Dog breeds that start with A

dog sitting on rock australian shepherd

Dogs have been man’s faithful companions for millions of years. However, selecting the ideal dog to be a part of your family can be challenging, especially with so many different breeds to choose from. The American Kennel Club acknowledges 150 dog breeds, increasing to more than 400 if mixed breeds are included. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of 20 dog breeds that begin with the letter ‘A’ to serve as a starting point. So, without further ado, let us begin!

1) Affenpinscher

tiny black dog with long hair sitting on grass affenpinscher

Breed Traits

  • Group: Toy Group (AKC)
  • Height: 10 to 12 inches 
  • Weight: 8 to 10 pounds 
  • Coat: Wiry coat of short to medium length.
  • Color: Silver, gray, black, tan, red (rare).
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
  • Temperament: Fearless, Lively, Curious, and Confident.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: 1,600 to 2,400 USD
  • Origin: Germany

The Affenpinscher, also widely recognized as the “Monkey Dog,” is an endearing tiny dog known to be alert, curious, faithful, and amiable. The French describe it as the “diablotin moustachu,” or the mustached little devil. The Affenpinscher is generally a quiet dog but tends to exhibit its terrier spark when excited. Although an active and energetic dog, the Affenpinscher’s exercise requirements can be mostly fulfilled with strenuous indoor games, yard activities, and short lead walks. 

Affenpinschers can be headstrong when training because they have an independent mindset. However, they are bright and keen to learn, mainly when positive training methods are used and training sessions are fun for them. Grooming can be a chore because an Affenpinscher’s harsh coat necessitates combing at least two or three times a week and professional shaping every three months.

2) Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute White and black dog sitting on grass

Breed Traits

  • Group: Working Group (AKC)
  • Height: 10 to 12 inches
  • Weight: 8 to 10 pounds
  • Coat: Double coat of short to medium length.
  • Color: Black & White, Agouti & White, Silver & White, and Blue & White.
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years.
  • Temperament: Loyal, Affectionate, and Playful.
  • Hypoallergenic: No 
  • Buying Price: 1,200 to 2,000 USD
  • Origin: Alaska

The Alaskan Malamute is a burly Nordic breed dog initially developed to lug heavy loads. They resemble the Siberian husky in appearance, but when compared, the ginormous, fuzzy malamute dwarfs the husky. This type of dog is friendly, clever, and energetic, making it perfect for an active family. They have a stubborn streak, so owners must establish themselves as leaders with mild but consistent training. They are not suitable for apartment living and are definitely high-shedding pooches who require regular grooming to maintain a healthy and beautiful coat.

3) Australian Shepherd

white and brown dog on road australian shepherd

Breed Traits

  • Group: Herding Group (AKC)
  • Height: 18 to 25 inches
  • Weight: 40 to 65 pounds
  • Coat: Medium-length double coat.
  • Color: Blue merle, black, red, and red merle with white markings, tan points, or both.
  • Life Expectancy: 11 to 15 years
  • Temperament: Affectionate, Intelligent, and Protective.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: USD 1,200 – 2,500 
  • Origin:  United States

Despite their name, the Australian shepherds, also known as Aussies, were originally bred as working and herding dogs in America. The Aussie thrives in a household where its brain and effort are put to good use. They are intelligent, hardworking, and versatile. Because of their high intelligence and eagerness to please, they are quick learners, which is excellent for training, but it also implies that they can be a real handful for new owners.

Aussies require an experienced owner who understands how to correctly channel their energy via consistent training and exercise. Aussies, true to their herding urges, are very possessive and protective of their territory and families and will alert you about suspicious strangers, though they are not aggressive.

4) American Eskimo Dog

white long coated dog with fluffy hair American Eskimo

Breed Traits

  • Group: Non-sporting Group (AKC)
  • Height: 9 to 19 inches 
  • Weight: 6 to 35 pounds 
  • Coat: Fluffy double coat of medium length.
  • Color: White, white, and biscuit.
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
  • Temperament: Independent, Protective, and Alert.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: USD 1,200 – 2,100 
  • Origin: Germany

With its white coat, cute expression, and black eyes, the American Eskimo Dog, or the “Eskie,” is a striking canine. They are a dog breed of  Nordic origin that belongs to the Spitz family. Eskies are energetic, active companion dogs that enjoy entertaining and participating in all family activities. When it comes to family and friends, they are outgoing and friendly, but when it comes to strangers, they are reserved. 

