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White Labrador – A Complete Guide

White labrador retriever standing next to owner sitting on a park bench

Dogs come in all colors.That is the amazing thing about our canine friends. You will find them in a variety of colors. Some are black, red, brown, yellow, and many more hues and tones.

The Labrador breed also comes in different colors. The most common colors are black, brown, and yellow. However, this breed of dog has some rare colors like white that pop up from time to time.

Is There a White Labrador

Yes, there is such a thing as a white lab. But it is not a different breed of Lab, it is the same breed with the same characteristics as all the other colors labs come in.

However, there is something unique about the white lab. It is not really white. A white Lab is a yellow lab whose yellow color did not materialize. Their coat is actually a very, very pale yellow that it appears to be white.

Upon closer inspection, you may see some cream or yellow accents, especially around the ears. Some people will call the fur white and that is okay, it looks like it is white.

The good news is that the rest of this dog is normal Labrador color. It will have the same dark eyes, black or brown nose, the same black and brown eyelids, paw pads, and gum lines.

This dog is a Labrador alright, and it will be as gentle and playful as all other Labs in this breed. That means no matter the color of the Labrador pup, you are getting a full-blooded Labrador as a pet. You won’t be missing out on anything this popular puppy has to offer.

How Much Does a White Labrador Cost

Human hands counting money

This version of the Labrador breed is not heavily bred. That makes them harder to find. There are white lab breeders out there, but they are not as common as breeders for the other main colors of Labs.

This rarity makes them a bit more expensive than the other colors this dog bred can come in. Expect to pay between $1000 and $2000 for one puppy. That is just the beginning as there are other puppy expenses you have to take into consideration.

There is its food, bedding, food, and water dishes, then there are the shots this pup needs to stay healthy and more. Don’t forget the food you need to buy. That can get pricey if you buy the top brands instead of the cheaper options.

It might be a better idea to find a White Lab at a rescue shelter or maybe buy an older adult Lab to cut down on some of your costs. Adoption is often much cheaper than outright purchase from a breeder.

Or look in the classified ads to see if someone has had White Lab puppies recently and wants to find a good home for them. That will help you shave some money off your overall costs.

There are ways to cut the price without sacrificing any care and love for your new pet.

Types of White Labradors

2 white labrador retrievers wearing yellow bowties laying on a dock

There may be Labrador colors that are considered types of white Labs but that may be erroneous thinking. The White Lab comes from two Yellow Labs bred together. Their coat color depends on the genetic make-up of their parents.

However, there are some different types that may be considered White Lab types.

Yellow Labs

This is the type that many different Lab colors come from. The white color is just one of them. You may also find them in the following colors- fox red, to golden, to cream.

All of these color variations come with all the same Labrador traits, personalities, characteristics, and more. They also have the same energy levels, and they love to swim and hunt.

Albino Labradors

White labrador puppy with a pink nose, sitting in autumn leaves, looking up at the camera

If you want a rare dog this is the type of White Lab, you want. The albino version is the result of albinism, a genetic defect that turns the coat of the dog white.

This genetic condition is common throughout the animal world but for some reason, it is a very rare condition in dogs. One in about 20,000 Labradors is born with this condition.

Albino Labs usually have red or blue eyes and they lack pigmentation in other parts of their bodies. This condition makes them vulnerable to health issues like tumors, cancer, as well as other health issues due to sun damage.

Leucistic White Labrador

Just slightly different from the Albino version of this dog breed. The Albino cannot produce pigment while this version has its pigmentation cells blocked from going to where they are needed.

They produce the cells, but they cannot move them to their nose and other parts of the body. Basically, the only thing that distinguishes them from White Labs is that their eyes are normal color.

Also, this dog is very rare as it is a product of a recessive gene, and it too has trouble when out in the sun. They are not as vulnerable to sun damage as the Albino Lab but only slightly less vulnerable.

The Silver Lab

Silver lab puppy sitting in a white crate wearing a red and white striped bandana

This is not a product of the Yellow Lab. Instead, it comes from the Brown version of this breed. This version is not as accepted as the White lab and is often barred from dog shows as the people in those organizations call this color a disaster for the breed.

However, they can be registered with the different kennel clubs, but as Chocolate Labs and not as Silver or White labs. The good news is that Silver Labs are all Labs, and they enjoy all the traits and characteristics as other colored Labs do.

They do not have any special health issues due to the color of their coat, like the Albino and the Leucistic versions of this breed do. The sun should not damage them, and this lab option should just experience normal health issues as it grows older.

Adopting A White Lab

Adult white lab laying down at a cave entrance

This can be of some concern as White Labs are harder to find. Breeders prefer the main three colors and often try to avoid breeding any White ones. But they can be found, and you may have to talk to many breeders before you find one White Lab ready for adoption.

