Fox Red Lab: Everything You Want To Know

Fox red lab, otherwise known as a ruby Labrador or fox red, is the dark red version of a yellow labrador. The breeders are more interested in breeding darker red labradors than pale red labradors since the red lab has won fame as human companions.

Just like a thousand others, if you are familiar with the name fox red lab, you must have thought at least once about what makes the fox red different from the other labrador breeds.

And if you are a pet lover and plan to add a four-legged member in to your family, you must be interested to know about its specialties, exercise, and grooming requirements.

Let’s explore together this cute four-legged furry friend.


There was a time when people were familiar with only the black color composition of labradors, but with the passage of time, yellow and pale red colors came forth, and now you can see comparatively more dark red labradors known as Fox red labradors around you. It has shared a pedigree from both the American labrador and English dog.

Yellow and chocolate labs were not very famous, and they were culled at their birth. Yellow, chocolate, and red breeds are all known to share the same history. But nowadays, breeders are more interested in Fox red labrador than other shades due to its enticing personality and friendly disposition.


Keep in mind fox-red is a shade of yellow color but is not an individual color on its own. Its genuine, deep chestnut-red color is fascinating and is still unusual, which appeals the dog lovers.

Fox red color of the lab is really striking, and it has borrowed its charming appearance from the American lab and English dog working pool labrador ancestors.

You’ll often see this lab larger and taller than the pale-yellow lab with good hips, and again the credit goes to its working pool retriever ancestry. These stocky dogs have thick, powerful necks, otter-like tails, and large round eyes.


65-80 pounds


22.5-24.5 inch


10-12 years


Fox red labradors have friendly deposition and are an inherently intelligent breed. They are lovely companionable dogs and are very patient. They are gentle with family and make the best match as family pets.

Just like many other labrador breeds, fox red lab is famous for its hydrophilic behavior and tendency toward swimming.

The pup is very speedy with sharp marking and visual acuity, and its steadiness is mesmerizing.

It loves to accompany its owners in hunting, serves its services as a service dog, and has a strong tendency to explore the world outside its compartment.

The dog is best at picking up the birds while shooting. It’s worth watching a fox red lab while applying all-natural hunting abilities to search and pick up its prey.

This four-legged human companion is very energetic and is well suited for energetic and active owners and is notorious for heavy barking.

In a nutshell, it’s a travel-loving and outgoing dog breed that loves to accompany its masters no matter it’s a visit along the seashore or a highly patient activity like fishing. You’ll see your lab sitting calmly along the riverside and observing what its owner is doing, and waiting for his next command to follow.

Training of fox red

Fox red dogs are very clever and love to be trained. Training should be reinforced by positive reinforcement and enticing treats. Their working ancestry guarantees that you can train them no matter how difficult the commands are. You can train them to be field trial champion, and they will prove themselves best among the millions.

An exercise of some minutes is enough for small pups, but grown-up labradors can be ready to go for long runs and learn difficult commands. You can train them for swimming, agility events, and retrieving sticks. Make sure these training sessions do not hurt your dog.

Grooming requirements

It’s considered a heavy shedder, and the double coat that keeps it warm in the winter season requires a little more maintenance during shedding season. It’s good to brush it daily during the shedding season but on regular days brushing once or twice within a couple of weeks is enough to maintain the natural coat appearance.

Will the fox red lab maintain its color throughout its lifespan?

The fox red puppies are born with a darker shade than yellow, which gets even darker within the first few weeks after their birth. Within eight months, your puppy will start to look like a fox red lab you know in your surroundings.

The fox red stud dog may darken its color as it ages. So, not even a single breeder can guarantee you what it will be its color when it is a mature grown-up pup.

The American Kennel Club does not recognize it as a separate breed, and consider it under the yellow labrador.

Comparison between the pale yellow and fox-red labrador

The dark yellow, otherwise known as Fox red labrador, has won fame in the working, sporting dog community over the pale yellow lab, especially because pale yellow lab does not suit well as a hunting companion.

The pale yellow breed is well suited as a show dog, while the fox-red colored breed is not well suited for this job. Contrarily, Fox red is best at hunting and picking up the prey, while Pale yellow lab is not a good match for these.

Probably there will be a time when the shooting world will be the only custodian of the fox red dog breed while Yellow lab will be the best pet for show lover owners.

Some owners put forth their stance that there is only one difference between fox red and pale yellow dog breeds- color; otherwise, both have the same characteristics. Even for some owners, it’s a myth that fox–red labrador and pale yellow labrador differ from each other except for their color.

Genetics of fox red labrador

If you want to get a fox red color, first think about switching off brown or black color that is controlled by two “e” genes which occur in the form of a pair.

The two e genes in the form of pair “ee” are enough to mask the effect of black and brown coat color, and the yellow color predominates. Remember, we are still near to the red color, but the red-colored gene is not introduced yet.

Instead of ee, the gene could be EE too, or mixed like Ee, and when the genetic combination is Ee, the capital E gene masks the effect of the little e gene. So, the coat color can’t switch back to black or brown now.

Let’s talk about the fox red color. A pigment called pheomelanin is responsible for how intense the red coat color of the labrador is. Again, this is controlled by two genes, E and C. The E is responsible for the red color, and C is responsible for diluting the red color. The aftermath of the whole “Gene story” here is your dog has a fox red color.

Which health issues are common for Fox red labradors?

Its coat color is not associated with any particular disease, and the most common health issues that fox red has to bear are exactly the same as in other labrador breeds. It may suffer from

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (that can lead to permanent vision loss)
  • Canine Parvo
  • Canine Distemper


Fox red lab are quite rare, which makes them more popular. Fox red is not a pure color on its own and is the shade of yellow color. All the credit for color goes to genetic makeup and pheomelanin pigment. Coat color may or may not vary with age.

It is well suited as a family companion, working dog, service dog, and hunting dog that loves to chase and pick up the prey. Its personality and characteristics are not much different than the pale yellow labrador except for its color.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in comments or through mail.

Thank you for reading!