Last Updated on November 11, 2023 by Linda Richard
Even though there are technically only three Labrador colors there’s still quite a bit of variation. Meet the Dudley lab – a yellow Labrador with pink nose. Dudley labs look just like any other yellow lab until you notice their puppy-like pinkish noses. And, if you look closely, you’ll also notice that the rims around their eyes and parts of their paws also have a pink coloration.
Why is that, however? Is it normal? Are these labs ok? We’ll go over all the details below.
Is A Yellow Labrador With Pink Nose A “Real” Labrador?
Yes, very much so. A Dudley Labrador is just like any other yellow lab, it just has a unique combination of genetic loci which is what determines the skin pigmentation in Labradors.
To keep it simple, the skin pigmentation of labs is determined by two sets of genetic loci – BB/Bb/bb loci and EE/Ee/ee loci. Depending on what set of loci a lab gets it can be black, brown, or yellow:
- BB and Bb labs are black
- EE or Ee labs are chocolate
- ee labs are yellow
However, a Labrador that has both bb and ee loci will be not just yellow but pink-nosed yellow. So, the Dudley variation isn’t even due to a separate genetic mutation or anything like that – it’s just a normal type of Labrador. It’s just a bit rare.
In other words, these labs are very much “real” and purebred. That being said, if you’re looking for a lab to go to dog shows with, keep in mind that most competitions don’t accept dogs with pink noses – that’s just a part of their own criteria. The labs themselves, however, are perfectly normal.
Also, Dudley yellow Labradors are unfortunately not recognized by the American Kennel Club as a part of the “Breed Standard” for Labradors. The official breed standard of the AKC reads:
The nose should be black on black or yellow dogs, and brown on chocolates. Nose color fading to a lighter shade is not a fault. A thoroughly pink nose or one lacking in any pigment is a disqualification.
This means that Dudley yellow labs can’t be registered for breeding. But, again, this doesn’t mean that there are not Labradors like any other nor that you can’t find any purebred Dudley labs from reputable breeders.
Can Dudley Labradors Be Black and Brown Too?
Not really. There are types of black labs with reduced pigmentation that can have a chocolate nose instead of a black nose. And while some people call these labs Dudleys too, they really aren’t. The reason is that this reduced pigmentation is due to other genetic differences and not due to the ee genetic loci.
So, when talking about Dudley Labradors we are strictly talking about yellow labs with pink noses.
What If My Non-Dudley Yellow Lab Gets A Pink Nose At Some Point?
Another curious question is that of standard yellow labs getting more Dudley-like with age. This is normal too – even if your dog is a standard black-nosed yellow lab, the skin pigmentation can become a bit reduced in old age. So, if your lab is close to or past its 10th anniversary, don’t be surprised if its nose is getting paler.
That being said, if you have a young standard (non-Dudley) yellow lab with a black nose but its nose suddenly starts getting pink, you’d do well to contact your veterinarian. There are some conditions that can cause problems with skin pigmentation in younger dogs such as bacterial infections, certain skin conditions, or allergies.
Does A Yellow Labrador With Pink Nose Have Any Other Health Specifics/Risks?
Not really, at least not as long as it’s a Dudley Labrador. These dogs are very much identical to other Labradors in every respect other than their reduced pigmentation. They are just as smart, just as big, just as energetic and social, and just as healthy.
Are Dudley Labradors Albinos?
No – the reduced pigmentation isn’t nearly comprehensive and significant enough to be classified as albinism. What we know as albinism is caused by a completely different gene and it looks different too.
So, What Are The Practical Differences Between A Yellow Labrador With Pink Nose and Non-Dudley labs?
If we are, to sum up the main differences between standard yellow labs and Dudley yellow labs, they’d go like this:
- Dudley Labradors have a pink skin coloration on their noses, paws, and around their eyes.
- A yellow Labrador with pink nose is harder to find simply because they are rare – most labs don’t have that unique combination of genetic loci.
- Dudleys are not eligible to be show dogs or breeding dogs.
- Because of their rarity, pink-nosed Labradors can be quite a bit pricier too – up to $2,500 or $3,000 while most labs are sold for $800-$1,200.
Where Can You Buy A Yellow Labrador With Pink Nose?
Dudley Labradors can be found with most breeders. They are rare, however, because they are not specifically bred and because the needed combination for their pink noses doesn’t happen too often. So, you may need to search quite a bit more than you would otherwise. And, as we mentioned – be prepared to pay extra too.
However, if you look long enough and you can stave off the competition, there’s nothing stopping you from getting a pink-nosed yellow Labrador for your home.
As a last note, remember that all Labrador pups start off with a pink nose when they are newborns. Their noses start turning black after a few weeks. This is when you can tell if they are a Dudley lab or not. So, if you see a pink-nosed newborn lab puppy, you can’t be sure that it’s going to be a Dudley. On the other hand, if you get a young yellow lab for a standard price, you might get lucky. Who says now to an affordable Dudley?
Whatever you do, you should obviously always try to get your pup from a reputable breeder. Those breeders offer health certificates for their dogs. Dudley or not, you want your future lab to be as healthy as possible.