White Labrador – Your Complete Breed Guide

The white dog craze has been around for a few decades now. I mean, what’s not to love about a pure white ball of affectionate and enthusiastic fluff? Most of us are familiar with white doggies in this niche like Bichons, Japanese Spitzes, and Samoyeds just to name a few. What you may not realize is that the incredibly popular Labrador Retriever breed has its own entry into this niche which is the rare and mesmerizing White Labrador.

The White Labrador is an all-white coat color type of Labrador Retriever. They are purebred and are considered a shade variation of one of the recognized standard colors which is the Yellow Labrador variety. In every other way other than the coat color, White Labradors are like any other Lab in terms of build, health needs, and personality.

You are in for quite a treat if you are considering getting yourself a White Labrador. To help you prepare for your new best buddy, here is everything you need to know about the White Labrador Retriever.

Is A White Lab A Purebred?

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The White Labrador Retriever is not a coat color variation that many people are very familiar with. However, they are actually not very rare.

They are technically a variation of the Yellow Labrador in which case the coat is expressed as a very pale color that ranges from brilliant white to cream.

Here are some of the most important physical features you can expect from the breed.

Size And Built

It is not always easy to accurately predict how big a White Labrador Retriever will get. This is because the size ranges from a medium with an average of about 55 pounds and 21.5 inches to large with a weight of about 80 pounds and height of 24.5 inches.

You will also notice that the female White Labrador is smaller than the male.

Coat Type

The coat on a White Labrador is more often than not short and very dense. The fur is straight and usually coarse to the touch but may appear smooth and shiny especially with good grooming.

Coat Color

White Labs are the palest variation of the Yellow Labrador Retriever. While they are called white, they are not always bright, pure white. They may appear cream, off-white, or even a very pale blonde on closer inspection.

Facial Features

Many believe that White Labs have blue eyes which is simply not the case. True Leucistic Labradors have brown or hazel eyes.

The rest of the features are also similar to those of other Labradors including the long narrow snout, dark nose, and large, floppy ears.

How Long Do White Labs Live?

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White Labradors are just like most other Labrador Retrievers in terms of lifespan and health and can live for 10 to 14 years. It is widely believed that they are like other white dog breeds that suffer from deafness but this is actually not the case.

Unlike regular white dogs that are often unpigmented, White Labradors are just very pale and are otherwise pigmented where it counts including ear structures. This means that deafness is not a problem you have to worry about.

Here are some of the actual health issues common with the White Lab.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is a joint abnormality that is quite common in large dog breeds like the White Labrador. It could eventually lead to arthritis and is made worse by obesity which is another common condition with White Labs.

Fortunately, lifestyle changes for the pooch including bone and joint supplements greatly improve symptoms and prognosis.


Myopathy refers to a group of conditions that affect muscles and their functions. This includes both skeletal muscles involved in movement and smooth muscles in systems like the White Labrador’s gut.

The hereditary condition can be incredibly debilitating. Fortunately, most breeders selectively breed out the trait by excluding Labradors that have the issue.

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus

Gastric dilatation volvulus in White Labradors occurs when the stomach dilates from being filled with food and rotates causing twisting and obstruction. This results in a potentially fatal condition known as bloat.

Among the symptoms you may notice are reduced activity levels, low appetite, vomiting, and a swollen abdomen.

How Much Does A White Labrador Puppy Cost?

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A White Labrador will cost you anywhere between $500 to $1,000.

This is pretty much the same as most other Labrador varieties. However, it is still pretty pricey. Here are the main reasons why they can be so expensive.

Selective Breeding

White Labrador Retrievers are a variation of an already rare type of Labrador which is the Yellow Lab. This means finding white pups naturally in litters is not always easy.

For most breeders who sell White Labradors, they have to practice selective breeding, which is very complicated, unpredictable, and expensive. This breeding struggle causes a trickle down effect with the White Lab puppies ending up very pricey.

Lack Of Availability In Your Region

Compared to other variations of the Labrador Retriever breed, White Labradors are not very rare. However, they are also not always easy to come by especially in some parts of the country and of the world in general.

If you are unfortunate enough to live where White Labradors are rare, you may end up having to pay a lot more for the pooch.

High Demand

White dogs are getting more and more popular which results in niche demand for what is a relatively rare variation. As a result, White Labradors can be very expensive due to their niche popularity.

