16 Red Dog Breeds That Turn Heads

Golden retriever with red-tinted coat sitting outside closeup

The Spruce / Missy Schrott

While the coat color of a dog should not be the primary reason for choosing a specific type of dog to own, a red dog breed can be eye-catching on your daily walks. A dog’s coat can come in a variety of colors—from black to white to many colors in-between—including a stunning reddish hue. Red spans the gamut, too, from a shimmery golden tone with deep orange or chestnut highlights to rusty or liver red. Many breeds from all the groups and sizes, such as toys and working dogs, can sport this eye-catching ginger coloring.

Choosing a dog breed based on characteristics and historical working uses, matched to your needs is far more important that coat color, and will help you and your companion to be better suited going forward than just appearances alone. And remember, there are also many mixed breed dogs available who may offer the right personality, exercise, and grooming requirements to be a good fit in your family as well.

If you have your heart set on a red dog, here are 16 red-coated dog breeds and some common traits to consider if you are considering adding a new member to your family.


Red hair is one thing. But if you notice skin coloration changes, especially noticeable on white-haired dogs that start to look pink or rust-colored, this is a sign something may be wrong. Reddened skin can appear moist or sweaty or may be dry to the touch, along with the presence of scaling or dandruff. Take your dog to the vet if you notice any skin changes, depending on the cause, it may be treatable with parasite preventatives, shampoos or other medications.

  • 01 of 16

    Irish Setter

    Red Irish Setter Running with ball

    Julian Popov / Getty Images

    The Irish setter boasts a deep, rich, red coat. Most commonly described as mahogany or chestnut, this sporting dog’s coat is a stunner. Their coats are smooth, fine, and glossy. Regular brushing is a must to keep this coat shining at its best. In general, the Irish setter is an energetic pup with a pleasant temperament that appreciates regular exercise and companionship with its human family.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sporting (AKC)

    Height: 25 to 27 inches

    Weight: 60 to 70 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth, glossy coat in deep mahogany or chestnut red

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

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    Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

    Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

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    The Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever has a medium-length coat that can vary from golden to coppery red with white markings. Originally bred as a sporting dog for duck hunting, this breed is gaining in popularity. Though on the small side for a retriever, tollers have big personalities. They are very affectionate and intelligent and require plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sporting (AKC)

    Height: 17 to 21 inches

    Weight: 35 to 50 pounds

    Coat and Color: Medium-length coat varies from golden red to coppery red; often has white markings

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 14 years

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    Irish Terrier

    Red Irish Terrier dog

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    The Irish terrier is known for its fiery red coat and temperament. These bold but lovable dogs have coats that vary slightly from golden to ginger red. A characteristic beard gives the Irish terrier a distinguished look. Regular brushing will keep the coat orderly and clean. Occasionally, you may need to take this breed to the groomer to help keep their characteristic appearance. This pooch makes an excellent companion for the adventurous, active person since they seem to have no fear and are always ready to go. Training and early socialization are key, as this breed is smart, strong-willed, and independent. They can be loyal but challenging and require early and daily reinforcement of training so as to maintain good manners.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Terrier (AKC)

    Height: 18 to 20 inches

    Weight: 25 to 27 pounds

    Coat and Color: Coarse, wiry outer coat and a softer, finer undercoat; red coloration

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years

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    Red dachshund portrait

    Teresa Lett / Getty Images

    The dachshund may not be the first dog that comes to mind when thinking of red-coated breeds, but these famous little dogs come in a wide variety of colorings, including a deep, rich red. The doxie's coat comes in three types: smooth-coated, long-haired, and wire-haired. Smooth-coated dogs are easier to care for. Their short coats do not need much more than the occasional bath or wipe down. The longhaired variety needs more frequent brushing to keep their flowing locks tangle-free. This breed is also prone to dental disease and requires regular dental cleanings and care to keep their teeth in good order.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound (AKC)

    Height: Standard: 8 to 9 inches; miniature: 5 to 6 inches

    Weight: Standard: 16 to 32 pounds; miniature: up to 11 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth-coated, long-haired, or wire-haired coats; colors include red, black, tan, chocolate, and cream with varying patterns and markings

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

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  • 05 of 16

    Redbone Coonhound

    Redbone Coonhound portrait

    videodet / Getty Images

    This hunting dog sports a stunningly sleek, glossy, short red coat. With a chiseled, muscular structure and sleek fur, these pups are impressive to behold. Grooming is easier with this shorthaired dog breed. Weekly use of a shedding tool will keep the redbone coonhound's coat shiny and healthy. Take the time you saved grooming and invest in a healthy dose of daily activity for these dogs to remain well-balanced. They tend to need a job, and nose work can be a rewarding activity to do with this breed. They also tend to be quite vocal. This breed makes an excellent companion for the avid runner or hiker.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound (AKC)

