Welcome to my article which is nothing more than a list of dog breeds which are famed for having beautiful short red hair.
And looking at my selection, the breeds in my list are all pretty big.
The smallest is a Pharaoh Hound which can grow to 63 cm tall and weigh 27 kg and the largest is the Dogue de Bordeaux which must weigh at least 50 kg and stand 69 cm or 27 inches tall.
Each of these breeds comes in their own shades of red from the lighter shades of a gold to the darkness of a mahogany.
And they all have short hair, which is great because it means that your vacuum cleaner won’t be constantly running and short hair dogs are easier to clean when they do get dirty.
Short hair is also better news for would be owners who have allergies as there won’t be as much “dander”.
But many of these breeds aren’t for the first time dog owner- they will require a bit of experience to go with the boat loads of patience that any dog owner needs.
Oh yeah- as larger dogs they will eat and so will cost more to feed and most of the breeds in the list require lots of exercise.
So be prepared to get moving.
And talking of that, let’s head over to my first red dog breed with short hair…
 Redbone Coonhound
The word that I would use to describe a Red Coonhound is “sleek”.
This dog does not hide its power or its athletic ability under a bushel.
One look at it and you know the sort of dog that you are dealing with.
A very short haired coat, deep red in colour- described by the AKC as “finest mahogany”.
These dogs were bred to be like a modern day multi tool.
They can chase and force tree climbing animals up trees, or they can take on larger animals such as mountain lions.
They even have webbed feet so that they are nearly as effective in the water as they are out of it.
As if they weren’t talented enough- they also make great family dogs.
Provided they get enough exercise.
An adult male can stand about 25 inches or 63 cm tall and weigh up to 70 lbs or 31 kgs.
 Rhodesian Ridgeback
The most distinguishing feature of this breed is the ridge of hair on its back that grows in the opposite direction to all the other hair.
It almost looks like a spine and comes from African wild dogs
In terms of colour, a Ridgeback’s coat can run from a golden yellow (or light wheaten) to a red wheaten.
Weighing up to 50 kg or 110 lbs and standing up to 79 cm or 31 inches tall, Ridgebacks are large dogs.
It will come as no surprise to learn that Great Danes were used in the development of the Rhodesian Ridgeback.
Developed in Southern Africa (yes I know the name gives it away), these dogs were bred to hunt down and corner a lion until the hunter could catch up and shoot it.
On the farm they were used to clear land of wild pigs and baboons.
All of which gives Rhodesian Ridgebacks great speed, strength and endurance.
They tend to be great family dogs as long as you are careful with smaller children who might get accidentally knocked over by them.
They are very tolerant apart from when they are with a group of other male dogs, which might bring out a need to be the Alpha Male in these dogs.
Now that we have looked at two breeds in the heavyweight division, let’s move across to the lightweight division.
If the previous two breeds oozed power and muscle, it is time to swap that for a breed that is all about grace.
The Azawakh, like the Ridgeback, hail from Africa.
Or more specifically the Azawagh valley in West Africa.
And although standing nearly as tall as the Ridgeback at up to 74 cm or 29 inches, it is half the weight of one.
An Azawakh will probably top the scales at 55 lbs or 25 kgs.
As you can see from looking at them, these dogs were built for speed.
And because their hair is so short and their body fat so low, they do not do well in wet and cold conditions.
They were bred to hunt down small game animals in the desert and as a guard dog, watching over settlements in the desert.
These dogs form very close bonds with family members.
Whilst they are too aloof to form close bonds with very young children they will become very close with older children.
Although they don’t need a massive amount of exercise, they do need to have the chance to really stretch their legs regularly.
Just make sure that they don’t catch sight of something to chase.
 Pharaoh Hound
Legend has it that Pharaoh Hounds hark back to Ancient Egypt: where similar looking dogs were shown in some of the tomb art.
However, a DNA analysis shows that this breed doesn’t have such a long and colourful history.
Most probably, their roots are in Malta where they were bred to chase rabbits in the hilly and harsh terrains of some of the islands.
Apart from their dashing red coats which can vary between tan to a golden red, their most distinguishing feature are their very large and erect ears.
And those ears do give them a king of ancient look, don’t they?!
They are not as tall as the Azawakh, with an adult male potentially being 63 cm high and they are slightly bulkier too- weighing up to 60 lbs or 27 kg.
Another highly desirable quality is just how children-friendly these dogs are because they are so gentle and patient.
These dogs are happy to be couch potatoes as long as they have had a good run about.
But make sure that if you take the lead off that the area is enclosed.
When a Pharaoh sees something that is worth chasing, they will be off in a flash.
The Vizsla is another dog with a long and ancient history.
But not one based in Africa, but in Hungary.
Potentially dating back to the tenth century when they were pictured with Hungarian warriors, they were later owned by Hungarian nobility.
The breed nearly died out after World War One but it was revived by a group of enthusiasts.
In terms of looks, the Vizsla is often mistaken for other breeds including the Redbone Coonhound or Rhodesian Ridgeback.
In reality, the Vizsla is smaller and not so heavy set.
Their coat is described as solid golden rust in several different shades.
And they should always have a red nose, which the Redbone Coonhound should never have
Trained as “pointing” dogs, a Vizsla stands at around 23 inches or 57 cm tall and a male will weigh up to 50 lbs or 22.6 kgs.
 Dogue de Bordeaux
And let me end on a high…
My last breed is a massive dog- with a red coat of course!
Weighing at least 100 lbs (50 kg) for a male and standing up to 69 cm or 27 inches tall, this breed brings new meaning to the phrase “big head”
And it’s gigantic head dominates the dog’s appearance- it’s circumference is meant to be equal to the dog’s height.
When you stop looking at its head, your eye will easily be drawn to its wonderful coat which ranges from a dark to a light fawn.
Quite surprisingly, their coat is soft to the touch.
Large breed dogs tend to have a shorter life expectancy than small breed dogs but for this breed, life can be particularly short with an average lifespan of only six years.
It is par for the course that a big dog such as this can be very stubborn and will ignore any command if given half a chance.
Over a short distance, they can move like “billy-hoo” but generally they like a life lived at a much slower pace.
But there is no aggression- these dogs are incredibly affectionate but they are big droolers!
² Photo by Tussangana M’bay ‘N Rhodesian Ridgeback on Flickr
³ Photo by Franco Vannini on Flickr
⁴ Photo by Cole Wyland on Unsplash