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Red Golden Retriever: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 14, 2024 by Dogster Team

Red Golden Retriever Dog Standing In Front Of A Pond

Red Golden Retriever: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

The Golden Retriever is a beautiful and friendly dog breed; one of the color varieties found in this breed is the Red Golden Retriever; distinguished from the other for its vibrant copper-red coat. These dogs are renowned for their intelligence, loyalty, and affectionate nature, making them excellent companions for active families. The color variation in Red Golden Retrievers is due to specific genetics that affect their coat color.

Breed Overview


21–24 inches


55–75 pounds


10–12 years


Red, or dark golden

Suitable for:

Active families, those looking for a friendly and loyal dog


Loyal & loving, intelligent, easy to train, friendly, gets along with other pets

The Red Golden Retriever is a variation of the popular Golden Retriever breed. This breed can be found in light golden (white), golden (cream), and dark golden (red). The Red Golden Retriever has a deep red or mahogany coat, while the more traditional Golden Retriever has a lighter, cream-colored coat. All purebred Golden Retrievers carry a double-recessive (e/e) gene which prohibits black pigment in their hair. This is the reason why you can not find black or brown golden retrievers.

The color variation is caused by specific genes responsible for coat pigmentation. These genes determine the intensity and distribution of the red pigment, resulting in the unique red coat of the Red Golden Retriever. The allele C allows for the full rich color of the tan, red, or golden coat, while the allele cch lightens or dilutes the pigmentation. In the case of the red AKA dark Golden Retrievers, they have dominant, rich (C/C) genes.

Red Golden Retriever Breed Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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The Earliest Records of Red Golden Retrievers in History

The history of the Red Golden Retriever can be traced back to the origins of the Golden Retriever breed in the mid-19th century. The breed was developed by Lord Tweedmouth in Scotland, who wanted to create a skilled hunting dog that was also a good family companion. He crossed a yellow Wavy-Coated Retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel, which resulted in the first Golden Retrievers. Over time, selective breeding led to the development of the Red Golden Retriever, a variation with a darker coat color.

Red Golden Retriever puppy laying in grass
Image Credit: Shell1998, Shutterstock

How Red Golden Retrievers Gained Popularity

The Red Golden Retriever gained popularity alongside the traditional Golden Retriever, as people began to appreciate the breed’s versatility, intelligence, and friendly temperament. These dogs’ unique red coats made them stand out from other retrievers, attracting the attention of dog enthusiasts. 

Red Golden Retrievers have been used for various purposes such as hunting, search and rescue, therapy work, and assistance dogs for the disabled. Their charming personality and striking appearance have also made them popular choices for families and pet owners worldwide.

Formal Recognition of Red Golden Retrievers

The Red Golden Retriever is not recognized as a separate breed from the traditional Golden Retriever. However, the Golden Retriever breed, which includes the Red Golden Retriever, was first recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1925. The breed has since become one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, consistently ranking within the top five for many years. The Red Golden Retriever continues to be a beloved variation of the breed, celebrated for its distinctive coat color and exceptional qualities.

Fluffy dark Golden Retriever in competition
Image Credit: Charlotte Lehman, Shutterstock

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Top 5 Unique Facts About the Red Golden Retriever

1. They Are Gentle

Red Golden Retrievers are known for their gentle and friendly nature, making them excellent companions for children.

2. Their Cost

On average, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,500 for a Red Golden Retriever puppy.

3. They Can Swim Well

Red Golden Retrievers are excellent swimmers, thanks to their water-repellent double coat and webbed feet.

4. Separation Anxiety

Red Golden Retrievers can be prone to separation anxiety due to their loyal and affectionate and very social nature.

5. Service Dogs

Red Golden Retrievers have successfully been trained as service dogs, thanks to their intelligence, trainability, and gentle temperament.

Golden Retriever wearing a harness while sitting by a cliff
Image Credit: EB Adventure Photography, Shutterstock

Do Red Golden Retrievers Make Good Pets?

Red Golden Retrievers make excellent pets. Owning a Red Golden Retriever can be a rewarding experience, but it’s essential to understand their specific needs in terms of grooming, health, exercise, space, and diet.

  • Grooming: Red Golden Retrievers have a thick, water-repellent double coat that requires regular brushing to minimize shedding and prevent matting. They should be groomed at least once a week, with more frequent brushing during shedding seasons.
  • Health: This breed is prone to certain medical conditions, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, cancer, and heart issues. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventive care can help keep your Red Golden Retriever healthy.
  • Energy and Space: Red Golden Retrievers are energetic dogs that require daily exercise to stay physically and mentally stimulated. They’re best suited for homes with a backyard or access to open spaces for play and exercise.
  • Diet: A well-balanced diet is essential for maintaining a Red Golden Retriever’s overall health. High-quality dog food, appropriate for their age, size, and activity level, should be provided. It’s important to monitor their weight and adjust their food intake accordingly to prevent obesity.

The ideal home for a Red Golden Retriever would be one where they can receive plenty of love, attention, and mental stimulation. These dogs thrive in active households where they can participate in family activities and outdoor adventures. A home with a yard or easy access to parks and open spaces would be beneficial for their exercise needs. Red Golden Retrievers are great with children and other pets, making them an excellent addition to families of various sizes and dynamics.

a golden retriever dog licking its paw
Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

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The Red Golden Retriever is a stunning variation of the beloved Golden Retriever breed. Its striking red coat, loyal disposition, and versatile abilities make this breed have captured the hearts of dog lovers worldwide. If you’re considering adding a Red Golden Retriever to your family, you can look forward to years of love, companionship, and adventure with this remarkable dog. By understanding and meeting their specific needs, you’ll ensure a happy and healthy life together.

Featured Image Credit: Hollysdogs, Shutterstock

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