15 Blue Dog Breeds for Lovers of this Unique Color

Blue Neapolitan Mastiff

Purple Collar Pet Photography / Getty Images

A blue dog is not truly blue, but more of a silvery-gray or icy color. Blue-coated dogs have noses that appear to have a bluish shine to them, and many have blue eyes that emphasize their blue coat sheen. The blue color can vary from light, pale blue, or a deeper, steely shade of blue.

Blue dogs come in all sizes. Some breeds are known for their blue coat, while others carry the blue coat gene outside the breed standard. Many blue dog breeds are sought after and highly prized for their good looks and unique blue coat markings, including blue tick, blue merle, blue harlequin, blue brindle.

Breed Characteristics

Blue dog breeds carry the recessive genes for blue coat coloration from their parents. Both parent dogs do not have to be blue, but each will have the gene for a diluted black coat. If your dog has the merle gene, it can manifest as mottled patches of color. Merle-pattered dogs cannot consistently create pigment, which explains the bluish coloration. Blue merle dogs also have a greater chance of having blue eyes or heterochromia—two different colored eyes. 

Color dilution alopecia is an inherited hair loss that affects dogs that have a dilute fur color, such as blue or fawn. Also known as color mutant alopecia, this inherited disease is a result of a recessive gene that causes hair shafts to break along with overall stunted hair growth. 

Here are the top 15 breeds known for carrying the blue coat gene.

  • 01 of 15

    Australian Cattle Dog

    Australian Cattle Dog Blue Heeler

     Paulo Hoeper / Getty Images

    Also known as the blue heeler, it’s no surprise that the Australian cattle dog lands on the list of best blue dog breeds. While a red coat is also possible (known as the red heeler), a blue coat on this dog may be solid, mottled, or speckled according to the breed standard. Other markings in black or tan may be present, but the overall impression of a blue heeler is a blue cast. 

    Breed Overview

    Group: Herding (AKC)

    Height: 17 to 20 inches

    Weight: 35 to 50 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth, hard double-coat; coat color is usually blue, blue mottled, blue speckled, but may also be red

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

  • 02 of 15

    Kerry Blue Terrier

    Kerry Blue Terrier

    Ekaterina Gorokhova / Getty Images

    As the name suggests, the Kerry blue terrier only comes in one color: blue. This breed has a unique, curly coat that ranges in shade from a deep slate to a light blue-gray. While the muzzle, head, ears, tail, and feet may be darker (or even black), the breed standard calls for a dog that is described as either "blue-gray" or "gray-blue," with either color showing more dominantly. However, the blue hue should not be missing. All Kerry blue puppies are born black. Through a process called "clearing," the coat of a Kerry blue terrier gradually changes to the characteristic blue coat color by about 18 months.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Terrier (AKC)

    Height: 17 to 19 inches

    Weight: 30 to 40 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short, blue coat of curls that is soft and wavy with no undercoat

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

  • 03 of 15

    Weimaraner

    Blue weimaraner

    Mariana Mikhailova / Getty Images

    Weimaraners are typically steely gray, exhibiting their dilute brown coat gene. In some Weimaraners, a black dilute gene occurs instead, producing a dark gray-colored dog or blue Weimaraner. According to the breed standard, blue-coated Weimaraners are disqualified. Dog shows aside, people searching for blue dog breeds are often drawn to the athletic and striking look of a blue Weimaraner.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sporting (AKC)

    Height: 23 to 27 inches

    Weight: 55 to 90 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short coat; blue to gray color

    Life Expectancy: 11 to 13 years

  • 04 of 15

    Chihuahua

    Blue longhair chihuahua

    stephanie_grafvocat / Getty Images

    One of the smallest dog breeds, there is no shortage of coat colors for the Chihuahua—including a beautiful blue coat. The recessive blue gene in Chihuahuas is relatively rare. When it appears, the blue may be solid or appear in combination with tan, white, fawn, or brown markings. A blue coat can turn up in long-haired and short-haired Chihuahuas.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 5 to 8 inches

    Weight: Up to 6 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short or long coat in many different colors, including black, white, fawn, blue, and more

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 20 years

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15

    Bearded Collie

    Blue bearded collie outside

    Erik Räven / Getty Images

    The shaggy coat of the bearded collie comes in a handful of colors, including blue. Commonly seen with white markings on the face, chest, legs, and tail, the body is always solid in color from the shoulders back. Blue bearded collies may be born with a darker color coat—blue or gray—that gradually lightens as they mature. 

    Breed Overview

    Group: Herding (AKC)

    Height: 20 to 22 inches

    Weight: 45 to 55 pounds

    Coat and Color: Distinctive shaggy, long, coarse topcoat; colors include white with red, brown, or brindle markings

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 06 of 15

    Boston Terrier

    Blue Boston terrier puppy

    JStaley401 / Getty Images

    The Boston terrier wears a little tuxedo, and while his coat is usually black-and-white in color, a recessive red or blue coat sometimes occurs. The blue coat variation isn’t acceptable according to the AKC breed standard. The blue coat of a Boston terrier may appear distinctly blue or have a silver or gray shade.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-sporting (AKC)

    Height: 15 to 17 inches

    Weight: 12 to 25 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth coat in solid colors or accented with white; black, white, blue, and red

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 07 of 15

    Italian Greyhound

    Blue Italian greyhound

    MarkHatfield / Getty Images

    The Italian greyhound's long legs and petite body give this dog a graceful look—especially when it happens to be sporting a blue coat. While not exclusively a blue dog breed, the Italian greyhound does carry the gene for a dilute black coat, looking like a dark gray coat with a distinctly blue cast. 

