Once regarded with prejudice and sometimes still considered not a purebred Labrador by nitpicking naysayers, the Red Fox Labrador is a rare, yet delightful part of the Labrador family.
Intelligent, outgoing, and family-friendly, the Red Fox Labrador is certainly a one of a kind canine. Of course, that doesn’t mean he is the right dog for every household. Are you considering getting a Red Fox Labrador?
If so, you’ve come to the right place. Join us today as we learn more about the Red Fox Labrador and find out if this beautiful dog would make a good addition to your home and lifestyle.
What Is The Red Fox Labrador?
The Red Fox Lab is a color variation of the traditional Yellow Lab.
Despite his name, the Red Fox Labrador is not his own breed. Instead, he is a color variation of the traditional Labrador Retriever.
If you thought there were only three standard colors of the Lab, you’d be right. Traditionally, the Lab comes in either yellow, chocolate, or black.
However, there are variations to these colors, and the Red Fox Labrador falls into the variation of yellow. Like his Silver Labrador counterpart, the Red Fox Labrador has suffered his fair share of prejudice.
He is also a rare breed, as the shade of his coat is not highly regarded, therefore making him less ideal for show.
That said, you can register your Red Fox Labrador for show, though you’ll only be registering him as a ‘Yellow Labrador’. You should also note that your Red Fox Labrador is less likely to win in show, as his coat color is considered undesirable.
Otherwise, there is no reason you shouldn’t consider a Red Fox Labrador as a companion dog, especially if you are a Lab enthusiast.
This breed has enjoyed a long-standing position as number one out of 196 on the American Kennel Club’s list of America’s Most Popular Dogs, and for good reason.
The Red Fox Labrador is friendly, outgoing, great with children and other animals, and enjoys his family. But how did this lovely yet rare colored Lab come to be?
Keep reading to find out.
Where Does The Red Fox Labrador Come From?
The Red Fox Lab was likely kept alive by hunters, who didn’t care so much about the breed’s color as they did his performance.
Labrador Retrievers found their start in Newfoundland, Canada, where they were bred and perfected as water-retrieving dogs. Often regarded as a fisherman’s best friend, the Lab was a favorite for working men and women both on and off of the boat.
Their incredible intelligence and eagerness to please meant they were a joy to be with. They were also known for their gentle mouths, retrieving prey in the water like fish without causing damage.
Labs also made fabulous companions in the home. Their pleasant nature and adorable look made them a family-favorite, and they got on well with children and other dogs.
The standard color of Labrador Retriever tends to be black, though the other colors include chocolate and yellow, as we mentioned above.
It’s unclear exactly when the Red Fox Labrador made his way onto the scene, though we do know that this color of dog was not the ideal shade of yellow, and as Labs became more popular for show, these unusual colors were looked down upon and even discouraged.
Many breeders likely worked to breed this red color out of their Labs, though it’s also thought that breeders utilizing Labs for hunting kept this color from becoming nonexistent.
Today, the Red Fox Labrador remains a rarity indeed, though he is popular amongst those who enjoy a unique looking Lab that turns heads and raises eyebrows.
What Does A Red Fox Labrador Look Like?
These rare Labs are known for their reddish coats, which are simply variations of the Yellow Lab.
Red Fox Labrador Height: 21.5 – 24.5 Inches
Red Fox Labrador Weight: 55 – 80 Pounds
Red Fox Labrador Coat Color: Dark red, light red
Coat Types: Short, double-coated, shedding
Overview of The Red Fox Labrador:
Remember, the Red Fox Labrador is still a Labrador. As such, he maintains the sweet-natured appearance of the breed. He has floppy ears, big brown eyes, and a muscular build. The Lab, being a water dog, also has webbed paws and a thick tail known as an ‘otter tail’. This tail and those webbed paws helped to propel the Lab through the frigid waters of Newfoundland in his working days.
While the color is really the only defining feature of the Red Fox Labrador to distinguish him from his other Lab counterparts, it’s again important to remember that this color is simply a variation of the Yellow Lab.
Sometimes, Red Fox Labs can have pinker hues around their muzzle and eyes, and their color can vary from dark red to a lighter red that is closer to the traditional yellow of the Yellow Labrador.
What Are The Red Fox Labrador Temperament And Personality Traits Like?
