Red Golden Retriever: The Complete Dog Breed Guide

Red Golden Retriever Feature

Golden Retrievers have always been a very popular breed, mainly because of how versatile they are. Not only are they great companions, they are also excellent working and show dogs.

The Red Golden Retriever is in fact a purebred Golden Retriever; the only difference is they have a dark golden coat which appears red.

These beautiful canines have an equally beautiful personality. They are naturally happy, friendly and intelligent with a love for life.

It’s their wonderful personality that makes so well suited to, well, anyone. They are very sociable with children, dogs and other household pets.

They can be high energy and maintenance, but if you are willing to put in the time, a Red Golden Retriever dog can make the best family addition.

Keep reading to find out why this pooch is an all around fantastic breed!

Red Golden Retriever Dog Breed Overview

Red Golden Retriever dog
Their wonderful personality makes them the perfect fit for families and singletons.

This pooch has always been a working dog, though their popularity as companion dogs has continued to rise over the years.

Historically they were bred to retrieve waterfowl for the aristocrats during the hunting season.

Even though the Kennel Club doesn’t recognize them, because of their red coat, these red furry friends take after their Golden siblings in every single way; both bred to be sporting dogs.

Their calm temperament, intelligence and gentil mouths have made them the perfect breed to become guide dogs and therapy dogs.

Breed Origin

To know where Red Golden Retrievers came from, we first need to look at the origins of the Golden Retriever.

During the 18th century canine breeding was very popular as breeder’s were trying to find the perfect mix.

Lord Tweedmouth was looking for a retriever dog that was loyal, hardy and good tempered to accompany him whilst hunting waterfowl on his estate in Scotland.

He decided to breed a Tweed Water Spaniel with his Yellow Retriever. Their puppies were then bred with the Flat and Wavy-Coated Retriever and the Irish Setter. This is what gave us the Golden Retriever we know today.

The Irish Setter gave this dog its mahogany coat.

In 1908, Golden Retrievers were bought to England and entered into dog shows.

Soon after they appeared in America and were popular from the beginning. It’s still the second most popular pooch in the US.

Kennel Club Recognition and Pedigree

The Red Golden Retriever is a purebred Golden Retriever, however, their dark red coat isn’t an accepted color under their breed standards.

This means major kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club and the World Canine Organization don’t recognize them.

Because their coat isn’t desirable by breeders, Red Golden Retriever puppies aren’t as common as their standard Golden siblings.

So if you are interested in a Dark Red Golden Retriever rescue, with a red coat in particular, you will have to look a bit harder, or get the help of specific rescue organizations:

Red Golden Retriever Facts
Size Males are 23-24″ and females 21.5″-22.5″
Weight Males are 65-75 pounds and females 55-65
Lifespan 10-12 years
Breed Type Sporting
PurposeHunting Companion
Suitable ForFirst Time Families
Color Variations Red
Temperament Loving, Friendly, Intelligent and Loyal

Red Golden Retriever Puppies

Red Golden Retriever Puppy

At three months old, puppies are ready to meet their future family, as they will begin to socialize with humans at that point.

Red Golden Retriever puppies will have the wonderful qualities of their parents, having mountains of energy!

Set boundaries and expectations early on to avoid chewing and nipping behavior.

It is never certain what shade of golden your Retriever will be, but a good tip is to look at their ears and that will give you a good idea of their coloring as adults.

The average litter size for Retrievers is 8 puppies, but litters can be as small as 1 or as big as 12.

Their red coat makes them cheaper than the traditional Golden or cream-colored Retrievers.

However, the Red Golden Retriever price for one of these adorable puppies is between $500 and $1,500 USD.

The price will vary depending on the breeder, pedigree documentation and the parent’s health scores (more on this later).

Red Golden Retriever Temperament

These dogs don’t have an aggressive bone in their body, they will happily go up to strangers with a wagging tail and ask for a tummy rub.Red Golden Retriever dogs are so friendly they rarely bark and if they do it’s probably out of excitement!

They are protective of their family but this shows itself more in the form of loyalty. If you’re looking for guard dog, then try another breed as this one is just too friendly.

Known for their very calm demeanor; they are an intelligent and curious breed but once they’re adults very little will startle them.


Red Golden Retrievers have a naturally good disposition, they have become renowned for their sweet and friendly nature.

Having been bred to work, they have endless amounts of energy, and love nothing more than to play with their family; so children will have a best pal with this furry friend.

As they get older they will start to slow down but one thing they will always keep is their happy, loving and affectionate personality.

Family Compatibility

Red Golden Retriever with Boy
Retrievers are high-energy and playful dogs.

One of the reasons the Red variation is so popular is because of their kind nature. This makes them well suited to a variety of different owners and lifestyles.

They can fit in to any family dynamic as long as it’s in a loving and committed home.

A well-socialized Retriever is more than happy to play with children, canines and even other pets. They are the exception to the rule when it comes to the saying “dogs and cats don’t get along“.

Red Golden Retriever Size, Appearance and Grooming

Red Golden Retriever Appearance
These pooches are high shedders so be prepared for lots of hair!

Full Grown Size

Red Retrievers are in the large-sized category, measuring anywhere between 20 to 24 inches (depending on their sex).

The smallest will weigh 50 pounds but the largest can weigh up to 75 pounds.

They are big fluffy dogs so make sure you think twice before committing to one.


The Red variety has an athletic muscular body, but it is slightly more compact and leaner than their more common Golden siblings.

They should be well proportioned with a self-confident personality and majestic canine appearance.

Their thick skin makes them hardier and less sensitive to cuts and scraps, ideal for retrieving whilst hunting.

