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  • Labs with saddle markings?

    I have a new client who came into the shop with what she says is a full blooded lab but it has markings more like a german shepherd, tan with a black saddle. If it is a pure lab, it's got a very incorrect head. The client says she owned both parents and knows the grandparents, and they're all labs, and there is no way another male could have come courting. I know that black or chocolate with brindle or tan markings are DQ, but it doesn't mention tan with a saddle at all. So, my question to all of you folks out there is have you ever seen a full blooded lab or heard of one with saddle markings? How rare is this? Or is it just a case of someone else having a go with mama while the owners weren't looking? In the greater scheme of things it doesn't matter one way or the other, it's just for my own education (cuz it's gonna drive me nuts now till I know). Opinions?

  • #2
    I've never heard of it, and have done quite a bit of "wrong" color Lab research when I got my Charcoal boy. I've seen pictures of the brindles, the black/tan, the chocolate/tan, the mosaics, charcoals and silvers, and of course the blacks, chocolates, yellows. Seen some with white chests and white paws. All can legitimately be called Labradors. I've never seen one that has a saddle, but I would hesitate before I said it was impossible.

    However, my first thought would be that there was an oops there somewhere, especially if he doesn't look like a purebred lab physically. If another male got to the mom, it is indeed possible to have a litter out of two different sires. The rest of the puppies could indeed have been pure Labradors.

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    • #3
      Labs are solid colors only to meet the breed standard. The only acceptable colors are yellow (blond), chocolate (brown) and black.

      I'd say it would be VERY rare to end up with a saddled Lab if in fact it was purebreed. Sounds to me it could have some type of hound (beagle, fox, harrier, etc) mixed in there somewhere.

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      • #4
        Check out the Labrador Retriever Club of America site:
        http://www.thelabradorclub.com/

        See what they have to say.

        We see a myriad of colors in the many labs we board and groom, but have never seen one marked with a saddle. People here refer to the very light colored yellow labs as "snow labs" and sell them for more. Then there are the "fox labs" that are very red in color - almost like an Irish setter. Of all the labs we see here there are only a couple that are correct (according to the AKC standard) in structure.

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        • #5
          The breed standard may call for solid black, yellow, or chocolate, but "throwbacks" can happen. Without DNA testing one can never know what recessive genes may be lurking around for generations. Just like red Rotties. They're all Rottie, but they're a throwback to a time long ago.

          I'd think the incorrect head might be more of an issue. That could indicate that mom was steppin' out, even if no one saw it happen. I've seen some pretty determined dogs do amazing things over the years.

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          • #6
            The breed standard describes what is allowed in the show ring, but has little or no bearing on what you will see in the pet population for a breed. To show, labs must be yellow, black, or chocolate. Swissys must be black-tri colored. Poodles must be solid colors. We all know poodles can be parti-colored, it doesn't mean they are not poodles. Swissys can be blue-tri or red-bi and though they cannot be shown, it doesn't make them not Swissys.

            Just because the Labrador Club isn't happy with the idea that there are indeed Silver and Charcoal labs out there doesn't mean they don't exist. They also don't mention the brindles or the ones with tan points or the mosaics either, but they do happen. Their "genetic" color theory doesn't hold quite as much weight as they would like it to. Charcoal Labs have been documented as early as the 1920s and are mentioned in multiple Labrador retriever books. Course, since these odd colors are registered as either black or chocolate, you have to actually know the dogs in the pedigree to know what colors they are, or have a pedigree with the correct colors listed. Sometimes you can tell by the dog's name, but that is not always a guarantee. According to AKC registration, Charcoal Labradors are a "shade" of black and Silvers are a "shade" of chocolate. And they are that genetically, just with the addition of a dilute gene.

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            • #7
              I have never seen any differently colored labs before, but if there are labs with tan points where should be ones with saddles. It is just a variation of same gene.

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              • #8
                When I used to breed and show weims I had a pup come out all White with Grey spots. I know for a fact the bitch didn't hook up with any other dogs. She was never out of my site outside. And the only dogs I owned at the time were Weims. Both parents had BEAUTIFUL pedigrees and cost me a small fortune to purchase. I was part of the weim Club of America at the time. I spoke with some of the people there. I told them the situation and they said that it happens. Rarely but it did happen. the reason we never see them is because "reputable" breeder (there words, not mine) would "dispose" of the pup. *gasp* I couldn't do that, of course, and found a nice pet home for him....He is still alive and lives right here in Michigan. Beautiful as beautiful gets too!
                So it does happen.
                Mandy, Birdie, Evie, Willie and The Woo
                Check out my Blog at doggydivasdish.com

