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Yellow Labrador – A Complete Guide

Close up portrait of a yellow labrador retriever

There are some Yellow Lab owners that call this variation of the Labrador breed the most beautiful dog in the world. Whether that is true or not is subjective. But that compliment will spark a lot of debate on which dog breed is the most beautiful.

It will be hard to top being named the most popular dog breed for 31-years running as the Yellow Lab, and all other Lab variations, have had the honor of being.

Whether or not you think the Yellow Lab is the most beautiful or not, you may be able to admit that it has some sterling qualities that rank it high on that list. To find out more about this variation of the Labrador Retriever, just continue to read our guide.

It provides you with enough facts to help determine if it is the most beautiful dog in the world or not.

Need to learn how to train a yellow lab puppy? Click here to learn more.

Are Yellow Labs Hard to Train?

The answer to this is a no-brainer. They are very trainable dogs and easy to train. If they, weren’t you would not see them as guide dogs, emotional support and assistive animals.

Those are very difficult tasks for dogs to learn and perform on a daily basis. Not every dog has the temperament or the ability to handle the responsibilities that come with those tasks.

There are two main reasons why these dogs are easy to train:

They Like to Please Their Masters

This is a character quality that is needed in every dog that becomes a pet. Yellow Labs have this trait, and it helps them learn all their duties well.

They Are Very Intelligent Animals

That intelligence makes them fast learners and able to remember the tasks that need to be done at any given moment.

Plus, their patient demeanor helps them make it through their lessons without being over-anxious to perform. They take everything in stride and can handle most of what is thrown their way.

That patience makes sure they do not miss a lesson or trick that is needed to be mastered as well. Then, Yellow Labs like the delicious treats they get at the end of performing their duties.

It is a nice reward for a job well done. What is difficult about training them is that these dogs have a lot of energy. They need regular exercise to keep them under control and get rid of that excess energy so that they can concentrate on what they are to learn.

It is best to start training the Yellow Lab when they are puppies. It is always easiest to stop bad habits from forming and that can be done the easiest when they are young. Just make sure they get a lot of social time with you and your family.

Are Yellow Labs Aggressive?

Yellow lab wearing a harness and sitting on a park bench

The best way to answer this question is with a very simple and short response. No, they are not. While their size makes it look like they are aggressive but that is judging a book by its cover.

The Yellow Lab has a very patient, even temperament mixed with a lot of friendliness and a laid-back personality. They have been voted the least aggressive dog in all the breeds studied in one scientific study.

They are so patient that they make great pets for families with small children. These dogs are able to take what those children do to them in stride and not react in a bad or an aggressive manner.

However, a lot of their lack of aggression is due to their training and how well they have been treated by their owners. The real question that needs to be answered is, CAN Yellow Labs be aggressive?

The answer to that is yes and that is the same answer for any dog species. They do not start out to be aggressive but due to how they are treated, their training, and other factors, Yellow Labs can get aggressive, just like any other dog breed.

Their overall personality may temper how aggressive they get but aggression is not a characteristic of this dog breed. That may be one reason why they are not used as guard dogs. This breed is too friendly, too nice, and too trusting to guard anything.

If you have a Yellow Lab puppy that is aggressive, then you should understand that the puppy is very afraid. They may not attack right away but hide away in a corner or somewhere and growl if anyone gets too close. If they can’t hide or avoid you, then they will attack.

Puppies need to be potty trained. Check out our post “How to Potty Train a Yellow Lab Puppy” to learn how to keep your pup from peeing in the house.

The Different Colors of Yellow Labs

Yellow labrador retriever sitting on a hill side with blue skies in the back ground

One may think that Yellow Labs are no other color but yellow. That is far from the reality as the color of their coat is governed by genetics and genetics has its way of changing things a bit.

When you mix two yellow labs as parents, you may not always get a yellow lab. Sometimes the puppies will be born with white fur that goes all the way to a burnt red color.

Of course, these different colored Yellow Labs are rare, they can be quite attractive. The color of their coats all depends on the genes that are passed down from the parents to the puppies.

Generally, when you mate two Yellow Labs, they will only have yellow-colored puppies. The reason for this is that the yellow Lab does not have the E gene needed to produce labs of another color.

Black Labs can have a litter of different colored puppies because they do have the E gene. This is just the way the dog’s genetic make-up works. The Brown Lab cannot have black puppies because they do not carry the gene that produces black color.

However, they do have the gene that produces the yellow color so they can have yellow Lab puppies. When it comes to the different colors for the yellow labs, their genetic make-up will produce yellow labs even though they look white or red or even golden.

