15 Beautiful Gray Dogs (With Pictures)!
We’re all allowed to have a favorite dog color – and I think gray may just be mine. With such a wide spectrum (everything from charcoal to silver) gray dogs are particularly striking and actually pretty rare. Some breeds are only gray whilst others can be gray if they inherit the correct genetics. When it comes to this coat color, there are large breeds, small breeds, and everything in between! Here is a list of our very favorite, beautiful gray dog breeds.
What Are the Genetics Behind Gray Coats?
Dogs have a specific coat color based on two different pigments: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Eumelanin is the pigment that black dogs have and certain other dilution genes can affect or inhibit the production of eumelanin, causing it to appear gray.
The specific gene that turns black coats gray is the recessive dilute gene. For a dog to have a gray coat, puppies must inherit this recessive gene from both parents. Some pups with a diluted black coat are called ‘blue’ because of the silvery/blue hues they can have.
How Important Is a Dog’s Color?
Quite honestly, not very. Yes, gray dogs are particularly beautiful but there are so many more important things than coat colors. Adopting a dog is a big responsibility and you have to make sure you can give them everything they need. That includes training and exercise.
Some dog breeds are more difficult to train than others and, if you’re a first-time pup parent, this can be an enormous challenge. It’s important you’re realistic about what you can manage. If you adopt a particularly active dog breed, you also need to make sure you can take them for long walks and have time for fun play sessions.
The health of a pup is also really important and you need to research breeders who truly care for the health of the breed. Some pups just aren’t supposed to be gray but unethical breeders may try to tell you they’re a rare dog. Only adopt a gray dog that’s been well-bred from a recognized breeder. Or even better – head down to your local shelter!
15 Stunning Gray Dogs
Here are some of our favorite gray dogs. Make sure you read the description in full to know whether they’d be a good match for you and your family.
Of course, a dog that’s nicknamed the ‘Gray Ghost’ has to be on a list of beautiful gray dogs (or just beautiful dogs). These stunning, athletic dogs have a lot of energy and really need to be part of an active family that likes to go on excursions and adventures on the weekend. Weimaraners especially love water – in fact, they’re a breed with webbed feet! They’re also very playful and get on well with children. They can be a little stubborn, so it’s best for Weimaraners to have an experienced owner who can train them well.
As well as a gray/silver coat, these dogs can have incredible amber or bright blue eyes that make them even more noticeable! Their short coat doesn’t require a great deal of maintenance either.
Huskies come in all types of colors; one of the most common is gray or a combination of gray, black, and white. These fluffy dogs have very thick, double coats that shed a lot. You need to regularly brush a husky and be prepared for even more shedding in spring and fall when they blow their coats.
Huskies love to have a job to do – especially if it involves pulling something for miles over ice and snow. These adorable dogs can be silly, playful, and get on really well with other dogs and children. They’re known escape artists though, so keep an eye on them in the back yard and you might want to think about getting them a GPS collar.
This is the first of the small gray breeds on the list. Frenchies are great, affectionate, and kind dogs that do well in apartments too. They’re fairly trainable, happy to please their owners, and don’t need a huge amount of exercise. A walk around the block and plenty of play sessions are enough for these little pups. They don’t bark a lot but they are very alert which makes them great watchdogs. French Bulldogs sometimes like to chew, especially when they’re young. Getting them an indestructible dog toy can save you a lot of pairs of slippers!
These pups have a short and quite compact coat that sheds minimally. The odd brush should be enough to stop hair from getting all over your house!
From one of the smaller dogs to one of the largest gray dogs! Great Danes are very affectionate pups that love to spend time chilling with their family members. Despite their size, Great Danes don’t actually need that much exercise – short walks are enough to keep them fit. It’s also important to make sure you don’t over-exercise your growing Great Dane as this can cause joint problems later in life.
Great Danes come in many colors and one of the most striking is certainly blue-gray. Although very loving and affectionate, these big dogs can be hard to manage for novice owners because of their size. Care should also be taken around small children and animals.
You can also get a Merle Great Dane which can be a particularly beautiful shade of gray.
Old English Sheepdog
Old English Sheepdogs are very cute (not just because they’re an iconic Disney dog from The Little Mermaid)! As their name would suggest, these dogs were first bred to herd sheep and they’re great workers. As well as being happy in the fields they also love to spend time with their families – they’re particularly good with children. Under all that hair they have a surprisingly strong and athletic body that lets them run for hours.
As you can imagine from their iconic, shaggy coats these pups require a lot of grooming. These dogs need weekly, gentle brushing of their entire bodies (down to the skin) to keep their double coats matt-free. They can have a number of different colored coats and most of them appear a kind of gray.
When you think of a gray dog breed (or should that be grey dog breed) you might think of a Greyhound. These super-fast dogs are well-known for being incredible racing dogs but they’re also very affectionate and sweet-natured. We know that these dogs existed in Ancient Egypt – if not before – where they were used to hunt and capture prey.
Greyhounds come in a lot of different colors, many of which appear gray. Because these dogs are so fast and expert sighthounds, it’s important you keep them on a leash in open areas. As soon as they see something they like they’ll be off!
For more information about Greyhounds, check out our post on Greyhounds vs Whippets. They’re very similar gray pups!
This is another very large gray dog breed. Irish Wolfhounds are elegant, kind, and confident dogs that were once capable of taking on a wolf! These dogs are very big – a male can be 3 feet at the shoulder but a female will be smaller. Even though they’re active hounds, they can be a little lazy as they get older, so it’s important you take them for regular walks. As is the case with Greyhounds, Irish Wolfhounds should always be kept on the leash when in open areas.
