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Red Labrador Breed Facts and What You Need to Know


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There are a hundred thousand breeds of dog out there, each with their own quirks and stories. The Red Labrador brings an adorable mix of big dopey paws and nose, with elegant, superior breeding. 

Like most deliberately bred, carefully curated dog breeds, the red Labrador is a rarity in its own right. You don’t see many of them anymore. We see that as an open invitation to dog lovers everywhere. Don’t let the red Labrador be confined to the history books… not when they are a super-cute alternative to an iconic breed.

We wanted to take a moment to appreciate this fine dog breed because we think any type of Labrador deserves a standing ovation. The red lab is yet another splendid example of how big dopey paws are all it takes to melt a human heart.

We’ll start with the basics, what is a Red Labrador dog breed and why do you want one? 

What is a Red Labrador Dog?

The red Labrador is a variant of the Labrador retriever, who has had the lucky genetic fortune of being born with a red coat. The dominant number of Labradors born are black, with yellow being the second most likely color. Beyond that, some Labradors are born brown, and lastly, in rarity, you have the red Labrador. 

Sometimes known as the ‘fox’ red Labrador, this lucky variation shares the common Labrador history. They were first recorded in the 1830s in Newfoundland, having arrived in Britain on trading ships that came from Canada to arrive in Poole. This parent breed was then crossed with the native British Hunting Dogs, a generic breed from the British Isles. 

It has taken generations of carefully selected breeding to create the red Labrador… and it is still an uncommon dog to this day. The AKC and the UK Kennel Club both record there being only 3 recognized colors of Labrador Retriever, so the red is not classed as an official variation. Nevertheless: they exist, and we love their little furry faces.

Although not an official breed standard color, fox red is technically classed as a yellow lab. This has a long and complex genetic explanation – but whatever the means, the ends were the same. Red Labs are no longer destroyed for their coat color but are celebrated for it – as they should be. For all intents and purposes, however, the breed standards say the red lab is a yellow lab and that’s not confusing at all.

The Red Labrador Dog Breed: Quick Facts

Average height: Up to 25 inches tall

Average weight: Up to 80 pounds in weight.

Average lifespan: 10-12 years.

Origin: Great Britain

Alternative Name: Fox Red Labrador, Red Fox Lab

Red Labrador Characteristics:

  • Friendly and outgoing
  • High spirited
  • Eager to please
  • Excitable
  • Good-natured

Appearance

Labradors are a well-known dog breed and are immensely popular among pet lovers worldwide. While labradors are mainly available in three colors, they are also in some mixed shades. Red Labradors are one such shade. 

While red labradors look as vibrant as the chocolate-colored lab variant, they are a variant of the common yellow-colored lab. The American Kennel Club argues that Yellow labs can have cream to Fox red variants. 

Most color variations in red labs occur in the back, around the ears, or underparts. Breeders are trying hard to develop more red labs for shows.

Generally, red labs are basically of two types. While those who are used as working dogs are also called American labs, those dogs that are more used in dog shows are called English red labs. The American variant is developed for their skills on the field and not for looks.

English red labs are rare and difficult to find between these two, as they are comparatively new variants among labradors.

Interestingly, red labs do not maintain the same color of their coat. With age, their coat can both become darker or lighter. The shade changes as long as they are around two years old.

Behavior

Red labs, in general, have a pleasing personality, just like any other lab variant. They are brilliant, loyal to their owners, and considered easy to train.

Besides, those red labs bred to work in fields are rather hard-working by nature. So, although such red labs are equally friendly, at times, they become nervous in the presence of total strangers.

Red labs are highly social and love to interact with their human parents. They often try to gather the attention of their masters towards them. Besides, this is a sturdy breed, requiring daily exercise to stimulate their physical and mental self.

Last, just like other dog breeds, red Labradors should also be introduced to training from a young age. This will improve their communication and socializing skills, and they will be better able to accommodate strangers in their lives.

Size

It can be said that the size of a red lab can be medium or large. Besides, depending on gender, red labs ‌weigh around 55-80 pounds. In addition, while the females should be about 22.5 inches in height, the male red labs stand about 24 inches from the ground.

