Dog Breeds A To Z – Discover 34 dog breeds starting with A

Dog Breeds Starting With A

Our Dog Breeds A to Z list is the first in a series of pages that list dog breeds alphabetically, with photographs, brief descriptions and links to the individual breed pages. 

When you have dog breeds in alphabetical order, it is so much easier to find the breed you are looking for! This page includes all the 34 breeds that begin with the letter A.

Please let me know if I have forgotten any dog breeds that begin with the letter A. If you know of any, please use the Contact Me form to provide the name of the breed.  If it happens to be the breed of your dog, please accept my apologies in advance!

Dog Breeds A to Z List – Starting with A

Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher running towards camera
Affenpinscher

Origin: Germany and France
Size: Small
Grooming: Moderate
Training: Easy

Recognition

FCI: Group 2
AKC: Toy
ANKC: Toy
CKC: Toy
KC: Toy
NZKC: Toy
UKC: Companion

Although the Affenpinscher dog breed may look like terriers, they are actually from the pinscher-schnauzer family which makes them more tolerant towards other dogs and pets. They are inquisitive, affectionate and playful and are very loyal and protective towards other family members although they can be a little territorial when it comes to their food or toys so they are not advised for families with very small children.


Afghan Hound

A black Afghan Hound standing on grass.
Afghan Hound Breed

Origin: Afghanistan 
Size: Large
Grooming: Time Consuming
Training: Time Consuming

Recognition

FCI: Group 10
AKC: Hounds
ANKC: Hounds
CKC: Hounds
KC: Hounds
NZKC: Hounds
UKC: Sighthounds,Pariahs

The Afghan Hound is aloof and distinguished, with its own streak of independence. If you’re looking for a dog which you can form a strong bond with, then this may not be the best breed for you! As their name suggests, Afghan Hounds originate from the mountains of Afghanistan where their long, luxurious coat kept them warm in the cold climate.


Aidi

(aka Atlas Mountain Dog)

An alert Aidi dog standing for a photo.
Aidi Dog Breed

Origin: Morocco
Size: Large
Grooming: Moderate
Training: Average

Recognition

FCI: Group 2
UKC: Guardian

The Aidi is a livestock guardian dog that has also been used for hunting, as it has a good nose for scent tracking. It has also been called the Berber Dog after the nomadic Berber tribes of North Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia).

The Aidi is aloof and wary around strangers and animals it does not know. This is not an aggressive breed, but they will respond to aggression from another animal very quickly. They are very territorial, and will defend their ‘home’ against perceived threats.


Airedale Terrier

An Airedale Terrier standing in bright sunshine.
Airedale Terrier

Origin: England
Size: Medium
Grooming: Moderate
Training: Average

Recognition

FCI: Group 3
AKC: Terriers
ANKC: Terriers
CKC: Terriers
KC: Terriers
NZKC: Terriers
UKC: Terriers

The Airedale Terrier is brave but not aggressive. They are intelligent, independent dogs, and can be a little stubborn at times. Mischievous and comical companions, they will do their utmost to cheer you up and make you laugh.

Airedales have a great longing for affection and need to feel part of the family rather than banished outside to live alone in a kennel.


Akbash Dog

White Akbash dog breed running on grass
A white Turkish Akbash dog getting some exercise

Origin: Turkey
Size: Giant
Grooming: Average
Training: Easy

Recognition

UKC: Guardian

The Akbash dog is originally from Turkey. This breed is an alert, courageous, independent guardian that is happiest on the farm, guarding livestock. They have the speed of a sight hound and the power of a guardian coupled with elegance and grace.

They have a strong protective instinct, loyalty, and intelligence, but they are also very independently minded, which means they often act alone without the guidance of humans. They are very protective of their home and family, which means that they may be dangerous to anyone outside the family.


