Red is one of those colors that, when you notice it on a dog, it’s hard to look away. It’s such a burst of color that it draws your attention to the pup and its defining characteristics. There are many red dog breeds that hail from countries all over the world.
Like other coat colors, red coats can vary in appearance from a light rusty color to deep orange ginger red to chestnut and mahogany coats that shimmer in the sun. The coat is just one element to keep in mind, and we go into detail about a variety of different breeds that are suitable for many different lifestyles.
Red Dog Breeds
There are a number of red-coated dog breeds that stand out, whether they’re entirely red or mostly red or come in red varieties. They all have their own unique personality traits and markings that define them.
1. Irish Setter
Irish Setters are stunning dogs with a personality to match their looks. They’re super sweet and affectionate and love to make new friends. The breed gets along with children and has a protective streak that makes it a great watchdog.
Because it’s also a sensitive red dog breed, it also suffers separation anxiety. It tends to be an outgoing and very active dog. You’ll need to engage with them and keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
The Irish Setter belongs to the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Sporting group. It is a medium to large dog, standing 25 to 27 inches tall and weighing 60 to 70 pounds. The red coat on this pup tends to be smooth and glossy, and it comes in chestnut red or deep mahogany. The breed lives 12 to 15 years
2. Cocker Spaniel
The Cocker Spaniel is a sweet, spunky dog that comes with a big personality in a small package. They’re affectionate dogs with a loving personality. The Cocker Spaniel gets along with other animals and children and is a perfect cross between active and lazy, but most regular exercise requirements can be met with a few walks a day.
There are different types of spaniels, including the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which bears a similar look with a flatter face.
Cocker Spaniels belong to the AKC Sporting group. They range in height from 13 to 15 inches and typically weigh around 20 to 30 pounds. Cocker Spaniels also have a long, flowing coat in solid colors or markings in red, brown, tan, black, brown, or white, which needs regular brushing to prevent matting and tangling. The Cocker Spaniel has an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years.
3. Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an athletic dog that has one telltale sign that gives away its breed — a ridge of fur down their spine that grows in the opposite direction of the rest of their red fur.
They are very affectionate and loyal and are even good with children, but should be watched carefully around smaller kids due to their sheer strength. This breed can compete with other dogs for dominance, so early socialization and training are key.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback belongs to the Hound group and is a rather big dog. It stands, on average, 24 to 27 inches tall and weighs around 70 to 85 pounds. Its sleek red coat is short and smooth, though some may have a black mask or small white markings on its coat. In addition to red, it can come in red wheaten or light wheaten and only requires weekly brushing. This pup lives 10 to 12 years.
4. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever isn’t a popular dog breed to come by. In fact, many people haven’t heard of it. However, they are very active dogs, originally bred for hunting, and need to be constantly stimulated.
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever belongs to the AKC Sporting group and is a hunting dog. It is medium in size, standing 17 to 21 inches tall, with a weight of approximately 35 to 50 pounds. This red-coated pup has a soft, fluffy coat that ranges from gold to coppery red with white markings that can use a good brushing weekly. It lives an average of 10 to 14 years.
Most often referred to as the wiener dog or a Doxie, the Dachshund is a bold companion. They don’t let their size hold them back. Early socialization is a must with this breed because they aren’t typically fond of children unless they grow up with them. The Doxie is active and requires a bit of exercise each day to keep them stimulated.
The Dachshund is a member of the Hound group and comes in two sizes: Miniature or Standard, standing 5 to 9 inches tall depending on its size. The miniature weighs up to 11 pounds, while the standard weighs between 16 and 32.
The Dachshund’s coat can be smooth straight hair, wire-haired, or long-haired, and comes in red, tan, chocolate, black, and cream with varying marks. You can even find striking red merle patterns on these pups. They live 12 to 16 years.
