Dog Breed

49 Coolest-Looking Dog Breeds: From Unique to Sophisticated

by Alison Page

Life With Dogs is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

Sharing is caring!

If you’re thinking of bringing a furry friend into your life, there are some unique-looking dogs and amazing dog breeds to consider!

From a gawky Golden retriever to a cute Cocker spaniel and a snazzy Shar-Pei, there are awesome dog breeds out there to choose from! But what are the coolest doggy dudes on the block?

Read this fascinating listicle to discover 49 of the coolest-looking dog breeds that are sure to turn heads every time you visit the dog park!

49 Coolest-Looking Dog Breeds!

Whether you want an energetic breed to hike with you along rugged mountain trails or a cuddly pup to curl up on the couch with, you’re sure to find the perfect pooch for you in our list of the coolest-looking dog breeds!

1. Afghan Hound

Dog Afghan Hound runs

With its flowing, silky coat and gliding movement, the Afghan Hound epitomizes cool canine elegance.

These powerful, agile hounds were bred to hunt in the harsh, mountainous terrain of their native Afghanistan, where the dogs are known as Tāžī Spay or Sag-e Tāzī.

2. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute

As this dog’s name suggests, the Alaskan Malamute originates from arctic climes, where the dogs were used to haul heavy sleds containing passengers and freight from Siberia to Alaska.

Alaskan Malamutes were bred for their strength and endurance and are similar to Siberian huskies, Canadian Eskimo dogs, and Spitz.

3. American Akita

American Akita

The American Akita is a cool-looking dog that looks like a huge bear!

These massive, fluffy dogs have a somewhat aloof and wilful personality, making them ideal for guarding and watchdogs. As such, these cool dogs are recommended for experienced dog owners rather than beginners.

4. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle dog is a herding breed that was developed in Australia specifically for droving herds of cattle over long distances of harsh terrain.

If you want a loyal companion to keep up with you when you go out running or biking, this could be the breed for you.

5. Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd’s name is somewhat of a misnomer since these beautiful herding dogs were developed in California in the 19th century.

This cool dog breed originates from Asturias in northwestern Spain and was unknown in Australia then!

6. Basenji

Basenji

The light-shedding Basenji comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it was originally bred as a hunting dog.

Rather than barking, thanks to its weirdly-shaped larynx, the Basenji produces a yodel-like sound. How cool is that!

7. Beagle

Beagle Dog sits in cage e1647609604108

Beagles are small scent hounds that were bred to hunt hares. Today, there are still many beagling hunts around the world where these well-bred dogs can be seen with their noses to the ground, working alongside their human owners.

8. Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is a hard-working dog that thrives on spending time alongside his human partner.

These energetic dogs need lots of daily exercise to keep them happy, so don’t take on one of these cool canines unless you spend lots of time outdoors biking, hiking, or working the land.

9. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain dogs are gentle giants, one of the four Sennenhund breeds from the Swiss Alps, Bern, Switzerland.

It’s thought that these mighty dogs are descended from Roman mastiffs and were used to guard and accompany alpine dairymen and herders.

10. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

The super playful, intelligent Bichon Frise is the ideal pet for novice pet parents, seniors, and apartment dwellers!

These pint-sized pups are bred to be loving companions, and their white, fluffy teddy bear looks certainly draw plenty of “Ooh!” and “Ahh!” comments wherever they go.

11. Border Collie

Border Collies are the coolest companion on the planet if you live an outdoorsy lifestyle, ideally in the countryside.

These super-bright, energetic dogs thrive as working dogs, herding sheep, and, as you can see from the following video clip, they can successfully turn their paws to competitive dog activities, too!

12. Boxer

Boxer Puppy Outdoor

Originally bred in Germany, the Boxer is a mastiff-type dog that’s a popular family pet.

Boxers are athletic, loyal, and loving dogs that make a cool dog breed for families with active lifestyles, especially when properly socialized.

These pups generally get along fine with kids, other dogs, and cats, as long as you don’t mind their slobbering and scatterbrained nature and are prepared to give your Boxer plenty of exercise.

13. English Bulldog

English Bulldog in Lounge Bed

Bulldogs are a mastiff-type British bred breed that is characterized by their squat, stocky physique and thick skin folds around their face.