Like all Labs, the Red Fox Lab is an energetic, playful, and family-oriented dog.
Like his other Lab counterparts, the Red Fox Labrador is beloved for his happy, playful nature. This is a dog who is very energetic and gets along well with children and other pets, though some owners find his energy a bit overwhelming at times.
The Red Fox Labrador can maintain his puppy-like playfulness into adulthood, and this should be considered by potential owners. While this trait can sometimes be frustrating, it makes this breed a fabulous addition to homes with young children and other, playful pets.
Red Fox Labrador dogs are also quite intelligent. Without the proper mental stimulation and training, these dogs can be prone to destructive behaviors and boredom. One notable difference between the Red Fox Labrador and his other Lab counterparts, as noted by enthusiasts, is that these dogs tend to be more vocal. Training can help teach your Red Fox Lab when barking is appropriate and when it is not.
Luckily, Red Fox Labrador Retrievers are eager to please and easy to train, and will enjoy learning new tricks or having chores to do around the house.
And speaking of exercise and training, let’s talk more about these specific requirements for a Red Fox Labrador.
What Are The Exercise and Training Requirements For A Red Fox Labrador?
Red Fox Labs require routine exercise, training, and socialization.
Yes, the Red Fox Labrador is a very intelligent dog, which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows Labrador Retrievers. Due to his clever mind, this is a dog who is highly-trainable.
However, without proper and consistent training, the Red Fox Labrador can become depressed, anxious, stressed and destructive. He will do best with consistent training throughout his life and will enjoy playing with puzzle toys when his owners are away.
The Red Fox Labrador is also an excellent candidate for crate training, especially if his owners routinely leave for work.
Along with properly training your Red Fox Labrador, it’s also important to ensure he is properly socialized at an early age. Like all dogs, the Red Fox Labrador should be introduced to as many new people, places, and experiences as possible to help him grow up happy and well-rounded.
These first impressions should be positive and calm for your Red Fox Labrador, so refrain from trying to force him into a situation that is clearly frightening or stressful for him. Instead, allow your dog to explore the world at his own pace and gently encourage him using positive reinforcement.
Exercise is another important part of raising a happy and healthy Red fox Labrador. Like all Labrador Retrievers, the Red Fox Labrador requires routine exercise each day. A good walk or two a day should help keep your Red Fox Lab in ship shape, but he will also enjoy free playtime in a backyard or dog park.
Because the Red Fox Labrador is such a people-oriented dog, he will do best being an active member of his family, which also makes him an excellent jogging or hiking partner.
How Do You Groom A Red Fox Labrador?
Your Red Fox Lab will require consistent grooming, though he does have a weather-resistant, self-cleaning coat.
All dogs require routine grooming, and the Red Fox Labrador is no exception. Like his other Labrador counterparts, the Red Fox Lab is a shedding dog who sheds most during shedding season.
Shedding season occurs during the spring and fall, and during this time your Red Fox Labrador will likely need daily brushing with a deshedding comb to remove excess fur. Otherwise, the Red Fox Labrador should be fine brushed once or twice a week to keep loose hair at bay.
Fortunately, the Red Fox Labrador’s coat is weather-resistant and self-cleaning. For this reason, he only needs to be bathed once every few months, unless he gets particularly dirty. When bathing your Red Fox Labrador, be sure to use a dog-safe shampoo and conditioner that will not strip your dog’s skin and coat of the natural oils he produces.
The Red Fox Labrador should also have his nails trimmed routinely to keep them from splitting or cracking during play. He can be prone to ear infections, so make sure you check his ears often and keep them clean and free of waxy buildup, moisture and debris.
Your Red Fox Labrador will also benefit from routine tooth brushing every day, so we recommend investing in a quality dog tooth brushing kit and toothpaste.
Because the Red Fox Lab has a shorter coat, he will not need routine hair cuts or trimming. We should also note that the Red Fox Labrador is a double-coated breed, and should thus not be shaved.
Though dense, the Red Fox Labrador’s coat is designed to protect him from the elements, including both hot and cold weather.
Shaving a double-coated dog could result in higher chances of sunburn and heatstroke in warmer months, as well as hypothermia in colder months.
What Is the Average Lifespan Of A Red Fox Labrador And Do They Have Any Serious Health Issues?
Red Fox Labs can be prone to any of the same health issues as their other Lab counterparts.