These dogs are popular due to their beautiful coats, alert expressions, and trainability. The popularity of the breed grew as a result of these performing dogs. Eskies are ideal for people looking for small to medium-sized energetic dogs that do not require a huge yard and are happy with walks and fetch games.

5) American Water Spaniel

Brown Dog with puppy eyes American Water Spaniel
Photo By Steve Bruckmann

Breed Traits

  • Group: Sporting Group (AKC)
  • Height: 15 to 20 inches 
  • Weight: 25 to 45 pounds 
  • Coat: Curly double coat of medium length.
  • Color: Chocolate, brown, and liver. 
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years
  • Temperament: Energetic, Obedient, Friendly, and Loyal.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: USD 1,000 – 1,500
  • Origin: United States

Since the 18th century, American Water Spaniels have been bred as working gun dogs in the American Midwest, specifically in Minnesota and Wisconsin. They excel at retrieving game animals in the water or on land. The breed is primarily used for pheasant, quail, duck, rabbit, and grouse hunting. Due to their hunting instincts, the American Water Spaniels like to roam and should be kept in a fenced yard or walked on a lead. Water Spaniels are known to adapt to almost any environment but are naturally active dogs. If kept in a small house or flat, they must be walked regularly or allowed to play freely in a securely fenced-in area. The dogs delight in the chance to swim because they are natural water retrievers.

Also Read:  The Top 15 Dog Breeds With Stunning Blue Coats

6) Akita

akita dog red and white smiling dog

Breed Traits

  • Group: Working Group (AKC)
  • Height: 24 to 30 inches
  • Weight: 70 to 130 pounds
  • Coat: Medium-length double coat.
  • Color: Brown, black, fawn, brown brindle, fawn brindle, silver, red, red brindle, black brindle, white, silver brindle, brown with black overlay, fawn with black overlay, red with black overlay, silver with black overlay, black with red undercoat, black with brown undercoat, black with silver undercoat, black with fawn undercoat, white with red shading.
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
  • Temperament: Courageous, Loyal, Dignified, Intelligent, Friendly, and Docile.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: USD 1,200 – 2,500 
  • Origin: Wales

The Akita is known to be a large, powerful dog with a valiant and intimidating demeanor. In feudal Japan, they were initially used to protect royalty and nobility. These dogs also hunted and tracked black bears, wild boar, and, every once in a while, deer. Akitas are known to drool and shed a lot, so owners must be prepared to clean up after them. Furthermore, they are stubborn and distrustful of strangers. While these are desirable qualities in a watchdog, they will require a seasoned trainer if they are to interact with some other animals or people. Be cautious, novice owners. Having said that, dogs of this breed are loyal companions who will remain loyal to the right human for their entire life and lavish them with adoration and love.

7) Alaskan Klee Kai

Smiling Dog with Black and White fur. Dog that looks like husky. Alaskan Klee Kai
Photo By Mary Swift

Breed Traits

  • Group: Foundation Stock Service (AKC)
  • Height: 12 to 17 inches 
  • Weight: 7 to 23 pounds
  • Coat: Short, dense undercoat and a longer, thick top coat.
  • Color: Gray and white, Black and white, and Red and white. 
  • Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years
  • Temperament: Agile, Intelligent, Loyal, and Territorial.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: USD 1,500 – 5,500
  • Origin: Alaska

Small, smart, and energetic, the Alaskan Klee Kai is a relatively new breed that looks like a smaller version of the Siberian Husky. Even the name “Klee Kai” comes from an Inuit term meaning “small dog.” While Alaskan Klee Kais may resemble the larger Husky breeds, they have some key differences, especially in temperament, that distinguish them from their ancestor working class dogs of the north. This breed is more suited to the life of a companion, although the Alaskan Klee Kai shares the high energy of the Husky and demands plenty of exercise. They also tend to be shy around strangers and are prone to expressing their emotions with whines and barks. An inexperienced pet parent would find it difficult to take on the challenge of caring for an Alaskan Klee Kai.

8) American Bulldog

brown and white dog near doormat American Bulldog

Breed Traits

  • Group: Foundation Stock Service (AKC)
  • Height: 20 to 25 inches 
  • Weight: 60 to 100 pounds
  • Coat: Smooth and short coat.
  • Color: White, white and brindle, white and black, white and tan, white and brown.
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 13 years
  • Temperament: Affectionate, Courageous, Intelligent, Friendly, and Playful.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: USD 1,800 – 4,000
  • Origin: United States

The American Bulldog is muscular and stocky but nimble and bred for chasing stray cattle and assisting with farm work. American Bulldogs are smart and affectionate, making them excellent family dogs. However, they have high exercise requirements and necessitate a seasoned, active pet parent. American Bulldogs make excellent family pets with proper training and care. If you want a loving and energetic best friend, this could be your dog!

