Vibrant Red Haired Dog Breeds: Unleashing Their Beauty

red haired dog breeds.

Red Haired Dog Breeds — Unveiling the Fiery Charm

With elegant chestnut or deep mahogany coats, red haired dog breeds are certainly  head turners when you head down to the dog park. 

But, when choosing the perfect canine companion for you, color shouldn’t be your only deciding factor. For example, personality, activity levels, and coat maintenance are a mere snippet of what to think about.

Every breed is individual, with their quirks and characteristics alongside their coloring and size too. So, join us as we take a look at some of the most popular dog breeds with red hair. Which one will be your favorite?

10 Red Headed Dogs

Small, medium, and large, we’ve picked ten tail-waggers with red coats you’re sure to adore.

1. Irish Setter

red haired dog irish setter.

Weight: 60 to 70 pounds

Height: 25 to 27 inches

Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

Perhaps the most well-known of all the dogs with long red hair has to be the Irish Setter. Affectionate and gentle, this breed gets along with just about everyone and is always keen to bond with new members of their pack, including other dogs. They’re kid-oriented too, but can often be a little over eager for younger tots. 

The Irish Setter, originally bred as a gun dog, is an energetic pooch who appreciates regular exercise and craves companionship with their family.

Often described as mahogany or chestnut, the stunning red coat of an Irish Setter will need regular brushing, at least twice a week, to help work out any tangles or mats that may form. Unfortunately, this glossy long-haired coat is known to shed frequently, making the Irish unsuitable for those who suffer from allergies.

2. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

red haired dog nova scotia duck tolling retriever.

Weight: 35 to 50 pounds

Height: 17 to 21 inches

Lifespan: 12 to 14 years

One of the lesser known red headed dogs — the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever varies in color, from a golden to a coppery red. This breed is on the small side for a Retriever but makes up for that with a mammoth personality.

These adorable fluffy canines, with their soft and gentle demeanor, play nicely with children and make great family pets even in multi-pet households. However, with a high energy level, they’re better suited to families who can devote plenty of time for play and walkies. 

Tollers require regular weekly brushing to keep their red double coats looking their best, and every day during shedding season. The Nova Scotia sheds frequently and blows their coat twice a year. Hence, staying on top of grooming is a must if you don’t want to constantly find their long red fur around your home.

3. Vizsla

red haired dog vizsla.

Weight: 44 to 60 pounds

Height: 21 to 24 inches

Lifespan: 12 to 14 years

The Vizsla originates from Hungary, where they were bred to be the loyal companion dogs of hunters. This is one dog who will never leave your family’s side, almost like a Velcro pooch. A very good-looking canine, with a golden-rust colored coat and long silky ears that frame a sensitive face. 

An athletic breed, Vizslas need an active human to keep up with their exercise demands. And, they tend to get on better with older children who are more equipped to deal with how energetic they can be. Yet, Vizslas have a sweet nature, and plenty of intelligence makes them easy to train.

With a short sleek single coat, the good news is this breed is low maintenance. Weekly brushing or using a grooming mitt can help get rid of any dead fur (they do shed a little) and keep their coat looking glossy and healthy. Vizslas are pretty good at keeping themselves clean and only need a bath when visibly dirty or if they’ve rolled in something smelly!

4. Poodle (Standard)

red haired dog standard poodle.

Weight: 40 to 70 pounds

Height: Over 15 inches

Lifespan: 10 to 18 years

If you’re looking for a large dog breed with curly red hair, the apricot Standard Poodle is a good contender. A rare coat color, this hue is a result of a recessive gene. 

The Poodle has a lean athletic build and is incredibly smart — this pooch needs lots of physical and mental stimulation. However, they’re keen to please their humans, thus are easy to train. Poodles fit right into family life and get along well with unfamiliar faces and other pets.

Many Poodle parents prefer to keep their dog’s hair short for a simpler coat maintenance routine. If you decide to keep their impeccable curls unclipped, they will require daily brushing to avoid tangles and matting. Fortunately, this breed is super low-shedding, making them an excellent choice for people with allergies.

