Red Golden Retriever Breed Guide

Red Golden RetrieverEver wonder about the Red Golden Retriever? Well, for starters, it is not exactly a breed on its own, but it is simply a variation of the regular Golden Retriever, except for a reddish coat, which is sometimes pictured as mahogany.

Additionally, the Red Golden Retriever has a shorter coat than the standard breed but nearly everything is the same between them. For instance, it is an athletic-type dog breed due to the hunting nature of the standard Golden.

If you are looking for a very sporty dog companion to join your jogging sessions and workouts, the Red Golden Retriever is for you. Aside from that, they are generally great family pets due to their vigorous personality, friendly temperament, and unique color that sets them apart from the standard Golden, which can be a head-turner for some!

Origins of the Breed

Since we did mention that the Red Golden Retriever is still technically a Golden Retriever, only with a different color, let’s have a history lesson of this purebred dog.

The Golden Retriever came from Scotland in the 19th century and was known to have originated from the breeding ideas of Lord Tweedmouth. He wanted a dog breed that is a mix of the Irish Setter Bloodhound and the Tweed Water Spaniel. Eventually, his creation became the popular and lovable Golden Retriever that we know of today.

The AKC ranks the Golden Retriever as the third most popular dog in America thanks to their hunting skills and lovable temperament. You will find the Golden Retriever in almost every American household.

However, when it comes to the Red Golden Retriever, it may have originated from its Irish Setter genes. Although the coat is not entirely red, it might have come from the Irish Setter “Big Red” in Jim Kjelgaard’s fictional novel, which popularized the name.

Although the Red Golden Retriever is technically a Golden Retriever, you will most likely not find them in dog shows due to their unique color. Instead, this reddish dog is often used as a service dog, rescue dog, or therapy dog. Moreover, since they come from a hunting breed, they are very athletic and require high-impact exercise.

Physical Appearance

Height: 23 to 24 inches (males), 21.5 to 22.5 inches (females)

Weight: 65 to 75 pounds (males), 55 to 65 pounds (females)

When compared to the standard purebred, the Red Golden Retriever is usually on the smaller end of the range, although it still qualifies as a large breed.

The deep mahogany reddish coat, believed to have descended from the Irish Setter, is what makes the Red Golden Retriever different from the original breed.

Red Golden Retriever puppies, when compared side by side with purebreds, will usually look smaller and shorter (but that might change in adulthood).

Their coat has an outer and undercoat, which makes the Red Golden Retriever ideal for cold climates. As with the regular breed, the Red Golden Retriever has a wavy and soft coat and it is also water-resistant, making them ideal for swimming. Like with the standard breed, they have a happily-wagging tail.

However, when it comes to breeding standards, the AKC doesn’t usually accept a Red Golden Retriever for a show dog. We suggest that you don’t get a Red Golden Retriever if you intend to have a competitive pet but do get one if you just want an active companion or working dog.

Temperament and Behavior

When it comes to temperament, the Red Golden Retriever has roughly the same kind as to its purebred counterpart. They tend to be patient and loyal to their owners and get along well with children. Most of all, they are okay for homes that have multiple pets (such as cats and the like) and they are also sociable to other people.

However, if you leave your Red Golden Retriever home alone, they are likely to develop separation anxiety and could become destructive if you don’t pay attention to them. They also don’t make great guard dogs since they will eventually become friendly towards a new person they meet, even if it is an intruder.

Nonetheless, the diligence and the dedication of the Red Golden Retriever makes it a great working dog, whether you need one for bomb-sniffing, drug detection, search and rescue operations, PWD assistance, or therapy dog. However, do keep in mind that compared to their purebred counterparts, they may a bit more aloof due to their constant work dedication.

Red Golden Retriever Training

Like their purebred counterpart, the Red Golden Retriever is a loyal dog that’s easy to train and fun to play with. They tend to be people-oriented dogs so they do well with outdoor exercises and activities.

Consider giving treats after training so that they’ll be positively motivated to do their best. That’s because they are a sensitive breed so they need positive reinforcement.

When taking your Red Golden Retriever out for a walk, they might be easily distracted with anything and everything since they love to beg for attention. Regardless, make sure that whatever activities you do together will be fun and exciting for them.

Puppy Training

When it comes to Red Golden Retriever puppies, you should be prepared to have very hyperactive little fur babies. For one, they will most likely chew and destroy your furniture unless you train them properly. They also have little to no control over their peeing so potty training is important.

Confining them is important because they are very unpredictable and are full of energy. Make sure they have plenty of toys to play with and a wide space to roam around and play. It might be difficult for the first few months but with proper training and patience, your destructive little puppies will eventually grow into a fun and loving Red Golden Retrievers.

