Labrador Cross Breeds: should we exclude them?


A few days ago, one of my team posted a video of some silver Labrador puppies on the Labrador Site’s Facebook page.

She thought it was a cute video.

To cheer up your morning.


It caused a bit of a stir!

This was the response from one of our fans

Why do the admins of this “Labrador” site allow posts of crossbreeds? Surely they know there is no such thing as a “silver Labrador”!! These (very cute) silver puppies are more appropriately described as Labramaranas! Are we to expect similar photos/videos of Labradoodles on this site?

Another person posted this comment

And I thought the Labrador Site was a useful place to belong to, now Im not so sure

There were a number of other similar comments too.

The issues at stake

There are several issues raised here.

  • Whether or not Silver Labradors like the ones in the video are actually purebred
  • Whether or not the usefulness or value of this website is diminished if we allow images or videos of crossbred dogs
  • Whether or not The Labrador Site should even allow pictures of crossbred dogs to be posted up on its facebook page

The controversy over Silver Labradors

labrador cross breedsWe are of course very familiar with the controversy over the question of Silver Labradors.

Some people think that Silver Labs are mongrels that have no place in the Labrador world.

Others think that they are just fine.

The American Kennel Club registers these dogs as purebred chocolate Labradors.

And there is strong opposition to this amongst mainstream breeders of traditionally coloured Labradors.

You can read all about it in this article.

Losing value?

Is the value of an article on this website diminished if our Facebook page contains an image of a Labradoodle (like the puppy above),  or any other breed crossed with a Labrador?

I found this to be a most curious assumption.

It is particularly interesting bearing in mind the popularity of the Black Retriever X Rescue posts that we often share on our own Facebook page.

Together with the strong views of so many of our readers who feel dog owners should opt for rescue dogs (often of dubious pedigree) rather than buying a pedigree puppy.

Personally I cannot see how our library of articles can be less useful because we posted a video of Silver Labradors.

But maybe I am missing something?

Cross-bred contamination?

But what concerned me the most was the reader’s view (in the first quote above) that our facebook page, and presumably our website, should remain uncontaminated by images and videos of cross-bred Labradors.

I found this comment quite disturbing,  but I wanted to hear all sides, so I posted this question up on our forum

Should we be discussing or posting pictures of, cross-bred dogs, on our Facebook page.

You can check out the replies right here.

As you can see,  most folks are happy to welcome cross-breeds and even other breeds of dog, into our Labrador community.   Which is great news, as I have no plans to to exclude them.

Your cross breed

To all of you that own a cross-bred Labrador, or indeed any other breed of dog, let me tell you that you are very welcome on this website, and on our Facebook page.

You are also very welcome to join our forum, post pictures of your dog up there, and tell us all about him.   We already have plenty of ‘non-pure’ Labradors on the forum,  including ‘gasp’ a Labradoodle.  We also have plenty of spaniels.

So come along and join in, whatever your dog’s breed, and whoever his parents were.

Yes this is a site about Labradors and yes, it is aimed at Labrador owners.  But it is not an exclusive club.  Nothing on this site is changed or diminished by the presence of a little variety.

You may post up pictures of your dogs in any part of our community, safe in the knowledge, that we love all dogs.  And that most Labrador owners are happy to look at pictures of any dog, no matter how ‘pure’ its breeding or how long its pedigree.

Getting our priorities right

Those of you that place purity of breed above all else, should know (if it is not clear by now) that I do not share your views.

I love my breed, the Labrador, and I am proud to be a Labrador owner.

But like many biologists, I am concerned about the long term effects of breeding within closed registers and am very open to discussions about the future of dog breeding both here in the UK and abroad.

Including the options for outcrossing where the health of our dogs is at stake, or the gene pool unacceptably small.

Health and welfare must surely be our first priority

Preserving the characteristics and appearance of our wonderful dogs is very important, but it is entirely possible that this could be achieved without obsessing about purity.  And we should be able to talk about this.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson(paid link)

Oh, and here is the video that caused all the fuss

Let us know what you think in the comments box below!


The Labrador Site Founder

Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.

She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program 

Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website


  1. Very well put!!! I have a gorgeous Chocolate Lab/ Springer Spaniel cross who came from a fantastic breeder. She is the most beautiful dog with an incredible personality which shows traits of both breeds. I love this site and have gained loads of useful advice and info from it as well as enjoying seeing pics of other people’s dogs (whatever breed they are!!). So glad you responded in this way. Keep up the great work!

  2. We have a 10 month old yellow lab with a touch of something else added in. Shes a bundle of love and energy we are hoping will be a service dog for my husband someday. I love your articles and read them daily or look up for help! I’m glad to know the zoomies are normal, how to hopefully stop her barking and that Avalon is a normal puppy! Thank you and keep up your good work!

