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The Protective Chinese Red Dog Breed ( Laizhou Hong )

If there’s one thing you should know about the Chinese red dog, this breed is steeped in history.

Prized for their guarding abilities, these dogs have been a part of Chinese households for decades.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this fascinating breed and explore some of the facts surrounding them.

So if you’re looking to add a Chinese red dog for your family, read on—this information is for you!

What is the Chinese Red Dog Breed?

Chinese red dog resting on the ground looking to its right side

The  Chinese Red Dog ( 中国红犬 – pronounced Zhōngguó hóng quǎn) or Laizhou Hong Dog, is a large molosser type dog from China.

The Chinese Red Dog is derived from breeding local, regional working dogs in China with European breeds like the German Shepherd, Great Dane, and Rottweiler in the 1970s.

Initially, it was a very popular breed; however, following the ease of owning a dog restriction in China, other dogs started to be favored.

The Chinese Red Dog Breed History

2 chinese red dogs standing in front of the door

The Chinese Red Dog first hit the scene back in the late 19th century, in the German-occupied Shandong Province of China, while on lease from the Ching Dynasty.

When you think of China, you might not consider a population of GSD, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinschers.

But they were plentiful in the area due to being brought into the province by the Germans.

Along with their popular German breeds of working dogs, they also used some local working breeds, such as the Shandong Xian Hound.

The Chinese Red Dog results from these breeds being bred together.

chinese red dog breed history

It is rumored that the Korean Mastiff was used to give the dog its dark red coat, but at this point, trying to confirm this is difficult.

It is just as difficult as pinpointing exactly which German breed was used and mixed with the Shandong Xian Hound, and nobody seems to know for sure.

The Chinese Red Dog was once among the most popular dogs in China, and its popularity steadily increased throughout the early to mid-20th century.

However, after different restrictions were lifted, opening the doors for other breeds to come into the country, the breed sadly lost ground to other, more popular dogs.

Since their drop in popularity, they have become a rare K9 outside of China compared to the popular flat-faced pug.

That notwithstanding, breeders are out in China, some parts of Asia, in the western world like Europe and the United States.

Chinese Red Dog Characteristics

Physical Appearance & Size

Chinese red dog sitting with tongue sticking out

This dog has smooth short fur, black with reddish patches on the legs and muzzle. The body is muscular and lean.

It has a strong resemblance to the German Shepherd and the Kunming Wolfdog, and they are similar in many ways:

  • The shape of their head is similar
  • Almond-shaped eyes
  • black nose and wide nostrils
  • Tall ears
  • Straight long sturdy legs
  • Long tail reaching the dog’s ankles
  • Smart and reliable
  • Energetic
size and weight of chinese red dog

A male dog can reach 32 inches in height, approximating 79 centimeters, while the females reach a maximum of 27 inches, 70 centimeters.

The shortest height is 25 inches / 64 centimeters in both sexes.

It can weigh between 77 to 85 pounds and between 35 to 40 kilograms.

Personality & Temperament

2 chinese red dog puppies

The Chinese Red Dog is well known to be loyal, confident, calm, and friendly, and with early training and socialization, it can become an excellent addition to a family.

It is known to be protective, which is why it was bred- as a security/working breed.

China’s red dog ancestors were diligent, intelligent, tough, robust, and hard-working. It should be expected that many of the same attributes accompany the breed.

The breed’s courageous attitude, devotion, and toughness have landed this breed several job opportunities over the years.

The Chinese People used them as farm, security, and police dogs.

They have proven to adapt quickly to situations and adjust to social environments. Their eagerness to work makes them easier to train than other breeds.

Life Expectancy

The Chinese Red Dog has a life expectancy of about 15 years.

Common Health Problems

3 chinese red dogs close up image
  • Due to its elongated ear shape, the breed is prone to pretty common ear infections. Signs of a potential ear infection include excessive head-scratching or pawing its ears and head shaking.
  • Dental issues – teeth or gums infection manifested by weight loss, refusing to eat, and pain.
  • Allergic reactions to a particular food or medication for other health issues.
  • Hip dysplasia is common in dogs of larger size, a condition where the hip joint does not fit properly and causes damage to the hip leading to arthritis. The signs would be that the dog will be in pain, won’t want to walk, and might bark or whine continuously.
  • Urinary infection caused by bacteria.
  • Digestive issues –  can be caused by poor eating, unsafe uncertified food suppliers, and food poisoning.
  • Obesity – excessive feeding and neglecting to exercise your dog will lead to unhealthy weight gain.

It is important to keep vaccination up to date and regularly checked by a veterinarian.

Chinese Red Dog Training & Care

Basic Training

chinese red dog training

For this dog, it is essential to start the training when still a young puppy.

