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What is a fox red Lab? Are they purebred? Are they recognized by the AKC? Are they just a color fad? Answering your questions below!


  • First - what IS a fox red Labrador? The fact is that a fox red Lab is just a yellow Lab with very dark pigmentation. There is no "red" gene. If you think of a fox red Lab and a yellow Lab, both of these coat colors come from the exact same gene, they have simply come out in different shades. This gene can produce a range in color from so called “polar white,” to “yellow” all the way to the very darkest shade, “fox red.” Think of a golden retriever, ranging in color from deep red to cream color. It’s the same idea with Labradors. That same gene is what causes a Labrador to be yellow, with lighter yellow parents generally producing lighter puppies, and deep, dark fox red Labradors producing dark red puppies.

  • Second - are fox red Labs purebred? The answer is YES, as described in the previous paragraph. They were not brought about by mixing a Lab with another breed. A fox red Labrador is produced by breeding darker and darker yellow Labs to each other until a fox red Lab is produced. A fox red Lab is basically a very dark yellow Labrador, and is therefore purebred. 

  • Third - are they recognized by the AKC? Again, yes! In fact there have been quite a number of Fox Red Labrador Retriever AKC Grand Champions. They are purebred Labs and the AKC has always recognized them. If you are going to register your fox red Lab with the AKC, simply mark “yellow” in the color box as that is the technical definition of their coloring. 

  • And finally - is fox red just a fad? Rather than being a recent “creation”, dark yellow/red Labradors used to be the most desirable shade of Labrador for hunters in the first half of the 1900s, due to their great ability to be camouflaged! A black lab stands out starkly by day, a light yellow lab is easily seen at night. Fox red easily blends into the landscape. However, the fox red color began to fall out of favor in the US until around the 1980s. Then, certain US breeders began importing dogs of that color from Europe as they discovered what a beautiful color it was, and began to reintroduce it into their lines. 

  • Once you meet a fox red Labrador in person, as we first did almost ten years ago, it will be almost impossible to forget what a beautiful dog it is! We are so thrilled to have added this color to our program and are excited for the years to come with our Labs - of all colors.

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