Everyone knows the Dalmatian! Whether through Disney movies or firefighting tropes, the Dalmatian is the most widely-recognized dog breed with black spots. If you like the look of the Dalmatian, though, you have other options for dog breeds with black spots.
Dalmatians are beautiful dogs, but they’re not a good match for some families or lifestyles. They’re large and energetic, and their temperament isn’t always suited to families with children.
Because the Dalmatian’s appearance is so well-received, we’ve put together a list of dog breeds with black spots. Whether you’re planning to purchase a dog from a breeder or to adopt from a shelter, be on the lookout for these dog breeds.
The first dog breed with black spots on our list is, of course, the Dalmatian! This dog can be found in many rescues across the country, as they’re working dogs and often are placed for adoption when they retire.
You’ll also find quite a few breeders that specialize in them, though dogs born at breeders will almost invariably cost much more than rescued pups. Consider saving a dog from a shelter if you don’t intend to breed it yourself.
Dalmatians are very high-energy dogs, and they’ll need to be given the opportunity to exercise frequently. The pups may be a little too rambunctious for small children unless properly trained, so be certain that you have the time and willingness to teach your dog acceptable behaviors.
Dalmatians shed — a lot. You’ll need to groom them often, brushing your dog at least once each day and bathing him often, too. They’re not a very good choice for families with allergy sufferers, or for families that simply don’t like shedding dogs in the home.
With these caveats in mind, Dalmatians really are sweet and loyal dogs. If you’re an active individual with the room required to keep one of these sleek, beautiful dogs with black spots, go for it!
2. English Springer Spaniel
The English Springer Spaniel’s fur is usually kept long, making it harder to notice that they are another dog breed with black spots. Your Springer Spaniel can be brown or black, and its spotted nose is its signature.
When trimmed into a puppy cut or a kennel cut, or even when shaved, those lovely black spots will present themselves in a pattern unique to your dog.
English Springer Spaniels are better with children and are good in smaller spaces than Dalmatians. Your dog will still need exercise, so a fenced-in yard is a good idea. Walking your pup will help her expend energy during the day so she’s less likely to get the zooms at night when it’s time to settle down.
Be ready to take your time — the English Springer Spaniel thinks every stranger is a friend, so she’ll want to meet others along the route.
Grooming your English Springer Spaniel requires frequent brushing to prevent matting, particularly if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors. Dirt, burs, and leaves should be removed when your pup comes inside to mitigate tangling. If you choose a shorter haircut for your dog, the process will be much quicker.
Bathe your pup every month or so, and use a shampoo and conditioner that’s designed for her type of hair. For the easiest experience, use a slicker brush before the bath, then blow your dog’s hair dry if she will tolerate it. A trip to the groomer will be in order every now and then, too, to trim up your dog’s ears and nails.
3. Catahoula Leopard Dog
The Catahoula Leopard Dog is the next beautiful dog breed with black spots. This breed isn’t as widely known, but it’s the official state dog of Louisiana. The breed is thought to have originated among Native American tribes; they’ve been used as hunting dogs throughout their history. Catahoula is the Choctaw word for “sacred lake.”
The Catahoula Leopard Dog is another working dog, and he’s known for his agility. Your pup will also be able to run long distances, and would love to accompany you on your morning jog.
They’re a stubborn breed, so it’s important to establish yourself as the pack leader when your puppy is young, or when your rescue dog enters your home. This will lessen the instance of mischievous behavior later.
Grooming the Catahoula Leopard Dog is fairly basic. You’ll want to bathe your dog every few weeks and brush him with a slicker brush each day. They’re moderate shedders, so this little bit of maintenance will keep your dog comfortable and your home clean.
Catahoula Leopard Dogs are affectionate and playful with family members but they’re not fond of strangers. Keep your pup leashed should you walk on public property — other dogs are very tempting for the Catahoula to chase.
4. German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Shorthaired Pointer is next on our list of dog breeds with black spots, though in some cases your Pointer may have more of a gray or brown appearance. They’re great family dogs and will take a liking to children, seniors, and everyone in between.
The dogs can be a bit lively, though, so be sure your children are comfortable around these relatively large dogs; your pup may grow to up to 70 pounds.
Because they’re so energetic, the German Shorthaired Pointer is another breed that will require room to run around. Your fenced yard is a great start, and walking or jogging your dog daily will help keep her stimulated and exercised.
German Shorthaired Pointers are easily trainable but sometimes distractible. Obedience classes can assist you in teaching your dog to pay more attention to you than to that squirrel!
As you may have assumed by the name of the breed, the German Shorthaired Pointer was bred to hunt. You don’t have to spend time in the woods to enjoy this dog breed with black spots, though.
