While out at the Pet Expo on Saturday, I had the chance to see the dock-diving demonstration. It was great to see all the different kinds of dogs that compete in dock diving – Shepherds, Border Collies, Flat-Coated Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and mixes of all kinds. I couldn’t help but giggle at the dogs that were so excited to jump they could hardly sit still, much less stay in a “stay”. It was like watching a child on Christmas morning waiting to open presents.
(I have shared a few pictures below for you to enjoy. I apologize for some of the blurriness, but those dogs were moving faster than the camera on my phone could capture!)
The one thing that disappointed me about the dock diving demonstration wasn’t really the dock diving, but the commentator. During his running commentary on the demonstration, he took time to call out these “new” Labrador Retriever breeds called “White Labs” and “Silver Labs”. I just shook my head and commented to my friends about what he had said.
Statements like these make me so angry. This is not truth in any way. Statements like these are intentionally created to mislead people about dogs, and in this case, Labs in particular. It’s like creating a dog with a cute name like “Yorkie-Poo” and then selling it to unwitting people as a “designer dog” or new breed. The only intent of this cute naming process is money. In essence, a Yorkie-Poo is a mutt, but the cute name somehow makes it worth the $1000 people pay for it (kind of like “new and improved” sells laundry detergent). A cute name means sales and that means puppy mills will be more than happy to breed lots and lots of these dogs if it brings them lots and lots of money.
Calling a Yellow Labrador Retriever a cute name like “White Lab” is just that, a cute name. It’s still a Yellow Lab. Calling a Chocolate Labrador Retriever a “Silver Lab” doesn’t make it any less a Chocolate Lab. It’s simply a genetic dilution of a Chocolate Lab, and in some cases it’s actually a Lab crossed with a Weimaraner.
My point here is that people create these cute names for a reason and it has nothing to do with the betterment of the breed and everything to do with the dollar amount that people charge for these so-called “special” dog breeds. When a breed with a cute name becomes popular it means more of these dogs will be sold by puppy mills so they can make a quick profit. Daisy likely came from just such a mill. She is a Yellow Labrador Retriever who just happens to be closer to white in color than most Labs, but she is still a Yellow Lab. I wonder how much her puppies sold for? Were they sold as “White Labs” too? My bet is they were. Perhaps you can understand my anger and frustration with those who would purport to call these dogs a “new breed.”
I wrote about this issue a couple of years ago. In that piece I referenced a link to a post called “Don’t pay more for an “out of standard” dog”. I really encourage you to read it, especially if you are looking to get a “white” or “silver” Lab.
Just an added word on cute names for dog breeds. If it sounds cute and it’s not a recognized breed in the registries (AKC and others), then it’s most likely not a “new breed” at all, but a designer dog or a traditional dog breed with different coloring, that was created for one reason only – profit.
Don’t blink! This will be a really quick video today.
A while back I was looking for videos of dogs taking baths (there are some really funny ones on YouTube) and I came across this video. It’s hardly long enough to be called a video, but I love it. It makes me laugh every time I see it. Maybe it’s the shower cap. Or, maybe it’s the dog’s expression.
I suspect it may be both.
Either way, it’s funny. Enjoy!
For instance, I was at a department store the other day buying some things to give as gifts next year. While at the register, the cashier noticed that I had a lot of items with a dog or cat theme to them. I explained to him that I was a pet sitter, and just like that I had my next blog post! Kind of…really, it was what happened next.
The cashier asked me if I knew of any AKC breeders who had Red Fox Labs. Huh? Red Fox Labs? What the heck? Was this a new way for breeders to create a designer dog and call it something familiar? Was there a new Lab making it’s appearance into the Labrador Retriever world that I didn’t know about?
I had to find out.
It turns out that in addition to the standard yellow, black and brown Labrador Retrievers, there are also these Labrador Retrievers that certain breeders sell as “White or Snow”, “Silver” or “Fox Red” Labs. Who knew? I was floored because I thought I was pretty well educated on dog breeds, but here were these new Labradors Retrievers that I had never heard about. Except, they’re not… New… I mean. Genetically, Labs only come in 3 colors: black, brown and yellow. What some breeders call “White Labs” or “Snow Labs” are really just yellow Labs with a lighter shade of coat. What some breeders call “Silver Labs” are actually brown or chocolate labs with a mismarking in coloring or simply a cross between a Weimaraner and a Lab. And now for the Red Fox Lab… it turns out it’s just a Yellow Lab with “red fox coloring” – as defined by AKC standards.
When I first adopted Daisy, people would always ask me if she was a “White Lab” or a “Snow Lab”. Honestly, I had never given it any thought because I had always thought of her as a yellow Lab who just happened to be white in color. It turns out I was right. She was a yellow Lab… with a lighter shade of coat. And, I was lucky enough to adopt her. Not buy her from a breeder.
But, people who are buying White Labs, Snow Labs, Silver Labs and Red Fox Labs from breeders, usually for exorbitant prices, are actually buying… A LAB. Not a rare breed. Not a new breed. Just a Lab. And, in some cases, a Lab that isn’t even recognized by the AKC, but is considered a mismarked dog.
So why do I tell you all of this? It’s not because I really care what color Labrador Retriever you want. It’s a preference. I prefer my Daisy, and love her white coat color. If you prefer a yellow Lab with a reddish coat color I’m not going to judge you for having a preference for that color.
But, as a consumer, you need to be aware (here’s a great place to start). Know what someone is selling you. If the word “rare” is being used to describe the Labrador Retriever you are interested in buying, walk away. Anyone who would lie to you about this isn’t likely to tell you the truth about the dog or it’s parentage. If they want to charge you an exorbitant amount of money for this “rare Lab”, question it. Chances are they are just looking to make a quick buck and if that’s the case they’re not a reputable breeder. And chances are they could be a puppy mill or backyard breeder – not the type of people you want to buy a dog from anyways.
The truth is that it doesn’t matter what color Lab you get. Because what’s in a Lab is A LAB. If you want a special coat color, great, just remember that color doesn’t change the breed or the price. It’s still a Lab.
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