When we think of popular doggie coat colors, we usually think of brown, golden, gray, and black. This is probably because some of the most popular pups in the country (like the German Shepherd, Labrador, Golden Retriever, and French Bulldog) can have these coat colors. And while these colors are all beautiful, red and white dogs are in a league of their own.
Anyone looking for a stunning dog should think about adopting a puppy with a red coat. There are small dogs for apartments, guard dogs, and exercise companions. Really, there’s a beautiful red and white pup for everyone!
These are our 15 favorite white and red dogs for you to choose from.
How Do The Genetics Work?
Canine genetics can be very complicated – so we’ll try to keep this as simple as possible.
Like humans, dogs inherit genes from their parents. The gene that creates a red coat is recessive and written as ‘e’. Although recessive, dogs with the genotype ‘ee’ will be completely red. This is because the red gene actually prohibits cells from being able to produce eumelanin (black pigment). Recessive red dogs can, therefore, not have any black hair on them.
But they can have white. And they can also have black noses and paws.
For non-genetic experts (which we’re presuming you’re not), the word ‘recessive’ can be misleading. Solid red can actually mask many other loci (the position on the chromosome where the gene is located).
Solid red can mask black, sable, wolf gray, and merle.
What To Think About Before Adopting a Red and White Dog
Before adopting any pup of any color, it’s important you find a good breeder (or a local shelter). Ethical breeders will be breeding for the health of the puppies, not their color. It’s important that a breeder can give you the correct health certificates and that they are accredited.
As mentioned, one of the risks with red and white dogs is that the solid red gene can mask other genes, including merle. That means that it won’t be evident from the coat color whether a pup has the merle gene or not. It’s, therefore crucial to make sure dogs are tested first to ensure two merle dogs aren’t bred together. (Double merles can have a number of health issues).
15 Wonderful Red and White Dogs
There are so many incredible dog breeds that have this wonderful coat color. Here are 15 of our favorites.
Australian Shepherds are amazing dogs with four standard coat colors, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). These are black, blue merle, red, and red merle. Both red and red merle dogs can have red and white coats. Some puppies will have dark, chestnut-colored coats, and others will have lighter, ginger ones.
Either way, they’re going to be stunning.
Australian Shepherds are one of the best herding dog breeds you can find. They love having a task (ideally involving sheep) and are highly intelligent. They need lots of exercise and will be happy to accompany you on long walks, runs, and outdoor excursions.
They also make great family pets and get along well with young children.
Welsh Springer Spaniel
Welsh Springer Spaniels are fun, affectionate, and intelligent canines. They’re slightly smaller than the British Springer Spaniel and larger than the Cocker Spaniel. The AKC recognizes one coat color as standard – red and white.
Welshies are one of Britain’s oldest gun dogs. Their wonderful thick coat is waterproof and weatherproof and doesn’t allow thorns to penetrate. This means these pups can run around in the fields and undergrowth come rain or shine.
And run, they will. This dog breed is energetic and needs lots of exercise. They like playing with their family and running or chasing after other doggos. This breed is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a hunting companion.
A Shiba Inu has a thick double coat that can be a light ginger color with white patches. In fact, these dogs look very like foxes!
They are pretty adaptable and can live in both cities and the countryside, making them a good choice for many. They’re energetic dogs but don’t need as much exercise as others on the list. A good daily walk and time playing in a fenced-in yard should be enough.
Shibas can be quite stubborn. Lots of training and positive reinforcement from puppyhood will help.
Akitas look a bit like Shiba Inus, especially when they have a red and white coat. Whilst these dogs have a lot of fur and a curled over tail, they’re much bigger than Shiba Inus.
The AKC recognizes three standard coat colors for the Akita.
Akitas are noble dogs of Japanese descent and are famous for being great watchdogs. They’re incredibly loyal, and their aloof nature, muscular body, and impressive looks are enough to deter most intruders.
They can be affectionate with those they love, but they’re very reserved around other animals. These white and red dogs need lots of early socialization and positive reinforcement from an experienced owner.
Most of us think of the Irish Setter when we think of a red dog. But did you know there’s also the Irish red and white Setter?
These beautiful, elegant dogs can have a chestnut, red, or mahogany coat, and white markings are also allowed. Both the red and white and all-red Irish Setter need to be groomed at least twice a week. This will keep their feathered coats looking as sleek as possible.
Irish Setters are a popular hunting breed but are also a good choice for families. They love human company and get along well with kids too. These athletic dogs were first bred as bird dogs and can still have a keen hunting instinct. They should only come off-leash in a fenced-in area that’s safe for them to play in.
When it comes to red and white dog breeds, the Korean Jindo is one of the lesser-known ones. These medium-sized dogs are incredibly loyal and are great, patient guard dogs. The Korean Jindo breed was first bred as a hunter, and they’re still a first-choice hunting companion for many.
These dogs are very intelligent and independent. They need lots of training from puppyhood but should be willing to learn thanks to their love of humans. Korean Jindos are very rarely aggressive but are suspicious around strangers and usually don’t like other male dogs.
They’re a good choice for those looking for an independent dog that’s loyal but not overly affectionate.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
These amazing red and white dogs are the smallest retrievers listed by the AKC. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is an excellent gundog and will play endless hours of fetch with a ball if they don’t need to retrieve waterfowl. They’re playful, charming, and very agile pooches that make great pets for active families.
This breed needs regular exercise and will love water activities. Their stunning coat comes in various colors – from deep mahogany to golden red. Males can grow to be 20 inches tall, and they have athletic, agile bodies to help them run fast after their prey.
