodles?
Now, a silver Poodle is a black dog that carries two copies of a progressive graying gene.
Poodles carrying the progressive graying gene are born black! As the dog ages, the fur fades to produce a silver coat color. In Doodles, that fading process is commonly referred to as “clearing.”
The progressive graying gene is referred to as the incompletely dominant gene. That means that the Poodle only needs to take one copy of the gene from one parent dog for the gene to be effective.
Fade To Gray
However, if a Poodle inherits copies of the progressive graying gene from both parents, the puppy’s coat fades more dramatically.
To confuse matters further, different versions of the gene can be more or less effective, depending on their precise molecular makeup.
So, you can see that there are several possible color fading scenarios for Poodles, depending on how many copies of the graying gene the individual dog inherits and how powerful those copies are.
At the most extreme end of the spectrum, you find the bright platinum color that’s described by Poodle aficionados as “silver.” So, it’s probable that all silver-colored Poodles carry two powerful copies of that graying gene.
50 Shades of Gray?
In addition, there are various shades of gray in both Poodles and Labrador retrievers.
Those shades of gray are often described as silver. That includes dilute black Labrador coats, officially termed “charcoal,” and gray or blue Poodle coats.
As you’ve learned in this article, those gray or blue Poodles are most likely carrying one copy of the graying gene or two “low power” genes. Sometimes, you’ll see a brown Poodle that carries two progressive greying genes, and those dogs are referred to as “silver beige.”
How To Breed Silver Labradoodles
Silver Labradoodle puppies are sought after and are considered to be one of the rarest colors. For that reason, genuine silver Doodles command a higher price than the more common coat colors.
So, how do breeders produce silver Labradoodles?
One way to produce silver Labradoodles is to breed F2 dogs to produce crossbreed offspring.
F2 Labradoodles are created by crossing two first-generation or F1 dogs. In that case, the F2 puppies’ parents were Labradoodles, but their grandparents were Labradors and Poodles. If both the puppies’ Poodle grandparents had dilute coats, it follows that around 25% of their grandpuppies will do too.
Another method of producing silver Labradoodles without the need to use a silver Labrador retriever is to cross a Labradoodle dog produced by a dilute colored Poodle parent with another dilute color Poodle. That cross produces offspring that are 75% Poodle and 25% Labrador retriever, so roughly half the puppies will have dilute, silver coats.
Also, F3 and multigen Labradoodles can express progressing fading, color dilution, or even both!
Of course, genetics produce lots of quirks and variations, so even a reputable breeder with years of experience cannot be entirely sure what color the puppies from a litter will turn out to be.
Do Silver Labradoodles Have Good Temperaments?
So, does the color of a Labradoodle make any difference to the dog’s individual temperament or personality? Does one shade of silver Labradoodle have a higher activity level than another? And are silver Labradoodles easier to potty train than other dog breeds?
There’s no known genetic link between coat color and temperament or behavior.
Working Dog Color Bias
That said, an indirect link has been developed in some Labrador retriever lines that their Labradoodle offspring might inherit.
Black Labradors are widely preferred as working gundogs. That said, as far as is currently known, the black color and the dog’s aptitude for that particular working role are genetically unrelated. However, for many generations, the black Lab has been preferred by breeders seeking to develop a good working hunting dog.
That’s led to chocolate and yellow Labs being largely passed over for working roles in the hunting field. Also, chocolate Labradors and Labradoodles are now regarded as being more scatty and afraid of loud noises than their black counterparts. So, these dogs are regarded as less trainable, although there’s no definitive proof of that.
Silver Labradoodles that come from silver-blue Labradoodle and black Labrador retriever lines could reflect those more excitable and less trainable traits.
However, many other factors influence Labradoodle temperament, including the parent dogs’ temperaments, the socialization and training that the puppy receives, and the amount of playtime and physical exercise the dog receives.
What you can be sure of is that any Labradoodle from a reputable breeder should be intelligent, lively, friendly, and loyal and will generally get along with all your family members, including other pets.
Are Silver Labradoodles Healthy?