American Akita

aka Akita

American Akita dog jumping in water at the beach.
American Akita

Origin: Japan & United States
Size: Large
Grooming: Time Consuming
Training: Time Consuming

Recognition

FCI: 5
AKC: Working
ANKC: Utility
CKC: Working
KC: Utility
NZKC: Utility
UKC: Northern Breed

The American Akita’s origins are, ironically, not in America. Instead, the American is a larger dog and slightly differs in physical appearance compared to the japanese akita.

The Akita Inu would be considered the Japanese type of this breed. These dogs have held a place in Japan as an ordinary working dog for hundreds of years, having originated in Japan’s northern mountains.

Akita Inu

aka Japanese Inu

An Akita Inu dog lying in the garden, on wooden decking.
Akita Inu

Origins: Japan
Size: Large
Grooming: Time Consuming
Training: Time Consuming

Recognition

FCI: 5
AKC: Working
ANKC: Utility
CKC: Working
KC: Utility
NZKC: Utility
UKC: Northern Breed

Akita Inu dogs are strong, independent and dominant. They can be  aloof with strangers but affectionate and loving with family members. They are not for the novice dog owner and require strong handling.

The Akita dog breed can be aggressive towards other dogs yet gentle, compassionate and trusting with their owners.


Alaskan Klee Kai

A dark-coated Alaskan Klee Kai standing in the garden.
Alaskan Klee Kai

Origins: The United States, Alaska
Size: Small, Medium, or Large
Grooming: Average
Training: Average

Recognition

UKC: Northern Breeds

You may have heard of the Alaskan Klee Kai, but you probably haven’t seen one; they are relatively rare, and were only recognized by the AKC in 1997. With the Alaskan Husky as a forebear, the Alaskan Klee Kai belongs to the Spitz family of dogs.

It is significantly smaller than the Husky, however, and many people think it is still a puppy, even when fully-grown.


Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute lying down in the garden, on grass.
Alaskan Malamute Lounging

Origins: The United States, Alaska
Size: Giant
Grooming: Time Consuming
Training: Average

Recognition

FCI: Group 5
AKC: Working
ANKC: Utility
CKC: Working
KC: Working
NZKC: Utility
UKC: Northern Breeds

The Alaskan Malamute is an active, loyal breed that loves to be with its family. These dogs are hardworking and have plenty of energy to play or exert through heavy exercise.

Their energetic personality is important to be taken into consideration when getting one, as they will get into some bad habits if they are allowed to stay cramped up in their home.


Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog

Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog looking straight into the camera.
Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog

Origin: The United States
Size: Large
Grooming: Minimal
Training: Easy

Recognition

None

The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog has a fantastic temperament and gets on extremely well with children, although they can be a little aloof at times. They are a loyal breed who also make brilliant guard and companion dogs.

If raised correctly, your ABBB will be a wonderful companion who will protect you and your family only when required and without any undue aggression towards strangers or other dogs.


Alentejo Mastiff

(aka Portuguese Mastiff, Rafeiro do Alentejo)

An Alentejo Mastiff from Portugal standing in snow.
Alentejo Mastiff

Origins: Portugal
Size: Giant
Grooming: Easy
Training: Challenging

Recognition

FCI: Group 2
UKC: Guardian

This is a big dog that excels at guarding things. They have a calm, slightly grumpy demeanor, but are gentle giants around their home and family. They have an independent nature and can be difficult to train.


Alpine Dachsbracke

Close up of an Alpine Drachsbracke dog breed.
Alpine Dachsbracke

Origin: Austria
Size: Medium
Grooming: Minimal
Training: Average

Recognition

FCI: Group 6
UKC: Scenthound

The Alpine Dachsbracke is a scent hound originally from Austria. They were bred to follow a scent of wounded game in the alpine scrublands. This is a friendly, amiable breed that gets on well with kids and other dogs, but has a string prey drive for smaller animals and pets. They need frequent exercise, but are easy to train and groom.


American Bulldog

White American Bulldog in a grass garden.
American Bulldog

Origin: The United States
Size: Large to Giant
Grooming: Easy
Training: Average

Recognition

UKC: Guardian

The American Bulldog is considered one of many different “bully” breeds, each of which is unique to some degree.