  3. we have a black fluffy lab,seven and a half months old,choc mum,yellow dad.including flossie,three fluffies and five normal coated pups in litter. when we brought her home,her ears were hairy,but her coat was short and fine.her coat is now a mass of long curls!curious,we have had a DNA test done,parents and grandparents are labs,but in great grandparent lineage flatcoat and golden retriever,so that explains a lot!my point is,just because a dog looks like a pure bred as five of flossie’s siblings do,whos to know what is in their genetic make up ?who is a cross breed and who is not?love them all regardless and thank you for this fab site

  4. We have one purebred Chocolate male and a half husky/half black lab female (who we were going to get fixed this month….but then realized she was pregnant!) She had 8 adorable puppies this morning…2 yellow, 2 black, and 4 chocolate. I’ve been reading several articles on your site after a google search about the odds of different colors on a litter led me here. 🙂 Glad you welcome those of us with some mix breeds in the family. 🙂

  5. I have owned pure bred black labs in the past and presently own a pure dark chocolate brown Labradoo who is now six years old. He has a great temperament, with people and other dogs alike, which also mirrors that of the labrador and standard poodle.

    What I would like to say here is those present lab owners need to get over this ‘kennel club snobbery ” kind of attitude and embrace the breed of their choice and ownership, and stop acting like your threatned of this ‘BEAUTIFUL’ cross bread specimen of a dog

  6. Hi Pippa, when I welcomed my chocolate lab puppy into our family I relied on the Labrador Site for information specific to the breed, as the Lab was new to us. That being said, I also belong to a site that is really just about dogs and their condition in the community where I live. It is really all about our love of dogs, isn’t it? I’ve always had Springer Spaniels and adore them. I also adore Labs of course, oh and then there is a Great Dane puppy at our dogcare, my friend’s Bouvier, and the most charming mutt down the road, and on it goes. Much of the information posted is relevant for any breed or combination thereof. I appreciate that your site is open, inclusive and welcoming. Thanks

  7. I dont like to see cross breeds exploited and sold for inflated prices, puppies have un-reliable coat type, size, health checks etc.. but do they belong on this site? maybe yes? if they are part Labrador they are likely to inherit Labrador traits, so this site is relevant to cross breeds too.

  8. I agree with so many of the comments, The forum and The Labrador Site has been invaluable. I have a pure bred chocolate lab, now 7 months old that’s my choice our last lab was a Labrador cross (not sure what with as he was from the dogs trust) he had so many lab characteristics. I wouldn’t dream of discriminating against owners. It’s really mean and totally unnecessary. X

  9. Pippa…I hav a black male lab puppy.. He s 60 days old…sm pply say that he might be a crossbred…hw can I find whether he s a purebred or cross because I have the kci registration paper too..pls help me

    • DNA test could tell if pure Labrador, not toexpensive and just needs a cheek swab. I use ~Orivet Pet Genetics in Australia bcause they are cheapest ( a full breed profile cost me £70)

  10. First of all, thank you for this site. It has been very helpful since I got my first lab a week ago. It was unplanned as a coworker couldn’t keep the puppy they got and gave it to me. I have owned many other types of dogs, including many cross breeds. Most of what you say would apply to all dogs, but I enjoy the breed specific information. A cross breed will have characteristics of each of the breeds they are made up of, and we as owners need to recognize that in order to know what to expect. Thank you for not giving in to the snobbish few.

  11. I really like your advice and love your attitude and your way of explaining it. My two labradoodles suddenly woke up and looked confused when I played the video with sound! I looked at your site because my second 12 week old Chocolate Labradoodle, Curly Wurly, is very labrador-like with food. Something I don’t see with Cocoa, the elder. I guess with crossbreeds you get certain traits coming through.

  12. I am more than happy to have cross bred Labradors on the page. If the owner has a dog that is half Lab. surely any information found on here would be very beneficial to that owner.

  13. I found this site looking for training tips for our 6 mth old Black Lab – Blue Heeler cross we got the other week and I must say it has been extremely helpful! Around where we live, in rural Ontario, Canada, cross bred labs are just as popular as pure-breds if not more. Almost every ‘Lab’ we know is a cross with something, mainly shepherd or various types of cattle dogs. Our own pup has pure bred parents that were bred in order to achieve that Lab-Heeler cross. And our old dog was a Lab-Shepherd cross from purebred parents. Personally, I would probably go for a crossbred pup over a purebred, but that’s just me. In my opinion they’re still labs, just with a little bit of extra spice thrown in the mix.

  14. I can’t believe that people can be so short sighted or should I say snobs…I found this website when I was looking for help with my “purebred” Choc. Lab. puppy…That I was given has a Christmas present…but I would have been just has happy with a “Silver Lab” puppy… still a puppy to love and raise and care for…no matter what the “breed”this website is for dog lovers…the people that care about their dog not about what breed it is..Thanks for all the advice and just ignore those idiots..