    Height: 21 to 27 inches

    Weight: 45 to 70 pounds

    Coat and Color: Sleek, smooth, short red coat; sturdy, muscular body with droopy ears and long tail

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

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    Red Vizsla puppy on couch

    Anthony Brawley Photography / Getty Images

    The strikingly golden-red Vizsla sports a glossy, short coat and a lean, agile build. This dog does not require much grooming. They have no undercoat, so you do not need to brush often. Occasionally, use a shedding tool or grooming mitt to keep the coat glossy and healthy. The Vizsla loves an active life, both physically and mentally; provide this breed plenty of exercise and playtime to keep it happy and healthy.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sporting (AKC)

    Height: 21 to 24 inches

    Weight: 44 to 60 pounds

    Coat and Color: Medium-sized, lean, agile frame; short, shiny golden-red coat

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

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    Australian Shepherd

    Red merle Australian shepherd dog

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    Australian shepherds are full of energy, intelligence, and fur. These herding dogs boast long, beautiful coats with a wide range of color patterns, including red and reddish merle as well as a calico-like combination of red, liver, and cream shades. This breed's long, stunning coat requires care to keep it looking luxurious, such as weekly brushing. When shedding season comes, an undercoat rake will help remove the dead hair from their double-layered coat.

    Due to their intelligence, this breed requires a lot of attention be given to engage their minds in a productive way, and they do well with fieldwork, agility, and other dog sports. Plan on moderate exercise daily, with additional time spent for mental exercise as well.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Herding (AKC)

    Height: 18 to 23 inches

    Weight: 40 to 65 pounds

    Coat and Color: Long, luxurious coat with a wide variety of color combinations, including red and red merle

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years

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    Shiba Inu

    Red Shiba Inu sleeping

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    With a golden to red coat, pointed ears, and small size, the shiba inu is one foxy red-coated dog. In fact, the quiet, somewhat aloof nature of this breed also draws frequent comparisons to foxes. This spitz does well in moderately active, calm households. Besides their iconic red coloring, the shiba inu can also have a black and tan coat. This breed has a thick coat that sheds a large amount, particularly during their molting season twice a year. Frequent brushing during these times can help reduce the tufts of fur floating around the house.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-Sporting (AKC)

    Height: 15.5 to 16.5 inches

    Weight: 17 to 23 pounds

    Coat and Color: Stiff and straight outer coat with a soft and thick undercoat; colors range from golden to red or black and tan

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 16 years

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  • 09 of 16

    Golden Retriever

    Red Golden retriever puppy with toy

    Patricia Marroquin / Getty Images

    The golden retriever’s coat may come in a variety of gold shades, some tipping into deep mahogany tones that appear red to the eye. Field-type golden retrievers particularly appear redder and tend to have a somewhat leaner body structure and shorter hair. Their thick, double-layer coats are waterproof and shed a lot. Once or twice a year, they go through even heavier shedding periods, requiring regular brushing.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sporting (AKC)

    Height: 21.5 to 24 inches

    Weight: 55 to 75 pounds

    Coat and Color: Medium-sized, sturdy, muscular build; soft, flowing fur ranging from golden to deep mahogany red

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

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    Cocker Spaniel

    Red cocker spaniel

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    The cocker spaniel is known for its luxurious flowing coat. This breed comes in various colorings, including black, white, tan, brown, and red. This breed's coat needs frequent combing since the fur and feathering can quickly develop tangles and mats. Cocker spaniels also have sensitive skin, requiring a gentle hand during brushing sessions. Ear infections and skin allergies are common health concerns for the breed and ongoing ear care should be expected prior to purchasing one.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sporting (AKC)

    Height: 13 to 15 inches

    Weight: 20 to 30 pounds

    Coat and Color: Flowing coat in solid or marked colors, including red, black, brown, tan, and white

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

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    Rhodesian Ridgeback

    Red Rhodesian Ridgeback running in water

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    Another hunting dog to add to the list of red-coated dogs is the Rhodesian ridgeback. This athletic breed varies in color from shiny golden wheat to deep burnt red with either black or brown muzzles. Their iconic mark is the ridge of fur down their spine that grows in the opposite direction, appropriately earning them the ridgeback description. With such short hair, the weekly brushing requirement is minimal. Being that these are historically working dogs, plan on setting aside time for daily exercise and training with this breed.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound (AKC)

    Height: 24 to 27 inches

    Weight: 70 to 85 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short, smooth, sleek red coat and iconic “ridgeback” or stripe of fur facing the opposite direction on its spine; may have small white markings and a black mask

