Spotted dogs are one of the most popular types of dog — and with good reason. There’s something so cute and unique about their individual markings. The combination of colors, the pattern, and the breed all make them so special. Some have small or big spots and some have little specks on a more dominant coat color.
Whichever spotted dog breed is your favorite, it’s important to think about a few other things before getting any dog. Not just their markings and color. Their exercise needs, temperament, and training requirements are all much more important than if they are a dog breed with freckles or not!
So, what are some examples of spotted dogs?
Of course they had to be first! Ever since Disney introduced these black and white spotted dogs onto our screens, humans have had a particular love for these pups.
Dalmatians are fun-loving, extremely playful, and have a lot of energy. They make great pets and are fiercely loyal to their human companions. Due to their high energy levels, they need a fair bit of exercising and a good amount of space for them to play in.
They’re not recommended for first-time dog owners as they can be a bit stubborn and need training to keep their energy levels under control.
German Shorthaired Pointer
German Shorthaired Pointers were first bred in the early 1800s. This was after years of German breeders attempting to breed the perfect bird dog.
What they got was an intelligent, active, and caring dog that continues to win hunting competitions today. Not only are they champions but they’re also great family pets.
These noble doggos respond best to positive reinforcement and can be a little sensitive. They need lots of time outdoors, off-lead, exploring.
They’re made for hours of hunting in the fields and don’t like to be stuck indoors entertaining themselves. If you're thinking about adopting a German Shorthaired Pointer, you'll need to be prepared to take them swimming, running, and on walks.
German Shorthaired Pointers have seven standard colors. Both patched and ticked are acceptable markings. These spotted dogs may have large patches of a color (often liver) or smaller ticked areas.
This is one of the best dog breeds with spots for any family. They’re a hunting breed with a medium to long coat length that is normally white with brown or black spots. English Setters are also big shedders, so grooming and brushing are essential if you want to keep your furniture and clothes fuzz-free.
These speckled and spotted dogs naturally have a high prey-drive, so you’ll need to train them well from a young age. They have high energy levels and need daily vigorous exercise.
These enormous, gentle giants can be impressive black and white spotted dogs. Their fur is short and doesn’t shed too much (not like other spotted dogs!). Spots are most common on white or merle Great Danes.
They can be quite stubborn pups, so consistent training when young is a must. Due to them being so big dogs, they’re not recommended for first-time dog owners.
English Springer Spaniel
These spotted Spaniels are easily recognizable by their adorably fluffy, long ears. English Springer Spaniels are most commonly white with large and small black or brown spots. They quite often look like they have freckles on their nose!
These medium-sized dogs with spots make wonderful pets. Originally hunting dogs, they need a lot of exercise and have a lot of energy. Because their fur is medium length, they need a lot of grooming and brushing to avoid tangles and mats.
American Hairless Terrier
These unusual-looking dogs are tenacious, confident, affectionate, and curious little pups.
Genetically, they're very closely related to the Rat Terrier. They’re the only hairless breed native to the United States and were actually born ‘by mistake” to a litter of coated Rat Terriers.
They were further bred to become the American Hairless Terrier. Despite their name, they can be coated too.
They may not be the obvious choice when it comes to spotted dogs. But there are many colors and markings accepted by kennel clubs for this breed.
They can have small black, white, and tan spots on their skin or even have piebald markings too (large patches of different colors).
American Hairless Terriers are very alert and need to be trained and socialized from a young age if they’re not to become too independent.
The Chinese Crested is another (mainly) hairless dog that’s certainly unmistakable.
These pups have smooth, pink-spotted bodies with a fluffy hairdo, feet, and tail. Experts don’t know a lot about the origin of these ancient dogs. However, according to the AKC, they’re descendants of large, hairless dogs brought to China from Africa.
This iconic breed can be many different colors. These include apricot, black, blue, and chocolate. They can also have white and spotted markings.
These pups are very affectionate to those they know (both humans and furry) but can be wary around strangers.
Socialization is crucial if they’re not to become too anxious. Chinese Crested dogs are agile but don’t expect them to want to go out for long walks.
They’re quite happy relaxing at home and occasionally chasing after a ball. Exercise is, however, important for their mental and physical health.
Cocker Spaniels have a beautiful, feathered coat that comes in an array of colors. Reddish-brown, black, gold and brown are all possibilities. Just like other spotted Spaniels, it’s common for them to have a mixture of colors as well as spots that look like freckles.
They’re a wonderful spotty dog breed for families with children or older relatives and are incredibly loyal. They love to be around people and play. Because they’re so keen, they can occasionally be a little clingy. Just like other Spaniels, they need regular grooming to keep their fur looking its best!
Australian Shepherds are a gorgeous spotted breed. They’re very intelligent and love to be put to work (whether that’s catching their favorite ball or rounding up a herd of sheep)!
