Green Labrador: The Most Unusual Colored Lab

Labradors are medium-large dogs originally bred to retrieve game for hunters. They have a friendly, eager-to-please personality. Labrador Retrievers come in three main color variations – black, yellow, and chocolate brown. The green coloration in Labs is rare and caused by a pigment anomaly.

It results in dilute shades of green or blue fur but does not affect the dog’s health or temperament in any way. Green Labs are as loving and energetic as Labs of other colors.

But before your imagination runs wild with visions of Hulk-like dogs stomping around your backyard, let’s clarify that it’s not about Labs turning into green furballs for life.

green labrador
green labrador/ Credits: green.labrador

What is a Green Labrador?

A Green Labrador, intriguing as it sounds, is a Labrador Retriever puppy born with an unusually green tint to its fur due to exposure to a bile pigment called Biliverdin in the womb.

Myth or reality

Green Labradors are real, not a myth. They may seem like something from a storybook, but they do exist. Yet, their color is very rare and lasts only for a few weeks after birth. This makes them an uncommon Labrador find.

Some people also doubt the purebred status of silver Labradors because of their unique color. But remember, green or silver, all Labs are lovable pets!

Causes of Green Labradors

Green Labradors are born due to Biliverdin, a green bile pigment found in the placenta, which may stain the puppy’s coat at birth. Intrigued? Read on to understand more about this fascinating phenomenon.

Biliverdin in the amniotic fluid

Biliverdin is a green pigment that causes Green Labradors. It lurks in the amniotic fluid of dogs, mainly Labradors. The fur of yellow Lab puppies can turn green due to this pigment.

During pregnancy or the birthing process, biliverdin might stain a puppy’s coat. This gives the Labrador its unique green appearance. Biliverdin comes from the placenta and does not harm the puppy.


Lochoia is a term you do not hear much about. It’s not a cause of the green coat color in Labradors. It does not link to the Biliverdin, which brings out the green hue on these dogs’ fur.

If you see a Labrador with a green coat, Lochoia does not play any part.

Other things lead to the rare green pigment in Labs. Genetics and selective breeding can bring on unexpected colors like this one. Yet, Lochoia does not find its spot here.

So it’s crucial to know what makes your furry friend sport such an unusual shade!

Reactions to Green Labradors

Discover the varied reactions of pet owners and veterinarians when they first encounter a green Labrador – from surprise amusement to health concerns. 

Dive deeper into their experiences and glean insights into this rare phenomenon in the following section.

Surprise and confusion of owners

Owners of green Labradors often feel surprised and confused. This is because Labrador puppies are not usually green. When a chocolate Labrador gave birth to a green pup, it left the owner in shock.

He had no idea that this could happen.

This feeling of amazement was also seen online. People viewing photos of the rare green Labradors were lost in disbelief. Many felt puzzled and unsure why these dogs looked so different from other pups.

To show their startlement, some owners even named their new pets after Shrek characters!

Health concerns

Green Labradors can face some health issues. One common worry is skin and ear infections. This happens more often in chocolate Labradors due to their genes. Dogs with these issues may itch a lot or have red skin.

They might also shake their heads a lot if the ears hurt. Labradors can also get other health problems like osteoarthritis, lipoma, and hip dysplasia. These cause dogs pain and trouble moving around. 

Some Labs even have a gene that makes them eat too much! This leads to being overweight, which brings even more health risks.

labrador green
labrador green/ Credits: green.labrador

Examples of Real Green Labradors

Meet Bruce, who made history as Israel’s first green Labrador, and Princess Fiona, a uniquely hued Lab born in the UK. Discover their extraordinary stories and delve more into this fascinating phenomenon of Green Labradors.

Stay tuned to learn more about these unusual instances!

Bruce, the first green labrador in Israel

Bruce is a special dog. He is the first green Labrador in Israel. His coat has a shade of green, not yellow, black or chocolate like most Labradors. 

People think his strange color comes from a gene that changed its normal way. Bruce’s unique coloring brings more people to know about this rare type of Labrador.

Princess Fiona, the green labrador born in the UK

The UK saw a rare sight with Princess Fiona. She is a green Labrador! Her unique color made many heads turn. People said her coat looked different than other Labradors.

Her green fur comes from something called biliverdin. This pigment gave her an unusual look. Yet, it did not harm Princess Fiona at all. Like all puppies, she was full of energy and fun times.

Frequency of Green Labradors

The occurrence of green Labradors is rare, making these pups an intriguing subject among dog enthusiasts and scientists alike. 

How often are they born?

