When you’re looking to bring a new dog home, there are many factors to consider. Appearance is probably the first of these factors for most people choosing a dog.
Now, beauty is subjective, so our curated list of the most beautiful dog breeds may contain many dogs you feel are outright ugly. That’s unavoidable.
We’ve chosen a wide range of different dogs, both pure and mixed breeds, all beautiful in their own way. Not all breeds make sensible choices for first-time owners, so we draw your attention to any of these throughout our roundup.
What makes a dog beautiful, then?
Well, this will differ from person to person, but for most people it’s the long and lustrous coat of certain breeds that appeals.
The color of a dog can also affect your perception of its beauty, and many on our list today come with dramatic coats to get the conversation started.
A dog’s eyes can also be one of the most attractive elements, but whether you like cold gray eyes or warm yellow and brown eyes is personal. Some pet parents find dogs with two different colored eyes attractive.
OK, now it’s time for you to explore our collection of show-stopping dogs and see if any of them makes the right fit for your family.
Top 30 Most Beautiful Dog Breeds
- Great Dane
- Alaskan Malamute
- Pharaoh Hound
- Afghan Hound
- Australian Shepherd
- Irish Setter
- Shiba Inu
- German Shepherd
- Icelandic Sheepdog
- Lhasa Apso
- Border Collie
- Shi Tzu
- Golden Retriever
- King Charles Spaniel
- Labrador Retriever
- Bichon Frise
- Toy Poodle
The Akita is a muscular and impressive dog used over the years for some heavy-grade work like boar hunting, as well as performing guard dog duties.
Throw in that dense and super-fluffy coat, though, and you have one of the most beautiful dog breeds out there.
Despite the working heritage, most Akitas are kept as pets these days. Varied in color, these dogs are mainly a mix of white, black, brown, and gray.
These dogs shed heavily and drool copiously, so make sure you’re prepared for this side of things. They are not always tolerant of children and benefit from early training and socialization.
These iconic dogs are famous for working alongside firefighters, but they are nicely rounded dogs that also make wonderful pets.
The classic polka dot pattern to dalmatian’s coats is unmistakable, although many people find them rather strange to look at. As with all of the breeds on our shortlist today, beauty is ultimately in the eye of the beholder.
Dalmatians have high energy levels and you’ll need to ensure your pup gets plenty of vigorous exercise. They also need plenty of space so they can stretch out, run, and play.
3) Great Dane
The great Dane is a huge dog that’s also rather pretty despite the sprawling size.
Much like the Akita, the great Dane is also a heavy drooler. This does compromise their appearance to some extent, and this is something you should be aware of before bringing one of these furballs home.
It goes unsaid these dogs need plenty of space to feel at home, so they don’t make a smart choice for apartment dwellers. That said, the exercise requirements of these dogs are pretty minimal.
4) Alaskan Malamute
If you’re a fan of wolf-like breeds, you’ll love the Alaskan malamute. They are muscular, large, and swathed in a long and thick coat just like their cousins. The ears standing upward complete the wolf-life look, but with a much softer and more attractive overall appearance.
Malamutes have coats in a combination of black, white, and gray tones.
The drawback with malamutes is that they are fairly tasky to look after. They need very regular grooming, as well as lots of exercise, interaction, and stimulation.
While malamutes make a poor choice for first-time dog owners, they make great pets for experienced owners with active lifestyles and plenty of time on their hands.
A papillon might be tiny, but he doesn’t function as a lap dog. This breed needs plenty of stimulation and always likes to be busy.
With remarkably silky coats, tufted ears, and piercing eyes, the expression on the face of this dog will melt your heart every time.
6) Pharaoh Hound
The pharaoh hound tends to polarize opinion in the looks department.
These unusual dogs are extremely expensive and make a very striking statement with their short hair and graceful appearance.
Originally bred to hunt large prey and to run alongside their owners, the pharaoh hound is also affectionate with humans. This makes them great if unusual pets. As an added bonus, they don’t have the seemingly endless energy reserves of many other hunting dogs, so you won’t need to spend hours walking your pharaoh hound each day.
7) Afghan Hound
Originally bred for sight-hunting duties, the Afghan hound is a singular and arresting breed. Fairly lightweight and elegant, these dogs have long, silky coats. Their faces are also lengthy, managing to look jarring and beautiful at the same time.
The sighthound heritage of this breed means you’ll need to give this dog plenty of strenuous exercise to keep him fit, happy, and healthy. They also need lots of space to stretch out in at home.
Afghans are quite awkward to train, and they also shed profusely. As long as you feel you’re up to these challenges, an Afghan hound is one of the most beautiful dog breeds out there. As well as that cherubic appearance, you’ll also get a dog with a loving and sweet nature ideal as a family pet.
