Why Are White Labradors So Expensive?

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Labradors are generally available in three distinct hues: black, yellow, and chocolate. After seeing a white Labrador, I thought the white color was absolutely gorgeous! I started researching them, only to find out how expensive they are, and began wondering why that is the case.

White Labs are so expensive because they are uncommon and in high demand. You can expect to pay a premium price for a white Lab puppy. Depending on where you live, you can expect to pay around $1,000 - $3,000 for a white Labrador. 

There are a handful of factors that lead to the high cost of white Labs. Additionally, there are such things as Albino Labs, and you should know the differences between them and regular white Labs.

Reasons For White Labs Being Expensive

There are a handful of reasons why white Labradors are so expensive; more so than the more common black, yellow, and chocolate coats. Once you understand them, it is up to you to decide whether targeting that beautiful white coat is worth it or not.

Here are some of the reasons why white Labradors cost more than other Labrador puppies.

True White Labradors Are Rare

Most white Labrador retrievers are yellow Labradors with an exceptionally light coat. These dogs are identical to all other Labs, but their parents had the genes necessary to produce fur that appears white.

white labrador puppy

However, a yellow Labrador litter cannot ensure white Labrador pups, which contributes to their rarity, and helps explain why white Labradors are so expensive - they are difficult to come by!

Albino Labradors are entirely white Labradors. However, the odds of breeding one are slim. Albino Labs are white-haired and have pale skin. They may also have red eyes, but some albinos retain some pigmentation and have pale blue eyes.

Albinism results from a gene that disables coloration, and it is an uncommon condition in dogs. It is not a desirable feature because of the associated health issues.

Fortunately, a white Labrador is virtually never an albino Labrador.

It Takes Special Testing To Make White Labradors

As previously stated, white Labradors are the consequence of a rare genetic combination. While this may occur randomly, some breeders have a standardized method for doing this. However, this procedure is costly and time-consuming.

Breeders must first buy testing kits to determine the breeding dogs' genes.

The canine gene pool contains just two primary color pigments. Therefore, breeders must test dogs continually until two with a sufficient level of Pheomelanin are identified.

Even then, no assurance exists that the Labrador puppies will be white. This procedure can take months of trial and error.

A Labrador's price reflects the efforts of the breeder in bringing you a healthy puppy.

There Is a High Demand for White Labs

Labrador Retrievers were named the most popular pet dog breed in America in 2019.

Today, white dogs are becoming more popular, creating a niche demand for a relatively uncommon variation. Unfortunately, as a consequence of their specialized appeal, white Labradors are very costly.

White Labradors are also excellent companions and working dogs. And, as with most Labrador Retrievers, White Labs are wonderful hunting dogs, particularly for retrieving duties.

Owners may use them in a variety of settings, which increases their appeal.

Some White Labs Are Bred From Show Dogs

Show dogs participate in contests that evaluate their cleanliness, poise, and other canine characteristics. Owners invest tens of thousands of dollars in the canines before the tournament. 

According to some breeders, the amount exceeds $100,000.

If you purchase a Labrador that was bred from one of these dogs, you will pay a premium price due to the high value of its parents.

They Are Expensive To Maintain

Labrador Retrievers are prone to bacterial diseases, including parvovirus, rabies, and distemper. Most of these diseases are avoidable through immunization, which is not free.

Additionally, these dogs are susceptible to certain diseases. Obesity, otitis externa, and degenerative joint disease are the most prevalent diseases. 

Preventive medication is also required to eliminate ticks and fleas.

If you're considering buying a teen or adult Labrador, you should consider the owner's frequent medical appointments to prevent health problems before scorning the price.

Are White Labradors Purebred? 

White Labradors are purebred dogs. They are the offspring of Yellow Labradors, not a separate dog breed. Therefore, these dogs are eligible for AKC registration in the Yellow Lab category.

So, it is feasible to enter a white Labrador in shows. However, you must ensure that your dog is purebred in every way. For example, blue-eyed Labradors are a sign of weak genetics and indicate that they are not purebred. The natural eye color of pure Labs is Dark brown.

They may have blue eyes due to albinism, but albino puppies are not eligible for registration with the American Kennel Club.

So, having one that checks all the right boxes is another contributing factor as to why white Labradors are so expensive and hard to get!

Do White Lab Puppies Stay White?

White Lab puppies can stay white throughout their entire lives. However, most white Labrador puppies are Yellow Labradors that are born with a white coat variation. As a result, their hair gradually darkens to more of a yellow shade over time.

However, these white Labrador Retrievers should not be confused with Albino or Leucistic Labrador Retrievers, which are white dogs with light undercoats.

Should You Buy a White Labrador?

Due to their sociability, white labs are great family pets. They are kind and enjoyable to be around. This breed is extroverted, making them a great travel companion. However, if you can find one up for adoption, that might be a more compassionate choice.

They have an acute sense of smell, which aids them in searching and doing other everyday chores.

Also, they are excellent retrievers, as their name implies.

White Labrador retrievers are known for their soft mouths and can carry nearly anything without harming or breaking it.

White Labs Make Excellent Support Dogs

While Labradors would happily retrieve anything, what certainly sets them apart from other breeds is their insatiable drive to do so. This quality, combined with their obedience and want to please, enables them to succeed as support dogs.

Labrador retrievers are also renowned for their intelligence. And White Labs are no exception. Because of their intellect and disposition, they make excellent therapy and detecting dogs.

A White Labrador Is Great For Active Individuals

Labrador retrievers need plenty of exercise, including long walks, visits to the park, and regular play sessions. 

white labrador

The good news is that you will also be getting plenty of exercise!

As a consequence, you'll achieve a higher level of fitness than you anticipated while spending time with your dog.

White Labradors Are Great Companions

White Labradors are naturally drawn to those they adore. The companionship these dogs provide is priceless, making them an excellent choice for those who like spending time with their pets.

Labrador retrievers also like cuddling. This snuggling helps them relate with their owner while also giving the attention they need.

Indeed, this breed thrives and performs best when they have a relationship with you and your family.

How Long Do White Labradors Live?

Labradors live, on average, ten to twelve years. Activity, environment, and nutrition all affect their health, the care you provide them is critical. Make sure they receive proper nutrition and plenty of exercise to help them live longer.

To make sure your white Labrador lives a long and healthy life, feed them an appropriate diet and make sure they get plenty of exercise, as obesity shortens dogs' lives. Also, keep your white Lab up to date on all shots and scheduled veterinary checkups.

Final Thoughts

By now you should understand why white Labradors are so expensive, and why you should do proper due diligence before getting one.

It would be best to deal with a reputable breeder or shelter when searching the market for a white Labrador, which increases your chances of finding the healthiest canine partner imaginable. 

You'll want to ask the seller whether they have conducted extensive testing for all known heritable health problems associated with their white coat. 

About THE AUTHOR

Mark Brunson

Mark Brunson

Mark is the founder of Everything Labradors and a husband and father of 3. He enjoys spending time with his family, including his dog Molly, a Labrador/Golden Retriever mix. He’s a big fan of the outdoors and loves to travel to new places.

Read more about Mark Brunson