Dog Breeds: R

A sighthound bred for its turn of foot, superior vision and well-muscled body, the Rampur Greyhound was a successful breeding project taken on by the Nawab of Rampur in Northern India. Initially used as a hunting dog by the upper echelon, the Rampur Greyhound is still primarily a working dog today, and is rarely kept as a companion animal.

Rat Terriers are smart, energetic, and cheerful dogs that crave human companionship and love to be praised. They can be quite stubborn and tend to go vocal when they are ignored. Still, they are affectionate pets and are very lively and intense, requiring lots of exercise and an active, playful life. They are good with children but wary of strangers, thus they make good watchdogs.

The Andalusian Ratter breed dates back to 19th century Spain. The result of breeding Fox Terriers with the Raterillo Andaluz, these dogs became the ‘Spanish Jack Russell’. Supremely good at keeping down vermin, the Andalusian Ratter patrolled wine cellars to keep them clear of rats. An even-temperament makes them an interesting option as a family pet.

The Ratonero Murciano de Huerta, or Murcian Ratter, is an old breed of hunting dog. Their heyday was the 18th century as the popular choice of Murcian Farmers to protect homesteads from vermin. A game little dog with a strong prey drive, they love to be around people. Although a rare breed, their numbers are stabilising as they find a new niche as a pet.

The Ratshire Terrier is a hybrid dog, which is a cross between the Rat Terrier and Yorkshire Terrier. Their small size belies that they are bold, fearless, and independent minded. They are a poor match for owners with young children, but do well with active people committed to training. These sturdy dogs are generally healthy, but may suffer from lameness and skin issues.

A handsome, red-coated, medium-sized hound dog, the Redbone Coonhound was developed in America where it is commonly seen as both an avid hunter and a well-rounded, gentle companion animal. Traditionally used to hunt racoons, among a variety of other animals, this breed is renowned for its scenting abilities, athleticism and stamina when on the hunt.

The Rhodesian Labrador is a mix between a Labrador Retriever and a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Loyal, affectionate, and devoted to his family, this crossbreed makes a great family pet. They are energetic and playful dogs, sometimes stubborn and challenging to train, but always loving and easy-going. This is an easy-maintenance crossbreed with moderate exercise needs.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback was developed as a cross between native South African dogs and various European breeds, producing a loyal and courageous hunter and guardian, capable of withstanding hunger, drought, and extremes of temperature. Ridgebacks are intelligent, reserved dogs, which make wonderful family pets, although their strength and power may make them unsuitable for young children.

Popular in his native Romania, the Mioritic Shepherd Dog is little known elsewhere. He’s an Old English Sheepdog lookalike and a herding, guarding breed with origins going back to the ancient Romans. Fierce, but loving, protective yet gentle, the Mioritic has potential as a great dog for the experienced person but is not suitable for first time owners.

A fast tempo dog with a real zest for life, the Rotterman is fiercely protective of its family and incredibly affectionate and sweet with those in its inner circle. Strong and powerful, they can be intimidating and do make wonderful guard dogs; willing to protect their master at any cost. However, without the proper training, breed members can become challenging and unruly.

The Rottsky is a hybrid dog, which is a cross between a Rottweiler and Siberian Husky. A large dog with a strong guarding instinct, they require an experienced owner committed to regular training. They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, and not to provide this could result in aggression or anti-social behaviour. Potential health problems include joint dysplasia, bloat and bone cancer.

The Rottweiler is a powerfully built, energetic, large breed, originally developed as a cattle droving and guard dog. In the right hands, Rotties make loyal and affectionate pets, but require firm leadership and early training to channel their strong instincts to defend their owners and property. This is a breed which is not suitable for novice dog owners.

The Russian Black Terrier is a large breed of dog which was originally bred as a specialised guard and service dog by the Russian military. It requires experienced handling and plenty of exercise and is happiest when it has a purpose in life. The breed does not shed but requires regular brushing. The Russian Black Terrier can suffer from several health problems so careful selection of a healthy family line is important.

The Russian Harlequin Hound is an off-shoot of breeding traditional Russian hounds with the English Foxhound. Although a pack dog used for hunting foxes in his native Russia, he has a reputation for bonding well with people. A combination of high energy and intelligence, mean he requires an active owner that is familiar with reward-based training.

Sociable and devoted to those they love, the Russian Spaniel makes a superb family pet; easy to train and eager to please. They do require a moderate amount of exercise and appreciate the opportunity to be outside and active, whatever the weather. While generally a low maintenance breed, owners must diligently check their ears, as they can be quite prone to developing infections.

The Russian Toy Terrier is a very small type of dog, developed in Russia as a companion, watchdog and rat catcher. It is a bright, bold and cheerful dog with plenty of character in its tiny body. The breed requires very little grooming and minimal exercise, so can live happily in a city. The Russian Toy Terrier can suffer from some health problems so it is important to select healthy parents.

A working dog by nature, the Russo-European Laika is a Spitz breed that has traditionally been used to catch squirrels and raccoons. This dog will form a close attachment to all of the members of its family and has a soft spot for children. Often protective, they make wonderful guard dogs, which is a trait that has made them a sought-after pet.