What are Dog Breeds Starting with R?

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Dog Breeds Starting With RAre you a dog enthusiast wondering what kind of dogs start with the letter R? Maybe you’re curious as to whether there are dogs that start with this particular letter; you’ll find that there are plenty to choose from, should you wish to purchase or adopt one. Below, we share a list of dog breeds with R names that you might find around the United States.  

List of Dog Breeds Starting with R

Whether you’re looking for purebred dogs or even rare dogs of a hybrid breed, you can find amazing dog breeds that start with the letter R below. 

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian RidgebackThis hound hails from Southern Africa and gets its name from the hair ridges that grow from its back. They are prized for their ability to track lions in the wild, and have earned the nicknames “African lion dog” and “African lion hound”. Despite their reputation for hunting large game, these dogs are attentive and loving but at the same time are also stubborn and strong, so they’re best suited for experienced dog owners.  

Redbone Coonhound

Redbone CoonhoundKnown as a purebred hound dog, the Redbone Coonhound is a muscular, energetic, strong, and agile canine. According to the breed standard set by the American Kennel Club, it’s classified as a medium to large breed of hunting dog. When on the trail, these dogs are highly capable of hunting various game such as deer, boar, cougars, and even bears but will tend to become more docile whenever spending time with their family at home.  

Russian Spaniel

Russian SpanielThis dog was first bred in 1951 after World War II by combining the English Cocker Spaniel with the English Springer Spaniel and various other Spaniel breeds such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, American Water Spaniel, and American Cocker Spaniel. This union resulted in a breed that looks much like a Cocker Spaniel but can be used as a hunting dog to flush out small game such as birds. This devoted dog will be suitable for families and will always wag their tail to show their appreciation. 

Rough Collie

Rough CollieThese large dogs come with gorgeous fur and serve as large herding dogs which is why they’re well-loved by all kinds of dog enthusiasts. This dog will need to spend a lot of time with its humans and loves children, so it’ll fit in with active families as a great companion dog. This breed requires plenty of exercise every day but its loyal and loving nature will make all the effort worth your while. 

Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka

Russian Tsvetnaya BolonkaAmong the small dog breeds, the Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka has a most interesting name which translates to “Russian colored lap dog.” Because of their small size, they are ideal pets for people living in apartments or smaller homes. They are known as loving, sweet, and intelligent dogs that are never aggressive which really backs up their reputation as the ultimate lap dogs.   

Russian Bear Schnauzer

Russian Bear SchnauzerThese dogs were first created by the Russian military to ensure that they get the best guard dogs by combining Great Danes with the German Pinscher and the Bouvier des Flandres. In modern times, this dog is more commonly referred to as the Giant Schnauzer and is loved as a loyal family dog but isn’t the right breed for first-time owners. While it can be very loving and gentle with family members, it’s not the easiest breed to train due to its stubbornness. 

Russian Toy

Russian ToyAlso known as the Russkiy Toy, these small dogs are easily identifiable by the distinct hairs that come out from their ears. This happy and lively dog is known to be an intelligent breed and will love to cuddle up with its owners. However, it can be wary of strangers, so early socialization is a must if you want to mingle with people and pets without a problem.   

Russian Harlequin Hound

Russian Harlequin HoundThis Russian dog is a rare breed that you won’t likely find outside of its native country despite being a highly trainable and revered hunter. It was first introduced when the Russian Hound was combined with the English and American Foxhound and has since been used for tracking game such as wolves and foxes. Luckily these dogs are friendly and will also get along with people and other dogs but their strong prey drive might make them chase small animals and cats. 

Rampur Greyhound

Rampur GreyhoundThis sighthound hails from Northern India and was created by crossing the Afghan Hound with the Greyhound. The Rampur Greyhound was originally used for hunting boar and other game but it’s reputation as the fastest dog in India has made it more popular to use as a coursing dog. As such, this dog won’t be found in many homes and is also rarely seen outside of its native country. 

Russo-European Laika

Russo European LaikaThis hunting dog can be found in Russia and parts of northern Europe and is used to assist in hunting game, even ones as big as moose. It has a beautiful double coat with white markings; its standard coat color can be found in dark grey, black, or a salt and pepper combination. These dogs are known to be extremely loyal to their family, which makes it almost impossible to rehome since they will always try to come back to their first family.  

Russian Black Terrier

Russian Black TerrierAlso known as the Chornyi Terrier, this breed originated from the USSR’s Red Star Kennel back in the 1940s to be used as working or military dogs. These dogs have heavy bones and powerful bodies and are known for their intelligence, confidence, and courage. They are protective and calm around the kids of their family, but because they’re so big, they’re not the best match for small children. 

Rhodesian Bernard

Rhodesian BernardThis large dog is a cross between the St. Bernard and the Rhodesian Ridgeback and features more of the traits from the latter rather than the former. Because of this, they have a more muscular build but are known as gentle giants that are usually calm which makes them wonderful companions. However, these dogs can be protective of their humans and the property of their respective owners. 