6. Irish Terrier
The Irish Terrier brings the true meaning of the Irish to life with its fiery temperament. They’re bold dogs that are also known for being strong-willed and independent. Training and socialization are imperative; otherwise, they can adopt bad manners. They are loyal, however, and make great family pets. Plus, who can say no to that cute beard they sport?
The Irish Terrier belongs, surprise surprise, to the AKC Terrier group. It’s a medium-sized dog, standing in at 18 to 20 inches and weighing 25 to 27 pounds. It has a double coat, with a coarse wiry outer layer, where the undercoat is finer and softer. You’ll need to regularly brush this pooch and take it to the groomer to maintain its look. The breed lives 13 to 15 years.
7. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds there is, and for good reason. The Fox Red Lab is the one that sports the famous red coat. There is a bit of controversy over whether the color is a result of a crossbreed, but that concept is changing.
Like all Labradors, the red-coated variety is family-friendly and seemingly loves everyone. They’re very obedient and eager to please.
The Labrador Retriever belongs to the Sporting group. It ranges from medium to large in size, standing 21 to 24 inches tall and weighing 55 to 80 pounds. Labradors have a dense double coat that’s short with coarse hair and comes in red, cream, black, chocolate, and yellow varieties.
Though it sheds twice a year, its coat is relatively low maintenance and only requires the occasional bath. You can expect a Labrador Retriever to live an average of 10 to 12 years.
The Vizsla is a striking pup with its gorgeous golden red coat. It’s a very active pup that loves being outdoors and needs a lot of mental and physical stimulation to keep it satisfied. The Vizsla also gets the nickname “Velcro dog” because it likes to stick next to its owner at all times.
It’s both lively and gentle, but the Vizsla is also an affectionate dog that is (mostly) happy to do your bidding.
The Vizsla belongs to the AKC Sporting group. It has a height that ranges from 21 to 24 inches and weighs between 44 and 60 pounds. The Vizsla has a short and shiny golden-red coat that is very low maintenance. This breed lives 12 to 14 years.
9. Redbone Coonhound
If you’re looking for athletic dogs to keep you busy while you hike or hunt, this dog is your match! They’re very active, needing at least an hour or more of moderate exercise per day, and have a strong prey drive, so if you have smaller animals at home, close supervision is necessary. Additionally, this breed needs socialization.
The breed is a member of the Hound group. The breed stands between 21 to 27 inches tall and has an average weight of 45 to 70 pounds. Its short red coat is sleek and smooth, and frequent brushing with a grooming mitt can remove dead hair and keep it nice and shiny. This dog lives between 10 and 12 years, on average.
10. Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is everyone’s sweetheart pup, and one of the popular dog breeds to top every list. They’re such a sweet and charismatic dog that just loves everyone. While they’re commonly light cream colored, they do have a red variety that is just as striking.
Golden Retrievers are considered one of the more cute dog breeds available. They’re also great family dogs and adore children. However, this pooch has an obnoxious side, too, as in too much play can cause them to step outside their boundaries. Training can easily fix this.
Golden Retrievers belong to the AKC Sporting group. They stand between 21.5 and 24 inches, with a weight that falls between 55 and 75 pounds. A Golden Retriever has a medium-length coat that flows and ranges in color from golden shades to a deep mahogany red coat color and can benefit from regular brushing to remove dead hair. These friendly pups will provide you companionship for 10 to 12 years.
11. Shiba Inu
Picture a smiling fox, and you’ve got the Shiba Inu. This Japanese dog is as keen as it is striking, and it needs a confident owner to keep it in line. The Shiba Inu is also a fun-loving pooch that loves nothing more than to play around. For that reason, it gets along very well with children and other dogs.
However, it’s best to keep them away from smaller animals as they have a strong prey drive. They can be standoffish around strangers, but instilling good habits will ensure they are, at the very least, polite and not aggressive toward them.