Unfortunately, the British Bulldog’s flat face makes them prone to breathing problems, especially in hot weather. In addition, don’t take your Bulldog to the beach or the lake since his build and facial conformation means he’ll struggle to swim.

14. Bull Terrier

black Staffordshire Bull Terrier with retractable leash

The Bull Terrier was originally bred in the 19th century as a fighting dog. However, the breed later became a fashionable companion for gentlemen and is now loved by many as a family pet and show dog.

15. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a large toy breed that can be at home, hiking, playing fetch, or even swimming in the lake.

However, these popular companion dogs are equally at home snuggling with their beloved pet owners on the sofa.

16. Chihuahua

Chihuahua Lion Cut

Chihuahua is named for the Mexican state of the same name and is one of the smallest dog breeds.

Although today, the Chihuahua is solely bred for companionship, it’s thought that these dogs were once also used for religious ceremonies and rituals and even as a food source!

17. Chow Chow

Chow Chow

The Chow Chow looks like a huge Teddy Bear! However, these dogs were originally bred to hunt, guard, and pull sleds!

Did you know that these pups have black-blue tongues? Cool!

18. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker spaniel sitting on the grass

The cool Cocker Spaniel is a happy, tail-wagger that belongs to two spaniel dog-type groups, including the English Cocker Spaniel and American Cocker Spaniel.

These dogs were originally bred in the early 20th century as companions for the hunting field.

19. Dalmation

Dalmation

The true origins of the Dalmation are unknown, although records of spotted dogs go back to 3700 BC when Egypt’s King Cheops, builder of the Great Pyramid, was reputed to have owned one!

20. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers are thought to have been developed in Germany around 1890.

These powerful, athletic dogs were originally bred to guard and need lots of exercise to keep them happy. However, the Doberman is a friendly, affectionate dog that makes a great pet, provided you socialize and train them properly.

21. French Bulldog

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is cute and cool personified!

These sweet little dogs first appeared in Paris in the mid-nineteenth century, where they were used as companions. It’s thought that the Bouledogue Français was created by crossbreeding local Parisian ratters with toy Bulldogs imported from England.

22. German Shepherd

Obedience Training german shepherd

Although originally bred in Germany for use as sheep-herding dogs, German Shepherds or Alsations now work alongside people as service dogs, guard dogs, and in law enforcement.

German Shepherds also make great family pets for active, outdoorsy families, and even though they look fierce, these cool pups can be great big softies!

23. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever in crate waiting for Adoption

The Golden retriever is a happy-go-lucky pup that loves to spend time around his human family, getting along well with kids, other dogs, and even the family cat!

You’ll find these dogs working as service dogs and therapy dogs thanks to their gentle, loving nature.

24. Great Dane

Great Dane

The Great Dane is one of the two largest dog breeds in the world!

Originating from Germany, these huge hounds descended from dogs bred in the Middle Ages to hunt deer and wild boar and to guard German nobility.

25. Greyhound

two Italian Greyhounds

The noble, fleet-footed greyhound makes a cool canine companion for a quiet home without cats or other small furry things that the pooch might be tempted to chase!

Many people, including me, love to have these charming dogs as family pets because of their laid-back, quiet, affectionate nature.

26. Husky

Husky

Even though these cool dogs look like wolves, the two species are unrelated!

The Siberian Husky is a Spitz-type breed used for hauling sleds in harsh arctic conditions. Husky racing is still a popular sport today, even in countries where it doesn’t snow much or at all!

27. Irish Setter

Irish Setter

The Irish Setter or Red Setter is a breed of gundog that’s well-known for its beautiful, deep red coat.

These working dogs are a perfect match for an active household, as they need plenty of daily exercise to keep them fit and prevent boredom.

28. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier puppy in winter

Jack Russells are small terriers that were originally bred for hunting. Although cute to look at, these feisty pups can be barkers and can’t always be trusted around cats and other small furry pets.

That said, the JRT can be a great pet for a single-pet home without small kids, as these dogs are playful, funny, and undoubtedly cool.

29. Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin

The charming Japanese Chin is a gorgeous lapdog that’s bred to provide companionship, love, and cuddles!

