12 Large Red Dog Breeds

Photo by Ryan Stone on Unsplash

Welcome to my post which includes a list of twelve large breeds of dogs that have red coats. 

And this list contains only breeds that have solid red coats and these breeds are impressive for their size.

The shortest dog in my list can be up to 21 inches (55 cm) tall- the Novia Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

Ironically it has the longest name!

And the tallest dog is the Scottish Deerhound which is about 32 inches (80 cm) tall. 

The biggest dogs weight wise are the Bloodhound and the Dogue De Bordeaux. 

How are red coats made?

The colours of a dog’s coat are controlled by only two pigments.

That goes for any dog of any breed. 

One pigment is black but it can vary in shades between jet black and and a bluey grey.

This pigment is called eumelanin

The other pigment is red that varies between a dark mahogany to paler shades of gold.

This pigment is called pheomelanin. 

The shade of each pigment which appears on any coat, the pattern of colour created and whether the pigment appears on the coat at all, are all controlled by genes.

And you know as soon as I mentioned genes that things were going to get complicated!

And so all the dogs in my list have coats which are coloured solely by pheomelanin.

Different genes affect the intensity of the pigment which dictates what shade of red that the coat is. 

Now that we have done that, let me introduce my breeds. 

[1] Redbone Coonhound

Don’t let the floppy ears, even-tempered nature, and perfect puppy eyes fool you. The Redbone Coonhound is a powerful hunting dog, known for its short, dense coat. These hounds are a beautiful mahogany red, sometimes with white markings on the crest.

Adults males weigh in at a whopping 45 – 70 pounds, measuring up to 27 inches.

Originally hailing from the Southern United States, the Redbone Coonhound was bred for hunting large game, even in marshes. Hence the webbed feet and the beautifully sculpted build. They’re agile and remarkably fast, excelling even in rocky terrain.

While these mighty hunters are fierce on the trail, they’re loving and loyal family dogs. If you offer this pup rigorous exercise, followed by a long rest, he’s sure to stay out of mischief and be super content.

[2] Irish Setter

The gorgeous Irish Setter is a versatile hunting dog with a sleek coat ranging from mahogany to chestnut. Weighing in at 70 pounds, an adult male can reach up to 27 inches in height. With their floppy ears and doe eyes, these hounds are equally suited as loving family dogs and ferocious hunting dogs. Their medium length, straight coats, don’t require tons of grooming, so you won’t have dog hair all over the house, either. That is if you do a quick, daily grooming session.

Irish Setters are incredibly energetic and social, so you’ll need to give your pup plenty of exercise and lots of space to keep it happy. If you don’t, your highly intelligent pup will likely get up to mischief and some intense clowning around. They also have the metabolism of teenage boys, so be sure to stock up on food for this one.

Irish Setters have been crowd favorites at dog shows since 1870 when the sport began. Big Red, the canine star of the Kjelgaard novel by the same name, was an Irish Setter. President Richard Nixon also had an Irish Setter named King Timahoe after his ancestral town in Ireland.

[3] Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is the third hunting dog on our list, tracing their origins back to the hunting dogs of the ancient KhoiKhoi in Southern Africa. These intelligent, loyal dogs are perfect companions for active families. Their short wheaten coats range from light tan to dark red – all the colors you can find in a wheat field. They don’t shed much, so a weekly brush will keep their coats in check.

Adult males weigh in at 85 pounds, with a height of 26 inches. These pups are quite popular, with the likes of Blake Griffin and Patrick Swayze owning members of the breed.

These active pups are kids at heart. They never say no to a treat, especially when they can swipe some human food off the counter. They also love running and are extremely intelligent. That’s why they often steal the show at competitions.

[4] Azawakh

The regal Azawakh hails from a valley of the same name in the Saharan Desert. Their short, fine coats vary significantly in color, ranging from red, sand, and fawn, to brindled, blue, brown, and even black. These affectionate companions are often used as sighthounds and guardians since they are exceptionally loyal and even-tempered.

Adult males weigh anywhere between 44 and 55 pounds, with a height ranging from 25 to 29 inches.

While the Azawakh’s elegant build and ultrafine coat seem perfectly suited to a sultan’s luxurious palace, these formidable hunters were bred to chase gazelles on the inhospitable Saharan plains. They are social animals and won’t exercise alone. Suppose you choose this magnificent pup as your companion. In that case, you must commit to daily exercise and intelligent play with your furkid since they need plenty of it.

[5] Pharaoh Hound

Descended from Bronze Age hunting dogs, Pharaoh Hounds have the unique ability to smile and blush when they’re happy. Their tan coats and amber eyes have stolen many hearts throughout the centuries. And it’s no wonder, with that intelligent face and perky ears.

These rugged hunting dogs love vigorous exercise and freedom. Seriously, if you let your Pharaoh Hound off its leash in an unenclosed area, it could well be gone for good. Even well-trained ones take off when given a chance. It’s their ancient hunting instinct coming through. That instinct may even cause them to have a go at smaller household pets, so think carefully before you add one of these to your family.

Adult males are about 24 inches tall, weighing in at 45 – 55 pounds. Their tight, short-haired coats don’t require a lot of grooming – a light daily brush should do the trick.