Adopting a White Lab is difficult when you are looking for an American Labrador. This color of the dog is more common among English Labs. If you want a White one only, then it is best to talk to those breeders that breed English Labs.

One thing to be prepared for is that English Labs do not look exactly the same as American Labs. If looks are important to you, then you may have to think long and hard about this option.

There is one caveat though. Some White Lab puppies are not always true White Labs. As they grow older their coat turns a darker yellow color. You may be fooled into thinking you have a White Lab but in reality, you may just have a Yellow Lab.

Also, the sun may darken their coat color and turn it into a Yellow Lab over time.

Are White Labradors Good? Click here to learn more.

An American or English Lab?

Portrait of a chocolate labrador retriver

This can be a tough choice as while these two breeds are Labradors, they do have some differences. But with the English version having more white-colored dogs than the American version, it is worth considering going with the former over the latter.

There are both similarities and differences between these dogs. For example, the American version is bred for working, hunting, fishing, and other activities that put their retrieval skills to good use.

While the English version enjoys those activities as well, they are bred to be more of a show dog. That is quite a difference between the two. However, both versions of the Labrador species have lots of energy, love their families, are good with children, and enjoy swimming.

They do need lots of exercise to keep them from getting into some bad destructive habits.

Another difference will be in their looks. The American version is usually leaner, more athletic, has a longer snout, and is both taller and heavier than the English Lab. There is just enough difference in their appearance to see that they are two different dogs in the same general breed category.

Then the English Lab is considered the quieter and calmer of the two options. This makes them perfect for families with young children. Both are easy to train, and both like to please their masters.

Did your puppy start out as a white lab, only to turn yellow later? Check out our post “Why Do White Lab Puppies Turn Yellow?” to learn more.

Health Issues and Lifespan of the White Lab

White lab in a vets office wearing a clear cone on its head

This is always a difficult subject to talk about. That is because everyone wants their dog to live as long as they do. Unfortunately, dogs and Labs do not get a long lifespan.

The White lab lives as long as almost every other color of the Lab that exists except one. Their lifespan ranges between 10 and 14 years of age depending on how they have looked after. That is the average and some Labs may live longer than the 14 years.

The one color that does not live as long as the other colors are the Chocolate Lab. For some reason, their average lifespan stops at around 11 years. The lifespans are not written in stone and the longevity of all Labs depends on many other factors like genetics.

Some common health issues all colors of Labs face are as follows:

Joint Issues/Dysplasia


Thyroid Issues

Exercise-Induced Collapse

Retinal Myopathy


White Labs may be vulnerable more to cancer and tumors because of the lack of pigmentation in their body. When you get a White Lab, talk with the breeder about the parents’ health and what issues he or she faced.

Also, ask for what the pup has been treated or tested for. That way you will have an idea of what health issues you may encounter in the coming years.

Personality Traits of the White Lab

White lab laying on a bed if autumn leaves

The personality of all colors of Labs is what has made this breed, no matter the color, the most popular dog to own for the past 30 years. White Labs have contributed to that hard-to-break record.

Their personality will be the same as other colors of Labs and those traits include– friendly, playful, athletic, intelligent, and easy to train. But that is not all.

The White Lab also likes to swim, do water retrieval, and love the outdoors. They have almost unlimited energy, but you have to be careful when you take them outside. They are prone to sun damage, more than any other lab variety out there.

One drawback to owning this dog is that, like all other labs, they shed a lot. This means that throughout their lifetime, you will be picking up dog hair from all over your home.

Another drawback is that they are not hypoallergenic. If you or any member of your family has allergies, this is not the dog for you. Unless you take allergy shots so you can own this popular dog breed.

There is one more character trait the White Lab, and other colors Labs have, which is that they are very smart. That trait makes them ideal for employment as a guide, assistants, or therapy dogs. They are also good at being search and rescue animals.

However, because they are very friendly, trusting, and easy-going, they do not make good guard dogs.

Can White Labs Have Black Puppies? Click here to find out.

Some Final Words

White labrador retriever in snow

If you buy a White Lab, you are not being cheated on or given an inferior puppy. You are getting a dog that has all the traits, etc., that made the Lab the most popular dog of every year in the last 3 decades.

No matter the color, a Labrador is a perfect pet for most families, especially those with small children. You are getting a great dog that will be able to adapt to its new living situation, even if you live n a small apartment or tiny house.

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Please note: We are not veterinarians and you use our advice at your own discretion. We always recommend that you consult your veterinarian whenever you have health-related conditions your furbaby is facing. With that in mind, as pet parents ourselves, we wish nothing but the best for your pet and their healthy and happy lives.