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The Most Beautiful Dog Breeds in the World: The Definitive List

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Breeds By Ben Team 14 min read September 23, 2020 49 Comments

Most Beautiful Dog Breeds

If you ask me, every dog breed in the world is beautiful.

This includes matted Great Pyrenees, whose never slept indoors; waddling basset hounds with ground-scraping ears; and bulldogs who look like they tried to push a tractor with their face. I even think pugs, bull terriers, and Chinese cresteds are cute.

But a handful of breeds are widely considered to be more beautiful than most others. Obviously, beauty is a subjective quality and reasonable minds will disagree about the things that make a given breed attractive, but we’ve tried to devise a list that includes those breeds most people consider particularly good lookin’.

Some readers will agree with most of the breeds we’ve listed below, while others will become irate that we’ve left off one of their favorites. Don’t be mad – just let us know the ones we’ve missed in the comments below. We may even include them in future updates.

Common Characteristics of Beautiful Breeds

Different people find different things pretty about dogs, but there are a few common characteristics that people tend to find visually appealing. Some of the most common include:

Long, Luxurious Coats

This may be the most common physical characteristic that elicits “oohs” and “ahhhs” from other owners at the dog park. There’s just something about a long, thick, and shiny fur coat that people find attractive.

 Interesting Colors and Patterns

Some coat colors seem to catch the light (particularly natural, unfiltered sunlight) really well and make dogs stand out from the pack. This includes the coats of some single-colored dogs, but blotched, striped and brindle patterns can also be quite pretty.

 Eye-Catching Eyes

This is a bit of a wedge issue among dog lovers. Some people find cold-and-steely grey or blue eyes to be captivating, while others (and I’d firmly include myself in this camp) prefer warmer, welcoming eye colors, like brown and yellow. Similarly, some people think dogs with two different eye colors are gorgeous, while others find them jarring.  

 Graceful Body Lines

Many people find graceful body lines attractive in people, so why should dogs be any different? But once again, this is a subjective preference, and there is no universally beloved body shape. Some people may find the muscular build of Dogo Argentinos gorgeous, while others prefer the aerodynamic shape of greyhounds and whippets.

20 of the Most Beautiful Breeds in the World

We’ve listed 20 of the most beautiful dog breeds in the world below. They aren’t in any particular order – we’re already sure to get enough pushback on the list as is! If we had put them in order, #15 would certainly rank much higher on the list [/obviously_biased_writer].

1. Samoyeds

samoyed

Few dogs have a prettier coat than the Samoyed. Long, dense, and fluffy, these gorgeous white coats helped the breed’s ancestors stay warm in their Siberian homeland. But, this makes the breed somewhat poorly suited for places with hot summers, and they need regular grooming.

However, those who live in cool climates and are willing to pay for regular trips to the groomer will surely find Samoyeds to be wonderful and loving companions. They must be kept busy, as these dogs were bred to work, but they are very affectionate with their families and typically get along with everyone they meet.

2. Australian Shepherd

australian-dog

The multicolored and fluffy coats of Australian shepherds grant them instant access to the beautiful dog club, and they often have striking eyes to boot. Their coats shed heavily and do require a fair amount of maintenance, but they don’t require quite as much as some of the other long-haired breeds.

Be sure you’re ready for a high-energy dog if you select an Aussie shepherd – these little guys and gals can run for days, and they won’t be happy with couch-potato parents. Left to their own devices, these dogs can be a bit destructive.  

3. Pomeranian

Cost of pomeranian

Go ahead, look at a Pomeranian and try not to smile – I’ll bet you can’t do it. Pomeranians are obviously very pretty dogs who have very dense and attractive coats (which require surprisingly little maintenance compared to some other long-coated breeds), but they also have plenty of personality, which makes them even more endearing.

In fact, Pomeranians are rather intelligent dogs who are easier to train than most other tiny breeds. They aren’t especially friendly with strangers, and you’ll want to watch them closely around kids, but they are quite loving with their families.  

4. Chow Chow

chow

A chow with a full, well-kept coat is a sight to behold. They have a fairly lion-like appearance, as the long fur around their heads and shoulders resembles a mane. And while chows may not have faces you’d call classically beautiful, their perma-squint is pretty darn cute.

Chows are a bit aloof, and unfortunately, they aren’t exactly “cuddly.” They keep to themselves more than many other breeds, and they won’t hesitate to wander off and explore the world. But, while these traits may not be ideal for all owners, chows are great pets for those who spend lots of time away from the home.

