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Dudley Labrador: Characteristics, History, and Care Guide - PawSafe
Dog Breeds

Dudley Labrador: Characteristics, History, and Care Guide

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

Dudley Labrador

Dudley Labrador is a rare color variation of a well-known breed of dog that is beloved by many. Known for their friendly and loyal nature. Labradors are a popular choice for families and individuals alike, but the rare Dudleys lead many people to search online for “Dudley Labrador puppies for sale” or “Dudley Labrador Breeders near me.” But it is always vital to research any dog thoroughly before bringing one into your home.

One of the defining characteristics of Dudley Labradors is their unique coat color.  However, these dogs are prone to skin issues like atopic dermatitis, so make sure you use a very gentle dog shampoo and conditioner on them.

Despite their popularity, Dudley Labradors are not recognized as a separate breed by major kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club. Instead, they are considered a variation of the traditional Labrador Retriever breed. However, this has not stopped Dudley Labradors from gaining a dedicated following and a reputation as one of the most beloved breeds of dog around. To answer all your questions on the rare Dudleys, we have consulted dog expert Kim Campbell Thornton in The Everything Labrador Retriever Book.

The term “Dudley” refers to a genetic trait that causes a lack of pigment in the nose, lips, and eye rims. This trait is recessive, meaning that both parents must carry the gene for it to be expressed in their offspring.

While some people may mistake a Dudley Labrador for an albino dog, this is not the case. Albino dogs have a complete lack of pigment throughout their entire body, including their eyes. Dudley Labradors, on the other hand, have normal pigmentation in the rest of their body, but lack it in specific areas. Another way of explaining this is that their natural pigmentation is diluted, but still present.

It’s important to note that the lack of pigmentation in Dudley Labradors does not affect their health or temperament. They are just as healthy and friendly as any other Labrador Retriever. However, some breeders may charge more for Dudley Labradors due to their unique appearance.

But remember that by rights, breeders should not ask more Dudleys. This is because the color is a fault and even they are disqualified from showing. If breeders ask more for a Dudley, it is part of the trend to ask higher prices for dogs with rare colors, like lemon Beagles, or Lilac French Bulldogs.

In conclusion, Dudley Labradors are a fascinating variation of the beloved Labrador Retriever breed. While their pink noses and lighter coat color may set them apart from other Labradors, they are just as lovable and loyal as any other dog.

History of Dudley Labradors

Dudley Labradors are a unique variation of the popular Labrador Retriever breed. They are known for their pinkish nose and light-colored eyes, which set them apart from other Labradors. The breed’s name comes from the town of Dudley in England, where the first Dudley Labrador was reportedly bred.

The Dudley variation is caused by a recessive gene that affects the production of pigment in the nose and eyes. This gene is present in Labradors, but it is usually masked by other dominant genes that produce a black or brown nose and dark eyes. Dudley Labradors are therefore relatively rare, and their distinctive appearance has made them popular among dog enthusiasts.

The history of Dudley Labradors is not well-documented, but it is believed that the first Dudley Labrador was born in the early 20th century. The breed gained popularity in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, and since then, breeders have worked to preserve and promote the breed.

Today, Dudley Labradors are recognized by some kennel clubs, but they are not officially recognized as a separate breed, but it is not a color most Kennel clubs allow for showing. They are still considered to be Labrador Retrievers, but with a unique variation in appearance. Breeders continue to work to produce healthy and well-tempered Dudley Labradors, and the breed remains a popular choice for dog lovers who appreciate their distinctive look.

Dudley Labrador Genetics & Overview

Unlike Snow Nose, which is a temporary condition where a Labrador’s nose fades in color during the winter months, Dudley Labradors have a permanent pink nose. This is due to the lack of melanin, a pigment that gives color to the skin and hair, in the nose and eye areas.

While the Dudley gene is rare, the term only applies to yellow Labradors. Some chocolate or black labs may also have a brown or pinkish nose and some people also call these dogs Dudleys, but they are not really. In the picture below you can see a chocolate lab that may be mistaken for a Dudley because of its lighter nose.

