Fox Red Labradors: Pros And Cons Of Owning A Red Lab

Fox red Labradors are a popular breed of dog in the United States and Canada, but they’re not without their drawbacks.

Owning one can be quite costly, especially if you want to get your hands on a purebred puppy.

But there is good news for those who want to own this type of dog: there are plenty of benefits of calling a fox red Labrador your companion.

If you are looking to buy one of these dogs, and you want to make sure a red lab puppy is for you, then read on.

We take a close look at fox red labs as a breed, and we find out more about the pros and cons of owning one of these dogs.

Main Features Of A Fox Red Labrador

You may have seen a fox red Labrador around in your local park. They look very similar to yellow Labradors but their coat is a much darker shade.

Fox Red Labradors Pros And Cons Of Owning A Red Lab

Before we delve into the pros and cons of this dog breed, let’s explore some of its main features.

Size And Weight

Fox red Labs tend to be slightly smaller than yellow Labradors. This size makes them ideal for most families with children.

Male fox red Labs stand at a height of between 22 and 24 inches. Their female counterpart is around 23 inches tall.


Red Labs typically weigh between 50-80 pounds when fully grown.


The fox red Labrador has a double coat that consists of an undercoat and an outer coat. The undercoat is soft and dense, while the outer coat is wiry and coarse.

The length of the fur varies from individual to individual. It can range anywhere from 5-10 inches long.


The fox red Labrador isn’t a separate breed, and it may be surprising that their darker coat is a color variation of the yellow Labrador.

This means the fox red Lab is simply a yellow Lab with a darker coat. This is what makes these Labradors Retrievers stand out from other Labs with lighter shades.

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of a fox red Labrador is between 10 and 14 years.

However, life expectancy depends on how well the owner cares for the animal. With the right care and attention, the lifespan of a Labrador could be extended up to 15 years.

Fox red Labrador Retrievers grow for around one year and they should reach their fully grown height within 9 months.

Benefits Of Owning A Fox Red Labrador

If you ever wondered why Labradors are the most common breed in the USA, then there is some very good news.

Labrador Retrievers have a range of wonderful traits which make them ideal for singles as well as families.

Their upbeat personality, strong loyalty, and friendly temperament are just some of the benefits of owning a Lab.

These Labradors also come with a lot of natural curiosity and a sense of adventure. If you are looking for a furry friend who loves the outdoors, then a red fox lab makes an ideal pet.

Fox Red Labradors

Here are some of the pros of owning a fox red Lab.


One of the best things about having a fox red Labrador as a pet is that they are healthy animals.

Compared to other Labrador Retrievers, these Labs are generally free from many health problems such as hip dysplasia, eye disorders, allergies, and skin conditions.

This resistance is thanks to their long breeding history for hard work. This has resulted in a very resilient dog breed.

As their darker color variation doesn’t have an impact on their gene pool which could lead to health issues, these pups are only affected by the typical Labrador ailments.

These are typically any issues with their hips and elbows, as well as bloating and ear infections.

Warm Temperament

Another wonderful benefit of owning a red fox Labrador is that they are a very emotionally stable dog breed.

Most of the time, they are caring and happy. They form a strong bond with their owner and they are guaranteed to make everyone smile with their carefree mood.

Compared to other Labrador breeds, fox red Labs don’t differ very much in their temperament. Typically, you can expect your Lab to be friendly, loyal, and playful.

If your pup is socialized early in its life and well cared for, then a Labrador Retriever shows character traits such as empathy.

They are commonly not anxious and they tend to include everyone around them in their displays of affection, including strangers.

Particularly children and other pets benefit from their sweet nature and playful nature.

With the right training, red fox Labs won’t develop a strong prey drive, which sometimes happens with dogs that are not socialized enough.

This prey drive can result in the dog chasing other family members or pets. However, the right training will curb this behavior.

Adaptable To Every Situation

While some dogs can get anxious when something changes in their life, red fox Labrador Retrievers are a physically and emotionally resilient breed.

Their double coat protects them from the extremes of the weather, including snow, heavy rain, and scorching heat.

In addition to this, their medium size means that fox red Labs can live happily in a small apartment without a garden as well as a bigger house.

If you give your pup plenty of exercise and opportunities to play, then it will thrive and be content wherever it is.