5. Poodle

standard-poodle-for-anxiety

Personally, I think of poodles as “cute” more than “beautiful,” but that’s simply another example of the subjective nature of aesthetic beauty. Poodles have some of the most fabulous coats in the entire canine world, and they can be coiffed in any of several different ways. Poodles do require a good bit of grooming, but the final results are usually worth the effort.

Despite their comical appearance, poodles are actually very intelligent dogs. They can be used for agility trials, nose work (they’re often used to seek out truffles hidden on the forest floor), or anything involving water, as they love to swim. They’re also fantastic therapy dogs, and standard poodles are occasionally used as guard dogs.

6. Saluki

saluki

If you ever have the chance to see a Saluki standing still, you’ll certainly find him attractive. But don’t count on it; these dogs are as energetic as they are fast, and they’re happiest when running around a big field at Mach 2. In fact, many of their most attractive physical features – their elongated snout, lithe body, and elegant tail – help make them especially well-suited for a high-throttle lifestyle.

Given their nature, it is important to think carefully before adding one of these pups to your family. They’re very endearing dogs who’ll love flopping their fluffy ears on your lap from time to time, but they can be tricky to train, and they need acres of fenced-in space to roam.

7. Maltese

maltese

The Maltese is a very elegant breed, with a flowing white coat that pulses with each tiny step. Their magnificent coats turn heads wherever they go, and their lovable personalities help them make quick friends with everyone they meet. And that face? Forget about it. Go ahead and break out the treats, because it’s simply impossible to say no to these little cuties.

Although they may look a little fancy, Malteses are actually pretty rugged little canines whose bravery belies their diminutive size. They’re smart and easy to train, and they’re adventurous too. However, as you’d expect from a dog with a full-length, floor-touching coat, Malteses require regular grooming to look their best.

8. Afghan Hound

afghan hound

It’s hard to confuse an Afghan hound for anything else – there just aren’t many other breeds that exhibit the same combination of a light, elegant build with such a remarkably long and silky coat. Their long faces are also quite distinctive, as they’re simultaneously pretty and a bit strange.

Like the Saluki and Greyhound, the Afghan hound was originally used as a sight-hunting breed, who would run down swift prey with relative ease. So, you’re going to have to provide an Afghan with plenty of room to run. You’ll also find that they’re a bit difficult to train and they shed profusely. But, if you can cope with these challenges, you’ll probably love their affectionate and sweet nature.

9. Irish Setter

irish setter

Clad in flowing, silky coats that range from red to mahogany to strawberry blonde, Irish setters are beautiful without being stuffy. And even if they weren’t so pretty, they’d still be popular pets, given their fun and outgoing personalities. They’re energetic, enthusiastic, friendly, and sweet, and they cause just enough trouble to keep you on your toes.

In most respects, Irish setters are like other bird dogs. They’re smart and easy to train, they’re always ready to make friends, and they’ll destroy your everything you own if you don’t give them enough attention and exercise. But big families who love going to the park will usually love adding an Irish setter to their family.

10. Pharaoh Hound

Pharaoh hound

Pharaoh hounds are probably hit-or-miss with many dog lovers – you either think they’re handsome or a bit odd-looking. In either case, everyone can agree that the pharaoh hound is a unique breed (they’re also one of the most expensive dog breeds out there). They often bear a comical and slightly bizarre expression, which only makes them more lovable or strange, depending on your tastes.  

Short-haired, big-eared, and graceful, these dogs were bred to run down big prey and hunt alongside their owners. But, unlike many similarly built breeds, these pups are affectionate with their people and don’t have the never-ending reservoirs of energy some other zippy hunting dogs do. Pharaoh hounds aren’t terribly common, but they can make very good pets – even for first-time owners.

11. Weimaraner

weimaraner for hiking

Known to many as the “silver ghost,” the Weimaraner is a very striking breed, with an instantly recognizable gray coat. But while this would make some dogs look cold, Weimaraners have soft and sympathetic eyes that can melt even the coldest hearts. They look somewhat like a more refined version of a Labrador retriever, but, unlike Labs, Weimaraners are demanding pets, who aren’t great for inexperienced owners.

Weimaraners are smart, sweet and easy to train, but they must be provided with plenty of exercise to prevent them from developing destructive tendencies. And despite their beautiful, short-haired coats, Weimaraners shed heavily, causing problems for people with allergies.

12. Papillon

papillon

Papillons are ridiculously cute canines, who can’t help but elicit smiles from everyone they encounter. They have glorious silky coats, sweet eyes, and an expression that’ll make you forget all of your worldly troubles. But the most remarkable things about these little buggers are their tufted ears, which are typically held upright for maximum adorableness.

