Dreamy eyes, drooping ears, or a deeply luxurious coat?
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes over 170 dog breeds in America.
While they all have their unique attributes, there are a few special breeds that make everyone swoon.
Intelligent and Resourceful Dog Breeds
Some dogs possess more cognitive abilities than others. They’re more alert, courageous, and learn easily.
Some even have a stronger sense of smell.
It’s both beauty and brains for the breeds shown in the table below:
|The Papillon is the smartest of toy dogs. They’re quick to learn, and will even learn from events happening around them. They’re also versatile. From being therapy dogs to dog show champs, Papillons will excel.||Deutscher Wachtelhunds are a mix of the Stoeberers and Spaniels. Stoeberers are an extinct hunting breed that track scent like Bloodhounds. Like a Bloodhound, Deutschers can smell a 40-hour-old injured game. This trait (and more) makes them best friends to gamekeepers and hunters.||The Border Collie, a sharp-eyed breed, will run you down with their energy. They’ve been deemed the workaholics of the canine world. They can learn a new command in less than ten minutes.|
|The Australian Kelpie, another dog with matchless energy. Bred to help herders, Kelpies enjoy challenges.||It’s common for the Military and Police to employ Belgian Tervurens as search and watch dogs. This is because of how intuitive, alert and serious-minded this breed is.||The Barbado da Terceira is strong willed and a fast thinker. Without a firm and experienced hand, they might even outwit their owners.|
|In need of a watchdog for your home? Adopt a Shetland Sheepdog. They’re unbeatable protectors, easy to train and adapt easily to new environments. They’re often used as therapy and medical alert dogs.||The Boykin Spaniel’s speciality is swimming. They were raised to assist water hunters in South Carolina. They’re easily trained and highly sociable.||Golden Retrievers are quick to listen and understand, patient, and enduring. They do well as guides for blind people and as search-and-rescue dogs.|
|Poodles are known for being intelligent, alert and committed to their human companions.||German Shepherds are among the most loyal dog breeds. According to the AKC, this Shepherd is the “…finest all-purpose worker.”||There’s a reason the Labrador Retriever is famous among Americans; they’re extremely friendly and goal-oriented.|
Mountain dogs are big, athletic species.
They were bred to defend livestock and to rescue travelers.
St. Bernards are the most popular mountain dogs. They began rescuing lost travelers in the 1700s.
To date, mountain dogs are tough and tolerant of harsh conditions.
Once they acclimate, they also make wonderful family dogs, providing their owners with the utmost protection.
Goofy and Playful Dog Breeds
If your child or family needs a canine playmate, consider breeds that:
- Were raised as companions
- Have a high energy level
- Adapt easily to new play environments
- Socialize easily
- Are fun and friendly
Adorable Dog Breeds with Legendary Stories
Remember Tinkerbell, Paris Hilton’s Chihuahua? Paris adored her because she was more than a lap dog—she was a friend and support system.
Tinkerbell died after 14 years, but her legacy lives on. Because of that pet, people came to know how supportive Chihuahuas can be. Chihuahuas also became popular purse accessories, thanks to Tinkerbell.
Here are other breeds with stories we can’t get over:
|Dalmatians gained popularity after the release of the Disney movie 101 Dalmatians. It’s hard to forget the love story between those two Dalmatians, Pongo and Perdy. Dalmatians were used as coach dogs long before the movie. They’re an athletic, versatile and committed species.||Pekingese are named after Peking, the old English spelling of Beijing, China. They were bred as friends to Chinese royalties. To date, this breed has cute royal-like mannerisms. In 2021, Wasabi the Pekingese broke records. He was the first toy breed to win an AKC National Dog Show Championship.||Pomeranians became popular after Queen Victoria fell for one in 1888. Then, Poms weighed 20–35 pounds. Today, they’re the tiniest of the Spitz clan, weighing no more than 7 pounds. However, they think big; Poms enjoy adventure and challenges.|
|In the 1700s, monks used Saint Bernards to rescue lost travelers in the snowy mountains of Hospice du Grand-Saint-Bernard. Barry was a famous dog, rescuing over 40 people in the 1800s.||After watching Because of Winn-Dixie, we all fell in love with dogs. Particularly the Berger Picard. This breed is quiet, observant, and as sociable as the movie depicts.||Barbets were famous in French Literature and artwork during the 16th Century. People loved them for their agility and affability. Barbets almost went extinct after the world wars. But thanks to dog clubs and dog lovers, there are still about 500 Barbets in America today.|
|Smoky was the brave Yorkshire Terrier that made her breed famous. She carried messages for her Corporal owner during World War II, and slept by his side when he was sick. Yorkies are still used as therapy dogs today.||Dachshunds’ fame began the moment they stepped on American shores. Today, they’re one of America’s favorites. They’re good with cuddles, love to fetch and chase, and are highly intelligent.||Famous sled dogs, Balto and Togo, were both Siberian Huskies. In 1925, these sled dogs were on a mission to deliver diphtheria serum across 700 miles. Both canine heroes have statues to honor them. Balto’s at Central Park, and Togo’s at NYC’s Seward Park.|
Dog Show Champs
Some breeds have gained popularity through dog shows. Dog shows, also known as Conformation Shows, are a great avenue for your pet to socialize and establish themselves as the best of their breed.
