Orange Dog Breeds

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 12/09/21 •  11 min read
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Orange Dog Breeds

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Orange dogs, really? Yes! There are dogs who sport orange coats, though the orange color is actually a shade of red. There’s no question that orange dogs are extremely unusual and beautiful. They also come in a wide range of orange shades and various sizes!

We’ve put together some information on what causes a dog’s fur to become orange and a list of some stunning orange dogs!

What Makes a Dog’s Coat Orange?

The orange in a dog’s coat is determined by genetics. There are basically two basic colors for all dog’s fur; these are eumelanin (black) and phaeomelanin (red). Every variation in color and pattern is created by these two colors, which are both a type of melanin.

The more melanin in a dog’s fur, the darker his coat will be. And just the opposite, if a dog has lighter fur, the less melanin he has. In addition, there are genes that modify these colors even further. You may notice some dogs that are a variation of black, brown, and grey. These are caused by various amounts of the black color. The genes modify the eumelanin to keep it from producing other colors.

Phaeomelanin can produce red, orange, cream, gold, yellow, and tan. The genes affecting phaeomelanin control the intensity of the color, making it stronger or weaker.

These two colors create a wide range of dog coat colorations. If you see a dog with white hair, you can tell his coat doesn’t produce any pigment.

Genes tell different cells in the dog’s body to produce phaeomelanin or eumelanin. And come cells make no color at all. Some genes are dominant, while others are recessive. Then you have mutations and more. However, careful breeding ensures that a dog breed’s characteristics remain pure, even the color of their coat!

Now you know what causes a dog’s coat to be orange—it’s a combination of the phaeomelanin and eumelanin in the dog’s cells, which is determined by genetics!

The Colors of Orange in a Dog’s Coat

Dogs are amazing and can have a stunning number of variations when it comes to coat color. Orange dogs are no different! There are various colors of orange that you can find in dogs, including red, gold, ginger, orange, peach, rust, and yellow!

In this article, we’ve put together a list of some beautiful orange dogs that are sure to amaze!

Large Orange Dog Breeds

Here’s our list of large orange dog breeds!


The Leonberger dog breed originated in Germany, and they’re a mix of Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards, and Great Pyrenees dogs. They’re famous for being large, gentle companion dogs! They’re also quite strong, yet they are eager to please. You’ll also find this dog breed to be very intelligent and loyal.

Even though they are considered companion dogs, Leonbergers are also used for search & rescue work and therapy dogs. This is because they are so strong and have a desire to be near and help humans.

Leonbergers make wonderful family companions, even for families that have young children. They’re extremely loving and have an amazing temperament. If you’re looking for a large best friend, you can’t go wrong with a Leonberger!

Leonbergers weigh between 120 to 170 lbs (these are huge dogs!) and stand between 28 to 31.5 inches tall. They have an average life expectancy between 8 to 9 years.


Vizslas originally came from Hungary, where they were used as pointing and hunting dogs. In fact, you may sometimes hear these dogs referred to as “Hungarian Pointers” for this reason! They’re also called “Velcro dogs” because they were bred to stick closely with their hunter pet parent. The Velcro nature of this orange dog breed continues today. A Vizsla wants nothing more than to stay and snuggle with their pet parent!

Because these are working dogs, expect a Vizsla to be filled with energy! They require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. These dogs make wonderful hunting companions, therapy dogs, and even will be your best jogging buddy! Vizslas need at least one hour of exercise a day.

Vizslas weigh between 44 to 60 lbs and stand between 21 to 24 inches tall. They have an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois are known for being extremely intelligent, agile, and hard workers. For these reasons, the dogs are often used in police and military work. They were originally bred as herding dogs, which means they have a ton of energy and need plenty of exercise to stay happy and healthy.

Because these dogs require so much exercise, they’re not the best choice for humans living in an apartment. The dogs need a larger living space. The breed is also not recommended for first-time pet parents. This is because Belgian Melanosis need a pet parent with a firm hand who understands how to train these dogs.

Belgian Malinois come in various shades of orange and red, including mahogany, red, red sable, fawn, and fawn sable. They’re very beautiful dogs!

The Belgian Melanois weighs between 55 to 75 lbs and stands between 22 and 28 inches tall. They have an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds, also called Aussies, are extremely intelligent, energetic, beautiful dogs. They have a wide range of colors and coat patterns, which also include orange! However, you won’t see these dogs described as orange. Instead, they’re said to be red or reddish merle, or even calico (red, liver, and cream). Even so, the red shades do resemble orange, too!

This dog breed’s name is interesting. You’d think they originally came from Australia; however, that’s not accurate! The dogs originally were bred in the Pyrenees by Basques to herd livestock. In the 1800s, some Basques decided to immigrate to America, while others went to Australia. Both groups took their dogs with them. In the American West and in Australia, these dogs are famous for helping cowboys herd cattle and sheep. Some of the Basque people decided to leave Australia and head to America. This is how the Aussie dog breed got its name!

