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Why Do White Lab Puppies Turn Yellow?

Two yellow labs laying in a field

The answer lies in genetics and environment, and it’s something that can affect your pup from the others.

The color is not common, at least not as common as black, brown, or yellow. There will be times when your female Yellow Lab will give birth to a white-colored puppy. This is not rare, and it is not that common. It does happen and the puppies are just as cute as normal-colored Labs.

It is a nice surprise when you look in the litter and see one little white fella or gal. It is a unique color that makes these puppies special. One look, you may fall in love with that special puppy even though it is a normal lab with all the normal Lab characteristics.

Let’s take a look at why your puppy might be turning yellow from time to time.

Do White Labs Change Color?

The correct answer to this question is, yes and no. If your white Lab puppy is not a true White Lab, then after a few months, and as the puppy matures, its coat will change from the white color to its normal yellow color.

However, the true White Lab may change but not so dramatically. Their coats can remain white, or they may get a darker yellowish tint around their ears and eyes, or their coat may change to a cream color.

There is no rhyme or reason why these changes take place or not, but do not be alarmed, this change or not, is very normal. Another good news is that this change will not affect their personality, energy levels, or any other positive or negative characteristic all Labradors have.

Your White Lab will grow up to be a true Labrador and it should be easy to train, go hunting, fishing, or just for a swim. Once in the water though, it may be hard to get them back out of the water.

Color is not indicative of personality and the parent’s disposition should be evident in your White Lab puppy. Then these white-colored Labs are great with children and their families.

Is a White Lab a Yellow Lab?

Adult white lab with her puppy

According to the American Kennel Club, they do not consider the White Lab a legitimate Labrador. According to the Kennel Club, Labrador Retrievers have coats that are black, chocolate, and yellow in color respectively. Any other color or combination of colors will result in elimination from the competition. It is acceptable to have a tiny white spot on the chest, but having one is not particularly desirable. It is important to remember that brindling is not the same thing as having white hair due to aging or scarring.

This opinion is only valid if you want to have your White Lab participate in AKC-sanctioned dog shows. Often people say that the White Lab is registered as a Yellow Lab which allows it to be accepted in different dog shows.

There is considerable debate about this as white is not the only color having a hard time being accepted by Kennel Clubs. People have their own opinions but as long as the white Lab was bred from pure bred Labs, then he or she is a pure-bred Lab.

That should be the only thing that should concern you. Whether it is accepted as a Labrador variation by others is immaterial. You have a great dog in a White Lab, and it should not be treated as abnormal.

What do you know about White Labrador Retrievers? Check out our post “White Labrador- A Complete Guide” to learn more.

Why Are There White Labs

Adult white lab being combed

White Labs exist due to genetics. One or both parents may have a broken or different gene that blocks the developing body to generate the true yellow color. While some yellow pigmentation does develop, it is so light that it looks white.

Another reason why you will find White Labs is due to a genetic disorder. This genetic disorder is called Albinism or albino for short. The White Lab will never change its color and it may have difficulty being in direct sunlight for long periods of time.

Both of these conditions will be the luck of the draw. You will never know when it will happen until it happens. It is all due to the genes in the parents. This is why you can have multi-colored litters with Black and Brown Labs.

Don’t be afraid if you get either version of the White Lab. They are normal animals that carry all of the great qualities Labs are known for. Plus, they are still pure-bred labs.

You are not losing out by having a White Lab in your litter.

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

Some Final Words

Side view of a white lab outdoors

They may look white, but they are classified as Yellow Labs. That is still a good thing as you can show your dog off at different dog shows. Plus, you get a great dog with a patient and tolerant disposition that is perfect for families with small children.

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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.