A dog with a spotted coat really stands out in a crowd. It’s hard not to notice the stunning patches, spots, blotches, and ticking of a dog that has a pretty patterned coat.
You might be wondering which breeds out there sport these interesting patterns. If so, this guide will help you identify and understand the many spotted dog breeds.
What Breeds of Dogs are Spotted?
Most of us are familiar with the black and white Dalmatian, but there are tons of spotted dog breeds out there.
Some dogs have multi-colored hair, while others actually have spotted skin, like the American Hairless Terrier.
Some have distinct circles, like a Dalmatian, and then there are those with coats that are known as merle, such as Australian Shepherds or Australian Cattle Dogs.
Harlequin Great Danes have big splotches of colors with a white base coat.
English Setters have speckled coats called “belton”. Bluetick Coonhounds have spotted coats that are known as ticking.
German Shorthaired Pointers have a similar coat. Beagles have more of a patchy coat, and Border Collies can be merle.
As you can see, there are many different versions of “spots” that dogs can have.
Some breeds are well known for their spotted coats, but there are some breeds out there that aren’t normally spotted but occasionally are born with spotted coats.
Depending on the type of pattern, a spotted dog may be known simply as spotted, or by one of the names mentioned above.
Toy and Small Spotted Dog Breeds
1. Jack Russell Terrier
While they aren’t recognized by the AKC, Jack Russell Terriers are lively, bold, and completely lovable.
They are active, quick learners, and courageous. It’s no wonder that these pups have been made famous in numerous movies and TV shows.
Jack Russell Terriers’ coats can be almost completely white or white with spots of black, tan, or brindle. These dogs have smooth, rough, or broken double coats that need weekly brushing.
The lively, loyal, and loving Chihuahua is an incredibly popular dog for a good reason. They’re protective, with bold personalities and plenty of attitude.
Chihuahuas are one of the most iconic dogs out there, and while you usually see the more solid colors out there, that’s not the only pattern they come in.
They have both long and short coats, and either can come in a range of colors, including spotted. They can be a mix of black, white, fawn, cream, brown, or merle.
Want to know more? Head also to our guide on long-haired chihuahuas.
3. American Cocker Spaniel
The American Cocker Spaniel is beautiful and eager to please. They love their family, and while they can be shy with strangers, once they get to know you, you have a friend for life.
These dogs have a long coat that can be solid or parti-color, which means white mixed with another color like black, brown, tan, roan, buff, red, silver, gray, fawn, or merle.
4. American Hairless Terrier
The American Hairless Terrier has – you guessed it – no hair. This small dog is affectionate, friendly, and eager to please its people.
Instead of fur, these hairless dogs have colored skin that can be spotted with brindle, tan, piebald, or sable. They may have spots on their nose, bellies, backs, legs, ears, and anywhere else on their body.
Because they don’t have hair, these dogs need protection from strong sun and cold temperatures.
If you’ve never seen this dog, check out the American Hairless Terriers judging at the 2021 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this past year.
Beagles are easy to recognize with their white chests and tan bodies. These vocal dogs are famous for their child-like personality and adoration for their humans.
Black and white spotted Snoopy is perhaps the most famous Beagle, but they can also come in blue, lemon, tan, black, red, bluetick, and red.
We have an entire guide dedicated to Beagle colors, so head over there if you want to know more.
6. Chinese Crested
Chinese Crested dogs have fur on their legs, tail, and heads, but the rest of their body is hairless. That doesn’t mean they’re all one color, though.
Their skin can be solid or spotted. These affectionate dogs come in a huge range of colors, including apricot, black, blue, cream, slate, pink, and chocolate. They often have spots on their rumps or chests, but the spots can be anywhere.
Everyone knows the adorable little Wiener dog, thanks to its long body and short legs. But this pooch is a lot more versatile than most people realize.
Dachshunds come in a range of colors and coat lengths, as well as a variety of coat colors and patterns.
Medium-Sized Spotted Dog Breeds
8. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Famous as the companion dogs for Queen Elizabeth II, Corgis have a fox-like face, short legs, and a long body, and they make incredible family pets.
These devoted, loving pups come in many colors. Both the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi have black and tan, fawn, red, or sable coats with white markings. Sometimes those markings can look like spots.
If you’re curious to learn more about Corgis, you might want to visit our article on this unique pooch.