These dogs are very intelligent and athletic. They are working dogs who need something to do. If you have an Aussie dog, then know he will need lots of exercise and mental stimulation in order to be happy and healthy. You might even consider training your dog to help with household chores! They will love the work! Even so, Australian Shepherds make wonderful companions who are loving and loyal.

Aussies weigh between 40 to 65 lbs and stand between 18 to 23 inches tall. They have an average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.

Medium Orange Dog Breeds

Here’s our list of medium-sized orange dog breeds!

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was bred to lure and retrieve waterbirds. These dogs are highly affectionate and adaptable. Families living in apartments can even have a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retriever, as long as they make sure the dog receives plenty of exercise and mental stimulation!

Needless to say, this dog breed loves playing in the water! This is how the dog lures in the dogs and other waterbirds! As the dog plays, the birds are curious about what he’s doing.

These dogs were originally bred in the Little River district of Nova Scotia, which is a Canadian province on Canada’s Atlantic coast. If you’re looking for a dog with plenty of personality, intelligence, and a happy personality, then the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever might be the dog for you!

These dogs weigh between 35 to 50 lbs and stand about 1 ft 5in to 1 ft 9 in tall. They have an average life expectancy between 10 to 14 years.

Brittany Spaniel

The Brittany Spaniel isn’t all orange, but he is cream/white and orange. The Brittany Spaniel (also called the Brittany) is a very elegant, happy dog. They were originally bred to be gun dogs. They may be somewhat hyperactive, so these dogs are best for active families. We’re sure this dog will outwalk you on a long hike!

What’s more, a Brittany is a dog that’s enthusiastic about he does! Whether that be playing with the kids, hunting, or hiking, these dogs are happy to do it! So, it can be a little challenging to keep up with a Brittany Spaniel unless you have a ton of energy and are very active.

Another thing to keep in mind about Brittanys is that they are sensitive. They don’t take well to being harshly scolded or dealt with. One look is enough to let the Brittany know you’re not happy. These dogs respond best to positive reinforcement training methods, which use praise, treat rewards, and play.

Brittanys weigh between 30 to 40 lbs and stand about 1 ft 5 in to 1 ft 8 in tall. They have an average life expectancy between 10 to 13 years.

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is a very famous orange dog breed! This breed originates from Japan, where they were bred to flush birds and small game. They were also used for hunting wild boar, which should tell you about the courage of these medium-sized orange dogs!

These dogs strongly resemble foxes, though some believe they look like a stuffed animals! The Shiba Inu may be cute, but they’re the smallest of the Spitz dogs, which come from Japan.

Shiba Inu have a personality to match their orange color; some have said their personality is on the fiery side. They’re also very brave, good-natured, and alert. These are the very traits that make them such courageous hunters.

Shiba Inus can be strong-will, which means they’re not the best dog for first-time pet parents. They’re also very athletic (no surprise there!)! However, their independence can be curbed a bit with training and socialization, which should start when young.

Even so, Shiba Inus make great family companions. They’re known for being extremely loyal and devoted, and they even do well with kids. However, the kids must be respectful and treat the dog right. The dog will not put up with anything less. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to never leave your kids and Shiba Inu without supervision.

Shiba Inus weigh between 17 to 23 lbs and stand 13 to 17 inches tall. They have an average life expectancy between 12 to 16 years.

Small Orange Dog Breeds

Here’s our list of small orange dog breeds!


Pomeranians originated in Germany in the province of Pomerania! They were beloved pets for Queen Victoria. Paintings of the queen even include her treasured dogs. These dogs are very furry and have orange fur. They’re also brilliant, cute, and rambunctious!

While cute, these dogs are highly intelligent and tend to have a mind of their own. They’re also very curious and alert. And Pomeranians tend to believe they’re larger dogs. They won’t hesitate to take on a large dog! However, if these dogs are properly trained and socialized, they can get along with other dogs.

Pomeranians weigh between 3 to 7 lbs and stand between 7 to 12 inches tall. They have an average life expectancy of 12 to 16 years.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi was bred to herd livestock, which means these small dogs are very intelligent and active. When you consider their short legs, however, you wonder how they could keep up with cattle! But if you watch a video of these little dynamos running, you’ll no longer have any doubts about their ability to herd!

Welsh Corgis were first registered with the Kennel Club in the UK in 1934, and they’re the smallest of the AKC’s recognized herding dogs. These canines feature red, sable, fawn, or tri-colored coats, with white markings. Their red color does look very orange!

These dogs do love to bark at just about anything! And because Corgis are so intelligent, they’re famous for being somewhat stubborn. They love to eat, which means they can easily overeat and become obese. For that reason, a Corgi’s diet must be watched, and the dog needs plenty of exercise to stay in shape.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis weigh up to 30 lbs and stand about 10 to 12 inches tall. They have an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.

Summing It Up

So, there you have it! Orange dogs do exist and come in a wide range of shapes and colors. What’s more, they’re beautiful dogs that will surely grab your heart!

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!