52 of the Most Colorful Dog Breeds in the World

Dogs bring joy, light, and companionship to our lives. They also bring plenty of color! From swirled blue merles to patchwork harlequins, richly colored dogs can be found in backyards, homes, and dog parks across the globe.

Here’s our list of the world’s most colorful dog breeds:

1. Catahoula Leopard Dog

A Catahoula Leopard Dog in the snow.
  • Group: Herding
  • Origin: Catahoula Parish, Louisiana
  • Size: 20″-26″ tall; 40-95 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-14 years
  • Colorful feature: The most colorful Catahoula Leopard Dogs are “leopard” in color like the dog in the photo. These dogs are primarily merle in color with many solid-color patches.

These beautiful dogs come in many colors. And though their coats are striking, they are primarily sold as working dogs. These dogs have a powerful natural herding instinct, and they excel as hunting dogs as well.

2. Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog sitting in a field.
  • Group: Herding
  • Origin: Australia
  • Size: 17″-20″ tall, 33-49 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Colorful feature: These dogs usually have either blue or red coats. Their coats are often a combination of mottled and speckled with white markings, so Australian cattle dogs can be quite interesting to look at!

The Australian Cattle Dog was originally bred to drive herds of cattle over Australia’s rough terrain. Because it’s energetic and intelligent, it’s an ideal dog for agility competitions. This breed also makes a great service dog. If you want to keep an Australian Cattle Dog as a pet, make sure the dog will have plenty of opportunities for exercise!

3. Great Dane

A Great Dane against an orange background.
  • Group: Working
  • Origin: Germany
  • Size: 28″-35″ tall; 110-180 pounds
  • Lifespan: 8-10 years on average
  • Colorful feature: Great Danes with the harlequin pattern of black patches on white are especially colorful.

The Great Dane, also sometimes called the German Mastiff, is descended from hunting dogs used by royalty in the Middle Ages. And while you might expect them to be aggressive or have a strong prey drive, Great Danes are often called “gentle giants” thanks to their laid-back natures.

4. Bluetick Coonhound

The Bluetick Coonhound standing in the forest.
  • Group: Hounds
  • Origin: Louisiana, United States
  • Size: 21″-27″ tall; about 45-80 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 11-12 years
  • Colorful feature: The Bluetick Coonhound’s name comes from its unique coloring. It has black “ticking” on a white base color. This pattern makes the dog look navy blue from a distance!

This striking dog breed is another that originated in the state of Louisiana. As the name suggests, Bluetick Coonhounds were bred to hunt raccoons. They are intelligent and energetic, and they are happiest if they have a job to do. If you want to adopt a Bluetick Coonhound puppy, you may need to work on helping it learn to keep relatively quiet. These hounds were bred to make significant noise (or “bay”) while hunting, so it may take some patience to help them reduce this habit.

5. Bull Terrier

A Bull Terrier isolated on a white background.
  • Group: Terriers
  • Origin: England
  • Size: About 21″-22″ tall; roughly 50-70 pounds
  • Lifespan: Around 12 to 13 years
  • Colorful feature: The Bull Terrier comes in a range of patterns and colors. But the dog in the picture is especially colorful, as the bright white markings form a pleasing contrast with the dark brindle on the rest of the coat.

Though some people might mix them up by mistake, the Bull Terrier and the Pit Bull Terrier are different breeds. The Bull Terrier, also called the English Bull Terrier, has a very unusual appearance. Its convex skull forms a distinctive Roman nose, and its eyes are triangular. Even though they are often stubborn and difficult to train, Bull Terriers are known for being especially good with people.

6. Dachshund

A merle dachshund posing for the camera.
  • Group: Hounds
  • Origin: Germany
  • Size: 8″-9″ tall; 16-32 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-16 years
  • Colorful feature: These dogs are most commonly red, but they come in other colors. The one in the picture is a merle, a word used to describe a dog whose coat is made of mottled colors. Merles often have blue or light-colored eyes, too.

You might know these dogs as “wiener dogs” or “sausage dogs.” Their odd shape has a purpose; dachshunds were bred to be able to chase prey through narrow underground tunnels. Today, this breed is a popular pet, and it can be found in standard and miniature sizes. It also comes in three coat types: smooth, long-haired, and wire-haired.

7. Irish Setter

An Irish Setter walking in a field.
  • Group: Sporting
  • Origin: Ireland
  • Size: 24″-28″ tall; about 55-75 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-15 years
  • Colorful feature: The Irish Setter is famous for its silky, deep red coat. Officially speaking, the breed’s coat can be chestnut, mahogany, or red.

The Irish Setter was bred to “set” game, meaning it would show hunters the location of game by holding a certain position. Now, thanks to its relatively calm nature and affectionate attitude toward people, the breed is also commonly kept as a pet. Irish Setters are also a common choice of therapy dog and can work well in hospitals and nursing homes.

