‘’Labrador’s colour: homogenous black, yellow or brown (liver/chocolate brown). The yellow colour may vary from light creamy colour to fox red.’’ And the colour fox red is exactly what this story is about... even though in the official documents, of course, the assigned colour is yellow.
Currently I can be proud about the first fox red Labradors in Latvia, for whom I am deeply grateful to Nicole Lüdecke, Sandra and Oswald Schumann, Michael Wille and Judy McCormick. They believed in my wish to introduce the red Labradors in Latvia and were extremely patient, providing answers to my never-ending questions.
There are many myths, fallacies and gossip about the red Labradors. Prior to this page’s creation I gathered some information which I would like to share with you.
Frequently asked questions:
• Are the fox red Labradors the same brown Labradors?
Obviously not. The fox red colour is the yellow hair’s darkest tone. Fox red Labrador’s hair is identified as a yellow colour in the documents and it has nothing to do with the liver/chocolate colour! Most of the fox red Labradors do not carry the brown gene and that is actually preferable. The brown gene is a disintegrated black gene and carries along with it undesirable visual features.
• Are the fox red Labradors prone to more illnesses?
The fox red Labradors are prone to the same illnesses as any other Labradors of different colours.
• Can a yellow Labrador growing up change its colour and become red?
No. A yellow Labrador puppy growing up will maintain its yellow. You only can get born fox red.
• Is it possible that the colour tone of a fox red puppy changes with age?
Yes, but slightly. As a puppy grows, the tone changes various times which is why it is somewhat hard to tell the precise tone of colour that an adult dog will have based on its hair colour’s intensity. Majority of the red Labradors are more dark yellow than red and they may differ from one another either with the red bristle percentage amount, or with their tone intensity or even with their undercoat’s tone.
Often when people hear ‘’fox red Labradors’’, they think that it is actually brightly red but that is not the case. Even more so, following the Labrador standard, a Labrador’s hair cannot be brightly red or mahogany. We’re talking about a very deep and intensive yellow-red colour which is very rare.
• How to differentiate a fox red Labrador from the usual yellow and brown Labradors?
Sometimes it is a tricky task for the inexperienced. In such a situation, you would be fortunate, if the Labradors’ kennel’s owners could show you the phenotype and genotype test results from both of the puppies’ parents. According to the E and B alleles you can exclude the possibility of brown hair and the undesirable and weak pigmentation. Also, from the D allele you can tell the hair colour’s level of intensity . You should seek a cynologist’s assistance in these matters.
It is altogether harder to know for sure with the fox red tone because genes alleles, which is in charge of the fox red tone’s intensity of a yellow dog (from dark red to light beige), are still under research and laboratories do not perform genetic analyses in these locuss yet. Of course, it is only a matter of time, but until then I suggest to observe and follow the new-born’s nose pigmentation.
A yellow new-born Labrador puppy’s nose pigmentation is light pink and these puppies will grow up as our common light Labradors. Brown Labrador puppy’s tip of the nose is brown and will remain so for the rest of its life. However, after they are born, the dark red Labradors have dark red nose pigmentation. By the time a puppy is viable for selling, all of the yellow Labrador puppies’ noses have coloured black, except for the puppies with genotype eebb (which is extremely undesirable).
Another great indicator is the little puppy’s nail colour. The darker red is the colour of the nails, the redder will be the dog’s hair as it grows.