Have you ever seen a White Labrador Retriever? If yes, you were probably confused and wondered if you were seeing right. No, you’re not going crazy. White Labradors really exist.
According to the American Kennel Club, Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dogs in the US. And the White Labs is gaining more and more popularity too.
But, you should know that the truly white color in Labradors is hard to find, and most of the time when people say a Lab is white, they are usually just a very pale cream color.
In this article, we’ll talk more about the white Lab and see how it’s even possible for them to have this color.
But, while you’re already here, read more about Labrador mixes:
- Great Dane Lab Mix: Breed Guide
- Lab Hound Mix: The very lovable hybrid
- Doberman Lab Mix: The smart Doberdor
- Catahoula Lab Mix: The unusual Labahoula
- Lab and Golden retriever mix: Loving and devoted
- Corgi Lab Mix: What You Have To Know
- Labrador Husky Mix: The Good And The Bad
We’ve said that the white color in Labs is rare, but there is something else you should know about this color. Even though they are beautiful, the AKC doesn’t accept white Labs as white Labs. Instead, they register them as pale yellow Labs.
The first reason for this is that white Labradors are just paler versions of the yellow Lab. And despite their name, their fur will still have touches of cream or yellow, especially around the ears.
Secondly, there are only three accepted colors of Labradors: black, chocolate, and yellow. Any other color or combination of colors means they can’t be registered or take part in dog shows. But, at the same time, it’s not that simple.
Basically, a small white mark on the chest is okay, but it doesn’t fit the breed standard. Also, don’t confuse white hair that is a result of aging or scarring with “Brindling”.
Now, these three colors come in many shades. For example, chocolate goes from light silver to dark brown, and yellow goes from light yellow or cream to fox red. So, when you see a white Labrador, it’s a very, very pale yellow Lab and the AKC will register them as exactly that.
Truly white Lab – Albinism
We’ve already mentioned that the yellow color in Labradors can vary from light cream to fox-red. In order to get almost white-looking Labs, breeders will selectively breed pale yellow Labradors.
But, another reason for white Labradors is albinism.
Albinism is a rare genetic condition that causes hair, skin, or eyes to be colorless. Labradors affected by this disorder have no pigment in their coat and look white. This is a genetic condition that can affect any animal, but it’s quite rare in dogs. It affects maybe one in every 20,000 dogs.
This disorder can occur in the whole body or only in parts. Dogs with partial albinism have spots on their nose and mouth.
This might not sound dangerous. But, the fact is that albinism in dogs is connected to many health problems. For example, sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation, cancer, eye problems, and hearing problems.
The chances of offspring with the albino gene are possible in dogs of any color. Basically, even two black parent dogs that carry the albino gene can have an albino puppy.
Why the White Labrador is rare
We’ve said in the beginning that white Labradors, or pale yellow Labs are rare to see. And that is true. This is because, to get a white Labrador breeders have to selectively breed pale yellow Labradors. Basically, white Labs come from yellow parents. That is what gives them their light, cream-yellow to white color.
So, obviously because breeders have to brees them to get white Labradors, they can be considered rare. But, that also means that they are more expensive than for example chocolate Labs.
Normally a Labrador Retriever would cost around $1200 to $2000 depending on the area you live in, the breeder and the parents of the puppies. But if you want a white Labrador you’ll have to pay up to $3000!
Obviously, they shouldn’t cost more, because they are simply Labs with a different coat color. But, breeders don’t why away from anything just to get a couple of hundred bucks more. So, they saw that there was a high demand for this color, and took advantage of it.
White Labradors are beautiful dogs, but in the end they are still Labrador Retrievers. They have all the same traits, health problems and character as any other Lab.
Many people will choose a white Labrador because they are rare, but is that really a good enough reason to pay a couple of thousand dollars more? We don’t think so.
After all it’s just the way a dog looks, just because a Lab puppy is white, doesn’t mean they will be smarter or better than other Labradors.
But, besides Labradors there are other white-coloed dogs that you might find interesting: