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25 American Dog Breeds You Didn’t Know About

25 American Dog Breeds You Didn’t Know About

We’re all familiar with Poodles, French Bulldogs, and Pugs, but rarely does anyone know a thing or two about Chessies, Eskies, or Malamutes. The difference between these dogs is that the first ones are very popular in America while the other three ARE from America.

As you can conclude yourself, today, we’re talking about American dog breeds, and why you should own them instead of some other dog breeds.

Surprisingly, there are lots of unknown dogs from America that can be pawmazing pets. The only thing wrong with them is that they’re not as popular as German Shepherds or Huskies, for example.

These 25 American dog breeds will truly amaze you with their personality and lovely appearance. After this article, you’ll be like: Poodle, who?

1. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute

Let’s meet one of the oldest sled dogs in the world. The Alaskan Malamute is a purely American dog breed that has been here for quite a while. These arctic dogs are distant relatives of Siberian Huskies, and as such, they share coat colors with Huskies.

And, yes – I know what you’re going to ask me. They shed like Huskies, too!

Alaskan Malamutes are hard-working dogs that put their family first. These pups will protect you no matter what. You can doubt everything, but you can’t doubt their loyalty.

At the end of the day, your Malamute pup will love to snuggle with you. They’re friendly and peaceful. Since their cousins, Huskies, are not aggressive, you can expect the same behavior from Malamutes.

2. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier standing outside

Boston Terriers belong to the group of popular small dog breeds. People love them, families enjoy their company, and even other dogs want to be friends with them! Yup, Boston Terriers are pretty pawmazing! No wonder we call them “American Gentlemen”!

Even though Boston Terriers are not blessed as being hypoallergenic pups, they’re still a delight to dog owners who dread grooming. And, they’re also a sight for sore eyes! Boston Terriers are truly beautiful. They can fashion a coat in many colors. My personal favorites are red Bosties and blue Bosties!

If you follow the Bostie’s growth chart, you’ll notice that these small pups will not grow past 25 pounds of weight. They’re compact-sized, agile, and carry lots of energy. However, there isn’t much difference between male vs female Bosties. You’ll get a pawfect buddy no matter which one you pick!

3. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

These uncommon pups may resemble Labrador Retrievers, but they’re not any type of Lab at all. Think of Chessies as Labrador cousins from Maryland and Virginia, with Newfie and Irish Water Spaniel lines in their genetic pool. Like all retriever dogs, they look alike, but there are many differences between them.

These are strong gun dogs that usually weigh up to 80 pounds. Still, they’re quite fast, agile, and skilled at catching any sort of prey. But, Chessies are no “all work and no play” dogs. They enjoy cuddling with their owner and receiving affection.

What’s so special about Chessies is their waterproof coat. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers sport several brown shades of coat. Sadly, it’s not hypoallergenic, but it’s still pretty to look at. And, no – they are not that difficult to groom.

All in all, Chessies are surprisingly great family pups with the loyalty that a German Shepherd would envy. If you want a Chessie, then these breeders should be on your speed dial!

4. Rat Terrier

Rat Terrier

When former President Teddy Roosevelt helped with naming these American pups, he never thought they’d gain such popularity. Rat Terriers are feisty little guys that are becoming quite the rage, thanks to their temperament and pleasing appearance.

These are also one of the smallest dog breeds, especially their toy versions. Toy Rat Terriers are even more popular for their compact size.

Rat Terriers were first bred at the turn of the 20th century. Their purpose was to kill rats, and believe me when I say they had quite a problem with rats back in those days. Rat Terriers have earned their place as one of the most hard-working terrier dogs of all time.

You’ll recognize a Rat Terrier for its spiked-up triangular ears that hear everything as well as their long and pointed muzzle. These dogs come in a bunch of coat colors, and they are all approved by the AKC!

5. American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo Dog

You know a dog is 100% American when it has “American” in its official name, right?

Oh well… we can joke as much as we want, but American Eskimo dogs are absolutely American, just as any other pup on this list. But, they’re not as common as Staffies or Pitties. These are stunning dogs you don’t see every day, and when you do, you stop for a moment to admire them.

American Eskimo dogs come in three sizes: toy, mini, and standard. Even the biggest of the three is considered a small dog since it doesn’t weigh more than 25 pounds.

