Have you seen or heard about red Labrador Retrievers before? At a glance, these dogs look like a unique color of the popular Labrador Retriever breed. But did you know the red fox is just another variation of the typical lab color? The red fox color is often considered to be rare, but many people are not aware it’s just one of the shades a litter can have. They are no doubt beautiful and out of the ordinary. Get to know more about these dogs and this coloring in today’s post.
The Truth about the Fox Red Color
If you are familiar with the basic colors of Labs, you are aware there are only three recognized colors of the breed: black, brown, and yellow. That is, if we are going to follow the standards set by major dog organizations like the American Kennel Club and the United Kingdom’s Kennel Club.
Some time back, black was the only accepted colors of Labs. It took many years before the other colors were accepted in the dog community. Black is the most common among all Lab colors basically because it is a product of a dominant gene or the “B” gene. Breeders cannot dictate what the puppies’ colors will be because a dog’s genetic makeup is responsible for producing the color of the litter.
Yellow and chocolate Labs were not allowed to live and were even thrown away when they were born because they were not wanted. The brown and yellow colors are considered recessive, which means they will not occur if there is a black coat gene present. When one parent possesses the black gene, it will override the other coat color. Hence, the results are puppies with black coats.
As per the breed standard set by the AKC, yellow colored Labs may come in different shades. While most of the yellow Labs we see sport a light cream color, some dogs can be darker than the others and may have a red fox coat. This color is such a stunning one and many breeders are eager to come up with litters having this kind of coat.
Aside from the light cream and the red fox, there are a few more color combinations of the breed. These different colors occur when the dominant gene, which is black, is masked by a recessive gene. For example, there are yellow Labs because the e locus masks the B genes that are supposed to give the dog its black color.
A Product of Yellow Labs
The yellow coloring in Labs, which is the true color of red fox labs, is achieved by combining a pair of dog possessing recessive genes. The B coloration, a dominant gene which usually gives the dog its black color, can be masked by the “ee” gene. Yellow Labs are the ones with “eeBB,” “eeBb,” and “eebb” in their genotype though their shades may still vary.
History indicates that the first yellow Lab had a “butterscotch” color. It was the color of Ben of Hyde, which happens to be one of the most popular Labrador Retrievers and was born in 1899. If we will look at this shade, it is a light brown color and close to caramel or tan in appearance.
Red–Fox Lab Appearance
Despite what the name suggests, a red fox is not always as rich as it seems. The shade is actually closer to the red wheaten color of Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Simply imagine how a wheat field appears at sunset – that’s how red fox in Labs look like. Some Labs are even mistaken for wheaten ridgebacks because of their close semblance with the latter.
Only a few red fox Labs have a deep chestnut red color which is comparable to the mahogany red coloring of Vizslas. It is somewhat rare so many pet parents are willing to shed twice the amount just to have a dog with this coat color. It is considered rare since it is not so easy to come up with a litter with a red-fox coat.
Other than the color, red fox Labs do not differ much from the typical Labrador Retrievers. They possess that typical athletic look and a body that is well-balanced. They grow to be medium-sized dogs and they are usually used as a retrieving breed. If we are going to base it on breed standard for Labs, these dogs are supposed to have a strongly built body. These dogs are known for having a broad skull and deep chest as well as ribs.
To be a red fox Lab, your pup needs to have parents possessing the ee gene. The default color of such dog is yellow, which is just a dark variation and may look like red. In Labs, the difference of the e locus in chocolate and yellow colored dogs is very obvious.
Red–Fox Lab Price and Popularity
Red fox labs may not be as common as black or brown ones, but there has been a growing demand for these dogs especially in North America and Europe. They are often bought for their unique coat although they were also used for shooting due to their superb working ability.
A red fox lab may be a bit more expensive compared to other shades of yellow. The price of each pup will depend on the availability of yellow labs in your region. A red fox Lab may go anywhere from $3,000 and over. This is twice the usual cost of a Labrador Retriever puppy, which ranges from $900 to $1,500 in the United States. Some breeders may charge more, depending on the pedigree of the dog. Those coming from champion bloodlines may come with a higher price tag.
