Dudley Lab photo showing the pink nose and other features.

There’s a special kind of Labrador Retriever who looks a little bit different from all the rest… the Dudley Labrador.

What are Dudley Labs? And what sets them apart from other types of Labradors?

Read on for quick facts about the Dudley Lab to help you get to know this uncommon, yet equally amazing, type of Labrador Retriever.

What is a Dudley Lab?

A Dudley Lab is a specific type of Labrador that has very little pigmentation on their noses, eye rims, feet, and inside their gumline.

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This can cause these areas to appear “pink,” instead of dark brown or black like on other Labradors.

A Dudley Lab is actually a type of yellow Labrador and not its own different category of Labrador color. We happen to think they’re pretty unique!

There are only three specific colors of Labrador Retriever that are recognized by the Labrador Retriever Club and the American Kennel Club: black, yellow, and chocolate.

(Getting a new Labrador puppy? Be sure to check out these 6 Puppy Must-Haves before you get your new pup!)

Within those three main colors are many sub-colors you may see, including Fox Red Labs, White Labradors, and the unique Dudley Lab.

The Dudley falls into the yellow category, even though people refer to them by their special name!

A Dudley Lab is typically first recognized by their cute pink nose, which differs from the typical brown nose or black nose usually seen on Labradors.

Dudley Labrador swimming.

If you’re trying to identify a Lab as a Dudley Lab, you can take a peek inside their gumline and see if you see pink or light-colored gum tissue. A typical Labrador will have dark-colored eye rims and dark gum tissue, but in a Dudley both of those areas will be pink or very light-colored.

Some Labradors might have a pink or lighter-colored nose, but in order to be considered a Dudley, the Lab would have lighter pink gums, eye rims, and feet, in addition to the pink nose.

If your yellow Lab’s nose is darker most of the year, but in certain seasons (like winter), turns a bit pink, this wouldn’t be considered a Dudley Lab either.

What sets Dudley Labs apart from other types of Labradors is that they have a light pink nose throughout the entire year, and it never turns darker.

What Causes Some Labradors to Be Dudley Labs?

According to our friends at the American Kennel Club, Dudley Labs are usually a result of breeding that results in an uncommon genetic combination.

Chocolate is the least common color of the Labrador world, and sometimes Dudley Labs can be considered to be chocolate Labs “in a yellow Lab’s body.”

The Dudley Lab can be the result of breeding a chocolate Lab with specific genetic traits to a yellow Lab with similar traits. There are many different possible breeding combinations that can occur with Labrador breeding, and a Dudley is an uncommon occurrence.

Typical yellow Labs are born with pink noses, but within a very short time after birth, they begin to turn darker. A Dudley’s nose will remain pink throughout their lifetime.

Yellow Labrador Retriever with a pink nose.

Are Dudley Labs Purebred Labs? Can They Be Show Dogs?

As Dudley Labs fall under the category type of yellow Lab, they would still be considered purebred Labrador Retrievers.

However, unfortunately, at this time Dudley Labs cannot be considered show dogs.

If you are considering a particular Labrador based on the ability to participate in dog shows, be aware that, sadly, the special Dudley Labs are not currently allowed to qualify.

Dudley Labs are not very common, and many Labrador Retriever breeders will deliberately avoid breeding the combinations of dogs that would be most likely to result in the Dudley lack of pigmentation.

Many professional breeders do focus on breeding champion lines for show dogs, so this might be one reason why they might be breeding to avoid Dudley traits.

However, this inability to be a show dog shouldn’t diminish the wonderful, special traits of your Dudley Lab!

They can still be amazing family pets, helpful service dogs, brilliant retrievers, or wonderful, loving companions throughout their life without needing to prove it in the show ring. We love all kinds of Labradors!

Are Dudley Labs More Expensive?

Dudley Labradors should not be any more expensive than any other color of Labrador.

As many breeders consider their traits unable to be allowed in the show ring, you might find it more difficult to locate a Dudley Labrador from a breeder, if that is specifically what you’re looking for.

