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Thread: Silver Labs?

  1. #121
    Senior Member DRAKEHAVEN's Avatar
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    Water bucket water bucket water bucket water bucketwater bucket water bucket water bucket...............
    Discipline is no excuse for a lack of enthusiasm !!

  2. #122
    Senior Member afdahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Boy View Post
    Amy, These aren't purebred labs. So the people buying these dogs aren't getting a pure lab to begin with.
    Have you ever seen or trained one of these silver dogs. I have, they're a nice dog for the couch, but these silver dogs aren't labs. In my opinion these dogs lack a lot of what a good pure black, yellow or chocolate have. Which is trainablity and drive.
    I have it on what I consider good authority that at least some of them are purebred, as "pure" as any individual in a breed that has had a closed stud book only around 100 years. That is, from Dr. Mark Neff, a UCBerkeley researcher on the Canine Genome project, who has collected reports and pedigrees from breeders who have unexpectedly had "silvers" appear in litters. "You wouldn't believe" some of the bloodlines in which they are appearing; pedigree analysis shows the presence of the allele in the breed to go far back.

    I trained a black Lab sired by a silver, and he was quite a good dog. I trained a silver bitch and she was difficult, but she was reared in a home with her dam, never separated, and that by itself could account for the poor training response, so I can't infer much about silvers from that. I did think she was ugly, not because she had the fineness typical of tightly-bred dogs, but because her structure was poor--narrow chest, turned-out front legs, stuff like that. She did have a typical Lab head fwiw.

    I would certainly concur that breeding selectively for any one trait decreases one's ability to select for all other traits, and that breeding for two color recessives (b and d) necessarily means intense selection for color, thereby greatly reducing selection for anything else. I also take pedigrees with a dose of salt--so many ways for the parents of a puppy not to be who they are purported to be. DNA profiling, of course, helps with that.

    Taken all together, I oppose the purposeful breeding of silvers because I think part of a breeder's responsibility is to maintain the essence or definition of the breed. Granted the Lab is a mix of older breeds, but it is a mix that was created with a purpose and image in mind. Reducing, not promoting, the variability inherent in the mix, and striving toward a standard, is part of defining, creating, and maintaining the breed. On the other hand, I don't get as excited as some here about it. We have a huge market for fad dogs providing motivation to the doodle and poo and silver breeders, and unless we can educate the public, trying to counter that motivation by force is a losing proposition IMHO. Pollution of the gene pool is not something I'm worried about. As long as they are crummy dogs, nobody trying to breed for working ability or show is going to cross to them, so they will stay in their own little corner. And thanks to DNA testing, anyone who wants to eliminate the allele from their breeding stock can easily do it in one generation.

    Concerns about the gene pool are more in the opposite direction--loss of diversity, much more than presence of something unwanted. Unwanted stuff can always be bred out, but diversity, once lost, can never be regained once the stud book is closed.

    Amy Dahl

  3. #123
    Senior Member Golden Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon Potter View Post
    My point is this: Currently, AKC considers silver a shade of chocolate, which it is not, and allows silvers to be registered as chocolate. So, suppose AKC were to change their status and not allow silvers to be registered as chocolate any longer....how would AKC know that all chocolates registered really are chocolate, and that silver breeders weren't continuing to register them as such? They would have to inspect every chocolate puppy registered. Really, as it stands now, you could register a yellow as black and AKC wouldn't know it wasn't (not that I can imagine anybody wanting to do such a thing, but there's no way for AKC to know what color a dog really is when its registered. It's all the honor system, and therein lies the failure.
    Your right it is about honor or lack of.
    It just sad there's a guy on another site looking to breed his silver lab and he got beatup on line over it. I don't believe he know what he was buying when he got the pup and he is now trying to breed it.
    Cold Creek Gundogs
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  4. #124
    Senior Member Golden Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by afdahl View Post
    I have it on what I consider good authority that at least some of them are purebred, as "pure" as any individual in a breed that has had a closed stud book only around 100 years. That is, from Dr. Mark Neff, a UCBerkeley researcher on the Canine Genome project, who has collected reports and pedigrees from breeders who have unexpectedly had "silvers" appear in litters. "You wouldn't believe" some of the bloodlines in which they are appearing; pedigree analysis shows the presence of the allele in the breed to go far back.