Remember, breeding two Dudley Labradors together can result in health issues, such as skin cancer, due to the lack of protection from melanin or color dilution alopecia. 

When it comes to the genetics of Labrador retrievers, the color of their coat is determined by two specific locations on their genes, called loci. Think of these as “switches” that determine the color. There are two important ones to know about: the B loci and the Ee loci.

  1. B loci: This switch controls whether a Labrador is black or chocolate/yellow.
    • BB or Bb: If the Labrador inherits these combinations, it will be black.
    • bb: If the Labrador inherits this combination, it could be chocolate or yellow.
  2. Ee loci: This switch only comes into play if the Labrador has the bb combination from the B loci (meaning it won’t be black).
    • EE or Ee: If the Labrador inherits these combinations, and it has bb from the B loci, it will be chocolate.
    • ee: If the Labrador inherits this combination and it has bb from the B loci, it will be yellow.

Now, the Dudley Labrador is a special case where the Labrador inherits both bb from the B loci and ee from the Ee loci. This unique combination not only makes the Labrador yellow but also gives it specific characteristics that make it a Dudley Labrador (such as a flesh-colored nose instead of a black one).

Are all Labradors with Pink Noses Dudleys?

The pink nose in a Labrador is often confused with the flesh-colored nose of a Dudley, but they are actually different.

  1. Dudley Labrador: As explained earlier, a Dudley Labrador has a flesh-colored nose, lips, eye rims, and feet. This is a genetic trait that comes from inheriting both the bb combination from the B loci and the ee combination from the Ee loci. These specific genetic factors result in a lack of pigmentation in these areas.
  2. Pink Nose (or “Winter Nose”): Some Labradors may develop a pink or light-colored nose, even if they don’t have the specific genetic combination that results in a Dudley. This temporary color change can happen for several reasons:
    • Seasonal Change: Some Labradors’ noses may change color with the seasons, often lightening in the winter and darkening again in the summer. This phenomenon is sometimes called “snow nose” or “winter nose.” The exact cause is unknown, but it’s believed to be related to temperature or sunlight exposure.
    • Age: As some Labradors get older, their noses might lose pigmentation, leading to a lighter or pinkish color.
    • Injury or Illness: An injury to the nose or certain health conditions can also lead to a loss of pigmentation, resulting in a pink appearance.

So, while a Dudley Labrador’s flesh-colored nose is the result of a specific genetic combination, a pink nose in a non-Dudley Labrador can occur for various other reasons. The two are different, and a pink nose doesn’t necessarily mean the dog is a Dudley Labrador. One way to tell the difference is that the rims of a normal yellow Lab’s eyes will still be black.

Physical Characteristics of Dudley Labradors

How Big Is A Full-grown Dudley Labrador?

Dudley Labradors are medium to large-sized dogs with a muscular build. They typically weigh between 55-80 pounds and stand 21-24 inches tall at the shoulder. Male Dudley Labradors are usually larger than females.

What Does A Dudley Labrador Look Like?

Dudley Labradors have a distinct appearance that sets them apart from other Labradors. They have a pink or flesh-colored nose, lips, and eye rims, which are caused by a lack of pigmentation. Their eyes are usually hazel or green, and their coat color can vary from yellow to chocolate. The lack of pigmentation in their nose and lips can cause them to be more prone to sunburn and skin cancer.

Coat Type

Dudley Labradors have a short, dense, and water-resistant double coat that is easy to maintain. They shed moderately throughout the year but may have heavy seasonal shedding. They require regular brushing to keep their coat healthy and shiny. Bathing should only be done when necessary to avoid drying out their skin.

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Personality and Temperament

Labrador Retrievers are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. They are eager to please their owners and are very loyal. These dogs are also very intelligent, ranking as the seventh most intelligent dog breed in the world, according to Dr. Stanley Coren’s book “The Intelligence of Dogs.

One of the defining traits of a Labrador Retriever is their love of food. Studies show that many labs have a variation on the POMC gene which is linked to weight gain and hunger, leading to obesity in some cases. However, this also makes them highly trainable as they have a strong food drive.