8. Australian Koolie

The Australian Koolie playing in the grass.
  • Group: Not an officially recognized breed
  • Origin: Australia
  • Size: About 13″-23″ tall; roughly 33-53 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-18 years
  • Colorful feature: These dogs can come in either solid or merle colors. As you can see from the picture, merle dogs often have eye-catching, high-contrast coloration.

The Australian Koolie, also known as simply a “Koolie,” is a true working dog. Though no kennel club officially recognizes it as a breed, it has been developed for herding purposes since the beginning of the 19th century. But as of 2010, the Koolie breed has its own DNA “signature.” That means that testing for this feature can determine whether or not a dog is a purebred Koolie.

9. Shikoku

The Shikoku standing in the forest.
  • Group: Part of AKC Foundation Stock Service
  • Origin: Shikoku Island, Japan
  • Size: About 18″-22″ tall; about 31-51 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-12 years
  • Colorful feature: The Shikoku breed comes in a few different colors. The one in the picture is a “sesame” variety. That means the hairs of the coat are tipped in black. The result is an intriguing color that looks like it’s been dusted with coal.

The Shikoku, also called the Shikoku Inu, is a breed of dog originating in Japan. It looks a bit like both the Shiba Inu and the Akita, two other spitz-type Japanese breeds. Though the breed can’t yet be registered with the AKC, the AKC allows and encourages breeders to monitor breed growth through its Foundation Stock Service.

10. Dalmatian

A Dalmatian sitting on a couch being pet by owners.
  • Group: Non-sporting
  • Origin: Dalmatia, Croatia
  • Size: About 19″-24″ tall; roughly 45-70 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-14 years
  • Colorful feature: This lovable breed, made famous by “101 Dalmatians,” is white with dark spots. The breed standard allows for brown spots or black spots.

The Dalmatian is an energetic breed, though it isn’t part of any of the AKC’s groups of working dogs. However, the Dalmatian breed is likely to have come from the mixing of various pointers and a harlequin or spotted Great Dane. The breed has had its own historical role as a “coach dog.” A Dalmatian would commonly follow a royal coach or a fire truck to serve as a moving guard dog.

11. Jack Russell Terrier

A Jack Russell Terrier sitting in the grass.
  • Group: Terriers (the AKC-registered form of the breed is called the Parson Russell Terrier)
  • Origin: England
  • Size: 13″-14″ tall; about 14-18 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 13-15 years
  • Colorful feature: Most of these dogs are a patchwork combination of reddish brown and white. Though that may not sound like the most colorful combination on the list, the combination of high contrast and clean lines makes it especially eye-catching.

The lovable Jack Russell Terrier is one of the more recognizable breeds on the list. It also has served an important role in popular culture. For instance, the dog who played Wishbone in the popular TV show was a Jack Russell. A Jack Russell Terrier is also the subject of a famous painting of a dog looking into a phonograph. That painting was used in advertising campaigns for a number of audio-related companies.

12. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon against a white background.
  • Group: Sporting
  • Origin: Netherlands, France, and Germany
  • Size: 20″-24″ tall; about 65-75 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-15 years
  • Colorful feature: These dogs come in a few different colors, and the breed standard prefers steel grey with black markings. Roan and white/brown are also common.

This dog was bred as a hunting dog, and it thrives in cold weather. That’s because the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon has a soft, plush undercoat for insulation. The “wire” coat is the outer coat. Though you don’t hear about it very often, this breed is very oriented toward people and makes a good pet. Once a Griffon is bonded to its owner, it prefers to be around that person most of the time. However, owners should know that the breed requires a lot of exercise, too.

13. Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested posing on a tree stump.
  • Group: Toys
  • Origin: China
  • Size: Roughly 11-13 inches tall; about 10-13 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 13-18 years
  • Colorful feature: The Chinese Crested comes in a wide range of colors. The hairless versions, like the one in the picture, often have spots or other markings on the skin. The hairless dogs do have a full “mane” and “tail,” and usually, the mane and tail are much lighter than the body.

This striking breed actually comes in two types. The first one, called the “hairless” is shown in the picture. This variety has a horse-like “mane.” The second type is called the powderpuff variety. This one has fluffy hair all over the body. Both types can even be born in the same litter!

14. Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier looking silly.
  • Group: Non-sporting
  • Origin: Massachusetts, United States
  • Size: Roughly 9-15 inches tall; about 10-25 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 11-13 years
  • Colorful feature: To meet breed standard, Boston Terriers must have a distinctive pattern of dark color on white. On the dog in the picture, the jet black markings form a beautiful contrast with the stark white of the body.

