What Is a Red Golden Retriever?

A red golden retriever is a dog of the golden retriever breed with red fur rather than the usual yellow or cream color. The American Kennel Club and the British Kennel Club consider the red coloration to be outside the breed standard, although the breed carries genes for red coloration.

The yellowish coat golden retrievers are known for is caused by phaeomelanin, a pigment that creates coat colors ranging from red to cream depending on other genes that alter its intensity. Golden retrievers also carry the recessive gene for red, which produces a solid red coat. Early in the breeding program that developed golden retrievers were dogs that were described as red by breeders, though their color would be called golden by modern dog experts. The first dogs of the breed were called yellow retrievers; since the 1930s, the standard has only allowed yellow or cream dogs, never red.