Red Fox Lab Retrievers: Puppy Breed, Characteristics, Facts, & More

Are you hunting for a furry friend that’s both lovely and clever enough to outsmart the rest? Red fox Labs are a special kind of yellow Labrador Retriever, but with a unique dark red color. They’re super smart, affectionate and friendly. 

Red fox Labs are energetic hunting dogs, always ready for action and eager to please. Ideal for active owners, they love staying busy and are easy to train. These dogs weigh about 65 pounds, stand 22 inches tall, and live up to 12 years, combining vitality with loyalty.

As a loving owner of my Red Fox Lab, I am going to share everything about what it’s like to have a Red Fox Lab as part of the family, their daily habits, traits, breed type, how much exercise they need, and the kind of care that keeps them happy and healthy. So keep going through until the rest of the article.

Breed NameSporting (AKC), Gun Dog (UKC)
TemperamentFriendly, loyal, joyful
CoatShort, thick; deep yellow to almost red
HeightFemales: 21.5″-23.5″, Males: 22.5″-24.5″
WeightFemales: 55-70 lbs, Males: 65-80 lbs
ExerciseHigh need
BarkingOnly as needed
IntelligenceVery smart
Lifespan10-12 years

Labrador Retrievers, like the fox red ones, originally came from a smaller dog called the St. John’s retriever in Newfoundland. These early dogs likely made their way to England on fishing boats.

Gamekeepers who wanted the perfect hunting dog mixed St. John’s retrievers with other hunting dogs. This mix led to Labradors having thick tails like otters and coats that don’t get easily wet.

By the late 1700s, these dogs were called Labrador Retrievers. At first, all Labradors were black. Now, they are coming in light yellow, chocolate, fox red, and even silver colors.

Red Fox Labradors share the same warm and friendly nature as their Labrador siblings in yellow, chocolate, white and black. Unlike other breeds, Red Fox Labradors have a rare red gene occasionally found in Labrador litters, giving them their eye-catching appearance.

Now, the Red Fox Lab falls under the Sporting group according to the American Kennel Club and is recognized as part of the gun dog group by the United Kennel Club.

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Red fox Labs come with cheerful and friendly personalities. They love being part of the family and enjoy with other pets and kids, proving themselves perfect family dogs.

They’re smart, they understand and feel things deeply, and they’re great at working together with their owners, which makes training them pretty straightforward.

However, sometimes their sensitive side can lead to them being a bit jumpy or scared around new people. Even if you’ve spent a lot of time getting them used to different situations and people, these traits might still show up. 

That’s why it’s really important to pick a good breeder when you’re thinking about getting one of these dogs.

Fox red Lab puppies are a unique and darker shade of yellow Labrador Retrievers. From the moment they’re born, these puppies show a noticeably darker color compared to the typical yellow Lab. 

This unique shade, which darkens over the first few weeks, is a result of selective breeding for deeper coat colors. By the time they are ready to go to their new homes at 8 weeks old, they will have developed the beautiful fox red shade that makes them so sought after.

These puppies are not just special for their color; they inherit the friendly and outgoing nature typical of Labradors. However, their color, a result of specific genetic combinations, adds an extra layer of originality to their already appealing characteristics.

Breeders who intend for this color need to carefully select for it, which can narrow the gene pool and place other important traits like health and temperament in secondary consideration. 

Therefore, when looking for a fox red Lab puppy, you have to choose a breeder who prioritizes health and temperament alongside the desired coat color.

Fox red Lab puppies, with their striking appearance and lovable personalities, are a testament to the diversity within the Labrador Retriever breed. They come with all the qualities that make Labs one of the most popular dog breeds, with the added appeal of a rare and attractive coat color.

Red Fox Lab Retrievers

Fox red Lab puppies are just a special shade of yellow Labrador Retrievers, not a different type. I am going to explain how this color variation works.

Labradors can be black, yellow, or chocolate. Black color is the most common due to strong genes called BB genes. If a Lab has a Bb gene, it’s still black because the big B gene overshadows the little b gene, which could make a Lab chocolate if there were two little b’s together (bb).

Now, for a Lab to be yellow, and especially that cool fox red color, it’s all about the “e” genes. These genes can be EE, Ee, or ee. It’s the “ee” pair that stops both the big B and little b genes from making the Lab black or chocolate. This is how we get yellow Labs.

But what about the fox red color? That’s where two other genes come in, called A and C. The A gene decides if the red color will be made, and the C gene decides how strong or light this red will be. So, a fox red Lab has just the right mix of genes to have that beautiful deep red color.

Even though they’re special in color, fox red Labs are loved for more than just how they look. Hunters and those who like working dogs often prefer them because their darker color is harder for birds to spot. This preference has helped keep the fox red color around, showing that what really matters is how good these dogs are at what they do, not just their color.

Red Fox Lab Breeders And Price

Red Fox Lab puppies are a bit harder to find than the usual yellow or black Labs, which means they can be more expensive. Usually, a regular Labrador puppy from a good breeder may cost you around $1,000 or more. But because Red Fox Labs are rarer, they may cost you more than that.

I would suggest you to find a breeder who knows what they’re doing and cares about their dogs. Some people say that breeders shouldn’t charge extra for rare colors like the Red Fox Lab. But if you’ve got your heart set on this special color and the puppy is healthy, be ready to spend a bit more money.

You can check out the American Kennel Club (AKC) website for breeders who have Red Fox Lab puppies for sale now or soon. The Labrador Retriever Club also has a range of different breeders by state.