5. Pomeranian

red haired dog pomeranian.

Weight: 3 to 7 pounds

Height: 6 to 7 inches

Lifespan: 12 to 16 years

An adorable pom-pom-like dog, the Pomeranian comes in a range of colors, most commonly red or orange. Despite their diminutive size, they’re spunky, smart, and full of attitude. Never underestimate the Pom, they can be a fab little watchdog with their incredibly alert senses.

However, you should train the Pom from an early age to bark when needed, as they can be very vocal. These little balls of fur are affectionate, love to be the center of attention, and are perfect for children old enough to understand ‘be gentle.’ The toy size of the Pom also means they adapt well to living in smaller homes and only require minimal exercise.

The Pomeranian’s coat needs weekly brushing. With a double coat, you should brush down to the root to evenly distribute the oils and maintain a healthy shine. The Pom only needs bathing when necessary, and a full groom at your favorite doggy salon every 4 to 6 weeks should be ample.

6. Cocker Spaniel

red haired dog cocker spaniel.

Weight: 20 to 30 pounds

Height: 13.5 to 15.5 inches

Lifespan: 10 to 14 years

Of all the red haired dog breeds, the Cocker Spaniel is probably the most happy-looking dog. This Spaniel is considered one of the most loyal dog breeds and is both lovable and entertaining, and a brilliant bow-wow for families with young children. 

A bright and cheerful pup, socialization comes easily to the Cocker Spaniel as long as they’re trained from an early age. As a sporting breed, your Cocker will need to maintain a good muscle tone but isn’t a dog who requires a lot of exercise to burn off an abundance of energy. A game of frisbee, ‘fetch,’ or walkies with their humans are firm exercise favorites. The Cocker Spaniel enjoys both playing and companionship. 

Keeping this breed’s gorgeous double coat looking silky can be demanding. The feathering soon becomes matted if grooming sessions lapse. Their skin is also sensitive, so be gentle when brushing them. Skin allergies and ear infections — because of their floppy ears — are common health issues for the Cocker.

7. Norfolk Terrier

red haired dog norfolk terrier.

Weight: 11 to 12 pounds

Height: 9 to 10 inches

Lifespan: 12 to 16 years

One of the smallest working Terriers, don’t make the mistake of thinking the Norfolk Terrier is a lap dog. Despite their toy-dog looks, Norfolks are genuine Terriers — feisty, bold, and courageous, which can be entertaining to watch.

The Norfolk Terrier is great with children and friendly to other humans too, they rarely show any signs of aggression. However, take care if you have other small pets in the home, they have a high prey drive and love to chase. Norfolks are smart dogs but also very headstrong at times, so need constant training. And, ensure your yard is well secured as they’re prone to bouts of wanderlust.

With various colors, red and red wheaten being two of them, the Norfolk Terrier’s short, wiry double coat is considered hypoallergenic — they don’t shed a lot. However, the technique of hand-stripping is the best way to remove those older outer hairs and any excess undercoat to make way for new growth. So, you’ll either have to learn or find a groomer that knows the method.

8. Redbone Coonhound

red haired dog redbone coonhound.

Weight: 45 to 70 pounds

Height: 21 to 27 inches

Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

A breed with an exclusively magnificent red coat, the Redbone Coonhound is a stunning American hunting dog. They’re easy-going, loyal, and loving companions when at home but can be a tiger when out on the trail. Redbones are happiest when mixing vigorous activity with long periods of R and R. 

The Coonhound also enjoys spending time with the family, although they aren’t as clingy as some other tracking dogs. And, while they mix well with other canines, they often see smaller animals, like cats or birds, as prey for the hunt. If left outside a secure yard is a must, if they pick up a scent, they’ll be off. 

Being a hound, the Redbone has that ‘doggy’ odor, although it can be kept under control with regular bathing. Short and smooth coated, shedding is average, and grooming isn’t too demanding — a weekly rub down with a mitt should remove any dead hairs.