When it comes to spotted coats, no dog stands out more than the Dalmatian, a dog made even more famous in the Disney film 101 Dalmatians.
With their white base coat and dark black spots, they really are distinctive with their spotted coat pattern.
Unlike most dogs on this list, these dogs don’t come in a range of different colors. They are all white at the base, with either black, tan, liver, lemon, or orange spots.
These dignified dogs are easy to train, have lots of energy, and need a job to do in order to be happy. To learn more about this spotted wonder of the canine world, head to our Dalmatian guide.
10. Australian Cattle Dog
Also known as Blue Heelers, Australian Cattle Dogs are extremely high-energy and have headstrong personalities. But for the right person, they are marvelous companions and excellent working dogs.
These adorable herding dogs come in a few different coat patterns, including mottled blue or black. Red and Blue Heelers can have mottling or patches of dark color over white.
All dogs are born with a white coat and eventually develop their adult color.
11. Australian Shepherd
Aussies, as Australian Shepherds are known, aren’t technically spotted. They can have a coat that is known as merle, which has large patches of different colors with white patches.
The merle color can be red merle, blue merle, or standard black merle. They can also have blue eyes and are usually tri-color.
If you want to know more about Aussie genetics and colors, read our handy guide that can give you all the details.
12. English Pointer
English Pointers, sometimes just called Pointers, are medium-sized hunting dogs that are used to flush game for hunters. These dogs love to work and have a steady, loyal, hard-working demeanor.
Their coats tend to be white with spots or patches all over. The markings can be large or tiny little spots known as ticking. They come in black, lemon, liver, orange, or one of those colors mixed with white.
13. English Springer Spaniel
The English Springer Spaniel combines good looks with a hard-working personality. These dogs are affectionate, loyal, and easy-going. As long as they’re with you, they’ll be happy.
These pretty pups can be spotted or ticked, which means they can have small to medium-sized spots of black, liver, lemon, orange, or red on top of a white background.
14. German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Shorthaired Pointer stands out because it has a brown head with a ticked or spotted body. These dogs come in short, long, and wire-hired coats, but the colors remain the same between the three types.
These doggos are hard-workers, acting as gun dogs and retrievers, but they also love to hang out with their family. Just keep in mind that they can have a high prey drive.
Get to know more about this German hunter in our article on the German Shorthaired Pointer.
15. Border Collie
Border Collies are known for being incredibly intelligent, but they’re also famous for the black and white coats.
Technically, Border Collies can be completely solid black, blue, gold, red, lilac, or sable, but you most often see them with a white base and patches of color.
16. Brittany Spaniel
Brittany Spaniel dogs aren’t wildly popular in the US, but these eager-to-please working dogs are extremely easy to train, smart, and agile. They have beautiful medium-length coats that can be ticked or spotted.
They come in liver, orange, black, blue, white, or any combination of those colors.
17. Braque Francais Pyrenean
The Braque Francais Pyrenean is rare outside of its native home, but this affectionate dog is great with kids and other dogs, doesn’t need a lot of grooming, and has lots of energy, so it’s perfect for active families.
These french pointing dogs come in just two colors: chestnut and white with chestnut. They can be roan, ticked, or have points.
18. Pachón Navarro
Another rare dog, the Pachón Navarro is a Spanish hunting dog that is quiet, smart, loyal, and hard-working.
They come from the Pyrenees mountains and like to have a job to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
They can have red, white, brown, black, or pied (also known as piebald) coats. Pied is a term for a color that is white with spotting or patches of color.
19. Small Munsterlander
Don’t let the name “Small Münsterländer” trick you. These dogs are medium-sized and can weigh up to 60 pounds.
This intelligent pup is a hunter and retriever that is smart, steady, and friendly. They can be strong-willed, but they are definitely trainable.
This dog is either brown roan or brown and white. It can be ticked, patched, or have tan markings in addition to the patches and ticking.
Large Spotted Dog Breeds
20. Bluetick Coonhound
As you might have guessed from the name, Bluetick Coonhounds are both hunters and have a blue coat with ticking. These dogs are driven to hunt at night and go after raccoons and other nocturnal animals.
Bluetick Coonhound dogs are friendly and good family dogs, though they have a very loud voice, so they are best for country life.
Their mottled (also known as ticked) coat can be blue on white or blue and tan on white. They can have lots of tiny spots with or without larger patches of color.