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 13 to 15 inches

    Weight: 7 to 14 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short, smooth coat in a variety of colors including black, blue, fawn, and more

    Life Expectancy: 14 to 15 years

  • 08 of 15

    Blue Lacy

    Blue Lacy dog

    mrod / Getty Images

    The blue Lacy is a rare blue dog breed, developed by the Lacy brothers as a rancher’s right-hand companion and herding dog in Texas in the mid-1800s. While not yet AKC-recognized, this breed is Texas' state dog. These dogs carry the recessive gene responsible for producing a blue coat and may also produce red, cream, or tricolor puppies. The blue Lacy is known for having a natural aptitude for work and a high level of intelligence. 

    Breed Overview

    Group: Not recognized by the AKC

    Height: 18 to 21 inches

    Weight: 25 to 50 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short and smooth coat in various shades of blue, such as gray, light silver, or deeper charcoal but may also be red or tricolored

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    Neapolitan Mastiff

    Blue Neapolitan mastiff

    Salima Senyavskaya / Getty Images

    For a giant blue dog breed, look no further than the Neapolitan mastiff. This large breed is recognized by its imposing frame and loose skin, which often wrinkles around the head. A blue coat is relatively common, along with black, mahogany, and tawny, and they may have a brindled or striped appearance. Blue is an accepted color in the AKC breed standard.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 24 to 31 inches

    Weight: 110 to 150 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short coat that comes in black, blue, mahogany, and tawny colors

    Life Expectancy: 7 to 9 years

  • 10 of 15

    Shar-Pei

    Blue Shar-Pei dog

    bruev / Getty Images

    Most people know the Chinese shar-pei for its folds of skin and wrinkled appearance. This dog breed comes in a variety of coat colors, including blue. The breed standard allows for a shar-pei coat to be any color—as long as it’s solid. Blue shar-peis can range from a lighter hue of gray-blue to a deeper slate color. Some of these dogs have shading along the back and ears, but it must be of the same color as the rest of the coat. Interestingly, this blue dog breed has a blue-black tongue regardless of coat color.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-sporting (AKC)

    Height: 18 to 20 inches

    Weight: 45 to 60 pounds

    Coat and Color: Coats are very short and bristly in black, brown, cream, and blue

    Life Expectancy: 8 to 12 years

  • 11 of 15

    Irish Wolfhound

    Blue Irish wolfhound

    Anke Sauerwein / Getty Images

    The gene responsible for diluting a black coat and making it appear blue also occurs in Irish wolfhounds. It’s believed that this trait was inherited from another giant blue dog breed, the Great Dane. While many blue Irish wolfhounds appear somewhat gray at first glance, their blue coats have a distinctive blue tint and might also have liver-colored paw pads, nose, and eye rims.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound (AKC)

    Height: 30 inches and up

    Weight: 105 to 120 pounds

    Coat and Color: Tall, long body; rough coat; colors include black, blue, brindle, cream, gray, and more

    Life Expectancy: 6 to 8 years

  • 12 of 15

    American Staffordshire Terrier

    American staffordshire terrier with blue coat

    Holly Hildreth / Getty Images

    The American Staffordshire terrier is a breed of many colors with short, coarse hair. Its steel gray coat is often described as blue. It generally appears in combination with white patches.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Terrier (AKC)

    Height: 17 to 19 inches at the shoulder

    Weight: 40 to 70 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short, smooth coat in black, brindle, fawn, sable, blue, and brown

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    Bluetick Coonhound

    The bluetick coonhound's smooth, glossy coat is dark blue, thickly mottled or "ticked" with black spots on the back, ears, and sides. This mottling gives the impression of a navy blue color. Its head and ears are mostly black, with tan markings on the face.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound (AKC)

    Height: 21 to 27 inches

    Weight: 45 to 80 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short, sleek, and shiny coat in dark blue with a thickly mottled body; black spots on back, ears, and sides; may have tan markings.

    Life Expectancy: 11 to 12 years

  • 14 of 15

    Australian Shepherd

    Australian shepherds that appear blue usually have a merle coat pattern common in the breed. Its merle coat is a patchy smattering of gray shades, predominantly appearing as blue. The blue merle Australian Shepherd usually has a combination of blue, gray, black, and white in his fur. Blue merle Aussies may have stunning blue eyes, brown eyes, amber eyes, or even one blue eye and one that is brown.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Herding (AKC)

    Height: 18 to 23 inches

    Weight: 40 to 65 pounds

    Coat and Color: Medium to long coat in blue merle, red merle, black, or red; all colors may have white markings and/or tan (copper) points

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years

  • 15 of 15

    Great Dane

    Great Danes can have a solid blue coat or a harlequin blue coat pattern. Harlequin looks like a white base with solid splotches of blue. It’s easily confused with merle coats, but harlequins tend to be just two colors or shades, and the large patches of color are a bit more distinct. Only two purebred dogs display harlequin coats: Great Danes and Beaucerons.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 28 to 34 inches at the shoulder

    Weight: 100 to 200 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short hair in brindle, fawn, blue, black, harlequin (white with black patches), or mantle (black and white)

    Life Expectancy: 6 to 8 years

Breeds to Avoid

If blue dogs meet your fancy, then pure white dogs, devoid of any color, would likely not interest you. The snowy coats of Arctic dogs like the Samoyed and American Eskimo dog adapted to match their frozen surroundings while white dogs like the Komondor with its long white dreadlocks blended in with the sheep it would herd. Other popular white breeds include the Great Pyrenees, West Highland terriers, and bichon frise.