A few recent internet blog posts have been circulating in some Labrador breeder circles that have attempted to resurrect the previously disproven claims made by another internet poster within the last decade who called herself “WigWag." WigWag believed that since the two earliest known Silver Labrador lines that she researched (Culo and Beavercreek) had a few Labs from Kellogg Kennels back in their pedigrees, that this connection was the source of the dilute gene in Labradors. She added in some convenient hearsay to try to substantiate her claim. That claim then was posted and re-posted all over the internet by Silver Labrador haters as if it were fact. The problem is, no one ever bothered to actually see if her claim could be backed up with “facts.” Below is her claim, as posted by her, followed by a narrative investigating her claims. You be the judge as to the credibility of this claim.
WigWag: "…So both Culo and Beavercreek lines can be traced directly back to Kellogg kennels which has been in existence since the 20's breeding hunting Labradors and many other retrievers and pointers and guess what? Yes Weimeraners. I know of one long timer who visited back in the 60's and said that puppies and dogs were running all over the farm and record keeping was not as strict as today so it would have been very easy for dogs to mix and breed. If a chocolate Labrador bred with a Weimeraner then her resulting all chocolate puppies would look like field type Labradors and would then be registered as Labradors. Another long timer remembers ads in Gun Dog magazine from the 50's advertising "gray Labradors" from Kellogg kennels." (In another version of this claim, she states “blue Labradors”)
In this claim against silver Labradors, Wigwas brings up "the Kellogg connection." Regardless if Kellogg had Weims or not (the present owner, H.E. Kellogg, has said he knows of none), the claim is complete speculation based on supposed hearsay from two unnamed "long timers." Contrary to the rumors silver haters have propagated, for a time, Kellogg was one of the most popular and sought after kennels for Show lines (Dual purpose) in the early to mid 1900's, their foundation Labs being European imports. Many old US show lines are backed by Kellogg Labs. It is since the mid 1900's to the present that Kellogg has bred mostly field lines (specializing in, and advertising, pointing labs since the Early 90's). One would be hard pressed to find a field bred Lab in the US today that does not have Kellogg lines behind it at some point (were this weim-Kellogg claim true, there would be silver Labs everywhere today). Using WigWag's methods of "research," one could just as easily say, "All Silver Labs go back to Sandylands dogs from the UK" and be just as accurate as the Kellogg connection, since all the silver lines do go to the famed Sandylands Kennel as well (not just the Culo and Beavercreek lines, all of them do, which actually makes for a stronger dilute gene origin theory than just the two lines discussed going back to Kellogg). If you want to keep following pedigrees of the known Silver lines, they all go back to "Buccleuch Avon," considered the very "father" of the breed! As a researcher, she should know well that in order for a claim to be even considered, she must provide the full source. Not only in this claim, but throughout her posts, she consistently neglects this. Without giving an accurate source to independently corroborate her claim, anyone could make up a story like that and say "that is how it is" and then spread it across the internet.
She introduces the idea, based on hearsay, for a Kellogg advertisement for "gray" or "blue" Labradors (she must be unsure which since she had publicly said both). This suffers from the same unnamed source problem as above, there is no way to substantiate the claim made unless one can find the actual advertisement. Even then, such an advertisement would only serve to prove that the dilute gene is an old gene in Labradors. So, let's find it, wait, what's that? Gun Dog Magazine was not in publication until 1980! It appears that in order for WigWag's claim to be true, Gun Dog Magazine would have to have published an edition 30 years before it even existed...no wonder she is having a hard time with remembering the color in the supposed ad. When this fact was recently brought to her attention, she once again changed her story to generically read “a gun dog magazine” not “Gun Dog magazine” as she claimed for nearly a decade! But it gets even more diabolical. WigWag was directly questioned about these problems in her claim, so what did she do? She went to the best "source" any researcher would use, an internet chat forum (tongue in cheek). So, in August 2010, many years after her initial claim of Kellogg breeding Weimaraners, she posted this inquiry:
"I'm doing a bit of research and looking for anyone who may have visited Kellogg kennels a ways back (40 - 50 years ago). Did they breed Pointers and Weimeraners as well as Labradors? Thank you. http://www.retrievertraining.net/for...ad.php?t=58767
Her internet handle on that forum is "acandtwows" and can be verified as WigWag by some of her earlier posts, like this one: http://www.retrievertraining.net/for...ad.php?t=26275
. Of course no one could corroborate her claim for her, the responses were that Kellogg only bred Labradors.
Perhaps something was missed here, but hadn't she claimed for nearly a decade to have a source for her Kellogg breeding Weims theory? Why would such a skilled researcher need something she already had? Could it be she never had it? Could it be the whole Kellogg Connection is part of a ploy to lay the blame on someone, anyone, other than the genome of breed itself for the existence of a Silver Labrador? It should be bluntly apparent that her “sources” and “facts” should be highly questioned if she cannot even do enough research to know when a publication did or did not exist; if she gets caught red-handed in an outright lie about the very premise she bases her Weimaraner corssbreeding theory on; if she adjusts her original claims once they have been disproven.
In response to the question “Where do silver Labradors come from?” she wrote:
"Well that's an interesting question and although we will never know "for sure" we do have some facts in history and can thus form a very strong hypothesis."
You have now seen some of her "facts" and her resulting "very strong hypothesis," even if you do not view Silver Labs favorably, you cannot deny her hypothesis is actually devoid of facts and is full of holes, to put it nicely.
Here are some facts that we do know for sure from actual documented breed history that form a much stronger hypothesis.
Other breeds that also originate from the island of Newfoundland, and either directly descend from, or often interbred with the St. john’s Water Dog (the Labrador's progenitor), also possess the dilution gene (the Newfoundland and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever). The majority of reported outcrosses used in development of the Labrador breed also possess the dilution gene. No, the Weimaraner was not one of them, and no, the Weimaraner does not descend from the St. John’s Water Dog. It is way more likely that the dilution gene has been part of the Labrador breed genome since its inception and development than a Weimaraner ever being bred into it.
The ongoing attempts to discredit Kellogg Kennels such as is displayed in this "open letter" are deplorable attempts by individuals who desire nothing more than to lay blame and spread their hate for Silver Labradors. These attacks are an affront to the majority of Labrador Retrievers in America, whose pedigreed heritage trace to this long-standing Kennel. If your preconceptions are such as to not believe the information posted here, feel free to do your own research. There is nothing better than for people to find truth for themselves.