The Papillon isn’t really a lap dog, and you’ll need to keep yours busy to keep him happy. Fortunately, they’re fun little pups, who are smart and learn pretty quickly. In fact, many Papillons excel at agility trials (and they look too cute for words while doing so).

13. Shiba Inu

shiba-inu

The combination of the Shiba Inu’s round head, small ears, and dense coat makes the breed adorable. They look absolutely snuggletastic, and most dog owners will undoubtedly feel compelled to provide them with plenty of praise, love, and scritches and scratches on a more-or-less constant basis.  Fortunately, few Shiba Inus will object.

Shiba Inus come in a few different colors, including red, black and tan, and cream. They do shed a lot, but they don’t require very much grooming. Shiba Inus are loving animals, but they actually handle being alone better than many other breeds, so they offer particular value to those who work long hours.

14. Alaskan Malamute

malamute for hiking

If you like dogs that look like wolves, you’ll love the Alaskan malamute. Like wolves, they’re muscular, big and covered in a long, thick coat; their upright ears complete the look. Their coats also feature a mixture of white, grey, and black tones, which also helps accentuate their wolf-like appearance. However, with all due respect to wolves, most dog lovers will agree that malamutes are the more attractive of the two.

Unfortunately, malamutes are relatively high-maintenance dogs, who not only require regular grooming but plenty of stimulation, interaction, and exercise. They’re not the best choice for first-time owners, but they can make excellent companions for those experienced owners who have the time and energy to devote to them.

15. Rottweiler

rottweiler guard dog

Many people find Rottweilers intimidating, but if you look past their impressive muscles and no-nonsense disposition, you can’t help but find them beautiful. Clad in a short- to medium-length black-and-tan coat, Rottweilers may lack the silky fur and eye-catching gaze of some other breeds, but they make up for it with a set of yellow-brown eyes that’ll melt your heart.

And while they’re handsome animals, their personalities make them even more beautiful in the eyes of their owners. They’re ferociously protective of their families, but they turn into affectionate piles of snuggles and smooches when the opportunity presents itself. Rotties can, however, be a handful, and they’re not a good choice for first-time owners.  

16. Great Dane

large-great-dane

Lots of breeds are attractive, but few – actually, none – share the Great Dane’s combination of size and beauty. Often recognized as the largest breed in the world, Great Danes are most famous for their gargantuan bodies, but they’re also quite pretty too. They may not have the flowing coat of an Irish setter or the body contours of a Rottweiler, but they have a dignified beauty that is quite impressive to behold.

However, the Great Dane’s tendency to produce buckets of drool offsets their dignified appearance somewhat, and it may be enough to convince some would-be owners to select another breed. Obviously, you’ll need to give your Great Dane plenty of space (they are too big for apartment life), but they actually have rather modest exercise requirements.

17. Doberman

doberman guard dog

Dobermans are obviously great-looking dogs, but their size, powerful posture, and pointy ears often elicit a bit of trepidation in those who’ve never met one before. But, like Rottweilers, who also hail from Germany and boast a similar paint job, Dobermans are big softies who love their people. In fact, they’re quite sensitive, and a harsh word from their owner can make them cower and hide.

But before you run out and add one of these beautiful dogs to your family, be aware: You don’t want a Doberman if you aren’t ready to cuddle. Despite their large size, most Dobermans love to crawl right up on their owner’s lap and settle in for some much-deserved praise and petting.   

18. Dalmatian

dalmation dog

Some may consider the polka-dot-like pattern of dalmatians cute or comical rather than beautiful, but they’re so iconic and photogenic that we had to include them among the other beauties on this list. Although they’re most famous for accompanying firefighters, they’re actually well-rounded dogs, who also excel in hunting and agility contexts.

Dalmatians are full of energy, so you’ll need to provide them with plenty of exercise. You don’t want to keep one cooped up in an apartment – they need plenty of room to run, jump, and play. They actually make great running partners, and they’ll normally be willing to keep going long after you’ve decided to call it a day.  

19. German Shepherd

german-shepherd

As one of Hollywood’s favorites, the German shepherd has probably graced the big (and small) screen more often than any other breed. Their intelligence and work ethic certainly make them well-suited for this type of work, but the real reason they are so popular is quite simple: They’re gorgeous.

German shepherds have a gentle, loving facial expression that contrasts nicely with their wolf-like coat and build. They come in a variety of colors, ranging from all-white to all-black and everything in between. Unfortunately, this beautiful coat sheds profusely, so you’ll want to take them out and give them a vigorous brushing once a week or so.

20. Akita

akita

Akitas are imposing dogs, with broad shoulders and a muscular build that exudes strength and competence. But, their ultra-dense and fluffy coats soften this image a bit and help to create one of the world’s most attractive breeds.