It is a complicated story but all the colors the yellow labs produce are related to yellow in some way. The good news is that you do not have to know all of this information and just buy a Lab because you love their coloring. How they got it is a moot point.

The Appearance of The Yellow Lab

Portrait of a yellow retriever outdoors with lavender in the foreground

Many people often confuse the Yellow Lab with a Golden Retriever. There is one good reason for this confusion. The Golden Retriever is crossed with Labradors to create the Golden Retriever.

Yellow Labs are their own version of the Labrador breed and while they may look like a Golden retriever, the two dogs are different breeds, for the most part. Plus, they have physical differences that set them apart showing they are two different types of dogs.

  Categories  Yellow Lab  Golden Retriever
  Coat  Short & dense almost waterproof  Flat or wavy & water repellent
  Weight  Between 50 & 100 pounds  Between 55 and 80 pounds
  Lifespan  10 to 14 years  11 to 12 years
  Exercise  Moderate exercise  High exercise
  Shedding  Extreme shedding  Moderate shedding
  Cost  $300 to $1500  $800 to $1200

Depending on if they are English or American Labs, the Yellow Lab can be athletic, long snout or a short one, stocky or trim, and their weight will fluctuate.

The female is often shorter than the male in both versions of the Lab as well as being lighter. Their coats can change color going from light to dark as the puppies mature.

They are very strong dogs although they have a soft mouth that does not harm any game or fish they retrieve. Even if you get a light yellow or white lab or even a reddish one, they are all Labradors and come with all the traits this dog breed is known to have.

The different color does not change their personalities or traits nor does it make one dog superior in one trait over the other dogs. Their personalities come from their parents and all labs with different colors coming from the same parents will have the same basic personality as their parents.

Yellow lab puppies need a lot of love and attention. Check out our post “How to Take Care of a Yellow Lab Puppy” to learn more.

Labrador Food and Grooming

Yellow retriever eating from a stainless steel food bowl

Feeding your Yellow Lab can be a bit confusing as the adult dogs eat less than the puppies do. It is recommended that you only feed your adult Yellow Lab 2 8-ounce cups of food every day.

Puppies, on the other hand, need about 4 8-ounces of food servings per day. The reason you are to feed the puppies more food is that they need the extra to grow and develop body size.

Be careful about feeding your puppies or adult dogs any raw food. Those uncooked meals can contain different bacteria harmful to your pets. Also, watch out for the different snacks and other foods that may seem like a nice treat to feed your dogs.

Food and beverage items like- alcohol, chocolate, avocados, onions, garlic, or caffeine are not healthy for dogs to eat and you should be careful about how much you feed them if you should feed them any at all.

There is conflicting information on these and other food items so do some diligent research then make up your own minds on if you should feed them those risky food items or not.

As for grooming, Labs do not need a lot of grooming to take care of them or keep them looking good. Shedding is going to be the biggest problem as Yellow, and all Labs shed a lot.

Brushing them between 2 and 3 times a week is essential to keep the shedding under control and out of your house. Yellow Labs will shed anywhere and make a mess of your furniture and carpets.

Then this breed of dog only requires a bath every other month. But you be the judge of how often they get a bath. They do not need one every week and frequent bathing can remove the healthy skin oils they need.

Of course, if your dog gets really dirty every week, then they do need a bath after those mud excursions.

Yellow Lab History

Yellow labrador puppy laying in grass

This is a dog breed whose origin has been lost to time. It is known that they were originally bred in Newfoundland, a province of Canada. But exactly when this breed made its first appearance is unknown.

What is known is their original name. They were once called St. John’s water dog which is a rather long and complicated name to remember. Originally, most of the Labradors were black but as time went on, the other colors started to appear.

The first Yellow Lab puppy was said to be born in 1899 and the Kennel Club recognized this variation officially in 1902. The only characteristic unique about all Labs is their color. They are the same dog with the same characteristic and abilities no matter their color.

The Red Fox Lab, officially known as a Yellow Lab, is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. Why that is so is not a well-known fact. All Labs love the water and enjoy their time in a pool, ocean, or lake.

In the beginning years of this breed, they were not fully accepted, and many people tried to keep this dog breed from getting too numerous. Things have changed over the centuries and the lab, no matter the color, has been the most popular dog breed for 30 years in a row.

When they were first bred, their purpose was to be prime hunting and fishing dogs, retrieving both game and fish no matter where they ended up. They are still good at retrieving balls, frisbees, and other objects you may throw away at the park or the beach.

It may take a little training to get them to return the item, but they will do it. Often, if they are not the only dog in your family, both dogs will hold the same stick, etc., and bring it back to you.

