Fox Red Labrador Retrievers: Controversy, Puppy Costs & More

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

The Red Fox Labrador, also known as the Ruby Labrador is a beautiful dog. He is a Labrador Retriever like any other, but with the color a red Fox. Although he is labeled red, he actually has a deeper yellow Labrador color.

Just like any Labrador, he’s energetic and fun to have around. However, he’s also gentle with his family, which makes him a wonderful family pet. His coat color has no bearing upon his personality or health.

While there isn’t as much controversy about the Fox Red Labrador as some other Labradors, some Labrador fans do not consider him a purebred Labrador. He has many loyal fans, and his distinctive and unusual color is slowly earning him a place in the top pups. Let’s take a closer look to see what this guy is all for.

Fox Red Labrador Retrievers


The Labrador Retriever’s adventure began in Newfoundland, Canada. He was a hunter dog who collected the fish and ducks of his master fisherman. St John’s Dog was the ancestor to the Labrador. The nobles of Great Britain were so impressed by his work skills, they brought him back to England.

Over a period of several decades, the breed was refined and named the Labrador Retriever. We know him today. Ever since his first registration in America in 1917, they have become a firm family favorite worldwide. He is the most loved dog breed in America ., according to the American Kennel Club.

It is not known when exactly this breed was introduced to the world. They have always been a rare breed. Fox Red puppies were not considered to be traditional colors. Therefore, they were not registered by an unknown entity, or were unfortunately culled after their color was determined.

Prejudice in The Show Ring

The Red Fox Lab is simply a yellow Labrador. There is no red Labrador that can be found in every shade. The Labrador breed standards describe the yellow color as the following: Yellows may range in color from fox-red to light cream, with variations in shading on the ears, back, and underparts of the dog.

The color is actually yellow. He is therefore allowed to show in the conformation rings, also known as the showring. This competition is based on all Labrador breed characteristics. This Labrador color has been color prejudice twice in the canine world.

First, Labrador is not recognized by kennel clubs around the globe as a distinct color. Most observers can clearly see that his color is very different from the traditional yellow hues. your pup must be registered with the AKC as a yellow Labrador.

Second, even though he is allowed to compete in show ring, obedience, and performance-related events many owners and observers suggest that judges rate him less favorably. This makes him less likely to win, or even come close to winning. This is because traditional judges are more likely to prefer traditional and lighter colors than Fox Red.

Unfortunately, these are the reasons why showing your Labrador in an important element, event is not possible. You should consider getting a traditional-colored Labrador or accepting that your dog may be out of favor, even though he is the best. If he wins, however, you will know that your Labrador pup is an exceptional specimen.

Red Fox Lab Color Genetics Explained

All pairs of genes are inherited by the parents one is from Mom. They can be either dominant or recessive, as with many gene pairs.

The default color in Labrador is black. This is caused by a pair of genes called the BB gene. A black Labrador might have the Bb gene. Little b controls the genetic code that gives a Labrador a brown coat. Big B is the dominant and will switch off little b so he will become black. When the bb gene is present, little b shows off his abilities. This is when you get a Labrador with chocolate coloring.

To get a yellow Labrador you will need genes to switch off the brown and black coats. These genes are called the e gene. These genes come in three forms: EE, Ee, and ee. The last pair of ee pairs is powerful enough to completely block both the little and big b genes. This is why we have the yellow Labrador.

In the EE/Ee format, you still have a brown or black Labrador. A Fox Red Labrador simply means a variation on yellow. The shading of yellow needed to produce the red coloring is controlled by a pigment called pheomelanin which is controlled by another two different sets of genes, A and C. The A gene controls the production of the red color, and the C gene controls whether or not it is fully expressed or diluted.

These genes are not mutually exclusive like other genes. These genes work together to create a range of shades, from pale yellows to rich reds. It is rare to find the fox color red.


This Labrador type is rare and hard to find. The only thing that distinguishes him from other Labradors is his distinctive colour coat. He is described as being a darker or deeper shade of the yellow Labrador.

This is the same as the white Labrador, which is described as a light-yellow shade. Fox Red is his color, which is the exact color of the Red Fox. Similar coloring is found in other breeds of retrievers, such as the golden retriever. both retriever breeding can have red hair.

On rare occasions, they may have slightly darker pink features around the muzzle. It will be visible in the color of his skin or his nose, though sometimes he shares the same black features with his brothers. A white spot is more common in Labradors than other Labrador colors. This is because their patches are visible more clearly on their darker skin than their yellow brothers.

Just as any other color Labrador, the male Red Fox Lab will measure 22.5 – 24.5 inches from paw to shoulder and will weigh 65 to 80 pounds. Of course, the female will measure slightly shorter, at 21.5 – 23.5 inches, and she will weigh 55 to 70 pounds. These dogs are tall and have long, strong necks with thick tails. Their cute facial expressions are adorable, and they have large, round eyes full of mischievousness.

He is generally not bred to the ring because he is not preferred in the ring. The shooting world preserved this breed while the conformation industry tried to breed him out. It would be rare to find an English Fox Red Labrador that was bred for conformation. This is more common in American Labradors who are generally bred to hunt. To understand more about the two types of Labradors, you can read about the differences between English vs. American Labradors.

If you like the color coat but aren’t too keen on the Labrador himself, it might be interesting to know that he can often be mistaken for a Vizsla. He is the same face and has large ears with the same color coat but is more athletic.

He’s oftentimes also mistaken for a Lab & Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. Some believe this Labrador color is not purebred Labrador. They claim he was the result of crossing a Labrador and a Vizsla. This has caused controversy within the Labrador community. But, at this time, there is not enough evidence to support such a claim.