As they’re working dogs, they need a lot of exercise and entertainment but make great family pets if you can keep up with them!
These are a very fluffy spotted breed of dog and they come in many different colors. When it comes to spots, the most common are blue merle, red merle, black, brown, and white. Or sometimes a mixture!
They have beautiful coats but regular brushing and grooming is a must.
Australian Cattle Dog
As their name might suggest, these pooches are hard-working dogs, bred to herd cattle. They’re strong, athletic, and need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation.
Australian Cattle dogs are strong-willed and can have a bit of a nip — meaning they need firm training and leadership. They’re friendly with young children and other pets if they’ve been brought up together with a strong owner.
Their spotting combinations can be white and tan or black with white speckles. They shed quite a lot too, so brushing is a good idea with these dogs!
Known for their unique and recognizable coat, these black and white spotted dogs actually get their name from their dark and speckled fur. They have wonderfully long ears and a coat that can have black, white, and tan little spots.
They’re very energetic, meaning they need space to roam and plenty of walks. Being hunting dogs, they also have a high prey-drive — so keep an eye on them when you’re out!
These spotty dogs aren’t recommended for first-timers as they can be pretty stubborn to train and have a mind of their own!
Despite their looks and size, these amazingly fluffy pups are wonderfully gentle and good-natured. They have thick and heavy fur which is normally white with big (shock!) gray, black or brown spots. Their fur is perfect for keeping them warm in colder climates.
Pyrenean Mastiffs are a guardian breed, originally bred to protect sheep from wolves and thieves, so these spotty dogs can make wonderful family dogs. They protect their humans, are friendly, and only use their dominant size when there’s really a threat.
Watch out for their drool though!
These royal spotted dogs are so cute — just look at those little legs! Corgis are very trainable and love to be part of a family.
They respond well to rewards and love to please their humans. When they’re young they have high energy levels, but as they get a bit older they’re more than happy to sit on the sofa and watch a bit of television.
Their coats can be long-haired or shorter and a mixture of many different colors including, black, tan, red, brown, gray, and white. Spots are most common on blue merle coats. Just like Border Collies, Corgis are year-round shedders and need regular grooming.
Sometimes called Brittany Spaniels, these pups are more like Pointers or Setters than spotted Spaniels.
They’re sensitive, intelligent, and make great family pets — if you can keep up with their need for exercise and high energy levels! They’re loyal to their family unless there’s a bird around and then they’re easily distracted!
Their hair is midlength, and normally white with orange or liver spots. They shed a lot just before summer, so brushing in these months is important!
Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell Terriers are really popular, small spotted dogs that are incredibly clever.
They’re great at learning new tricks and are constantly aware of their surroundings. Because of their hunting genes, they can be a little feisty, so early socialization and training are a must. They need a lot of exercise and ball games and can become a bit rowdy if left alone too long.
Their coats are normally white, with large tan or black spots across the head and body. With correct training, these spotted dogs can make wonderful household pets.
For one of the smallest breeds of dogs, Chihuahuas have one of the biggest personalities.
There are different types of Chihuahuas, and some of them can have spots and freckles. They can be chocolate, cream, tan, white and black and have a mixture of colored spots.
These fashionable pups can be really sassy, so despite their size, early training is needed. Chihuahua’s are loud and protective, making them good watchdogs.
Catahoula Leopard Dog
As its name suggests the Catahoula Leopard is a particularly impressive spotted breed of dog.
They are first and foremost a working dog and need at least one hour of intense running exercise a day. A lack of exercise will result in a frustrated and overly excited dog that could turn destructive.
Catahoulas can have an array of different colorings, from white with black spots to black with gray spots. They’re very striking dogs that are muscular and quite often have two different colored eyes.
These really large pups are native to France where they were originally bred to guard livestock and herd. Male Great Pyrenees can grow to be 82 inches high! No wonder they could protect sheep from wolves.
And that’s before you even count the extra inches their extremely fluffy coat gives them. These pups are usually white, however, they can sometimes have spots.
Regardless of which coat they have, your Great Pyrenees will need a lot of grooming – at least a daily brush if you don’t want to be vacuuming all day long. They will repay you with affection and constant love though!
Beagles are well-known spotty dogs. They usually have a mixture of tan, black, and white spots all over their bodies. They have a short and fairly smooth coat which (unlike the Great Pyrenees) doesn’t require a lot of grooming. Once a week should be enough to keep most loose hairs under control.
These floppy-eared dogs are very funny, gentle, and loyal. They’re good hunting dogs and love to have a job to do. They’re known for being stubborn and can be a little naughty – so consistent training is needed to keep these pups in line!
These beautiful, bouncy spotted dogs are a firm family favorite. They come in all different colors from black and white to gray and tan and can be a spotted mixture of all of them.