Salukis are one of the most striking breeds with an imposing physical presence. They have long snouts, sleek tails, and very slender, lithe bodies.
Bred as sighthounds, salukis are bundles of pent-up energy, so make sure you have an active lifestyle and the desire to engage with your dog throughout the day.
You should not bring a saluki home based purely on the strength if its appearance, though. While they are endearing in the extreme, they’re also hard dogs to train. Beyond this, you’ll also need acres of secure space for this dog to roam.
Chows resemble tiny lions, with long fur covering their heads and shoulder looking like a mane.
Despite having features at odds with classical beauty, their earnest, squinting look is super-cute.
These dogs are typically reserved to the point of being standoffish. They are more likely to wander off than come up for a cuddle. If you’re looking for an playful pet to engage with, chows probably are not the best breed. For anyone that spends lots of time away from home, though, a chow will thrive in his own company.
10) Australian Shepherd
Australian shepherds are a German shepherd mixed breed with multicolored coats of pure fluff. Throw in piercing eyes in arresting colors and you’ve got the ingredients of one of the most beautiful dog breeds.
If you bring one of these mixed breeds home, you’ll need to get ready to exercise him frequently. He’ll need some more intense workouts as well as a walk around the block. If you fail to stimulate your Australian shepherd, he could exhibit destructive behaviors.
These dogs have coats that shed heavily. As such, they require a reasonable amount of maintenance, but not as much of some long-haired alternatives.
The Samoyed has a white fluffy coat that’s dense yet super-soft. Native to Siberia, this coat serves the dog well in colder climates. If you live somewhere with long, hot summers, you may want to reconsider bringing a Samoyed home.
That coat may look great, but you’ll need to groom these dogs regularly. You will also need to exercise this working breed frequently and vigorously.
Affectionate and loving family dogs, the Samoyed is also one of the most beautiful dog breeds.
The Pomeranian looks cute and mischievous. With long dense coats, you get an eye-catching look without needing to worry about too much grooming or upkeep.
Smart and easy to train, Pomeranians make good family pets, but they need to be watched closely around children and they are not always great around strangers.
Poodles come in many varieties and their coats can be groomed in many different styles. They do need a fair amount of grooming, so don’t bring a poodle home if you’re looking for a low-maintenance pet.
Underneath that humorous appearance, poodles are highly intelligent dogs. They are great water-lovers, superb therapy dogs, and also enjoy agility work.
On top of these qualities, they look great and make excellent family pets.
The sleek and elegant Maltese is a true head-turner. If you’re looking for a dog that steals glances in the park, consider a Maltese.
Their coats are full-length, skimming the floor. You’ll need to groom this breed regularly, so make sure you’re prepared for that.
Not only do these dogs look incredible, but they have personalities to match. Adventurous but also easy to train, as long as you exercise a confident hand and don’t mind that grooming, this breed is a good choice for first-time owners looking for a manageable but beautiful dog.
15) Irish Setter
The Irish setter has a long and silky coat ranging in color from red through to strawberry blonde.
As well as making a strong visual statement, this breed is also lovable, affectionate, and filled with enthusiasm. They are mischievous enough to keep you entertained, but not so naughty that you end up tearing your hair out in frustration.
Much like most bird dogs, the Irish setter is super-smart and a pleasure to train. Keen to make new friends, you’ll need to give this dog plenty of time and attention. Fail to do this and they will take out their frustration with destructive behaviors like aggressive chewing.
If you have a large and active family and you want a beautiful dog to take to the park, you can’t go wrong with an Irish setter.
The Weimaraner is known as the silver ghost due to its unique gray coat. This cold and stark coat is offset by soft, sympathetic eyes that will have you breaking out the treats.
If you’re an inexperienced owner, think twice about bringing of these demanding dogs home. They are reasonably easy to train, but they are can exhibit destructive tendencies and make for challenging first-time pets.
Assuming you have the confidence and experience to take one of these dogs in hand, you’ll need to give them plenty of exercise to avoid those destructive tendencies surfacing.
This breed sheds heavily, so reconsider if you have family members with allergies or sensitivities.
17) Shiba Inu
The Shiba inu has small ears and a rounded head along with a very dense coat resulting in a dog that makes you want to pick it up and cuddle it for hours.
This breed is very loving, but they also function well on their own. If you spend long hours at work, this dog will thrive in your absence and then come to life when you come back home.
Rottweilers are not to everyone’s taste, and we understand that. Their looks and muscles are in many ways intimidating.
The beauty of this breed is found in those deep yellowish-brown eyes and the classic black-and-tan coat.
Beautiful and affectionate, this dog is also highly protective. Rottweilers can be challenging pets, so they don’t make a great choice for inexperienced pet parents.
The Doberman pinscher is a powerful and bulky dog that can appear intimidating at first glance.