You shouldn’t be charged a premium to get a Dudley Lab.

The typical cost of a Labrador puppy in the United States can run between $500-$2000 on average, depending on the breeder and the specific characteristics of the dogs that are being bred for the litter.

This can vary greatly depending on where you live and the reputation of the individual breeder you’re selecting a dog from.

Let’s now take a look at life expectancy for Dudleys!

Dudley Lab puppy playing in the mud with a person.

How Long Do Dudley Labs Live?

Dudley Labs have the same life expectancy as other types and colors of Labradors, which is about 10-14 years.

Chocolate Labs, on the other hand, do typically have a slightly shorter lifespan of 10-11 years on average.

Recent research has indicated that the chocolate Labrador lifespan can be affected negatively by poor breeding practices as a result of the chocolate color being the rarest among Labs.

Chocolate Lab sitting by a rock wall.
Chocolate Labs may have a shorter lifespan than Dudley Labs.

Dudley Lab puppies have about the same life expectancy from birth as other Labs, but much of that depends upon the individual health of the dog and the high quality of the breeder that you choose.

If you’re looking at Dudley Lab puppies, it’s important to do your research when selecting a Labrador breeder, which is always so critical no matter what color of Labrador you’re deciding to get.

Getting your Lab from a reputable, ethical breeder will give you the best chance to succeed with a healthy dog for many years in the future.

For more information on the life expectancy of all Labradors, and further details on how long Labs live, check out our guide to the Labrador lifespan.

Do Dudley Labs Have Health Issues?

Dudley Labs have a similar outlook on health as other yellow Labradors.

As with other yellow Labs, there are still some conditions that can occur throughout their lives. We’ll go over some of the more common ones for you to be aware of.

Labs, in general, are healthy, active breeds, but there are some conditions you should be aware of that they might be more likely to experience.

Some health issues that can occur in Labradors to be aware of:

  • Hip/Elbow/Shoulder Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Exercise-Induced Collapse
  • Allergies
  • Bloat
  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Foreign-Body Ingestion
  • Seizures

Many of these conditions can be prevented by getting a dog from a reputable breeder who has tested genetically for these conditions before breeding their dogs.

Having a vet certify the dogs against some of these inherited conditions is the first step towards preventing further problems from being passed on through breeding.

The breeder that you select for your Labrador puppy will make a significant difference in the overall health of the dog. Labs are prone to some significant health issues, which can be expensive to treat and traumatic for you and your beloved dog.

Many breeders can and do test for these health issues, such as exercise-induced collapse, hip/elbow/joint issues, and eye issues in advance to make sure their dogs are clear before proceeding with breeding their dogs. This is important to find out from them before you get one of their puppies.

Dudley Lab puppy being held by a person.

(For more information on what to look for when choosing a Labrador breeder, and how to make sure you’re asking the right questions, check out our guide to finding a reputable Lab breeder here.)

Maintaining your Dudley Lab’s health is also important to prolonging their lifespan and helping them live a happy life with you.

Making sure your Lab gets plenty of exercise, healthy amounts of good quality food, preventing obesity, and getting regular wellness visits with your vet are some of the things you can do to encourage your dog to stay healthy and live as long as possible.

How Is the Personality of a Typical Dudley Lab Different From Other Labs?

Dudley Labs have typical Labrador personalities, which we happen to think are pretty wonderful! Their temperaments are similar to any other type of Lab.

Labs are known for being intelligent, playful, active, and very friendly.

They can be great dogs for families and usually provide a lot of entertainment for households with kids!

Labs are eager to please and generally food-oriented, which makes them one of the easier types of dog breeds to train. Because they are also so intelligent, they make excellent service dogs and are very intuitive with their owners.

As with other types of Labs, Dudley Labs can be excellent water and land retrievers. If you’re looking for a dog to help you in field hunting for animals such as ducks or pheasants, a Dudley Lab would be just as amazing as a retriever as any other lovely Labrador.

