The White Labrador (Everything You Need to Know)

Labradors are wonderful dogs. They are loving, loyal, caring, and very affectionate with their owners. Labs tend to have very sweet personalities and make lovely family dogs. Most Labrador Retrievers come in different colors such as yellow, black, and brown, but have you ever seen a white Labrador? 

That’s right, you can get Labradors white as snow rather than the usual golden yellow color that we are used to seeing. So, what is the white Labrador, how are they different and how can you get one? These are the answers that we have for you, in this simple guide.

white labrador

What is a White Labrador?

In general, Labrador Retrievers come in a range of colors, from yellow to black, to cream, and even fox red, but the most common you will find is the yellow lab! Even if you have a black Labrador or a yellow Labrador, they will be able to produce pups of all different colors and shades. 

The white Labrador is simply just a variation of the yellow Labrador. It is a paler and lighter color in comparison to other yellow labs.

Some white labs can be whiter than others, whereas other white labs may have hints of yellow on their coats.  

Is the White Labrador recognized by the AKC?

Actually, the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize the white lab. It registers Labrador Retrievers as either black, yellow, or chocolate.

However, the AKC does recognize that there may be differences in the yellow shade, as this can range from very pale, light white, or cream, all the way to caramel colors and fox red shades. 

Whilst some white Labradors may look like a different breed of dog, they are actually just a paler version and variation of the typical yellow Labrador. 

How are White Labradors created?

White Labradors can be created in the same way as any other Labrador puppies. When yellow Labradors give birth, they can often produce a range of puppies in either chocolate, yellow or brown colors. 

Many years ago, the preferred look for a Labrador was a dark, rich yellow color, almost a caramel shade, and so many breeders tried to achieve this color coat when breeding puppies.

However, as times have changed, most people would like the lighter colored Labrador, and so the lighter shades of labrador have become the most common and most popular

Through selective breeding, these dogs often produce puppies in much lighter colors, and can also produce white labradors as a result. White labs will most often be born to two lighter shaded yellow labrador parents

Are White Labs Just Albino Labs?

No, white labs are not considered albino Labradors. Albinism is a genetic condition that means that there is a total lack of pigmentation in the skin, eyes, and nose.

This is different from just a lighter shade of labrador, or a white Labrador. Therefore, in most situations, a white Labrador will not be an albino Labrador. 

Albino labradors will have very pale skin, fair fur, and even red eyes due to the loss of pigmentation. On the other hand, a white Labrador will simply have lightly colored fur, whereas their nose and eyes are more normal colored.

In addition to this, white Labradors may have slightly darker ears, where they may appear more yellow or golden than white. 

It is also important to note that Albino Labradors have a condition where pigmentation is missing in their genetics. This is clearly a health issue, where the skin is hypersensitive to light, sunburn, and other environmental factors, causing burned skin and even cancer.

Therefore, these dogs are not commonly selectively bred as it is not a desirable genetic trait for dogs. 

Types Of White Labradors

White Labradors, just like other labradors, are categorized into two different types:

  • Show type dogs, and
  • Working type dogs.

In general, the show-type Labrador is called an English Labrador, whereas the working type lab is referred to as an American Labrador

English Labrador

The English Labrador, or the White English Lab, is a show-type dog that is only growing in popularity across the United States.

The white English Lab will tend to be wider and more chunky than other types of lab. These dogs tend to have larger heads and shorter bodies, and can typically look more robust than other types of Labradors. 

As these types of labs are show dogs, they can be rather difficult to train, and tend to have fun-loving personalities, or can be quite silly and goofy. These dogs are the perfect family pets, and are more for show than for excessive training and working. 

American Labrador

On the other hand, the White American Labrador tends to come in darker shades of white, and are closer to yellow colored labradors. However, white American Labradors are possible. 

These types of labs are working dogs, and will therefore have slimmer, slighter bodies as they are most suited to training and agility roles. As a result, they are very energetic, highly trainable and intelligent, and can be used for working roles. 

How To Get A White Labrador

The simplest way to get a white Labrador is to breed two lightly colored yellow Labradors. This will give you the highest chance of creating light, white puppies. However, white Labradors are never guaranteed even with two pale-colored parents. 

Most Labrador litters do vary in color and their coats can still change as the dog grows older. Some very pale labs may even turn more yellow-colored as they become adults.

In this sense, you could say that white Labradors are rather rare, and you can expect to pay a little bit more for a white Labrador than a regular yellow Labrador. 

You have to be careful, as a puppy can look white when it is very young, but that does not necessarily mean that they will remain pure white as they age and get older. In most cases of white Labradors, they are never truly all over white, some will have darker ears. 

White lab breeders

If you are looking for a white lab, then you will need to ensure that you purchase from an experienced, reliable, and trusted breeder.

This will ensure the health of your Labrador puppy for the years to come, and you will know that your dog has no underlying health conditions or genetic problems. 

Due to the rise in demand for white Labradors, some breeders will breed their yellow Labradors excessively in order to raise their chances of white puppies. This can be very unhealthy for the parent dogs and can cause a rise in health problems and genetically inherited diseases.

To ensure that you get a good, healthy puppy, make sure that the breeder is registered, and that they do not use breeding practices that are detrimental to the health of the dog and the puppies.

You should also only ever buy a puppy from a breeder who is able to show you the mother of the litter, and if possible the father, so that you know there are no obvious behavioral or health, and wellbeing issues. 

Price of white lab

Due to the rareness of the white lab, you can expect the price to be more costly than others. However, you can be lucky, as some breeders will sell white labs for the same price as the other labs in the litter. In the US, most Labradors on average cost from around $800 to $1200

Want To Read More About The Labrador Breed?

We have a stack of interesting articles to read about Labradors. Check them out below.

Author - Melissa

Melissa is a dog mom to her Labrador Bella and German Shepherd Bear. Her dogs love swimming in Lake Michigan and nearby beaches. Bear is a big dog who loves to fetch. Melissa will sometimes throw a stick into the woods for Bear and he will come running back towards her with a huge fallen down tree branch! Bear also loves frisbee. Melissa is planning on taking both her dogs to agility camps to burn off some unrelenting energy! Even though they wrestle each other, both her dogs are extremely gentle and playful with her kids. Her four-year-old thinks both dogs are her personal pillows!

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