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

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    Akita standing in snow

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    These large, bear-like dogs have a curved tail and upright ears similar to the shiba inu but in a much larger proportion. The akita's thick coat can be red, but black, white, tan, and chocolate shades are also possible. Although they possess a thick coat, they primarily shed their dense undercoat twice a year. This dogs have historically been bred for a guardian role, and a large amount of effort should be taken to ensure adequate socialization when young so as to avoid behavioral concerns later in life.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 24 to 28 inches

    Weight: 100 to 130 pounds (males); 70 to 100 pounds (females)

    Coat and Color: Thick, strong build with bear-like features; thick, double-layer fur in black, white, tan, chocolate, and red

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 13 years

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  • 13 of 16


    Red Pomeranian in dog stroller

    Marie LaFauci / Getty Images

    The Pomeranian is a toy breed with a double-layered coat, which has made these dogs famous for their fluffy appearance. This extra poofy coat comes in various colors, including red, orange, black, tan, and brown. Their long hair requires frequent brushing to keep it clean and untangled. Despite their tiny size, Poms are active dogs that love to play and run. Because they are so small, these dogs can quickly meet their exercise needs with indoor play or a walk around the neighborhood. Common health concerns include dental disease, luxating patellas, and collapsing trachea, and care should be taken to assess these things with your veterinarian.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 6 to 7 inches

    Weight: 3 to 7 pounds

    Coat and Color: Long, double coat in many colors, though the most common are red, orange, cream, sable, black, brown, and blue

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

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    Red poodle portrait

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    If you prefer a red dog with a curly coat, look no further than the poodle. These dogs come in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy, and all have the same lean, athletic build. Their curly hair can be solid or particolored shades of red (also referred to as apricot) as well as black, white, or gray. Most people choose to have their poodle’s hair shaved short for ease of grooming. If you prefer to keep your poodle’s hair long, extensive brushing is required to avoid mats and tangles. This breed has minimal shedding, making poodles an excellent choice for people with allergies. Dental disease is common, especially in the smaller sizes, and you should plan on regular dental cleanings with this breed.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-Sporting (AKC)

    Height: Standard: 15 or more inches; miniature: 10 to 15 inches; toy: 10 inches or less

    Weight: Standard: 40 to 70 pounds; miniature: 10 to 15 pounds: toy: 4 to 6 pounds

    Coat and Color: Thin build with long legs and tightly curled coat in red, black, white, or gray

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 18 years

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    Australian Cattle Dog

    Red Australian cattle dog

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    The Australian cattle dog is also known for its stunning red- or blue-mottled coat. It is sometimes called a "red heeler" or "blue heeler," depending on its coloring. This herding breed's double-layered coat is perfect for outdoor work. The short, coarse fur is low-maintenance, usually requiring just a weekly brushing. These herding dogs have loads of energy and are very smart, requiring plenty of exercise both mentally and physically to keep them happy and out of mischief. If not working, behavioral concerns can be common without adequate socialization, training, and exercise both physically and mentally.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Herding (AKC)

    Height: 17 to 20 inches

    Weight: 35 to 50 pounds

    Coat and Coloring: Coarse fur that is mottled or speckled in red and blue

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

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    Labrador Retriever

    Red Labrador puppy

    Mike Linnane / Getty Images

    Most commonly, these dogs come in yellow, chocolate, or black, but the family-favorite Labrador can also have a red coat. The reddish variety is also called a red fox Labrador or ruby Labrador. According to the AKC breed standard, the typical yellow hue of a lab can "range in color from fox-red to light cream." Although the reds look stunning, this color variation is a disadvantage in the show ring. If you are more interested in this dog as your companion, they often make for sociable, family friendly pets with proper training, and do require a moderate to high level of exercise.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sporting (AKC)

    Height: 21 to 24 inches

    Weight: 65 to 80 pounds (males); 55 to 70 pounds (females)

    Coat and Color: Short, dense double coat; coarse hair in yellow, cream, black, or red

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

Mixed breeds

Many mixed breeds come in a variety of coat colors, including red. These dogs may come with a combination of behaviors and activity levels, and can make wonderful pets. Of course if you are choosing a dog for a lifelong companion, coat color should be the lowest priority on your list. Consider characteristics of the breed, their historical use or work and what they were bred for, as well as the time and effort you feel that you can set aside for your companion. Veterinarians and dog trainers can be great resources in helping determine what breed may be good fit for your and your lifestyle needs. Remember that many of these dogs have an average lifespan that may last into the mid - teens, and you should plan for that level of commitment.