9) Australian Cattle Dog

sAustralian cattle dog stepping with leaves in the background selective focus photography

Breed Traits

  • Group: Herding Group (AKC)
  • Height: 15 to 20 inches 
  • Weight: 30 to 50 pounds 
  • Coat: Smooth double coat of short length.
  • Colors:  Blue, blue speckled, blue mottled, red mottled, and red speckled.  
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years
  • Temperament: Affectionate, Aggressive, Protective, Alert, and Energetic.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: USD 1,000 to 4,000
  • Origin: Australia

The Australian Cattle Dog is a dog breed that is super smart, active, and sturdy. Australian settlers bred them to manage herds of cattle on vast ranches, and they are still used as herding dogs today. Aside from herding, they excel at canine sports such as agility, subservience, rally, flying disc, and flyball competitions. Australian Cattle Dogs are protective of their families and wary of strangers. These dogs require a lot of physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy and avoid bored, destructive behavior. If you have plenty of space in your home and can keep up with such an energetic pup, this could be the breed for you!

10) Airedale Terrier

curly haired brown and black dog sunbathing Airedale terrier

Breed Traits

  • Group: Terrier Group (AKC)
  • Height: 20 to 25 inches
  • Weight: 45 to 70 pounds
  • Coat: Wiry coat of short to medium length.
  • Color: Grizzle and tan, Black and tan.
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 14 years
  • Temperament: Friendly, Courageous, Alert, Confident, and Playful.
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Buying Price: USD 1,000 to 3,000  
  • Origin: England

The Airedale, also known as the “King of Terriers,” is the largest among all terriers. The Aire Valley dog breed was developed in Yorkshire to capture rats and otters between the Wharfe and the Aire Rivers. They were known to be capable sporting dogs which later evolved into excellent working dogs. The Airedale Terrier is outgoing, intelligent, and confident, with a marvelous cheerful streak that pleases its owners. Airedales are initially wary of strangers and require early socialization and training. Furthermore, these dogs are high energy and require a lot of exercises, the severity of which may be a little much for inexperienced dog trainers.

11) American English Coonhound

Dog in shade American English Coonhound

Breed Traits

  • Group: Hound Group (AKC)
  • Height: 22 to 26 inches
  • Weight: 43 to 65 pounds
  • Coat: Hard protective coat of short length.
  • Color: Blue, black, black and tan, brown, white and tan, red, red and white, and tri-colored.
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 13 years
  • Temperament: Energetic, Cheerful, and Loyal.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: USD 800 to 1,500
  • Origin: United States
Also Read:  Silky Terrier vs Yorkie: Which is the ideal pet for you?

American English Coonhounds, originally bred for hunting, are energetic dogs that make excellent pets. The American English Coonhound is one of the quickest Coonhound breeds, a strong and agile hunter who is as sociable and friendly as it is energetic and confident. They are excellent house pets as they are usually calm, enjoy lounging, and require little to no exercise. Coonhounds have the predisposition to hunt prey and other small animals, making them unsuitable for homes with smaller pets like guinea pigs or hamsters. They are generally gentle with children and devoted to their families. Training should begin immediately because the Coonhound could become destructive and difficult to train later.

12) American Foxhound

Close up of a dog American Foxhound

Breed Traits

  • Group: Hound Group (AKC)
  • Height: 20 to 25 inches
  • Weight: 60 to 70 pounds
  • Coat: Short and smooth coat.
  • Color: A combination of Black, white, and tan.
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, and Independent.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: USD 500 to 1,000 
  • Origin: United States

The American Foxhound was one of the first breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886. Bred to hunt, the American Foxhound is a low-maintenance, social breed that makes an excellent companion for families and people with other pets. They get along well with children and some pets. The American Foxhound, like most hounds, specializes in hunting down and chasing. Without hunting opportunities, they require lots of exercise and attention. Without it, they are more likely to become depressed, which could lead to further problems. The breed is also renowned for its loud howls, which can be very annoying for those living in an apartment or city setting. Early socialization and training can aid them in becoming more friendly towards strangers and other animals and decrease their tendency to howl.