If you think that Eskies come from Alaska, you’re completely wrong. You can blame German farmers who came to the Midwest of the States for this new dog breed. German Spitz dogs were used to breed Eskies. The practice showed as a successful one, and the new breed stuck around.

However, because Germany had pretty bad publicity after World War I, the name was changed from German Spitz dogs to American Eskimo dogs.

Today’s Eskies are cheerful dogs that adapt easily no matter where they live. They’re loyal, love showing affection, and seem like ideal dogs for families with kids.

Check out our list of best American Eskimo Dog breeders.

6. American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier

I know what you think of American Staffordshire Terriers. They’re dangerous, right?

Well, that’s actually not true about AmStaffs!

These are absolute sweethearts, and one of the kindest canines in the world. They’re even sweeter than German Shepherds, for example! I mean, the German Shepherd’s aggression is often discussed, but AmStaffs are nowhere near that.

AmStaffs are kind-natured and calm. They rarely show signs of distress or if something doesn’t feel right with them.

These dogs were purposely bred to be superstars of blood sports. Thankfully, that practice is almost completely gone and AmStaffs can show their real face, which is absolutely angelic!

7. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel standing outside

While we see no difference between male and female Cocker Spaniels, there are significant dissimilarities between English and American Cocker Spaniels. Of course, we’re going to focus on our Cocker buddy from America. Let’s see why they’re so special.

American Cocker Spaniels are the smallest of all sporting dogs, but that doesn’t diminish their value. They’re still excellent hunting dogs and loyal sidekicks on everyday adventures.

Many people choose American Cocker Spaniels as family dogs because of their gentle nature. They also believe that Cockers are hypoallergenic. Sadly, Cockers don’t have hypoallergenic genes. But still, they shed only a bit, which makes them good dogs to own if you don’t have time for grooming.

What you may not like about this popular dog breed in America is the fact that they are very vocal. American Cocker Spaniels tend to bark a lot, and if that’s something you won’t appreciate, don’t get one!

8. Beagle

Beagle puppy walking on grass

People always have a hard time figuring out the differences between Beagles and Basset Hounds. Other than both being scenthounds and mostly tri-colored, there aren’t many similarities between these two dog breeds.

There shouldn’t even be a doubt about which dog to pick between a Basset vs a Beagle since they’re two separate breeds.

Beagles are small dogs and excellent family pets. They’re known to be quite curious and adventurous, but still pretty down-to-Earth, and calm around kids and other dogs.

What you probably didn’t know about these pups is that they date back several centuries in the past. It’s still unknown when Beagles were first bred. Somehow, the breed managed to survive and climb up the ladder of the most successful hunting dogs.

Beagles are blessed with a long lifespan. You will enjoy many years with your little buddy if you take good care of him.

9. American Hairless Terrier

American Hairless Terrier

Born and raised in Louisiana, this pure American gentleman will win you over with its charming looks and undeniable charisma.

Meet the American Hairless Terrier – a dog breed you probably didn’t know about.

Although they look a lot like big and fat Chihuahuas, they’re not the same. I mean, this is an American dog breed after all, right?

The American Hairless does share some personality traits with Chihuahuas, i.e., they have the same energy levels and alertness. However, they seem to be sweeter than Chis, and friendlier towards little children.

What’s so pawmazing about American Hairless Terriers is that they don’t have any hair that sheds. Well, obviously! This makes them hypoallergenic dogs. I predict these pups will climb up the ladder and improve their pawsition of popular dog breeds in the States for several rankings.

11. American Pitbull Terrier

American Pitbull Terrier

Name anything sweeter than a Pitbull’s smile. Go on, I’ll wait…

Yes, you’ll have to work pretty hard to think of anything cuter than that huge grin. So, why could someone hate Pitties? Why do they have such bad publicity?

Pitbulls and dogs that look like Pitbulls were always considered as dangerous and aggressive. But, there’s not a single bad bone in a Pitbull. These are calm and kind dogs, with a pretty normal behavior pattern. So, there is nothing unusual or undesirable as you can see.

Unfortunately, the American Kennel Club still doesn’t recognize Pitbulls as an official breed. However, that doesn’t deny the fact that the APBT is a wonderful pet. Sure, Pitties shed, and aren’t considered to be hypoallergenic, but that’s still not that big of a deal.

There are many things that make Pitbulls amazing pets. Other than their sleek coat in many shades like the unusual gray Pitbull, it’s their muscular build that makes them so attractive.

