Black, white, and brown are the most popular coat colors in dogs. Gray, in contrast, is not that common, but that’s exactly what makes it stand out. Now, single-color gray pups are extremely rare. But there are quite a few bi- and tri-color dogs out there that mix this beautiful color with other tones and shades for a distinctive look.
We’re talking about Great Danes, Siberian Huskies, and Akitas, to name a few. Every single breed is different, though, and so is the coat structure, density, and, of course, color. Which one should you choose, then?
Join us, and let’s check out the top 24 dog breeds that wear gray like they own it!
How Are Gray Dog Breeds Classified?
If gray is the prevalent color in the pup’s coat, that makes it a gray dog. The coat can be long, medium, short, single, or double. You’ll also have a choice between rough, smooth, wire, silky, curly, and hairless fur. The good news is—you won’t have to spend more time grooming a gray coat or anything like that.
The dog might cost a bit extra and take more time to find at an adoption center, but that’s it. So, why do dogs have different coat colors? The pigment is a result of genetics, or, rather, which genes the pups inherit from their parents. Overall, canines have 19,000 genes, but only eight of those determine the coat’s color!
The 24 Gray Dog Breeds
1. American Staffordshire Terrier
Looking for an intelligent, confident, and affectionate dog to join your ranks? You just found it! The Staffie is an incredibly loyal, capable, and strong breed. Add a low shedding and drooling level, adaptable nature, and the spirit of a guardian, and you’ll see why these Terriers are favored by true dog fans. They can be stubborn, though, so obedience training is essential.
2. French Bulldog
These cute, playful, and resourceful dogs are incredibly popular across the globe, and for good reason. The large ears and heavy wrinkles make them equally adorable and imposing. The coat is nice and smooth, while the body is muscular and ready to rumble. French Bulldogs are affectionate, good with kids, and love spending time with their owners.
3. Great Dane
Words like “shorty” or “cutie” are rarely used to describe these majestic dogs. That’s because Great Danes easily reach 35 inches in height and 180 pounds in weight! It won’t be easy to maintain such a big pet in a tiny apartment. That said, these dogs are tolerant, friendly, and noble. Harlequin is the most sought-after color pattern, but gray looks just as lovely.
4. Cane Corso
This mighty doggo towers over fellow canine buds and makes for an excellent guardian. The Cane Corso is a confident, intelligent beast with a soft side reserved for the people it loves and trusts. It’s been around since Ancient Rome and has a dominant and stubborn streak. Thankfully, that can be fixed via early socialization.
|Origin:||England, British Isles|
Can a dog be equally sweet-tempered and strong-willed? If we’re talking about a Greyhound, the answer is yes! These dogs are incredibly fast and love to spend time outdoors. Tall, noble, and all kinds of gentle, the Greyhound is a perfectly built sprinter who likes to follow a strong leader. And—yep, you guessed it—this pup rocks a gray coat.
Despite the considerable size, the Weimaraner is an obedient doggo. It’s quick to bond with a human parent and eager to please, which makes it a perfect companion. Affectionate with family yet standoffish with strangers, the Weimaraner is one of the most playful, adaptable, and protective breeds. If you’re in the market for a friendly yet reliable guardian, this bud will be a great pick.
7. Blue Lacy
|Origin:||United States (Texas)|
Bred in Texas, the Blue Lacy (AKA the Lacy Dog) can handle livestock and watch the property without breaking a sweat. It can be aggressive, though, especially if you don’t spend enough time socializing the dog and putting it through obedience training. On the bright side, a properly raised Lacy is a docile, friendly pet and a hard worker.
Keep it physically and mentally stimulated to avoid separation anxiety and destructive behavior.
8. Neapolitan Mastiff
As the name suggests, this rough-tough, heavy-duty doggo was born and bred in Italy, but its roots go back to the Roman Empire. And, just like any other Mastiff, the Neapolitan breed is watchful, alert, and slow. It prefers to scare intruders away instead of chasing them. Sweet and goofy with loved ones and wary of strangers, the Mastino is a noble, dignified, and loyal companion.
9. Alaskan Malamute
|Origin:||United States (Alaska)|
All-around solid: that’s the best way to describe these beauties. The Alaskan Malamutes are very tall and unbelievably strong. Brought into the world to work alongside their human friends, they are faithful and affectionate. The fluffy, curled tail, dense coat, and perky ears are their trademark features. Also, the pack mentality is strong with this one.
That means you’ll have to put in long hours in obedience training to become the leader of the pack.
10. Siberian Husky
Just like their Alaskan relatives, the Siberian Huskies are no strangers to hard work. Bred by the Chukchi people, they are among the best sled dogs. And if you’re looking for a cheerful and mischievous companion, this breed will be right up your alley. Siberian Huskies have big hearts, enjoy goofing around with children, and love to make new friends and work in packs.
11. Irish Wolfhound
Up next, we have the Irish Wolfhound, a titan of a dog: it weighs 120 pounds and reaches 32 inches in height. The brave heart, calm demeanor, and dignified nature turn it into an exemplary guardian and watchdog. With that, a properly trained and socialized Irish can be very affectionate with family and fellow dogs. Back in the day, this breed used to tackle wolves.
Today, it’s a fearless companion with a rough coat (available in gray).
