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The Difference Between a White And a Yellow Lab

Labrador retrievers are America’s most popular dogs to own — in fact, they’ve won America’s hearts as a favorite for 28 consecutive years. And there is no surprise as to why: labs are friendly and desirable to families of all sizes.

So when most families begin looking for a dog to add to their homes, it’s not uncommon to settle on a lab.

Still, within choosing a lab as your new family member, you have to decide which kind you want — and might wonder if there’s a difference selecting between a white lab and a classic yellow.

Are White and Yellow Labs Different?
The short answer is no: white and yellow labs are not different types of dogs. However, they obviously are different in color due to the variation of their coats.

White labs are essentially the paler version of your classic yellow lab. In fact, the American Kennel Club recognizes white labs as yellow labs.

Typically, white labs will have pigmented noses and dark eyes along with their distinctive white fur. Despite their name, their fur will still have touches of cream or yellow, especially around the ears.

The Difference Between White Coats And Albinism

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When some people think of white fur, they might wonder if white labs have any sort of relevance to albino dogs.

Albinism is a genetic defect where dogs have white skin, white fur, red eyes, pink noses, and often leads to other health issues, like a higher risk of cancer and neurological problems.

Although white labs have a similar coat color to albino dogs, they are not the same thing. An easy way to tell whether or not a dog with a white coat is albino is by observing the color of their nose and the skin around their eyes. Dogs with white coats and pink noises with pink skin are most likely albino.

More About White Lab Genetics
Lab coats come in three colors: black, chocolate, and yellow — but some people might not realize that there are several shades and variations within these coats.

For example, the black coat color can look like a jet black to a brownish-black with hints of gray. The chocolate coat can range from a dark chocolate color to a more milky variation. And the yellow coat can go from an orange to a bright white — which is where our white labs come in.

In some cases, it goes further than genetic chance. In fact, there are two distinct labrador retriever genetic lines, which are the English lab and the American lab. They are both retrievers and come from the same breed — but they look different in their build. This allows them to serve different purposes.

The English lab is called a “show dog,” while the American lab is a “working dog.” The English white lab has broader shoulders, shorter legs, a wider head, slimmer neck, straight tail, filled face, and thick hair coat. The English labrador also has a much calmer temperament than its American counterpart.

But that’s where the differences end: no matter the color or type of lab, all labs are friendly, loyal, and wonderful family pets.

The Origin Of White Labs
Did you know that the root of the Labrador goes all the way back to Newfoundland? The name of the Labrador even comes from the Labrador sea that surrounds the coast of Newfoundland.

Early settlers of the 16th century started to make their livelihood by fishing, and since dogs were already man’s best friend they decided to begin breeding dogs that would better match their daily lives.

So, villagers and settlers began to breed native Newfoundland dogs with other breeds to create a new breed that was slightly more compact and had shorter hair. They began nicknaming present-day Labradors as “water dogs” because they were used to help fishermen retrieve fish and crab traps from the water. They were also nicknamed this because they were excellent swimmers.

These “water dogs” were intelligent, loyal, and always willing to work alongside their masters. Eventually, their nickname evolved into “retrievers.” Because of this, hunters began preferring these dogs over other types of hunting dogs.

The rest is history: Labrador retrievers were bred consistently as one of the world’s most loyal and intelligent dogs, which is why they are still so popular today.

Finding A White Lab Puppy
​White labs are gorgeous, loyal dogs. When it comes down to it, you want to find the perfect lab puppy for your family — and the place to start is finding the right breeder.

At Snowy Pines White Labs, we do things differently. We are AKC-certified Bred with Heart Breeder and take pride in breeding the happiest and healthiest white labrador puppies in the United States.

From the moment our puppies are born, they play all over our beautiful property to play and socialize. We believe in continuing the class of white labradors by breeding healthy, active, and friendly dogs that are perfect for your home.

Check out our available puppies or contact us today to get started on finding your new family member!

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About the Author


Tom Massey

Tom Massey has owned and operated Snowy Pines Labradors for over a decade. They have become the leaders in English Labradors in the US. He and his team serve customers all over the US and Europe. They house their "dog family" in a state of the art facility on a large farm in the Ozark Mountains. With an obsession for genetics and temperament they raise and train dogs known across the globe for health and personality. Tom serves the pet industry in many forms campaigning for ethical breeding, training, and pet ownership.


Calm Tempered, AKC Purebred, and Certified Genetics.