Pitties are definitely a delight to own. On top of everything, Pitties are also blessed with a long lifespan.

If the AKC saw how amazing Pitties are, maybe they’d place them among the official dog breeds for once.

12. Chinook


The Chinook sounds like a pretty rare and rather unusual-looking dog. Well, that’s about right. You don’t see Chinooks every day on the streets. But, they’re not THAT unusual in terms of appearance.

When I first saw a Chinook, I thought it was a hybrid dog. However, that’s pretty far from the truth.

Chinooks are purebred dogs, used mostly during the Gold Rush in Alaska. They have proven themselves as hard-working doggos, and they still serve as a working force in rural areas.

To introduce you closer to this American dog breed, let’s say that Chinooks are as big and strong as Mastiffs. They’re muscular and well-built, but still quite agile.

As you can imagine, Chinooks are dogs that get along with kids very well. That’s the case with all large dog breeds, i.e., Newfoundlands are gentle giants and kind to everyone.

Chinooks can easily obtain any function you give them from herding tasks to search and rescue missions.

Once you get a Chinook, you’ll be surprised by the intelligence this dog carries.

13. Catahoula Leopard Dog

Catahoula Leopard Dog

Meet the official state dog of Louisiana!

This is the Catahoula Leopard Dog, and it’s in no case related to leopards. The only thing they have in common with these wild animals is their patterned coat.

A lot of crossbreeding in the past is to blame for the existence of the Catahoula Leopard Dog. These canines have different blood in their lineage, including Bloodhounds and Italian Greyhounds. It took several centuries to produce the Catahoula we know today.

So, what are Catahoulas like? Are they wild like real leopards?

Actually, they’re not that feisty or wild. Catahoulas are alert, active, and energetic, but they are also very calm and gentle around people. They know when it’s time to work, and when it’s time to play.

And, what do they do in their free time? Catahoulas cuddle!

Catahoulas are generally low-maintenance dogs. As you can see for yourself, they’re really good canines to have around. But, do they have any downsides?

I’d have to say their biggest downside is a lack of good breeders. That’s why many people opt to adopt a Catahoula mixed breed pup. I can see that Catahoula Pitbull puppies are becoming popular.

14. Mountain Cur

Mountain Cur

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard of the Mountain Cur?

Exactly what I thought. You don’t know what that is.

Well, let me introduce you to another one of the wonderful American dog breeds that people usually don’t know anything about.

Mountain Cur dogs are definitely one of the rarest breeds of them all. It’s hard to tell when these dogs were popular, but lately, I’ve seen a little improvement in terms of their popularity.

For those of you who know nothing about Mountain Curs (and I know there’s a big number of you guys), how about we check out what these dogs are really like?

For starters, Mountain Cur dogs are big and energetic. They may not be as muscular as some other breeds like Staffords or Pitbulls, but still, Mountain Curs are blessed with a short coat in several coat colors, including brindle.

However, I’d be careful with senior Mountain Curs as they can develop canine arthritis.

Curs are true protectors. You can easily use them as guard dogs since they will do their best to keep the family safe and sound. They’re hard-working, eager to please, and deeply in love with all their family members.

Want a dog that’s very devoted? Pick a Mountain Cur.

15. Toy Fox Terrier

Toy Fox Terrier

Yes, these guys used to chase foxes down their holes, but no… they’re not related to foxes in any case.

Here’s the Toy Fox Terrier – a small and sassy Terrier dog you should meet.

So far, we’ve had lots of terrier dogs. By the end of this article, you’ll realize that American dog breeds are mostly terriers of all sizes. I can’t blame them. Terriers are highly versatile and adaptable pups.

The Toy Fox Terrier is the typical terrier pooch from the textbook. They’re bouncy, energetic, alert, and lively. Toy Fox Terriers are superstars of the dog show ring with their great skills, agility, and fast speed.

Even though they’re classified as snuggly pups, Fox terriers don’t like hanging out with kids and cuddling up with them. Considering their temperament, they’re more dogs for adults; not children or families with little children.

16. Redbone Coonhound

Redbone Coonhound

What’s more American than a dog sleeping on a deck, along with raccoons?


It’s time to meet that dog breed you usually see snoozing in the corner in the movies. That lazy canine isn’t lazy in real life at all. And, they’re not sleepy either.

Redbone Coonhounds are ideal hunting dogs and pups that will guarantee you to catch that annoying raccoon that has been going through the trash cans every night.

