If you thought Dalmatians were the only black and white dog breeds, think again. While it is definitely the most recognizable monochrome breed, there are several other black and white dog breeds, and they come in all shapes and sizes.
From short-haired cuties to long-haired beauties, black and white dog breeds make for adorable, eye-catching pets. They possess a classic charm that sets them apart in a crowd.
And they’re not just easy on the eye. These breeds have made their mark through the ages with their prowess in hunting, herding, and guarding. And they are also wonderful companion dogs to the young and old alike.
So which breed is a black and white dog? And what’s a black and white dog called?
I’ll answer all these questions and more in this guide on the most popular black and white dog breeds that will tug at your heartstrings and have you going, aww.
And while a lot of people might find monochrome pretty basic, these black and white dog breeds on our list are known for their unique colorful personalities. The beloved “Boston Terrier has the personality of a court jester”, says Dr. Jo Myers of Salida, Colorado, “while a Border Collie is smart enough to work as a canine contractor and wire your house to code.”
one of the first things i’m doing when i get my own place is getting a siberian huskie pic.twitter.com/EArOko3bjm
— ben🕺 (@martianphurba) January 25, 2020
The Siberian Husky is playful, docile, easy to train, and intelligent, making it a friendly and cuddly companion dog.
Siberian Huskies aren’t the best swimmers or retrievers, but they make excellent runners and sled haulers.
Their medium-length double coats are thick and wooly, crucial characteristics that protect the canine from freezing temperatures as low as -58° to -76° F.
Siberian Huskies can get feisty if you do not give them ample exercise and activity.
“They’re mischievous, fun dogs who need an active owner who can keep them well-exercised. A secured yard is key to prevent any accidents”, advises Dr. Brita Kiffney of Northshore Veterinary Hospital in Bellingham.
These dogs can often get destructive, so keeping them in a damage-proof space is crucial.
Easy-going, energetic, and even-tempered, the Dalmatian is fondly called a Plum Pudding Dog or Spotted Coach Dog, among other names. This breed makes the sweetest companion for dog lovers.
Physical exercise and mental stimulation are crucial to a Dalmatian’s upbringing. These activities help them channel their high energy and remain calm.
Given their high energy and stamina, Dalmatians were used as guards or escorts to stride alongside horse-drawn carriers. They were, therefore, also known as coach or carriage dogs.
Dalmatians are born with pristine white coats. Their dark spots start emerging around 10 days after birth and continue developing for about 18 months.
Those with clearly defined and well-scattered black markings are highly valued as show dogs.
Did You Know? Dalmatians often traveled with groups of Romanies, living a carefree, untethered life like their gypsy masters. The Romanies loved the Dalmatian’s good-natured temperament and enthusiasm, qualities that made them great travel companions.
They are spirited, active dogs with a protective instinct. They make good watchdogs (trespassers, be warned!) and do well around children.
Border Collies resemble Australian Shepherd dogs, except they have feathered tails instead of bobtails. They sport coarse or shiny coats between 3 inches and 1 inch long.
Border Collies were once bred as sheep herders, which explains their vitality and need for plenty of physical activity.
These dogs are easy to train and often work in bomb detection, search-and-rescue, and narcotics squads for law enforcement agencies.
While some Border Collies may approach strangers tentatively and snap at their heels in rare instances, this is an otherwise friendly breed, clever and quick to learn. It’s no surprise why Border Collies are considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds.
A story goes that Hungarian researchers were looking for genius dogs that could identify a series of play toys. The pursuit proved almost futile until the researchers met six Border Collies that made the cut.
“These gifted dogs can learn new names of toys at a remarkable speed”, commented Dr. Claudia Fugazza at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest on the breed’s remarkable ability to identify toys with ease.
The Portuguese Water Dog or ‘Portie’ was a beloved companion to seafarers and fishermen in the early 20th century. “The breed was originally bred to aid fishermen in retrieving lost gear and herding fish into nets. Like many working breeds, they are highly trainable and have an above-average degree of problem-solving abilities”, remarks Thomas Vincent of California State University, Bakersfield.
Given their affinity for water, these dogs are excellent swimmers and retrievers. It’s also probably why this breed is called Cão de Água (Cão for ‘dog’ and de Água for ‘of water’) in Portuguese.
