Fox Red Labradors: A Breed Well Worth Knowing & Loving

fox red labradors travelling to the field

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect four-legged companion, you’ve likely come across the stunning Fox Red Labrador Retriever. Obviously I am completely biased, but these dogs are fast becoming known for their stunning red coat and friendly disposition, they have gained immense popularity in recent years. 

As someone who’s been living with, working with, and breeding labradors for 40 years, I thought I’d share my experience and knowledge to help you learn more about this wonderful breed. 

Is a Fox Red Labrador the right breed for you? Read on and find out what I think makes these dogs so blooming special! 

What Is a Fox Red Labrador?

“Fox Red” refers to the coat colour of certain Labradors Retrievers identified by their deep chestnut red coat. They are genetically similar to their black and yellow counterparts, with their distinctive colour stemming from specific genes. 

While their coat colour may vary from a lighter yellowish-red to a rich, dark red, the name “Fox Red” typically refers to the darker shades.

litter of fox red labrador puppies in back of a truck going out to explore

Labrador Colours

The UK Kennel Club recognises only brown, yellow or black labradors. 

Despite Fox Red Labradors having a very distinct and beautiful coat colour, the UK Kennel Club (KC) defines their breed colour as yellow and so on any paperwork produced by the KC will state the dog’s colour “yellow” even if it looks red. 

Under the Yellow Labrador breed colour, you will find dogs whose coat colour ranges from a light, creamy yellow through to fox red. The development of the red colouring in Fox Red Labradors is regulated by pheomelanin, a pigment influenced by two distinct sets of genes.

Are Fox Red Labradors Rare?

Black labradors are the most common of Labrador Retrievers, but it’s difficult to report on how common/rare Fox Red Labradors are. 

Since they’re registered alongside other shades of yellow Labrador, getting accurate numbers of the breed colour is very hard to accurately achieve. What I can say is that in the time I have been breeding them they have certainly grown in popularity.

“A good dog is never a bad colour”

Many moons ago a breeder told me that “a good dog is never a bad colour” and never a truer word was said! Good dog breeders are not led by coat colour choices but by health and temperament and the same should apply to people looking to buy a puppy.  

When dogs are bred or bought with colour front and centre, there are many areas being overlooked. Breeding for colour alone means a far smaller gene pool which can have devastating implications on the health and wellbeing of the dogs being bred. 

Although we may all have a personal preference for a particular colour, breeders should critique their dogs through a 360 degree lens, incorporating all aspects of the dog in question and then plan a mating that produces the very best of health, temperament and trainability, if that includes a more “fashionable” colour that is a bonus, however aesthetics should not be the top priority.  

We always encourage owners to look past the colour and ensure they are purchasing the right puppy for the home they are able to offer. Matching individual people with individual puppies is far more important than the colour of the puppy. 

Is a Working or a Show bred Labrador for you?

Show-type Labradors and working-type Labradors are two distinct variations of the Labrador Retriever breed, each bred for specific purposes and exhibiting some differences in appearance and temperament. 

Here’s a breakdown of the key differences between the two:

A Working Labrador is bred for physical work and as such are more athletic, taller, slightly leaner to make them faster. They’re very motivated to work and are bred more for function than appearance. They usually have a shorter, thicker coat, which requires less grooming. These Labradors are bred to excel in specific tasks and are very focused and intelligent. 

A Show-bred Labrador is bred primarily for their appearance. They typically have a stockier build with a broader head, shorter muzzle, and a deeper chest. While they still need regular exercise, show-bred Labradors may be less high-energy than their working counterparts. They are more likely to enjoy lounging around the house but should still engage in daily activities to stay healthy.

Which Type Of Labrador Is Right For Your Lifestyle?

A good breeder will match you and your lifestyle to the right dog, taking into account your expectations for dog ownership and the type of home you can offer versus the puppies they have bred.  

At Tricymoedd, we breed labradors for both working homes and pet homes. We’ve been breeding labradors for 40 years, so we have a strong and deliberate decision making process behind every litter we breed. 

We know our lines, we know the dogs we breed from incredibly well, and we know what lifestyle and home will bring out the best in them. Our dogs are extensively health tested and our breeding programme is dedicated to actively improving health of the breed.  

See available labrador puppies from Tricymoedd

Does Coat Colour Matter? 

A labrador’s colour is dictated by their genes, and the genes are what matter. Some colour variations have a stronger genetic predisposition to inherit health issues and diseases. 

A 2018 study into labrador coat colours and health revealed chocolate brown labradors are more likely to inherit skin and ear diseases and are likely to have a shorter lifespan than their yellow or black counterparts. 

It’s important to choose a labrador breeder who understands the genetics of the dogs they breed from (and their epigenetic history). This will give your puppy the best chance of a long, healthy and happy life. 

While the original labrador colour was black, I think our fox red labs have a wonderful glow about them thanks to their gorgeous coat shade.

Fox Red Labrador Temperament

Fox Red Labradors are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. They are loyal, affectionate, and make excellent family pets in active homes as they originate from working lines and require stimulation and training in order to be content and fulfilled. 

These dogs are highly intelligent and eager to please, which makes them easy to train and a joy to live with. Whether you’re looking for a working dog, active companion, a service dog, or simply a loving family pet, Fox Red Labradors are up for the task.

What Were Fox Red Labradors Bred For? 

Fox Red Labrador Retrievers were bred as working dogs mainly to retrieve game – as their name suggests! They would work all day retrieving game, they love nothing more than to shadow their person and are extremely social dogs. They are tactile and affectionate, with a keen desire to please. This is why they make wonderful family pets as well as fantastic working partners. Many of the traits that make these dogs excellent working dogs translate into making them fabulous companions.

Fox Red Labrador Breed Traits

As someone who works my dogs daily, my labradors have to have discipline, be trainable,  social, and be physically fit and healthy. They’ve also got to have an off-switch and impeccable self control to do the work they do. 

  • Eager to please
  • Trainable
  • Intelligent
  • Sociable and friendly
  • Physically fit
  • Loyal and cooperative
  • Family orientated

All of these things make them great pets as well as great working partners.

Tricymoedd dogs have these traits in their blood. Epigenetics means that having strong working lines delivers positive traits both temperamentally and healthwise, making them a cherished companion for people from all walks of life. 

How Can I Find a Reputable Labrador Breeder?

When searching for a Fox Red Labrador, it’s crucial to find a reputable and responsible breeder who prioritises the health and well-being of their dogs. 

Far more important than the colour of the dog you choose, is that they’ve been bred consciously with meticulous attention to the epigenetics at play when selecting a breeding pair.  As we’ve explored in this blog, the implications of choosing the wrong breeder can have terrible effects on your dog’s health, temperament and ultimately their life with you. 

Look for breeders with extensive experience, a commitment to responsible breeding practices, and a focus on socialising and health testing their puppies. 

Red Fox Labrador Puppies For Sale

The Fox Red Labradors we breed at Tricymoedd are loving companions. Our dogs are physically fit, strong, healthy and immensely trainable. But more than anything, they want to be with you, to please you and be your loyal companion. 

Our dogs are our life. They live with us, work with us and they’re our best mates. We know them all intimately and we’d be delighted to help match you up with a puppy that’s right for you.

Whether you’re looking for a family pet, a working dog, or even an assistance dog, with patience, we can pair you with your new best friend.  

You can learn more about Tricymoedd labrador puppies here. 

labrador puppy in arms of woman next to guide dogs for the blind vehicle

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