In all these years of my practice, I’ve seen only one Redbone Coonhound, but I didn’t have a chance to approach or examine him. That’s because these dogs are extremely rare, which is ironic since they’re a dog breed that is as American as it can be.

In fact, Redbone Coonhounds are one of the six breeds created by the first settlers in America. They were used to hunt raccoons and other critters in order to help people back then have some meat. Because of their history, Redbone Coonhounds are susceptible to parvovirus, so be careful.

Today, Redbone Coonhounds are friendly, quite easy-going, and very eager to please their humans.

If you are interested in owning a Redbone Coonhound, you can check out some of America’s best Redbone Coonhound breeders!

17. Boykin Spaniel

Boykin Spaniel dog and puppies

Just like all Spaniel dogs, Boykin Spaniels are very energetic and ready for action. Lately, I’ve seen many reliable Boykin Spaniel breeders advertising new litters. Seems like this dog breed has returned in a big style. Boykins are becoming popular once again!

I might as well add that the Boykin’s fairly affordable price is also guilty of the high demand lately.

But, that’s not everything that makes this dog breed so special.

Boykin Spaniels are pretty uncommon dogs. We usually see Cocker Spaniels in dog parks, but not Boykins.

The story behind this dog breed started back in 1900. Throughout the years, Boykins were bred to perfection, resulting in ultimate hunting companions. They have admirable intelligence, which will shine while training your Boykin.

Boykins are also one of the prettiest Spaniel pups out there. What’s curious about them is that the Boykin’s coat only comes in one color. Liver is the only AKC-accepted color. Anything else is considered to be faulty.

Speaking of their coat, I must add that you should prepare yourself for a fair amount of grooming. Boykins shed. They’re not hypoallergenic, but they’re not terrible shedders either. These dogs are just in between.

18. Mi-Ki

It is time for me to introduce you to what’s probably the youngest of all American dog breeds.

Here’s Mi-Ki (pronounced as MeeKee)!

The past thirty to forty years were very productive for dog breeders in the States. They’ve managed to create the ultimate hypoallergenic mixed-breed pup. Yes, hello there, F1 Goldendoodle and your other generations!

The same story of origin is with our Mi-Ki buddy. They were bred back in the 1980s by using the finest examples of the following dog breeds: the Shih Tzu, the Yorkshire Terrier, the Maltese, the Japanese Chin, and the Papillon. As you can see, they’re all low-shedding to hypoallergenic dogs.

As a result, our Mi-Ki pup looks a lot like his ancestry. And truly, I do see Yorkie colors as well as Shih Tzu colors with Mi-Kis. These dogs are the perfect blend of all parent breeds. Mi-Kis are tiny, with butterfly-shaped ears like the Papillon, and a cuddly coat like the king of all small and fluffy breeds – the Maltese.

Mi-Ki dogs are full of love for… well, pretty much everyone. Seriously, there’s not a living being that Mi-Kis don’t love.

I have a really good feeling that these pups will take over the scene pretty soon.

19. Plott Hound

Plott Hound

Have you heard of German Hanover hounds? No?

How about Plott Hounds? Still, a “no”?

Well then, I believe it is time to present to you the Plott Hound – a descendant of the German Hanover hound.

What’s so curious about this dog breed is that the founder, Johannes Plott, managed to keep the strain of these dogs completely pure and free of crossbreeding. That’s pretty rare when it comes to creating a new dog breed.

Today’s Plott Hounds are still pretty uncommon. Personally, I haven’t seen one in real life, and not a lot of my colleagues have either.

Plott Hounds are known to be hard workers and ready to learn. They’re calm, kind, and with a dignified attitude.

You might also find information on the Plott Hound Pitbull mix interesting.

20. American Water Spaniel

American Water Spaniel

Meet an all-American dog breed from the state of Wisconsin. Here’s the American Water Spaniel – another Spaniel pooch you’re going to love!

Since these pups were originally bred in the lake country, it’s natural for them to have “water” in their official name.

It’s also natural for them to be skilled workers, and excellent swimmers and divers. American Water Spaniels are one of the finest examples of what a Spaniel pup should be like.

Water Spaniels are fast and agile gundogs that will perform any given task no matter what. They’re blessed with a dense, waterproof coat in lovely shades of brown. What you’re going to love about these pooches are their fluffy ears and their curly coat waiting for you to run your fingers through it.