Temperament

While some red lab owners believe that these variants of a labrador are different from other labs in terms of temperament, it is actually a myth. There is practically no difference between the temperaments of Red labradors and other labrador variants.

If appropriately trained from an early age, red labs become friendly and playful in addition to being brilliant dogs. Besides, with improvements in their socialization skills, they tend to be more accommodating towards strangers and won’t show any anxiety.

Some also have a solid desire to subdue prey and engage in actions like chasing birds. Unfortunately, they can also end up chasing other pets in your house. In this case, training can deal with such unwanted behavior.

Last, red labs are excellent companions for children, and even if you live in a family with small children, these dogs are a perfect choice.

Lifespan

Red labradors are a healthy dog breed, and they live just like any other variant of labradors. On average, a red lab will live for around ten to twelve years. Although they don’t suffer many health issues, red labs have been found to suffer from eye conditions more than other lab variants.

What’s the Difference Between a Red Lab and a Black, Yellow, or Chocolate Lab?

There isn’t much of a difference in type of Labrador retriever, except for the genetic variation that led it to have a red coat. The three officially recognized Labrador types have yellow, black, or chocolate coats. They are often referred to with their colors as part of their names, mostly because it makes it easier to differentiate between them.

Are Red Labradors Exclusive to Great Britain?

Absolutely not! Although the breed started its life here, the Labrador retriever has gone on to take the world by storm. They are officially America’s favorite dog breed, being perfectly bred to acclimatize to the western world. 

The red lab was once incredibly rare, with some fanciers saying they are not purebred. It is thought that their particular genetic variation is so rare that they would have been killed off or traded away at birth because of their imperfect coat color. Now that this has changed, the color is becoming more and more widespread.

What are the Most Common Red Labrador Mix Breeds?

As a popular breed of dog, the Labrador retriever is commonly mixed with other dogs to create designer breeds. Some of the best-known derivatives of the red Labrador (yellow Labrador) are listed below.

Ranking Name Height Weight Life span Breed size Temperament Origin
1 Labradoodle Up to 28 inches Up to 90 lbs 12-16 years large Kind and affectionate with plenty of energy and a playful nature Australia
2 The Huskador Up to 26 inches Up to 60 lbs 10-15 years large highly intelligent, affectionate, and energetic United States
3 Labrador Pointer Up to 28 inches Up to 80 lbs 10-14 years large Friendly and gentle England
4 The Goldador Up to 25 inches Up to 80 lbs 10-15 years large Happy breeds, extremely affectionate Newfoundland
5 Beagador Up to 25 inches Up to 40 lbs 12-15 years large determined, loyal, reliable, curious, intelligent USA
6 Borador Up to 24 inches Up to 64 lbs 10-14 years large Friendly outgoing playful UK
7 Cavador Up to 24 inches Up to 50 lbs 12-14 years large gentle, friendly and good-natured United States
8 Greyador Up to 27 inches Up to 70 lbs 10-13 years large Intelligent, affectionate, gentle Newfoundland
9 Sheprador Up to 25 inches Up to 80 lbs 10-14 years large Large, energetic, and loyal Germany
10 Corgidor Up to 23 inches Up to 50 lbs 11-16 years large Protective and alert

1. Labradoodle

The Labradoodle is a big hyperactive ball of fluffy fun. They usually have the size of the Labrador mixed with the long curly hair of the poodle. They have the same energy as both dogs put together.

Of course, the Labradoodle is a mix between the hardy genes of the poodle and the sturdy genes of the Labrador. While reds are uncommon, there are a few and this is the most common Labrador designer breed that exists. 

Be warned that these are excessively high energy dogs that need the same amount of exercise as a lurcher, ridgeback, or Dalmatian. If you don’t have two hours spare to walk them every day, there is a high chance they will chew up your shoes… consider yourself warned.

Labradoodle Dog Stats

Average Height: Up to 28 inches

Average Weight: Up to 90 pounds

Average Lifespan: 12-16 years

2. The Huskador

The Huskador combines the big blue eyes of the Siberian Husky with the sad puppy dog eyes of the Labrador. Again, it is rare to find them in red but not unheard of. These dogs retain the cold-enduring features of the husky and love to be kept in packs. They also have the playful intelligence of the Labrador, so they make a great best buddy.

