When considering a new canine companion, there’s a whole host of different things to consider! For example, your lifestyle, family members, existing pets, and allergies are vital considerations that you should take stock of before bringing a new furry friend into your home.
But while basing your entire decision on the dog’s coat is certainly not recommended, we can’t blame you for being interested in spotted dog breeds!
With unique patterning on every pup, dog breeds with spotted coats are always popular pets in the canine world, and a spotted dog is sure to turn heads on your daily walks for all the right reasons.
The color of a dog’s coat is all down to genetics. A dog’s genes will determine whether they’re black, white, brown, or even blue, and will also influence any patterns, spots, or speckles you might see.
Interestingly, dalmatians are the only true spotted dog breed. Other spotted hound dog breeds gain their unique spotty appearance through “ticking,” which is usually small, isolated areas of colored hairs on a white background.
But while dalmatians might be the only true spotted dog breed, other dog breeds with spotted skin and fur are likely to show this wonderful patterning, and dog breeds with spotted noses are simply adorable every time!
Top Spotted Dog Breeds
In this list, we’re going to look at some of the best spotted dog breeds and their characteristics, so you can find the perfect fit for your family!
Remember, it shouldn’t all come down to appearance. Every individual pup will have its own personality (which won’t always match the breed’s trends), so you should always do thorough research and some soul searching before bringing a new pet into the family.
Dalmatians are, of course, the most famous of the black and white spotted dog breeds. Not just a Disney character, dalmatians also take pride in being the firefighter’s mascot and are magnificent animals.
Dalmatians are short-haired dogs, and they are born white; their gorgeous black spots develop over 3-4 months after birth.
Recommendations: Dalmatians can be pretty stubborn dogs with high energy levels, so they’re generally not recommended for first-time dog owners. You’ll need a large yard and to take them on plenty of walks!
Weight: Females weigh up to 53 lbs while males tend to weigh up to 80 lbs.
Height: Fully grown dalmatians tend to stand between 19 and 24 inches.
2. Border Collie
Border Collies are one of the most active dog breeds on our list and need plenty of love and attention. Their coats come in various colors and patterns, including white, black, tan, and blue merle. Any of these color combinations can be expressed as spotted, which provides plenty of opportunity for a truly gorgeous dog.
Border collies have beautiful long hair that can shed quite dramatically, so owners should be prepared for a lot of grooming and vacuuming with this dog breed!
Traditionally working dogs, border collies make an excellent family dog and are relatively easy to train.
Recommendations: Border collies require at least 60 minutes of physical exercise every day, and their coats require regular brushing and grooming, so you should only consider this breed if you’re ready for the commitment. However, if you can keep up with their energy levels, border collies make loyal and very trainable companions.
Weight: Border collies usually weigh between 30 and 45 lbs as adults.
Height: Adult border collies stand between 18 and 22 inches tall at the shoulder (females are slightly smaller).
The Queen of England’s favorite pet, Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis can both develop spots on their beautiful medium-length coats. They do require regular grooming and are notorious shedders.
White spots can occur in any corgi coloration, but they’re more common in blue merle coats.
Corgis are a highly energetic small dog in youth, but they tend to calm down a little as they get older and are popular pets for people who live in apartments, thanks to their smaller size and patient temperament.
Corgis were once considered working dogs; however, they generally only need 30 to 45 minutes of exercise daily to prevent destructive tendencies and make excellent lap dogs.
Recommendations: Corgis are generally really cuddly pets and are happy to live in an apartment. They do have high energy levels in youth and are not known as the most obedient of pets. However, they do tend to calm down when they get older. Be prepared for plenty of shedding with a corgi!
Weight: Adult corgis usually weigh between 23 and 38 lbs.
Height: Corgis generally reach their full height at around 1 year old and stand up to 12 inches tall.
4. Cocker Spaniel
Cocker spaniels are commonly sighted with luscious, golden-colored coats, but it’s actually quite common for a cocker spaniel to have some spotting.
They have medium-long coats, and spotted cocker spaniels are most commonly sighted with white coats and golden or black spots, particularly around the nose.
Recommendations: Cocker spaniels tend to get on great with kids and other dogs, so they’re brilliant family pets. It is important to socialize a cocker spaniel puppy so that they don’t become territorial. Puppies are really energetic and need plenty of exercise, but they generally calm down as they reach adulthood.
Weight: Female cocker spaniels usually weigh between 26 and 33 lbs. Males are a little heavier at 29 to 35 lbs.
