The Fox Red Labrador Retriever is a beautiful, fun-loving, family-friendly pet. These dogs exhibit all the benchmark qualities that have made the Labrador retriever the most popular breed in the United States for many years running in addition to a gorgeous red coloration that sets them apart from regular yellow and chocolate labs.
The fox red coloration was once the standard in Labrador retrievers but, over time, a preference for lighter shades of yellow took precedence and the popularity of this shade waned. In recent years, however, fox red labs have regained their popularity and dog owners all over the country have begun to realize what they were missing.
Since the 1980’s, the popularity of fox red labs has been steadily increasing and many breeders have begun to selectively breed their dogs in order to achieve this lovely shade. If you are looking for an intelligent, versatile dog with a gentle temperament and unique appearance, a fox red lab may be just what you have been waiting for.
Fox Red Labrador Trivia
Perhaps the most famous fox red lab was Wnyfaul Tobasco, descendant from the great Balrion King Frost. Tobasco is known for his stunning red coloration and excellent conformation but he is famous for becoming the only fox red lab to be named Show Champion in the UK. Additionally, Tobasco is credited by breeders for being the “father of the modern fox red Labrador.”
In modern popular culture it sometimes seems as if celebrity pets are just as or more famous than their human counterparts. One example is Finn, the fox red Labrador retriever owned by actor John Krasinski (The Office) and his fiancée Emily Blunt. Krasinski adopted his fox red lab in 2009 and, since then, Finn has become part of the family. Krasinski has been seen playing fetch with his dog in between takes while filming movies such as the 2011 flick “Something Borrowed”.
Tessie is an ordinary fox red lab but she became famous when a video of her “officiating” a game of backyard ping pong went viral on Youtube. In the video, Tessie can be seen hopping back and forth from one side of the ping pong table to the other, following the ball. The Huffington Post online labeled Tessie the “canine metronome.”
Coat Color In Detail
You may be surprised to hear that fox red is not really a separate coat color for Labrador retrievers – it is actually a shade of yellow. Yellow labs were bred from the St. John’s Water Dog which was brought to England during the early nineteenth century. These dogs typically had dark coats made of short, smooth hair and they often exhibited a small white patch on the chest. Through selective breeding, Labradors began to take on a more yellow or gold coloration but still retained hints of the dark coloration of their ancestors. The fox red color is a variant on the yellow lab, achieved by breeding two fox red parents – this theory was proved when a fox red male was bred with a dark yellow female during the late twentieth century. Though two yellow parents will sometimes produce a fox red pup, the greatest chance of an all fox-red litter comes from crossing two dark yellow or fox red lines.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) standard for Labrador retrievers states that yellow labs may range in color from fox red to light cream so, even though it is not a common coloration, fox red labs are deemed acceptable by the AKC. Fox red labs exhibit the same bodily characteristics as other Labrador retrievers, though there may be some differences between the English and American styles. English fox reds, for example, have a stockier, more compact build and square heads whereas American labs often have longer legs and bodies, exhibiting a leaner overall appearance. The English fox reds are more popular for use in show ring competition for conformation while American labs are more frequently seen working the field as hunting dogs.
The overall appearance of fox red labs may vary according to breeding, but most labs tend to be fairly large with males weighing in between 65 and 80 pounds and females ranging between 55 and 70 pounds. The average height of a fox red lab is between 22.5 and 24.5 inches for males and between 21.5 and 23.5 inches for females. Labrador retrievers are known for their dense, water-resistant coats which prevent the dog from getting cold in the water. Another distinguishing characteristics exhibited by all Labrador retrievers, not just fox reds, is the “otter” tail which is thick at the base, tapering toward the tip. Common eye colors for fox red labs include brown and hazel and nose pigmentation is typically brown, though the color may fade to a lighter shade and could also exhibit some pink pigmentation as the dog ages. An all-pink nose, however, is deemed a disqualification by the AKC.
History Of The Fox Red Labrador
Upon hearing the words “Labrador retriever,” you probably picture a sturdy dog with a light, golden yellow coat. When this breed was first introduced, however, labs exhibited a dark, butterscotch-like shade of gold coloration. In fact, the first recognized yellow lab was Ben of Hyde, born in 1899 with a red-tinted, dark yellow coat. This coloration, now called fox red, was the standard in Labrador retrievers for many years until the UK Kennel Club determined that “gold” was not a color and changed the official coloration of the breed to “yellow”. Over time, the popularity of the fox red shade waned and dog owners began to show an increased preference for lighter, cream-colored shades of yellow. It was not until the 1980’s when several labs having dark gold and fox red coloration were born to English breeders that the fox red shade was re-established.