21. Catahoula Leopard Dog
The Catahoula Leopard Dog is the official state dog of Louisiana, where it was first bred by native people in the area.
These dogs need early and good socialization to make a good family pet because they can be territorial and protective. As adults, they need good dog training.
This rare breed has a striking appearance. They often have icy blue or bi-color eyes. Their coats can be black, blue, chocolate, red, or yellow, and their coats can be merle or brindle, giving them a spotted or striped appearance.
22. Great Dane
The tall and elegant Great Dane is a massive purebred dog, but they don’t know it.
They’ll curl up with you on the sofa and lean against you for scratches until you’re practically knocked over. They make good family pets and love to be a part of the action.
Just as recognizable as their giant stature is their stunning coat. While solid colors like fawn and black are some of the most common, they also come in brindle (striped) or merle (mottled), or harlequin (patched) coats.
To learn more about the nine different Great Dane colors, you might want to head over to our article.
23. English Setter
The affectionate, sweet, and beautiful English Setter is known as not just a working dog but an excellent companion, as well.
They’re often called merry and mellow pals and are compared to Labradors in terms of their affable personalities.
They have a coat called “belton,” which is a term that isn’t used for any other dog. Belton coats are speckled with flecks of colors like liver, lemon, orange, blue, and white.
24. Bracco Italiano
The Bracco Italiano is a pointer and gun dog who loves to work and hang out with his family. When he isn’t helping out in the field, he is gentle and affectionate.
He can also be a bit stubborn, but he’s eager to learn and craves mental stimulation.
Bracco Italian puppies are particularly endearing, with their long, floppy ears and big, oversized paws.
The coat stands out with its speckles of chestnut or orange on the white base. They can have patches of chestnut or orange on their backs, rumps, ears, and over their eyes, as well.
25. Pyrenean Mastiff
The Pyrenean Mastiff is a massive, show-stopping dog that would stand out based on its size alone, but its coat also adds to its arresting appearance.
These dogs can reach up to 250 pounds, and they have a shaggy, long coat that protects them as they guard flocks.
These dogs have a white base mixed with patches of beige, black, brown, golden, gray, silver, biscuit, or sable merle.
Other Spotted Dog Breeds
Let’s check out some of the honorable mentions of spotted dogs.
- American Bulldog
- American English Coonhound
- American Pitbull Terriers
- American Leopard Dog
- Braque d’Auvergne
- Bull Arab
- Carea Leonés
- Central Asian Shepherd Dog
- Dogo Argentino
- English Bulldog
- English Cocker Spaniel
- English Greyhound
- Fox Terriers
- Gos Rater Valencià
- Great Pyrenees
- Irish Red and White Setter
- Lagotto Romagnoli
- Large Munsterlander
- Nederlandse Kooikerhondje
- Parson Russell Terrier
- Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz
- Russell Terrier
- Shetland Sheepdogs
- Staffordshire Terrier
- Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
- Tenterfield Terrier
- Treeing Walker Coonhound
- Welsh Springer Spaniel
- Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
Frequently Asked Questions
What dog breeds have black spots?
While Dalmatians are the most obvious dogs with black spots, Great Danes, many spaniels, Border Collies, and some Pointers also have black spotting.
Why does my dog have spotted skin?
Some dogs not only have spotted coats, but they can have spotted skin. Australian Shepherds, Great Danes, Pitbulls, and Australian Cattle Dogs can all have spotted noses.
Any dog that has a truly spotted coat or a merle coat may also have spotted skin on their bellies. Think of dogs like Dalmatians, Springer Spaniels, and Blueticks.
What do you name a white dog with brown spots?
While “Spot” is an obvious choice for a dog with spots, you could also go with something like Bandit, Blotch, Boots, Dice, Oreo, Smudge, Speck, Checkers, Marbles, or Tux, depending on their coat pattern.
Conclusion: Which Spotted Dog Breed is for You?
There are a surprising number of dogs out there with spotted coats, right?
While you certainly don’t want to pick a dog just based on its appearance, there are enough different breeds out there that there is a good one for any person wanting a spotted pup in their life.
So which spotted doggo is your favorite? Are you drawn to the classic spots of the Dalmatian or something more patchy and speckled like the Pyrenean Mastiff more your style?
Further reading: Get to Know More Dog Breeds and Their Colors