Easy To Train

Did you know that Labradors are the 7th most intelligent dog breed in the world? This means that a red fox Lab will try to explore as much as possible.

Owners of red Labs should be aware that these dogs need mental stimulation and an outlet for all their energy.

A fox red Labrador isn’t the type of dog waiting to be told what to do. He will find out for himself.

While this natural drive and curiosity can lead to trouble at times, it is the ideal base for training your dog.

As this Lab is also very loyal to its owners, they can be easily trained. Labrador Retrievers have seen some of the biggest wins at agility and obedience competitions in recent years.

If you are looking to train your Labrador pup, you should concentrate on loose-leash walking and indoor calmness. It’s also a good idea to teach them not to jump.

In addition to regular training, your pup needs plenty of toys to keep itself busy, so try to invest in chew toys.

Your red fox Lab will want to play regularly. With a lot of patience and positive reinforcement, you turn even a badly behaved dog into a loyal companion that will fit into your family.

If you are not quite sure how to train your pup or your dog refuses to work with you, then it’s worthwhile contacting a dog trainer for help.

Beautiful Coat

One of the main reasons why people choose a red fox Lab over another Labrador Retriever is their unique coat.

When red fox Labs are born, their coat is initially darker and grows lighter as they age. The lighter coat may appear even a few weeks after birth and continues to change in the first few months.

The best way to tell what the final coat color of your pup will be is to check their ears. The ears commonly show the final color of a puppy.

Bear in mind that not all dogs from the same breed are the same in color. Even red fox Labs can vary. Some dog coats are lighter than other darker fox red shades.

This doesn’t mean there are significant differences. They are all fox red Labrador Retrievers. The different shading only reflects the different skin pigmentation.

The much darker shade of yellow makes them stand out from other dogs, and it gives them a personality of their own.

Red fox Labradors have a double coat with a soft inner coat that helps to control their body temperature and a thick outer coat that protects them from the weather and any dirt.

Their coat is not just beautiful but it’s also practical, keeping your Lab ready to play in all climates.

Safe, Soft Pout

Labrador Retrievers are known as one of the best game dogs. They were originally bred to retrieve fowl from lakes and fields in the countryside.

This traditional behavior meant that the dogs carried their prey without biting it. Apart from their sense of adventure, this soft pout makes them ideal for a game of fetch.

Together with their easy trainability not to bite, red fox Labs are the perfect furry friend to play with, especially for children.

Fox red Labs enjoy being outdoors and will make friends with everyone who meets them.

Exceptional Socialization Skills

In combination with their curiosity and intelligence, fox red Labrador Retrievers also have unusually strong socialization skills.

This is what makes them ideal for families with children and other pets. They even enjoy the companionship of cats.

When you bring a fox red Lab pup into your home, it’s good to take a lot of time to introduce everyone to your new companion.

Just like with humans, first impressions count and you don’t want any unpleasant situations to arise.

Therapy Dog

As we have learned already, a fox red Labrador Retriever was originally bred to retrieve fowl, ducks, and other game.

This has led to the development of their soft pout which helps them carry prey safely without biting it.

This gentle and safe care by these dogs means that they can also be used as therapy and support dogs today.

Apart from their calm nature and loyalty to their owner, they can easily be trained to become a companion for people with disabilities.

They are also great at calming down anxious children, making them an excellent choice for schools and hospitals.

If you are looking for a dog breed as an assistance dog for a disabled child or family member, then the red fox Lab is ideal.

With their intelligence and ability to learn quickly, they are also suitable for working with animals such as horses and farm animals.

As the Redfox Labrador Retriever was bred to work on a range of jobs, it can pick up different tasks, such as rescue and search, as well as scenting.

This makes the red fox Lab also suitable for mountain rescue missions or emergencies.

Disadvantages Of Owning A Red Labrador

Although red Labradors have a very sweet temperament and an inquisitive nature, they can be quite a handful when not trained correctly.

Fox Red Labradors

Here are some of the cons of owning a fox red Lab.

Strong Shedding Tendency

Red fox Labrador Retrievers shed more than most breeds. This means that you need to brush them regularly to keep their coats clean.

With their double coats, they stay warm and dry in all climates. However, this does mean that they do shed double the amount of hair.