    I trained a black Lab sired by a silver, and he was quite a good dog. I trained a silver bitch and she was difficult, but she was reared in a home with her dam, never separated, and that by itself could account for the poor training response, so I can't infer much about silvers from that. I did think she was ugly, not because she had the fineness typical of tightly-bred dogs, but because her structure was poor--narrow chest, turned-out front legs, stuff like that. She did have a typical Lab head fwiw.

    I would certainly concur that breeding selectively for any one trait decreases one's ability to select for all other traits, and that breeding for two color recessives (b and d) necessarily means intense selection for color, thereby greatly reducing selection for anything else. I also take pedigrees with a dose of salt--so many ways for the parents of a puppy not to be who they are purported to be. DNA profiling, of course, helps with that.

    Taken all together, I oppose the purposeful breeding of silvers because I think part of a breeder's responsibility is to maintain the essence or definition of the breed. Granted the Lab is a mix of older breeds, but it is a mix that was created with a purpose and image in mind. Reducing, not promoting, the variability inherent in the mix, and striving toward a standard, is part of defining, creating, and maintaining the breed. On the other hand, I don't get as excited as some here about it. We have a huge market for fad dogs providing motivation to the doodle and poo and silver breeders, and unless we can educate the public, trying to counter that motivation by force is a losing proposition IMHO. Pollution of the gene pool is not something I'm worried about. As long as they are crummy dogs, nobody trying to breed for working ability or show is going to cross to them, so they will stay in their own little corner. And thanks to DNA testing, anyone who wants to eliminate the allele from their breeding stock can easily do it in one generation.

    Concerns about the gene pool are more in the opposite direction--loss of diversity, much more than presence of something unwanted. Unwanted stuff can always be bred out, but diversity, once lost, can never be regained once the stud book is closed.

    Amy Dahl
    It just all shaddy. There's too many great labs that are of the correct color and standard to have to put up with these types of bad traits entering into the gene pool. And you're correct about educating people. But at the end of the day it's all about money. Piss Poor breeders making puppy money, the breed register getting paid for tracking a pedigree. The real loser here is the family that gets the dog and the little boy that's 12 years old that lose his best buddy way too soon. Sad Sad!!!!!
    Cold Creek Gundogs
    The more I'm on the internet the more I love my dogs.

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by afdahl View Post
    I have it on what I consider good authority that at least some of them are purebred, as "pure" as any individual in a breed that has had a closed stud book only around 100 years. That is, from Dr. Mark Neff, a UCBerkeley researcher on the Canine Genome project, who has collected reports and pedigrees from breeders who have unexpectedly had "silvers" appear in litters. "You wouldn't believe" some of the bloodlines in which they are appearing; pedigree analysis shows the presence of the allele in the breed to go far back.

    I trained a black Lab sired by a silver, and he was quite a good dog. I trained a silver bitch and she was difficult, but she was reared in a home with her dam, never separated, and that by itself could account for the poor training response, so I can't infer much about silvers from that. I did think she was ugly, not because she had the fineness typical of tightly-bred dogs, but because her structure was poor--narrow chest, turned-out front legs, stuff like that. She did have a typical Lab head fwiw.

    I would certainly concur that breeding selectively for any one trait decreases one's ability to select for all other traits, and that breeding for two color recessives (b and d) necessarily means intense selection for color, thereby greatly reducing selection for anything else. I also take pedigrees with a dose of salt--so many ways for the parents of a puppy not to be who they are purported to be. DNA profiling, of course, helps with that.

    Taken all together, I oppose the purposeful breeding of silvers because I think part of a breeder's responsibility is to maintain the essence or definition of the breed. Granted the Lab is a mix of older breeds, but it is a mix that was created with a purpose and image in mind. Reducing, not promoting, the variability inherent in the mix, and striving toward a standard, is part of defining, creating, and maintaining the breed. On the other hand, I don't get as excited as some here about it. We have a huge market for fad dogs providing motivation to the doodle and poo and silver breeders, and unless we can educate the public, trying to counter that motivation by force is a losing proposition IMHO. Pollution of the gene pool is not something I'm worried about. As long as they are crummy dogs, nobody trying to breed for working ability or show is going to cross to them, so they will stay in their own little corner. And thanks to DNA testing, anyone who wants to eliminate the allele from their breeding stock can easily do it in one generation.