Rhodesian Boxer

Rhodesian BoxerThis is another offspring of the Rhodesian Ridgeback but combined with the Boxer this time, the Rhodesian Boxer is an energetic, beautiful, and gorgeous designer dog breed. They’re also very smart and will need to be kept busy at all times, both mentally and physically, and are well-suited for families that love outdoor activities. While it can certainly be a pack leader, it can also be a loving, loyal, and playful dog, so just show it that you’re in charge to get it to follow you.   

Roman Rottweiler

Roman RottweilerThis large breed of dog is very similar to their Rottweiler offspring and served as a watch dog and herd dog during the Roman Empire. These dogs are bigger than the modern Rottweiler but they aren’t as friendly so they shouldn’t be kept in families with children. Unfortunately, the Roman Rottweiler can be difficult to find and if you do spot one, there’s a good chance you’ll have to shell out a lot of money for one.  

Red-Tiger Bulldog

Red Tiger BulldogThis dog was developed from the red-nosed American Bulldog and is also similar in many aspects. This large dog has a strong, muscular jaw, and a box-like head, and is fiercely loyal to its owner, usually being willing to lay its life down to protect its human. However, it can be very stubborn, and isn’t recommended for new owners — instead, it will need an experienced and firm handler to lead it. 

Red Heeler

Red HeelerAlso called the Australian Cattle Dog, this medium-sized dog is a hardworking and intelligent breed developed to herd cattle throughout the harsh Australian landscape. It has a short and dense court that won’t require much grooming, but this energetic dog will need an active family to help keep it stimulated. This dog will form a strong bond with its owners and will be protective of them and their property. 

Ratshi Terrier

Ratshi TerrierCreated between a mix of two toy breeds, the Ratshi calls the Shih Tzu and the Rat Terrier its parents, resulting in a dog that’s full of life and energy. They may become vocal at times, but this means that they can be great watchdogs. While they are energetic, you won’t need to give them too much exercise and are quite easy to train since they want nothing more than to please you. 

Rottie Basset Dog

Rottie Basset DogWhen you mix two vastly different dog breeds such as the Basset Hound and the Rottweiler, you get the Rottie Basset Dog, but what exactly can it offer? While Rottweilers have been misunderstood as being aggressive dogs, this breed is actually gentle and good with kids, which is why this breed is also known for its gentle nature. However, the hound in them means that they will love to explore once they pick up a scent, so be sure to take them outdoors for exercise. 

Rotterman Dog

Rotterman DogThis hybrid between the Doberman Pinscher and Rottweiler is certainly a unique blend, resulting in strong, powerful dogs that will require an owner of the same stature. They are known to be great guard dogs and are used in service positions, most notably as search and rescue dogs. Despite their intimidating and dominant look, these dogs are clever and very affectionate when it comes to their humans.    

Rat-A-Pap Dog

Rat A Pap DogCombining the American Rat Terrier with the Papillon gives you the Rat-A-Pap. But despite its funny-sounding name, this dog comes with high intelligence and an intuition that allows it to understand what its owner feels. They’re very energetic dogs that love to play with kids, making them a great choice for the family. 

Rashon Dog

Rashon DogThis hybrid breed is also derived from the Rat Terrier but is partnered with the Bichon Frise instead. Because it’s so eager to please its owner, it can be suitable for first-time pet parents who want an intelligent dog that’s easy to train. This dog is alert and active, so it will need plenty of exercise every day, so be sure to take it out for walks or other kinds of exercise.  


Rus A PeiAnother hybrid of the Jack Russell Terrier that’s mixed with the Shar-Pei, this dog has the combined talents of its parents, allowing it to effectively serve as a rat killer and guard dog at the same time. Because of its intelligence, you can expect it to learn quickly, but at the same time, it may ignore you completely if you don’t make training rewarding and fun. 

Redbone Shepherd

Redbone ShepherdWhen the Redbone Coonhound produces offspring with the German Shepherd, you’ll get the Redbone Shepherd, a lively and strong breed. As such, it will enjoy walking for hours at a time but once it gets home, it will be just as happy sitting and lounging around. True to its parents’ lineage, it’s very trainable and will take on agility and other sports well. 

Russian Wolfhound

Russian WolfhoundThis agile, graceful, and strong dog is known to run at speeds of almost 40 miles per hour. They are often seen in the homes of Russian aristocracy but they can be stubborn, so they’re not the easiest dogs to train. Moreover, they are sighthounds, so they will chase after anything small that runs — early socialization with other pets should help. 

Russian Bandog

Russian BandogFirst bred as a guard dog, the Russian Bandog has a stocky and muscular build to match its angry-looking face that lets it do its job well. Thanks to their smooth coat, they are relatively low-maintenance dogs and are known to be affectionate and loyal. However, their territorial nature and immense strength may not make them a good choice for novice owners. 


While there are hundreds of breeds to choose from which include pure breeds and hybrids, above are some of the most interesting ones that start with the letter R. As you’ve seen some of these breeds are specifically named after their country of origin while others aren’t well known to the outside world. But no matter where they come from, these are certainly some of the rarest and little-known names of the dog world.