Facts you need to know about the Red Golden Retriever

Last Updated on April 27, 2023

Sometimes mistaken for the Irish Setter, the Red Golden Retriever is a purebred Golden, but with red coloring. There can also be some differences in temperament and appearance, but they’re pretty much the same breed.

If you are thinking about getting a Red Golden Retriever puppy to call your own, keep reading to learn more about the mahogany-colored variation and its many wonderful traits.

The smiling Red Golden Retriever dog

The Red Golden Retriever at a Glance

We’ve put together a table below to give you a quick overview of the Red Golden Retriever.

Breed Summary Red Golden Retriever Quick Facts
Breed Purpose Hunting Dog
Breed Size Medium to Large
Height 21.5 to 24 inches (55 to 61 cm)
Weight 55 to 75 pounds (25 to 34 kg)
Coat Type Double Coat (Outercoat has less feathering,
is soft, wavy, and long, but is slightly shorter
than the regular Golden Retriever’s)
Shedding Moderate; Slightly less than the
regular Golden Retriever’s shedding
Most Popular Coat Colors Rust or Mahogany
Lifespan 10 to 12 years
Temperament Loving, Energetic
Energy High
Exercise Needs 1 hour
Average Price $2,000 to $3,000

Origin: Where are Golden Retrievers from?

As a purebred Golden Retriever, their history can be traced back to the 1800s in England Scotland where a number of breeds were crossed to develop the perfect dog for hunting waterfowl.

It is likely that the Saint John’s Dog, Labrador Retriever, Tweed Water Spaniel, Red Setter, Wavy-Coated Retriever, and Bloodhound all contributed to create the Golden Retriever we know and love today.

Meet the Red Golden Retriever puppies
Red Golden Retriever puppies

All in all, Goldens were bred for their obedience, love of water, tolerance of the cold, and soft-mouthed retrieval techniques.

In fact, the lineage of most of today’s Red Golden Retrievers can be traced back to their use as excellent gun dogs.

Despite their creation in Europe in the 1800s, this breed was not well-known until around 1904 and was not officially recognized until 1913. In 1925 Golden Retrievers finally gained recognition by the American Kennel Club.

During their development, the yellow color was favored, however, a redder dog has been around since the beginning.

There are many people who believe that the Red Golden Retriever was created by crossing a Golden Retriever with an Irish Red Setter. The Irish Setter’s coat is typically red, chestnut or mahogany coloured.

This leads to a red-colored Golden Retriever whose color does not fade with age as the typical Golden Retriever does. 

The Red Golden Retriever vs a Yellow Golden Retriever

The sleeping Yellow and Red Golden Retrievers

The obvious main difference between a Red Golden Retriever and the standard yellow Golden Retriever is the coloring.

While Golden Retrievers are available in a variety of colors, from a light cream to deep gold, the Red Golden Retriever is rust or mahogany colored.

The coat of the Red Golden Retriever is not accepted by the AKC’s breed standards and a mahogany Golden Retriever will likely be disqualified in the show ring. 

In addition, the coat of the Red Golden Retriever can be a little shorter than his show-bred Golden Retriever brother, while other physical differences include a slimmer body.

With most Red Golden Retrievers bred for hunting and sporting purposes they can be smaller and have more energy than a heaver-set, larger show Golden Retriever. 

The exquisite color of the Red Golden Retriever

A Red Golden Retriever puppy will be super cute and absolutely breathtaking. Their gorgeous coloring is matched by a well-proportioned body.

This athletic dog will have a rectangular build that makes them slightly longer than they are tall, with a broad head that tapers to the muzzle with a black nose.

The ears will hang down in a pendulum style while the round dark eyes of the Red Golden Retriever are characteristic of this breed, giving them an intelligent, alert look.

Want to know what your Red Golden Retriever puppy will look like as it grows up, check out this video:

How Big Will a Red Golden Retriever Get?

The Red Golden Retriever classifies as a medium-to-large-sized dog. A female Red Golden can grow around 21.5 to 22.5 inches (55 to 57 cm) and can weigh between 55 to 65 pounds (25 to 29.5 kg).

The male Red Golden Retriever can grow slightly taller at 23 to 24 inches (58 to 61 cm) and heavier at 65 to 75 pounds (30 to 34 kg) than the female counterpart.

Red Golden Retrievers are considered full-grown when they reach their adult height anywhere between 9 to 12 months of age.

Red Golden Retriever
Physical Features
Male Female
Height 23 to 24 inches
(58 to 61 cm)
21.5 to 22.5 inches
(55 to 57 cm)
Weight 65 to 75 pounds
(30 to 34 kg)
55 to 65 pounds
(25 to 29.5 kg)

Compared to a show Golden Retriever, a Red Golden Retriever will be a bit more streamlined and lighter. This graceful and elegant dog has an athletic, compact figure. 

A red-haired pretty pooch

While the coat of the Red Golden Retriever is feathered on the legs and underbody, it is typically a medium length and slightly shorter when compared to your standard Golden Retriever. 

The coat can be straight or wavy but will always have an undercoat for protection against the water and cold, harsh weather. The undercoat of the Red Golden Retriever will be short and dense with the outercoat longer and softer.

The beautiful Red Golden Retriever in the snow

Red Golden Retriever temperament

All Golden Retrievers are known for their intelligent, loving natures. These happy dogs love to be around their families, are extremely calm and patient with children, and get along with strangers. They also typically mesh well with other family pets.