13) Appenzeller Sennenhund

smiling Dog sitting in a forest

Breed Traits

  • Group: Foundation Stock Service (AKC)
  • Height: 20 to 24 inches
  • Weight: 45 to 70 pounds 
  • Coat: Double coated with a thick, dense undercoat and a shiny and thick top coat.
  • Color: Combination of black, white, and brown.
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years
  • Temperament: Fearless, Energetic, Reliable, and Friendly.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: USD 1,500 to 2,500 
  • Origin: Switzerland

The Appenzeller Sennenhund, also known as an Appenzeller, is a vibrant, energetic dog that was bred to herd cattle. They are intelligent, affectionate dogs with a powerful instinct to defend their territory. When properly socialized as puppies, the Appenzeller Mountain Dogs tend to be very affectionate to their family. They usually get along well with farm animals, dogs, and household animals. Appropriate training and consistency are required to ensure that Appenzeller Mountain Dogs understand their role in the family or on the farm. They can become destructive and excessively barking if not given enough exercise opportunities.

14) Afghan Hound

Elegant dog with long hair sitting on grass afghan hound

Breed Traits

  • Group: Hound Group (AKC)
  • Height: 25 to 30 inches
  • Weight: 45 to 60 pounds
  • Coat: A long coat that is straight and silky. 
  • Color: Black, Black and Tan, Black and Silver, Cream, Blue, Red, Blue and Cream, Silver, and White.
  • Life Expectancy: 13 to 18 years
  • Temperament: Energetic, Independent, Energetic, and Sweet.
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Buying Price: USD 2,500 – 6,000 
  • Origin: Afghanistan

The Afghan appears regal due to how proudly they carry themselves and their long, silky coat. The Afghan hound, faithful to its roots as a hunter, is determined, independent, aloof, and self-assured. The Afghan personality ranges from nurturing to aloof, and these dogs are wary of strangers. The Afghan is likely to develop a savage disposition if not properly socialized. 
The Afghan hound seems to be a “high-maintenance” dog for various reasons. Afghans, despite their intelligence, can be challenging to train due to their stubbornness. Gentle guidance as well as firm discipline work best for them. Regular grooming is essential for keeping the Afghan’s coat in good condition. Afghans make excellent apartment dogs but also actual “couch potatoes,” they require plenty of exercise to avoid boredom and destructive behaviors like chewing and barking.

15) Anatolian Shepherd Dog

guard dog sitting on grass facing sideways Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Breed Traits

  • Group: Working Group (UKC)
  • Height: 25 to 30 inches
  • Weight: 80 to 150 pounds
  • Coat: Smooth and short.
  • Color: Brindle, fawn, blue and fawn, red and fawn, liver, gray and fawn, biscuit and white, and white.
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 14 years
  • Temperament: Independent, Loyal, and Reserved.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: USD 800 – 1,400 
  • Origin: Turkey

Anatolian shepherds, also known as kangals, have been utilized to protect farm animals and farms against anything from humans, wolves, buffaloes, and cheetahs. These Turkish dogs have quite a muscular, remarkable presence, with a keen intellect and independent personality, making them perfect for following and protecting herds of animals on their own. Their lineage dates back to the Bronze Age. 

Anatolians have also grown in popularity as family dogs, and they may be the top pick for first-time owners. Because of their headstrong nature and humongous physique, Anatolians can easily topple an unprepared owner. So make sure to have a strong hold over the leash and provide your Anatolian with adequate training starting early.

16) Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

An Australian Stumpy Tailed Cattle Dog with Snow on It's nose

Breed Traits

  • Group: Foundation stock service (AKC)
  • Height: 17 to 20 inches
  • Weight: 30 to 45 pounds
  • Coat: Double coat of short length.
  • Color: Red, red speckled, red mottled, blue, blue speckled, and blue mottled.
  • Life Expectancy: 11 to 15 years
  • Temperament: Energetic, Alert, and Cheerful.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: USD 500 to 1,500
  • Origin: Australia.
Also Read:  Pitbull vs. Bulldog: Which is the ideal pet for you?

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, so named because of its short or non-existent tail, are the original Australian working dogs. They are known to possess a natural aptitude for cattle working and control. It is devoted to its owner and is loyal, courageous, and courageous to strangers. This intelligent and active breed has a large amount of energy that needs to be expended. The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is better suited for adult homes or households with older children, preferably with a fenced yard space to play around in. If you desire an active buddy and have the patience to train them consistently, this is the type of dog for you!