Much like rottweilers, Dobermans have a soft and loving nature, as well as a fierce streak of loyalty. Properly trained and socialized, they make great family pets.
Despite the commanding appearance of these dogs, they are especially sensitive. When they get on your wrong side, expect to see them skulk off cowering as they try to hide from your anger.
Not only do you need to give Dobermans plenty of exercise, but you’ll also need to be prepared for plenty of cuddles. These dogs love to come up for some praise and petting, so don’t bring a Doberman home unless you want an active pet parenting experience.
20) German Shepherd
The German shepherd is a smart dog with a strong work ethic that also makes a wonderful family pet. Their protective nature makes them ideal as watch dogs or guard dogs.
Their showstopping good looks, though, are one of the primary reasons for the German shepherd’s popularity.
With a coat and build closely resembling a wolf, shepherds come in many colors, from all-black to all-white and everything between. Although this coat is easy on the eye, it’s also prone to shedding abundantly. Make sure you brush a GSD at least once a week to minimize the amount of hair that makes its way through your home.
21) Icelandic Sheepdog
Resembling a spitz, the Icelandic sheepdog is a beautiful breed first used as a Viking herding dog.
Although not related, the Icelandic sheepdog resembles both the Alaskan malamute and the shiba inu.
With triangular faces and features like a fox, this breed has pointy ears and a thick, fluffy coat.
If you’re looking for canine beauty with a twist, consider the Icelandic sheepdog.
22) Lhasa Apso
Originally bred in Tibet, these dogs acted as monastery watchdogs.
Now lovable pets the world over, these feisty furballs have long and thick coats that often grow wild and ragged. You could also clip the coat to a short or medium length to accentuate those dinky facial features.
With dreamy, deep-set eyes and highly prominent foreheads, these dogs make a real conversation piece.
23) Border Collie
The brindle characteristics of the border collier mean it’s a go-to breed for many dog lovers in the United States and throughout the world.
Most of these dogs have medium to long fur that’s silky smooth.
Don’t opt for a border collie if you’re a first-time owner, though. Confident, energetic, and often stubborn, these are not ideal starter breeds.
Assuming you have some experience with dogs, get training underway early, and handle with confidence and consistency.
24) Shi Tzu
The shih tzu looks much like the Lhasa apso at a glance. These breeds do have some small but important differences, though.
Shih tzus are much stockier in build. Their faces are also fuller and rounder. This becomes even more apparent when groomed in teddy bear style.
Most people seem to love or hate the tiny chihuahua. Even if you don’t like the look of short-haired chis, you can find long-haired chihuahuas.
While these dogs look incredibly cute, their personalities can be draining. They also yap fairly relentlessly.
If you decide to bring a chihuahua home, you’ll find they are one of the longest-living dogs.
26) Golden Retriever
Golden retrievers consistently place in the American Kennel Club’s top ten most popular breeds, and it’s easy to see why at a glimpse.
Their fluffy coats are silky, lustrous, and come in various golden shades. You can also sometimes find cream variants of this breed.
Golden retrievers are not only one of the most beautiful dog breeds, but they also have bags of personality and bundles of love. These dogs are great family pets, and they interact well with children.
27) King Charles Spaniel
The King Charles spaniel has trademark droopy air covered with thick fur. Regardless of the coat color, the ears steal the show with this breed.
Smart, loving, and very eager to please, you’ll encounter no difficulties training this obedient breed. As such, these dogs are ideal for first-time owners looking for a seamless introduction to pet parenting and one of the most beautiful dog breeds rolled into one.
28) Labrador Retriever
The labrador retriever has been the most popular breed on the American Kennel Club’s list for several years, and the main reason for that is aesthetic.
This medium to large dog has a thick body and a short, smooth coat. Coming in a multitude of colors, most labs are black and chocolate.
29) Bichon Frise
Bichon frise pups groomed like teddy bears make a spectacular sight.
Looking like animated clouds, these cute pups are perfect for apartment dwellers or anyone with a less active lifestyle. They don’t need much space, and they don’t need much exercise either.
In terms of personality, these dogs are feisty and often stand-offish around strangers. They bond closely to family members, though, and they are loyal, affectionate dogs as well as incredibly beautiful.
30) Toy Poodle
Toy poodles are one of the cutest of all types of poodle. They are arguably the most endearing of all toy breeds, although as with all the suggestions on our shortlist, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
With a thick and curly coat, only beady little eyes poke out with ears hanging down to jaw level.
Friendlier than a standard poodle, toy poodles are perfect family pets and ideal if you have children at home.
Well, if you arrived here today looking for some inspiration in choosing the most beautiful dog breed, you should now have no shortage of options.
You should only use appearance as the starting point for your research. A dog’s personality, trainability, and exercise requirements are all crucial factors to consider if you want to avoid bringing home an inappropriate dog.
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