There are nearly 30 different dog breeds native to America. These various breeds have played different roles throughout history including hunting, guarding, tracking or simply as companion dogs to nurture their relationship with man. Breeders continue to experiment with different dogs to improve the breed’s characteristics. It is no wonder that we see so many dog breeds today. Today we will be discussing 20 Native American dog breeds that have originated on the North American continent and are considered classic American breeds.
List of American Dog Breeds
1. Plott Hound or North Carolina Dog
This is the official state dog of North Carolina. Plotts have a reputation as excellent swimmers, trackers and courageous hunting and fighting dogs. Their webbed paws makes them excellent swimmers and they are officially classified as Coonhounds.
2. Black-Tan Coonhound
This breed has descended from the Talbot hound and has characteristic droopy skin and long pendant ears. There are different types of coonhounds like Redbone and Bluetick Coonhounds. All these are excellent hunter dogs. Blue Gascon Hound/Bluetick coonhound is an American native breed known for its characteristic deep bawl or bugle voice. The Blue Gascon or Bluetick coonhound also has droopy ears and a well balanced gait. It is a cross between American Foxhound and Mastiff.
3. American Bulldog
The American Bulldog is one of the most popular native American dog breeds. It is intelligent, sturdy and has great stamina. They are similar to English bulldogs but larger and faster.
4. Cane Corso
We have covered this popular Native American dogs representative species in detail here.
5. American Cocker Spaniel
No list of American dog breeds is complete without the Cocker Spaniel. It is believed that this breed is as old as the time when the pilgrims landed from the Mayflower in 1620. Cockers were used extensively for game bird hunting in early days. This lovable dog breed has a beautiful coat and long droopy ears which add to their attractiveness.
6. Eskimo Dog
This sled dog breed is believed to have come to the USA from Germany and they have German Spitz blood in them. The Eskimo dog (or Eskie as they are popularly known) even performed in the circus in early 20th century and have always been known for their keen intelligence.
7. American Feist
This dog resembles the rat terrier but is not any old, small dog like that one. The Feist is known for its speed, agility, eyesight and sense of scent that helps them hunt and locate prey. These qualities help the breed in tracking raccoons, squirrels and other small animals.
8. American Foxhound
This is a popular entry in the list of American dog breeds. The Foxhound came to USA from Europe and George Washington is believed to have taken an active interest in promoting the breed. Compared to their British counterparts, the American Foxhound is larger and has characteristic pendant ears and pleading eyes.
9. American Hairless Terrier
This breed was developed quite by accident when a hairless dog was born in a litter of Rat terriers. The female gave birth to a male and female which were then inbred and thus was born the hairless terrier. Naturally, this breed is still under development.
10. Native American Indian Dog
This breed can be traced back thousands of years to South American dog breeds as well as Native American dog breeds in the north. The wild Indian dog breed is being selectively bred these days but was once nearly extinct.
11. Alaskan Malamute
The name Malamute comes from an Alaskan tribe called Mahlemut. Malamutes are large wolf-like dogs and different varieties of the breed are seen in Canada, Greenland and other northern areas.
12. American Mastiff
How can a list of American dog breeds be complete without the mention of Mastiff? The mastiff may have been a cross between Anatolian Shepherd or Anatolian Mastiff and the English Mastiff. They are identical to the English Mastiffs but do not drool as much. The Panja variety of American mastiff was bred by drug dealers to guard their properties. Panjas first appeared in Detroit and may have Rottweiler/Pit Bull/Mastiff blood in them. Then there is the bandogge or American bangdogge mastiff which is a cross between American pit bull and Neapolitan mastiff. The Bandogge is a huge dog (weighting about 100-150lb) and having a menacing appearance. Bandogge word is derived from ‘banda’ meaning chain. (Other names for the Bandogge are Swinford Bandog or American Mastiff). Many breeders have mixed opinions as to what breeds went in the creation of the Bandog.
13. Pit Bull Terriers
14. American Pointer
The American Pointer is a cross between Spanish and Italian Pointers and appeared around the time of Civil War. They come in solid colors like orange, liver, lemon, black with combinations with white.
15. Australian Shepherd
This is a surprise entry in our list of American Dog breeds. The Aussies is a purely American breed known by several different names including Pastor Dogs, Heelers or Bobtails. Aussies have distinctive coat markings around their face, neck, chest, belly etc. The breed’s attentiveness and loyalty make them excellent farm/ranch dogs.
16. Amstaff/American Staffordshire Terrier
We have covered this breed in detail here. The Amstaff were trained as fighting dogs. Unlike the Pit Bull, this breed is recognized by the AKC.
17. American Water Spaniel
American Water Spaniel is the cross between Curly Coated Retriever and Irish Water Spaniel. This is the state dog of Wisconsin.
18. Boston Terrier
This American ‘gentleman’ dog has tuxedo like markings on their coat. They are friendly, comical dogs believed to be the cross between English terrier and English Bulldog.
19. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
This purely Native American dog breed is believed to have originated from the cross between Newfoundland and local retriever breeds. They have distinct webbed paws which makes them useful for retrieving water fowls. Read more about the Chessie here.
20. American White Shepherd
American White Shepherd is definitely the ancestor of the German Shepherd. The white color is believed to have been a genetic mutation in shepherd dogs.