Portuguese Water Dogs have long or curly hair that appears tightly wound and thick if not groomed regularly.
Their affectionate nature and ability to bond well with kids and other pets make them great household pets.
Sarah Moore, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology), attests to this but cautions, “They’re going to need a fair bit of physical activity and training. So you want to be sure you have the time to devote to these things before adding a Portuguese Water Dog to the family!”
They are energetic, lovable Nordic canines that make perfect companions for outdoor enthusiasts. You can be sure that keeping up with an Alaskan Malamute’s limitless energy will be nothing short of an adventure.
Mals sport a coarse coat with a dense and soft undercoat, an essential physical attribute for sub-zero climate regions. This is a sturdy breed that can withstand cold and wet temperatures.
Dr. Karen Shaw Becker, author of Real Food for Healthy Pets, affirms that Alaskan Malamutes are “big, strong, playful bundles of fur that do just fine in rain, sleet, snow, and ice.”
Alaskan Malamutes are very vocal, patient, and agile. However, they can be headstrong and need to be trained at an early age.
Becker advises, “Puppies should start kindergarten classes as soon as possible to keep up with their strength, energy, and multifaceted abilities as they age and continue with ongoing fear-free obedience classes through at least their first year.”
Did You Know? Alaskan Malamutes aren’t frequent barkers but are known to be talkative and responsive during interactions. Don’t be surprised to hear your Mal howl (a common sign that your doggy is bored or lonesome) or react with dramatic excitement when sirens go off. They also love to sing along.
Frenchies were once bred as miniature canines in England and acquired the name Frenchie in France.
With its little quirks, this idiosyncratic breed makes for a unique companion for family households and first-time pet owners. While training a Frenchie is easy, the sessions need to be fun and engaging, or it is bound to lose interest.
They enjoy animated playtimes and periods of rest in equal measure.
Frenchies are protective, especially around other pets. They’re also very territorial and prone to attention-seeking tactics if overindulged.
These dogs sport short coats that are easy to maintain and are more suited for cool climates.
Did You Know? The bat-eared cutie is a popular breed among celebrity pet owners. Leonardo DiCaprio shares custody of his French Bulldog, Django, with ex-girlfriend Gisele Bündchen. Eva Longoria, Lady Gaga, and Hugh Jackman are proud owners of Frenchies, too!
Who can resist the Boston Terrier’s soulful face and tuxedo-like markings? The distinct markings are what give the dog the classic moniker, American Gentleman.
While Boston Terriers share many characteristics with their Bulldog ancestors, they also possess distinct features that are more refined.
They are easy to train and are obedient, lively, and playful. Feisty but friendly, this breed is well suited for homes with children.
Training a Boston Terrier will be easier if pet owners use encouraging and patient tactics to keep their pets engaged. You’ll find that the crate-training method comes in handy for Boston Terriers.
Like French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers can be territorial around other dogs, so expect to see some sass.
Did You Know? Around 1865, wealthy people in Boston began cross-breeding dogs that belonged to their employees. The goal was to create superior mixed breeds. One such interbreed named Hooper’s Judge was the result of breeding an English Terrier with a Bulldog. The first of its kind, it was the starting point for breeding Boston Terriers.
The “Apollo of Dogs” looks imposing and maybe even ferocious, but it is one of the many large black and white dog breeds that make great household pets.
These gentle giants are a joy to be around and find comfort in cuddling with their owners.
Avid dog lover Amanda Riley says, “Great Danes are considered gentle giants. They are moderately playful, affectionate, and good with children. They will guard their home.”
A Great Dane’s powerful bark will surely scare off intruders. These dogs aren’t hostile by nature but can be protective and defensive if they sense a threat.
“Great Danes generally get along with other animals, particularly if raised with them, but some can be aggressive with dogs they do not know”, shares Riley on how Great Danes are around other pets.
Say hello to yet another gentle giant, the Newfoundland dog! This sweet dog shares similar qualities with a Labrador Retriever, a dog breed that also originated from Newfoundland.
Nicknamed Newfie, this breed is a natural babysitter that adores children. Newfies are affectionate, adaptable, friendly, and clever.
