10 Facts About The Dudley (Yellow Lab With A Pink Nose)

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One of the most unique Labrador Retriever breeds is the yellow lab with a pink nose. The nickname for this breed type is a Dudley Lab.

The 10 facts about the yellow lab with a pink nose are

  • Lack Of Melanin
  • Bred From Yellow & Chocolate Labs
  • Only One Gene Combination
  • Lighter Eye Color
  • Prohibited From AKC Competitions
  • Prone To Sunburns
  • Prone To Hyperkeratosis
  • Can’t Be Registered For Breeding
  • All Labs Are Born With Pink Noses
  • Not Albinos

This extremely rare Labrador breed type is similar to all labs when discussing behavior, temperament, size, and intelligence. But we will discuss some health concerns and breeding differences worth mentioning below.

10 Facts About The Dudley (Yellow Lab With A Pink Nose)

The Dudley is a yellow lab with a pink nose. And it’s the rarest yellow lab and one of the least common Labrador Retriever genotypes.

In general, owners can expect similar behavior and growth from a Dudley lab. There are no major health issues or concerns because of this pigmentation difference.

But this unique lab certainly causes many questions, so learning more about the breed can be helpful. Below we list 10 key facts to know about the Dudley.

1. A Lack Of Melanin Causes The Pink Nose

Dudley Labradors are a rare breed of dog. They were bred to have a pink nose, which is known to happen because of a lack of melanin.

All Labradors are born with a lack of melanin, but within a few weeks, they reach the proper levels for the nose to darken. It’s carried in the nose cells, and Dudley labs lack enough melanin for their noses ever to turn black or brown.

Labradors are born with a pigment known as Tyrosinase. This enzyme produces melanin, but Dudley labs lack enough Tyrosinase for their noses ever to change colors.

2. Dudleys Are Bred From Yellow And Chocolate Labs

There are two common ways to breed a Dudley yellow lab with a pink nose. One way is to breed two chocolate labs with a yellow lab gene pool combination.

The other is by cross-breeding a yellow Labrador Retriever and a chocolate Labrador Retriever. This method is less common and is often considered irresponsible by professional Labrador breeders.

The genes required to breed this type of lab are extremely specific, and DNA tests are required before any actual breeding is done. It’s the only way to guarantee the birth of Dudley labs.

It’s important to remember that this is still a natural genetic occurrence that can be duplicated despite the rarity.

3. There Is Only One Dudley Labrador Gene Combination

Labrador breeding uses genes from both parents, which will determine the litter's coat color and genotype. For a Dudley lab, there must be an “eebb” genotype combination for there to be any chance of this breed happening.

However, to emphasize the rarity of this breed, at least half of those puppies bred with an “eebb” genotype will have a brown nose. This is because many people also refer to the Dudley as a yellow lab with a brown nose.

But this is incorrect, and the true Dudley lab has a pink nose. Both of these results are uncommon, and beyond just the gene combination is the pigmentation presence.

4. Dudley Labs Have A Lighter Eye Color

The Dudley Labradors are typically lighter in color and have a pink nose. They also always have a lighter eye color with pink around them.

The most common eye color to see in a Dudley lab is light blue or teal. It’s possible to see green in rare cases, but blue is the most common.

This pale eye color is a notable trait to expect from nearly all yellow labs with pink noses. The lack of melanin and pigmentation directly causes this light eye color.

5. Dudley Labradors Are Prohibited From AKC Competitions

The AKC or American Kennel Club exists to enforce rules and regulations for dog competitions and breeding. And because of this, the non-profit determines the fate of many dog breeds.

For example, Dudley Labradors with a yellow coat and pink nose cannot be included in any competitions. This has been included in the revised standard since 1994.

It upsets many lab owners because this is a purebred dog, but the rarity of the look has caused an exclusion from the AKC.

6. Dudley Labradors Are More Prone To Sunburns

In general, Dudley labs are very susceptible to sunburns. They have a pink nose, light-colored eyes, light-colored fur, and the pink area around their eyes and paws.

Compared to any other Labrador with dark features, the Dudley gets sunburned more often, requiring more care in hotter conditions. The lack of pigmentation creates a more sensitive area for these dogs.

Because of this reason, there are products like FDA-approved dog sunscreen. This is something worth considering for any Dudley lab owners.

And while Dudley labs don’t come with increased health concerns, exposing a Dudley lab to the sun without protection could lead to the development of skin cancer later in their life.

7. Dudley Labradors Are More Prone To Developing Hyperkeratosis

Hyperkeratosis is a disease dogs can struggle with when they produce too much keratin. It causes harm and pain to the dog by creating an uncomfortable layer on its paws, nose, and ears.

Dudley Labradors have an increased risk of developing this skin issue because of the lack of melanin in their bodies. If a dog develops this condition, immediate treatment is necessary.