Due to their love of attention, these dogs can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone or ignored for too long. They also have a tendency to bark at new visitors but will sooner lick a newcomer than bite so they don’t make for good guard dogs.

However, due to their intelligence and history as working dogs, the Red Golden Retriever is well suited in search and rescue, bomb and drug detection work, and even as a therapy or disabled assistance dog. 

Their adaptable nature makes them well suited to a range of environments, however, their strong working drive can make them a touch less sociable than typical Golden Retrievers.

Keeping your Red Golden Retriever happy and healthy

The energetic Red Golden Retriever
The energetic Red Golden Retriever is happy to work and will be very obedient but training should start at a young age. As these dogs have been bred to retrieve waterfowl they love to use their mouths, especially as a puppy.

While they don’t bite to hurt, the Red Golden Retriever will need a variety of chew toys to keep them busy.

Thankfully because they love to have a job to do, your Red Golden Retriever puppy will be easy to train, excelling at tasks such as agility and obedience training.

They will also love to play fetch and their active drive means they require more intense exercising than a show Golden Retriever. 

In addition to dog sports and playing fetch, the Red Golden Retriever will love to run and makes for a great sporting partner, requiring at least 60 minutes of exercise every day.

Don’t miss: Golden Retriever Training Guide

Feeding your pretty puppy

A high-energy dog requires a high-quality dog food and this is definitely the case with the Red Golden Retriever.

Be sure to avoid processed and starchy grains and vegetables as well as fruits that are high in fructose.

These foods can also lead to inflammation which increases the risk of cancer in this breed.

Food should be split between two daily meals with a total of two to three cups a day. You should also remember that any treats you give your Red Golden Retriever should be included their daily intake.

This breed is prone to obesity and as your puppy will love to eat anything it sees, it’s vital to watch your dog’s weight.

Grooming your Red Golden Retriever

As with Golden Retrievers, this breed requires quite a bit of maintenance when it comes to keeping their coat shiny and healthy.

Daily brushing is a necessity with the Red Golden retriever known to shed all year round, with an increase in shedding in fall and spring due to the changing of the seasons.

The use of an undercoat rake will help to reduce shedding. 

In addition, you will want to wash your Red Golden Retriever puppy at least once a month while their nails should be trimmed every few weeks and their ears checked and cleaned weekly to prevent the build-up of disease and any infections from occurring. 

Don’t miss: Why is your Golden Retriever shedding & how to deal with it

Red Golden Retriever health issues

Smiling Red Golden Retriever
Source: @zakzakpaddywhack / IG

The lifespan of the Red Golden Retriever typically sits somewhere between 10 and 12 years. While the Red Golden Retriever is less sensitive to abrasions, due to thicker skin on their chest, shoulders, and back, as with all Golden Retrievers, this breed is highly prone to developing cancer in its later years. 

Dogs that have been spayed or neutered before they reach the age of one year old seem to be more susceptible to the disease, with the most common types of cancers being lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma. 

In order to avoid the potential risk of cancer forming in your dog, be sure to avoid toxins such as pesticides and herbicides used on lawns and plants. 

Other health ailments that can affect the Red Golden Retriever include Hip and Elbow Dysplasia and Hock Osteochondrosis which affect movement, Progressive Retinal Atrophy which is a degenerative disease which can lead to blindness, the heart disease Subaortic Stenosis, Myasthenia Gravis which can lead to weakness and fatigue.

Another disease that can affect this breed is Hypothyroidism which can lead to weight gain and is one of the reasons why you need to be vigilant in the feedings of your Red Golden Retriever. 

Red Golden Retriever puppies for sale

While Golden Retrievers develop their coloring with age, it can be difficult to tell exactly what color your Golden Retriever will be when purchasing a puppy.

The best way to choose a Red Golden Retriever is to look at their ears as this will be most similar to their eventual adult coloring.

While a yellow Golden Retriever can cost around $800, the Red Golden Retriever will fetch a much higher price due to their rarity and the fact that they are highly sought after. You can expect to pay as much as $2,000 to $3,000 for this breed.

Red Golden Retriever puppy

Red Golden Retriever breeders

While the Red Golden Retriever is not recognized as its own breed, many Golden Retriever breeders do specialize in breeding a darker, more mahogany-colored dog. 

While you may find a dedicated Red Golden Retriever breeder in your area, the most important thing to look at before buying a puppy is to use a breeder who does proper health testing and really cares for the parent dogs.

Here are some Red Golden Retriever enthusiasts to get you started on your search for the perfect puppy to welcome into your home:

  1. Ridley’s Red Retrievers
  2. Elysian Family Ranch
  3. Bounderhill Goldens

Red Golden Retrievers for adoption

If you want to get a Red Golden Retriever from a rescue or adoption center, then a good place to start your search is by looking at sites that specialize in all types of Golden Retrievers. Here are just a few to kick off the search:

  1. Golden Retriever Rescue
  2. Golden Beginnings
  3. Triad Golden Retriever Rescue

Should I get a Red Golden Retriever puppy?

A loving and devoted companion, a Red Golden Retriever is easy to train and loves to work. These pups will be a perfect addition to an active family.

However, if you are planning on showing your dog then this breed is not a good choice as they will be scored down or disqualified for their coat.

Do you have one of these dogs? Let us know in the comments below.


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