These enormous pups come in many different colors including gray, silver, blue, and gray brindle. Irish Wolfhounds have a double coat with a wiry overcoat and a soft undercoat that sheds all year round (but not too much). A weekly brush should be enough to get rid of dirt and loose hairs.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is an incredible guard dog dating back to Ancient Rome. Not only are they massive, but these wrinkly dogs are also very alert, suspicious of strangers, and loyal. They tend to bond more with one family member and like to spend most of their time with them. The powerful Neapolitan Mastiffs are pretty sweet and mellow-natured – if they know and trust you.
Neapolitan Mastiffs don’t need that much grooming, just an occasional bath is enough for these pups. They have a short coat that covers their adorable folds of skin and that doesn’t shed a lot. These pups can have a gray-blue coat or a darker, charcoal-colored one.
This is another of our favorite grey dog breeds. Much like their big grey dog breed cousins (Greyhounds), these smaller dogs come in a number of different colors – one of the most beautiful being a blue/ grey coat. These pups can be between 13 and 15 inches tall and are very affectionate. They’re good with other dogs but can be a bit timid around loud or boisterous children.
They’re just as elegant as Greyhounds and have all their charm too. They’re also amazing sight hounds that will be off the moment they see something interesting. That means you need to keep them on a leash when on walks. Because Italian Greyhounds are skinny and don’t have a thick double coat, you need to protect them from the cold in winter.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
These strong and muscular gray dogs are brave and tenacious. They’re very energetic dogs that benefit from a lot of mental stimulation and cute toys. Although once associated with the fighting pits of England, these broad pups are now very sweet-natured and have a particular affection for children. But saying that, it’s important you do your research as these dogs are sometimes still the victims of underground dog fighting and unethical breeding.
Staffies come in a range of colors – a particularly beautiful one being a deep charcoal blue. They don’t require much grooming as their short coats shed minimally and only need the occasional brush.
As is the case with other gray dog breeds, the Cane Corso can be traced back to Ancient Rome. These strong dogs are fierce protectors of family and property when they need to be but are also pretty laid back most of the time. Although many think they’re a scary dog breed (which helps them be amazing guard dogs) they’re actually pretty laid back and even affectionate.
The breed standard accepts Cane Corsos in gray and gray brindle (which looks a bit stripey). These fierce dogs are noble and intelligent and benefit a lot from consistent and fun dog training. With that, you’ll have an exceptionally loyal best friend and a personal bodyguard!
Ok, so a miniature Schnauzer may not technically be gray, but it can be salt and pepper – which gives it the appearance of being a beautiful charcoal gray. These robust little dogs have the iconic Schnauzer beard as well as a very sporty body. They’re intelligent and good with children too.
They were first bred as ratters on farms so they can have a prey drive for smaller animals so it’s not recommended they’re in a home with smaller pets. Getting them a fun, squeaky toy will keep them entertained though! As well as salt and pepper, these minimal shedding pups also come in black and black and white.
Check out the beautiful Schnoodle for a gray Schnauzer mix breed!
All three sizes (standard, toy, and miniature) can come in gray. Poodles are very clever animals that are highly trainable and love to learn new things. They also have a lot of energy and need consistent and fun exercise (preferably around water). These beautiful dogs have tightly curled hair which can often be trimmed into the iconic Poodle haircut.
A great thing about Poodles is that they’re considered to be a hypoallergenic dog breed. This means they don’t shed – or barely shed at all. As well as blue and gray, these athletic pups come in a number of different colors. In fact, they’re so diverse they can be everything from apricot to black!
These spitz-type dogs are incredibly strong and were bred to haul heavy loads across difficult and cold terrain. Many confuse them with Huskies because of their fluffy coats, curled tails, and pointy ears. But, if you put the two of them together, you’ll see that Alaskan Malamutes are much larger than Siberian Huskies and have a much wider face.
The breed standard for these beautiful dogs accepts 9 different colors, one of which is gray and white. As you can imagine, Malamutes require daily brushing to keep their fluffy coats looking good. It’s also important to remember that these dogs are pack animals and need to know that you’re the leader. If they don’t, a Malamute will easily try to become top dog.
American Pit Bull Terrier
Unlike the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the Pit Bull isn’t accepted as a breed by the AKC. These medium-sized dogs want to be the heart of any family. They’re very loving but really need to be loved in return. They’re excellent around children and have even gotten the name ‘nanny dog’ because of how caring they are. It’s possible for black Pit Bulls to have the recessive gene and have gray puppies!
As is the case with similar gray dog breeds, Pit Bulls have been the victims of years of unethical breeding for dog fighting. You really need to research your breeder and make sure you’re adopting a puppy from a responsible one that cares about the welfare of the breed.
If you’re looking for an adorable, gray mixed breed why not think about a Pitsky. The Pit Bull Husky mix has two potentially gray parent breeds and is a wonderful family pet!
Gray Dog Breeds – The Sum Up
There are lots of stunning gray dogs. The ones on this list are all purebred but you can also find a huge variety of gray mixed breeds. What’s important to bear in mind is that the dog is healthy and that they’ve been well bred. You also need to consider your experience and whether you’d be able to train a particularly independent breed or not. It’s OK to like a particular colored dog more than others, but it shouldn’t be the main reason you adopt a pup!