The White Lab’s Lineage

Another factor that often determines how much you will end up paying for your White Labrador is the dog’s lineage. Pups from prized Labradors or those that have been selectively bred to eliminate genetic conditions are usually significantly more expensive.

Are White Labs Good Pets? Temperaments Of White Labradors

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White Labradors are great pets for keeping both as companions and working dogs. Like most other Labrador Retrievers, White Labs make for great hunting dogs especially when it comes to tasks like retrieval.

More often than not today, they are kept as companion pets and family dogs. Here are some of their personality traits that make them so awesome at their duties.


White Labrador Retrievers are very goal oriented and focused dogs.

They love to stay active and feel useful. This makes them awesome dogs for use as service aides. Their loyalty also comes in handy in these cases.


White Labs are smart little pooches or perhaps one of the brightest on Stanley Coren’s list.

You will have a fantastic time training them as long as you have treats in hand to reward them for their cooperation. It also helps a lot that they are very obedient and always eager to please.

Athletic And Outdoorsy

If you are an outdoorsy person, you will have a fantastic companion for all your adventures. White Labradors truly enjoy being outdoors whether it is a walk in the park or a camping trip with their favorite humans.

The best part is that White Labs are very disciplined which makes it very easy to take them places without fearing incidences.


White Labs are always looking to make new friends from strangers you will meet at the dog park to your friend’s doggies.

This is a trait that you can enhance with early socialization especially by introducing the pooch to other pets and to unfamiliar people. That way, they get along with everyone later on.

Do White Lab Puppies Stay White? Grooming Tips For White Labradors

White Lab puppies present a very unique set of circumstances when it comes to their grooming needs compared to other Labrador Retrievers. This is mainly due to the white color of the coat which takes a lot of effort and consistency to keep white.

In addition to this, they have the same regular Labrador Retriever problems including moderate to heavy shedding and dental care needs.

Here is all you need to know about how best to take care of all this needs for a clean, healthy, and beautiful doggy.

Brush The White Lab’s Coat 2 To 3 Times A Week

Shedding is, unfortunately, something you cannot avoid when taking care of a White Labrador Retriever despite their short coat. Brushing them on a regular basis allows you to get rid of most of the loose fur.

We recommend you work on your White Lab’s coat using the FURminator Undercoat Tool. It has strong, metallic bristles with rounded ends that work thoroughly on the thick coat without hurting the dog.

Unfortunately, you may still have some shedding which may seem more exaggerated due to the conspicuous color of the White Labrador’s fur.

The iRobot Roomba i3+ will come in handy with its programmable modes for convenient automation as well as with it pet-specific mechanisms ideal for dealing with fur.

Wash The Black Lab Every 4 To 8 Weeks

We recommend that you invest in a high quality shampoo if you want your White Labrador’s coat to remain white and beautiful. Paws & Pals 6-In-1 Oatmeal Dog Shampoo is a great option in this case and pretty much takes care of all your dog’s coat care needs.

This includes cleaning to get rid of stains, conditioning to keep it healthy and shiny as well as dealing with odors and itchiness.

Clean The Mouth Every Day Or Two

Oral hygiene is crucial when taking care of a White Labrador both for the sake of their health and your own comfort. They are very agreeable dogs and thus tooth brushing is definitely something you should consider adopting as a part of your routine.

If this is not possible, dental water additives for fresh breath and hard chew toys for plaque control should do the trick.

How Do You Breed A White Labrador? You need to breed two White Labradors if you wish to produce White Labrador pups. This is not always a guarantee that you will get White Labs but it will give you the best chances. Another option is to breed 2 Yellow Labradors. Here, the outcome is more unpredictable as only chance will determine whether your puppies end up with the very pale, whitish shade of yellow.

Do White Labs Have Blue Eyes? White Labrador Retrievers do not typically have blue eyes. This is because the genes responsible for the coloring do not affect melanin in other parts of the body. You can therefore expect dark eyes including brown and hazel shades. If the White Lab has blue eyes, they probably have Albinism.

What Are Bolo Marks? Bolo Marks on Labradors are unique, small, white markings found on the feet right behind the metacarpals and metatarsals on the paw pads. This is a feature you may only notice on Black Labrador Retrievers. They are named after Banchory Bolo who famously bred Black Labs with this distinguishing trait.

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Pete Decker