The Huskador takes the best of both breeds and accentuates each. It allows the Labrador to be hardier, adding years to a short lifespan, while adding friendliness to the husky – who can be a dog’s dog as opposed to a man’s dog.

The downsides? They need more brushing than your average Labrador and, when they shed, there is more hair. They make devoted buddies and will do odd jobs around the house if you teach them well. They require around 2 hours of exercise a day so they are best suited to a big yard or a family member they can go to work with.

Huskador Dog Stats

Average Height: Up to 26 inches tall

Average Weight: Up to 60 pounds

Average Lifespan: 10-15 years

3. Labrador Pointer

Two dog breeds that go very well together are the Labrador retriever and the pointer. These big smiling beauties retain the statuesque size of the pointer, as well as the innate hunting abilities they have. In return, the pointer breed gets a dose of Labrador love and a shiny new coat. 

Interestingly, the pointer has that white/colored mix going on. This means the cross sometimes results in a white patched lab, be it yellow (red), black, or chocolate. They are sporting dogs who are able to run fast enough to stay ahead of a horse… but they shouldn’t be used for hunting.

Sometimes known as the Pointador, this dog breed is low maintenance but high energy. If you are a farmer, ranger, or have otherwise got a lot of land to walk around in, then this dog will be happy to follow you about all day – or chase the rabbits, whichever it sees first.

Labrador Pointer dog breed Stats

Average Height: Up to 28 inches

Average Weight: Up to 80 pounds

Average Lifespan: 10-14 years

4. The Goldador

The Golden Retriever is almost a Labrador in its own right. For all intents and purposes, a golden retriever and a yellow Labrador are incredibly similar in looks to those that don’t have a trained eye. 

The golden Retriever has a longer coat that is not considered to be hypoallergenic. When mixed with a Labrador, you get the Goldador, a beautiful dog that will cast all over your house unless you get it from the groomers. Invest in some de-shedding shampoo and brush daily if you opt for this breed.

Aside from the shedding, the lab’s friendly nature mixed with the Golden’s sweetness makes for a brilliant family pet. It can walk one mile or ten miles, can follow you around or stay at home, and won’t barrel into the kids and knock them over… well, at least not when it’s grown from puppyhood.

Goldador Dog Stats

Average Height: Up to 25 inches

Average Weight: Up to 80 pounds

Average Lifespan: 10-15 years

5. Beagador

The Beagle is an unfortunate dog at the moment, suffering from a shrunken gene pool which can make some litters prone to ill health. Nobody wants an imperfect dog, not if it’s a purebred and not if they intend to carry on the line… so Beagles are in a little bit of trouble. 

Enter the designer dog breed, the act of mixing some of the most popular breeds as crosses. This brings new genetic material into the mix and, if you are lucky, gives you the best of both dogs. The Beagle is full of energy, the Labrador shares this trait. The Beagle is a good hunter, while the Labrador is a good family dog. Both are loving, but mixing the breeds together means you have a dog with all of the above – that is also in better health.

Although the dog breeding foundations around the world might never accept the Beagador, we love the longer ears on a lab. The dog is a little smaller, lighter, and faster, but is happy on the couch or at your side all day.

Beagador Dog Stats

Average Height: Up to 25 inches tall

Average Weight: Up to 40 pounds

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years

6. Borador

The Border Collie crossed with the Labrador makes for a seriously high energy dog. If you want a dog made for working the farm all day alongside you, this is the Labrador cross for you. 

The Borador keeps the bounciness and intelligence of the working collie, while taking the playful, friendly, fun-loving nature of the Labrador into account. Some of these dogs have longer coats, some shorter. Colors range from red through to silvery white. They may be highly intelligent, and they may be incredibly dumb.

One thing is for certain… it’s always great fun to find out.

Borador Dog Stats

Average Height: Up to 24 inches

Average Weight: Up to 64 pounds

Average Lifespan: 10-14 years

7. Cavador

The second of the collie Labrador cross breeds is the Cavador. This is what you get when you cross a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a Labrador retriever. They are bouncy and fun, intelligent and sharp, but keep that silken soft coat regardless of whether they are long-haired or short-haired.