The Boston Terrier was officially recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club in 1893. That makes it the first breed of dog developed in the United States to be recognized by the AKC. The name may make you think of a hunting dog, but Boston Terriers were never developed to be working dogs. Since the breed-standard markings make Bostons look as though they are wearing formal attire, you may sometimes hear the Boston Terrier described as the “American Gentleman.”

15. Norrbottenspets

A happy Norrbottenspets sitting outside.
  • Group: Miscellaneous
  • Origin: Norrbotten, Sweden
  • Size: 16″-19″ tall; about 24 to 33 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 14-17 years
  • Colorful feature: These dogs are usually white with patches of yellow or red. The patches are usually large and blanket-like with irregular edges. The tail usually curls over the back and resembles a white fringe.

This interesting dog is more often called the Nordic Spitz in the United States. Though it is a popular pet in Sweden, the Norrbottenspets is not very well known in the United States. If you’re hoping to get one of these smallish dogs, their unusual temperament is worth considering. Generally, the Norrbottenspets is fairly easygoing, but it is not very tolerant of children bothering it. It also needs a good bit of exercise or it may become destructive.

16. Brittany

The Brittany standing against a white background.
  • Group: Sporting
  • Origin: Brittany, France
  • Size: About 17″-20″ tall; roughly 30-45 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-14 years
  • Colorful feature: The Brittany comes in many colors, although red/white and liver/white are two of the most common. The puppy in the picture has an especially beautiful color; it is black and tan with some white mottling.

This interesting breed is sometimes referred to as the “Brittany Spaniel.” This is a misnomer, as it is not a spaniel breed at all. Though developed to be a “gun dog,” it excels as a general-purpose hunting dog. When trained properly, this breed is able to hunt, point, and retrieve. If you want an energetic pet with a bright spirit, a Brittany may be right for you.

17. German Shepherd

German Shepherds sitting in the grass.
  • Group: Herding
  • Origin: Germany
  • Size: 22″-24″ tall; about 50-88 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 9-13 years
  • Colorful feature: German Shepherds often feature vibrant patterns of red-orange on black. And as you can see in the picture, this pattern is especially noticeable in puppies. More rarely, you can see “Panda” varieties with white patches, too!

The German Shepherd is easily one of the world’s most useful dog breeds. It was originally developed in Germany to herd sheep. But today, it has a huge variety of uses: German Shepherds are often bred for police work, trained as service dogs, used in search-and-rescue missions, and trained to act in movies. Though they are also popular as pets, German Shepherds should be given plenty of exercise each day.

18. Treeing Tennessee Brindle

Tennessee Treeing Brindle catching a frisbee.
  • Group: None; like the Shikoku, it’s part of the AKC Foundation Stock Service program
  • Origin: Tennessee, United States
  • Size: About 16″-24″ tall; roughly 30-50 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-12 years
  • Colorful feature: This beautiful and unique breed has a brindle coat that looks like it’s tiger striped. As you can likely tell from the name, the Tennessee Treeing Brindle only comes in brindle.

This distinctive breed can’t be officially registered by any major kennel club as of yet. However, it continues to be useful as a hunting dog. As a dog bred for treeing, the Tennessee Treeing Brindle is able to chase game up trees. Usually, a hunter is then able to shoot at the game. As you can see from the picture, these dogs also make great companions for playing catch!

19. Pomeranian

Two Pomeranians looking standing in the grass.
  • Group: Toys
  • Origin: Pomerania (in Poland and Germany)
  • Size: 6″-7″ tall; 3 to 7 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12 to 16 years
  • Colorful feature: These dogs come in many different colors. One of the more attention-getting color patterns involves a black base coat and bright reddish-orange markings (like the dog in the picture).

These happy, fluffy little dogs are probably some of the more popular ones on the list. As a very small dog breed, the Pomeranian belongs to the AKC’s “toy” group of smaller companion dogs. You may sometimes hear Pomeranians described as “Poms.” This nickname is obviously a shortened form of the breed name, but it also accurately describes these tiny, pompom-like dogs.

20. Vizsla

A Vizsla sitting on a rock in the forest.
  • Group: Sporting
  • Origin: Hungary
  • Size: 21″-25″ tall; about 44-60 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-14 years
  • Colorful feature: These dogs have a short, glossy coat that is a fiery red. They are somewhat unique in that their entire bodies are the same color. According to breed standard, the eyes, nose, and nails should all blend in with the coat color.

This beautiful, red-coated dog comes from Hungary. Its name translates to “hunter” or “searcher.” And even though Vizslas are great hunting dogs, they are gentle and people-oriented enough to make wonderful family pets. Notably, they are good with both children and adults. And as a medium-sized dog, they can be more manageable than larger breeds, too.

