While dogs will come in a wide range of colors such as black, brown, white, cream, tan, red, and many variants in between, these silver-coated dogs are truly rare. Both Silver Labs and Weimaraners are dogs known for the stunning silver color they have and are often confused for one another. Below is a breakdown of what makes these two so special and unique in their own way, as well as a comprehensive look into their breed.
An Overview of the Breeds
The Weimaraner breed and the Silver Labrador Retriever have many similarities between them; apart from their appearance, these dogs also have a shared temperament. In fact, people will often mistake them for the same breed or will at least think that the two are related. However, Silver Labs are pure labradors that are a different breed from Weimaraners.
Both of these dog breeds come with a gorgeous, silver coat color; this is the standard color for Weimaraner dogs, and have always had this color to begin with. But in the case of Labrador Retriever breeds, this coloration is the result of a diluted chocolate color, giving a silver color instead. The Weimaraner is known as a hunting dog that has retained much of its descendants’ instincts, and Labradors are highly popular all-purpose dogs.
Deciding which breed of dog will be the best for you will boil down to a few key differences and of course, your preferences.
Are Silver Labs Related to the Weimaraner?
First introduced in Canada’s Newfoundland, the Labrador Retriever served duck hunters as a water retrieval dog. Purebred Labradors were taken to the United States and the United Kingdom to be refined and will come in yellow, black, or chocolate colors. The color of a silver dog comes from recessive genes that both parents need to pass on to their offspring.
It’s unclear how their genes were formed, but many experts think it was developed during the 1950s and may be a mutation resulting from breeding them with the Weimaraner. However, the Weimaraner hails from Germany in the city of Weimar, where this breed was used to hunt. This powerful breed was originally bred to hunt large game like wolves and bears as well as serve as a bird dog and loyal companion to hunters.
Why is it Controversial to Breed Silver Labs?
Unfortunately, the Silver Labrador carries two recessive genes, which means it’s more vulnerable to getting color dilution alopecia. While this condition isn’t life-threatening, it can give dogs itchy, dry, and irritable skin which may lead to a lot of hair loss. Moreover, it’s also controversial because the breed’s purity is being threatened by unscrupulous breeders who try to make as much money as they can by breeding them to get a more desirable color.
What are the Differences Between Them?
Even with the similarities between their beautiful and short coat, it’s easy to see the differences between the two breeds. The Labrador breed is built sturdier with a stockier and thicker body compared to a Weimaraner, which has a more athletic and agile form. Weimaraners will also have thinner bodies with skinny limbs and muscular hindquarters paired with a deeper chest compared to Labs.
They will also have small faces with big floppy ears and will have amber, gray, or blue-gray eyes. The Silver Lab has eye colors that include brown eyes and hazel eyes but will often come with blue eyes. While the Weimaraner is typically born with a long and thin tail, docking is the breed standard for these dogs according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Silver Labrador Guide
Silver Labs are purebred dogs with a peculiar color but are almost identical to Yellow Labs, Chocolate Labs, and Black Labs. Just until this last year, labrador puppies were the most popular dog breed; the Labrador Retriever Club was even created just for them! These are healthy dogs that are trainable and will often become great family pets.
No matter what the color, pure-bred labradors will come with a happy-go-lucky, fun, and dopey personality. These great dogs will fit in well with families, including kids and other dogs, and will rarely approach a stranger. A purebred labrador dog will love to play and is known for its reputation for being friendly, cuddly, and snuggly.
They simply want to have fun, and would love to play, explore, and go out on adventures; they are rarely aggressive or anxious due to their impressive temperament. Because of this and their loyalty, purebred Labrador Retrievers are well-loved by Lab owners. These versatile dogs will also work well for a wide range of dog lovers, as well as anyone interested in caring for a traditional dog.
The Labrador is a highly trainable dog but when they’re energetic and young, they can be difficult to manage due to their stubbornness. They will also need proper training, lots of exercise, and socialization to help them grow well. If you plan on getting a Silver Lab puppy, you may need to put it through training sessions to get the most out of your dog and to encourage it to become loyal and obedient.