While generally considered a healthy breed, the Red Fox Labrador can suffer from any of the same genetic health issues as any of his other Labrador counterparts.
With an average lifespan of between 10 and 12 years, the Red Fox Labrador can be susceptible to:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC
- Heart Issues
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Hereditary Myopathy
- Ear Infections
- Skin Issues
- Some Cancers
- And Bloat
What You Should Know About Bloat
Bloat is a medical emergency that comes on quickly in large, deep chested dogs like the Red Fox Labrador Retriever. It is caused when gas or air fills the intestine, causing it to flip or twist. Bloat can occur if your dog eats too much too quickly, eats immediately after vigorous exercise or play, or becomes overly stressed or excited.
Please note that Bloat is a life-threatening illness that requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms of Bloat include panting, unproductive retching, excessive drooling, pacing, obvious pain, extended abdomen, and eventual collapse.
Along with knowing the symptoms of Bloat, You can help combat other serious health issues in your Red Fox Labrador by ensuring you get him from a reputable source like a certified breeder or shelter. Having your Red Fox Lab health screened early on for any of the above ailments can also help you prepare for or prevent potential illnesses he is prone to.
According to the National Breed Club, The Red Fox Labrador Should undergo the following recommended health screenings:
- Elbow Evaluation
- Hip Evaluation
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
- EIC DNA Test
Along with health screening and ensuring you get your dog from a qualified source, we also suggest keeping up on routine vet visits, maintaining proper grooming regiments, and feeding your Red Fox Labrador a quality diet.
The healthiest dog food for your Red Fox Labrador is going to be a dog food that is specified for his age, weight and activity level. The dog food should also be free of any additives, by-products, fillers, dyes or artificial colors. Also try and steer clear of foods containing wheat, soy, corn.
Instead, look for dog foods that are rich in real animal protein and rich in healthy carbs, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and water.
What Are Some Pros And Cons Of Owning A Red Fox Labrador?
Though eligible for show, the Red Fox Lab is less likely to win because of his red coat color.
While we are crazy about the Red Fox Labrador, we also know he’s not the best dog for everyone. Like all dogs, the Red Fox Lab has pros and cons that any potential owners should consider before deciding to invest in one.
Take a look.
Pros To Owning A Red Fox Labrador:
- The Red Fox Lab is a uniquely colored and therefor a rare type of Labrador Retriever
- This is a family friendly dog who enjoys children and other pets
- Labradors in general are eager to please and easy to train
- Labs are wonderful dogs for first-time dog owners
- Labs are easy to maintain with moderate grooming needs
Cons To Owning A Red Fox Labrador:
- The Red Fox Labrador may be more vocal than his other Lab counterparts
- Red Fox Labs, while eligible for show, are less likely to win due to their coloring
- Labs are prone to some serious health issues like Bloat and cancer
- Labrador Retrievers are heavy shedders and not suitable for those with allergies
- Labs are high-energy dogs who require lots of routine exercise
What Is The Ideal Home Type For A Red Fox Labrador?
The best owners for a Red Fox Lab will be able to provide their dog with plenty of adventure, exercise, training and love.
Because he is such a people-oriented dog, the Red Fox Labrador makes an excellent addition to homes with children and other dogs. He will enjoy having youngsters to play with around the house and is famously gentle and affectionate.
However, Red Fox Labs are also highly energetic and active. They require vigorous exercise each and every day to stay happy and healthy, and are not ideally suited for apartment living.
Instead, the Red Fox Labrador will thrive in homes with a large backyard where he can run and play freely. He will also do well in homes with owners who have a flexible schedule and are willing and able to devote time to training, exercise and play.
Choosing A Red Fox Labrador Puppy Or Rescue – Tips On Finding The Healthiest Red Fox Labrador Possible
Go through reputable sources to get your Red Fox Lab puppy or rescue to ensure they are as healthy as possible.
Before you get your Red Fox Labrador, it’s important to take time and do plenty of research. Because this is a more rare coloring of Labrador Retriever, finding a Red Fox Lab may be more difficult than finding traditionally colored Labs.
Due to the rarity of his color, Red Fox Labrador puppies may also be more expensive. On average, a Red Fox Lab puppy from a breeder costs between $900 to $1,200. This price will vary, however, depending on the breeder and the quality of the parent breeds.