12. Scottish Deerhound
As you’ve probably guessed, this Scottish giant was bred to stalk, hunt, and bring down deer. Thanks to the Greyhound genes, this champ is a graceful giant. It’s just as tall and heavy as the Irish Wolfhound but comes with a double coat that looks stunning in blue-gray. Often called the Royal Dog of Scotland, this breed deserves all the praise it gets!
13. Pyrenean Shepherd
If you’d like to adopt a joyful, energetic doggo, the Pyrenean Shepherd won’t disappoint you. It’s not that big, but rest assured this French bud will protect you with everything it’s got. Smart, resourceful, and tougher than most, this doggo has a fine herding background. As for the coat, it can be either rough or smooth. The list of available colors includes fawn, black, blue, and, of course, gray.
14. Carpathian Shepherd Dog
Brave, loyal, and sturdy, the Carpathian Shepherd Dog is a fierce guardian that likes to spend time with its human parents. The double coat, in turn, is available in a stunning wolf-gray/black combo and protects the dog from harsh climatic conditions. Originally, Carpathians were tasked with protecting the herd/flock from giant predators, including bears and wolves. So, they’re not the timid kind!
15. Bergamasco Shepherd
The Bergamasco Shepherd is a sight for sore eyes: it’s strong, intelligent, and ready to take on hard work. As for the coat, it makes the pup look like a sniper wearing camouflage. The thick flocks of hair protect this Italian gent/lady from the harsh climate and aggressive wildlife. And, despite being brought up in tough conditions, the Bergamasco is a friendly, patient, and low-maintenance dog.
16. Old English Sheepdog
You won’t have to do much guessing to figure this doggo out. It’s an ancient beast bred in England to watch over the sheep. So, naturally, the OES is witty, resourceful, and highly adaptable but with a gentle, loving personality. It looks like a fairytale character, walks like a bear, and has a coat to die for. The Old English Sheepdog is also strong, muscular, and requires lots of daily activity.
The Shiba Inu might be the most popular Japanese dog, but the Akita deserves just as much praise. This is a fearless, mighty dog with unwavering loyalty and strong protective instincts. The Akita is not at all welcoming to strangers yet ready to risk its own life for its family. Speaking of the coat, the most common combination is white-brown-black, but gray Akitas are quite marvelous, too.
18. Miniature Schnauzer
The lush silver coat, fancy beard, short tale, and adorable facial expressions turn this small doggo into a crowd-pleaser. It was bred to serve as a farm dog and chase after rats, so we have a muscular, courageous companion underneath all that cuteness. It’s not particularly aggressive, yet highly protective and affectionate with family, including kids.
Friendly, playful, and affectionate: that’s the Whippet in a nutshell for you. It has tons of patience, loves to interact with children, and welcomes strangers with an open heart. The Whippet rarely barks, doesn’t shed or drool much, and has tons of energy to burn. That makes it an excellent choice for active families with kids. This bud is fast, too, thanks to its athletic body, and has a high prey drive.
20. Cairn Terrier
|Origin:||Scotland, Scottish Highlands|
Looking for an alert and cheerful compact doggo to adopt? Then pay extra attention to this Scottish breed. The Cairn Terrier is playful, watchful, and quick to adapt. Brought up to hunt small prey and foxes, this pup has short legs, a wiry, harsh double coat, a huge head, and an erect tail. The Cairn also loves to cuddle and makes for a near-perfect lap pet!
The Pumi is one of those energetic and cheerful dogs that are fun to be around. As a compact herder, it has a fancy, curled coat and looks amazing in gray or silver-gray. And it takes one look into the eyes of this Hungarian hard worker to know that it has a sweet soul. The Pumi can be stubborn and bold but will eagerly follow commands if they come from the right person.
For a true dog fan, the Keeshond is a canine gift with a ribbon on it. It’s affectionate, easy to train, and quick to adapt. With that, this little guy is also quite the watchdog. Originally from the Netherlands, the Keeshond has a can’t-mistake-for-anything foxy face with spectacles, a cute fluffy tail, and a luxurious coat. Yes, this doggo is a charmer!
23. Norwegian Elkhound
Folks in the market for a confident and reliable four-legged companion will like this Norwegian beauty. The Elkhound is famous for its silver-gray coat, strong guardian/watchdog instincts, and witty brain. This sturdy, muscular dog has been around since the Vikings and loves nothing more than to be of service. It’s generally friendly but a bit wary of strangers.
24. Thai Ridgeback
A devoted family dog, the Thai Ridgeback is an intelligent, alert, and affectionate protector. It rocks a muscular, athletic, and agile body and can work and play for hours. The Thai Ridgeback was bred centuries ago as a hunter and guardian. Today, it’s a great family dog, but the instincts and high prey drive are still there. Proper socialization and obedience training are imperative.
As for the famous ridge, it’s just a flock of hair that grows backward.
Gray dogs aren’t a common sight: that’s why they always grab attention. And the coat doesn’t even have to be 100% gray: most breeds on today’s list have markings or combine gray with black, white, and other colors. But, again, if you’re planning on adopting a doggo and would like for it to be a head-turner, gray is the way to go.
To make the pup truly unique, consider opting for an exotic breed like a Norwegian Elkhound, Hungarian Pumi, or Japanese Akita. That said, Terriers, Bulldogs, and Mastiffs are also available in gray. So, go back to the list, check out each breed’s metrics, descriptions, and pictures, and pick your dream pup!
Featured Image Credit: RitaE, Pixabay