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by lexapurple View Post
                  I have never seen any differently colored labs before, but if there are labs with tan points where should be ones with saddles. It is just a variation of same gene.
                  Not necessarily. While the two patterns occur at the same locus, both genes may not be present in the breed. If the breed only carries the tan points gene it would take an introduction of the gene for a saddle from outside, or by spontaneous mutation.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Helly View Post
                    Without DNA testing one can never know what recessive genes may be lurking around for generations.
                    I have a customer with a 13 lb, white, curly dog they got from the shelter. I would stake my life on the fact that she is at least 1/2 bichon, and most likely a poodle/bichon cross. They sent in for a DNA test and guess what came back? ...................drumroll..............

                    The DNA test said she was a rottweiler/doberman. Lets hope she's not a throwback. LOL!

                    My question for you is, is DNA testing really all that reliable? Is my customer an isolated case, or did they go through a non-reputable company or something? I don't have much experience with DNA testing, and my little "rottie" is the most outrageous example I've heard of, but the few of my clients that have used it have also gotten unsatisfactory responses. Is there a better/good way to do it?
                    There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.

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                    • #11
                      I would seriously question that that bichony type dog that came back as a rottie/dobe DNA test was contaminated. That's one I'd want to run another test with another company and see what that resulted as.

                      It is true that a lot of "shepherd" looking mutts have no shepherd in them at all, and certainly a lot of dogs that are called labs have never had a lab in their pedigree. The more mixed you get, the more they will tend to go back toward the shepherd/lab or mutt terrier looking type dog.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OntheBRINKofDisaster View Post
                        I have a customer with a 13 lb, white, curly dog they got from the shelter. I would stake my life on the fact that she is at least 1/2 bichon, and most likely a poodle/bichon cross. They sent in for a DNA test and guess what came back? ...................drumroll..............

                        The DNA test said she was a rottweiler/doberman. Lets hope she's not a throwback. LOL!

                        My question for you is, is DNA testing really all that reliable? Is my customer an isolated case, or did they go through a non-reputable company or something? I don't have much experience with DNA testing, and my little "rottie" is the most outrageous example I've heard of, but the few of my clients that have used it have also gotten unsatisfactory responses. Is there a better/good way to do it?
                        I do a dog he is about 12lbs with long legs, and very fine boned. The owner KNOWS the dam is an I.G. her daughter owns her. It was an accident she was 10ms never been "IN" (not unheard of in sighthounds, I bred and showed Whippets and Borzoi from age 10-25)and they left her with a friend they hadn't had her speyed yet, but had every intention too. Anyway, the "friends" they left her with owned a L-C Chi, and a Cocker (both males) There where only 2 puppies, but they had to be "sired" by one or the other. Just out of curiosity my customers did a DNA test to find out which one was "daddy".
                        Now I know the mom/dam she is a seal/white Italian Greyhound they SAW the puppies whelped from her, and own her I know her pedigree and breeder. She was only with a L-C Chi, and cocker like I said. The puppy is long legged, fine boned, chiseled face (mom's side) but he has ear fringe, and is colored tan/white (white on body, and tan on face like a "piebald" IG maekings, but the color of the chi, and cocker)
                        DUM, DUM DUM the DNA came back German Shorthair Pointer x American Eskimo.
                        WE KNOW THE MOM WAS AN ITALIAN GREYHOUND!!!!!
                        I don't think those test are acurate enough yet. I could see if the dog waS adopted, but we KNOW the MOM
                        If you sweat the small stuff, all you have is small soggy stuff.....

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                        • #13
                          wow i'm glad i never wasted money on dna tests! We used to do a long haired rottie, looked kinda like a long haired weime, wavy and light. we shaved him to look like a regular rottie, and boy he was all rottie.... just a weird throwback. he looked normal after we shaved him.

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                          • #14
                            DNA

                            An AKC DNA breed profile would comfirm the obvious. The breeding is impure!!! Saddle and a crazy head, Please.
                            Until just recently We had to trust what is on the pedigree. AKC is an Honor system. Now serious dog fanciers are DNA profiling their pedigrees. It is the way of the future. You can't show a dog without it at our national specialty this year without it.

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                            • #15
                              Boy this is an interesting conversation! I have seen a lovely lab at a shop that was a reddish color, somewhat like a golden. The really unusual thing was the appeance of a saddle area along her topline. the color is the same as her over all body color but the texture is slighly different and rather than laying flat against her body it has a slight wavieness. Very unusual.


                              sittingpretty

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