21. American Bulldog

American Bulldog

Descendants of English Bulldogs, American Bulldogs came to America back in the 1800s. Back then, this dog breed was very helpful as working dogs fit to chase down wild pigs.

American Bulldogs were known under many names. However, the simplest one of them was just Bulldogs. Back in the days, we had Johnson American Bulldogs as the first specimen of the new breed.

However, it’s not their appearance that made them Bulldogs. It’s the hard bulldog work that made people call them that.

American Bulldogs only come in white as the standard color. All other colors are not accepted by the AKC.

But, it’s not their stunning, muscular appearance that will make you fall for these pups. It’s their confident personality and loyalty that really stand out.

American Bulldogs are athletic dogs, and they need a fair share of exercise throughout the day. If you’re an active person yourself, you’re going to love spending time with the American Bully.

22. Australian Shepherd

Black Tri Australian Shepherd in field in sunset

Even though they may seem like pups from the Land Down Under, they’re not. The Australian Shepherd is a dog breed that is originally from America!

Back in the 1840s, during the Gold Rush in the West, Aussie Shepherds were bred to assist with guarding cattle. Their hard-working nature helped them remain popular for so many years.

When you go through the Aussie growth chart, you’ll notice that these are mid-sized dogs that don’t weigh over 65 pounds. This helps them to remain agile, fast, and very athletic, which is something crucial for livestock herding.

At first glance, you’ll fall in love with an Aussie Shepherd. All the differences and the similarities between boy and girl Aussie Shepherds will make you a true fan of the breed. Aussies are highly intelligent, loyal, and alert.

But, that’s not all that makes Aussies so special! Australian Shepherds are also terrific with kids! I would pay attention to their occasional need to herd them, but other than that, they’re perfectly harmless.

Aussies also come in a toy version, so you can have one even if your home is a tad bit small. These dogs feature lots of lovely coat shades. That’s why we have black Aussies, red merle Aussies, blue merle Aussies, as well as red tri Australian Shepherds.

23. Black And Tan Coonhound

Black And Tan Coonhound

Black and Tan Coonhounds aren’t a hybrid or a fairly new dog breed. These doggos have been around ever since the frontier times. These hounds were a product of crossing foxhounds and Bloodhounds.

Black and Tan Coonhounds were used as hunting dogs to chase down annoying raccoons and bring them back to the family since raccoons were a source of fur, meat, and fat. Yes, they ate raccoons back then! People… not Coonhounds.

The Black and Tan Coonhound will naturally only come in black and tan. These are large dogs, weighing over 110 pounds, and standing tall at up to 25 inches at the withers. Coonhounds are one of the finest, most skilled hunting dogs in the world.

What’s interesting about this dog breed is that they’re very popular for crossbreeding with other dogs. For example, you’ll have more chances of finding Coonhound Beagle mixes than purebred Coonhounds.

24. American Foxhound

American Foxhound

Hunting dogs can be true sweethearts, and the American Foxhound is there to vouch for that.

They may be all feisty and ready for action on the outside, but American Foxhounds are real cuddle buddies waiting patiently for attention.

These dogs are linked to George Washington (yes, THAT George Washington), and the custom of foxhunting. The first President of the United States, along with the rest of the state of Virginia, was very much into Foxhounds. These dogs were quite popular then.

Today’s American Foxhounds are actually state dogs of Virginia. People love them for their hard-working personality and overall pleasant temperament.

25. Treeing Walker Coonhounds

Treeing Walker Coonhounds

The favorite among all Coonhounds is definitely the Treeing Walker Coonhound. This dog got his name because they were known as skilled hunting dogs that used to chase their prey into the trees. For example, raccoons were often chased for their value in fur and meat.

This is another dog breed originally from Virginia. So, yes – you can say they’re real dogs from the South.

The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a dog whose intelligence you must not undermine. They’re courageous, adventurous, and always ready for action.

What’s curious about this dog breed is that they’re very vocal. They’re not howlers like Huskies, but they’re still loud. So, they might not be the ideal choice for quiet neighborhoods.

To Sum Up…

So, which one of these American dog breeds is your favorite?

I hope you’ll see the real beauty in Boykin Spaniels, Chessies, Coonhounds, and Catahoula dogs. They’re all just as important as any other dog breed that is popular in the States. And, they’re the only ones that can brag about the fact that they’re pure Americans.
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