They’re incredibly intelligent working dogs, which means they need at least an hour of exercise and mental games a day.
They’ve got high energy levels and love to play with children and adults alike. Their beautiful spotted coats may look nice but Border Collies are big shedders, so keep the brush and vacuum cleaner close!
American Bullies (despite what many people think) are actually friendly, affectionate, and very loyal dogs. They love to be part of a big family and spend time playing and cuddling their owners. Their fighting dog history, however, has led them to be a very misunderstood dog breed.
White American Bullies can have different colored spots. Black and brown are usually the most common though. These spots often appear on their heads but can be on their paws and body too. These doggos have short hair that requires minimal grooming.
Dogo Argentinos are very powerful pups with quite a striking appearance. They’re usually all white but can occasionally have small black spots on their coats. They can’t have any other spot color – just black!
These dogs are not for novice owners. They can be very affectionate to their owners but they’re seriously territorial and, without the correct training, can easily become aggressive. They need an expert owner who can bring out their best side.
Staffies are enthusiastic dogs that love to play and spend time with their humans. They like to receive and give affectation in equal measures and they respond best to positive reinforcement. Rather like the American Bulldog, these pups are misunderstood as being aggressive because of their fighting past.
The most common Staffordshire Terrier spot combination is a white coat with either black, tan, or brown spots. There are a few other combinations, but they’re quite unusual. These dogs have short and smooth coats which require minimal grooming.
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is the ultimate gun dog. These pups are versatile, hardworking, and eager to please their hunting companions. Griffs can be spotted amongst other hunting dogs thanks to their wiry and bristly coat (and an adorable goaty on their chin).
This hardworking dog breed has two standard coat colors according to the AKC. But, others are possible. These are brown and gray and chestnut and gray. They can also have ticked and roan markings which give them a beautiful, spotted coat too!
They’re very active dogs and need lots of exercise to keep them happy and entertained. Griffs won’t adapt well to apartment living and prefer having fields close by to run in.
They’re very playful and affectionate towards all their family members. The also get on well with kids and other canines.
We can all recognize the famous Wiener dog but did you know that they can also have spots? This breed can have a dapple coat, which genetically is the same as the merle coat pattern found in Australian Shepherds.
This amazing spotted coat is one of the most popular coat patterns for a Dachshund. So, you can expect to pay a little more for a Wiener puppy that’s spotted.
Dachshunds can have three coat types: wired, smooth, and longhaired. As you can guess, longhaired pups need more grooming than their short-haired cousins.
These dogs are very aware of their surroundings and don’t mind barking when someone is coming to the door.
They’re funny, loyal little dogs that are not built for a lot of strenuous exercise. They can be prone to obesity, so walks are a must. But swimming, jumping and too much running can affect their spine and legs.
How cute are these wrinkly, grumpy dogs?
The charming, brave, and goofy English Bulldog is a great choice for those living in the city or in the countryside. These pups are the descendants of the dogs used in bull baiting in 17th century England.
This was a cruel sport in which packs of dogs attacked a bull and the audience bet on who would win.
Whilst Bulldogs are still brave, they’re not naturally aggressive. Many even think these strong dogs are lazy. That’s probably because they’re happy to curl up on your lap and spend hours relaxing at home. But actually, these dogs are active and once outdoors, they’re happy running and exploring.
English Bulldogs have a short and sleek coat that will blow twice a year (so expect more brushing during this time).
These dogs often have a white base coat with tan, black, or brindle-colored spots. They can also be ticked, meaning they have smaller spots all over their bodies.
English Pointers look very like German Shorthaired Pointers.
However, the German breed tends to be smaller both in height and weight. English Pointers can also be found in more colors than the German variety but can still have beautiful, spotted coats.
They can have orange, lemon, liver, and black coats with white patches as well as a ticked coat.
Like other Pointers, these pooches were bred to help hunters point out game birds. They’re very active and energetic and need lots of exercise daily. They’ll be your best friend if you take them running with you – but don’t expect them to tire before you do.
They get on well with their family members and children who they’re used to. But you should take extra care around new kids. They’re boisterous and can be a little reserved.
English Pointers are generally very healthy dogs and make wonderful pets for active families.
All of these dog breeds can make great companions when trained and exercised well. Do you have a favorite spotted dog? Let us know in the comments!
And if you're ready to give your spotted dog a fitting name, be sure to explore our ‘Spotted Dog Names' article for creative and unique ideas perfect for your dappled friend!
I’m Charlotte, a content and copywriter from the North of England and currently living in Berlin. Animals have always been a huge part of my life, so writing about dogs is a total pleasure! I love all kinds of dogs and their cheeky personalities, but I’d have to say Weimaraners are my favourite!