9. Rhodesian Ridgeback

red haired dog rhodesian ridgeback.

Weight: 70 to 85 pounds

Height: 24 to 27 inches

Lifespan: 10 to 12 years

The Rhodesian Ridgeback dog breed’s red hair is officially recognized as ‘wheaten’ by kennel clubs and breeders. It can range from the golden color of a wheat field to a dark red of a maturing crop with either a black or brown muzzle. The Ridgeback name comes from the distinctive ridge of fur that runs down their backs, growing in the opposite direction.

A dignified-looking dog with a very regal shade of red coat, the Rhodesian is protective, devoted, and big-hearted. And, they thrive being around their humans. They love kids but due to their large size and energetic nature, should be supervised with smaller children. Historically being working dogs, you’ll need to set aside plenty of time for walkies.

This red dog breed’s short hair does shed a little more than you would expect, but the Ridgeback’s grooming needs are minimal. Weekly brushing should be enough to remove any loose hair and keep their smooth coat glossy, with the occasional bath helping too.

10. Dachshund (Miniature)

red haired dog miniature dachshund.

Weight: Under 11 pounds

Height: 5 to 6 inches

Lifespan: 12 to 16 years

A firm favorite for many years, the Dachshund comes in a range of colors, including a deep rich red. There are also three coat types — your Dachs can come with a wiry-haired coat, a smooth coat, or as a red long haired dog.

Dachshunds are very loving and outgoing hounds, with an alert nature and are ready for anything. However, they’re better suited to older children who understand rough play isn’t for them. They do get along well with other animals though. Dachshunds are also playful and active dogs who need a decent amount of exercise.

Smooth-coated Dachs are the easiest to care for, with their short hair needing little more than the occasional wipe down or bath. Long-haired Dachs need brushing more frequently to keep their locks tangle free. And, the wire-haired coat can be plucked or hand-stripped a few times a year to keep them looking their best.

dog breeds red hair.

Final Thoughts

Figuring out which breed you want to join your family is never easy. But, by deciding you want a red colored dog, you’ve narrowed down your search — a little.

And, as we said, your decision should go beyond coat color. You’ll need to consider size, how much training or exercise you’ll have time for, and how much grooming will be involved. 

Despite their fiery color, all the red haired dog breeds we’ve looked at have a gentle nature and make great pets for families with children. Some are even low shedding for those who suffer from dog allergies. But, whatever your requirements, there’s a perfect match out there — your biggest dilemma might be choosing only one!

Red Haired Dog Breeds FAQs

What Makes Red Haired Dogs Hair Red?

It’s caused by a genetic variation. This affects the pigmentation of their coats and results in a wide range of shades — from vibrant copper to deep mahogany. 

A mutation of the MC1R gene, which regulates the production of color pigments in red haired dog breeds, causes increased production of pheomelanin (the pigment responsible for red or yellow fur).

Do Red Haired Dog Breeds Have Any Specific Health Concerns?

Red-haired dog breeds, like any other breed, may be prone to certain health conditions. However, there is no direct correlation between coat color and health issues. 

Are All Red Haired Dog Breeds High-Maintenance When It Comes to Grooming?

There’s no reason why hair color should make any difference to the grooming of a doggy friend. Long red haired dogs will require significantly more brushing than the coats of red dog breeds with short hair. However, specific grooming requirements may differ based on the breed's coat length and type.

Are Red Haired Dogs Suitable for Families With Children?

Despite their fiery color, many red-haired breeds, such as Irish Setters and Vizslas, are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them great companions for families with children. However, it's always important to supervise interactions between dogs and young children and teach kids proper doggy etiquette.

Can I Find Red-Haired Dog Breeds in Shelters or Rescues?

While pure breeds may be less common in shelters, it is possible to find red-haired dogs available for adoption. Rescue organizations and breed-specific rescues can be great resources to find red-haired dogs in need of a loving home. Patience and persistence may be required in the search process.