These tiny aristocratic dogs have arching, plumed tails and silky “culottes” on their hind legs, giving them an exotic appearance that’s chic and oh-so-cool!

30. Labradoodle

Labradoodle

Labradoodles are a cross between a Labrador retriever and a Poodle.

These dogs come in several sizes, depending on the Poodle type used. Doodles can have curly, wavy, or straight coats, and with their delightful Teddy Bear looks and lively personalities are one of the coolest dog breeds on the block!

31. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Thanks to their friendly nature and trainability, the Labrador retriever is an extremely popular family pet.

However, Labs were originally bred to work in the hunting field, retrieving shot birds from the water. These beautiful, cool dogs still perform that task today, as well as working as service dogs, therapy dogs, and starring in the obedience competition ring.

32. Leonberger

Leonberger

Leonbergers come from the city of Leonberg in Germany and were originally used on farms to pull cards. During both World Wars, the dogs were called into service and were used to haul munition carts.

After World War I, this cool breed almost died out but was saved by a group of enthusiasts. Today, Leonbergers make fabulous, oversized family pets.

33. Lhasa Apso

white Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso first entered the U.S. when one was presented as a gift by the 13th Dalai Lama.

These tiny dogs come from the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet, specifically the sacred city of Lhasa, where the dogs made excellent watchdogs, guarding the nobles and holy men in temples and monasteries.

It was once believed that when the dog’s master died, his soul entered the Lhasa Apso’s body. That’s spookily cool!

34. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer

These spunky little dogs were once used as all-around farm dogs and ratters, originating in Germany.

Today, the Miniature Schnauzer’s friendly, lively personality and distinguished looks make these little dogs popular family pets.

35. Newfoundland

Newfoundland

Newfoundlands were bred to work on land and in water, hauling woods from forests or pulling nets for fishermen.

Today, this sweet-natured, trainable breed makes a fabulous family companion.

36. Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdog

The Old English Sheepdog is a relatively new breed, being just a few hundred years old.

These dogs come from the southwest of England, where they were used as drovers, driving cattle and sheep to the local market. Old English Sheepdogs are so cool they’ve even starred in animated movies, such as “101 Dalmations,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Cats & Dogs.”

37. Papillon

Papillon

With their cute face and luxurious coat, one of the coolest dog breeds at the dog park is the Papillon or Continental Toy Spaniel.

These gorgeous little dogs take their name from their butterfly-look ears. But did you know there’s a dropped ear variety of Papillon that’s called a Phalene?

38. Pekingese

Pekingese

In the Chinese Imperial Court, the Pekingese dog was the coolest companion you could have! These toy pups are still popular as lapdogs around the world, although they have a few health problems related to their conformation that potential new owners should be aware of.

39. Pomeranian

Pomeranian

Pomeranians or Poms are Spitz-type dogs that are named for the Pomerania region of Poland and northeast Germany in Europe.

If you own a cool Pomeranian, you’re in good company. Iconic artist Michelangelo owned a Pom that sat on a satin cushion, watching his master painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

40. Poodle

Fluffy Butt white poodle

Poodles are commonly used to create many of the most popular Doodles and other crossbreed or designer dogs that you’ll see on almost every street these days.

These highly trainable, working dogs are intelligent, lively, and loving, so it’s no wonder they’re one of the coolest dogs in the world!

41. Pug

pug bites in a leash

The Pug is another Chinese companion dog that’s packed with personality and fun. These cool little dogs make excellent family pets, getting along well with kids and other pets.

Unfortunately, the Pug’s flat or brachycephalic face makes them prone to breathing problems, especially in hot, humid weather.

42. Rottweiler

Rottweiler dogs run on green grass in park

Although Rottweilers are often regarded as fierce guard animals, they were originally bred in Germany to work as butchers’ dogs, herding livestock and pulling cards loaded with meat to market.

When the Romans marched through Germany, they used Rotties to drive their cattle and guard outposts; cool.

43. Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard

The noble Saint Bernard was bred to love people and rescue them from perilous conditions in the Swiss mountains. In fact, these dogs are named for the Great St. Bernard Pass on the Italian-Swiss border and were first acquired by a local hospice there between 1660 and 1670.