Take your pup for a walk on the sand and have him practice his dock diving skills. You’ll be amazed at what your dog can do.
5. Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd, or Aussie, has been recognized by the AKC since 1991, and they just might be the perfect breed. They’re loyal, affectionate, highly intelligent, and absolutely gorgeous. The breed exhibits a fair balance between “watchdog” and “couch potato,” and your Aussie won’t require a strict routine to keep her happy.
The Aussie’s medium coats shed minimally and can be groomed in several styles. Most Australian Shepherd owners choose to keep their dog’s coat full-length, but a rounded, shorter cut can be achieved — and looks super cute!
The bathing frequency will vary based on the time your pup spends outdoors. Trimming isn’t necessary very often, but you may choose to thin your pup’s hair; any qualified groomer can easily do this.
The Australian Shepherd is a herder, and your family will be her flock. Even with that said, however, your dog will easily take to you as “master” and the intelligence of your pup will make her easily trainable.
Keep in mind that regular vet checks will be required to keep your pup healthy. Aussies are prone to certain diseases and conditions; cataracts, hip dysplasia, and epilepsy are just a few examples of conditions your vet can diagnose. Early detection is essential to a long, healthy life.
6. English Setter
The English Setter can best be described as a “chill” dog. Your pup will be just as happy relaxing with you in a patch of sun on the porch as he will be running around chasing birds and butterflies.
The dog breed typically has black or brown spots, though those spots could be orange or even lemon. The pattern is actually referred to as Belton, a throwback to the hunting village frequented by the breed’s founder.
Your dog’s long, sleek hair will need to be brushed at least weekly, though this will vary based on the activity of your dog. Remove knots and tangles with a brush, then wash your dog every few weeks to maintain a healthy, shiny coat. The dogs don’t shed excessively, so your main objective will be to simply keep your dog’s fur from matting.
Your English Setter is a wonderful family companion. They’re a perfect breed for households with children, with other dogs, or with seniors. The gentle nature of the English Setter means that they’re not the best watchdogs, though! Everyone is a friend, and the dogs have never met a stranger.
Did you know that English setters can run up to 20 miles per hour? Don’t worry, you don’t have to keep up! Your setter will be perfectly happy hiking, jogging, or swimming for exercise.
7. Jack Russell Terrier
When you picture a Jack Russell Terrier, you likely envision a brown and white spotted dog. However, the breed can come with black spots, too, making them next on our list of dog breeds with black spots. Before you adopt one of these pups into your family, consider the fact that they shed a lot, so frequent grooming is an absolute must.
You may have seen the Jack Russell breed on the old sitcom, Frasier, or know that a Jack Russell was the first breed to visit both the North and South Poles. Even if your dog doesn’t become internationally recognized, he’s sure to become the most popular pup in the neighborhood.
These dogs are lively and energetic, friendly and playful, and very athletic! In fact, your pup can jump up to five feet.
Your dog will need a fenced yard or to be taken on leashed walks each day. This will help him get the wiggles out before that energy turns into mischief. The dogs are truly one-of-a-kind and will find all kinds of ways to get into trouble if not properly entertained. They’ll burrow, dig, climb, and hop their way into situations that you’d likely prefer they didn’t.
Jack Russell Terriers are prone to deafness, so regular vet checks are critical. Skin allergies are also common with the breed, so be mindful as you choose your pup’s sunscreen, shampoo, and other products.
Frequently Asked Questions
Breeds like the Bluetick Coonhound, Cocker Spaniel, and Great Dane have spots on their fur.
Great Danes can have a Harlequin pattern with irregular dark spots on a white coat.
Conclusion for “Dog Breeds with Black Spots – Top Breeds”
Black spots aren’t just for Dalmatians! If you’ve fallen in love with the look of Pongo or your local firehouse pup, you may be interested in a black and white spotted dog of your own. Unfortunately, Dalmatians aren’t the right breed for everyone, so you may need to consider looking into other options.
Thankfully, breeders over the years have fine-tuned dog breeds that fit the description. Whether you’re interested in adopting a large dog like a Catahoula Leopard Dog or a small court jester like the Jack Russell Terrier, there’s a dog with black spots out there perfect for your lifestyle.
Want more? Check out these other lists of dog breeds:
- 9 Scrunchy-Faced Dog Breeds with Pictures! (2023)
- 11 Dog Breeds With Button Ears! (2023)
- Weird Dog Breeds with Pictures & Facts! (2023)
Learn more about dog breeds with black spots by watching “These Are 10 Most Gorgeous Spotted Dog Breeds” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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