Red is red is red ... or is it? Red is the most intense of the light based (phaeomelanin) colours which range from cream to champagne to gold to apricot to red. Red can either appear as a clear colour with no black in it at all or it may be a combination light/dark patterned coats such as Red Sable and Red brindle. Sabling can be light or heavy. A sable with minimal tipping is often confused with a clear red but gentically they are different. In the clear dog , on the E gene, the dog carries [ee] which mean that all expression of black is suppressed. Strong and extensive tipping is quite obvious, but where this is lacking, the places to look for black tipping is in the ears and tail.
Here are a couple of pairs of puppies. In each, one littermate is clear red and the other is red sable. Look closely to see the differences.
Laguna on the left is clear red. There is no dark (eumelanin based) colour on her coat at all. One the right is her sister Liana. Liana's red coat is a shade lighter. Unlike her clear red sibling, Liana has some dark colour tipping on her ears. She is sable. Both these girls have liver pigment, so in Sable Liana, her coat tipping is dark brown.
This adorable pair are Fien and Finn from Xanaways. Both appear red and white. Fien on the left is clear red, she has no dark eumelanin based coat on her at all. Her brother Finn on the right has black tipping throughout his head and body. He is Sable. The sable tipping is more noticeable in the younger photo. There is another distinct difference in this pair although it can be difficult to see. While Finn has black pigment, Fien's is very dark brown.