17) Azawakh

Thin dog with long snout Azawakh

Breed Traits

  • Group: Hound group (AKC)
  • Height: 23 to 30 inches
  • Weight: 30 to 55 pounds
  • Coat: Short and smooth coat.
  • Color: Blue, black, brindle, cream fawn, brown, red, gray, white, and sandy.
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years
  • Temperament: Affectionate, Independent, and Loyal.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: USD 1,700 – 2,700
  • Origin: West Africa.

The Azawakh are lean and swift hunters with a regal presence, named after the Azawakh Valley located in the Sahara desert where they originally came from. They are proud but also protective and loyal to their family and home. These dogs thrive in hot climates, as you might expect, given their appearance and desert origins. While they adore their humans, they can be wary of strangers. They also have the tendency to chase if they spot something moving, such as smaller animals and even running children. They require seasoned pet parents who can prevent them from bolting, stick to strict training, and socialize them at a young age.

18) American Leopard Hound

American Leopard Hound puppy sitting in the sun
Photo By Dee Dalasio, Shutterstock

Breed Traits

  • Group: Foundation Stock Service (AKC)
  • Height: 20 to 28 inches
  • Weight: 35 to 75 pounds
  • Coat: Smooth and Short,
  • Color: Blue, black, brown, red, gray, and yellow.
  • Life Expectancy: 11 to 15 years
  • Temperament: Friendly, Intelligent, and Energetic.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: USD 700 – 1,500 
  • Origin: Mexico

The American Leopard Hound are purebred dogs whose ancestors were brought to North America by Spanish conquistadors sailing from Mexico. They are also known as American Leopard, Leopard Cur, and the American Leopard Cur. These adorable puppies are instinctual hunting dogs with a lot of energy. That means they thrive in homes with large yards for them to play and run around in. They can form strong bonds with humans, making them suitable for all types of households, right from single pet parents to households with children. If you’re looking for a lively dog who enjoys running, consistently keeps you on your toes, notifies you of any dangers, and completely adores you, this is the dog breed for you!

19) American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier bulldog close up black and white dog in the sun

Breed Traits

  • Group: Terrier Group (AKC)
  • Height: 17 to 19 inches
  • Weight: 40 to 70 pounds
  • Coat: Short, smooth coat.
  • Color: Blue, blue fawn, blue brindle, black, black brindle, brown, brown brindle, liver, fawn, fawn brindle, red, red sable, red brindle, white, fawn sable, liver brindle, blue fawn brindle, and seal brown.
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
  • Temperament: Happy, Smart, Loyal, and Confident.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: USD 1,500 – 3,000 
  • Origin: United States

The American Staffordshire Terriers are muscular dogs known for being powerful for their size. However, they are also affectionate and loving towards their humans. Nothing makes American Staffordshire Terriers happier than being with the people they care about, whether out for a run or walk, playing on the lawn, or cuddling up on the couch. They are intellectual and eager to please, making them highly trainable. However, their intelligence necessitates mental stimulation. If they don’t get it, they’ll use their strong jaws to chew on anything to pass the time. They also have a habit of pulling on leashes and require a confident and strong owner who isn’t overly strict to be appropriately trained.

20) Australian Kelpie

Close Up Photo of a smiling Australian Kelpie Dog similing brown dog

Breed Traits

  • Group: Foundation Stock Service (AKC)
  • Height: 16 to 22 inches
  • Weight: 30 to 55 pounds 
  • Coat: A smooth double coat of short length.
  • Color: Black, black and tan, blue, fawn, chocolate, red, and red and fawn.
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 14 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Lively, Alert, and Loyall.
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Buying Price: USD  500 – 1,500 
  • Origin: Australia

The Australian Kelpie was developed to possess the energy, intellect, and autonomy to herd farm animals all day long in the warm Australian climate with little supervision. They still have those characteristics. People in the United States and Australia still use Australian Kelpies for their herding instincts. The great news is that they are simple to train for about any task as long as they have a self-assured, skillful trainer who can provide positive encouragement without being harsh. However, if they are not trained early on, they are susceptible to destructive behavior when left alone for an extended period of time.

Summary

The above list introduces various dog breeds that begin with the letter ‘A .’ Although a challenge, bringing a pet home can surely bring a lot more joy to your life. As a result, if both you and your family are ready for the challenge and decide to bring any of these endearing fur buddies to your home, you will have a friend for life who will not disappoint you.

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