Buyer Beware

Are you looking to purchase a Labrador Retriever puppy? 

Make sure you purchase your puppy from a registered breeder, this is a person who is registered with the canine controlling body in their State (i.e. Dogs ACT, DogsNSW, Dogs SA, Dogs Tas, DogsVic, DogsQld or Dogs West).  All puppies bred by registered breeders have had their parents xrayed and scored for hip and elbow dysplasia, registered breeders are generally happy to allow you to see or get copies of any health screening tests they have had done on their breeding stock (the parents of your puppy). 

Pet shops and unregistered breeders do not have to go through this process.  Buying from a registered breeding also means you have a continuing relationship with your breeder, they are generally there to help you as you raise your pup and turns into a beautiful adult. 

Pet shops give you a 30 day guarantee (if you are lucky), have no idea who the parents are of the pups or any health issues that they may be affected by.

National Labrador Retriever Breed Council (Australia)
POSITION STATEMENT
21st April 2010
Silver Coat Colour
The National Labrador Retriever Breed Council (NLRBC) is an officially sanctioned representative body responsible for dealing with any and all issues that may directly affect the integrity of our breed throughout Australia. A significant and important function of the NLRBC is to directly interact with and provide advice and make recommendations to the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) on all matters that it regards as significant.

The improved and ongoing health, structural soundness and welfare of the Labrador Retriever breed is a primary focus of the NLRBC, as is the conservation of the original breed function – that of a “working” retriever.  To this end the internationally recognised “Breed Standard” (first developed in England in 1916) remains in force to this day. 

An important part of that breed standard describes the three acceptable coat colours.   Black, Yellow and Liver/Chocolate are the only recognised coat colours in our breed.   Any diversion from these three standard colours indicates a cross breeding combination may have occurred.

Disturbing evidence has now been uncovered which suggests that some unscrupulous breeders in Australia may be considering promoting a new coat colour to unsuspecting Australian Labrador puppy buyers – Silver (or Platinum or Charcoal). This concept is not new – for some years in the USA and more recently in New Zealand so called Silver Labradors have been pedalled by “backyard/designer dog” breeders as being rare or unique. Not surprisingly this advertised rarity comes at a significant price both financially to the buyer and in health concerns to the individual dogs concerned.   The sad fact is that these Silver Labradors are cross bred dogs – the result of crossing a Labrador Retriever with a Weimaraner.  

Genetically these crossbred designer Labradors are at high risk of inherited structural and health defects. Neurological disorders such as epilepsy are widespread amongst  “Silver” Labradors due to the inbreeding that is required to maintain the unnatural silver coat colour. These dogs also suffer debilitating skin and thyroid problems. It has also become evident that significant numbers do have problems with hip and elbow  dysplasia due to generations of breeding from “untested” breeding stock.

The NLRBC has issued a Silver Coat “high alert” to all State based member clubs around Australia. If you require more information or you wish to report the activities of a suspected Silver Labrador breeder please contact the Labrador Retriever Club in your home state.

They will be more than happy to assist you with your enquiries.

Contact Details

The Hon Secretary - NLRBC       email: [email protected]