Height: strong arching stems up to 3 m.
Stems: broad based, strongly hooked thorns grow on the stems.
Leaves: made up of 2-3 pairs of toothed leaflets.
Flowers: pink or white, 1-4 flowers growing together, 4-5 cm across, the styles are separate.
Fruit: oval red rose hips. The sepals fall before the fruit ripens.
Distribution: hedgerows and woodland.
Not to be confused with
In field rose (Rosa arvensis) the thorns have a narrower base and are curved rather than hooked. The flowers are cup shaped rather than flat and always white. The styles form a column instead of being separate. The rose hips are more rounded than dog rose. (Wolstenholme images/Alamy)
Burnet rose (Rosa pimpinellifolia) has many long straight narrow thorns and bristles. The flowers are cream and solitary. The sepals are not lobed and stay on the black-purple rose hips when they are ripe. (Florapix/Alamy)
In sweet briar (Rosa rubiginosa) the leaflets are covered with brownish sticky scented hairs. Lobed sticky sepals stay on the red rose hips when ripe. (Bob Gibbons/Alamy)
Japanese rose (Rosa rugosa) leaflets are wrinkled, hairy and shiny. The red rose hips are pumpkin shaped. (V Dorosz/Alamy)