What is a white Labrador?
A white Labrador is a type of purebred pale yellow Labrador Retriever whose fur is a very light white color, but their nose, eyelids, gum line, and paw pads usually remain the typical Labrador color of brown or black. You may also see a hint of darker gold or yellow coloring on a white Lab, especially around the ear flaps. The white Lab is considered a sub-color of the yellow Lab group.
Let’s look at more about white Labradors, including personality, potential health issues, cost of white Labrador puppies, and how to find a reputable breeder.
Personality Traits of White Labs
White Labradors have the same wonderful personality traits and lovable characteristics as the rest of the Labrador Retriever family, making Labs the most popular dogs in the US for the last 30 years.
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White Labs are generally friendly, playful, athletic, intelligent, and easy to train. Each dog can have its own unique temperament, but typically Labs are outdoor lovers with boundless energy. They are great family dogs and excel in swimming and water retrieval.
White Labs may need a bit more frequent bathing, depending on their environment and how much fun they have outdoors, to keep that glossy white coat looking its best.
You’ll still deal with the typical high amounts of Lab shedding if you add a white Labrador family member to your home, so be sure to check out our strategies to help solve your Lab shedding problem.
And white Labradors are not hypoallergenic, so if you’re a person with dog allergies, it might not be the best fit for you.
Health & Lifespan of White Labs
White Labradors are a subset of yellow Labrador Retrievers, and share the same typical Lab life expectancy of 10-14 years, on average. Of all the Labrador colors and sub-colors, only chocolate Labs have a shorter life expectancy of 10.7 years.
Many factors will affect how long your Lab lives, including their breeding and inherited health history, access to quality veterinary care, and good food, nutrition, and exercise.
Labs have several health conditions to be aware of that can be seen among all colors of the breed, including white Labrador Retrievers, such as:
- Joint Issues/Dysplasia
- Thyroid Issues
- Exercise-Induced Collapse
- Retinal Myopathy
Because white Labs are less common than other yellow Labs, you’ll need to be careful about taking steps to try to ensure a healthy dog. It’s never guaranteed that your dog will live a perfectly healthy life, but you’ll want to make sure you don’t run into health issues caused by inbreeding.
Make sure if you’re getting a puppy that you discuss the health history of the parent dogs with the breeder you select, and that any possible health issues have been tested for. We’ll go over this more in our breeder section below.
White Lab vs. Dudley Lab
White Labradors are different from another type of yellow Labrador known as the Dudley Labrador. White Labs are pale white in color, while Dudley’s main coat color can be more yellow or tan.
The biggest difference between white Labs and Dudley Labs is the pigmentation around the eyes, mouth, pads of the paws, and nose.
On a white Lab, those areas are dark brown or black, like a typical Lab of any other color.
But on a Dudley Lab, those areas have little to no pigmentation, so they appear pink in color.
English Cream Labradors
English Cream Labradors are a form of white Labrador that some breeders specialize in.
This type of white Lab is a very creamy, stocky English Labrador which has slightly shorter legs, a thicker tail, and a “blockier” head shape than the American type of Labrador Retriever.
Its overall coat color may contain a slight hint of yellow rather than being stark white, as with other white Labs.
An American white Lab will have longer legs, a leaner overall body shape, and a slightly taller size than its English Cream counterparts. For more differences between English Labs and American Labs overall, check out our FAQ section on the Labrador breed found here.
You can find white Labradors without them being English Cream Labs, just be aware that some breeders will specialize in producing English Cream Labs as their specific type of white Labrador.
Cost of White Labrador Puppies
As white Lab puppies are less common than other colors of Labs, you may pay a slight premium in price when buying a white Lab puppy.
A white Labrador puppy will likely cost you between $1000-$2000 in the United States, depending on your location and the breeder you choose. You may also have to travel to find a white Labrador breeder, as white Labs are less commonly bred for, and may be harder to find.
There are many other costs associated with white Labs beyond just the initial puppy costs, however. If you’re considering adding a Labrador to your family, be sure to look at the Cost of Owning a Labrador to make sure you know what you’re committing to.
You may also have success finding a white Labrador through a rescue organization and may be able to adopt an adult or senior white Labrador who needs a loving home. For more information on how to find a Lab rescue group, check out our guide to rescue Labs found here.
If you’re set on getting a white Lab puppy, you’ll need to choose your breeder carefully. Because choosing the right breeder can have such a significant impact on the health and success of your dog, next we’ll go over some tips to help you locate an ethical and reputable breeder.
How to Find a White Labrador Breeder
If you’ve decided to get a white Labrador puppy, it’s critical that you research breeders thoroughly and carefully before you make your decision.
While all Lab puppies are extremely adorable and hard to resist, you’ll want to make your decision very deliberately and with a lot of patience and careful planning.
Both the health of your dog and the success of your relationship with them depends so much on the breeder you select. At the minimum, you want a breeder who tests for health issues in the parent dogs before breeding and has veterinary certifications to show you they’ve done so.
Because white Labradors are less common and harder to find, you will be more limited in your choices for breeders, and you may have to travel for one once you’ve located them and made your decision.
You can start your breeder search here with the Labrador Retriever Club’s Breeders Directory, as a place to begin looking at what options are available to you.
Once you’ve started there, we have some suggestions for how to further extend and refine your search to find the best breeder for your next dog.
For more on everything you need to know to select and locate a reputable Lab breeder for your next puppy, check out our guide to Labrador breeders found here.
Summary – White Labradors
White Labs are a lovely pale subset of the yellow Lab group that have a distinctive and beautiful appearance. They share many of the personality traits as other colors of Labradors and have similar possible health issues just like other Labs.
White Lab puppies may cost you a bit more money due to their unique and uncommon cream or white color, but they’ll still bring the same wonderful and lovable features to your life as any of the other gorgeous colors of Labradors.
Still trying to decide what Labrador Retriever color is the right one for you? Check out our guide, “Which Color Labrador Is Best?” to help you decide on which one will be the best choice for your next dog.