Just like all dogs, fox red Labradors shed hair all year round but the majority of hair is shed in fall and spring when their coat renews.

So the hair doesn’t end up on furniture and clothes, it’s important to brush and groom your pup regularly.

You may also want to buy a good quality hoover to get any hair off furniture and the carpet.

It’s a good idea to brush the fur of your canine at least once a week. In fall and spring, you may want to brush them twice or three times a week to catch the unwanted hair before it sheds.

There are dog grooming brushes specifically designed for dogs with a double coat. These are ideal to ensure the coat of your fox red Lab stays in great shape.

Boredom And Behavior Issues

The red fox Labrador Retriever is a highly intelligent breed. They are very curious and love to explore.

However, if left alone too long, they will start getting bored and could develop destructive behaviors like chewing on your shoes or furniture.

The majority of dogs in shelters are between one and three years old. This is because they have developed behavioral issues that could have been avoided with plenty of exercise and play.

Your Labrador puppy commonly only develops destructive behaviors when it wants to entertain itself and tries to kill boredom.

To avoid boredom, you should always take your dog out for walks or playtime.

A daily walk is essential to help your pet maintain its health and fitness level. It also keeps your dog stimulated and active.

When walking your dog, make sure to give him plenty of exercise. You can go for a long walk or use treats to entice it into more active games.

Another way to keep your dog busy is by playing fetch with a ball or toy. A puppy must be confronted with plenty of new challenges every day.

This can be taking a different route on your walk or just teaching it new tricks. If this is too time-consuming for you, then it’s worth buying some puzzle toys that will help your pup stay mentally active.

Strong Smell

All dogs can develop a relatively strong body odor. This typically depends on the dog breed.

Fox red Labs are one of the smelliest dog breeds. If they are not washed and bathed regularly, they will smell quite strongly.

This is because their natural production of oil on their skin is much higher than that for other dog breeds.

This oil is essential as it dries their coat quickly when it gets wet. Unfortunately, more oil means increased body odor.

And the only solution to this is to bathe your furry companion now and then.

More Vocal

Red fox Labrador Retrievers are known for being vocal dogs. Their bark is loud and deep. They may also make other smaller noises.

They are usually happy dogs who enjoy making friends with people. However, they do need lots of socialization.

Dog experts have suggested that this breed’s vocal behavior has been passed down through one ancestor in the past.

This means that vocalization isn’t part of their gene pool, so it can vary by dog. This means that your fox red Labrador may or may not be more vocal.

To find out whether this affects your pup, it’s good to speak to the breeder and ask about the parents’ behavior.

Competition Dog

Fox red Labrador Retrievers are typically allowed to compete in the conformation ring as well as other performance and obedience competitions.

This is thanks to their classification as yellow Labs (with a different color coat). However, they are often perceived as less favorable compared to black Labs, chocolate Labs, and other Labradors.

Unfortunately, this means that fox red Labradors have few chances of winning any competitions.

If you are looking to get a fox red Lab as a competition dog, then it’s better to consider some of the other, traditional colored Labradors.

If your heart is set on a red fox lab, then you should be prepared that your dog may lose.

Saying this, there have been a few occasions when this Labrador color variation does win, and these dogs have proven to be an exceptionally rare type of dog.

How Much Does A Fox Red Lab Cost?

The cost of owning a fox red Labrador varies depending on the breeder and the gene pool of the parents. A puppy from a breeder with a good reputation can be as much as a yellow Labrador.

However, as the fox red Lab is a unique color variation, you can expect to pay a little more for your pup.

Fox Red Labradors: Pros And Cons Of Owning A Red Lab

Just like any other pet, the cost of a red fox Labrador will also depend on supply and demand in your area. The more breeders of these Labs are in your area, the more likely you can find a less expensive dog.

The color of the dog is one of the main driving factors that sets the drive. However, it is important to take a look at other factors as well.

These include the genetic heritage and any previous health issues. A good breeder will provide you with all the information if you ask for it.

If you are planning to take your dog to shows and competitions, you should make sure that you have as much information as possible about your dog and its heritage.

However, even if you don’t plan to enter your dog in shows, you should ensure your new furry companion is healthy, vaccinated, and comes with all the right papers.