Health Issues with Yellow Labs

Yellow lab and a white cat, both wearing stethoscopes against a grey background

As much as their owners wish their Yellow Labs were healthy forever, these dogs do suffer from different ailments. The source for these issues can be from their environment or inherited from their parents or grandparents and so on.

Or it could be the result of a combination of the two. While they are big, strong dogs, the Yellow Lab can suffer joint issues. Those joint issues are called elbow and hip dysplasia. They can arise from genes inherited from their parents, etc., or that they were taken running too often and for too many miles.

What you feed them and how you give them exercise will also play a role in the rise of these two ailments in your dogs. Genetic testing can be done to determine if they are at a high or low risk of contracting those diseases.

Once you know that information, you can customize their diet and exercise time. There are two other inherited diseases that are rare but you should know about them- centronuclear myopathy (CNM) and exercise-induced collapse (EIC).

Your vet should know how to treat them if your dog contracts them. Other health issue Yellow Labs are prone to will be obesity. If you do not exercise your dog enough or over-feed them, then they can grow fat and lazy. This puts your pet at higher risk of major health issues that may shorten their life.

Cancer is more of an old age disease and millions of Labs succumb to this disease. There is no known source and no known defense for this disease. Also, Labs are prone to ear infections due to the design of their ears.

This dog is also vulnerable to infectious diseases but there are vaccines for most of them so your dog can be protected by getting their shots on time every year.

You can avoid a lot of health issues by doing some pre-buying screening of the parents. Reputable breeders may have already done this for you so their customers can have peace of mind when they take a puppy home.

Is a Yellow Lab a Golden Retriever? Click here to find out.

The Cost of a Yellow Lab Puppy

small yellow lab puppy, asleep on the floor

The cost of these puppies will vary from pet store to pet store and breeder to breeder. It pays to shop around to find the right price while avoiding those less reputable shops and breeders.

The latter two groups often hide health issues, and if the puppies were inbred or not. This issue contributes to many health issues that have the owners paying thousands of dollars for treatment throughout the life of their puppy.

When you are paying between $300 to $1500 for a Yellow Lab you want to make sure they are completely healthy before you hand the money over to the breeder or pet shop.

The sign that you are dealing with a good breeder is three-fold:

1. The puppies and adults are well taken care of

2. They keep medical records on all their dogs including puppies

3. Are willing to explain the puppy’s nature as well as any medical issues it may have.

If a breeder or pet shop owner is not willing to do those three things, then you should move on and find a puppy from one who does. Avoid puppy mills at all costs.

Labradors are well worth the money as they are very loyal dogs that love their families. They are good to small children and love to play. They are great dogs, and their popularity proves it.

Fun Facts About Yellow Labs (Labs in General)

Portrait of a yellow lab sitting in a patch of Brown Eyed Susan wild flowers

1. They may be called Labradors, but they are not from Labrador Canada. This is an interesting fact as Labrador is a part of Newfoundland and not a separate province. St. John’s is the capital of Newfoundland which is on the island and not the mainland where Labrador is located.

2. They are the most popular dog breed- 30 years in a row this dog breed has been in the number 1 spot. It took over from the Cocker Spaniel in 1991 and has not relinquished the spot since. The reason it is number 1 for all those years is because of its temperament.

3. Litters can have different colored puppies- the Yellow Lab is the only variation that only has 1 color of puppies. The black and brown labs can have litters with puppies from all three main colors of labs. The White, red, and other unique colors, except silver, are all classified as yellow labs.

4. There are 8 known retriever breeds, The Labrador and the Golden breeds are the most popular but not the only ones. There are 6 other dog breeds classified as retrievers- Flat-Coated Retrievers, Curly Coated Retrievers, Chesapeake Retrievers, and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.

5. Besides being a retriever they can sniff out cancer- their sense of smell is so strong that Labradors have been able to sniff out cancer in human bodies before doctors detect it.

However, they are not the only dog breed that can do this. It is just that their sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than humans.

6. They have achieved media fame- back in December of 1938, the black lab was the first dog to grace the cover of the now de funk LIFE magazine. LIFE was a rival of TIME and was a very popular magazine to read.

Besides that, honor, a Lab was convicted of murder in Pennsylvania in the early portion of the 20th century. Another Lab was elected mayor of the California town of Sumol but it was only an honorary position.

Some Final Words

Portrait of a yellow lab laying in grass

When you get a Yellow Lab as a pet, you have got a great dog to be your companion. It is a top family dog that has all the characteristics you want in a pet.

The drawback to this breed of dog is that it doesn’t live long enough, and it can develop some bad habits if you are not careful. Those habits can be destructive if you do not exercise them enough.

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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.