  15. I have been using this site and Facebook page since the arrival of our now 10 month old Golden Retreiver Labrador mix, Lily. I have known this mix referred to as Goldador or Golden Labrador. I find the articles and discussions on this site to be an excellent source of information and advice. I cannot thank you enough for the help we have had when making decisions regarding nutrition, excercise, spaying etc. Some forums I have visited have at times referred to any form of mixed breeds as Mutts or Mongrels, which I find to be very narrow minded and not something I would wish to associate with any so called dog lover. Keep up the good work Pippa, you have got it spot on.

  16. I agree with all the people above, especially the point about the information on here about training etc being useful for all dogs. There are very few sites that present such balanced, sensible and practical info as this one and it would be a shame to exclude anyone from that.
    The only thing I have to add (if it is indeed adding anything) is this. In various articles I think it has been mentioned that people buying dogs often don’t do enough research about health etc when the Internet is right there etc.When buying my dog, (first ever), who happens to be a Labrador, I went through an eight month process choosing which breed to get. I was desperate for a Brittany at one stage, but also considered a labradoodle. I didn’t know any better/reasons why not and thought they were good for allergies. (I am asthmatic). I did try and research both Labradors and poodles with regard to health and in the course of this rang the poodle ??society (or something) Silly me. This was done in complete ignorance and innocence but the person on the phone was not only completely unwilling to help or advise sensibly and said some pretty offensive things but actually hung up on me. There is no wonder that people end up going to simple Internet adverts or shy away from asking for help if this happens. I am sure this was not representative of the poodle ‘world’ but it certainly didn’t help. In the end I got a crazy Labrador and am now fascinated by and passionate about this new world I’ve entered. This site goes a long way to making novices like me feel welcome. Presenting any kind of ‘closed shop’ image just pushes people who don’t know any better towards unscrupulous sellers and un-researched dogs. The more welcoming a site is, the more people this valuable information will reach. Sorry-I seem incapable of writing anything short!

  17. I have a crossbreed Labrador spaniel and I as possibly many other owners are not claiming our dogs to be pure breed but they have the same characteristics as Labradors so this site is very useful for training techniques and useful links .I take him to gundog training and we are quite happily accepted by all the people there they are after all just dogs

      • We have a rescue Fox red lab retrevier we think but without any history we have no clear idea whether he is a pure breed .

        But one thing we do know through this site and forum he is a Lab through and through regardless of bloodline , Totally dislike breed snobbery .

  18. I found this site for specific info on the Labrador breed. Fun videos and clever dog stories are ok. As long as you keep the resource for Lab knowledge, I’m happy. I have had a rescue with German Shepard/Collie mix and I sought out those sites for info to help me understand the breed and grooming, social, medical needs. I’m a dog lover overall, I do appreciate the breed specific info your site offers…cute videos, too.

  19. Is it different in the US? Some of the people over here are just plan mean when it comes to anything that isn’t a purebred black, chocolate or yellow lab. I have a lab/boxer mix a golden retriever and a purebred silver lab. they tell me my silver lab is just a mutt! I don’t understand it! I am glad you see things differently!

  20. I own ‘gasp’ a Labradoodle and a
    rescue Labrador x Pointer and I have been a member of the Labrador Forum for 16 extremely valuable months and I have been welcomed whole heartedly. The forum offers owners of all breeds and cross breeds excellent training advise and support and I wouldn’t have come as far as I have with training without it. Perhaps this negative person should direct their energy at the terrible situation with puppy farms, neglected and abused dogs ending up in rescue centres if they are lucky and don’t die first and not at cross breeds. I wouldn’t be without my adorable cross breeds as they are very much loved family pets.

    Thank you Pippa for your support.

  21. As the main theme is Labradors I am shocked at the idea of exclusion just because it’s not 100% Lab. I have 3 dogs, a Chocolate with a pedigree, A black from working stock with no papers, and a mainly Lab with a bit of collie in him. They are all a good as each other, and I wouldn’t want to exclude any of them for not fitting in. I’m glad your keeping the site as is and not getting totally exclusive. keep up the good work and well done.

  22. I share all your views, Pippa. I like the sharing of posts about other breeds and cross-breeds to. I think it enhances and broadens our experience. My dog is a pure bred worker. So there’s a quandry straight away. Is she less than a show bred Lab, or more, or a different breed or what?

  23. I also own a purebred Labrador , but also a rescue of dubious type , both my dogs are thankfully welcome on the forum .
    As you rightly say Pippa, it is a Labrador site, but then a dog is a dog for heavens sake , so most of the advice will apply , whatever the breed or background .

  24. I (and, much to his relief I’m sure, my purebred lab boy) have benefited hugely from the experience of the broad spectrum of owners we have on the forum and I wouldn’t wish to exclude anyone from our discussions! That’s the outrageous suggestion here 🙂