How Do I Find A Good Red Labrador Breeder?

As we have seen, finding the right breeder is essential to make sure that your dog has the best start to life.

So if you are planning to bring one of these beautiful dogs into your home, then you need to know how to find the right puppy for you.

If you are open to giving an older dog a new home, then a trip to your nearest animal shelter is a good first step.

As mentioned, often Labrador Retrievers are dropped off at shelters because they have behavioral issues.

This may sound initially more challenging (particularly when you own a dog for the first time) but a good training routine can go a long way.

And you would be able to give a dog a home that would commonly have to wait for a long time.

If you don’t want to adopt a dog and you prefer a puppy, then you should first contact a fox red Lab breeder.

Before you can find the right dog, you need the right breeder. Many breeders are tempted to take advantage of the unique color variation of the red fox Lab.

Here are a few tips on how to find a reputable breeder.

Coat Color Shouldn’t Be Priority

As many breeders place a priority on the unique coat color, it’s a good idea to find a breeder who doesn’t focus on fox red Labs only.

Meet The Parents

The parents of your pup can tell you a lot about what your puppy is going to be like when it’s grown up. You’ll be able to get a glimpse of its size, temperament, and look.

A breeder can never guarantee the final color of your puppy’s coat as the coat color changes in the first couple of years.

Even if the pup’s parents are both red fox Labs, there may still be slight color variations. These variations will be greater if one parent is a yellow Labrador or any other Lab.

Proof Of Health Certificates

Some breeders may heavily advertise with all the certificates, while others only show you proof of health screenings when you inquire.

It’s always a good idea to ask the breeder if they could show you proof of performed health screenings, such as CERF and OFA certificates.

If you can’t find a breeder near you, we recommend checking out the American Kennel Club (AKC). They have lists of red fox Lab puppies that are for sale right now or any expected litters.

Is The Fox Red Labrador A Purebred?

As mentioned, red fox Labradors are a color variation of yellow Labs.

Although this color is unique in comparison to other Labrador colors like chocolate and black, most dog experts doubt that fox red Labradors are purebreds.

It is also commonly believed that this Labrador is bred in an unethical way to make use of its rare coloring.

But does that mean red fox Labs are not purebreds? No. As their history dates back to the early days of the Labrador as a breeder, the fox red Labrador Retriever is classed as purebred.

This classification as purebred and a different shade of a yellow Lab is accepted by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and other kennel clubs around the world.

Are Red Labradors Rare?

Yes, foxtail red Labs are rare. They aren’t as commonly seen as some other Lab colors, and this color variation isn’t bred as often as other colors.

This makes them a rare type of dog not seen around very often.

Fox Red Labradors In The Show Ring

Red Labradors aren’t often entered into dog competitions of any kind.

This is because most judges favor the traditional color Labs, such as black, chocolate, or yellow.

This has raised several controversies in the competition space over the years.

Caring For A Red Labrador

As we have seen, fox red Labradors are a wonderful type of dog to call your companion.

_Pros And Cons Of Owning A Red Lab (1)

There are a few things to look out for when you want to give these dogs a happy and fulfilling life. Here are a few tips on how to care for your fox red Lab.

Regular Brushing

With the dogs shedding hair a lot more than some other dogs, you must regularly groom and brush the coat of your dog.

If you brush a few times a week, you do not only help to keep the hair shedding at bay but also distribute the dog’s natural oils so that the coat stays warm and dry in cold, wet weather.


Just like other dogs and cats, your fox red Labrador will need more than brushing from time to time.

You will need to clip its nails when you start hearing a click-clack sound on your walks.

In addition to regular nail care, your fox red Labrador Retriever will also need their teeth brushed every day. This helps to prevent dental issues.

This can be time-consuming, and you may want to give your dog treats specifically made to keep the dog’s teeth healthy.

Alternatively, some dog toys also help to remove plaque from their teeth.

In addition, it’s important to wash your dog regularly as the natural oils in its coat can develop a strong, unpleasant odor.

You can bathe your dog with a specially designed dog shampoo. This will keep the dog’s coat smelling clean and fresh.

As the fox red Lab is a medium-sized dog (so it will not fit into a standard sink), you may want to consider installing a dog shower attachment.

This can make showering your dog easier and a lot less messy.