They’re intelligent and relatively easy to train. But they need an owner who has enough time to care for them and take them on many exciting outdoor trips.
The Basenji is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. They’re easily recognizable thanks to their adorable wrinkled foreheads, short and sleek coats, and curly tails. These dogs are intelligent and great hunters, which can make them challenging to train. They can be stubborn and need an owner who can train them well.
Basenji are accepted with a number of different coat colors, but the most common is red and white. Usually, they have a red coat with a predominantly white chest. These pups are easy to groom and are often described as being ‘cat-like’ because of how they groom themselves.
They’re also known as being barkless. Whilst accurate in the sense that they don’t howl like a Husky, they do yodel – which is kind of like a loud yawn. They need a good amount of exercise and an owner who can provide them with that.
American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terriers are stocky, muscular, and exceptionally loyal pets. They’re confident companions that need a lot of early socialization and fun training. They’re very intelligent and like to have their minds challenged by learning new tricks.
The American Kennel Club recognizes this breed in 18 different colors! Three of those are red, red sable, and red brindle. Their short and stiff coats are easy to groom, and a weekly brush will be enough to distribute oil and remove dead hair and dander.
It’s essential to research your breeder no matter what breed you’re adopting. But that’s especially true for Amstaffs.
These dogs are one of the original English bloodsport pups and can have an aggressive temperament if not bred by a reputable breeder. Unfortunately, they’ve been unethically bred for years for dog fighting. Check you’re adopting your Amstaff from someone who cares about the breed and its welfare.
These tiny dogs are cheerful, alert, and very outgoing. Although tiny (they grow to a maximum of 11 inches), they’re active and like to get involved with family activities. They’re also adaptable and can happily live in cities and the countryside in warm or cold climates.
These stunning animals get their name from the French word for ‘butterfly.’ This is thanks to their large, plumed ears that look like butterfly wings!
Papillons usually have a predominantly white body and colored ears. They may also have larger patches of color on their saddle. The AKC recognizes five standard colors for these pups.
Papillons are tough little dogs. But that doesn’t mean care shouldn’t be taken around them. Kids should be taught how to play appropriately with a dog of that size, and playtime should always be supervised.
They can also suffer from patellar luxation. This is a condition where the kneecap slips. It’s important dogs are tested before they are bred.
Border Collies are very popular dogs. They were first bred in the Border Lands between England and Scotland. They’re one of the best herding breeds you can get and are also considered among the most intelligent dog breeds in the world.
There are many Border Collie colors, and one of the most stunning is red and white. These pups can either have a rough (long) or smooth (shorter) coat, and grooming requirements will depend on which your doggo has.
Border Collies are born to run. They need lots of exercise and will be happy accompanying you on jogs, hikes, or playing fetch in the park. They also need lots of training to keep them mentally engaged and to stop them from getting bored. You should also train them to prevent them from herding up their humans – which they can be prone to doing!
Alaskan Klee Kai
This spitz-like breed closely resembles the Husky. And actually, it’s a descendant of the Alaskan Husky, so no wonder!
These smaller dogs were first bred in the 1970s by a woman named Linda Spurlin. She wanted an intelligent, loyal, hard-working pup that would also make a great companion dog.
These pups have three standard colors, and no markings are recognized. They often have a perfectly symmetrical face, erect ears, and a slightly more feathery tail than a Husky.
This is an active dog breed, and they need both mental and physical stimulation. As well as keeping them healthy and happy, it can also help to improve the bond between the owner and their furry friend.
The Brittany Spaniel is another classic when it comes to red and white dogs. They are beautiful and versatile gundogs that have nearly unmatchable stamina.
They’ll be happy to run through the woods and fields for fun or on a hunt. They have an incredible sense of smell and are very popular hunting dogs in France and America.
These stunning dogs are smaller than the Irish red and white Setter but have longer legs than Spaniels. There are seven recognized coat colors – two of which are orange and liver with white markings.
These pups are very energetic and need lots of outdoor exercise. They’re not a good choice for you if you live in an apartment. They need space to run and roam.
They can be sensitive, though, so positive reinforcement is the best way to go.
Cocker Spaniels love to be challenged (and excel), so canine groups and classes could be a good option. They enjoy the company of other dogs and love to have fun.
Cockers are a sporting breed, but they don’t have as much energy as other dogs on the list. They’ll be happy chasing a ball or taking a long walk with their owner.
These beautiful dogs require regular grooming to keep them looking so good and their fur tangle-free. Missing a session can make the next one much more difficult.
These beautiful balls of fluff are among the most popular dog breeds for city dwellers and first-time pup parents.
Although they are very small dogs, they have prominent dog personalities and are not afraid to let everyone around them know who the boss is.
These adorable pooches can have 25 different coat colors – one of the most popular being white and red. As you can imagine, from all that fur, they need lots of brushing to keep them looking their best.
Poms do like to be lap dogs and cuddle with their families, but they also enjoy walks. When they’re not snoozing, they can be quite active and will love to chase after a ball or play with their friends in the park.
So, which of these red and white dogs is your favorite? We love that there can be so many tones within red – everything from dark chestnut to light golden!
I’m Charlotte, a content and copywriter from the North of England and currently living in Berlin. Animals have always been a huge part of my life, so writing about dogs is a total pleasure! I love all kinds of dogs and their cheeky personalities, but I’d have to say Weimaraners are my favourite!