“… Dogs are not being compared to each other: they’re being measured by how closely they conform to the standard of their particular breed. Why? Because the closer a dog’s appearance is to the breed’s standard, the better that dog’s ability will be to produce puppies that meet the standard.”
— The AKC
The table below lists champions (Best in Show) at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Are you a musher in need of a sled dog?
Besides the willpower to work, sled dogs must have:
- A healthy diet
- Team spirit
- Strong athleticism
- A dense undercoat to protect them from harsh weather
Siberian Huskies are a popular breed for this purpose. They’re hardworking, enduring and easy to train. Have a look at the Husky I fostered in the video below:
Here are three other lovable sled dog breeds:
White Dog Breeds
There are over 10 recognized pure white breeds in America.
The larger dogs have a dense coat that protects them from harsh weather. The smaller dogs are often seen as fashion statements or lap dogs, the gold standard in cute dog breeds.
White breeds are at risk of Cochleosaccular deafness. If you come across a deaf white dog, don’t be skeptical about adopting them. It’s an opportunity to make a pooch feel loved despite their setbacks. The disability doesn’t limit their wit or companionship potential.
Kobe, my Cane Corso, is blind, but I couldn’t have made a better adoption choice.
|The Great Pyrenees is a mountain dog. They’re known for their patience and majestic ambience. In the 1800s, St. Bernards began to deplete due to avalanches. It was Pyrenean blood, mixed with a few others, that revived the Bernards.||Coton de Tulear is a small sturdy breed, weighing between 8 and 13 pounds. Their white coat comes with gray or yellow markings. They were raised as companion dogs, thus forming strong bonds with their owners.||The Kuvasz is beautiful, and this dog knows it. They don’t hesitate to show off a graceful, effortless gait. Their white fur is so astonishing that they’re often called fashion dogs.|
|The Sealyham Terrier is a toy breed, blessed with a full-body white coat, a mast of facial hair, and tiny, deeply set eyes.||The American Eskimo Dog is more than his white fluffy coat. They’re one of the most intelligent breeds. Curious and fast learners, they also perform well at dog shows.||Chiseled face and sleepy eyes, Dogo Argentinos seem to live in their own world. They’re reflective and need firm leaders, otherwise they’ll become disobedient. Their white coat is plain and short; no more than ¾ of an inch.|
|The West Highland Terrier is a jovial and welcoming cute dog breed. Their standout white coat can be layered with a “biscuit” color.||Yakutian Laikas have a double white coat. The undercoat is dense and well developed. The outer layer is glossy, coarse and thick. The coat forms a mane on the neck of male Yakutians.||Maltese dogs have a single layer, silky, white coat that falls to the ground. They make wonderful lap dogs.|
The Spitz Clan
The uniqueness of the Spitz family lies in their wolf or fox-like faces and pointy ears.
The word “spitz” is of German origin. It means pointed, referring to those ears.
According to the AKC, most of these breeds are:
“… bred for life in arctic climates and originated in Scandinavia, Russia, North America, and Asia.”
They’re a suitable choice if you live in a more demanding environment.
The AKC recognizes sixteen spitz breeds, some of which we’ve discussed earlier:
- Alaskan Malamute
- American Eskimo Dog
- Siberian Husky
|The Norwegian Elkhound, one of Europe’s oldest breeds, has a luxuriant silver-gray coat. Their physique includes a full chest, muscular thighs and sturdy legs, all built for work. They’re intelligent, friendly and excellent watchdogs.||The Chow Chow is a medium-sized dog with a lion’s-mane ruff, a stiff-legged gait and deeply set eyes. They’re sometimes aloof, however they’re endearing to their owners. They have little odor compared to other dogs.||The Eurasier is a mix of Chow Chow, Wolf Spitz and Samoyed. Their coat is usually black, red, fawn, wolf gray, or sable. They’re intelligent dogs that respond easily to clicker training. They’re quiet, and take some time to warm up to their owners.|
|The Finnish Spitz, also known as the Barking Bird Dog, is the National Dog of Finland. They assist hunters in finding bird game. When they spot game, they bark to alert the hunters. This is how they earned their nickname.||Shiba Inus are the most popular companion dogs in Japan where they originated. They have double coats; a stiff outer one, and a soft, thick under layer. Their red sesame color is a unique feature.||The Japanese Spitz is a fluffy-coated white breed that sheds heavily. It’s known for it’s true loyalty to people, even in the toughest of conditions.|
Dog Breeds With Unique Looks
Looking to adopt a distinctive dog with endearing traits?
These breeds will stand out anywhere, just by their appearance:
Who Are Your Favorites?
These adorable companions are waiting for owners like you to give them loving forever homes.