21. Bergamasco Shepherd

A Bergamasco Shepherd in the show ring.
  • Group: Herding
  • Origin: Alpi e Prealpi Bergamasche, Italy
  • Size: 21″-24″ tall; about 57-84 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 13-15 years
  • Colorful feature: These are some of the strangest-looking dogs in the world. Bergamasco Shepherds have long hair along the body that forms thick mats. These mats protect it from harsh weather and make it easier to stay warm. Often, the mats are slightly different colors so the dog looks a bit like it’s draped in rags.

These odd-looking dogs look a bit like the Puli, another breed with a long and textured coat. They were developed to herd sheep and goats, but they make good pets, too. The Bergamasco Shepherd is a great choice for a guard dog. It is alert and has a powerful protective instinct. And even though it’s wary of strangers, it does not become aggressive unless pushed.

22. American Hairless Terrier

The American Hairless Terrier sitting in a fancy room.
  • Group: Terriers
  • Origin: Louisiana, United States
  • Size: 12″-16″ tall; about 7-14 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 14-16 years
  • Colorful feature: Though they lack hair, American Hairless Terriers still offer plenty of color. The dog in the picture is a good example of a dog with uniquely patterned skin.

The American Hairless Terrier is one of the newest AKC-recognized breeds; it was only officially recognized in 2016! The breed has an interesting origin, too. The breeders who developed it got the idea when one of their Jack Russell Terriers produced a hairless puppy. Though American Hairless Terriers were developed to look slightly different than Jack Russell Terriers, you can definitely see the resemblance!

23. Whippet

A whippet standing in the field.
  • Group: Hounds
  • Origin: England
  • Size: 18.5″-22.5″; about 20-42 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-15 years
  • Colorful feature: Whippets come in a range of colors. One of the more common ones is the color shown in the picture, a pale, apricot-like brindle.

At first glance, whippets look a lot like greyhounds. So it should come as no surprise to learn that this sleek, quick-moving breed descended from greyhounds in England. Historically, whippet racing was a popular sport, and whippets were called the “poor man’s racehorse” or “poor man’s greyhound.” They have the highest running speed of all breeds of a similar weight. And thanks to their smaller size, whippets can accelerate extremely quickly.

24. Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel against a white background.
  • Group: Sporting
  • Origin: Mostly England and America
  • Size: About 14″-15″ tall; 20-30 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-14 years
  • Colorful feature: The Cocker Spaniel has a huge range of coat colors. Many look like the one in the picture and have a mottled mixture of white and another darker color.

You might not guess it from their long, sleek coats, but Cocker Spaniels were originally bred to be hunting dogs! The name comes from the fact that they were often used to hunt a quail-like bird called the Eurasian Woodcock. Today, a Cocker Spaniel with a healthy and well-groomed coat is certainly a sight to behold!

25. Tenterfield Terrier

The Tenterfield Terrier standing on the beach.
  • Group: Terriers
  • Origin: Australia
  • Size: About 25″-30″ tall; roughly 10-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-16 years
  • Colorful feature: Many Tenterfield Terriers have a white base color marked by clearly-defined patches of brown or yellow. The contrast makes them striking, especially on mostly-white dogs.

This small, energetic breed is recognized in Australia, but it is not part of the AKC. The Tenterfield Terrier looks a lot like the miniature Fox Terrier. It’s an easy pet to take care of, but compared to many smaller dogs, this breed is especially high-energy. Especially if you don’t have a fenced backyard, taking a Tenterfield Terrier for at least one daily walk is crucial.

26. Azawakh

An Azawakh against a white background.
  • Group: Hounds
  • Origin: West Africa
  • Size: About 24″-29″ tall; about 33-55 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-15 years
  • Colorful feature: This breed comes in many colors, but it is commonly a red chestnut color like the dog in the picture. Many of these dogs have splashy white markings that really set them apart.

The Azawakh is a very new addition to the AKC. Like most sight hounds, this breed is incredibly lean and lanky. You can see both bone structure and musculature through the skin. Despite its energy and athleticism, the Azawakh is a very affectionate and laid-back pet.

27. Dogo Argentino

A Dogo Argentino against a black background.
  • Group: Working
  • Origin: Argentina
  • Size: About 23″-27″ tall; 80-100 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 9-15 years
  • Colorful feature: The Dogo Argentino might not be what everyone considers “colorful.” But the combination of its snowy white coat and the mottled pink and black skin on the muzzle makes it a real standout.

In some ways, the Dogo Argentino seems like Argentina’s answer to the German Shepherd. Dogos are often used in police work, search and rescue, military work, and as guide dogs and service dogs. They are graceful yet powerful, and it’s easy to see the influence of both Great Dane and Bull Terrier blood in this breed’s formation.

28. Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound standing in a peaceful outdoor setting.
  • Group: Toys
  • Origin: Italy
  • Size: About 13″-15″ tall; up to 11 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 14-15 years
  • Colorful feature: Many Italian Greyhounds are a steely blue-grey. But as you can see with the Italian Greyhound in the picture, these little dogs can also have patches of white and another color.