A recent study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science found that people seem to show more care for their dogs than their cats. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen asked pet owners between 18 and 89 years old in Denmark, the U.K., and Austria about how much they care for their pets.

We all have a deep connection with our dogs, especially when it comes to the charming red fox Lab. To make sure these furry friends lead a joyful and fulfilling life, you should get to know what makes them tick.

Diet and Nutrition

Red fox Labs can get overweight pretty easily, so it’s important to watch what they eat. They do best on high-quality dog food made for large breeds. Make sure most of their diet (about 90%) is their regular dog food, and treats should only be about 10% of what they eat (source). 

A neutered adult dog that’s about 70 pounds usually needs around 1,500 calories a day, split into two meals (source)

While a puppy of 3 to 4 months has to eat three to four times a day. Make sure to ask your vet if you provide your puppy with the nutritious food.


These dogs are super active and need minimum two hours of exercise on a daily basis This can be walks, playtime in the yard, or hikes. They love to play fetch and swim because these dogs were bred to bring back things from the water.

Keeping them mentally stimulated is also important because they’re very smart. If you’re not home a lot, you may invest on getting a dog walker or taking them to doggie daycare.


Red fox Labs have short, thick coats that don’t need a lot of grooming. Brushing them once a week with a slick or bristle brush helps keep their coat shiny and reduces shedding. Trim your red fox labs’ nails one time in a month to avoid overgrowth. 

Since Labs can get ear infections easily, clean their ears regularly, especially after swimming. Don’t forget about their teeth, brush them daily to prevent gum disease.


Training should start early because these dogs are very smart and eager to please. According to Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, dogs can get scared or aggressive if you force them with anger or punish them. So, behave positively and show treats and praise.

Training helps with their behavior and keeps their minds active. Taking care of a red fox Lab is a bit of time-consuming work, but your dog deserves it. They’re great companions who will bring a lot of joy to your life. 

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  • Red Fox Lab Retrievers are super easy to train. If you keep teaching them new things, they won’t get bored and will always be happy.
  • They have unique coat color that makes them stand out. They’re not common who you can see every day!
  • They love their families a lot. Like, a LOT. It’s the kind of love that give you fuzzy and warm feeling.
  • After a walk in the rain or swim, they dry off super fast. This is great because they love water and it saves you from having a wet dog around the house for too long.
  • They’re patient, which is awesome when you’re trying to teach them something new or if you have kids around.
  • Speaking of kids, they’re fantastic with them. They love playing and getting all the cuddles and attention.
  • They’re friendly and love meeting new dog friends and people. They’re the type of dog that makes walks in the park a lot more fun.
  • They’re really into their food, which is great for training. A tasty treat can get them to do almost anything you ask.
  • They have a ton of energy, perfect for families who love going on adventures and long walks.
  • Generally, they’re healthy dogs. Like all dogs, they have some things to watch out for, but nothing too big or scary.

Red Fox English Lab vs American Lab

Back in the 1970s, yellow Labradors were all the rage, but there was a shift towards preferring the really light, almost cream-colored ones for show dogs and pets. 

However, hunters and those who used their Labs for outdoor activities still favored the darker, fox red Labs. They believed that the lighter-colored dogs were too easy for ducks and other birds to spot, which isn’t ideal when you’re hunting.

By the mid-20th century in the UK, Labradors had essentially split into two main types. There were the working dogs, which we now call American Labs, and the show dogs, known as English Labs. 

The fox red Labs, being popular with hunters, mostly came from the working dog group. That’s why today, when we see a stunning fox red Labrador, it’s likely descended from those working retrievers.

Red Fox Lab Vs Yellow Lab

Red Fox Labs have a unique, rich, reddish-brown color, which is where they get their name from. It’s a specific shade within the yellow variety of Labrador Retrievers but gets prominent due to its deeper, fox-like hue. On the other hand, Yellow Labs can range from a light cream to a more golden color, but they don’t have that reddish tint.

Moreover, the red fox color is considered a part of the yellow range in Labrador Retrievers. However, it’s at the very dark end of that range, making them quite different from their lighter yellow body parts. 


Red Fox Labs are named after their unique coat color, which looks a lot like the color of a red fox. This can be a bright golden-red or a deeper reddish-brown.

Red Fox Labs do shed, but from what many people notice, they seem to shed less than other Lab colors like yellow, silver, or chocolate. Families who have had different colored Labs often say their Red Fox Lab sheds the least.

Lab puppies start losing their baby fur when they’re about 4 to 6 months old. This can vary a lot, though. Some might start shedding as early as 12 weeks, while others might not start until they’re a year old. Depending on the dog, you might not really notice the shedding, especially if they have short hair.

When you hear about English Fox-Red Labradors, they’re usually a mix of American and English Lab types. The beautiful fox-red color often comes from the American side of their family, which is more common in working Labradors.

Red Fox Labs usually have black noses and their eyes can be amber or dark brown. Sometimes, as yellow Labs get older, their noses might lighten up a bit, especially in the winter. Their coat color can range from very light cream to the deep red that fox red Labs are known for.

Red Fox Lab Retrievers are truly special furry friends with their prominent color, friendly nature, and energetic personalities. They’re perfect for families looking for a smart, loyal, and active dog. 

If you’re considering adding a Red Fox Lab to your family, it would definitely be a fun. These dogs are not just pets; they become a part of your family, bringing joy and adventure to your life

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