Despite the many advertisements for ‘honey’ Labradors and other varieties such as ‘white’ or ‘fox’ red these are not different from typical yellow Labradors. The official breed standard recognizes only three Labrador colors, namely yellow, black and chocolate or ‘liver’ Labradors. Any other so called ‘special’ colors are well within the normal variation for yellow Labradors.
The ‘golden’ or honey Labrador is actually a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Labrador Retriever. The correct name for these dogs is still yellow. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Unscrupulous breeders often try to sell ‘rare’ breeds for exorbitant prices. These dogs are not at all rare. The proper term is still ‘yellow Labrador’.
Yellow Labradors may range in color from light cream to fox-red and it is often the dark yellow and fox-red Labradors that are referred to as a honey Labrador. Dark yellow Labradors are darker than average yellow Labradors. They are sometimes called ‘cinnamon yellow’ Labradors. Puppies get darker as they age.
The fox red honey Labrador is less common than the dark yellow but nevertheless isn’t considered ‘rare’. While some yellow Labrador pups get darker as they age, the fox red will be red from birth.
Sometimes dark yellow Labradors are bred with fox reds to try to obtain the honey Labrador coloring but this isn’t always successful. If two yellow Labradors breed the puppies will always be yellow but it’s not possible to predict the exact shade. So a fox red female could give rise to a litter of light cream puppies!
Try to avoid using the term honey Labrador when you talk to your breeder, along with ‘golden’, ‘cinnamon’, ‘honeybacked’, ‘lemon’ or ‘white’. Rather use the terms ‘dark yellow’ or ‘fox red’. In this way you will sound better informed and the breeder will know what you are looking for!