All bulldog breeds are descended from a deliberate mix of bull baiting dogs that were selected for the endurance, strength, and toughness.


American Black & Tan Coonhound

(a.k.a. Black & Tan Coonhound)

Black and Tan coonhound standing in a grassy field.
American Black & Tan Coonhound

Origin: The United States
Size: Large
Grooming: Easy
Training: Time Consuming

Recognition

FCI: Group 6
AKC: Hounds
CKC: Hounds
NZKC: Hounds
UKC: Scenthounds

The American Black and Tan Coonhound is a friendly, easygoing dog that belongs to the Hound group of dog breeds. Originally bred to hunt Raccoon, they are tenacious when on the trail but laid-back and relaxed at home.

These are large, athletic dogs that cover difficult ground quickly with a sure-footed, easy stride.


American Cocker Spaniel

(aka Cocker Spaniel)

White American Cocker Spaniel sitting in a garden.
American Cocker Spaniel

Origin: The United States
Size: Small to Medium
Grooming: Time Consuming
Training: Easy

Recognition

FCI: Group 8
AKC: Sporting
ANKC: Gundog
CKC: Sporting
KC: Gundog
NZKC: Gundog
UKC: Gundog

The American Cocker Spaniel is the smallest member of the gun dog group and is a lively, playful popular pet for families with children. They are extremely friendly although they can throw the odd strop if they don’t get enough attention.

They adore human company and will follow you around constantly and want to lay on your lap for cuddles. Their favorite thing to do is try to please their master and will bring “presents” to anyone and everyone to make them happy.


American Dingo

(aka Carolina Dog, Dixie Dog)

American Dingo standing in a field.
American Dingo

Origin: U.S.A.
Size: Medium
Grooming: Easy
Training: Time Consuming

Recognition

UKC (Sighthound & Pariah)

A breed with Asian roots, crossing into North America thousands of years ago and becoming a feral dog centered around the Carolinas.

The American Dingo (or Carolina Dog) is listed by the American Kennel Club under the Sight Hound dog group. Its origins are unclear, but it is believed that they have roots in Asia, and migrated across the Bering Sea land bridge between Russia and Alaska thousands of years ago.

In more recent times they lived wild along the border between Georgia and South Carolina, giving rise to the name ‘Carolina Dog’ or ‘Dixie Dog’.


American Eskimo Dog

White American Eskimo dog outdoors.
American Eskimo Dog

Origin: Germany
Size: Small to Medium
Grooming: Time Consuming
Training: Easy

Recognition

AKC: Non-sporting
CKC: Non-sporting
UKC: Northern Breeds

The American Eskimo Dog is a smart, affectionate pet that loves to be around its family. They are playful and energetic without being too rambunctious.

These dogs are small enough to live in apartments, so long as they get ample exercise. This being said, they are not best for owners who will not be home for most of the day, as they are prone to separation anxiety and will bark as a result.


American Foxhound

Alert American Foxhound on a grass field.
American Foxhound

Origins: The United States
Size: Medium to Large
Grooming: Easy
Training: Average

Recognition

FCI: Group 6
AKC: Hounds
CKC: Hounds
UKC: Scenthounds

The American Foxhound is a medium-size dog of the Hound Group, hunting by scent. They are related to the English Foxhound, but are significantly taller.

American President George Washington played a significant role in developing the breed, using English and French stock to help develop this distinctive American dog.


American Hairless Terrier

American Hairless Terrier dog breed on a lounge carpet.
American Hairless Terrier

Origins: The United States
Size: Small
Grooming: Easy
Training: Average

Recognition

AKC: FSS
UKC: Terrier

The American Hairless is a small dog of the Terrier Group weighing just 12 to 16 lbs, with a feisty nature. The breed actually has hairless and coated variations. The hairless dog is hypoallergenic, but has a few issues that potential owners should be aware of.

With no normal coat to protect the skin, they may get sunburned if out in bright sun for too long. At the other extreme, they lose body heat quickly if out in the cold, and need a dog jacket to keep them warm and prevent hypothermia.


