Some may say that elegance is in the eye of the beholder, but in case your eye needs a little guidance, we’ve put together a list of 10 elegant dog breeds. This is by no means an exhaustive list, so do not worry if your breed didn’t make the list below. Rather, see it as a fun exploration of dignified, classy, and of course adorable breeds.
The list below is based on descriptions from the authoritative American Kennel Club, which was founded in 1884 and maintains a Registry of purebred dogs.
For context, the Oxford Dictionary defines “elegant” as “pleasingly graceful and stylish in appearance or manner.”
With that in mind, let’s go through a list of some elegant dogs!
This beauty’s name translates to “butterfly” in French given the distinctive shape created by the sweeping hair hanging from each of its ears. The AKC describes Paps as “dainty and elegant, with a plumed tail, and a long, silky coat of several color combinations, the base color being white.” Très belle!
Fun Fact: “Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette were known fans of the breed” (AKC).
These classy, athletic pups come in three sizes— toy, dwarf, and standard. Petfinder puts it perfectly, describing the Poodle as a “square-proportioned dog with a proud carriage and elegant appearance. The dog should move with a light, springy, effortless stride.”
Fun Fact: The poodle’s dense, curly coat of hair is water-resistant.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Classier than Bridgerton, more British than Hugh Grant, more handsome than David Beckham— it’s the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This regal toy spaniel is known for its shiny, luxurious coat that can come in one of four color patterns: Blenheim (a white base with chestnut markings), Tri-Color (a white background with black markings), Black and Tan, or Ruby (a brilliant red).
Fun Fact: Per the American Kennel Club, “According to the famed diarist of the Restoration era, Samuel Pepys, Charles II seemed more concerned with breeding spaniels than ruling Britain.”
A favorite for fashionable celebrities to carry around to posh lunches, the Chihuahua is a gorgeous toy breed that both demands and deserves attention. According to DogTime.com, this tiny breed — which can weigh as little as 2 pounds — is highly sensitive and prone to panicking if left alone, making it an elegant little diva.
Fun Fact: Paris Hilton’s late dog Tinkerbell is one of the most famous of these “purse puppies,” a term that Vetstreet.com defines as “toy dogs toted around in chic upscale doggie bags by high-profile celebrities and socialites.”
The Weimaraner is a majestic silvery-gray dog with piercing light eyes. Also known as “The Silver Ghost” or “The Grey Ghost,” it stands up to 2.25 feet tall. The AKC describes the Weimaraner as “a picture of streamlined grace and balance.” This elegant dog is also incredibly loving and yearns to be an integral member of the family.
Fun Fact: According to the Weimaraner Club of America, these dogs were bred by the Nobles of Weimar in Germany to be the perfect hunting dog. The distinctive gray coat was likely an accidental byproduct of this breeding.
This 7-inch-tall cloud of a dog is known for its bubbly personality and ever-smiling face. On top of being unbelievably cute, Poms are intelligent, active, and generally healthy.
Fun Fact: The elegant, regal breed was a favorite of Queen Victoria, who first saw the dog when visiting Florence, Italy and brought it back to Britain. The AKC describes a report that “as the aged queen lay dying in 1901, her favorite Pom, Turi, kept vigil at the foot of her bed.”
The Doberman is a muscular and fast dog with a gorgeous glistening coat, usually black and tan-colored. It is basically considered royalty in the dog world given its athletic gait and overall elegance. Dobermans are known for being excellent protection dogs.
Fun Fact: People used to hate tax collectors so much that taxman and dog breeder Louis Dobermann bred the earliest version of this dog to be his loyal and dependable protector as he made his collection rounds in 19th century Germany.
With its silky chestnut coat, the Irish Setter is a stunning dog known for its speed and grace. Even-tempered, lovable, and sporty, it has range as a great playmate for the kids and ideal hunting partner. The AKC even describes this elegant breed as “aristocratic.”
Fun Fact: While Irish setters are now known for their distinctive red coat, 17th century records describe them as red and white— a favorite coloring among hunters because it was easy to find in the field (Vetstreet.com).
These tiny cuties are known for often having a floor-length coat that particularly posh owners like to adorn with a bow on the crown of their heads. This toy breed is playful, friendly, and agile. Their silky coat and effortless gait lends them their refined and aristocratic appearance.
Fun Fact: The Greeks came upon this breed on the archipelago of Malta thousands of years ago, and Aristotle himself referred to this dog as “perfectly proportioned.” Talk about an endorsement of elegance!
Last but not least on today’s list is the Collie, whose rough variety the AKC describes as boasting “one of the canine kingdom’s most impressively showy coats.” Collies love children and are the perfect family pet. They are athletic, intelligent, and good-natured.
Fun Fact: This Scottish-bred dog is known for its ability to foresee owners’ needs.
Thus concludes today’s tour of a few notably graceful, stylish dogs. With a combination of beautiful coats, smooth gaits, and smiling faces, these ten breeds are an excellent choice for owners seeking a pet whose beauty will wow those around them. There are many factors beyond appearance to consider when choosing a pet, but it’s as good a place to start as any.
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