One of these dogs, Balrion King Frost, was born around 1976 and consistently sired litters of pups having very dark yellow coloration. Balrion King Frost’s great-grandson, Wynfaul Tobasco, is often referred to as the “father of the modern fox red Labrador” and he is famous for becoming the first and only fox red Show Champion in the United Kingdom. As the fame of these dogs spread throughout the end of the twentieth century, so did the popularity of the fox red shade. Now, though yellow and chocolate labs still remain the most popular shades, fox red Labradors are beginning to make a comeback. More and more breeders are beginning to recognize this uniquely beautiful shade and are selectively breeding their labs to perpetuate and perfect it.
Where To Find Fox Red Labradors
These kennels are typically the best place to look for high-quality, well-bred Labrador retrievers. While many kennels offer some of each color, you can also find kennels that specialize in the fox red variant. Most reputable breeders are registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) and will provide you with pedigree papers as well as a written health agreement upon your purchase of a puppy. This kind of information may not always be available if you choose to purchase a dog through online advertisements or if you adopt a shelter pet.
Warne’s Labrador Retrievers is run by C.J. Warne, an avid lover of Labrador retrievers who stumbled upon the Red Fox Labrador variety and fell in love. Warne has spent years perfecting the Red Fox lab pedigree, creating a line of superior Red Fox Labs. Due to his limited gene pool and the fact that he is a fairly small kennel, Warne has a limited number of litters available each year. Though his breeding program is focused on pedigree and show quality, the dogs he breeds are raised in a family setting to ensure a gentle, family-friendly temperament.
Red Diamond Pointing Labradors is a family-owned kennel, Red Diamond is run by John and Michaela Wille in Humbolt, Kansas. The Willes breed only red fox labs, sometimes crossing the American with the English show/bench fox reds. The result of this combination is a gentler, more laid-back temperament in a beautiful red fox Labrador retriever that retains the athletic body and hunting drive of the American and the boxy head of the English fox red. All labs are born in a home environment and are moved into a designated puppy house at 4 weeks of age.
Puppy for Sale Sites
These websites take different forms but, for the most part, they are simply online classifieds where breeders or dog owners can post listings of the puppies and dogs they have available. The benefit of using this method for finding a red fox lab is that you can narrow down the search results to find a dog of the particular age and sex you want – you may even be able to shop by price and location. The downside of using puppy for sale sites is that you may not get the same guarantees as far as the reputation and experience of the individual breeders and you cannot always visit the puppy before you purchase it.
Next Day Pets is a great resource for people looking for a red fox lab within a certain region of the country or within a certain budget. Users can view pictures of puppies and read a profile of each one which provides details about the puppy’s sex, age, size, and price in addition to information about the parentage. Many of the puppies on this website come with 30 days of free pet insurance.
If you would prefer to skip the whole puppy stage, you might want to consider adopting a red fox Labrador retriever from a rescue agency. Though rescue agencies and shelters sometimes receive litters of puppies, they tend to get a larger number of adult dogs. These dogs have the benefit of being housebroken already and, in many cases, the dogs have already had some training. Many shelters have such limited space that they are forced to put down some of their dogs if they remain at the shelter too long — another benefit of choosing a rescue dog is that you can save a dog from this fate and give him a new life.
Adopt-a-Pet allows users to search for Labrador retrievers available in their area by city or postal code. When searching for available dogs and puppies, users may specify the sex and age of the dog they desire and can limit the search results to a certain radius. In addition to providing information about labs available for adoption, this website also provides users with valuable tips on dog adoption as well as useful information about the Labrador retriever breed.
Ohio Labrador Retriever Rescue Services is dedicated to finding new families for abandoned Labrador retrievers in Ohio. Though the operation is fairly small, Ohio Lab Rescue is dedicated to providing healthy, fully-evaluated Labrador retrievers for adoption into loving homes. Though they take in all types of Labrador retrievers, Ohio Lab Rescue does sometimes have fox red labs available for adoption – you are free to leave your information with the service, asking them to call you if they receive a fox red lab.
Lab Rescue of the LRCP (Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac) is located in Annandale, Virginia, Lab Rescue of the LRCP is a non-profit organization devoted to rescuing, fostering and placing homeless, abused and abandoned Labrador retrievers. This organization rescues labs from shelters and humane societies and works to rehabilitate and rehome the dogs after they have been evaluated, brought up to date on vaccinations and spayed or neutered. Lab Rescue typically has 30 to 60 labs available for adoption at any given time, so check back frequently to see if they have any fox reds.