10 American Dog Breeds
Dog breeds have been developed in many different countries and on every continent except Antarctica. The United States has gifted the dog world with some incredible breeds. From California to Massachusetts, these all-American dog breeds are as unique and varied as the different states. Read on to meet 10 dog breeds born and bred in the USA.
When you think of a Bulldog, you might picture the short, stocky scowl-faced breed we know today, but the original Bulldogs of England were taller, stronger and more athletic. These dogs were used to drive and catch cattle, and as property guardians. The breed was also used in the barbaric sport of bullbaiting, and when this activity was banned in England However, immigrants had brought the original style Bulldog with them to the American South, where they used them as all-purpose farm and ranch dogs. In the United States, the breed was preserved and renamed the American Bulldog.
Height: 20 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: About 60 to 110 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Large, powerful, muscular body with a short, smooth coat in any color, color pattern, or combination of colors other than solid black, solid blue, merle and tricolor
The American Hairless Terrier came into existence when a hairless female puppy named Josephine was born in a litter of purebred Rat Terriers. Josephine’s owners, Edwin and Willie Scott of Louisiana, made it their mission to see if they could produce more hairless puppies by breeding Josephine to other Rat Terriers. The American Hairless Terrier was fully recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2016 as part of the Terrier Group. It is the first hairless breed to be developed in the United States.
Height: 12 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 12 to 16 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Small, with a moderately muscled hairless body; skin is warm to the touch, soft and smooth, and is sometimes covered in a very fine layer of almost invisible hair.
The Alaskan Malamute is an ancient breed used to haul sleds and sledges in the cold and snowy Arctic. The Alaskan Malamute is a spitz breed, also known as a “Northern breed. Like most spitz breeds, Alaskan Malamute have thick double coats, wedged-shaped heads, upright triangular ears, and long tails that curl up and over the back. The Alaskan Malamute was recognized by the American Kennel Club since 1935.
Height: 23 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 75 to 85 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Powerful, athletic and substantially built, with a thick, dense, fluffy double coat in a variety of colors, including gray, black, sable and white; eyes must always be brown—never blue
Despite its name, the American Eskimo Dog was created not by Eskimos, but by German immigrants to the U.S. Midwest who brought their German Spitz dogs with them in the early 1800s. The highly trainable, striking white dogs proved extremely popular, and many even performed in circuses and other traveling live shows. The breed was known in the United States for nearly 200 years before the American Kennel Club officially recognized them in 1995 as part of the Non-Sporting Group.
Height: Toy: 9 to 12 inches tall at the shoulder. Miniature: 12 to 15 inches. Standard: 15 to 19 inches
Weight: Toy: 6 to 10 pounds. Miniature: 10 to 20 pounds. Standard: 25 to 35 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Compactly built, small to medium-sized spitz breed with an all-white, stand-off double coat
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The Australian Shepherd’s name is a complete misnomer—the breed was developed in the United States, not Australia. The Australian Shepherd got its name because the breeds that were used to create the breed were from Australia. Basque shepherds from a region near the Pyrenees Mountains brought their dogs to Australia when they immigrated there. Some California ranchers got their hands on some of these Australian super herders and developed the Australian Shepherd we know and love today. The Aussie is extremely smart, athletic, energetic and very personable, making them well-rounded companions and family dogs.
Height: 18 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 40 to 65 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Medium-sized, muscular and agile with a medium-length straight to wavy coat that comes in blue merle, black, red merle and red, all with or without white markings
The Boston Terrier was created in—you guessed it—Boston, Massachusetts. The first dog Judge, who was sold to an American who lived in Boston, was used in a careful breeding program and was the foundation of the Boston Terrier breed. The Boston Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1893 as part of the Non-Sporting Group.
Height: 15 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 12 to 25 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Small, compactly built and well-balanced with a short, smooth coat colored brindle, seal, or black with white markings
The Boykin Spaniel was developed in South Carolina around the turn of the century by men who desired a smaller dog with which to hunt turkeys from boats in the Wateree River Swamp. According to legend, all Boykins are descended from a small mixed-breed stray that was trained by Whitaker “Whit” Boykin. These cheerful, outgoing dogs get along well with other dogs and possibly the family cat if taught to respect it, but pet birds cannot be considered safe around a Boykin. Boykins love people, including well-mannered children of all ages.
Height: 14 to 18 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 25 to 40 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Medium-sized with a medium-length distinctive rich liver, brown or dark chocolate colored coat that ranges from straight to slightly wavy
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever was created in the Mid-Atlantic Chesapeake Bay, an estuary that reaches through Maryland and Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever, or Chessie as it is often called, was developed by serious duck hunters to be an excellent hunter and swimmer, and tireless retriever of ducks. Another unique feature: the Chesapeake Bay Retriever has webbed feet to help the dog swim.
Height: inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 55 to 80 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Medium-sized, well-balanced and powerfully built, with a short, thick, waterproof coat in various colors of brown
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A hardy, rustic breed developed in the American Deep South as an all-purpose farm and hunting dog, the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog is named for its place of origin in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana. Today, the Catahoula is the official state dog of Louisiana. Although Catahoula Leopard Dogs are working dogs, they are also devoted family companions. Most get along well with respectful children when raised with them. They may or may not get along with other pets.
Height: 22 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 50 to 95 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Large and muscular, with a short, smooth coat that comes in many different patterns and colors, from brindle to patched to solid colored (any color other than solid white); many have blue eyes and a leopard-patterned coat
Developed in the United States in the 1930s by combining Smooth Fox Terriers with toy breeds, including Miniature Pinschers and Italian Greyhounds, the Toy Fox Terrier emerged as a small, easy-to-live-with terrier. Its sweet, fun and friendly personality has earned it countless admirers. Toy Fox Terriers are small and fragile, so they are not recommended for families with young children under the age of five. However, due to their energy and playfulness, Toy Fox Terriers are excellent companions for older children (with adult supervision). The alert Toy Fox Terrier has excellent hearing and is a great watchdog. These dogs are not suited to outdoor living—they are too small and too attached to their families to be “backyard dogs.” They can live in any size home, including apartments and condos, and their small size makes them easily portable travel companions.
Height: 8.5 inches and 11.5 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 3.5 to 7 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Very small, with a short, smooth, satiny coat that comes in white, chocolate and tan; white and tan; white and black; or tri-color
These are just a few of the dog breeds created in the United States. Other breeds born and bred in the USA include the American Foxhound, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Water Spaniel, Black and Tan Coonhound, Black Mouth Cur, Bluetick Coonhound, Chinook, Cocker Spaniel, Plott Hound, Rat Terrier and Redbone Coonhound.