Your red Labradoodle is a unique dog!
Of course, you probably already know this! One glance at that cute face and sweet eyes is usually all it takes.
Whether you have a red Labradoodle or are thinking of getting one – here’s all you need to know about the red Labradoodle; from coat to color, personality to temperament, grooming to health.
So, let’s dive in and learn everything we can about the red Labradoodle!
What is a Red Labradoodle?
A red Labradoodle isn’t a separate mix from all the other Labradoodle dogs. Rather, it’s simply a Labradoodle dog with a red coat.
Here, ‘red’ is used to coat colors that can range from light ginger to a deep burnt auburn.
It can be hard to tell as a puppy what red your Labradoodle’s adult coat will be, as the coat won’t begin to fall out until around the age of 8 to 10 months.
We’ll talk a bit more in the next section here about red Labradoodle coat color genetics.
The Red Labradoodle as a Hybrid
This is why the Labradoodle is called a hybrid breed as it has parents from two different purebred lineages.
A red Labradoodle that has one miniature Poodle parent and one Labrador Retriever parent is called a mini-Labradoodle.
Because the Labradoodle is a hybrid dog breed that was first developed in Australia, sometimes this dog is also called the Australian Labradoodle.
Red Labradoodle Genetics
Canine genetics can be a complicated topic. Luckily, only Labradoodle breeders need to master the genetic issues that can help breed the healthiest pups.
Coat color genetics can be traced back to George Mendel, the ‘father of genetics.’ While he primarily worked with peas, the same principles apply.
Every dog has two pigments: black (eumelanin) and red (phaeomelanin). This is why the black and red coat colors are known as ‘default’ colors.
So, how come every dog in the world doesn’t have either a black or a red coat? This is because dogs also inherit other genes that can change these two colors.
Some genes will change black until it looks brown, blue, grey or some variation. Others will modify red until it looks yellow, golden, cream, orange, tan or some variation.
So this explains how the red Labradoodle gets that red-spectrum coat. But what determines eye and nose color?
Eye and nose color in your Red Labradoodle
Eumelanin is the gene that determines nose and eye color. Other genes can change the black of eumelanin until it appears brown, hazel, amber, or some other color.
A well-bred, true hybrid red Labradoodle will always inherit dark brown eyes and a black nose.
The Australian Labradoodle Association of America has some great pictures that show the different eye and coat colors that Labradoodle dogs can inherit.
Red Labradoodle Temperament
Labradoodles wouldn’t be as popular and well-loved as they are if they weren’t known to have loving, happy and family-friendly temperaments.
There’s no evidence that coat color influences a Labradoodle’s temperament. But since the Labradoodle is a hybrid, there hasn’t been any specific research to answer this question yet.
Hybrid dog breeding is not a new science. Nearly every purebred dog breed we know and love was originally a hybrid one!
In the case of the Labradoodle hybrid dog, this influence comes from the Standard Poodle and Labradoodle Retriever.
The best way to study Labradoodle traits and characteristics such as temperament is to learn all you can about each purebred parent dog breed’s typical temperament traits.
One big difference between established purebred dog breeds and developing hybrid breeds like the Labradoodle is that it’s impossible to predict how each parent dog’s genes may influence a given puppy.
For instance, some puppies may inherit the Poodle’s reserved and shy personality while other puppies may inherit the Labrador’s famous ‘never met a stranger’ personality.
This is why it is so important to meet and interact with both parent dogs before making a commitment to a puppy from a particular litter.
Luckily, both Standard Poodles and Labrador Retrievers are great family dogs who are good with children and incredibly smart, loyal and people-focused. This is one primary reason why the Labradoodle has become such a popular choice!
Red Labradoodle Health
At the time of publication, there is no research suggesting that Labradoodle health is influenced by coat color.
D Locus Dilute gene DNA test.
However, there is a slight possibility that a very light red Labradoodle’s coat color (which would appear more yellow than red) may be influenced by the D Locus Dilute gene. There is a genetic screening test for this.
The test can determine whether a Labradoodle puppy is a non-carrier (not at risk), a carrier (not at risk but can pass the gene along to puppies) or at risk.
The reason this is important is that an Australian Labradoodle who is a carrier or at risk may be more likely to develop genetic alopecia, a heritable hair loss condition that typically shows up between the ages of 4 months and 24 months.
Alopecia related to coat color dilution causes breakage of the hair shaft and increases the potential for bacterial infections (folliculitis).
Healthy parents = healthy puppies
While the risk that a Labradoodle with a red coat will inherit this dilute gene and its health issues is slight, what can influence your puppy’s health in adulthood is the health of each parent dog.
The best way to pick the healthiest puppy is to learn all you can about known genetic health issues in each parent dog and ensure your breeder has done all required pre-testing.