According to canine health experts, when it comes to life expectancy, common health issues, and physical characteristics, Poodles and Labrador retrievers are pretty similar.
Both breeds live for around 12 years, with larger dogs typically surviving for longer and sharing similar common health issues, including:
- Elbow dysplasia
- Hip dysplasia
- Joint problems affecting the knees and elbows
- Thyroid disease
- Heart disease
- Ear infections
- Atopic dermatitis and sebaceous adenitis
So, a Labradoodle’s life expectancy is typically between ten and 14 years, although some dogs can live longer than that.
The best way to avoid health concerns is to choose a breeder that has their parent dogs’ health tested for those hereditary health problems. Ask to see the stud dogs’ complete health certificates and health profiles before making a commitment to buying a puppy.
However, some health studies have shown that the chocolate Labrador is more prone to suffering from dermatitis and ear infections than black and yellow Labs. Chocolate Labs also live one year less on average.
So, when choosing a silver Labradoodle as a prospective owner, you should know that if a silver beige Labradoodle has a chocolate Lab as a parent, those same common health conditions could be passed on to it.
In this section of our guide to silver Labradoodles, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about these beautiful dogs.
If you don’t see the answer to your question here, shoot us a message via the comments box at the end of this article, and we’ll do our best to help you!
Q: Why is my chocolate Labradoodle fading to silver?
A: If a chocolate (brown) Labradoodle starts to fade to silver or gray, that’s because the dog has inherited the progressive graying gene from the Poodle parent breed.
The dog was most likely born densely pigmented, appearing brown. However, as the puppy gets older, the graying gene starts to act on the coat color, causing the coat to clear.
You can expect your puppy’s coat to begin clearing when it is around six weeks old and to continue fading until the dog is around two years old.
Q: Are silver Labradoodles rare?
A: The silver coat color in Labradoodles is relatively easy for a reputable breeder to produce. Half of those breeding methods are down to predictable genetics. However, all breeders should always place emphasis on producing healthy, well-adjusted, happy puppies over a particular coat color.
A responsible breeder won’t tell you that a silver Labradoodle is rare and use that to charge an inflated price for the puppy. Those breeders know that charging more for rare colors and patterns helps to fuel the exploitation of those dogs by puppy mills. And that’s detrimental to the breed’s overall health and quality.
Reputable breeders will provide you with the sight of the health certificates for your puppy’s parents, so always remember to ask for that before parting with your cash.
Q: What is a silver Australian Labradoodle?
A: The first thing to note here is that Australian Labradoodles are not the same as regular Labradoodles, even though the breed originated in Australia!
Aussiedoodle genes contain Labrador retriever, Poodle, as well as English or American Cocker Spaniel, or even Irish Water Spaniel components.
These multigenerational dogs are not recognized as having a silver coloration. The closest to silver is a brown coat with the fading gene that’s known as “lavender,” but these are rarer Doodle crosses.
Q: Does Labradoodle coat color affect coat type?
A: There’s no evidence to indicate that a dog’s coat color has any influence over the hair coat types that puppies inherit. So, a silver Doodle could have a straight, fleece, or curly coat.
Regardless of coat type, this beautiful crossbreed needs daily grooming time and a certain amount of grooming maintenance from a pro groomer.
Your dog’s coat type is down to the combination of genes he receives from his parents. An experienced breeder will be able to give you a good idea of how your puppy’s coat will turn out, so always remember to ask.
Did you enjoy our guide to the beautiful silvery color Labradoodle? If you found the information interesting and helpful, please take a few moments to share it.
Essentially, these beautiful Doodle crossbreeds are no different from any other color. However, it could be the case that a silver beige puppy with a chocolate Labrador parent providing the pup’s foundation color could be more likely to inherit certain health and behavioral quirks. To be sure that you get a healthy, well-bred puppy, always buy your pet from a reputable breeder who has their parent dogs health-screened.
Do you have a silver Labradoodle? Did your furry friend’s coat fade or stay the same adult color? Tell us about your Doodle dog in the comments box below.