Studies have shown that Labrador Retrievers have a special affinity for water. In fact, they are often more attracted to water than to social stimuli. A pilot study published in ScienceDirect found that these dogs are more attracted to water than to social stimuli.

Another study on Labrador temperament found that gun and working dogs had higher scores for “fetching tendency” and “trainability” than show dogs or pets. Chocolate labs were more agitated when ignored and showed more excitability than black labs, and lower trainability and noise fear than both yellow and black labs. Dogs exercised for longer periods showed less aggression, less fear of humans and objects, and lower separation anxiety than dogs that were not as active.

In other words, as dilute yellow labs, Dudleys can be some of the most trainable and easy companion dogs, but they may still need a lot of exercise if they come from working dog or gun dog bloodlines.

Health and Lifespan

Dudley Labradors are generally healthy dogs with an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years. However, like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues that potential owners should be aware of.

One of the most common health concerns in Dudley Labradors is hip and elbow dysplasia, which can cause pain and mobility issues. Obesity is also a concern, as excess weight can exacerbate joint problems and increase the risk of other health issues such as heart problems.

Atopic dermatitis, a skin condition that causes itching and inflammation, is another common issue in Dudley Labradors. This can be managed through proper grooming and diet, as well as medication if necessary.

Other health issues that can affect Dudley Labradors include various types of cancers, limber tail, myopathy, and CCL Disease. Liver issues like shunts and nasal parakeratosis are also possible.

To ensure the best possible health for a Dudley Labrador, it is important to provide them with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and routine veterinary care. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help catch and manage any potential health issues early on.

Caring for a Dudley Labrador

When caring for a Dudley Labrador, it is important to remember that they require the same level of care as any other Labrador Retriever. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to their unique physical characteristics.

One thing to note is that Dudley Labradors have a pink nose and light-colored eyes, which makes them more susceptible to sunburn. It is important to apply sunscreen to their nose and provide them with plenty of shade on hot, sunny days.

Another thing to keep in mind is their coat. Dudley Labradors have a yellow or cream-colored coat, which can be prone to matting and tangling. Regular grooming, including brushing and bathing, is necessary to keep their coat healthy and shiny.

When it comes to exercise, Dudley Labradors are active dogs and require daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. This can include walks, runs, or playing fetch. However, it is important to avoid overexertion, especially in hot weather.

In terms of diet, Dudley Labradors require a balanced diet that is appropriate for their age and activity level. It is important to provide them with high-quality dog food and avoid overfeeding, as they can be prone to obesity.

Overall, caring for a Dudley Labrador requires attention to their unique physical characteristics, but with proper care and attention, they can live happy and healthy lives.

Training and Behavior

Dudley Labrador is a highly trainable breed of dog that responds well to positive reinforcement training techniques. They are intelligent, eager to please, and enjoy being given tasks to do. Early socialization and training are essential for Dudley Labradors to become well-behaved, obedient, and happy pets.

Dudley Labradors are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. They are excellent with children and make great family pets. However, they can be overly exuberant and may accidentally knock over small children. It is important to supervise interactions between children and Dudley Labradors to prevent any accidents.

Dudley Labradors have a high energy level and require regular exercise to keep them healthy and happy. Daily walks, runs, or playtime in a fenced yard are recommended. They also enjoy activities such as swimming, hiking, and playing fetch.

When it comes to training, Dudley Labradors excel in obedience, agility, and retrieving. They have a natural instinct to retrieve and enjoy playing fetch. They are also excellent swimmers and enjoy water activities.

Positive reinforcement training techniques such as clicker training, treat training, and praise are effective for Dudley Labradors. Harsh training methods such as physical punishment or yelling should be avoided as they can be counterproductive and damage the dog’s trust and confidence in their owner.

In conclusion, Dudley Labradors are highly trainable and make great family pets. Early socialization and positive reinforcement training techniques are essential for them to become well-behaved and obedient. They require regular exercise and enjoy activities such as swimming, hiking, and playing fetch.

