Most dog lovers know about a few different kinds of Labrador Retrievers. From chocolate labs to golden labs, everyone tends to have a favorite, too.
But what about Fox Red Labs?
Have you ever heard of this “breed?”
It’s possible you have not. This “breed” is not recognized as a separate breed but rather as a color variation that is included as part of the yellow spectrum of Labs. Fox Red labs are, scientifically, a Yellow Lab, but their color is something very striking and rare!
The Past And The Future Of The Fox Red Labrador Retriever
To get a better understanding of how this color variation developed and its popularity through the years, let’s touch on the past, present, and future of the Fox Red Labs.
Throughout history, fox red Labs have been fairly uncommon, and that’s largely because they were considered lesser to other color variations and were very often culled at birth. As sad as that is, it’s an unfortunate part of Labrador history.
Labradors were used as working dogs, and since they were largely used for hunting purposes, the black Lab was favored over all other colors.
The yellow Labs we see today are much lighter in color than the yellow labs were in the past, which tended to be more golden yellow or even red yellow like a nice fox red. The first yellow Lab was registered in 1899, and he was still a relatively darker yellow color compared to today’s norms.
Today, you probably think of pale yellow labs as the true yellow Lab. How did things end up this way?
Since pale yellow Labs were very rare, breeders began to try and selectively breed for the lighter, creamlike colors rather than the darker yellows and red-yellows. Because of this process, lighter yellow Labs became the norm.
Additionally, popular shows and advertisements throughout the mid-1900s used pale yellow labs, so most people began to picture Labradors as pale yellow in color.
Still, there has been a re-expansion of the colors that you see in Labs in the last 15 or so years. From pale yellow to fox red, you can find a wider range of yellow colors in Labs around the world.
Now you know that the popularity and rarity of lighter colored yellow Labs in the past led to a breeding out of fox red Labs and other darker yellow colors that we rarely see today.
Now, however, the reverse is beginning to happen, and we can expect that reversal to continue in the next ten to twenty years. Since darker red Labs are rarer, they are becoming more valuable and desired by the general population.
The future of Fox Red Labs is the opposite of the past: we can expect to see more and more of them as time goes on!
Fox Red Labrador Retriever Concerns
With this reversal of the fox red labs fortune, there are some concerns.
Selective breeding for any reason is actually not very good for the breed as a whole. When a breeder tries hard to create a certain colored litter of puppies, the pedigree can be damaged. Some breeders do it in a healthy way; others do not.
Additionally, some people simply question whether or not fox red Labs are truly purebred Labs because they are such a rarity to see, and they were not common within the last fifty years or more. While it does not matter if your dog is purebred or not, the pedigree is important for dog shows, lineage purposes, and the tracking of a specific breed.
Some people have ever accused fox red Labs of being bred unethically, saying that breeders are not following proper protocol in an effort to create this rare coloring.
While there are a few documented cases (as there are with many breeds), the general consensus is that most fox red Lab breeds are good breeds who follow the rules. So long as you research the kennel and breeder, you should not encounter any issue with them.
More About This Unique Breed
Since finding a fox red Lab is very rare at this point in time, you may find that some breeders are charging much more for this rare color in comparison to other, more standardized colors of Lab.
The same thing has happened before with other colors of Labrador. At times, Chocolate Labs are very expensive because there aren’t many being bread. Sometimes, people sell “White Labradors” (a.k.a. very light colored labs) for a premium as well.
Like most things, there is a supply and demand that affects the price you can expect to pay for your Labrador Retriever. Breeders take advantage of this type of situation, so it may be difficult to find a less expensive fox red Lab until they become more common!
Further Reading About Fox Red Labs
Have I sparked an interest in fox red Labs in your heart?
If so, there are a lot more resources out there where you can learn more about this unique and interesting variation of the Labrador Retriever breed. Simply bring up some pages about popular kennels, and check out their info:
Kennels and breeders that directly work with fox red Labs will have the best information about fox red Labs.
What Are Your Thoughts?
What do you think about how desirable fox red Labs have become? Do you think it’s silly to desire one color over another when they’re the same breed, or can you understand wanting a particular variation?
No matter what you believe, you have to agree that fox red Labs have an interesting history, and their future is bound to be just as interesting! Share your thoughts with us below.