Issue Statement 5: Genetic Basis & Historic Basis
Regarding the LRC Position: “There is no genetic basis for the silver gene in Labradors”
- The phrase “Genetic Basis” suggests that the root of a condition is the result of genes. The LRC position is, at its core, a suggestion of no historic basis for the MLPH gene in Labradors.
- It is a proven genetic fact that the “Silver” variation in Labradors is the result of a gene, “MPLH,” and it therefore has a “genetic basis.”
- The MPLH gene is recessive and is only completely obvious to the observer in the presence of the gene responsible for the Chocolate variation, also a recessive gene. The genetic basis for the gene’s historical rarity can be tied to its recessive nature in combination with low numbers of Chocolate Labradors historically; a “genetic basis.”
- The two closest relations of the Labrador Retriever breed, who trace their origins to the same foundation canines from the island of Newfoundland, are the Chesapeake Bay Retriever and the Newfoundland breed. Both possess the MLPH gene, another “genetic basis.”
- Breed author Mary Roslin-Williams wrote: "There is another color which I had heard of but never seen and that was a rumor of a bluish or silver Labrador in the old days, with a dark stripe or stripes down the back." The Author later reports that she does have the opportunity to see a different litter of grey Labrador puppies and that as they grow they eventually darken to black. It is not uncommon to read debates over whether the puppies the Author personally saw were dilute or not. However, what cannot be argued is that the Author had heard of other "bluish or silver Labradors" in "the old days." These were Labs the Author never personally saw. No one can interpret her statement other than for what it is, a report of “Silver Labradors” historically. (Note: The Author was a breeder from the United Kingdom whose vast experience with Labradors dates to the late 1930's. For her, the "old days" were at least pre-1930, but can easily mean pre-breed recognition, possibly the 1800's.) A historically based “genetic basis.”