If you’re just exploring the world of Labrador Retrievers and getting to know this amazing breed, take a look at the 4 Reasons Labs Are the Most Popular Dogs to read more about what makes Labs so wonderful!

Your Dudley Lab can be just as amazing as any other type of Labrador and treasured for their unique and special differences.

Ask your vet if your special Dudley requires sunscreen for that cute pink nose, though, before a long day outdoors!

Dudley Labrador lying down on a wood floor.

Summary – Dudley Labs

The Dudley Labrador might be a little uncommon, but they are definitely very special!

This unique type of yellow Lab might look a bit different than other Labs, but they possess the same exuberant, fun-loving personalities as any other Labrador, with just a few minor differences in color.

Dudley Labs have about the same lifespan as other Labs, but you should still be aware of some health conditions that can affect all kinds of Labradors. Careful selection of a reputable breeder will help reduce the chance of having a Lab (of any color) with serious health issues.

Even though Dudley Labs can’t be participants in the show ring, they can still be amazing, wonderful family pets, service dogs, retrievers, and lifelong companions.

Let us know if you have a Dudley Lab in your life and what you love about them in the comments below!

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20 Comments

  1. Yesterday, we adopted a five-year old female Dudley Labrador. We named her Daisy. She did not have a good life during these five years, until she came to her foster mother for a month. She was over 100 pounds, but has “slimmed” down to about 76 pounds. 16 Pounds more to go.

    She has a great recall and is highly intelligent. May be we can develop her into a “rescue (no pun intended) dog. She is “aggressive” in her affection, pushing her head into our laps and into our arms. Most likely because she lacked serious affection in the past.

    We are going to give her a happy, healthy, secure and safe life.

    Anneke

  2. My Moocher was a Dudley. 14 yrs of pure happiness! Sadly, he passed last week, 7/29/2022. Heartbroken but fortunate to have had him in my life!! Miss you beloved!!!!!!!!!

    1. Sorry to hear of the recent loss of your beloved Lab! They are amazing family members. Hoping the good memories of your pup are keeping your spirits lifted!

  3. We just found out that our 9 month old rescue pup is a Dudley Lab. Someone at a park asked is if he was a Dudley Lab and I had never heard of that. Upon researching, these pups, that’s what we have, which is ironic because I wanted to name him Dudley!!

  4. I just found out that Paxton is 8mos of pure fun Dudley thank to a lady at the dog park who asked did some research and he lines up ! So excited to know about him as he’s been the best thing for the family since our black lab Tater passed in august. Thanks for shedding more light onto these characters 🙂

    1. Dudley Labs are wonderful! We’re glad to hear he’s been such a welcome addition to your family.

  5. Our beautiful dudley found us when he was just @ 6 mo. Someone turned him out of a car and drove off and abandoned him. He ran up to us and we got him to the shelter where he stayed for a couple of weeks. We then adopted him, named him Owen and now he is our handsome, happy healthy 10 yr. old boy. The best and kindest dog I ever had.

    1. We love to hear happy rescue stories of Labradors like Owen! Thank you for loving him and giving him a great life.

  6. We love our Dudley so much: took forever to find him. he is 10 months old, first lab we’ve ever had and is the most amazing, beautiful and smart fur baby!!! Highly recommend this breed. We’ve always had boxers and both our boxer boys (miss them so much) left us between ages 9-10. 🙁
    So we decided to get a lab. Best choice ever.

    Don’t know how to upload a pic either but will email you one

  7. We just found out we have a Dudley dog by researching. His name is Louie and he is 5 months today! He was the last of the little and the only Dudley! Kinda weird. But he’s amazing and so smart! I have fallen in love with our little guy!

  8. I have a dudley. Hank the tank. He’s super smart. Can retrieve doves or your slippers. Bring the mail in. Or go to the store with you shopping. Or play ball with kids. And in my opinion looks better the most show dogs. Would post a picture but I’m not that computer smart. Lol

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