Green Labradors are not born very often. It is a rare thing to happen. Most Labrador puppies have black, chocolate or yellow fur. Only a tiny few get the green color. This happens when a certain chemical is in their birth fluid. Even then, the green coat washes off after some time. They look like other Labs again once this happens!

Other unusual Labrador colors

Labradors come in three main colors. These are yellow, black, and chocolate. But did you know that they can also be seen in other rare colors? Here are some of them:

  • White: Some people may think they’re yellow labs. But true white labs aren’t yellow at all. They are pure white.
  • Red: These dogs get their coat color from a special gene. They look like fox red.
  • Silver: Silver labs are a hot topic among dog lovers. Some think they’re not real labs at all. Others just love their unique color.

Possible Health Issues Related to Biliverdin

While biliverdin may cause green pigmentation, it’s important to understand its potential effects on the puppy’s health and learn about any associated risks. Stay tuned for more information!

Effects on the puppy’s body

Green fur in Labrador pups comes from biliverdin. This is a green pigment found in the placenta. The gene that controls biliverdin can also cause bad health effects. It makes red blood cells break down too fast, causing harm to puppies’ bodies.

Biliverdin may help stop swelling or inflammation, though. Still, it’s not all good news for chocolate Labs with this gene. They live less long than black or yellow Labs do.

Potential risks and concerns

Green Labradors face health risks. They can lack enough biliverdin reductase. This chemical is very important for their bodies. Long-term effects may occur if they don’t have it. These dogs are also often fat, which leads to heart and liver disease.

Joints and bones can get hurt, too, because of this extra weight. Eye troubles such as cataracts are common in them due to diabetes or injury, which makes seeing hard for them.

green lab puppy
green lab puppy/ Credits: green.labrador

Other Animals with Green Pigmentation

Did you know that not just Labradors but cats and rabbits can occasionally exhibit green pigmentation? Join us as we delve into this fascinating phenomenon and uncover the scientific explanation behind these rare occurrences.

Green cats, rabbits, and other pets

Green pets are not just a tale. They truly exist in nature.

  1. Cats can be green due to a gene mutation. Some have dark skin, which boosts their energy and play habits.
  2. Pet rabbits may show up as green because of their coat color genetics. This happens when the pigment in the fur is lighter than usual.
  3. The change in pet color is not always safe, though. It might hurt their health.
  4. Risky changes include gray, blue, or very soft brown coats in dogs instead of black or brown ones.
  5. A big factor that plays into Labrador coat colors is the genes they come from.

The science behind green pigmentation in animals

Green color in animals is a big science puzzle. Animals use a trick to look green. Most of them like dogs, cats, or rabbits, do not make green pigment alone.

How they get this color? They use light and structure! In the skin, scales or feathers of some animals are small parts that reflect the light. This is called structural coloration.

A blue sky and sea also show colors because of this.

Animals mix yellow pigments with blue from structural effects to appear green. Frogs are an example here. The pigment pterorhodin found in phyllomedusine frogs gives them their green tint.

But things change for some pets like labradors who turn green due to bile pigment biliverdin found during birth inside mother’s womb liquid called amniotic fluid. Lastly, gene changes too play roles in animal coat colors but not so much in giving them a green shade!

real green dog
real green dog/ Credits: green.labrador


Green Labradors are rare. They owe their color to biliverdin, a green bile pigment. This color fades with time. Still, the sight of a green Labrador puppy stays in our hearts forever!


1. What is a Green Labrador?

A Green Labrador is not actually green in color; it’s just a name some people use for Labradors that are well-trained and behave nicely.

2. Do Green Labradors need special care?

No, caring for a Green Labrador requires the same effort as any other Lab; regular exercise, a balanced diet, grooming, and lots of love.

3. How do I train my Labrador to become a ‘Green’ one?

Training your Labrador involves consistent commands, positive reinforcements like treats or praises when they obey correctly, patience and time.

4. Are there specific breeds of Labradors that can be considered ‘Green’?

No specific labrador breed becomes ‘Green’, it applies to all labs that undergo proper training and portray good behavior.

5. Can all Labradors become Green Labradors?

Yes! With patience and right training methods, every Labrador has the potential to become what we call a ‘Green’ Labrador.

Author Profile

Samta Pandey
Samta PandeyIn House Labrador Trainer
Samta is an experienced Labrador trainer and enthusiast with over 5 years of hands-on experience, contributing invaluable insights and advice to Her deep understanding of Labrador temperament and intelligence underpins her effective training techniques and product recommendations. Through firsthand experience of the joys and challenges of raising Labradors, Samta's articles provide expert advice for both seasoned and new Labrador owners, covering training, care, and innovative product selection. Her commitment to enhancing the well-being of Labradors and their owners permeates her work, making it an indispensable resource for Labrador enthusiasts