Historically, Akitas were used for a variety of very serious tasks, ranging from boar hunting to guard-dog work, but they are typically kept as pets in the modern world.  

Akitas come in a few different color patterns, but most are a mix of brown, gray, black, and white. Their coats are perfect for petting, but unfortunately, they are heavy shedders (and droolers). Akitas don’t always tolerate children well, so early socialization and exposure are important.

***

We always want feedback and comments from our readers, but we’d like to hear your thoughts about this particular subject even more than normal. Let us know which breed you find to be most attractive and tell us which ones you think we should’ve left off the list (if any)!

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Written by

Ben Team

Ben is the senior content editor for K9 of Mine and has spent most of his adult life working as a wildlife educator and animal-care professional. Ben’s had the chance to work with hundreds of different species, but his favorite animals have always been dogs. He currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his spoiled-rotten Rottweiler named J.B. Chances are, she’s currently giving him the eyes and begging to go to the park.

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49 Comments

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Katie

Hi yes the Afghan shedding is false Afghans never shed if you don’t believe me just check Akc.org

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Ben Team

Hey there, Katie.
Here’s a photo of the dog brush used by a friend of a friend, who breeds Afghans.
I don’t know what else to tell ya.
🙂

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Katie

I’m surprised that Rottweilers and Great Danes are on here and Vizslas arent

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Eskie Mom

Ok, now this isn’t just your list that I have issue with, but why doesn’t anyone list the American Eskimo Dog? Their nickname is literally “The Dog Beautiful.” I see some lists with Samoyed’s (yours having it at #1), but Eskies are always left out 🙁

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Ben Team

I’m sure your opinion is completely objective, Eskie Mom.
😉
(AEDs are cuties though.)

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Rakesh

Where is Husky? Dude, are you Joking?

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Bryan

No golden retrievers = butt list

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Ben Team

Lol.
Hey, Bryan.
I knew we couldn’t make everyone happy with this list, so I’d get some heat in the comment section.
However, “butt list” made me actually laugh out loud.
Thanks for interjecting a little humor.
😉

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Nelly B

You are absolutely wrong about Afghan Hounds Shedding You don’t get that long hair of it’s falling out. I have more Hair in my comb than my dogs, incredibly smart, and train them a bit different. I have had 3 Hounds now, first an Afghan in my 20’s, had Labs when the kid’s were young and went back to the Afghans But they are different. they think differently.

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Diane

I think most of your choices were awful. The only two I found attractive was Irish Setter and Papillon. The rest are horrid animals. I have a Cavalier King Charles who is gorgeous. I mean, a Great Dane and an Akita? Gag. Where was a Yorkie and and a Dachshund? You put a poodle on there, but completely skipped a Brussels Griffon. I guess it’s true…beauty is in the eye of the beholder. ‍♀️

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Ben Team

“Horrid animals?”
That’s pretty harsh, Diane. We think all dogs are beautiful! And that includes your Cavalier, as well as Danes and Akitas.
Sorry you didn’t agree with our list, but thanks for reading.

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Gregory T Cuffee

You left out the Scottish Terrier. They are beautiful as pups and they have a very regal look as they get older.

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Norman Major

I think they forgot about the Siberian husky they are beautiful dogs

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Anna

Collie is not on a list?

And who in the world considers ugly puddles pretty?

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kevin wright

yorkshire airedale terrier… actually this list had no terriers… so odd.

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Steven

Your right Kevin, that was my thought too: no Airedales , that is a beautiful dog. Stubborn and independent as can be but beautiful!

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Chandra Walton

You left off the shih tzu!! How could you?! Lol… but great list

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Christina Smith

Akita Inus are such an amazing breed. I’m planning to get one soon that’s a mix between an Alaskan malamute

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Shatae

Hi there. Beautiful dog list! Love the addition of malamutes! Most people forget them because they can’t tell the difference between them and the siberian husky (which is also a beautiful dog! You didn’t mention red, as one of their coat colors. I have a beautiful red coated mal, who is as you mentioned a lot of work lol, but a total sweety. I think the yorkshire terrier could also be on the list, they are beautiful as well!

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Sebastian

You should put Border Collie. They are beautiful dogs. However I am thankful that you had German Shepherd on your list

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Lise

No Cavalier King Charles Spaniels ? BIG oversight !

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Alex

What about SHIH TZU?

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Jan Trettin

The Finnish Spitz is often confused with some of your very top dogs as well as a Fox. But the breed IS rare in North America. “Experts” often do not know diddly squat about this ancient breed so it is rarely evem acknowledged. But then the breed remains sheltered from dumb potential owners too.

