Fox Red Labradors
In order to better understand Labradors that are referred to as fox reds one needs to carefully read the
American Kennel Club breed standard. The standard recognizes three colors; black, chocolate, and yellow.
Although all colors were present at the beginning when early Labrador Kennels were training and raising the dogs
black was the only color accepted according to several sources. Yellow would slowly gain acceptance and would
begin to appear in field trials as well as dog shows. Chocolate would be the last color to gain acceptance and
it to would emerge in field trials as well as dog shows. The breed standard recognized the shade of yellow in a
Labrador Retriever as ranging from a light yellow, almost white appearance to a fox red color.
Many believe that
the early yellow Labradors were a very dark yellow and fox red shade of yellow. As more yellow Labradors were produced
a lighter yellow would appear in litters and so breeders began to try and produce a lighter shade of yellow. This would become a
prevelant practice of many breeders as the fox red shade of yellow would slowly disappear from Labrador kennels and their breeding
programs. Support for this can be found in examining the pedigrees of many of today's fox red Labradors. There is a significant amount of line
breeding in fox red pedigrees today and one would expect to find dogs from either the Kelleygreen Labrador or Keepsake Labrador kennel at some point in a fox red lab's
pedigree. Line breeding was necessary to resurrect the fox red shade of yellow through the mid 1990's and forward. An example of line breeding would be breeding a grand-son and
a grand-daughter of one given dog together. We have been working with the fox red shade of yellow since 2004 and have done a great deal to diversify the pedigrees found
behind our current fox reds.
Producing a dark fox red Labrador as a breeder can be difficult or it can be relatively simple depending upon what the breeder's end goal is; either producing an all fox red litter
or diversifying the fox red pedigree gene pool. A solid breeding philosophy would involve a breeder from time to time adding an outside dog to their fox red pedigrees through an
outcross. That outside dog could be black, chocolate, or yellow and the resulting litter could be a combination of different colors. Breeding two fox red Labradors
together will most likely produce an all fox red litter. There is nothing wrong with that, however this could lead to close line breeding in the pedigree's behind the sire and
the dam. However some breeders look to improve the type and pedigree of fox red Labradors will breed with a yellow Labrador to produce a litter that may have a fox red pup in it
however the majority would be dark yellow or light fox red pups. Breeders that have invested in both goals are able to produce an all fox red litter while diversifying the pedigrees
of fox red Labradors. Diversifying the fox red Labrador gene pool is what makes the color difficult to breed for at times because there is no guarantee as to
what shade the pups will be. Regardless of how a
fox red labrador is produced the color is striking especially when the light hits the coat and you can see a sheen on the coat.
When fox red Labradors are born they resemble the color of a red clay drainage pipe and then spend the next year continuing to darken or redden until they have a dark fox red coat
color. All yellows darken over time and this is no different for fox red Labradors which is why there is always such a variation in them inside any breeder's program. An example
of color variation in a fox red would be our Skarloey (Rumajas Amber Sky Crimson Skarloey) who is pictured below. Some breeders would
consider him a light fox red labrador while other breeders would consider him a dark yellow labrador. Skarloey is a
result of diversifying our fox red Labrador pedigrees by breeding a light fox red female to a medium yellow Labrador male. Skarloey will produce fox red pups when bred to a
medium to dark fox red labrador female.
The fox red shade of yellow is just the color on the far end of the color spectrum for yellow Labradors. They are a Labrador and possess all of the great characteristics of a well
bred Labrador. There is not a difference other than the coat color as compared to a black, chocolate, or yellow Labrador. A well bred fox red Labrador can do all of the things that Labradors
are know for. Many breeders have worked at making sure that fox reds adhere to the American Kennel Club Labrador Retriever breed standard as far as type and temperament. It is becoming
more common to see a Fox Red Labrador now as opposed to ten years ago or fifteen years ago. The challenge for quality breeders to meet will be to produce a quality fox red Labrador as
the demand for them grows.
For the history of the fox red shade at Amber Sky Labradors and the dogs responsible please click on
Amber Sky Fox Red Labrador History.
For more information on our fox reds today click on
Amber Sky Fox Red labradors today.
For more general information on fox red Labradors please click on Amber Sky Fox Red labrador information. For information
on available or upcoming fox red Labrador puppies for sale please visit our Available Litters page.