You won’t always see Silver Labs on the streets.
And there’s little info about them.
So if you’re planning on getting one in the future…
You may have these questions in mind,
“What are they like?
And do they behave differently than the other Labrador colors?”
Keep reading to learn:
- 7 things you don’t know about a Silver Lab’s temperament.
- If Silver Labs are more aggressive than the other colors.
- 3 little-known trivia about their genes and how they affect their behavior.
- And much more…
Table of contents
- Silver Lab temperament: 7 things you didn’t know
- Are Silver Labs aggressive?
Silver Lab temperament: 7 things you didn’t know
#1: Being hyper runs in their blood
First, taking care of a Silver Lab will be an intense workout.
You may already know that most puppies are energetic.
But Silver Labs are usually more hyper than other dogs.
And this is also true for the other breed colors.
“Where do they get all that energy?”
A study shows it’s partly genetics.
Out of 264 breeds, Labrador Retrievers are the 12th most active Fidos.
Well. They’re sporting dogs in the first place.
Hunters used Labs to track and get fallen prey like birds. And they’ll even swim in the water for that.
So these dogs need a lot of fuel to do their job.
And with their endless energy…
Some Silver Labs can even run on a treadmill with ease.
See this adorable Fido below:
Speaking of origin…
Silvers Labs might also be too hyper because of their American ancestors.
You won’t often see dogs of this color in the UK. Or other parts of the world.
So you can mostly find Silver Labs in the US.
And this aligns with the story you’ll see on the Internet.
According to it, Silver Labs first appeared in the 1940s. Which you can trace to 2 kennels in the US.
Now, although Labrador’s only 1 breed…
There are ‘English’ and ‘American’ ones.
But kennel clubs don’t recognize them. So only dog parents use these terms.
This variation happened because the UK and the US bred Labs for different jobs.
Resulting in shorter English dogs and taller American Fidos.
And between them, American Labs are usually more hyper.
So they may also get the credit for Silver Labs’ energy. Which is a rare color that started in the US.
Note: Labradors will eventually calm down once they’re 2-4 years old. But they’ll be a handful, especially during their 1st year.
Learn more: 17 Hyperactive Dog Symptoms + 11 Tips To Calm Down Your Dog
#2: They have ‘friendly genes’
Most Silver Labs are nice even to strangers.
If socialized well at an early age…
You’ll see them wag their tail as they happily greet everyone on the street.
They usually love everybody. Whether you’re a human, dog, or other animals.
And this makes Labs the most popular breed in the US for 31 years, as per AKC.
“Is this a natural trait?”
Experts believe so.
They found the following variants of genes in dogs:
These are linked to ‘Williams syndrome’ in humans.
It’s a condition that causes affected people to become overly friendly.
So, although there’s no study about this on Labradors yet…
These genes could be the reason why they’re easygoing. Which makes Silver Labs an ideal family pooch.
You might also like: 7 Real Reasons Why Dogs Are So Nice (#3 Will Surprise You)
#3: They’re hardwired to bite
Puppies will do these due to teething.
They put anything in their mouths to explore the world around them.
And at the same time, they’re relieving the discomfort of having a new set of teeth.
But, young Silver Labs may do more intense playful biting and nipping than other breeds.
Especially when they start teething at 3 weeks old, based on vets.
“What makes them so mouthy?”
It’s also a natural trait of Labrador Retrievers.
Before they became pets, they were ‘gun’ or ‘bird’ dogs first.
These are Fidos trained for hunting small animals.
And they were also bred to retrieve prey that hunters had shot.
Hence, their name.
So even though today’s Labs only stay at home as pets…
The instinct to put something in their mouths is still strong.
Thus, it can make your Silver Lab and other colors nippy.
Continue reading: Top 17 Mouthy Dog Breeds Of All-Time
#4: They’re gentle as a lamb
Even though most Silver Labs love to bite something…
They have another unique trait.
Labradors are also known for their ‘soft mouths.’
As the name suggests, they’ll hardly hurt whatever’s in their mouths.
And they can control the force of their jaws.
Besides Labrador Retrievers, it’s also a skill of other bird dogs, like:
- Golden Retrievers.
- English Cocker Spaniels.
- Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.
- Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.
As I said earlier, these Fidos’ job was to get the fallen birds in the water.
And they have to return them to the hunters in good shape.
So people chose Labs as they’re naturally gentle.