In general, the Labrador breed are healthy dogs, and as a pure breed, Silver Labradors share their health profile. However, because Silver Labs will have the recessive trait, they have a higher chance of getting health problems such as blindness, heart conditions, ear infections, bloat, and cancer. These dogs are also prone to obesity which may result in health problems that can affect the rest of their lives such as mobility issues and diabetes.
Hip and elbow dysplasia are also common in dogs that get plenty of exercise. To keep your Silver Labrador in top shape, you’ll need to give it a regular exercise routine as well as a healthy diet. The average lifespan of a Silver Labrador is around 10 to 12 years.
Energy and Exercise
When they’re young, Silver Labradors come with high energy levels which gradually slow down when they get older. From the time they’re puppies until they reach the age of 5, Silver Labs will need lots of physical activities such as regular play sessions and long walks, along with mental stimulation. Once they’re 5 years old, they will become cuddlier and lazier, so you can take their activities down a notch.
Food and Nutrition
As mentioned, Labradors are prone to obesity, so you need to make sure that they’re not overfed. This particular breed loves to eat and will chomp on anything it comes across if it gets the chance. 1¼ to 2 cups of dry dog food can be divided into two meals for feeding every day should be enough for your Silver Lab; be sure to take into account the treats that you give to your dog to get an accurate measure of its calorie intake.
These Dogs are Suitable For:
Silver Labradors will suit just about anyone; it is the best dog for families, active individuals, and any dog lover in general. Those who wish to own one of these dogs should know that they’ll need to invest a lot of attention and time into these dogs; but once they get older, they will be highly cuddly and affectionate. If you don’t have enough energy or time to care for a puppy, consider looking for an older dog at your local shelter — Silver Labs will usually appear at rescues and will be more common than Weimaraners.
These hunting dogs are athletic, have energy for days, and have big personalities. Dog enthusiasts love the Weimaraner for its hunting pedigree, gorgeous color, and unique appearance. They’re the perfect dogs for people who love spending time outside or those who love to keep in shape with their pups.
Weimaraners can become good pets apart from being loyal companions for life. Just keep in mind that when they’re young, they can be willful. Below is everything you need to know before taking home one of these dogs into your home.
These dogs are known to be sweet, obedient, and loyal, and can make great family members. While an independent breed, they can also suffer from separation anxiety should they be left alone for long periods of time. Moreover, Weimaraners can be stressed and anxious, which will leave them on alert at all times, so they may bark and even nip.
This won’t be a problem for their immediate owners but could be the case for friends, extended family that doesn’t see them often, as well as strangers.
These working dogs were born to be trained and will do well within a sporting group where they need to move on a schedule; they can also learn a plethora of commands. The Weimaraner is meant to work with people to help them achieve their goals or tasks but you will still need to socialize them. It’s also important to manage their energy levels to ensure that all the training they learned will stay with them — positive reinforcement will work well with this breed.
Just remember that not all dog owners will be able to handle a stubborn or extremely energetic Weimaraner.
Because they’re so active, many of their health issues are related to exercise and activities, such as cuts, scrapes, and injuries to their soft tissue. These dogs are also strong chewers and can chew and swallow things; bloat is a life-threatening condition that affects Weimaraners that you should look out for. Other health concerns that they’re prone to include joint issues and hip dysplasia as a result of repeated physical motion, along with heart disease and hypothyroidism.
Luckily, Weimaraners aren’t prone to congenital disorders but can sometimes develop a genetic disorder called hypertrophic osteodystrophy, which can affect their bones. However, a reputable breeder can run genetic testing or a full panel DNA testing through DNA samples to look for a potential genetic disorder to ensure that their dogs are free from genetic diseases.
Energy and Exercise
These high-energy dogs are especially energetic when they’re young and because they were bred as hunting dogs, they are happy to spend a lot of their time outside. They want to be on the move, working, or exploring, so Weimaraners will need regular exercise to keep their energy levels manageable. They will also need plenty of mental and physical stimulation; if you don’t have the time to take them out for long walks or intense play sessions, you may want to consider a different dog.
