Top 12 American Dog Breeds

American Dog Breeds

Dog breeds have been developed across the globe for centuries.

Dogs in many countries and continents except Antarctica were designed for a purpose, whether it was a breed designed to be better at doing a task like hunting, herding; or the product of a breeder looking to make a more trainable, affectionate, or hypoallergenic lap dog.

It is for this reason that we have some of the most famous dog breeds today, and the dogs developed in the United States are no different.

American dog breeds were at some point developed with the assistance of breeds found in other regions of the world.

These dogs were used mainly as working dogs before they were made to be the adorable house pets we know and love today. 

These dog breeds come from all over the world, but one thing they share in common developed on American soil and still thrives today.

Here are some of the best American dog breeds.

Table of Contents

1. American Bulldog

The American Bulldog is descended from the Old English Bulldog, which was used to guard property, herd cattle, and entertain viewers in illegal dog sports.

These bulldogs were introduced to the United States in the 18th century. The breed nearly went extinct during World War II and this led local breeders to develop an American version.

American Bulldogs inherited their ancestor’s inclination for work; whether that is hooking up to a small cart to their harness, or sending them out on patrols, the American Bulldog can do anything.

Like the English Bulldogs of old, their American counterparts can also serve as guard dogs. These dogs are athletic, stocky, and muscular.

They can also be friendly and funny.  American Bulldogs weigh about 32 to 54 kg and stand at 20-26 inches tall.

These dogs come in white, fawn, or brown colors and have a lifespan of 10-15 years. The American Bulldog is friendly, loving, caring, and gentle to family and friends.

The American Bulldog is very gentle, which makes it a perfect dog for children. They are also active and require plenty of exercise.

2. Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is one of the oldest sled dog breeds.

Its name originates from the Inuit Malamute tribe and it is believed to be descended from wolf-dogs that existed in the region thousands of years ago.

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The Alaskan Malamute is a large dog breed with wolf-like facial markings and a large, fluffy tail that was initially bred to carry heavy loads over long distances and in harsh conditions.

The breed was also developed to hunt powerful prey like seals and bears. 

This dog breed is known for its enormous strength, intelligence, energy, endurance, and independence.

When fully domesticated, the Malamute makes a wonderful addition to a family that enjoys lots of physical activities. 

Malamutes can be very friendly and would typically get along with both family and strangers. They do best in large, open spaces and homes that offer lots of love, exercise, and attention. 

3. Boston Terrier

As the name implies, the Boston Terrier is an American dog breed that was developed in Boston.

This dog known for its unique dark-colored and white coat and large sparkling eyes is the official dog of the state of Massachusetts.

Boston Terriers are adorable and quite funny. They are also very smart, alert, and active but also enjoy hanging around the home with their family.

The Boston Terrier became very popular in the USA during the 1950s. It is named “The Gentleman” due to the tuxedo-like markings on its chest.

Boston Terriers are loyal to one person, although polite to all. They are prone to snoring because of their flat noses and narrow nostrils.

Their shorthaired coats only require occasional brushing. Dogs of this breed often have adorable nose wrinkles, which should be wiped frequently to keep dirt and dust away.

Taking a walk around the block or playing inside with the family keeps this dog in shape.

4. American Eskimo Dog

Contrary to its name, the American Eskimo dog was not developed by the indigenous people of America.

This dog breed has a Nordic heritage; it was introduced to the United States by German immigrants who came along with their spitz dogs in the early 1800s.

Eskies, as they are commonly called, are very trainable dogs with a distinct white coat. They are very popular in circuses and traveling shows.

Their name was changed from German Spitz to American Eskimo Dogs during the First World War due to prejudice against Germany.

Today, these fluffy white dogs are amazing family companions. 

5. Australian Shepherd

Here is another dog on this list with a misnomer as its name. Despite its name, this dog breed was originally bred in the United States and the 1840s during the time of the Gold Rush era.

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This dog breed owes its name to its predecessors who passed through Australia before finding its way to the U.S. when some California ranchers introduced them to America.

Aussies, as they are popularly called, can be described as intelligent and independent that rely on their strong herding instincts.

It was developed as a working dog to help farmers herd livestock. They are loyal and devoted to their owners, but are wary of strangers. Australian Shepherds weigh between 40–70 pounds.

6. American Hairless Terrier

Hairless cats are very common, but many people have not heard of the American hairless terrier.

This dog breed came into existence when a hairless female puppy was born into a litter of purebred rat terriers.

Its owners began to breed the hairless terrier with other rat terriers to produce more hairless puppies.

The American hairless terrier was fully recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2016 as part of the Terrier Group.

It was the first hairless breed to be developed in the United States.

7. Boykin Spaniel

The Boykin spaniel is a small American dog breed that was developed in South Carolina around the turn of the 20th century by dog breeders who wanted a fairly small dog with which to hunt turkeys from boats.

This dog breed can be described as alert, and friendly; it also makes an adorable house pet.

According to stories, Boykin spaniels are the descendants of a small mixed-breed stray that was trained by Whitaker “Whit” Boykin.

Boykins are excellent companions for all types of households. They are outgoing dogs that get along well with other dogs, but pet birds cannot be considered safe around a Boykin.

Boykins also loves people, including well-behaved children. Boykin Spaniels have flat to slightly wavy coats and long, feathery ears that are all brown in color.

The average life expectancy of this dog breed is 10 to 15 years. 

8. American Foxhound

The American Foxhound we know today descends from a line of dogs that came to the American colonies from England in the mid 17th century.

Since hunting was a huge part of the colonies, this dog was bred to be a scent hound. American foxhounds have an excellent hunting instinct and a strong nose.

It is said that George Washington maintained a large pack of these hounds to use for hunting games. 

9. American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire Terrier is also known as the Pit Bull Terrier. These dogs were originally farm dogs that came to America in the early 1800s.

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They were used for guarding homes, hunting game, and companionship. The American Staffordshire Terrier is sadly now known for illegal fighting competitions and not the farm work they were originally known for.

They still make amazing family companions and guard dogs. The American Staffordshire Terrier has a lifespan of about 12-16 years and weighs between 55-70 pounds for males and 45-50 pounds for females

This fierce but adorable puppy comes in black, white, slate, red, blue, chocolate, cream, and fawn. 

10. Black and Tan Coonhound

The Black and Tan Coonhound was bred to hunt and track large game.

As with most hounds, this dog has floppy ears that allow it to hear and a loud howl that notifies you that something is happening.

The coonhound has a unique color that was bred into it across generations to make it what it is today. This dog was developed to hunt down deer, boars, mountain lions, and even bears.

The Black and Tan Coonhound possesses a tremendous amount of stamina and they can get bored very quickly if they are not kept busy. 

11. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

According to the stories, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever comes from two puppies that were rescued from a shipwreck in the early 1800s off the coast of Maryland.

It has been described as affectionate, sensitive, and bright. This dog breed is famous for its ability to easily retrieve waterfowl from the cold waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

This retriever has a dense coat with an oily texture that enables the dog to deal with extreme weather.

This dog breed has a lifespan of 10-13 years and comes in brown, dead grass, and sedge colors. Males of this breed weigh 65-80 pounds while females weigh 55-70 pounds. 

12. Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel was introduced to America with the landing of the Mayflower in 1620.

There were two varieties of this dog in the early days; land and water, and the weight that differentiated them.

The name “cocker” came about because these dogs were used to retrieve woodcocks when shot down. Today, this dog breed exists as the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel.

The difference between the two is their weight and leg size. The American Cocker Spaniel is noticeably smaller with shorter legs than the English variety. 

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