Types of Gray Dogs - Large, Medium and Small Breeds
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One of the most beautiful coat colors of any dog is gray, but not all dog breeds are able to exhibit this color. Those that do can have various tones and shades, either as a solid color or part of a pattern. For this reason, many people want to look at types of gray dogs to see if they can adopt one into their family.
AnimalWised shares this list of different types of gray dogs, but we do so with a stipulation. While gray dogs can be beautiful the color of their coat is not what should be a priority in considering which dog to adopt. Much more important are their character and whether you are in the best position to care for them. We break down our list of grey dogs into large, medium and small breeds to help you know which may be for you.
- Large gray dog breeds
- Great Dane
- Siberian Husky
- Medium sized gray dog breeds
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Thai Ridgeback
- Small gray dog breeds
- Italian Greyhound
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Chinese Crested Dog
- Other breeds of gray dogs
- Gray Crossbreed Dogs
Large gray dog breeds
There are several large and giant dog breed types which can have a grey coat. Some of them are completely gray dogs, others may have patterns with white spots or patches. Here we provide examples of large gray dogs with some information about their care:
The Weimaraner, known by its full title Weimaraner Vorstehhund in its native Germany, is perhaps the quintessential big gray dog breed. This is because the only color of this breed accepted by dog breed standard associations is gray. However, there is some room for different coats as they accept silver, charcoal-blue or mouse-grey shades. A strange curiosity of this gray dog breed is the fact their eyes are a striking blue as puppies which develop into amber as they age.
Weimaraners stand out for being very active and energetic. This is why it is necessary to provide frequent walks and plenty of opportunity for daily exercise. If they do not have sufficient physical and mental stimulation, they can become destructive. Those with a sedentary lifestyle should not keep a Weimaraner as a companion animal.
Learn how to deal with this problem on tips to stop a dog being destructive.
Although it is very common to see the Great Dane with patterned or harlequin markings, it is possible they can display various shades of gray. They can even have a completely gray coat. The harlequin pattern has different colors, including white fur with gray or blue gray patches.
Despite their appearance, the Great Dane is not one of the most active types of dog. Although they will need their required daily exercise, they can remain indoors for prolonged periods as long as they have enough room to maneuver. This does not mean they should spend too much time alone. If they are not properly socialized, they are prone to suffering from separation anxiety in dogs.
Another of the most popular big gray dog breeds is the Siberian Husky. Their most popular coat pattern is a mixture of white and gray. These colors can be of varying degrees of darkness. Anther common trait of the Siberian Husky is heterochromia in dogs, i.e. having two eyes of different color.
The Husky is a Nordic dog which has been bred to withstand very low temperatures. It is not well-suited to very hot or tropical climates, although they can tolerate heat better than some snow dog breeds. They are also a very active dog which loves to play and have their mind stimulated. This is why intelligence games should be incorporated into their play sessions.
Find out how to play better with our guide to intelligence games for dogs.
Medium sized gray dog breeds
Within medium sized dog breed types, we can find many which can have a gray coat. Similar to large gray dogs, they may also have gray patterns instead of solid color. Those which most commonly have gray fur are:
American Staffordshire Terrier
Although they may seem like a large dog, the American Staffordshire Terrier is actually only medium in size when compared to other grey dog breeds. This has been assessed by various breed standard associations. According to the same organizations, all coat colors and patterns are allowed in this breed standard. This includes gray, blue gray or gray and white dogs.
In many countries this canine breed is considered potentially dangerous due to its physical characteristics. Although every dog will require you to do your research, it is particularly important to know what to expect from a Staffy. Despite this fact, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a very affectionate breed, can be great with children and is very playful. Teaching bite inhibition and socialization is very important.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Another pit bull type dog is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. These are smaller than the previous gray dog on our list. They can be of various coat descriptions, including fawn, brindle or of a solid color. Blue gray is within the spectrum of accepted colors, but it can appear with patches of white.
As in the previous gray dog, they are very playful and friendly, but do need proper socialization and training. In some countries their possession is restricted as they are considered a potentially dangerous dog.