American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier sitting down in the sun.
American Pit Bull Terrier

Origin: United States
Size: Varies
Grooming: Minimal
Training: Average

Recognition

UKC: Terriers

To someone who doesn’t know much about these dogs, they would just call them pit bulls, but are they truly different breeds? 

Some say yes and some no. Read more on our American Pit Bull Terrier page.


American Leopard Hound

(a.k.a. Catahoula leopard dog,  Catahoula hog dog, Catahoula Cur,  Catahoula hound,  Leopard Dogs,  Leopard Cur)

A Catahoula Leopard dog with a blue eye looking past the camera on an autumn day.
American Leopard Hound

Origin: United States, Louisiana
Size: Large
Grooming: Minimal
Training: Average

Recognition

AKC: FSS
UKC: Herding

The Catahoula Leopard dog is a sturdy and strong farm dog. It gets its name from the Catahoula Lake area of Louisiana, and “catahoula” is native American Choctaw language for “sacred lake”.

This is the only dog breed to have originated in Louisiana, and they were used for hunting and herding swamp pig (hogs).


American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire puppy yawning on the porch.
American Staffordshire Terrier

Origin: United States
Size: Medium
Grooming: Minimal
Training: Average

Recognition

FCI: Group 3
AKC: Terriers
ANKC: Terriers
CKC: Terriers
NZKC: Terriers

To some, the American Staffordshire Terrier means only one thing – PIT BULL – and with that comes all the negative propaganda that has spread throughout the news at every level, prompting breed bands and high insurance rates.

To many, all they see is a vicious fighting dog that should be banned if not destroyed.  Just how much of this rhetoric is accurate of this breed? It is true that the American Staffordshire Terrier has suffered and gained a bad reputation. However, while they are strong, powerful, and courageous, they are not vicious.


American Water Spaniel

American Water Spaniel retrieving a fish, standing on ice.
American Water Spaniel

Origin: The United States
Size: Medium
Grooming: Time-consuming
Training: Easy

Recognition

FCI: Group 3
AKC: Sporting
CKC: Sporting
UKC: Gundog

A strong and muscular small gun dog from the Great Lakes of the USA. This breed of Water Spaniel can be recognized by its glossy dark chestnut coat.

They are built for cold water, and are extremely agile, being able to jump out of a small boat without disturbing it.


Anatolian Shepherd

(a.k.a. Anatolian Blackhead Anadolulu Karabaş)

Anatolian Shepherd Dog lying on the grass, looking over its shoulder.
Anatolian Shepherd

Origins: Turkey
Size: Large to Giant
Grooming: Average
Training: Demanding

Recognition

FCI: Group 2
AKC: Working
ANKC: Utility
CKC: Working
KC: Pastoral
NZKC: Working
UKC: Guardian

Kangal dogs are originally from the Anatolia region of Turkey. They were bred to be livestock guardian dogs, protecting flocks of sheep and goats at night from wolves, jackals and bears.

There is an important distinction between dogs that help a shepherd to herd animals, ie. move a flock from place to place, and dogs that protect the animals.


Anglo-Franḉais de Petite Venerie

Anglo Franḉais de Petite Venerie standing in a field looking to the right.
Anglo-Franḉais de Petite Venerie

Origins: France
Size: Medium
Grooming: Minimal
Training: Easy

Recognition

FCI: Group 6
UKC: Scenthounds


Appenzeller Sennenhund

(Appenzell Cattle Dog,  Appenzeller Mountain Dog)

Appenzeller dog breed standing in the garden.
Appenzeller Sennenhund

Origins: Switzerland
Size: Large
Grooming: Minimal
Training: Average

Recognition

FCI: Group 2
AKC: FSS
UKC: Guardian

Originally bred to herd cattle and guard livestock, this breed is still rare outside of Switzerland. They are alert and wary of strangers, but make great family pets. They need a lot of exercise to keep them happy, and are not really suited to apartment or urban living.