Shiba Inus is part of the Non-Sporting group. Both males and females are of similar size, ranging in height from 15.5 to 16.5 inches and weighing only 17 to 23 pounds. Shiba Inus have a stiff double coat in red and white or black and tan, with a thick undercoat and a straight outer coat. The breed lives, on average, 13 to 16 years.
12. Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd is a fluffy dog that’s simply a bundle of energy. They’re also highly dominant due to their ingrained nature to herd livestock. If you adopt an Australian Shepherd, be prepared to instill a lot of training and socialization. While they are loving to their family, they can be wary of other dogs and strangers.
Australian Shepherds are part of the Herding group and tend to be medium-sized dogs. They stand around 18 to 23 inches and weigh 40 to 65 pounds. This dog sports a long coat with multiple color combinations that include red and reddish merle. They live 13 to 15 years on average.
The Poodle is one of the smartest dog breeds you can own. They pick up new tasks easily and, as a result, need a lot of physical and mental stimulation. Social butterflies that they are, Poodles love to play with other dogs and can entertain themselves that way for quite a while.
Poodles are part of the AKC Non-Sporting group, and they come in 3 different varieties:
- Toy – 10 inches or less, weigh 4 to 6 pounds
- Miniature – 10 to 15 inches, weighs 10 to 15 pounds
- Standard – 15 inches+, weighs 40 to 70 pounds
Poodles have a curly coat that typically grows long on the head and tail. It needs more frequent brushing to keep it neat and can come in red, light cream, white, gray, or black. The curly coat can also be braided or grown into dreads. The breed can live 10 to 18 years.
The Pomeranian is quite the little floof ball and tops the list of favorite red-coated dogs. They’re fun-loving critters and outgoing dogs that love to follow their owners around. The personality on this pup is spunky, and they tend to be very vocal dogs.
You can’t go wrong with this red dog in your home, either. They’re great with children and with other animals. They love nothing more than to cuddle up in your lap and are so small they can thrive in nearly any environment.
The Pomeranian is part of the AKC Toy group. It’s the smallest dog on this list, standing at just 6 to 7 inches tall and weighing 3 to 7 pounds. Pomeranians have a long double thick coat, most commonly seen in red, black, brown, sable, cream, and blue. They live 12 to 16 years.
The Akita is truly a stunning pup. Like the Shiba Inu, it’s a Japanese breed, but it has a more quiet demeanor. The Akita is very protective of its family and tends to be wary around other animals and people, so it would probably do best in a human-only home.
It’s also got strong teeth and jaws and is one of the dogs with the strongest bite force. You’ll need to provide this pup with daily exercise as they are high energy.
Akitas are part of the Working group. They’re big dogs, standing 24 to 28 inches and weighing 70 to 130 pounds. Akitas have a thick coat with double layers to keep them warm, which come in red, white, black, chocolate, or tan.
They have a fluffy tail, as well. Regular brushing can help prevent excess shedding, and though you won’t need to clean them often, they are experts at self-grooming. You can expect a healthy pup to live 10 to 13 years.
16. Australian Kelpie
The Australian Kelpie is a beautiful-looking dog that you can immediately read. They’re fun-loving and enjoy playing with other dogs or their human family members. They’re highly alert, which means they can take off at a moment’s notice, but with training and structure, they thrive.
The Australian Kelpie loves having toys and games around to keep their minds occupied, and they’re highly intelligent. Their eager-to-please nature makes them a wonderful companion.
Australian Kelpies belong to the AKC Herding group. They’re medium in size, standing 17 to 20 inches tall and weighing 35 to 50 pounds. They have a short smooth double coat that can be brown or shades of red, and some are even a few different color combinations. This red dog can live 10 to 13 years.
17. Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog is one that you’ll need to keep busy in order to keep it out of trouble. They are very energetic and intelligent, which can be a detrimental combo, leading to behavioral issues if they don’t receive adequate training. These herding dogs love to be outside, and herding is in their genes.