You can count on the strong Newfoundland dog to rescue someone from drowning, given its illustrious history of saving people from shipwrecks and young children from falling through the ice.
It, therefore, goes without saying that these extremely huggable dogs are excellent swimmers.
Did You Know? The great Napoleon Bonaparte came close to drowning when he was knocked overboard while attempting to escape from exile on Elba. The emperor would have perished were it not for a fisherman’s dog — an unnamed Newfoundland dog that jumped into the rough sea and kept Napoleon afloat until he could swim to safety.
You may recognize the Papillon as the poised fluff ball on the laps of royalty in paintings of old. It is recognized by its large ears, tiny stature, and smooth coat, which earned the breed the name Papillon, meaning ‘butterfly’ in French.
Papillons are stubborn, so it’s crucial to train them early to avoid erratic behavior.
To combat this, “basic obedience training and basic socialization is one of the best things you can do”, advises Michelle Beck, DVM, CCRT, CVA-Veterinarian. She underlines how crucial kennel training is for puppies.
The Papillon is one of many small to medium black and white dog breeds that make great pets.
An intelligent dog breed like the Papillon thrives on consistent playtime and physical activity, so don’t be afraid to get busy with your doggy.
A Sheltie, as it is lovingly called, is a classic shepherd dog originally bred to fend off predators such as birds and animals from farms and property.
Shelties have a beautiful and graceful appearance thanks to their long, straight fur and dense undercoat.
This intelligent breed is also funny, sensitive, and eager to please, making them popular as household pets.
The Sheltie is an active dog that enjoys plenty of exercise and playtime. Obedience training of varying degrees can help pet owners keep up with the breed’s eager attitude and willingness to learn.
And since this is an active breed that requires plenty of space for fun and frolic, it goes without saying they do not do well in closed quarters.
Shelties may be shy around strangers, but they are excellent guard dogs that are quick to bark if they sense danger. Owners can control their hostile response through obedience training.
The ASSA supports basic and intensive training initiatives for Shelties. These activities will keep Shelties on their toes while teaching them everyday and competition-centric lessons.
What Chihuahuas lack in size, they make up for in personality. These little fireballs of energy are a fun-loving breed and are always up for a challenge.
Given their small size, Chihuahuas can often escape through fences and partitions undetected.
Pet owners should keep them on a leash and avoid letting them loose outside since this feisty breed is vulnerable to attacks by larger dogs, coyotes, and even birds of prey
A Chihuahua’s can-do attitude comes in handy during its training. In addition, positive reinforcement and rewards can make such sessions fun and easy.
This dog breed is loyal, friendly, and affectionate when surrounded by love and familiar faces.
Did You Know? Weighing between 4 and 9 pounds, the Chihuahua is the world’s tiniest dog breed. Miracle Milly still holds the record for the world’s smallest dog at just 3.8 inches tall! Weighing just under 1 pound, she is perhaps the lightest dog of her kind.
They were originally bred as farm dogs in Switzerland. This black and white fluffy dog is an excellent, loyal, and versatile working breed.
Their calm and gentle temperament makes the Bernies ideal household pets. These affectionate and playful dogs enjoy resting outdoors on nippy days. You’ll find them comfortably snuggled in snow, thanks to their thick coats that keep them warm.
Bernies aren’t overly energetic but make great companions on hiking and camping excursions. These intelligent and loyal dogs are quick learners and quite a popular choice of homeowners in the US.
Although they are typically healthy dogs, they tend to face certain health troubles.
Jami-Lyn Derse, DVM, founder of Veterinary Housecall Care, says, “Unfortunately, this beautiful breed does suffer from health problems, including hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy (a spinal disease causing hind limb weakness and eventually paralysis), and cancers, particularly an aggressive form called histiocytic sarcoma, among others.”
While dogs are universal favorites, classic white and black dog breeds are extremely popular among those who fancy monochrome coats. That said, it doesn’t really matter what color your dog is because it will make your life whole irrespective of its color or size.
A digital marketing expert by profession, Andrews is a gifted writer and animal lover at heart. A self-confessed "pawrent", Andrews is well-versed in all things dogs. He uses his years of experience of raising puppies into show-quality dogs to help guide first-time pet parents. He believes in spreading the joy that comes with being a dog dad and advocates more families to adopt pets.