Ariégeois

Ariégeois dog breed sniffing around near a tree.
Ariégeois

Origins: France
Size: Large
Grooming: Minimal
Training: Easy

Recognition

FCI: Group 6
UKC: Scenthound


Australian Cattle Dog

(a.k.a. Blue Heeler, Red Heeler, Queensland Heeler)

Australian Cattle Dog - Blue Heeler - looking at the camera.
Australian Cattle Dog

Origin: Australia
Size: Medium
Grooming: Minimal
Training: Average

Recognition

FCI: Group 1
AKC: Herding
ANKC: Working
CKC: Herding
KC: Pastoral
NZKC: Working
UKC: Herding

The Australian Blue Heeler dog breed is also known as the Queensland Heeler or the Australian Cattle Dog. The breed was created in the second half of the 19th century by Australian cattle breeders who wanted a tough dog to help them herd cattle over the vast ranches and spaces.

They used Dingos tamed by Aboriginals and crossed them with imported European sheepdogs.


Australian Dingo

Australian Dingo standing on a boulder staring at something in the distance.
Australian Dingo

Origin: Australia
Size: Medium
Grooming: Minimal
Training: Difficult

Recognition

None

The Australian Museum identifies the Australian Dingo as Canis lupus dingo, as opposed to the domestic dog which is Canis lupus familiaris, and the Wolf, which is Canis lupus lupus.

It has its roots in the south Asian Grey Wolf, and is believed to have arrived in Australia around 5,000 years ago, with Asian sea traders. It’s believed that humans first arrived in Australia around 30,000 years ago, so the Dingo arrived much later, not with the original migrants.


Australian Kelpie

An Australian Kelpie playing in water.
Australian Kelpie

Origins: Australia
Size: Medium
Grooming: Minimal
Training: Average

Recognition

FCI: Group 1
ANKC: Working
CKC: Herding
NZKC: Working
UKC: Herding


Australian Shepherd

An Australian Shepherd standing in a field on a sunny day.
Australian Shepherd

Origin: United States (!)
Size: Medium to Large
Grooming: Average
Training: Easy

Recognition

FCI: Group 1
AKC: Herding
ANKC: Working
CKC: Herding
KC: Pastoral
NZKC: Working
UKC: Herding

This is a very active breed, and if you are looking for a pet to keep you young and on your toes, look no further than this exuberant Australian.

‘Aussies’ are best suited for people that are regularly active and have an on-the-go type lifestyle.

This is the kind of dog that needs regular exercise due to their intense herding instincts, and if that area is lacking, it can lead to an array of undesirable behavior issues that is not generally associated with a happy, healthy Aussie.


Australian Silky Terrier

(a.k.a. Silky Terrier)

An Australian Silky Terrier sitting down on grass looking upwards on a sunny day.
Australian Silky Terrier

Origins: Australia
Size: Small
Grooming: Time Consuming
Training: Easy

Recognition

FCI: Group 3
AKC: Toys
ANKC: Toys
CKC: Toys
KC: Toys
NZKC: Toys
UKC: Terrier

The Silky Terrier comes from Australia, and at first glance you may mistake it for a Yorkshire terrier. While the ‘Yorkie’ certainly played a role in the development of the Silky, they are quite distinct breeds, with the Silky terrier being larger.

Although this breed is known as the ‘Silky Terrier’ in the USA, it is known as the ‘Australian Silky Terrier’ in every other country of the World.


Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

(aka Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog)

An Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle dog standing in a grass field.
Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog (a.k.a. Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog)

Origin: Australia
Size:
Grooming:
Training:

Recognition

FCI: Group 1
ANKC: Working
CKC: Herding
NZKC: Working
UKC: Herding

Australian Terrier

An Australian Terrier sitting down on grass outdoors.
Australian Terrier

Origin: Australia
Size: Small
Grooming: Average
Training: Easy

Recognition

FCI: Group 3
AKC: Terriers
ANKC: Terriers
CKC: Terriers
KC: Terriers
NZKC: Terriers
UKC: Terriers

More Dog Breeds From A to Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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