Food and Nutrition
Because they’re so full of energy, these dogs need to be fed high-quality food that contains a combination of meats, veggies, and berries to support their hard-working muscles. The best diet for the Weimaraner will be balanced and suitable for their energy needs and life stage. Try a mix of healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and quality protein to keep them going strong every day.
But as with all dogs, be careful not to overfeed them since this can lead to obesity; instead, stick to the recommended feeding allowance as instructed on the packaging.
These Dogs are Suitable For:
This dog is suitable for different kinds of people, especially active individuals or families. They’ll also be a great fit for those who love hiking or hunting; people looking to train a dog with lots of patience will reap the most out of their Weimaraners. Unfortunately, they aren’t the right fit for people looking for couch potato dogs or for busy people who need to leave their pets for a long time without any stimulation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions when you’re looking for a great comparison between these two breeds.
Which is the Stronger Breed?
In general, the Weimaraner dog is stronger, as these large-sized dogs stand at 25 inches tall with a weight of around 73 pounds. Their body was built for work; they’re strong, streamlined, and able to exercise and run with impressive stamina. Labrador Retrievers, on the other hand, will stand at 22 inches in height and weigh 68 pounds on average — they will enjoy playing and walking with their owner.
Which Breed is More Aggressive?
The Weimaraner can be a territorial dog and can become aggressive if they sense any kind of danger. These dogs will be wary of strangers, so they’ll need a lot of socialization at a young age to make sure that they’ll get along with other dogs and people. On the contrary, Labrador Retrievers are friendly dogs that are very welcoming to all kinds of people and animals.
Which Dog is Smarter?
The Labrador Retriever is an intelligent dog and so is the Weimaraner but Silver Labs are easier to train; Weimaraners don’t just blindly follow any order you give to them. Even if both breeds can be friendly and sociable, they will still need obedience training to make sure they are well-adjusted and don’t develop destructive behaviors. This is very true when it comes to the Weimaraner; these dogs need consistent training that’s fun to keep them engaged and interested.
Which Breed Requires Higher Maintenance?
Luckily, both breeds only have a moderate need for maintenance, and will need weekly brushing to keep them well groomed. They also need regular exercise to keep them active so they don’t become bored at home. While both dogs will need a fair bit of exercise, Weimaraners will be more demanding of your time and energy.
Much like other Retrievers, Silver Labs comes with a water-resistant and thick coat that won’t need much maintenance. While they do shed, brushing them once a week will eliminate loose fur while keeping their coat looking shiny and stunning. When they shed heavier as the seasons change, you should brush them more often.
The Weimaraner’s coat will be shorter compared to a Silver Labrador but they will shed more depending on the season. Because they have such floppy ears, they will need to be cleaned regularly, and their nails should be trimmed more often to make sure that they aren’t in pain while playing or exercising. It’s worth noting that both of these breeds won’t be suitable for dog owners suffering from allergies.
How Much Does Each Puppy Cost?
Compared to Chocolate Labradors or a Black Labrador, which will cost around $800 and $2,000, Silver Lab puppies will cost more with a higher price tag because of their rarity. Because of their rise in popularity, some irresponsible breeders will neglect to provide proper care for these puppies, as long as they get the rare color that comes with the high price for each puppy. Weimaraner puppies will generally cost between $700 and $2,600; the parent dogs, lineage, and the responsible breeders’ reputation will influence the total price of these puppies.
Which is the Right Dog for You?
Silver Labs and Weimaraners have many similarities, including a vibrant, shiny coat, a big and athletic build, as well as a loyal and trainable demeanor. However, Weimaraners will need more attention and stimulation compared to Silver Labs, which are naturally more fun and happy-go-lucky. If you want a hunting dog that will come with you on all your adventures, choose the Weimaraner but if you want a dog that’s a bit more laid-back and will enjoy both the outdoors and the couch, then consider getting a Silver Lab.