44. Shar-Pei

Shar-Pei

The Shar-Pei comes from southern China, where the breed was used for guarding property.

In the 1940s, China became a communist nation, and the government levied a hefty tax on all dogs. That almost caused the unique Shar-Pei to go extinct! In fact, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, these dogs were named the rarest breed in the world!

Some people think the Shar-Pei’s distinctive wrinkled skin is ugly, but we reckon it’s pretty cool.

45. Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu dog in a bright pink harness

Shiba Inu is a small to medium-sized hunting dog that hails from Japan. The dog’s name literally translates as “brushwood dog” since these pups were used to flush game from dense undergrowth.

My friend has one of these gorgeous little dogs! I can vouch for the fact that these foxy-looking Spitz-type pups are fiercely loyal to their owners and can be aloof from anyone they don’t know well. That’s a shame, as all you want to do is cuddle and pet these cute canines!

46. Weimaraner

Weimaraner

The Weimaraner was bred in the 19th century for use by royalty for hunting large game animals, including boar, deer, and bear.

These cool dogs are born with dark tiger stripes, although those are gone in a few days. Weimaraners have blue eyes at birth that change to amber or gray as the dog matures. These cool dogs are sometimes called “gray ghosts,” partly thanks to their gorgeous coats and because of their stealthy hunting style.

47. West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier

The Westie is a super-popular breed that’s been delighting people for over 300 years.

Despite their cute appearance, the West Highland White Terrier is a tough cookie that was bred to hunt rats and other pesky rodents. These pups have a strong prey drive and can be challenging to train, but they are always entertaining and fun to have around.

48. Catahoula Leopard Dog

Louisiana Catahoula Leopard dog

These unusual dogs are thought to be the first dog bred in the U.S. and are named for Catahoula Parish in Louisiana.

The Catahoula Leopard dog is a skilled hunter that can even climb trees to grab prey. Now, that’s cool unless you’re the family cat!

49. Peruvian Inca Orchid

Peruvian Inca Orchid

Take one of these unique-looking dogs to the park, and you’re guaranteed to draw a crowd!

Some Peruvian Inca Orchids are completely hairless, while others boast a spotty coat. One common trait of all these pups is a characteristic “Mohican” hairdo or spiky strip of hair on the top of the head.

These distinctive dogs are sight hounds like Greyhounds and Whippets that were originally bred to hunt. For that reason, although affectionate toward their owners, these dogs can have a high prey drive and don’t do well with other pets.

FAQs

In this part of our guide, we answer some questions dog lovers ask about cool-looking dog breeds!

Q: What is the prettiest mixed-breed dog?

A: Well, that’s really a matter of personal opinion! Personally, I love a Shih-Poo. That’s a cute little dog created by crossing a Shih-Tzu with a Poodle. However, I’m biased since I own one of these pretty pups!

Q: What is the No. 1 cute dog?

A: Again, that’s down to personal choice! When it comes to purebred pups, the miniature Dachshund has to be right up there, along with the fluffy Pomeranian.

Different dog breeds

Q: What is the rarest and cutest dog?

A: The curly-coated Lagotto Romagnolo is one of the world’s rarest and cutest dogs. In the 1970s, the breed almost went extinct but was saved by a group of Italian enthusiasts.

These water retrievers date back to the medieval Romagna and were bred to retrieve ducks from marshy areas. In later years, the versatile Lagotto Romagnolo used its sharp sense of smell to hunt down truffles and is the only dog breed that’s recognized for this job!

Q: What is the most expensive dog?

A: The Tibetan Mastiff is widely considered to be the most expensive dog, mainly because, in 2014, one pricey puppy sold for almost $2 million in China!

Final Thoughts

Did you love our guide to 49 of the coolest-looking doggy dudes in the dog park? If you did, please take a moment to share the article!

Every dog is awesome in its own way, although some look cooler than others.

What dog breed do you think looks the coolest? Do you have one of the breeds we’ve featured in this guide?

Tell us about your pet in the comment box below!

Melanie Life With Dogs is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

There are many interesting kinds of dogs out there, and if we tried to feature all of them, we’d be here all day. So here are 13 of the most unique looking dogs we could find!

Leave a Comment