The Red Fox Lab is similar in temperament as any other colored Labrador. ‘Friendly, active, and outgoing,’ is how the AKC describes one of the most beloved canine companions. He is a lively, playful puppy that will keep you entertained. He will show affection to you and your family.

He is a playful, friendly, gentle and affectionate canine. He is always eager to please his owners. He will do almost anything for you and will also love to snuggle on the couch after playtime ends. As long as he has been socialized as a puppy, he can be a great companion for small animals and young children.

The Fox Red Labrador can be slightly more barkier. However, Gregg Tonkin, breeder, comments that this may be because the gene pool is smaller, and a once barky ancestor may be responsible for this. It is not necessarily a train, but merely an inherited trait from one family member.

Exercise and Training

Labradors are high-energy dogs who need at least 60 minutes of active exercise daily. To keep your Labrador’s mind and body stimulated, he needs high-intensity activity. You need to use that working energy. You can do this by swimming in the local pool, retrieving sticks or participating in agility events.

The Labrador is an intelligent puppy, and this Labrador certainly is no exception. Labradors are one of the most beloved assistance dogs for blind people. They excel in many other occupations.

Do NOT underestimate his intelligence. To help him become a well-mannered adult, he still requires consistent obedience training and a firm leader. Make sure you have plenty of toys available to keep your pup occupied.


The Red Fox Labrador’s lifespan is, on average, between 10 and 12 years. He is generally a healthy dog and there are no major concerns. His coat color has no effect on his health. He shares the same health problems as other Labradors.

No matter his color, Labrador owners should be aware of these health issues. It is recommended that his parents are tested for Hip, Elbow Dysplasia .and Elbow Dysplasia. They should also be tested for Exercise Induced Collapse, which is when he can suffer a loss of muscular control following a period of extreme exercise. He should also undergo an Ophthalmologist Evaluation, as certain diseases, such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy, can eventually lead to total vision loss.


They will consume 3 cups per day. Labradors, regardless of their color, are always on the lookout for snack foods. This is scientifically proven; the POMC is the part of dogs’ DNA that tells them that they are feeling full, and the Labrador does not have this.

This means that your Red Lab will be likely to always feel hungry. In order to avoid obesity and other weight-related health issues that he is prone to, it is imperative to control his food consumption and feed him food that fits the breed profile.


Their grooming requirements are the same as any other dog. They are considered to be a heavier shedder when compared to other breeds. He is warm and cozy in winter thanks to his double-coated.

However, he sheds a lot during the shedding season. To keep his hair manageable, he will need to brush every day. His coat should be brushed once or twice per week. if he isn’t shedding.

Breeders and Puppy Price

A traditional colored Labrador Retriever puppy will cost, on average, anywhere between $1,000 and up from a reputable breeder. This color Labrador Retriever can be very rare. Expect to pay much more because the demand and supply ratios are significantly higher. This breed is likely to be more expensive than the other end of the spectrum. This breed isn’t as expensive as some other colors. He is more rare than traditional yellow and black pups so he might be slightly more expensive.

Do your research about reputable breeders before you buy. Many Lab enthusiasts agree that rarer colors should not be charged more by reputable breeders. If your dog is healthy and you truly want that particular color, you should expect to pay a higher price.

The AKC lists breeders who have listed their pups for sale, either ready to purchase now or litters that are expected soon. The Labrador Retriever Club also list registered breeders state by state.

Alternatively, you could also search for rescue groups only dedicated to rehoming Labrador Retrievers .. There are many rescue groups in America. If you’re certain that the Red Fox Lab is your ideal pet, it may take a bit more effort, but you will find your dog partner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is a better family pet, the Yellow Lab or Fox Red Lab?

It doesn’t really matter what color your dog’s coat is when it comes down to how they are with their family. It really comes down to if the Labrador is the right breed. Consider why you want a Labrador. Both will work well if you’re looking for a family pet. Because of the above color prejudice, the traditional yellow Labrador is the better choice if you plan to register your dog for events.

Will a Fox Red Lab maintain his red color?

Yes, and no. Yes, he will be a red Labrador throughout his life. He won’t suddenly turn into a Labrador of black. He will be darker than his birth color. It will gradually become lighter over the following weeks. It will then change over the next few months.

This is when their color darkens into fox red. Sometimes, it can be dramatic. You can determine his color by looking at his ears. This is his closest color to his actual coat. His color will not change until he is 2 or 3 years old.

Is the Fox Red Labrador related to the Vizsla?

No, despite claims to the contrary, there is no evidence that he is related the Hungarian Vizsla. They are purebred Labradors, according to current evidence. They are a darker shade than traditional yellow.

The Vizsla has a similar appearance to the Labrador Retriever. This is easy to see why people believe this, as the Vizsla has a similar color coat and a smaller, but still very strong build. They are not related.

Can they be registered with the AKC?

They can be registered with the AKC. They must be registered as a yellow-coated dog. Your pup could be at a disadvantage compared to dogs with a pure yellow coat. There will not be any disadvantage in agility or other events.

Where do Fox Red Labradors originate from?

We don’t know much about the origin of the color. It is known that the first appearance of the color was scrutinized and dogs not bred with it were deliberately euthanized. Breeders didn’t want the color to be continued. Breeders now embrace the color and breed these puppies exclusively for their red coats.

Final Thoughts

The Fox Red Labrador or Ruby Labrador or the deep yellow Labrador are lovely dogs. They are a true ray of sunshine. Except for his coat pigment, he is no different from the standard Labrador color. However, this pup is rarer and more difficult to find. His rich color makes him a standout in the Labrador world.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to adopt one of these dogs, and don’t mind the fact that he’s not favored by the kennel club, you’ll have a friend for life.

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