American Pit Bull Terrier
Also considered medium-sized grey dog breed, the American Pit Bull Terrier can present any solid color or pattern of colors. Almost the only exception is the merle pattern. They are also considered potentially dangerous in some countries. For this reason, if you are considering adopting gray dogs such as the American Pit Bull Terrier, you will need to check your local laws and see if they require a license.
Muzzles should also be used when walking with the American Pit Bull Terrier. Despite these precautions, they are very affectionate and sociable dogs. Positive reinforcement should always be used when educating these companion animals.
All types of Schnauzer dogs can have a grayish coat. However, whether giant, standard or miniature, only pure black and the so-called ‘salt and pepper’ coats are accepted by the FCI. In all sizes, the Schnauzer is an energetic dog which hates to stay at home alone. If they are not provided with sufficient attention, they may develop separation anxiety. This can present in the form of constant barking or property destruction.
Originally from Thailand, the Thai Ridgeback is another of the most prominent gray dogs. Their solid gray or blue gray coats are one of the few colors accepted in this breed. They are also characterized by the wrinkles on their forehead and for being a well-proportioned dog breed.
Their character is very active and energetic. They need plenty of exercise, as well as physical and mental stimulation. Without it, they are likely to develop behavioral problems.
Small gray dog breeds
Now we have seen the big gray dogs and medium-sized gray dogs, let's look at some which come in smaller packages. Small gray dog breeds may be completely gray or have gray as only part of their coat pattern. The most common small gray dog breeds are:
The smallest Greyhound dog, the Italian Greyhound does not generally exceed 5 kg in weight and 38 cm in height at the withers. They are an intelligent, sweet, affectionate, calm and very sensitive dog. They are wonderful companion animals to those who are able to spend enough time with them, both at home relaxing and outside exercising. Colors common in this breed other than gray include black, white or cinnamon.
The most common color pattern of the Yorkshire Terrier is not a full gray colored coat. While they have a beautiful metallic gray coloration on parts of their body, the rest is a beautiful tan color. However, it is possible to see examples of blue or silver gray colored Yorkies, as well as some with black colorations. They are particularly well-known for their beautiful long hair which can be cut into various Yorkie hairstyles.
Similar to the Schnauzer, the Poodle comes in various different types which are mainly determined by their size. All types of Poodle can display gray in their coat pattern, although this will be of various different shades. Poodles of all types generally have a very strong character, are balanced in their behavior, respond very well to games and can be incredibly loving. They are also marked as being one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world, so they need plenty of cognition games.
Chinese Crested Dog
Another of the small gray dog types is the Chinese Crested Dog. Although they do not have a solid color, this is not because of coat pattern. This breed is unique on our list of gray dogs because their fur is actually white, but their skin is gray. Since they are hairless over most of their body, these parts are visible and give them their gray appearance. The parts with hair usually appears as tufts on their head, tail and legs. These tufts of fur are what give them their crested look.
Elegant, stylized and proportionate, the whippet is an energetic, affectionate and sensitive gray dog breed. All colors and combination are accepted, except for merle patterns. Although they may seem like a calm dog, they need plenty of exercise and should ideally be allowed to run free in a large yard.
Other breeds of gray dogs
Of course, there are many more gray dog breeds that exist. They may present a completely gray coat or a gray coat combined with white and other colors. More examples of gray dogs are:
- Border Collie
- Neapolitan Mastiff
- Canary Mastiff
- Alaskan Malamute
- Irish Wolfhound
- Bedlington Terrier
- American bully
- Tibetan Mastiff
- Czechoslovakian Wolf-dog
- Catalan Shepherd
- Giant Pyrenees
- Bearded collie
- Shih Tzu
Gray Crossbreed Dogs
Although all the previous dogs are beautiful, remember that there are also mixed-breed dogs of solid gray or combined with other colors (usually white). For this reason, we encourage you to visit the shelters and associations near you to adopt a mongrel gray dog. In this way, you will give a second chance to a dog that will thank you all your life and you will be helping in the fight against animal abuse and neglect.
If you have adopted a gray dog into your family, you may be wondering what to call them. Fortunately, our list of over 150 gray dog names might be able to provide some assistance.
If you want to read similar articles to Types of Gray Dogs - Large, Medium and Small Breeds, we recommend you visit our Comparisons category.