Height: Cocker Spaniels usually stand between 15 and 17 inches tall.
5. Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Cattle Dogs are often mistaken for an Aussie and are incredibly energetic dogs with a tendency to be heavy shedders. Many Australian Cattle Dogs have spotted salt-and-pepper colored coats, with some tan shades visible across the body.
Australian Cattle Dogs were bred as working animals, so they require plenty of exercise and space to roam.
Recommendations: Australian Cattle Dogs do best with roaming space, but they can survive in an apartment as long as they get a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise daily. They’re also heavy shedders, so you need to be prepared for plenty of grooming sessions to keep their coats clean and shiny.
Weight: Adults usually weigh between 31 and 35 lbs.
Height: Male Australian Cattle Dogs are a little larger than females, but all adults are generally between 17 and 20 inches tall.
6. Australian Shepherd
A gloriously fluffy pup, Australian Shepherds have medium-length coats and are also pretty big shedders, needing a minimum of biweekly brushing and grooming sessions to stay beautiful.
Almost all Australian Shepherds have spots on their coats, regardless of their coloration.
Recommendations: These are notoriously energetic dogs and need at least 60 minutes of exercise daily to keep them calm around the home. They can do okay in apartments or smaller homes as long as they get outdoors frequently enough.
Weight: Male Australian Shepherds can weigh up to 70 lbs, while females are a little smaller and usually weigh 35 to 55 lbs.
Height: Adult Australian Shepherds usually stand between 18 and 23 inches tall.
7. Brittany Spaniel
Brittany Spaniels were bred as hunting dogs with medium-length coats. They’re usually white with brown spots, some of which can be really large.
In terms of shedding, Brittany Spaniels aren’t the worst small spotted dog breeds on our list. However, they will shed considerably more during early summer.
Due to their hunting genes, Brittany Spaniels are highly energetic pups and need at least 60 minutes of exercise daily to prevent destructive tendencies. That said, they are known for being easy to train and eager to please. Brittany Spaniels are also amiable dogs and are generally good with strangers.
Recommendations: Brittany Spaniels are trainable pups that make an excellent family pet and don’t tend to be too territorial. They do need loads of exercise, despite their small size.
Weight: Brittany Spaniels usually weigh between 30 and 40 lbs.
Height: A fully grown Brittany Spaniel will usually stand between 17.5 and 20.5 inches tall.
8. English Setter
The English Setter has a long and rich history and is one of the oldest big spotted dog breeds.
Originally hunting dogs, English Setters have medium-long coats with brown or black spots on a white background, although this can vary. Their longer coats mean they need daily brushes and can shed.
This breed is generally easy-going and a joy to train, thanks to the setter’s eagerness to please. English Setters generally get along favorably with other household pets. That said, they do need training from a young age as their hunting genes give them a high prey drive.
Recommendations: Early training is essential with an English Setter to bring down the prey drive. However, they are usually eager to please and easy to train. These dogs make excellent family pets, but they do need plenty of exercise and grooming. A yard is recommended.
Weight: Male English Setters weigh 65 to 80 lbs, while females are smaller and weigh 45 to 55 lbs.
Height: Males can stand up to 27 inches at the shoulder, while females usually reach a maximum height of 25 inches.
9. English Springer Spaniel
Another old spotted dog, the English Springer Spaniel, was also initially bred for hunting and has loads of energy.
Most Springer Spaniels are white with brown or black spots. Their coats are medium length, but they do grow pretty quickly and need regular grooming sessions.
Recommendations: As with all hunting dogs, English Springer Spaniels are highly energetic and require plenty of exercise. They are happiest when outdoors, so a yard and regular walks are essential.
Weight: English Springer Spaniels usually weigh between 40 and 55 lbs.
Height: Most adult English Springer Spaniels will stand around 19 to 20 inches tall.
10. Catahoula Leopard Dog
The Catahoula Leopard Dog might not be the most well-known pup on our list, but its beautiful multicolored spotted coats definitely earn it a place!
In addition to having wonderfully colored and spotted coats, a Catahoula Leopard Dog will usually have blue eyes, and many have heterochromia – meaning they have two different colored eyes.
The Catahoula Leopard Dog has a short, dense coat that they shed regularly, so weekly grooming is necessary with this breed.
Recommendations: Catahoula Leopard Dogs can be quite a dominant breed, requiring a strong owner and early socialization. They have high energy levels, so a yard and plenty of exercise are highly recommended for this dog.
