A White Labrador 每Not Actually White
There is really no such thing as a white Labrador; it is categorized as yellow. The American Kennel Club recognizes only three colors in Labradors, namely yellow, chocolate, and black. All others are variations of these, and a white Labrador is actually a very pale cream. Thus, a white Labrador is registered as yellow, the color under which cream is categorized. A pure white Labrador is considered a fault by AKC standards. As a puppy, the white Labrador may look very white, but as it grows older, the color deepens and changes to cream, with perhaps a darker shade down the middle and on the ears.
White Labs are very popular in the yellow group, and a person who is keen on a white Labrador may have tough time locating a good one. Some breeders breed whiter labs only for their colors, but these dogs do not meet the other requirements and physical standards of Labradors. They may not have the temperament and health of good Labradors. It is common for Labs to have problems with their hips, so it is important to have the breeder certify the hip health of the parents of the chosen white Labrador puppy.
Perpetuating the Myth of a White Labrador
Since many pale cream Labradors look white as pups, unscrupulous breeders try to promote these pups as rare specimens. These puppies will grow to look more cream in color as they mature, particularly on the tips of the ears, back, and hocks. Cream Labradors have black pigment on their noses, eye rims and lips. This may fade to a brown or pink color in winter, and get dark again in summer. A yellow Labrador that lacks pigment may have pink or brown eye rims, noses and lips but this is considered to be a fault. It often is a result of breeding yellow with chocolate Labrador, and this should be discouraged.
NEWS FLASH - 2014-07-22
There may be a rare case of a documented white Labrador that has been a result of advanced breeding. According to the AKC however, white is considered a fault. It is common for enthusiastic buyers to choose any puppy by its appearance, though its temperament and good health are more important. In the case of the so called white Labrador, more caution has to be exercised. Choose a puppy that appeals to you, and it does not matter if lily white is actually cream. You are sure to enjoy the pet far more than you had imagined!