Caring for a Red Golden Retriever

When it comes to taking care of your Red Golden Retriever, here are some pointers to consider in the different aspects of doggy care:


Your Red Golden Retriever needs about 1 to 2 times a week of brushing. Compared to the regular Golden Retriever, this reddish variation will shed considerably less but they will still shed nonetheless. That’s because they have an outer coat that’s slightly shorter. Grooming them should start when they’re still puppies, which can be frustrating for the first-time fur parent due to their hyperactive temperament.

When it comes to the salon, the feathering fur on their neck, legs, ears, and feet needs to be clipped every 2 months to avoid mats and tangles. Nonetheless, the Red Golden Retriever has less fur on such areas compared to the standard Golden Retriever.

As for bath time, the Red Golden Retriever is recommended to be bathed every 4 weeks. However, this may also depend on your dog’s behavior – if they frequently go outdoors and rolls around in the dirt, you’ll need to bathe them more often.


Because the Red Golden Retriever is a very active breed, they will need lots of protein. Consider quality meat sources for their food and lessen (or avoid) grains and preservatives. As with most dogs, you should divide their meal to 2 times a day with a total of 2 cups. This also includes treats that you give to them as a reward for training accomplishments.

Keep in mind that the Red Golden Retriever is a breed that’s likely to develop obesity when not exercised properly or fed right. Make sure you limit and schedule their food to avoid excessive begging. You may also want to ask your vet about alternative foods if your dog shows signs of food allergy.

Exercise and Physical Activity

The Red Golden Retriever is quite an active breed so they work best for homes with a large yard. It will be difficult for you to maintain your dog’s energy levels and destructive behavior if your home is too small for them to roam around and play. This is also why some rescues only permit Red Golden Retriever adoption for homes with sufficient space.

Another important note about Red Golden Retrievers is that since they were designed to be hunting dogs, they will most likely use their mouths more often than other breeds. Thus, even from puppyhood, they love to chew on nearly anything they get their hands on, so it’s best to keep your favorite shoes and shirt away from them!

Consider having a lot of chew toys, and by that, we mean A LOT. The Red Golden Retriever is a high-energy breed so they will need lots of activities to keep them busy, especially when their owner is not around. Of course, a standard game of fetch will also do the trick for your Red Golden Retriever.

Unlike a regular type, this breed variation needs about an hour of exercise a day – or shorter but with a lot of intensity and running.

Red Golden Retriever Health

The Red Golden Retriever is commonly expected to live around 10 to 12 years depending on their health conditions, lifestyle, and other factors. As with all Golden Retriever types, unfortunately, this dog breed variation is susceptible to cancer (such as lymphoma). That’s why you should be wary when using pesticides in your garden.

In addition to that, the Red Golden Retriever also has a couple of other health problems, such as the following:

  • Eye problems
  • Sub-aortic stenosis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Skin problems
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia

To avoid such problems, you should consider choosing your breeder wisely. Make sure that the parents passed genetic and health screening and have the necessary certificates to prove it. Moreover, taking your pet to the vet regularly will help screen any potential major problem in the future.

As mentioned above, if you choose your dog food wisely, it will help your Red Golden Retriever to grow healthy. Don’t settle for high-grain food and those with questionable by-products (which may include crushed animal parts). We recommend getting your Red Golden Retriever organic and high-protein food.

Family-Friendly Breed?

Generally speaking, all Golden Retrievers tend to be great family pets, and the Red Golden Retriever is no exception to that. However, do keep in mind that this breed is even more active than their original counterpart so they need more exercise.

They make great companions for kids and other pets so it is a viable choice for a family pet. Just make sure that your children know the basics of handling a pet and treating your dog will utmost respect.

Since the Red Golden Retriever is also a therapy dog, it will help people who need a sporty companion and a best friend for life. You may consider the Red Golden Retriever if you live alone and have a lot of time in your hands that you want to use actively and positively.

Finding a Red Golden Retriever

Looking for a breeder for a Red Golden Retriever is a bit tricky since it is not a breed of its own. You can start by going to breeders who specialize in Golden Retrievers. Do keep in mind that since they have a unique color, this reddish variation will usually cost more than the standard Golden puppies.

No matter which breeder you choose, always consider getting health certificates and visiting the living quarters of your ideal puppy. It is important that the breeder truly cares for their pets and their future owners.

You may also want to know about the following facts from your breeder:

  • Number of litters produced
  • Are they bred as show dogs or work dogs?
  • The personality of the puppy in question
  • Any other information about their parents

However, if you simply want to adopt, consider looking for rescues that focus on Golden Retrievers. There are many places online to look for, as well as local shelters in your locality you can ask.


So, do you think that the Red Golden Retriever the best pet for you? Well, that’s up to you to decide. But generally, they don’t have a lot of differences with the original counterpart so if you love Golden Retrievers, you’ll surely love this reddish variation.


I had my first litter three years later. It was by Tigathoe’s Pious Pete, a serious field competitor. After a great deal of cajoling and bribery on the part of my family members, I enrolled in an Obedience Class. At the same time, I took on my relative’s dog and went High In Trial with him.

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