The fox red Labrador isn’t a ‘rare’ or special breed of dog as some unscrupulous breeders would have you believe. Many people are paying high prices to buy a special red Labrador and this is an unfair practice among breeders. Here are the facts on fox red Labradors.
Labrador retrievers come in three colors according to the official standard for the breed: black, chocolate and yellow. The fox red Labrador is simply a variation of the yellow Labrador. While they are slightly less common that other yellow Labradors like cream or light yellow labs they are not considered rare or even uncommon.
Yellow Labradors come in shades that vary from a very light cream to the fox red Labrador with a variety of darker shading along the ears, top line, tail and hocks. They should have black pigment on the nose, lips and eye rims. Fox red Labrador puppies will be fox red from birth so there is no chance that a lighter colored dog will ‘get darker as he gets older’. This is in contrast to some yellow labs which do get darker as they mature.
As a fox red Labrador puppy matures it will stay the same color. Breeders often breed dark yellow dogs with fox red Labradors and in this case there is still no guarantee that the puppies will be a fox red color. In some cases they may all be dark yellow rather than red! While the colors may be darker than a ‘standard’ dark yellow Labrador they are not fox red. Fox red mothers may give rise to light cream puppies.
If you want to buy a fox red Labrador make sure you know the difference between the different shades of yellow Labrador or you may come home with a dark yellow Labrador instead! Fox red labs are a deep, red ‘fox-like’ color and not darkish yellow or golden.