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Understanding the Difference Between Yellow & White Labrador Retrievers

  • By snowy-pines-white-labradors
  • Apr 01, 2020

White shaded Yellow Labrador

What’s Right & What’s Wrong: Understanding the Difference Between Yellow & White Labrador Retrievers and Why We’re So Proud of Our Snowy Pines True White English Labs


Here at Snowy Pines White Labs, we love English Labradors! We think our True White Labs have the best calm temperaments, an undeniable friendliness, and make the best loyal family members. Labrador Retrievers are one of the best breeds of dogs on earth and have been the most popular dog in the United States for the past 28 years!

We often get asked about the difference between yellow Labs and white Labs, so we thought we’d spell out the distinctions—and the importance of how we do things differently in our family—for those of you who are curious!

Let’s get started.


What Does the American Kennel Club Say?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes three colors of Labrador Retrievers: yellow, chocolate, and black. Though the AKC does recognize a yellow Labrador with a subcategory of “white markings,” you may be surprised to see that “white” isn’t anywhere on this list.

So, where do the white Labradors Retrievers that we raise at Snowy Pines White Labs fall within the category?


Where Do White Labradors Come From?

To boil this down in its most simplest terms, there are two kinds of white Labradors. One of these white Labs is very good and the other is very bad.

Let’s start with what’s not right.

Some people achieve a white Labrador by using an albino dog. In addition to this being very dangerous, this is also a very unethical breeding tactic.

Albinism is rare in nature. Most people assume that dog with a white coat is the same thing as an albino dog. That’s not the case. True albinism is a genetic flaw. There’s an absence of pigmentation, or coloration, in the eyes, coat, and skin of the dog. This comes from the lack of melanin and the enzymes that produce melanin. In order for the albino condition to manifest, both parents must carry the albinism gene.


You can think of it this way: white is a color, while albinism is the absence of color.


Albino dogs for example, may have a pinkish, pale, or “bleached-out” color in both their eyes and skin. Scientifically, this is not actually the color pink; it’s simply the color effect of blood flowing through these areas.

Albino dogs are photosensitive, meaning they are extremely sensitive to ultraviolet light. In addition to health concerns about sunburns, skin damage, and skin cancer, albinism may cause deafness in dogs, too.


Meet Our Dogs, Yellow Labs So Light They Look White

Yellow Labrador that is white on the patio


A true AKC yellow Labrador will have a black nose, black eyes, and black paws. See what that looks like in our dogs here. Very different than the pinkish tinge of an albino dog!

Our white Labradors are simply yellow Labradors with a very light, yellow coat, so much so they look white! Doing this the right way—the ethical and only positive way—takes years and years of breeding light-colored, yellow Labs with other light-colored, yellow Labs. As we just mentioned, this is the only way to ethically achieve a white Lab.


Does Color Mean Everything?

We are beyond proud of our white Labradors Retrievers at Snowy Pines White Labs, but we will never sacrifice the genetic profiles of our dogs to achieve it. We may still get a bit of cream shading on the ears or tails of a dog and that’s OK! Color should never mean everything.

If you have a shading preference, let us know. We’re happy to make sure you get the color shading you’re looking for. Our puppies are family to us and we can’t wait to introduce one the members of our family to yours!


How Our Snowy Pines White Labs Rise Above the Rest

Like we said, we love English Labradors! For over two decades, we have been raising and showing English Labradors at our 120-acre facility in the Ozark Mountains. Our dogs will never be confined to a concrete kennel for their entire lives. In fact, at our “house,” it’s quite the opposite.

Our facility is surrounded by a lake, creeks, and open fields with plenty of room for our dogs to run, play, explore, exercise, socialize, and quench their curiosity for life! When they are tired and tuckered out, our calm-tempered, white English Labs are the kind of puppies that will fall asleep right in your arms.

Health is our #1 priority at Snowy Pines. We want genetically clean English Labradors. This is not only the right way to do things, but it guarantees the best health of our dogs—which is paramount for us.

Snowy Pines White Labs is certified by the AKC, the longest-running organization that verifies the bloodline of purebred dogs and ethical breeding practices. Every one of our dams and sires have been AKC-approved, which means we have the proof that our dogs are true purebred white Labrador puppies. We are confident in the superior bloodline of our dogs.

For more information, you can explore our Frequently Asked Questions here.


If you have any questions, send us a message here or feel free to call us at 870-805-6039. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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One Response to “Understanding the Difference Between Yellow & White Labrador Retrievers”

  1. Dear Snowy Pines,
    Love that you made the clarification, for those who were searching for a puppy but not aware, that the white lab is actually the palest color of yellow, not albinism. I have had a couple comments related to that when I mentioned getting a “white” lab from Snowy Pines, and had to explain the difference to help others understand that this is a truly ethical breeding kennel.
    Thank you, Snowy Pines, for all your knowledge and professionalism! Can’t wait for our puppy!

    Comment by GAYLE B ROEGE on June 29, 2020 at 7:24 pm