The main difference between these Retrievers and their golden siblings is their coloring.

However, do not mistake this canine with an Irish Setter or a Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever.

Irish Setters are taller, longer and leaner whilst the Nova Scotia usually has white markings on thier chest.


As their name suggests, these guys have a beautiful red coat that can come in different shades; ranging from a light rust to a deep mahogany.

However, the red color is not accepted in show rings, dogs with too much red in their coat will be disqualified from the competition.


Like all Retrievers they have a double-layered, water-resistant coat. It’s long and thick with a silky feel to it. Their outer coat can either be straight or wavy.

Even though the Red Golden Retriever’s coat is slightly shorter and finer than the traditional Golden, be prepared for excessive shedding, this is not a hypoallergenic dog.

Their coat should feather on the back of their legs, tail, chest and tummy.


This breed will need a large amount of attention in the grooming department to keep them looking beautiful and elegant.

If neglected, their long coat can easily become matted, therefore brushing must be done at least once a week with special attention taken on the feathered parts of their coat.

To avoid your home from becoming covered in loose hair, you should give your pooch a quick brush everyday, especially during heavy shedding periods around fall and spring.

Take a look at this guide on how to manage high shedding breeds.

Bathing can also help whilst they are shedding heavily to get rid of any loose hairs.

They are particularly prone to ear infections, because of their floppy ears. So clean and dry their ears once a week to prevent any infection (symptoms can include itching, head shaking, redness and swelling).

Nails should also be clipped regularly, however working dogs will naturally wear down their nails.

Red Golden Retriever Dog Care Guide

Red Golden Retriever

With such a kind-hearted temperament these Retrievers are suited to both families and singletons.

Their high shedding and grooming requirements can be off putting to novices though, so make sure to read this guide in full to help make your decision.

Food and Dietary Requirements

Daily Food Consumption
Guide 1,200 calories
Cups of Kibble Three Bowls of Kibble Required per Day

These furry friends are big furry friends with big appetites!

They love food and would happily eat all day everyday.

With dogs that are particularly food orientated it’s crucial to stick to the advised portion sizes and to make sure they are an appropriate weight.

If you are training your puppy take into consideration the extra calories from treats and avoid table scraps.

As most pooches get the same food everyday, you want to make sure you’re feeding them a high quality feed that contains all the nutrients they require.

Red Golden Retrievers can have dried, canned or a mix of both diet types; it’s the ingredients that matter.

Feed them 2 to 3 cups a day depending on their size, age and activity level. The amount of food given can be split into two meals a day and you can track their growth using the chart below:

Growth Chart
3 Months 22-30lb
6 Months 40-50lb
9 Months 44-65lb
12 Months 55-70lb

A good quality feed contains primarily animal based protein and fat. Not too much grain, by-products or artificial additives.

Exercise Requirements

Daily Exercise Requirements
Minutes 60+ minutes
Activity Level This is a high activity dog breed

Sporting dogs are very high energy, they were bred to work and love to have a purpose.

You should aim to walk them between an hour and two hours everyday. With lots of stamina they’re great to take on runs, hikes and bike rides.

Sports like obedience and agility suit them down to the ground as they are an intelligent breed and love to please their owner.

Letting them run off leash in local areas isn’t a problem, Red Golden Retriever dogs are very sociable with other animals and even with strangers.

Training A Red Retriever

You shouldn’t have too much trouble training your red furry friend; as mentioned they are eager to please, intelligent and have a working background.

It is always best to start training and socializing early to help them develop into a well-balanced and happy adults.

These puppies do have a tendency to chew and nip, because of their Retriever heritage, so try and redirect this towards a specific toy. Always reward positive behavior with lots of praise.

Keeping them mentally stimulated with puzzles will help with excessive chewing and avoid unwanted behavior.

Playing with your dog every day will reinforce your bond too. Born to retrieve in water, anything remotely to do with either of these activities will keep your dog happy!

Health Problems

The color of their coat has no affect on their overall health. This red variation can inherit any health problems that affect their Golden siblings.

Unfortunately Retrievers have a higher chance of developing cancer than other breeds, the two most common are hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma:

  • Hemangiosarcoma affects the blood vessels, so tumors can appear anywhere in the body but most commonly arise in their internal organs
  • Lymphoma is a cancer that targets the lymphoid system. In canines the most common place it arises is around the throat and neck

Even with the high risk of cancer, a Red Golden Retriever lifespan is still between 10 to 12 years old.

Another common condition in big dogs is hip and elbow dysplasia. It is a degenerative condition so will get worse overtime and eventually leads to arthritis.

Lastly, Golden Retrievers are also susceptible to a number of eye diseases. The most common are Cataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy and GRPU. All three diseases can lead to blindness and can be inherited.

So when selecting a puppy make sure it’s from a certified breeder that has the medical history of both parents and has tested for these eye conditions.


If you’re looking for a happy-go-lucky type of pooch to play with the kids or just for companionship, the Red Golden Retriever is the one for you; especially if you’re looking for a unique appearance!

Their happy and loving personalities mixed with their high intelligence makes them easy to train and a pleasure to be around.

They love company and friendly furries, so having other dogs and pet in the household aren’t problem.

These silky soft dogs do need a fair amount of grooming, exercise and love to be mentally simulated.

Once you get used to the high volume of loose hair you’ll see they are a complete joy. Let us know what you think!

About John Woods 301 Articles
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.

1 Comment

  1. Hi
    I would like to buy female reddish golden retriever puppy.
    Do you ship to Israel or to Miami?
    If you have, please send me some picturs of her.
    Thank you

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