Silver Lab blue eyes are striking, just like their coat color! Silver Labs have the same loving temperament as any other Labrador, though they can be prone to skin problems. These Labs tend to have lighter eye colors than those with darker fur. Our complete guide to silver Labs with blue eyes looks at what causes this color and how to find puppies.
- Do all silver Labs have blue eyes?
- Do silver Lab blue eyes change color?
- Are blue eyed silver Labs rare?
- Blue eyed silver Lab health and care
- Finding silver Lab puppies with blue eyes
Silver is not an official Labrador Retriever color, and can be quite controversial amongst the breed’s enthusiasts. But, it’s still popular with many.
Do All Silver Labs Have Blue Eyes?
Silver Labradors are actually brown Labs whose fur pigment has been diluted. The genes that dilute their fur are recessive. So, a chocolate Lab will only be a silver Lab if they inherit two copies of this gene.
As puppies, all chocolate Labs are born with blue eyes, and the same is true of silver Labs. As chocolate Labs grow older, their eyes will darken to a brown or hazel shade. Silver Lab blue eyes will also darken as they age. Though, the color of their eyes as adults will often still be lighter than that of an undiluted chocolate Labrador.
Do Silver Lab Blue Eyes Change Color?
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll see an adult silver Labrador with blue eyes unless it is a mixed breed. For instance, a dilute Lab mixed with a blue eyed dog like a Husky, or a dog with merle coloring.
Silver Lab puppies all have blue eyes. But, as they age, their eyes will darken and change color. Silver Lab eyes won’t usually turn as dark as the eyes of standard color Labs. But, they will darken to a yellow-brown shade, or a green. Sometimes, green Labrador eyes can be so pale that they look blue, but this is as close as purebred silver Labs will come to having blue eyes as an adult.
Are Blue Eyed Silver Labs Rare?
Amongst silver Labs, it’s not rare to see puppies with blue eyes. However, it’s highly unlikely you’ll find a silver Labrador adult with blue eyes. And, silver Labs in general are quite uncommon. There are two main reasons for this.
Firstly, silver Labs are actually chocolate Labs whose color has been diluted – as we know! But, Labs need two copies of the dilute gene to have silver coloring (dd), since it is a recessive gene. If they only receive one copy, they will be chocolate. So, unless two silver Labradors are bred together, chocolate Labs are more likely.
The second reason silver Labs are so rare is that this color is not officially accepted into the Labrador breed standard. So, many breeders will avoid producing dilute puppies when possible. In a lot of cases, silver Labs are a surprise in a litter, when the parent dogs have both unknowingly carried a copy of the dilute gene. So, silver Labs are quite rare, whether or not they have light, green eyes as an adult.
Silver Lab with Blue Eyes Health and Care
Silver Labs will have the same general care needs as any other Labrador. In some dog breeds, blue eyes are associated with a higher risk of health issues like deafness and sight problems. However, since silver Lab blue eyes darken over their first year of life, this link is not relevant to them.
The major additional health issue that silver Labs with blue eyes will experience is related to their coat, rather than their eyes. Color dilution alopecia is a common issue amongst Labradors and other breeds with diluted pigmentation. So, monitor their coat for any thinning, balding, or increased irritation.
Other than this, silver Labs can experience the same hereditary health issues as other Labradors. The most common Lab health problems include hip and elbow dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, obesity, bloat, and more. You can reduce the risk of these problems by choosing a puppy from a reputable breeder and providing a high level of daily care.
Finding Silver Lab Puppies With Blue Eyes
Just like standard chocolate Labradors, all silver Labrador puppies will have blue eyes. But, the color of their eyes will fade and darken over time. If a breeder is adamant that their puppies’ eyes will stay blue, they are either trying to mislead you, or the puppy is a mix.
You should prioritise the need to find a reputable breeder in your search for a blue eyed silver Lab. Stay away from puppy mills, pet stores, and backyard breeders, as these puppies often grow up to experience more health and behavioral issues.
Labradors are popular dogs, so it shouldn’t take you too long to find a breeder. But, it could take a while to find a silver puppy, since they’re much less common. Some breeders may specialize in this shade, but in other cases, silver puppies will be a surprise in the litter.
Prices for silver Labs can be unpredictable. Some may charge the same as their other puppies, or even a little less, since silver is not an official color and these puppies are prone to more health issues. This means silver Labs cannot compete in shows, whilst other puppies from the same litter may be able to. Other breeders may inflate their prices for silver Labs, since they are less common than other colors.
Alternatives When Searching for Puppies
Since silver Lab puppies can be harder to find, you may want to expand your search boundaries. If you’re happy to travel to get your puppy, look further afield to breeders further away. Some will have waiting lists that you can join, and some may be happy to contact you if a silver Lab puppy appears in their upcoming litters.
Alternatively, you can also look in rescue centers. You may be able to find some near you specifically devoted to rehoming Labradors. But, Labs are a common sight in general rescues too, since they’re such a common breed. Let rescue center staff know what you’re searching for, and work with them to make sure you’re bringing home a silver Lab that suits your needs and your family.
Silver Labs will have the same high energy and social needs as any other Labrador color. So, make sure you are able to provide this before committing, whether you choose a puppy or a rescue dog.
Silver Lab Blue Eyes – A Summary
Silver Lab blue eyes will fade over the first year of your puppy’s life. By the time they’re 8 – 10 months old, your silver Labrador will usually have yellow-brown, hazel, or green eyes. Though, they’re often lighter in color than the average chocolate brown Lab’s eyes.
Silver Labs have the same care needs as other Labs, though the genes that dilute their fur are linked to alopecia. So, some silver Labradors may need extra care around their coats.
Do you have a silver Lab with blue eyes at home? We would love to hear about your Labradors – make sure to leave your stories and experiences in the comments!
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References and Resources
- Brancalion, L. (et al), ‘Canine Coat Pigmentation Genetics: A Review’, Animal Genetics (2021)
- Strain, G. ‘Deafness Prevalence and Pigmentation and Gender Associations in Dog Breeds at Risk’, The Veterinary Journal (2004)
- Kim, J. (et al), ‘Color-Dilution Alopecia in Dogs’, Journal of Veterinary Science (2005)
- Caramalac, S. (et al), ‘PCR-RFLP Molecular Confirmation of Color Dilution Alopecia in Dogs in Brazil’, Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation (2021)
- Keijser, S. (et al), ‘Quantification of the Health Status of the Dutch Labrador Retriever Population’, Preventive Veterinary Medicine (2019)
- Adams, V. (et al), ‘Methods and Mortality Results of a Health Survey of Purebred Dogs in the UK’, Journal of Small Animal Practice (2010)
- Farrell, L. (et al), ‘The Challenges of Pedigree Dog Health: Approaches to Combating Inherited Disease’, Canine Medicine and Genetics (2015)
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