Labradors bred for show quality are typically more expensive, though it’s likely you won’t come across a Red Fox Labrador ideally suited for show. Remember, this color isn’t as widely accepted as the lighter shades of yellow in the breed.
While Red Fox Labrador dogs can be more expensive than other Labs, it’s important not to cut corners or go through backyard breeders or unqualified sellers. Buying from breeders promising a bargain puppy without certification could make you more likely to wind up with a sick puppy. Furthermore, you might also be unwittingly supporting a puppy mill.
Instead, go through breeders who have a history with the Labrador Retriever breed, and who are certified. Reputable breeders should be able to offer certificates of health proving their dogs have been screened and cleared of any serious health issues.
You might also be able to catch a glimpse of your Red Fox Labrador’s parents, which can give you a better idea of what your Red Fox Lab will grow up to look and behave like.
If you prefer to rescue your Red Fox Labrador, you’ll be happy to learn that there are plenty of shelters who specialize in the Labrador Retriever breed. With time and research, there’s a good chance you can find a Red Fox Labrador to call your own.
Adopting a dog from a shelter has plenty of benefits, including price. In fact, rescuing a dog is usually a fraction of the cost of going through a breeder. Best of all, you are offering a dog in need a loving home and opening up more space in the shelter for new dogs who need care.
The Top 5 Products Every Red Fox Labrador Owner Needs
Your Red Fox Labrador is going to need plenty of your love, but he’ll also need some gear in order to thrive.
If you’ve decided that the Red Fox Labrador is right for you, you’re in luck! We have compiled a list of the top five products every Red Fox Labrador owner needs to help their Red Fox Lab thrive.
See for yourself!
Outward Hound Slow Feeder
Because the Red Fox labrador can be more susceptible to Bloat than other breeds, it’s important to invest in a slow feeder. Slow feeders like the Outward Hound Slow Feeder above help combat Bloat by forcing your dog to slow down while eating.
Slow feeders also make eating more fun for dogs, and are especially beneficial for clever dogs who enjoy a challenge. Your brainy Red Fox Labrador will love that you’ve turned eating into a game!
The above slow feeder can be purchased in different colors and patterns depending on your needs, is made of dog-safe materials, and includes a slip-free base for less messy eating.
Furminator Undercoat Tool
The Furminator Undercoat Tool is a wonderful brush for shedding dogs like the Red Fox Labrador. This brush is a self-cleaning, deshedding brush that helps collect and remove loose hair from your dog’s undercoat.
This act helps reduce doggy odor and keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. You can order the brush in different sizes and even customize it to your dog’s specific coat length.
PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness
Exercise is going to be a daily endeavour for you and your Red Fox Labrador, so you’ll want to invest in a quality harness to make the process easier and more comfortable. We highly recommend a front clip dog harness like the Easy Walk Harness listed above.
This harness is ideal for large breed dogs who have a tendency to pull during walks. It redirects your dog back to you without putting pressure on his throat or neck, which allows for a more comfortable and safer walking experience.
Wellness Natural Dry Dog Food
Red Fox Labrador dogs can be prone to suffering from allergies and digestive issues. For this reason, we recommend a quality dog food that is free of poultry and other ingredients that could increase skin and belly problems.
The above dog food by Wellness is a dry dog food for large breed, adult dogs. It is made with all natural ingredients and contains real meat protein from lamb. It also promotes a healthier skin and coat, as well as a strong immune system and improved energy levels.
Nina Ottosson Interactive Puzzle Toy
The Red Fox Labrador is notoriously intelligent, so it’s a good idea to ensure he has plenty to do to keep his mind busy while you’re away. We love dog-safe puzzle toys because they will encourage your dog to use his mind and put that clever thinking to positive use.
The above puzzle toy by Outward Hound is a safe and interactive puzzle toy that uses treats to help keep your Red Fox Labrador engaged and focused.
It is also designed without any toxic paint and is made with dog-safe material. And if your dog is especially brainy, you can order this puzzle toy in different levels to keep him interested.
And that’s it, folks!
So, what do you think about the Red Fox Labrador? Are you interested in investing in this clever, unique and rare purebred, or would you prefer to stick with one of the more traditionally colored Labrador Retriever dogs?
Let us know your thoughts about the Red Fox Labrador in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.