What Is A Red Golden Retriever?

You are not the only one looking for a golden retriever to be your new pet. They are the fourth most loved dog breed in America (as of 2020).

You may have found the red-golden retriever while searching for the right puppy to adopt.

These are often referred to as “red retrievers”, but they have a striking red coat.

A red-haired golden retriever is a different breed from the more traditional golden retriever. However, there are some other characteristics that make a red retriever dog special, like size and coat. But when it comes down to finding an intelligent, trained, loyal, friendly pet, a golden retriever with red hair is just as great as a golden retriever with lighter hair.

Continue reading to learn all you can about these dark-red golden retrievers.

What is a Red Golden Retriever?

The red golden retriever is a variation of the golden retriever breed. However, it has a darker coat that most golden retrievers. The coat is mahogany in color and has a distinct red hue.

Officially, there are three types of golden retrievers: light golden, dark golden, and golden. The red retriever is the most distinguished of all three colors, but it falls under the last category.

Red retrievers are therefore considered abnormalities, and thus ineligible for participation in dog shows.

Contrary to other golden retrievers whose hair tends to get lighter or darker as they age, the red golden retriever will keep its mahogany color throughout its lifetime (though you might notice some gray hairs).

They share the same dark brown nose, eyes, lips, and nails as most golden retrievers.

Similar to other goldens, the color of their nose and other features may lighten to a rose color when exposed to cold temperatures or lack of sunlight. This natural fading is common in goldens.

This natural genetic variation in the golden retriever breed gives rise to red color. This color is recessive and so it is not common.

OUR EXPERIENCE Kiko, our family’s Golden Retriever, was darker than the rest and would have been classified as a Red Retriever. Raven, our second Golden Retriever, was almost white and is often called an English Cream Golden Retriever or a platinum retriever. Our Tank was in the middle of this color chart and was a lighter hue of gold.

Breed History

In the middle of the 19th century, wildfowl hunting was very popular in the Scottish Highlands. Golden retrievers were used as gun dogs.

The Scottish elite didn’t believe their existing breeds of retriever were suitable for retrieving the fowl.

The retrieving dogs had to have better weapons to capture the game. They also needed to be able to retrieve game from water and land, since the hunting grounds were surrounded by marsh ponds.

Dudley Marjoribanks was the man who developed the breed. He owned a large estate near Glen Affric, Scotland.

This breed is a cross between a Tweed water spaniel (now extinct), Irish Setter and bloodhound. It was developed over about 50 years.

The Kennel Club first recognized golden retrievers in 1903. They were then displayed in 1908. In 1911, they were officially recognized as the breed that they are today.

The dog was not recognized in the United States until 14 years later, when it was taken by the Dudley Marjoribanks’ sons. After which, the breed became very popular.

Red retrievers are also known as red setters, and their mahogany-colored coats can be seen on red retrievers.

Differences Between Golden Retrievers And Red Golden Retrievers

The main difference between red and standard golden retrievers is the color. However, there are other differences.

It is important to note that these genetic differences are not caused by the same genetic markers which cause red retrievers with mahogany colors.

Red retrievers are more likely to come from hunting lines. Many other goldens, however, are bred to be pets or service dogs. Different characteristics have resulted in different dogs.

Red retrievers are typically smaller and lighter than other goldens.

The average weight for male red retrievers is between 65 and 75 pounds. They will measure 22-23 inches high, while standard goldens can grow up to an inch or more.

The 55-to-65-pound range for female red retrievers is again lower than that used for golden retrievers. They are 20 to 21 inches tall, whereas standard goldens might be one inch higher.

They are more athletic than other goldens and tend to be more fit and streamlined.

Red retrievers are the smallest breed of a golden retriever.

Their coat texture is also slightly different. They have a shorter undercoat than most goldens and a longer exterior coat. This allows them to retain heat even in colder temperatures.

The golden overcoat is feathery around their ears, neck, and underbelly. They shed a lot of hair, which is why they are so prolific.

Red retrievers have a shorter outer coat, meaning they shed less and require less grooming. They shed more than other dog breeds, but they still shed a lot.

To keep their coats in check, all retrievers must be groomed at very least once per week.


Red retrievers are a great choice for household pets because they have the same friendly temperament as goldens and are able to expend a lot more energy.

Red goldens are intelligent and can be trained quickly. They also have the intelligence to understand what is needed without being told.

This is why golden retrievers are great for work and often help with disability assistance.

They are also food-motivated. This helps them to be trainable since they are hungry for tasty treats. However, it can also lead to them gaining weight if they don’t have proper diet control.

They are great family pets because they can bond easily with people. They also need to be part of the family. They must be a part of the family and not be left alone.

They get along well with children, dogs, and strangers. They are large but not clumsy. Their soft mouth allows them to pick up things without biting. Children are very careful around them, so accidents are rare.

