The English Cream Labrador is a very light coated yellow Lab. The short double coat coat’s color can range from a very light ivory all the way to a creamy light yellow. The English part of their name refers to their show bred ancestry, and the cream notes their pale color. The English Labrador Retriever and the American Labrador Retriever differ in both conformation and temperament. English Cream Labradors have a stocky build, broad head and straight otter tail. They can be excitable as puppies, but tend to calm down a little into adulthood. These friendly, confident dogs make great pets for active homes that enjoy modern dog training.
Are English Cream Labs Purebred Dogs?
English cream Labradors can be purebred dogs, and they usually are.
A pedigree dog is one that has a recorded history of parentage through a dog related breed association. For Labradors this will be the American Kennel Club (AKC). They list the approved colors that puppies can be. Labrador breeders and owners have a bit of wiggle room here, as the AKC specifies that the yellow coat color may vary from light cream to fox red.
English Cream Labrador Coat Color Genetics
It probably won’t surprise you to learn dog coat color genetics can get quite complicated quickly. This is because there are several genes that can influence what coat color a Labrador Retriever puppy grows up to display.
This is true even though there are only two different color pigments that create the entire variety of dog coat colors. These are eumelanin and phaeomelanin. Eumelanin is a black pigment. Phaeomelanin is a red pigment.
The many shades of the yellow Labrador coat color are produced when different genes interact with the red phaeomelanin pigment. You might wonder how a red pigment could turn out cream colored, which is a great question that it took canine geneticists a long time to answer!
The default color for phaeomelanin without any additional genetic influence is actually yellow or gold. Some genes can make this default color darker or more intense. Other genes will cause the color to become lighter or paler.
Breeding English Cream Labrador Puppies
Interestingly, canine geneticists have now identified a specific gene sequence that may produce the lighter cream yellow coat color more consistently. English Cream Labrador breeders can use this type of information to breed selectively for a more desirable coat color.
However, even when a breeder is very familiar with the genetics of their personal breeding dogs, some coat color differences are to be expected. For example, some Labrador puppies may grow up to have slightly darker English Cream coats while other puppies may grow up to have lighter or even white-appearing coats.
Other factors can also influence an adult English Cream Labrador’s coat color, including age, gender, health, diet, exercise and life stage.
Is the English Cream Labrador Retriever a Rare Breed?
The English cream Labrador coat color is eye-catching and perhaps less customary in the world of Labrador Retriever breeding. But this doesn’t change the fact that the dog wearing a cream colored coat is still a Labrador Retriever.
Why is this important to remember? Because not only is the Labrador Retriever dog not rare, but the Lab is the world’s most popular dog breed! In America, the Lab has topped this list for more than three decades. In the United Kingdom, the Lab regularly hits the second or third most popular spot.
Be wary of any breeder who markets their English Cream Labrador puppies as rare and uses this as a reason to inflate the price you pay. Always focus your search on reputable Labrador breeders who put puppy health first.
Buying an English Cream Puppy
Just like other trends, different dog coat colors go in and out of fashion. Longtime Labrador Retriever carers also often develop their own preferences based on experiences with past pet Labradors or with previous working Labrador dogs.
The English Cream Labrador coat color is quite popular right now. You might have a wait to find your perfect puppy.
Be sure you select a breeder with a proven track record for producing healthy English Cream Labrador puppies. Ask to review pre-screening health test results for both parent dogs. Also verify that your breeder will give you a record of all vaccinations and an initial health guarantee.
This will give you the best chance of making a commitment to a healthy, happy English Cream Lab puppy.
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website