You can find out for yourself what genetic tests are required or recommended by consulting the free Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) database.
Known Standard Poodle genetic health issues
According to CHIC, Standard Poodles that will be bred should first be tested for hip dysplasia and eye issues.
Other recommended tests include cardiac, thyroid or sebaceous adenitis (SA).
Known Labrador Retriever genetic health issues
Labrador Retrievers that will be bred should first be tested for hip and elbow dysplasia, exercise-induced collapse (EIC), eye issues and D locus dilute DNA.
Other recommended tests include cardiac, centronuclear myopathy and prcd-PRA DNA.
Red Labradoodle Grooming
Any Labradoodle dog may inherit one of three coat types: wool, fleece or hair.
Wool Labradoodle coat type
The wool coat type is the most like a typical Poodle coat – dense, wiry, curly and mostly non-shedding.
This coat type is the most difficult to maintain because shed hair can quickly cause tangles and mats. Expect plenty of at-home and professional brushing and grooming!
Fleece Labradoodle coat type
The fleece coat type gets its name from its feel – silky with soft waves or curls. This type may not shed or shed seasonally.
This coat type can be looked after fairly easily at home with regular brushing and clipping to keep hair out of the eyes, ears, paw pads and private areas.
Hair Labradoodle coat type
The hair coat type is longer and straighter and more like a traditional Labrador Retriever coat. This coat will shed, emit an odor and could trigger allergies in those sensitive.
This coat type is more like the ‘wash-and-wear’ Labrador coat, but since it is longer, you will need to do some clipping for eyes and sanitary reasons.
Regular brushing will also be essential to keep shedding manageable.
What determines red Labradoodle coat type?
Which coat type your red Labradoodle inherits will depend on each purebred parent dog. In general, F1 breeding programs will produce the greatest variation in coat types in a litter.
Luckily, it’s possible to predict to some degree which coat type your Labradoodle puppy may grow up to have based on the breeder’s program.
Different Labradoodle breeding program types
Different Labradoodle breeders may choose to specialize in earlier, later or multi-generation Labradoodle breeding programs.
Early-generation breeding programs are called F1 or F1b programs. These will breed by crossing a purebred Standard Poodle with a purebred Labrador. While F1b programs will cross a purebred Poodle with a hybrid Labradoodle.
There is now also an F1bb breeding program that crosses a purebred Standard Poodle with an F1b Labradoodle. These puppies have a very high likelihood of having a non-shedding adult coat.
Later-generation breeding programs are called F2 or F2b. These programs will cross two early-generation hybrid Labradoodle parent dogs.
Multi-generation breed programs are called F3. This type of breeding program crosses later-generation hybrid Labradoodle parent dogs.
Labradoodle coat type genetic test
Knowing what type of breeding program your puppy comes from impacts coat type, which is one of the main reasons (besides temperament) why Labradoodles have become so popular.
If it’s very important for you to choose a puppy with a non-shedding coat type, there’s a test that can be performed to reduce (but not eliminate) the margin of error during your selection process.
While it can’t pinpoint exactly how a puppy’s adult coat will look or behave, it can determine whether their adult coat will fall into one of 3 types: non to very low-shedding, low shedding, moderate shedding.
The so-called ‘hypoallergenic’ Labradoodle coat which arises when a puppy is influenced by the Poodle parent’s coat genes.
No dog is truly hypo-allergenic, unfortunately, although this is still a popular marketing ploy some breeders may use.
How to pick a Reputable Labradoodle Breeder
Feeling sure you are selecting a reputable, health-focused Labradoodle breeder can be nerve-wracking, especially if this is your first time choosing a breeder to work with.
This article offers 41 ways to spot a bad breeder.
This article offers expert tips on how to pick a good breeder.
Your Red Labradoodle
We hope you have enjoyed learning more about your red Labradoodle dog!
Are you sharing your life with a red Labradoodle or do you plan to in the future? Do you have more questions that we can help you answer?
Please share your stories and questions in the comments section below!
References and Resources
Schmutz, S., DVM, et al, “Dog Eye Colours,” Dog Coat Colour Genetics, 2019.
Buzhardt, L., DVM, “Genetic Basics – Coat Color Genetics in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospital, 2016.
Ewing, A., et al, “Breed Coat Colors and Patterns,” Australian Labradoodle Association of America, 3019.
Martinez, M., “What is the Difference Between an F1, F1b F2, F2b and F3 Labradoodle?,” Chicago Area Labradors & Labradoodles Kennel, 2019.
Gestes, T., et al, “Labradoodle Coat Types,” Archview Labradoodles Kennel, 2019.
Hermeier, D., “Generations and Shedding,” Hermeier Doodles, 2019.