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The Protective Chinese Red Dog

A Chinese Red Dog, known under the Laizhou Hong name, is a large dog breed originating from China.

The Chinese Red Dog is a breed derived from breeding together 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 dog breeds started to be favored.

The History of China’s Red Dog (中国红犬)

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 German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pincers.

But they were plentiful in the area due to being brought into the province with the German occupants.

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

The Laizhou Hong (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 trying and pin down 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 was steady upward throughout the early to the 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 breed of K9 outside of China compared to the popular flat-faced pug.

That notwithstanding, breeders are out there today in China, some parts of Asia, Europe, and the United States.

The Physical Appearance of a Laizhou Hong dog

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 (Chinese “German Shepherd”), and they are similar in many ways:

  • The shape of their head is similar
  • Straight long legs
  • Long-tail reaching the dog’s ankles
  • Smart and reliable
  • Energetic

Size and Weight

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, between 35 to 40 kilograms.

Chinese Red Dog Temperament

2 chinese red dog puppies

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

It is known to be protective, as that is among the reasons it was bred- as a security/working breed.

The Laizhou Hong’s ancestors were diligent, intelligent, tough, robust, and hard-working dogs. 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 a farm dog, a security dog, and a police dog.

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.

Advantages Of Owning a Chinese Red Dog

2 chinese red dogs with owner

What is great about this type of dog is that it requires low maintenance and doesn’t shed much hair. It makes for an excellent addition to someone suffering from allergies.

Confident and loyal, families love Laizhou Hong. Its 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 Dog a valuable companion that can be used as a guard or a working dog on a farm.

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

Disadvantages Of Owning a Chinese Red Dog

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.


chinese red dog training

For this dog breed, 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.

Can be trained as a guard dog, police, or border patrol special dog agent.

Common Health Problems

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

  • Due to its elongated ear shape, ear infections are pretty common. Signs of a potential ear infection would be excessive head-scratching or pawing its ears, combined with head shaking.
  • Dental issues – infection of the teeth or the gums manifested by weight loss, refusing to eat, and pain.
  • Allergic reactions to a particular food, medication for other health issues.
  • Hip dysplasia is common in dogs of larger size, and it causes damage to the hip leading to arthritis. The signs would be that the dog will be in pain and won’t want to walk, and it might bark or whine continuously.
  • Urinary infection caused by bacteria.
  • Digestive issues –  can be caused by poor eating, unsafe uncertified food suppliers, 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 attend regular appointments with the vet.


Laizhou Hong dog

The feeding area must be kept clean and ensure 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.

There should be nutritionally rich dog formulas 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


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

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

For reference, there’s 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.

Its price varies depending on the breeder and their location.

For example, in the UK, in June 2020, an owner sold his 6 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.

Chinese Red Dog For Sale links:

chinese red dog puppy on the lawn

Information about this rare dog breed is quite scarce to find online and in specialized books.

On Facebook, there are some pages where you can see images and videos with different dogs.

They also have information on breeders and where to buy a Chinese Red Dog from:

Final Thoughts

man thinking about chinese red dog

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

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

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

Wanna know more about red dogs?

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

Thanks For Reading.


About the author: Pablo Pascua created dogbreedsfaq.com because of his interest in all the different breeds, and his desire to learn more. His inspiration comes from the many dogs he has owned throughout his life.