[6] Vizsla

Also known as Hungarian Pointers, the Vizsla makes excellent hunting dogs as well as family companions. These sensitive, social dogs love encouragement and hate being left alone. Their medium size (23 inches, 55 – 60 pounds) means that they won’t cause too much damage to your home.

These pups are highly intelligent and were bred for long days in the field. Without sufficient physical and mental stimulation, they’ll get into all sorts of trouble. Vizslas also require tons of training from a young age to keep them manageable. 

Their sleek, rust-gold coats don’t require lots of grooming. A weekly brush usually does the trick, and they don’t shed that much.

[7] Dogue de Bordeaux

These muscular Mastiffs are one of the oldest French dog breeds and go by many names – Bordeaux Mastiff, French Mastiff, and Bordeuxdog, among others. Their wrinkly faces are adorable, and they’ll slobber all over you with those drooping jowls. These courageous, loyal dogs make the perfect family guardians.

The Bordeaux Mastiff is of medium size (23 inches) but incredibly powerful, weighing in at a whopping 110 pounds. When needed, your Bordeauxdog can move like lightning, despite its size. Their short, fawn-colored coats shed a lot, so regular grooming is a must. All those facial wrinkles need special attention, too, including a weekly wipe down.

Bordeaux puppies need to take things easy to protect their growing bone structure. Adult Bordeauxdogs, on the other hand, are ideal working dogs and can even pull carts. If you don’t put yours to work, ensure that he gets regular, moderate exercise.

[8] Irish Water Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniels are the largest, and also the oldest Spaniel breed. These hardworking, playful dogs are of medium size (23 inches) and relatively light, with adult males weighing in at 55-68 pounds. They’re easily recognizable by their liver-colored, crisply curled coats and curled rat tails. The Irish Water Spaniel’s coat is waterproof and hypoallergenic, so they are ideal pets for allergy sufferers.

Bred as working dogs, Irish Water Spaniels require tons of exercise to keep them physically and mentally fit. When you give this pup enough exercise during the day, he will be calm and content in the home at night.

[9] Bloodhound

The Bloodhound is the famous Sherlock Holmes of the canine world. They were bred to hunt deer and to track people. These friendly, curious dogs are large, with adult males measuring 25-27 inches and weighing 90-110 pounds. The solemn hounds have coats of varying colors, usually black and tan, red, or liver and tan.

While these inquisitive sleuths are firebrands on the trail, they’re quite docile at home, enjoying the company of other dogs and kids. Their droopy eyes and floppy ears are adorable – who can resist giving them extra treats and cuddles? Bloodhounds might make quite a mess of your home since they’re notorious droolers, and their short, dense coats tend to shed a lot. Weekly grooming and bathing are a must, along with nail and dental hygiene. 

Don’t let the docile nature of this sleuth fool you – they were bred to endure long, hard days in punishing terrain. For this reason, they need daily exercise.

[10] Boxer

Bred to chase wild game, these German dogs are known for their bright-eyed playfulness. Boxers are courageous watchdogs and family guardians, ideal for families with small kids. Not too small, though, since a well-meaning, bouncy puppy could easily overwhelm a tiny tot.

Boxers come in various colors, including fawn, brindle, and white. Some have white markings, while others don’t. Adult males measure 23-25 inches, weighing a neat 60-85 pounds.

Your bouncy Boxer needs tons of exercise, but always on a leash or in a properly fenced-off area. These dogs are chasers, so they’ll bolt at the first sign of freedom. Grooming these fun-loving athletes is super easy since they don’t shed much. A quick, weekly rub-down would do the trick, along with the occasional bath. 

[11] Scottish Deerhound

I struggled to find a video with a Deerhound with a red coat

One of the largest dog breeds around, the Scottish Deerhound is also known as the “Royal Dog of Scotland“. Adult males measure a whopping 30-32 inches, weighing 85-110 pounds.

Deerhounds were bred to course large deer in rough terrain, so they need plenty of exercise. That said, Deerhounds love lounging on the couch. They don’t like exercising alone, but an energetic companion dog or some other form of positive coercion can get them going. This gentle giant needs much more than a daily, leashed walk around the block.

Deerhounds come in various colors, including brindle, fawn, red fawn, blue, grey, and yellow. Breeders generally favor the blue-grey coats. Their harsh, wiry coats are easy to care for, requiring a weekly brushing and the occasional bath.

[12] Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

As the smallest retriever breed, these medium-sized gundogs are often mistaken for small Golden Retrievers. Since their name is a mouthful, we shorten it to “Tollers.”

Tollers are adorable, outgoing, and extremely intelligent. These athletes have gorgeously silky medium-length red coats, ranging from golden red to dark copper, with white markings. While a weekly brush is usually sufficient, you’ll have to up your game during the shedding season. Tollers shed a lot when seasons change.

Adult males measure 18-21 inches, weighing 35-50 pounds. These loyal, loving pups need lots of exercise and do well in canine sports like agility and fieldwork. They also love playing fetch since that’s what they were bred to do. Just ask Ryan Reynolds, who also owns a Toller.

James Grayston

My name is James and I love dogs. have owned four Golden Retrievers in the past 15 years. Currently I own two "Goldies"- a five year old and a seven month old. The photo shows me with our youngest when she was about 7 weeks old!