Ear Care

All Labradors have large, floppy ears that tend to get infected. Dirt and water can easily get trapped in the ear cavities and breed bacteria.

This will cause harmful infections which may not only affect the dog’s ears but can end up spreading to the rest of their body.

For this reason, it’s essential that you check your companion’s ears regularly, and remove any built-up wax by using a dog ear solution.

Leash Training

A leash is a must-have for every dog. Your fox red Lab should be on a long leash. This is especially important when you go walking in public places, such as parks.

However, the leash isn’t just so you can manage your pup better. A leash is an extended connection between you and your dog, and it gives your puppy comfort knowing that you are nearby.

Go For A Swim

Keeping your furry friend entertained is a big part of healthy, happy dog life. Unlike cats, Labradors love swimming.

They will take any opportunity to dip their paws into the water, and commonly they throw themselves straight into the waves.

Whether you like near the sea, a lake, a river, or a pool, taking your Lab for a swim is an opportunity to spend some fun time with your pet dog.

As swimming is such a big treat for Labradors, you may want to consider adding this to training sessions. For example, you could allow your dog to go into the water at the end of each session.

Dog Collar

A dog collar is another must-have for your red fox Labrador. Together with a leash and treats, a collar is an essential tool in the dog’s training.

You should also add name tags and your address to the dog collar, in case the dog goes missing.

There is a vast range of dog collars on the market. You may want to opt for the traditional collar and check how your dog reacts to it.

Harnesses have also become more popular in years, although they are more suitable for smaller dogs.

It’s best to try out a few collars and find the one that’s right for your dog.

A Healthy Diet

Together with a good exercise routine, your fox red Lab will need plenty of food. They do love their food.

This has a genetic reason because Labradors don’t have the POMC gene which tells the animal that it’s full.

This means, on the one hand, that your Lab always believes it’s hungry all the time. On the other hand, the owner will be responsible for controlling the dog’s diet.

You need to ensure that the dog receives a balanced diet with enough nutrients to support your pet’s energy levels.

Your red Labrador should eat a protein-rich diet, with some premium dry kibble.

Due to their ever-present hunger, Labradors tend to be obese and can suffer from diseases associated with obesity.

You will need to carefully monitor your pet’s weight to ensure it doesn’t gain any weight.

Another issue related to the fox red Lab’s hunger is that it does tend to get bloated very easily.

The best way to avoid this is to feed your dog small portions several times a day (commonly three times is enough).

If you have any concerns about the weight of your dog, we recommend that you check with your vet. He will be able to weigh your dog and advise of any diet changes.

Plenty Of Playtimes

Apart from the basics like a dog collar and leash, your dog needs plenty of playtime and fun. Come up with as many exciting games as possible.

The more mental stimulation you can provide to your dog, the stronger your bond with your pet.

Ideally, you want to integrate playing fetch when going for a walk. You may also want to take your dog out for a run to burn off some of its energy.

At home, you can provide puzzle toys to ensure their mind stays active and engaged.

Regular Vet Visits

To ensure that your red fox Labrador is healthy, it’s good to go for regular check-ups to the vet. He can test for some of the main Labrador health issues, such as elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, and muscle loss.

Your vet will be able to advise how often you may need to go for these regular checks and tests.

Are Red Fox Labradors Good Pets?

Armed with all the pros and cons, can red fox Labs be good pets? Of course. Red Labs have all the positive character traits for a great pet.

They are loyal, active, and outgoing animals. This makes them ideal for families and other animals.

Their joy and affection towards their owner is a big plus because it means these dogs can be easily trained.

Although training can mean that owners need to be patient and put in a fair bit of time into socializing their puppy, it’s worthwhile.

Red fox Labs are affectionate companions that engage their owners and even strangers around them. They are up for all kinds of activities, from running and puzzle games to swimming and playing, fetch.


As you can see, owning a red fox Labrador is not only rewarding but also extremely fulfilling. They are loyal companions who deserve nothing less than the best care and attention.

However, there are certain things that you should keep in mind before bringing your new family member into your life.

Find out as much information as possible about the breeder, the dog’s parents, and the dog itself. Knowing your dog from an early age can help prevent many issues when they are an adult.

Check out other Dog Articles Here.

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