From the start, it needs to know that its owner is the ‘leader of the pack.’ This can be done by remaining calm, firm, and consistent when setting the rules.

When on the leash, the dog must remain behind its master to recognize its status.

They can be trained as guard dogs and police dogs search and rescue dogs.


Laizhou Hong dog

Ensure that your Chinese red dog’s feeding area is clean and that the pet has plenty of clear water, especially during the hot season.

In pet shops, supermarkets, and online dog food suppliers, dog treats and main meals have quality ingredients enriched with vitamins and minerals.

If any allergies are known, it is better to read the labels for the complete list of ingredients.

Being a large-sized dog, the food should bring the necessary calcium intake for developing and maintaining strong, healthy bones.

Nutritionally rich dog formulas should be specially designed to fuel this energetic dog.

Dog food containing Omega 3 will supply essential care for its skin and fur, keeping it healthy and shiny-looking.

The amount given should be according to its size and the label on the food pack.

They can also eat some food that ends up on the owner’s table :

  • Raw and cooked carrots
  • Bread
  • Peas
  • Rice
  • Well cooked pork
  • Cooked chicken and turkey
  • Plain portobello mushrooms
  • Cooked potatoes

Food to avoid

  • Chocolate and boiled sweets
  • Grapes
  • Avocadoes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raisins
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Lemons
  • Raw meat
  • Processed meat – salami, ham, bacon
  • Raw potatoes


chinese red dog close up photo

They need little grooming as they don’t shed much hair.

Should You Get a Red Dog from China?

The Benefits of Having a Chinese Red Dog

2 chinese red dogs with owner

What is great about this type of dog is that they are relatively easy to train, require low maintenance, and make an excellent addition to someone suffering from allergies.

Confident and loyal families love this dog. Its playful, friendly, and calm manner makes it a great dog for children.

Due to its natural protection streak, it’s classed as a high deterrence dog.

This makes the Chinese Red Dogs valuable companion dogs that can be used as working or guard dogs on a farm.

You would be the owner of a rare Chinese dog in Europe and the USA.

The Drawbacks of Having a Chinese Red Dog

chinese red dog image against a sunset background

Being a rare breed, it’s hard to get your hands on this type of dog.

This dog is more suited to living in a house with a garden or a place that allows it to roam freely in an unenclosed space (like a farm or an estate).

It is possible to have a Chinese Red Dog accustomed to an apartment, but it requires effort from both the owner and the dog.

Additional Tidbits

Traveling With Your Red Dog

Laizhou Hong dog in the backyard

This dog will obey its master and wait patiently in its designated spot in the car.

The dog will need to have all its vaccination up to date, a chip, and a dog passport to travel by plane.

It’s always advisable to check the rules with the airline and the country the dog it’s traveling to.

Chinese Red Dog Cost

chinese red dog cost image

Laizhou Hong is a rare breed of dog. And as is the case with anything rare, it’s expensive.

For reference, an ad for one in Germany for an eleven-month-old pup, vaccinated and chipped, for 2,000 euros ($2365.33 US).

The average price is £2,500 on freeads.co.uk.

The buying process might require some travel, adding to the expenses.

For example, in the UK, in June 2020, an owner sold his six months old Chinese Red Dog for £2,500.

In Florida, at the same time, a dog training provider sells puppies, with the condition to be left for a year of training with them, at the whopping price of 45,000$.

These are only examples, and every breeder is different. That said, the pricing will be different from one to another.

Finding a Chinese Red Dog For Sale:

chinese red dog puppy on the lawn

Information about this rare dog is scarce online and in specialized books.

On Facebook, there are some pages where you can see images and videos of different dogs, and they also have information on where to buy a Chinese Red Dog.

Check Out the Links Below:

Final Thoughts

man thinking about chinese red dog

The Chinese Red Dog is unique in appearance, manner, and talent.

It is too bad that there are so few out there, and perhaps one day, they’ll pick up the prominence they once enjoyed.

When appropriately trained, they are good family dogs and dedicate themselves to loving and protecting their own.

Do you want to know more about China’s red dogs?

You might want to read my article about China’s Red Cantonese Bear Dog

Thanks For Reading.


10 gray pawprints

About the author: Driven by his lifelong passion for dogs and an insatiable curiosity about their diverse breeds, Pablo Pascua founded dogbreedsfaq.com. Through this website, he seeks to expand his knowledge and share his findings with fellow dog enthusiasts. Having owned several dogs throughout his life, Pablo’s experiences have fueled his interest in learning more about these beloved animals. His mission is to provide accurate and comprehensive information to help pet owners make informed decisions about their furry companion.