Though it is still a sight hound, the Italian Greyhound’s very small size places it in the AKC’s “toy” category. Because of the breed’s speed and small size, it was originally developed to hunt small game like rabbits. But despite its hunting abilities, the Italian Greyhound still makes an affectionate pet. If you live in a cold climate and have one, be careful; the combination of a short coat and very lean body means the Italian Greyhound can get too cold very easily.

29. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute on the grass.
  • Group: Working
  • Origin: Alaska, United States
  • Size: About 75-85 pounds
  • Lifespan: Up to about 16 years
  • Colorful feature: The Alaskan Malamute comes in a range of colors. Almost all of them involve a white base coat covered in black, silver, red, or various shades of brown. The thick undercoat combined with the often-dark outer coat can make them appear “frosted” with color.

The sturdy, fluffy Alaskan Malamute was developed primarily to haul heavy dogsleds in Alaska. Many people end up confusing them with Siberian Huskies, but Malamutes tend to be bigger and sturdier. Huskies were bred for speed while pulling sleds, but Malamutes were bred for strength. The Malamute is very much a pack animal. Since it sees the owner as the head of the pack, it’s essential to have your Malamute respect you if you want a well-trained pet.

30. American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier against a green background.
  • Group: Terriers
  • Origin: United States
  • Size: 17″-21″ tall; between 30 and 60 pounds
  • Lifespan: Around 8-15 years
  • Colorful feature: The American Pit Bull Terrier comes in nearly every color except for merle. The “blue” color, shown in the picture, is especially beautiful and popular.

Interestingly enough, the American Pit Bull Terrier is not recognized as a breed by the AKC, though it is recognized by the UKC. Though it often makes a gentle family pet, it has sometimes been bred to attack other animals. This is because it was once used in “bull baiting,” a sport where a dog and a bull are made to fight. Unfortunately, these dogs are still sometimes used in underground dog fighting rings. 

31. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever in a large grass field at sunset.
  • Group: Sporting
  • Origin: Scotland, United Kingdom
  • Size: 21″-24″ tall; between 55 and 75 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-12 years
  • Colorful feature: The Golden Retriever’s flowing gold coat makes it stand out among other dogs. There’s a good bit of variation among individuals when it comes to coat color, though. Golden Retrievers range from pale, almost platinum blonde to deep gold to red-gold.

Golden Retrievers are among the most popular pet dog breeds according to the AKC’s breed ranking. These dogs were originally bred to retrieve shot birds. But today, they are also used as guide dogs and service dogs. Golden Retrievers are friendly and playful, but if you’re looking to get one, make sure you’re prepared for regular grooming sessions!

32. Bullmastiff

Brindle Bullmastiff walking in front of the entrance gate
  • Group: Working
  • Origin: England
  • Size: 24″-27″ tall; 90-130 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 8-12 years
  • Colorful feature: The Bullmastiff comes in red, fawn, and any shade of brindle. A light brown/black, “stripey” brindle like the dog in the photo is very common.

The massive Bullmastiff descended from both bulldogs and mastiffs. This imposing dog was (and still is) commonly used as a guard dog. In the 1920s, a South African diamond mining company even imported Bullmastiffs to guard the mines! But unlike guard dogs who just try to scare away intruders, Bullmastiffs were bred to chase down, tackle, and pin intruding individuals.

33. Bernese Mountain Dog

A bernese mountain dog playing in the grass.
  • Group: Working
  • Origin: Switzerland
  • Size: 23″-27.5″ tall; 70-150 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 7-8 years
  • Colorful feature: Tricolor dogs whose coats combine snowy white, jet black, and bright reddish orange are certainly standouts. The Bernese Mountain Dog’s coat is a beautiful study in contrast, and its white throat and chest look a bit like a fancy ruffled collar!

The impressively-sized Bernese Mountain Dog was originally kept as a farm dog in the Swiss Alps. Very large individuals were strong enough to be used as draft animals, and they often pulled small carts. Today, the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America still holds “carting” competitions where the dogs compete for cart-pulling titles.

34. Greyhound

Greyhound dog sitting with a white background
  • Group: Hounds
  • Origin: No single origin
  • Size: 27″-30″ tall; about 55-88 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-14 years
  • Colorful feature: Based on the name, you might think that greyhounds are mostly grey. However, they come in a range of colors and patterns. The Greyhound in the photo has a rare and beautiful pattern of black-brown spotting or ticking.

Greyhound racing grew in popularity in the 1920s, and there are still official and amateur races all over the world. And since greyhounds are so quick on the track, people often believe that they are too high-energy to be pets. However, greyhounds are among the quietest dog breeds. They are docile when awake, but they also sleep up to 18 hours per day. So even if you have an apartment or similarly small space, a greyhound could still be a good choice of pet!