As is often the case with newer crossbreeds, puppies of the same litter can be completely different to one another. It may be that you receive the Labrador’s propensity towards weight issues, or it could be that your Cavador has the high voltage energy of a dog that thinks it’s much smaller than it actually is.

Cavador Dog Stats

Average Height: Up to 24 inches tall

Average Weight: Up to 50 pounds

Average Lifespan: 12-14 years

8. Greyador

If you want an animal that has the speed and muscle efficiency of an athletic greyhound – but the loving affection of a companion dog, the Greyador is what you need. This adorable breed has all the long-legged awkwardness of the greyhound, but with lab ears and eyes. 

What we love most about the Greyador is that it tackles the obesity problem in the Labrador’s genetics. These dogs are not as prone to becoming overweight as their parent breed. They are tall and athletic, love to run in the fields, and will happily be your companion dog, for the rest of their lives.

Greyador Dog Stats

Average Height: Up to 27 inches tall

Average Weight: Up to 70 pounds

Average Lifespan: 10-13 years

9. Sheprador

What happens if you breed one of the best police/bomb/guard dogs in the world, with the cuddly, carefree, playful nature of the Labrador? You get Labradors in German Shepherd colors with a server IQ increase and slightly rougher hair.

The Sheprador takes the sharp awareness, watchful eye, and alert readiness of the German Shepherd. It takes the comforting companion nature of the Labrador. In essence, you get a cross of family dog and sniffer dog – and they make some of the best guard dogs in the world for families.

Sheprador Dog Stats

Average Height: Up to 25 inches

Average Weight: Up to 80 pounds

Average Lifespan: 10-14 years

10. Corgidor

If you want to switch the high energy of the Labrador on its head, then you breed it with a Corgi. This mild-mannered, royal breed comes with shorter legs and a fluffier behind than the average red lab. It comes in all manner of colors, particularly if bred with a chocolate or red Labrador retriever.

The Corgidor is mild in temper, relaxed around children, and will chase everything smaller than it. It will love to play and may have the intelligence of either parent breed. It could be watchful and guarding like the corgi, or it could be free-roaming and happy like the Labrador. It will always be cute… but watch your Corgidor doesn’t pile on the pounds.

Corgidor Dog Stats

Average Height: Up to 23 inches

Average Weight: Up to 50 pounds

Average Lifespan: 11-16 years

FAQs

Are Red labs rare?

Yes, red labs are quite rare. It is actually the color of their coat that sets them apart. Their color is rare and is not readily available. They have a more profound and darker shade of the yellow labrador.

Is there such a thing as a red Labrador?

Red labradors are darker and have a red shade of the common yellow labrador retriever.

Are Red Labradors more expensive?

Yes, Red Labradors are more expensive than other traditional labradors. However, breeders claim that red labradors are rare and premium, and hence they sell red lab puppies at a much higher price.

Are Red labs purebred?

Yes, red labs are purebred dogs. Although rare due to unique genetic buildup, their history dates back to the very beginning of the existence of labradors.

What is the rarest Labrador color?

The rarest labrador color is silver. Unfortunately, they are difficult to breed as they require unique genetic makeup and are considered premium dog breeds.

How long do red Labradors live?

On average, a healthy red labrador lives for around 10 to 12 years if they do not contract some significant ailments.

The Final Word on Red Labrador Mix Breed Dogs

If you’re still interested in finding a red Labrador cross, then you will be happy to hear that these are only a few examples. The Labrador retriever has been so widely bred over the years, that introducing them to other types of dog allows for new genetic material – and a whole new range of doggy goodness. You can cross a Labrador with just about everything, as long as it’s a canine.

Whatever it is crossed with, the friendliness of the Labrador is inexhaustible. Watch out for breeds that are prone to similar health issues, and for breeds that are also high energy.

Too much of either one could result in a dog that nobody can handle. The Labrador isn’t for everyone, either. If you tend to favor the couch over a long walk in the evening, it just might be that you need something smaller.

Otherwise, the labracross is a wonderful mix of breeds that is helping us refine the best bits of each breed. Although not accepted by official breed standards, it is this technique we use to devise new breeds that represent the future of official standards. In breeds like the beloved family Labrador retriever, experimentation might well be the key to success.

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