Connect the Dots With These Spotted Dog Breeds
Spot: The all-familiar dog name that graces the pages of children’s books and surely the title of hundreds of family pets. The moniker may be used across all kinds of dogs, especially inspired by those with spotted coats.
“The Dalmatian is actually the only spotted breed,” says AKC spokesperson, Lisa Peterson. “Other breeds, like the Bluetick Coonhound, have a pattern called ticking.”
Ticking is made up of small, isolated areas (smaller than spots) of black or colored hairs on a white background.
If you’re considering adding a dog with a uniquely speckled coat to your family, here are a few breeds for you to consider.
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Australian Cattle Dog
Known originally as the Blue or Australian Heeler, the breed originated in the 1800s when Australians crossed Dingo-blue merle Collies to Dalmatians and Black and Tan Kelpies. The breed can be blue or red (can be in mottled or speckled pattern), with or without black, blue or tan markings.
Their smooth, short coat requires only occasional baths and brushing. The high-energy breed is super smart, so they need a job like herding, obedience or agility. According to the AKC, the breed bonds closely to its family, but is wary of strangers, so it’s important that the owner establish themselves as the pack leader.
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The breed gets its name from a coat pattern, which is dark blue in color and covered in a ticking or mottled pattern. The short, glossy coat requires only occasional baths and brushing. Sturdy and athletic, the Bluetick Coonhound is known for his determination, making him a perfect companion for active sporting families.
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The Dalmatian is a breed that has worn many hats, but most importantly, he is the original and only coaching dog and is currently ranked 64th in popularity according to AKC registration statistics.
“The Dalmatian is a fun-loving, high energy breed. They are very people oriented and thrive as part of a family,” says Peterson, “They need daily exercise and do well with active owners.”
The breed’s short coat sheds almost year round, but regular brushing helps keep stray hairs on your clothes and furniture under control.
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This breed is most definitely all about its people. The English Setter is a gentle, affectionate family dog that loves their pack’s company most of all. Not lacking in energy or athleticism, English Setters need daily vigorous exercise. The breed’s feathered coat is white with an intermingling of darker hairs resulting in markings called “belton”. According to the AKC, belton markings can be orange, blue (white with black markings), tricolor (blue belton with tan points), lemon and liver.
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Nicknamed by the AKC as the workaholic of the dog world, the Border Collie is extremely energetic and demands more than just a quick walk or game of fetch every day. Due to their history as herders, the breed tends to herd objects and people, so they do best with families who have older, well-behaved children and should be watched around strangers or new acquaintances. Their coats can be rough or smooth and includes any color in bi-color, tri-color, merle, sable, or solid patterns. They are seasonal shedders, and require regular brushing.
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Described as being bold and friendly, the Corgi is one of the most agreeable small house dogs says the AKC. The breed is easily trainable and does well when given regular exercise. The family-loving dog is cute, but don’t let his looks fool you—his history as a herding dog may lead to him herding you and your family. The coat can be red, sable, fawn, black and tan with or without white markings.
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English Springer Spaniel
Eager to please and a friend to the end, Springer Spaniels are happy, affectionate dogs who love their families. The breed makes for a great house pet, but is not a lap dog by any means. His medium-sized, powerful body needs daily exercise. He has long, hanging ears and a moderately long coat that requires regular brushing and trimming to stay free of mats.
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An energetic breed with strong herding and guarding instincts, the Australian Shepherd requires daily vigorous exercise, notes the AKC. Their coats can be black, blue merle, red merle and red with or without white markings. While not always a fan of strangers, the breed is still described as “people” dogs that want to always be near their families.
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