Red fox Labs are just like any color of Labs in terms of personality. Labs are among the best dog breeds if you are looking for a family pet. It’s a good choice if you don’t mind being a pet parent to a large breed. Remember, Labs can be as heavy as 70 lbs but they love sitting on their owner’s lap. These dogs are known for being sweet and eager to please and these make them the perfect addition to any household.
If you own a Lab, be prepared for lots of cuddles. The Lab has the tendency to be quite attached and you might find him following you wherever you go. That is just one of the ways Labs show their loyalty towards their “hoomans.” You will not feel alone when you have a Lab by your side, be it a red fox lab or any color. They are capable of offering companionship and that is one of the many good reasons you will want to have a Labrador Retriever in your life.
In general, Labrador Retrievers are known for their active nature. It helps for the members of your household to be pretty active and not mind having long walks with the Lab on a daily basis. As a playful breed, the Lab will enjoy playing with balls and toys. If you own a Lab, you will find that it appreciates games of fetch as well as hide and seek. Because of their active nature, many Labs have a hard time adjusting to apartment living.
Another trait most Labs have in common is their love for food. Any dog likes munching on food but the Lab’s interest for food is like no other, that it is often touted as a glutton. Lab owners usually don’t have to deal with picky eaters basically because they are easy to please even when it comes to food.
Labs are water-loving breeds. It does not come as a surprise since they descended from the St John’s water dog. During ancient times, these dogs were used by their owners to get fish for themselves. These days, a typical Lab is not known for its fish-hunting abilities, but it’s keen love for water is still very evident. If you own a Lab, consider swimming as one of your bonding activities because these dogs will enjoy a quick dip.
Important Reminders when Getting a Red Fox Lab
The majority of breeders these days can be found online. Remember that not all breeders are reputable. A good breeder will provide all the necessary documents on the day of adoption. Some are only after the money. When negotiating with a breeder, don’t forget to secure the following:
Pedigree papers – it’s like a birth certificate of your pup indicating if a dog is a purebred or not. It should also provide information about the previous generations or family tree. There are two types of pedigree papers, the blue and the yellow ones. A blue pedigree paper contains full information about your Lab’s genealogy. Also called the main register pedigree, the blue one is used when you are interested in joining on conformation and performance events for dogs. The other one, which is a yellow one, is called the limited register pedigree. It is usually used for breeds not allowed to take part in conformation shows.
Vaccination records – if your pup was already vaccinated, it should be indicated on a booklet. Based on the recommended vaccination schedule for puppies, the first shot should already be given from six to eight weeks of age. Boosters may be administered starting at 10 weeks. The final round of puppy vaccination should be given at 14 to 16 weeks. Aside from these, the Lab should also have its booster vaccinations starting from the first year of life.
De-worming information – You should also look for details proving that the Lab already received his de-worming treatment. Some puppies are born with roundworms which they acquired from the dormant tissue of the mother dog. Other than that, intestinal parasites may come from eating contaminated stool or soil. You will know a dog is infested by worms if he has been coughing and vomiting nonstop. Lethargy, pot-bellied appearance, and sudden weight loss are another signs to keep an eye on. Puppies can be given treatment for worms starting at the second week of life and continuously every 14 days over the next 10 weeks. You may ask your preferred breeder about the best type of deworming treatment for your pet.
Microchip information – depending on where you live, the microchip might be required by law. Microchipping dogs involves implanting a chip under their skin. This serves as the dog’s identification and is connected in the national registry. Contrary to some belief, it is not a tracking device that will show your location. Important details include the name of the company that microchipped your dog and the dog’s information. In case you are not aware how it’s done, you will be glad to know that it’s a simple procedure that is quite close to giving the dog his routine vaccination.
If you are lucky enough, you might find are red fox lab in an animal shelter. Adopting or getting a dog from shelters is actually a more pet-friendly approach. It’s also less costly than shopping for a new pet, since you only need to pay for the costs of preparing the dog for his new home. Aside from saving you thousands of dollars, adopting a pet is all about saving an animal’s life. More often than not, these dogs go to shelters basically because they are no longer wanted by their former owners. More often than not, shelters and animal rescues experience overpopulation.
Red-fox labs are basically yellow labs. They are not a separate color, contrary to what some people may think. It is just one of the possible shades a yellow Lab can have. They are gaining popularity, especially among dog enthusiasts looking for dogs with unique coloring.