The Australian Cattle Dog is also commonly referred to as a “red heeler.” It was originally developed in Australia for long-range cattle droving, which means it’s naturally ready to work. They’re affectionate with their family but tend to be wary of strangers. It needs a yard to run around in.
As discussed above, Australian Cattle Dogs belong to the Herding group. They’re a medium-sized pup that has a height between 17 and 20 inches and typically weighs 35 to 50 pounds. Their gorgeous coats consist of coarse fur in a mottled or speckled pattern that can be red or blue. They have quite a long lifespan for dogs, 12 to 16 years.
18. Miniature Pinscher
If you love the look of a Doberman Pinscher, you’ll love its mini counterpart. The Miniature Pinscher looks just like the Doberman but in a smaller size. Their size shouldn’t fool you, though; they are very dominant dogs that can develop behavioral issues if not properly trained.
They are very high-energy and love to run around. The Min Pins are also affectionate family dogs who love to cuddle up with their owners. If you have other pets, socialization is key to ensuring they get along.
The Miniature Pinscher belongs to the Toy dog group. It sits at 10 to 12.5 inches tall and weighs 8 to 10 pounds. It has a low maintenance short, smooth coat that comes in solid red, rust, and chocolate or rust and black. Once a week grooming is all you really need to maintain its fur. The breed typically lives 12 to 16 years.
19. Norfolk Terrier
One of the smallest breeds in the terrier family, the Norfolk Terrier is a cute little bundle of joy with short legs. They’re very sweet, never showing signs of aggression, which makes them ideal for homes with children.
However, they can also be bold and courageous, and they have a very high prey drive, which means you will likely spend a lot of time training. If you deny the Norfolk Terrier exercise, it will find its own means, and you likely won’t enjoy the outcome.
The Norfolk Terrier is a member of the AKC Terrier group. It’s a small breed, standing only 9 to 10 inches and weighing only 11 to 12 pounds. Norfolk Terriers have short, wiry double coats that come in grizzle, brown, or red coloring. They do need regular brushing to keep their fur looking smooth. Norfolk Terriers live 12 to 16 years.
What Breed Is a Chinese Red Dog?
The Chinese Red Dog is also known as the Laizhou Hong, a Molosser-type breed that also fits in with the Boxer, Great Dane, and Great Pyrenees. This pup is believed to have originated in the 19th century and is a very sturdy-looking dog with a muscular body.
They can grow up to 32 inches and weigh more than 100 pounds. However, despite their intimidating size, the breed is a loyal and loving companion that has a bit of a protective streak.
What Does Red Color Signify in a Dog?
This coloring on a dog indicates that the animal has the E (extension) locus, otherwise referred to as the Melanocortin 1 Receptor (MC1R). It’s a gene that controls pigment production that leads to a red coat. The degree of a pup’s coat color depends on this factor.
What Is the Most Famous Red Dog Breed?
The Irish Setter is probably the most famous of the red dogs. It’s well-loved for its stunning looks as well as its charming personality, which makes it one of the best family dogs.
Which Is a Complete Red Dog Breed?
There are a few dogs that fall into the complete red dogs variety, including the Irish Setter, Redbone Coonhound, and Vizsla.
Red dogs are truly stunning to look at, whether they’re a wispy color blended in with others or full-on coppery red that stands out. There are other breeds you can find in red, but these are the most common and the most popular of them.
Color should only be one of the considerations you keep in mind when adopting a pup. Make sure you keep your lifestyle in mind, as well as any personality traits that could be a deal-breaker.
If you’re active, getting a pup known to be a couch potato could prove cumbersome. Likewise, if you live a sedentary life, you’ll want to avoid choosing one of the red dog breeds that need lots of exercise. No matter which one you decide you like best, though, you’re sure to get a lot of compliments on their coloring.
It’s important to note, though, that if you notice red skin, it’s important to seek veterinary care to ensure they don’t have a skin infection or other issue.
Now that you’ve learned which red dogs are popular, check out these fun facts about dogs!