Weight: Catahoula Leopard Dogs can weigh up to 110 lbs, making them one of the heaviest spotted dog breeds.
Height: Fully grown Catahoula Leopard Dogs tend to stand between 20 and 24 inches tall at the shoulder.
11. German Shorthaired Pointer
A highly trainable yet energetic dog, the German Shorthaired Pointer is probably almost as famous as the Dalmatian when it comes to spotted dog breeds and is in the top 10 list of most popular dog breeds in the US.
These ex-hunting dogs have very short coats and don’t tend to shed very much.
Recommendations: German Shorthaired Pointers have around the same energy levels as a Labrador, so they need plenty of exercise! They make loyal companions.
Weight: Females usually weigh between 45 and 60 lbs, while males can weigh up to 70 lbs.
Height: Fully-grown male German Short-haired Pointers usually stand between 23 and 25 inches at the shoulder. Females are a little smaller.
12. Bluetick Coonhound
Bluetick Coonhounds are reasonably low maintenance dogs with a short coat that isn’t prone to excessive shedding. They were bred as hunting dogs, so they’re understandably pretty energetic breeds and can be stubborn when training.
Although they’re often stubborn, Bluetick Coonhounds tend to get along well with most other animals as long as they’ve been properly socialized. However, they do have a powerful prey drive and can be known to chase!
Recommendations: With such high energy levels, Bluetick Coonhounds need plenty of exercise and preferably access to a yard. They’re not recommended for first-time dog owners due to their potential stubbornness with training.
Weight: Female Bluetick Coonhounds tend to weigh between 45 and 64lbs, while males can weigh up to 80 lbs.
Height: Adult male Bluetick Coonhounds stand up to 30 inches at the shoulder. Females are generally a little smaller.
13. Great Pyrenees
These beautiful fluffy dogs are more commonly known for having lush, white coats. However, some Great Pyrenees can display black spots in their long hair. They require regular grooming to keep clean and minimize shedding.
Great Pyrenees are pretty strong-willed and stubborn and grow to enormous sizes, so a firm hand is required to train them. That said, they are also very gentle dogs and are known to be well behaved around children.
Recommendations: As a large and stubborn animal, a Great Pyrenees is not recommended for a first-time dog owner. If you have dark furniture, you’ll also need to be prepared for plenty of white hairs everywhere!
Weight: They’re not called “Great” for nothing: an adult male Great Pyrenees can weigh between 110-120lbs! Females are also pretty heavy, weighing between 80 and 90 lbs.
Height: Male Great Pyrenees usually stand between 27 and 32 inches at the shoulder, while females are usually 25 to 29 inches tall.
14. Jack Russell Terrier
Another really well-known small spotted dog, the Jack White Terrier, is an excellent family pet who loves to cuddle. These dogs can be pretty temperamental and stubborn, so early training is necessary, but their high intelligence usually makes training relatively straightforward.
Jack Russell Terriers do frequently shed in early summer, but their short hair doesn’t need excessive grooming otherwise. They’re usually white dogs with tan spots on the body and head.
Recommendations: Early socialization is critical with Jack Russell Terriers, and getting some basic obedience commands down as a puppy is essential. These are highly intelligent dogs and make wonderful cuddly companions.
Weight: Adult Jack Russell Terriers tend to weigh between 14 and 18 lbs.
Height: Fully grown Jack Russell Terriers will usually stand between 10 and 15 inches at the shoulder.
15. Great Dane
Despite being one of the biggest dogs out there, Great Danes are known for being absolute couch potatoes who love a cuddle and only need 30 minutes of exercise a day.
Great Danes are usually white or merle colored with grey or black spots. Their short hair doesn’t shed too much, but they do need regular grooming if you want to keep your couch clean!
Recommendations: Great Danes can be relatively stubborn, so firm and early training is essential. You should also consider buying a dog ramp for bed time cuddles, as these dogs do like to lounge close to their humans!
Weight: Great Danes can weigh over 200 lbs!
Height: Male Great Danes usually grow to around 30 to 32 inches tall, and females won’t be far behind.
Beagles are usually spotted with black, white, and tan coats, with plenty of spots throughout the body. They have short coats that don’t shed too much, but they do need plenty of grooming to ensure they don’t get matted.
Beagles are among the most popular family-friendly dog breeds in the US, with gentle natures, keen noses, and the ability to get along with children and other pets.
Recommendations: Beagles make excellent family dogs and get along with most other animals (human or otherwise). They do fine in smaller apartments and need around 30 minutes of exercise daily. Otherwise, they can show their naughty side!