They require at least one hour of exercise each day and plenty of mental stimulation. They are intelligent enough not to do this.

Health issues

The average life expectancy for red retrievers is between 10 and 12 years.

Unfortunately, they can also be affected by the same medical conditions as golden retrievers later in life.

Many types of cancer are common in goldens. Joint problems like hip and elbow dysplasia and hock osteochondrosis are also common. This can limit goldens’ movement in later years and make it difficult for them to get the exercise that they need.

As the joints are so painfully against surfaces, it can make sleeping difficult. Senior goldens will often require an orthopedic dog bed.

Eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy or cataracts are also common in golden retrievers.

Subaortic Stenosis, an obstruction of the heart ventricle and myasthenia Gravis are other common issues. Hypothyroidism can also cause hormonal imbalances.


If you’re looking for a show dog, the only reason to not get a red retriever would be.

American Kennel Club guidelines state that darker reds are not allowed in the ring. They are unlikely to win significant points if they compete even if they are allowed.

This is because the dogs must be an “example” of the breed to participate in the show. The red color variation is not standard and is therefore considered outside the breed standard.

If a dog has been spayed or neutered, they are not allowed to participate in shows. Although the rule does not apply to all shows, some shows ban tail docking or ear cropping as they are considered surgical alterations to a dog’s appearance.


A golden retriever puppy purchased from a breeder will cost you at least $1,000.

Red retrievers are rarer than other dogs and so can be more expensive. You will need to spend upwards of $3,000 to get one.

UPDATE: The $1,000-$3,000 price range for a Golden Retriever puppy is quite common. We are currently in the middle COVID-19 Pandemic, and prices for puppies have soared. We’ve found the following prices from reliable breeders for Golden Retriever puppies: $3,500; $4,000; and $4,300.

Red retrievers may be available for adoption from shelters. This listing contains a complete listing of rescues for golden retrievers by state .

You can expect to pay around $1,000 per year for a red retriever, given their size and appetite.

In the first few years, your bill might be more expensive at $1,500 to cover any additional medical expenses such as vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and other medical costs.

Adopting a Red Retriever

To ensure you are prepared for the responsibility of adopting a red-tailed retriever, here are some questions to ask.

  • Are you ready to assume the responsibility of a dog’s owner for the next 10-12 years? This is the life expectancy for a golden retriever.
  • Can I afford the cost of food, medical treatment, and any other expenses that a dog requires for the next ten years? Keep in mind that golden retriever dogs are large and eat a lot. Your dog will need to be cared for at least $1,000 annually.
  • Are you willing to give a red-tailed retriever the exercise it requires? This means that you should give your red retriever at least 45 to 90 minutes each day. Weekends may be more difficult.
  • Are you able to devote enough time to your golden retriever? Golden retrievers are not dogs that can be left alone for more than 10 hours per day while you work.
  • Are there people you can trust to look after your dog while you’re away or when you are in need of assistance? These could be family members or friends, or a facility that offers dog care in your area.
  • Do you have any dog hair problems? If you have allergies to goldens, they aren’t the right choice. To keep your house clean and tidy, you will need to do regular cleaning. You will also need to tolerate some dog hair.


What is a Red Retriever?

Red retrievers are golden retrievers that have a mahogany-colored coat instead of the traditional golden coat. This is a natural genetic variation, but the mahogany-colored genes in dogs are recessive.

Red retriever puppies are more expensive than golden puppies. The American Kennel Club can exclude them from competitions.

What is the cost of Red Golden Retrievers?

A standard golden retriever puppy purchased from a reliable breeder should be around $1,000. However, a new puppy should cost you around $3,000 or more.

What is the Difference Between a Red Retriever and a Golden Retriever?

The coat color is the main difference between a golden retriever and a red retriever. Golden retrievers have a golden-colored coat while red retrievers have a deep mahogany colour.

There are some other differences between golden and red retrievers.

Red retrievers are smaller and more energetic than other dogs, so they require more exercise and have a shorter coat.

They shed less than golden retrievers but still shed more than other breeds.

What are the Three Types of Golden Retrievers?

There are three types of golden retrievers: American, Canadian, and English. There is a subtle difference between these three varieties.

English goldens are more stocky than the other types. Canadian goldens have the thinnest hairs.

English golden retrievers are also lighter in color and may have a virtually white coat. The red retriever variety exists in all three types.

What Are the Different Colors of Golden Retrievers

The American Kennel Club recognizes three colors of golden retriever: dark, light, and golden. The dark golden variety can also include red retrievers.

They stand out because of the red hues in its coat. This is why they are often called red or mahogany.

This variation is what makes red goldens ineligible to participate in shows. It is an abnormal variation of the golden retriever breed.

Are Red Golden Retrievers Rare?

Recessive means that the gene that turns golden retrievers red is rare. It is difficult to find a red retriever pup. A red retriever pup will cost you three times more than a golden pup.