Plus, they’re highly trainable. Making it possible for the dogs to control their bite and not damage the prey.
Until now, this trait’s still in Labs.
And most can even hold a raw egg in their mouths without breaking it.
#5: They’re a people pleaser
Like other Labs, Silver ones love to serve their humans too.
Due to their high energy, they’re tireless Fidos.
So they’ll appreciate having a job.
May it be simply helping you to close the door or fetching an object.
Also, Silver Labs want you to involve them in everything you do.
And they want to please everyone as well.
Thus, they’ll do any activity with eager enjoyment.
Meaning, Labs will work if they have to.
But they can also relax and stay with you on the couch.
#6: They’re brave and devoted
Another reason why Silver Labs (or the breed in general) are famous is that they’re loyal.
They might be friendly to everyone…
But they have a strong dedication to serving their humans.
Plus, Labradors are fearless too.
That’s why people also use them as service or police dogs. And you’ll also find Labs in search and rescue teams.
Still in doubt?
Here’s a real-life story of one of the many heroic Labs:
Meet ‘Roselle,’ the guide dog
Based on a report, she saved her human, Michael Hingson, in the World Trade Center bombing.
Hingson’s visually impaired. And he has Roselle as his guide dog.
It was a peaceful morning. Until a jetliner hit the World Trade Center building.
Once he knew what was happening, Hingson called his wife.
Then he also made sure that all his employees evacuated the floor.
Afterward, with the help of Roselle, they went down the lobby and got out of the tower safely.
They stayed for a while in an underground entrance.
Then, Roselle led Hingson outside once the buildings collapsed.
And the Lab also brought him to a friend’s house, who lives blocks away.
Roselle never left Hingson. And she didn’t hesitate to save him from danger.
#7: They’re a big foodie
Lastly, Silver Labs have a huge appetite.
You might think:
“Whose dog doesn’t like eating anyway?”
I know. Most of them only care about food.
But in the case of Labradors, their love for it goes beyond usual.
These Fidos always beg for food. Even if they have already eaten or not.
Like it’s an automatic response when they see humans eating something.
That’s why Labs are also prone to eating non-food items. Say rocks or socks lying on the floor.
“What makes them have a hearty appetite?”
Believe it or not, the answer’s also in their DNA.
A study found a missing part of a gene in Labs.
And it’s connected to high motivation in food.
It’s called ‘POMC DNA.’
According to vets, it’s responsible for making the dogs feel full after eating.
But experts say Labs don’t have this.
So it might be causing them to overeat and be at high risk of obesity.
The research also shows that it’s more common in assistance Lab dogs.
Thus, it could be why they’re so motivated by food.
And that makes them easier to train as service Fidos.
Are Silver Labs aggressive?
Silver Labs aren’t usually aggressive. Their breed’s known for being gentle. But despite this, other factors can affect a dog’s behavior. Say their past experiences or environment. Also, some Labs may act aggressively if they’re in pain or anxious. So a dog’s coat has nothing to do with temperament.
In a study, Labrador Retrievers got the lowest rate of aggression.
So typically, these Fidos are even-tempered. And they won’t bite their parents for no reason.
However, among the breed’s colors…
Chocolate Labs have a reputation for being the most:
Now, why am I talking about Chocolate Labs?
It’s because breeders say that Silver Labs are purebred.
And they’re a product of mating Chocolate Labs with a ‘dilute gene.’
This DNA makes a fur color lighter. Which results in the pale brown coat of Silver Labs.
However, many don’t believe this story.
The dilute gene stays hidden as it’s passed on to generations.
Also, as I mentioned before, Silver Labs appeared in the 1940s.
Back then, DNA testing wasn’t a thing yet.
So some people believe they’re a cross of Labs and Weimaraners.
The latter has a natural gray coat, making it easier to achieve the rare silver color.
Further reading: Why People Are Saying No To Silver Labradors (Controversy)
Back to the topic…
Chocolate Labs’ bad reputation may have affected Silver Labs’ image
“But is that true?”
One research says no.
Based on it, the experts didn’t find any evidence that Chocolate Labs are the most aggressive.
Instead, the study shows it could be Yellow Labs.
And it’s because they scored highest in aggression.
But again, there’s a reason why the dogs in the research behaved that way, such as:
- Prey drive.
- Type of upbringing.
- Territorial instincts.
And fur color doesn’t affect their behavior in any way.