It is a deciduous shrub normally ranging in height from 1–5 m. Its arcuately curved stems are covered with small, sharp, hooked prickles. The leaves are pinnate, with 5-7 leaflets. The individual leaflets are ovate with acute tip and serrated margin. The five-petaled flowers are usually white or pale pink, they are located individually on the end of the stems. The fruits are red hips, with many white-colored seeds and nettle-like hair inside.
Confusion with other plants
There are several other species with the same characteristics and same uses. The difference is that dog rose do not have hair on its hips.