The Dudley Labrador Retriever Is Defined For Its Pigmentation.
The Dudley Labrador Retriever is one that has a lack of pigment in the nose, around the eyes and the gums etc.
Coloring is due to the influence of many genes. The genes that control the color of the coat are not the same genes that control the color of for instance the nose.
This in effect means that you can have a large number of differing combinations of color on any dog (yellow or chocolate).
The places where pigmentation can be seen most noticeably are around the eyes and the nose, you can however also see it on the gums, the lips, and the feet.
Under normal circumstances these body parts would be black (mostly), brown, a yellowy color or a number of different colors except pink.
Less common pigmentations are a fault, but are not a disqualification. Unless it is pink, These dogs can still be shown.
Attempts to correct any pigmentation issues through breeding do not normally work due to the large number of genes involved.
The Dudley Labrador is a yellow dog with an unpigmented nose (pink), a yellow dog with liver or chocolate pigmented or yellowy nose, as well as having the same coloring around the rim of the eyes, rather than black or dark brown.
A yellow dog with a brown nose, is not necessarily a Dudley, unless it also has brown around the rim of the eyes.
Breed standards for Labrador Retrievers considers a Dudley to be a disqualifying factor, specially one with a total lack of pigment in the nose and around the eyes "the true Dudley".
Yellow dogs normally start life with black noses, which turn pink with old age. This is called "snow nose" or sometimes "winter nose". This happens because a lower amount of the enzyme tyrosinase is being produced and this has an affect on the production of melanin, a dark pigmentation.
Tyrosinase is affected by temperature, which means lighter coloration can be noticeable during winter months, because in cold weather, production would be lower.
Another factor to take into account is that the older the dog gets the less tyrosinase is produced. This reduction in production starts quite early, from approximately two years on.
Because of this, the nose color of almost all yellow Labradors becomes a pinkish color as they grow older.
This does not mean that they are Dudleys.
A true Dudley Labrador Retriever is extremely rare, and as it is not sought after by most breeders will remain that way.
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