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Doreen Mann

We adopted Ellis in March and he is now going on 7 months old. He is still chewing on things and still bits occasionally and mostly me not my husband. We took him to puppy training at Pet Smart and will take him again in August but what else can we do to get him from chewing up things and nipping???

Thanks

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Meg Marrs

Hi Doreen – ultimately, Ellis is still a puppy so only so much can be expected of him! These articles might help though: https://www.k9ofmine.com/puppy-play-biting/ and https://www.k9ofmine.com/stop-dog-nipping-excited/

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Judith Hunter

I can’t believe that Yorkies are not included. They are such adorable toy breed. I personally own a female Yorkie that’s not only beautiful but also smart, brave, funny and friendly.

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Coral Ward

I agree that Golden Retrievers are beautiful but also the dog that is totally gorgeous with a wonderful personality to match their looks, is the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Getting very popular in Australia

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Lydia

You should have a “Vizsla” on this list!!
Look them up!

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Ben Team

Hey, Lydia. Vizslas are certainly good-looking pups. But we just had to draw the line somewhere! Maybe we’ll include them when we update this article in the future.

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Ericka

Hello, I have owned 3 Akitas and I disagree with your statement that Akitas are heavy droolers. I have never had and I have never known an Akita that is a heavy drooler. Thank you

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Norman Major

I think they forgot the Siberian Husky

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Ben Team

Hey, Norman. We certainly considered huskies — they’re definitely popular and pretty pups. But ultimately, we had to draw the line somewhere.

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

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Ande Allen-Darrow

I felt several were missing, a Red Golden Retriever is a gorgeous dog, I had a wadder spaniel cream with buff colored spots she was gorgeous. And alas, my pugs, especially the pink platinums are gorgeous.

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Victoria

How are Siberian Huskies not on here… that is INSANE. This list is no longer credible .

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Laura

I love my Golden Retriever and feel it should have made the list . . . . She is a Beautiful Dog . . .

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Caden

I have a Golden also I think they should be on here

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Seacilia McIntosh

How were borzois not on this list?

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Dijana Nikodinovic

I came here because I have Australian Shepherd blue merle

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Denise

How come the Cocker Spaniel is not here? Cockers are so beautiful.

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Meg Marrs

Cockers Spaniels are indeed lovely dogs 🙂

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Sarah

Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherd – both not common family pets and require experienced owners; however they are gorgeous and 2 of the smartest breeds out there. I have had Belgians since 2005 and we just added a Dutch/Mal mix last month. 🙂

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Susan Meckel

Everyone’s one list will be different, of course. Several of the breeds here would make my own list.
Several definitely would not. One listed above, which I will not name, makes my personal list of *least* attractive dogs.

For those who like the looks of the German, Belgian and Dutch shepherds, I urge you to google
“harzer fuchs,” a now rare but ancient native herding dog of Germany. A landrace rather than a true breed, this border collie-sized dog was part of the base stock from which the German shepherd was developed, and it’s likely related to the Dutch and Belgian breeds. Beautiful dogs; I personally find the harzer fuchs prettier than its better known relatives. But I am prejudiced, because my rescued German shepherd mix could pass for one.

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Ben Team

One listed above, which I will not name, makes my personal list of *least* attractive dogs.

Now you’ve got me curious, Susan!

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Hope

I had a Rhodisian Ridgeback about 25 years ago. He was a Wheaton Red color with golden eyes and liver nose. Very beautiful. He was a very good pet and excellent with small children. They do like the attention of their or people, a great companion.

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Ben

Hey there, Hope. I agree — Ridgebacks are very attractive. I’ve known a few, and they’re certainly awesome dogs.

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Chuck Taylor

Well, I may get to be the first. My puppy(3.5 yr) is a beautiful “Gerberian Shepsky”. You included half of his heritage but not the other half. Since he is not a “real” breed I wouldn’t expect him to be included. However, I get comments from most of the people that see him on our walks, of how beautiful he is. Looks like a wolf. A number of children have asked to pet my pet wolf. 🙂 If the link to my WebPage is included in this comment, you can jump to it an see pictures and info on him.

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Ben

Hey, Chuck — sorry I missed your message for so long. We’ve actually written about Shepskies before. Check it out: https://www.k9ofmine.com/gerberian-shepsky-mix/
And you’re right — they are quite beautiful!

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Chuck Taylor

Yes, I was there in April looking for information on why my Dakotah hates his harnesses.

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Susie

Beautiful Great Pyrenees. How could anyone miss this stunning dog breed

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