35. English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel lying on the floor.
  • Group: Sporting
  • Origin: England
  • Size: 19″-20″ tall; about 40-50 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-14 years
  • Colorful feature: The English Springer Spaniel comes in several colors, although many are either combinations of black and white or liver and white. The dog in the photo is a good example of the large, glossy patches of deep liver along with liver ticking on white common to the breed.

If you’re looking for both a reliable gun dog and a sweet-natured family pet, you can find both in the Springer Spaniel. This breed especially loves being around people, and Springer Spaniels are often eager to get in on any family activity. But even though the breed is good at both sport and obedience/being a pet, the bloodline has been effectively split since the 1970s. As a result, Springer Spaniels bred for hunting and those bred for show look almost like different breeds.

36. Basenji

A basenji sitting against a blue background.
  • Group: Hounds
  • Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Size: 16″-17″ tall; 21-24 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 14-16 years
  • Colorful feature: Like some other African breeds, the Basenji often has bright, intense coloring. You can really see that in the dog in the picture: the black, white, and rust combination offers plenty of contrast.

The Basenji is an odd breed. Perhaps the strangest thing is that these dogs don’t bark in the traditional sense. Basenjis have oddly-shaped larynxes, so they usually produce a sound that is more like a howl or a yodel than a bark. Though they’re cute, Basenjis are the second-hardest dog to train when it comes to obeying commands. (The hardest breed to train is the Afghan Hound). That difficulty may help explain why the breed has declined in popularity over the last several years.

37. Siberian Husky

A Siberian husky next to a snowy tree.
  • Group: Working
  • Origin: Siberia
  • Size: 20″-23.5″ tall; 35-60 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-14 years
  • Colorful feature: Huskies have beautiful layered coats, and they often appear to have a “blanket” of a darker color across the white base coat. Many also have bright sky blue eyes.

The beloved Siberian Husky is one of the most recognizable dog breeds. It’s strong enough to pull sleds through near-impossible terrain, but it’s also friendly and gentle enough to be a great pet. Huskies are intelligent, energetic, and a bit mischievous. So if you choose one for a pet, your new friend will be sure to keep you on your toes!

38. Pharaoh Hound

Three Pharaoh Hounds standing in the grass.
  • Group: Hounds
  • Origin: Malta
  • Size: 21″-25″ tall; between 45 and 55 pounds
  • Lifespan: Between 12 and 14 years
  • Colorful feature: The Pharaoh Hound is often similar in color to the bright red-brown Vizsla, although it may sometimes have bright white markings. The striking Pharaoh Hounds in the picture are unique in that they are mostly white.

Pharaoh Hounds are sleek, graceful, and fast. But they do have an unusual, somewhat humorous quirk: when happy or excited, they will “blush,” with their ears and noses flushing bright pink. In their native Malta, these dogs are especially useful for hunting rabbits on steep, rocky, or otherwise difficult terrain. Often, the dogs will find a rabbit and chase it into a burrow. The hunter will then lay netting over all possible burrow openings. A ferret wearing a bell is then released into the burrow to flush the rabbit out. When it emerges, one of the dogs will pounce on it.

39. Yakutian Laika

A Yakutian Laika standing on a patio.
  • Group: Part of the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service
  • Origin: Yakutia Republic, Russia
  • Size: 21″-23″ tall; about 40-55 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-12 years
  • Colorful feature: These dogs are sometimes patterned similarly to Huskies and Malamutes. Most have a predominately white coat with darker black markings. Those markings can range from a few small spots to the “painted” effect seen in the picture. Laikas often have piercing blue eyes that only add more color.

Since it is an Arctic working dog, the Yakutian Laika looks a lot like the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Malamute. But unlike these dogs, the Laika is also very well suited to hunting and herding. Because it also can pull sleds, this tough yet beautiful dog is a versatile animal that has historically made life in Siberia a lot less difficult for humans. Laikas have amazing stamina; despite the harsh cold of Siberia, they are able to consistently work from sunrise to sunset.

40. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi with a purple harness.
  • Group: Herding
  • Origin: Wales
  • Size: 10″-12″ tall; about 28-30 pounds
  • Lifespan: Usually between 12 and 13 years
  • Colorful feature: Most Pembroke Welsh Corgis are fawn-colored, although they do appear in some other colors. As you can see from the picture, the tricolored Corgi is definitely among the most colorful!

You might not think these little dogs with short legs would be capable of herding. However, they were bred to herd cattle and are incredibly good at it. Corgis are faster than they look; a fit dog can reach 25 mph. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi was also ranked the 11th most intelligent dog in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs, so it is intelligent enough to be trained to apply its athleticism in agility and other competitions. Notably, Corgis have been kept by the Queen of England for quite some time.