Dudley Labradors and Families

Dudley Labradors are a unique variation of the Labrador Retriever breed. They are known for their pinkish nose and light-colored coat, which can range from cream to yellow. While they are not recognized as a separate breed by the American Kennel Club, they are still highly sought after by families looking for a friendly and loyal companion.

Families who choose a Dudley Labrador as their pet can expect a friendly and affectionate dog that loves to play and cuddle. They are great with children and other pets, making them an ideal family dog. However, it is important to note that Dudley Labradors may be more prone to skin problems and sunburn due to their light-colored coat and pink nose. Therefore, it is recommended that they are kept indoors or in shaded areas during peak sun hours.

Dudley Labradors are also known for their intelligence and trainability. They excel in obedience training and are often used as service dogs due to their gentle nature and willingness to please. They are also great at retrieving and can be trained to hunt or participate in dog sports such as agility or flyball.

In conclusion, Dudley Labradors are a wonderful choice for families looking for a friendly and loyal companion. While they may require some extra care due to their light-colored coat and pink nose, their intelligence and trainability make them a joy to have as a pet.

Dudley Labradors and Other Pets

Dudley Labradors are a popular breed of Labrador retrievers, known for their unique pinkish-brown nose and light-colored coat. While they make great pets for families and individuals, it’s important to consider the compatibility of Dudley Labradors with other pets.

Dudley Labradors are generally friendly and sociable dogs, making them great companions for other animals. However, it’s important to supervise their interactions with smaller pets, such as cats or rodents, as their hunting instincts may kick in. With proper training and socialization, Dudley Labradors can coexist peacefully with other pets in the household.

When introducing a new pet to a household with a Dudley Labrador, it’s important to take things slow and allow for proper introductions. It’s recommended to keep the new pet separated from the Dudley Labrador at first and gradually introduce them under supervision.

It’s also important to consider the temperament of the other pet when introducing them to a Dudley Labrador. Some pets may be more territorial or aggressive, which could lead to conflicts with the Dudley Labrador. In these cases, it’s best to consult with a professional trainer or behaviorist to ensure a safe and peaceful household for all pets involved.

In summary, Dudley Labradors can make great pets for families with other pets, but it’s important to take proper precautions and consider the compatibility of the animals before introducing them to each other. With proper training and socialization, Dudley Labradors can coexist peacefully with other pets in the household.

Where to Get a Dudley Labrador

Breeders

When looking for a Dudley Labrador, it is important to find a reputable breeder who takes good care of their dogs and follows ethical breeding practices. A good breeder will be knowledgeable about the breed and will be able to provide you with information about the dog’s health, temperament, and pedigree. Some reputable breeders to consider include:

  • Labrador Retriever Club: The Labrador Retriever Club is a great resource for finding reputable breeders in your area. They have a breeder referral program that can help you find a breeder who follows ethical breeding practices.
  • AKC Marketplace: The AKC Marketplace is another great resource for finding reputable breeders. They have a list of breeders who have been screened and meet their standards for responsible breeding.
  • Dudley Labrador Club: The Dudley Labrador Club is a club dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Dudley Labrador. They have a breeder referral program that can help you find a breeder who specializes in Dudley Labradors.

When choosing a breeder, it is important to ask questions and do your research. Make sure the breeder is transparent about the dog’s health and temperament, and ask to see the dog’s pedigree.

Rescue Centers

If you’re interested in rescuing a Dudley Labrador, there are several organizations that may be able to assist you in finding the perfect match. These organizations often rescue and rehabilitate Labradors, including Dudleys, and work to place them in loving forever homes.