The skin is more prone to cracking and peeling, which is why hyperkeratosis occurs. A Dudley's pink nose and paws can be protected to avoid these skin conditions.

8. Dudley Labs Cannot be Registered For Breeding

Dudley Labs with pink noses cannot be registered for breeding, according to the American Kennel Club. This lab type does not fit the breed standard.

We mentioned earlier that Dudley labs are not allowed to enter AKC competitions either. This is why they cannot be registered as official breeders.

The idea behind this is that reproducing litters of Dudley’s would create puppies with less pedigree. This scares away dog breeders from ever considering breeding a litter of Dudley lab puppies.

This is the rule, even though not all Dudleys would produce more pink nose yellow labs. It depends on the genotype combination too.

9. All Labs Are Born With Pink Noses

This is not necessarily just a fact about the Dudley lab, but all Labrador Retrievers are born with a lack of pigmentation. This means they have pink noses, paws, and light pink areas around their eyes.

Within a few weeks, labs will outgrow this, and their eyes, paws, and noses will get darker depending on the genotype. But with a Dudley, nothing changes as they grow.

After adopting a lab, it’s safe to assume it's a Dudley if they still have a pink nose on the adoption date. Typically, labs are not adopted until 8-10 weeks, but the pink nose would get darker within the first four weeks.

10. Dudleys Are Not Albino Labs

The term Dudley has declined in popularity because of this confusion. It was thought that yellow labs with pink noses were actually albinos, but this is not the case.

It’s common to see labs referred to based on the pigment presence. For example, there is a black pigment, liver pigment, and NBP (no black pigment)-lacking pigment.

The NBP is how the Dudley Labrador is bred. Because of the lack of pigment, the pink nose exists. But they should not be considered albinos; even labs with dark noses will see them fade in cold weather.

How Are Dudley Labradors Bred?

Every Labrador Retriever is born with a pink nose, but the nose gets darker as they age. For yellow labs, this color typically changes to black.

But with a Dudley Labrador, the nose stays pink because of the pigmentation and lack of melanin. Initially, this might sound like something to worry about, but it’s completely healthy.

However, this is an uncommon breed and genetic combination. For a yellow lab to be born, the genotype combination must include any combination, including an “ee” gene type.

Genotype Color
eeBB Yellow
eeBb Yellow
eebb Yellow

However, this doesn't mean a Dudley lab will be born. The only genotype known to produce the yellow lab with a pink nose is the “eebb” genotype.

With nine different Labrador genotypes, the Dudley lab is one of the rarest combinations.

How Are Dudleys Different From Other Labradors?

The most obvious difference between them is the coloration. However, all labs are bred to be more intelligent, sociable, and energetic than many other dog breeds.

The four major differences in a Dudley lab include nose color, paw color, eye color, and the color around their eyes.

Nose Color

The most obvious difference between a Dudley lab and any other lab is the nose color. Because of the lack of pigmentation, the nose remains pink while other labs grow out of the pink nose for a darker brown or black nose.

Paws

The lack of pigmentation is also present in other areas of a Dudley lab. This includes their paws, which is why they will have pink feet similar to how their nose looks.

Light Eye Color

Dudley labs are no albino, as mentioned, but they always tend to have light eye colors. The most common eye color for this lab is light blue or teal.

Rims Around The Eyes

Lastly, the rim and area around the lab’s eyes are also pink. This fades more than the other features as the lab ages, but it’s still noticeable compared to other lab breeds.

Are Yellow Labs With A Pink Nose The Rarest Labrador?

Yellow labs with a pink nose are certainly rare, but they are not the rarest. There are some unique colors like silver Labradors that are much rarer.

However, this is a controversial opinion because there is some debate that a silver lab is not a true purebred. But evidence suggests they are, making them the rarest Labrador breed.

The other lab that is equally as rare as the yellow lab with a pink nose is the yellow lab with a brown nose. They are bred with the same genotype, and the color of the nose ultimately ends up as the luck of the draw.

How Much Do Dudley Labs Cost To Adopt?

Labradors are a popular breed of dog that is often seen as a status symbol. Dudley Labradors are no different. They are bred to be the same size and appearance as a regular labrador, but they cannot be bred again, so prices tend to be even cheaper.

The exclusion from the AKC makes it possible to save money by adopting a Dudley. The average cost for this lab is between $1,000 to $3,000, depending on where the dog is bred.

Does The Pink Nose Affect How Long These Labradors Live?

The pink nose is a common misconception for Dudley Labradors. Many reputable sources have debunked the myth that the pink nose affects how long Dudley Labradors live.

It’s also not an indication of any health concerns, so the expectation that this lab will live as long as any other lab is correct. The only increased risk they face is related to weather and the environment.

For example, they have lighter eyes and a lighter nose. After long sun exposure, they have a higher risk of sunburn than a yellow lab with dark eyes and a black nose.

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