41. Boxer

Boxer puppy sitting with fall decorations.
  • Group: Working
  • Origin: Germany
  • Size: 21.5″-25″ tall; about 50-80 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-12 years
  • Colorful feature: Boxers come in many colors, including brindle and red. In this breed, white markings are called “flash,” and a dog with a good bit of white marking is known as “flashy.” As you can see, the brindle and white puppy in the photo would definitely be considered flashy!

Boxers make excellent guard dogs and great family pets. The breed’s rise to popularity was aided by the role that Boxers played in World War I. In the war, Boxers were messenger dogs, guard dogs, pack carriers, and attack dogs. After World War II, soldiers from the United States and different parts of Europe took some of the dogs home with them. 

42. Saluki

Saluki puppy standing outdoors.
  • Group: Hounds
  • Origin: Fertile Crescent region of the Middle East
  • Size: 23″-28″ tall; about 40-60 pounds
  • Lifespan: Between 10 and 17 years
  • Colorful feature: “Feathered” Salukis have ears and tails of a slightly different color compared to the body. You can see that in the picture. They can be found in deep red-orange, pale fawn, tricolor, golden, black and silver, chocolate and tan, and more.

The Saluki is an elegant, highly dignified dog. It’s a sight hound that is believed to have ancient origins, and ancient and medieval art pieces often feature dogs that look similar. Many people don’t realize that the Saluki actually comes in two color variants. The “feathered” version has long, silky fur on the ears, backs of the legs, and thighs. The “smooth” version has the same smooth, silky coat across the entire body. Although they are beautiful, Salukis have a reputation of being aloof and somewhat difficult to train.

43. Australian Kelpie

Australian kelpie lying on a deck.
  • Group: Part of the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service program
  • Origin: Australia
  • Size: 17″-20″ tall; about 35-50 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-13 years
  • Colorful feature: Though the dog in the picture is a lovely combination of chocolate brown and sable tan, the Kelpie comes in several colors. They range from blue to red to black and tan to chocolate.

This dog, commonly just called the Kelpie, is an extremely capable herding dog. It often can round up and drive a herd with little to no guidance from a human. In fact, Kelpies are such reliable roundup assistants that they have been exported to livestock farmers all over the world. Like some other working dogs, the Kelpie has effectively been split into two lines. One, called the Show Kelpie or Bench Kelpie, is used for show and bred for appearance. The Working Kelpie is bred for working instinct.

44. English Setter

English setter sitting with a winter background
  • Group: Sporting
  • Origin: England
  • Size: 23″-27″ tall; about 45-80 pounds
  • Lifespan: Around 12 years
  • Colorful feature: Many English Setters look almost confetti colored. They typically have a white base coat with flecks of color. When the coat is longer, the “flecks” look as though they’re swirled with the white. You can see that on the long ruff of the dog in the picture. Often, the color flecks are black, dark grey, or reddish orange.

English Setters were originally bred for hunting, and they were able to detect the scent of prey in the air. But like many AKC-recognized sporting breeds, the English Setter breed has been effectively divided. Dogs bred for hunting tend to have shorter coats and a slight build. Unsurprisingly, dogs bred for show have longer, silkier coats. They also tend to be a bit heavier in build. Outside of hunting, the English Setter is gentle and affectionate, so it makes wonderful pet for families.

45. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Cardigan Welsh Corgi sitting on moss in the forest
  • Group: Herding
  • Origin: Wales
  • Size: 10.5″-12.5″ tall; about 25-38 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-15 years
  • Colorful feature: The Cardigan Welsh Corgi comes in more color varieties than the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Merle dogs like the one in the picture are among the most colorful, as they combine white, black, and red. They also appear to be bluish in color from a distance.

Relatively early in the breed’s development, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and Pembroke Welsh Corgi were combined as one breed. The two breeds do share some similarities, but there is a key difference: the Cardigan has a long tail, while the Pembroke’s tail is usually docked. Like the Pembroke, the Cardigan is a highly athletic herding dog, but it is sweet enough to make the perfect pet or companion animal.

46. French Bulldog

French bulldog puppy standing outside.
  • Group: Non-sporting
  • Origin: Paris, France
  • Size: 11″-13″ tall; under 28 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 11-12 years
  • Colorful feature: French Bulldogs come in a number of beautiful colors and patterns; the dog in the photo is blue and fawn. These dogs can be found in brindle, cream, white, fawn, black, blue, or in some combination of those colors.

The French Bulldog, or “Frenchie,” is one of the world’s most popular pet dog breeds. Its small size and laid-back nature make it a great choice for people living in cities, and its adorable face with big “bat ears” has made it popular on social media, too. However, because of their smushed-in muzzles, Frenchies are prone to breathing difficulties. Those difficulties can be exacerbated by flying. After several French Bulldogs died while on flights, some airlines banned them. 