  1. Lab Rescue of the LRCP: A non-profit volunteer organization that rescues, fosters, and finds homes for abused, neglected, and abandoned Labrador Retrievers. More details can be found on their website.
  2. Lus Labs: Specializing in rescuing and rehoming Labradors and Labrador mixes, Lus Labs provides a safe and loving environment for dogs in need. You can explore available dogs on their website.
  3. American Lab Rescue: Dedicated to connecting Labradors with the right families, American Lab Rescue has a list of available dogs, including potentially Dudleys, on their website.
  4. Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida: A state-wide volunteer organization dedicated to rescuing Labrador Retrievers, this organization’s website provides information on available dogs, including Dudleys, as well as adoption procedures.
  5. Labrador Retriever Welfare and New Forever Homes Group: This Facebook group serves as a community where individuals can connect to share information about available Labradors, including Dudley Labradors, that are in need of new homes. You can join the group here.

These organizations are committed to the welfare of Labradors, and they may be able to help you find a Dudley Labrador to rescue and make part of your family.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Dudley Labrador is a well-known and highly respected breed of dog. With their friendly and loyal nature, they make excellent family pets and are often used as service dogs due to their intelligence and trainability.

Throughout this article, we have explored the history, characteristics, and behavior of Dudley Labradors. From their origins as a variant of the Labrador Retriever breed to their unique coat color, Dudley Labradors have captured the hearts of many dog lovers around the world.

It is important to note that while Dudley Labradors may have a different coat color than traditional Labradors, they are still the same breed and should be treated as such. It is also important to note that while they may be in high demand due to their unique appearance, responsible breeding practices should always be followed to ensure the health and well-being of the dogs.

In summary, Dudley Labradors are a wonderful breed of dog that make great companions and service animals. With their friendly and loyal nature, they are sure to bring joy to any family that welcomes them into their home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Dudley Labrador?

A Dudley Labrador is a Labrador Retriever with a pink or flesh-colored nose and eye rims instead of the typical black coloration. The term “Dudley” refers specifically to the nose and eye rims, not the coat color or any other physical characteristic.

How rare is a Dudley Lab?

Dudley Labs are relatively rare, as the pink nose and eye rims are a recessive gene trait. However, it is important to note that the term “Dudley” is often misused to describe any Labrador with a lighter nose color, which can make it difficult to determine the true rarity of the trait.

What is the difference between a Labrador and a Dudley Labrador?

The primary difference between a Labrador and a Dudley Labrador is the coloration of the nose and eye rims. Labradors typically have black noses and eye rims, while Dudley Labradors have pink or flesh-colored noses and eye rims. Other than this difference, Dudley Labradors are physically and behaviorally similar to other Labradors.

Can a Dudley Lab be AKC registered?

Yes, Dudley Labradors can be registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC). However, they may not be eligible for certain conformation shows or breeding programs that prioritize black-nosed Labradors.

Are Dudley Labs worth more?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as the value of a Dudley Labrador can vary depending on factors such as age, health, training, and pedigree. However, it is generally not considered a desirable trait for breeding or showing purposes, which may affect the perceived value of Dudley Labradors.

Can I breed a Dudley Labrador?

Yes, Dudley Labradors can be bred, but it is important to note that the pink nose and eye rims are a recessive gene trait. This means that breeding two Dudley Labradors together can result in a higher likelihood of producing puppies with health issues or other genetic defects. It is recommended to breed Dudley Labradors with black-nosed Labradors to reduce the risk of these issues.

Final Thoughts

Dudley Labrador is a beloved breed of dog that has captured the hearts of many people around the world. From their friendly and loyal nature to their playful and energetic demeanor, it’s easy to see why they are such a popular choice for families and individuals alike.

Throughout this article, we have explored the various characteristics and traits that make Dudley Labradors stand out from other breeds. We have learned about their unique coat color, their love for swimming and retrieving, and their intelligence and trainability.

It’s important to note that while Dudley Labradors are a wonderful breed, they do require a significant amount of exercise and attention. Potential owners should be prepared to provide their furry friend with plenty of physical and mental stimulation to ensure they remain happy and healthy.

In conclusion, Dudley Labradors are a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a loyal and loving companion. They are intelligent, friendly, and playful, making them an excellent addition to any household. With proper care and attention, Dudley Labradors can make wonderful pets that will bring joy and happiness to their owners for years to come

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe

Author

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.