    Concerns about the gene pool are more in the opposite direction--loss of diversity, much more than presence of something unwanted. Unwanted stuff can always be bred out, but diversity, once lost, can never be regained once the stud book is closed.

    Amy Dahl
    I don't have an opinion on the subject due to far too little knowledge to do so. I went to the UC Berkeley site and could not find Dr. Neff listed as part of the faculty nor could I find any information as to any research called Canine Genome Project. Am I missing something?

  6. #126
    Senior Member afdahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caryalsobrook View Post
    I don't have an opinion on the subject due to far too little knowledge to do so. I went to the UC Berkeley site and could not find Dr. Neff listed as part of the faculty nor could I find any information as to any research called Canine Genome Project. Am I missing something?
    I googled Dr. Neff and see he has moved to the Translational Genomics Research Institute, where he is still working on canine genomics. It was a few years ago that I interviewed him for an article on color genetics, at which time he was at Berkeley. He reminded me at that time that there is no reason to assume that color is independent from temperamental and other physical traits. Mendel's Second Law, the law of independent assortment, says that it would be but we now know that Mendel's Second Law is not generally true.

    The Dog Genome Project is a collaboration between researchers at many institutions. The Broad Institute lists a project under that title; whether it is the whole collaboration or not, I don't know. It's pretty interesting, though. Dogs are a potentially useful model for a lot of human diseases that have a genetic component, and the existence of many independent breeding populations in the form of different breeds, which have different frequencies of genes of interest, allows research to be meaningful with far fewer subjects than when humans are used. Thus it is cheaper and faster. A useful consequence for dog breeders is the identification of disease genes and tests to screen breeding stock.

    Amy Dahl
    Last edited by afdahl; 01-25-2014 at 10:48 AM. Reason: restore accidental deletion

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by afdahl View Post
    I googled Dr. Neff and see he has moved to the Translational Genomics Research Institute, where he is still working on canine genomics. It was a few years ago that I interviewed him for an article on color genetics, at which time he was at Berkeley. He reminded me at that time that there is no reason to assume that color is independent from temperamental and other physical traits. Mendel's Second Law, the law of independent assortment, says that it would be but we now know that Mendel's Second Law is not generally true.

    The Dog Genome Project is a collaboration between researchers at many institutions. The Broad Institute lists a project under that title; whether it is the whole collaboration or not, I don't know. It's pretty interesting, though. Dogs are a potentially useful model for a lot of human diseases that have a genetic component, and the existence of many independent breeding populations in the form of different breeds, which have different frequencies of genes of interest, allows research to be meaningful with far fewer subjects than when humans are used. Thus it is cheaper and faster. A useful consequence for dog breeders is the identification of disease genes and tests to screen breeding stock.

    Amy Dahl
    Sorry, I goggled Dr CHARLES Neff rather than Mark. However, I have found no publications by him regarding silver labs.

  8. #128
    Senior Member afdahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caryalsobrook View Post
    Sorry, I goggled Dr CHARLES Neff rather than Mark. However, I have found no publications by him regarding silver labs.
    Dr. Neff's observations about the silver Lab pedigrees submitted to him was a private communication that took place during our interview. As the data he summarized were mainly confidential (see Drakehaven's post above) the material wouldn't have been publishable.

    I found him credible, and am happy to publicly report on what he said and my opinion of his credibility. But I can't offer a reference apart from that.

    Amy Dahl

  9. #129
    Senior Member afdahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FinnLandR View Post
    Amy, do you have a link to the article you wrote for which you interviewed him?
    It was in the retriever journal but I don't believe they posted it online. Not much of what Dr. Neff said made it into the article. I think the main thing was that it is a misconception to assume that color is independent of all other traits.

    I don't even remember what year that was, but the title was something like, "the color prejudice."

    Amy Dahl

  10. #130
    Senior Member Sharon Potter's Avatar
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    Also, for anyone who wonders why so many good breeders sell on Limited registration unless they know the buyer....this is one good reason.

    When I was still breeding Labs, I started doing all limited (unless it was someone I knew) after one of my pups ended up in a silver breeder's hands (of course, they made sure to not mention that when they bought her). Fortunately, they never got a silver pup from her and my name won't ever be tied to that.
    Sharon Potter

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