47. Mudi

Mudi walking in the grass.
  • Group: Miscellaneous
  • Origin: Hungary
  • Size: 15″-18.5″ tall; about 18-29 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-14 years
  • Colorful feature: The Mudi comes in a huge range of colors. The merle Mudi in the picture is especially lovely, and the wavy coat adds some extra dynamism to the intricate blend of colors.

Though many dog breeds on the list have been fairly familiar, the Mudi is probably one you haven’t heard of. This unique dog has a wavy, almost curly coat on most of the body. It has historically been used for herding, but its seemingly boundless energy and impressive intelligence have made it highly competitive in dog sports, including rally obedience, flyball, agility, and competitive herding. In the United States and Finland, the breed has also become highly respected in the world of search and rescue.

48. Border Collie

Red merle border collie with different colored eyes.
  • Group: Herding
  • Origin: Anglo-Scottish border region
  • Size: 18″-22″ tall; about 30-55 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-17 years
  • Colorful feature: Most of us picture Border Collies as being black and white. This color combination is still a beautiful one, but the Border Collie comes in an unbelievable array of colors. The most colorful of them all might be red merle. This is a blend of red and white mottling in the coat. Many merle dogs (including the one in the picture!) have heterochromia, or different-colored eyes. In this case, the blue and green eyes combined with the red and white coat make this dog look like a work of art.

The Border Collie is one of the more intelligent dog breeds out there. And if you’ve ever seen a herding Border Collie in action, you’ll get to see how helpful that intelligence is. If you’re a competitive person interested in dog sports, you might be interested in a Border Collie. These dogs excel at disc dog, agility, and various sheepdog trials.

49. Weimaraner

Weimaraner against black background.
  • Group: Sporting
  • Origin: Germany
  • Size: 22″-28″ tall; about 55-88 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-13 years
  • Colorful feature: The Weimaraner’s coat often has a shiny, even metallic appearance. Some dogs are more of a silver-grey, while others are blue-grey, charcoal blue, or mouse-grey. The dogs also have unusual amber or blue eyes.

You might sometimes hear this distinctive German breed described as the “grey ghost” of the dog world. It’s easy to see why: the pale silvery coat combined with the pale eyes means that the Weimaraner sometimes doesn’t even look real. The dog’s style of hunting is quiet and stealthy, making it all the more ghostly.

50. Entlebucher Mountain Dog

Entlebucher Mountain Dog portrait in front of yellow flowering Rhododendron
  • Group: Herding
  • Origin: Switzerland
  • Size: 16″-21″ tall; about 40-65 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 11-13 years
  • Colorful feature: Like the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Entlebucher Mountain dog has a shiny coat of jet black, deep rust, and snowy white.

There’s a reason that the Entlebucher Mountain Dog looks a lot like the Bernese Mountain Dog. Both are part of the Sennenhund group of dog breeds hailing from Switzerland. This one is the smallest in the group. Since it lacks the size of the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is not a great choice for a draft dog. However, its small size and athleticism make it ideal for herding cattle. These dogs are intelligent and love having a job to do, so they take very well to agility competitions and other types of dog sports. In particular, their proportionately short legs give them excellent balance.

51. German Shorthaired Pointer

German shorthaired pointer dog lying down.
  • Group: Sporting
  • Origin: Germany
  • Size: 21″-25″ tall; about 45 to 70 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-12 years
  • Colorful feature: The combination of liver and white is an especially beautiful one. It’s also the color you’ll find on most German Shorthaired Pointers. Often, at least some portion of the body will be ticked with liver and white. When the coat is clean, it is especially glossy and gives the dog an almost varnished appearance.

The German Shorthaired Pointer is one of the most versatile hunting dogs on the list. Though it’s mostly a gun dog, it can work on land or in water. It also makes an excellent pet. When it’s socialized well, a German Shorthaired Pointer tends to stick close to its owner and family. It also does well with other dogs.

52. Australian Shepherd

Young merle Australian shepherd portrait in autumn.
  • Group: Herding
  • Origin: California, United States
  • Size: 18″-23″ tall; about 40-65 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-15 years
  • Colorful feature: The Australian Shepherd is one of the most colorful breeds on the whole list. You can find it in blue, black, red merle, blue merle, and unique color combinations of red, white, and blue.

The name of this breed is a bit confusing. While the Australian Shepherd is said to have come from dogs imported from Australia and New Zealand, the breed itself was developed in the United States. Despite its flashy colors, the breed was used only as a herding dog at first. Now, it is a popular pet as well.

Nature’s Brightly Colored Dog Breeds

You may well have noticed some familiar dogs on the list, and you may even have discovered a new breed or two. Next time you go for a walk, keep your eye out for more of these friendly, colorful creatures!