Weight: Healthy adult Beagles should weigh between 20 and 24 lbs. However, they are predisposed to weight gain, so plenty of exercise is essential.
Height: Beagles usually reach a height of 13 to 15 inches to the shoulder.
17. English Bulldog
The English Bulldog is another historical dog breed and can make a very stubborn pet. Despite their appearance, English Bulldogs are actually highly intelligent dogs, which results in independent characteristics.
English Bulldogs have short coats and fairly minimal grooming requirements. They frequently have a white base coat with tan, black, or brindle-colored spots.
Recommendations: Due to their high intelligence, English Bulldogs can be pretty stubborn and are therefore not generally recommended for first-time dog owners. It’s relatively common for an English Bulldog to understand a command but choose to ignore it! They shed their winter coat in early summer; otherwise, they have low grooming requirements.
Weight: Female English Bulldogs usually weigh 40 to 51 lbs, while males can weigh up to 55 lbs.
Height: Male English Bulldogs tend to stand between 14 to 16 inches when fully grown, while females are smaller, standing between 12 and 14 inches.
Chihuahuas are the smallest dog on our list, and the Deer Head and Apple Headed sub-breeds are specifically known for having spotted coats.
Chihuahuas can be stubborn, loud, and protective and are one of the most aggressive pups, which makes them excellent watchdogs. Early training and socialization are necessary with this breed, but that isn’t usually too much of a problem, thanks to their tiny size.
Chihuahuas have short coats that require minimal grooming; weekly brushing should suffice.
Recommendations: Although Chihuahuas make excellent family pets, they need early training and socialization to curb their aggressive tendencies.
Weight: As a tiny dog, Chihuahuas only weigh between 3.3 and 6.6lbs.
Height: Chihuahuas only stand around 5 to 8 inches tall.
19. American Bulldog
White American Bulldogs with black or brown spots are relatively common, although it is possible to find them the other way around. Their shorter coats don’t tend to shed very much, and they have low grooming requirements compared to other breeds.
American Bulldogs are known for being strong-headed and powerful dogs. Their strong-willed nature can turn into destructiveness if they’re not well trained and adequately exercised.
Recommendations: Physically and mentally strong, American Bulldogs require training early to avoid problems down the road. They also need plenty of exercise, and a yard is highly recommended.
Weight: Male American Bulldogs can weigh over 130 lbs. Females are a little lighter, weighing between 60 and 90 lbs.
Height: Fully grown American Bulldogs can vary in height, usually standing between 20 and 28 inches tall.
20. Dogo Argentino
Dogo Argentinos and American Bulldogs are both commonly compared to Pitbulls, due to their muscular build and strong wills.
Dogo Argentinos are usually entirely white in color, but it is possible to find them with black spots on their face, body, or paws. Their short hair doesn’t require excessive grooming – weekly brushing is generally sufficient – although they will shed their winter coats in early summer.
Recommendations: These dogs are large, strong-willed, and have strong guardian instincts, so an appropriately firm owner and training regimen is essential. Although they’re not recommended for first-time dog owners, Dogo Argentinos make excellent family companions and home protectors when appropriately trained.
Weight: Male Dogo Argentinos usually weigh 88 to 99 lbs, while females are slightly lighter (but still heavy) at 77 to 88 lbs.
Height: Male and female Dogo Argentinos are similar in height, ranging between 24 to 27 inches tall.
21. American Hairless Terrier
Although the American Hairless Terrier is (like the name suggests) a hairless dog, its unique spotted skin makes it an excellent spotted dog for allergy sufferers.
This breed is the only hairless dog that’s native to America, and the breed’s heritage can be traced back to a specific Rat Terrier born in 1972 in Louisiana.
These dogs are intelligent, playful, lively, curious, alert, and incredibly loving, making them excellent family pets!
Recommendations: The American Hairless Terrier makes an excellent family pet for allergy sufferers and is a loyal companion. As with any Terrier, this breed does require plenty of exercise, and early training is a must.
Weight: Adult American Hairless Terriers tend to weigh between 12 and 16 lbs.
Height: Fully grown, most American Hairless Terriers will stand 12 to 16 inches tall.
Bringing a pup home to join your family is one of the best things you can possibly do, and a spotted dog is always an excellent choice!
That said, it’s important when considering different dog breeds that you don’t get too drawn into appearances. A pup that has the right temperament and energy levels for your home is far more important!