From the affable Affenpinscher to the exotic Azawakh, some fantastic dog breeds beginning with the letter A. From small species to large, from fluffy to coarse, one of these may be your ideal dog.
The dogs listed below are breeds that the American Kennel Club has recognized.
The Affenpinscher is a part of the toy group. The Affenpinscher is a lovely small dog, measuring less than 12 inches long and weighing up to 10 pounds.
This breed is also known as the monkey terrier due to the name Affe meaning monkey in German. The Affenpinscher is a very loyal dog and fearless for its size.
If ever a dog was meant to look like a supermodel, then the Afghan hound is that dog. The Afghan hound is enormous, measuring up to 27 inches and weighing more than 50 pounds.
They have a silky coat, which is thick but fine—a beautiful, loyal, but sometimes silly dog.
“The King of Terriers” is their nickname for a good reason. Originating from England, the Airedale is the largest of the terrier breeds. They were initially bred from other terriers as hunting and working farm dogs.
They have also been used as police dogs, guide dogs, big game, and fowl hunting. At 23 inches long and up to 70 pounds in weight, the Airedale is not the most prominent breed but has a big personality.
The Akita originates from mountainous regions in Japan. This breed is a powerful, muscular dog known for its courage and loyalty. Growing up to 28 inches, the males can weigh up to 130 pounds.
They have a double coat similar to the German Shepherd and are a dominant breed, affectionate with family members but wary of strangers.
The Alaskan Malamute is a robust dog, originally bred to haul freight and later used to pull sleds in freezing Alaskan conditions.
Built for power but not for speed, the Alaskan Malamute can weigh up to 85 pounds and reach a height of 25 inches. They need a firm owner to stop them from chasing after small animals.
American English Coonhound
Descended from Foxhounds, the American English Coonhound was bred to pursue raccoons. Only recognized in 2011 as a full member of the hound group by the AKC, they can weigh up to 65 pounds with a height of 26 inches.
A breed that needs regular exercise, the Coonhound does make a good pet with the proper training.
American Eskimo Dog
The American Eskimo Dog comes in three different size varieties; toy, miniature, and standard.
The toy stands 12 inches high and weighs up to 10 pounds. The miniature stands up to 15 inches tall and weighs up to 20 pounds; the standard is 19 inches tall and weighs up to 35 pounds.
They made excellent guard dogs and were originally bred for this purpose. They are very vocal dogs.
A cousin of the English Foxhound, the American Foxhound is a scent hound bred to hunt foxes. They are very good-natured with other dogs, cats, and children and love their owners.
The American Foxhound has distinctive bark called an almost musical bay. They are one of the rarest breeds in the American Kennel Club. They stand up to 25 inches in height and can weigh up to 70 pounds.
American Hairless Terrier
Although the name makes it sound like they are hairless, they come in two varieties; hairless and non-hairless. One of the newest members of the AKC, the American Hairless Terrier, was recognized fully in 2016.
Perfect for allergy sufferers, the hairless version has no hair. A small dog weighing up to 16 pounds and a height of 16 inches makes a fantastic addition to any family.
American Leopard Hound
Part of the AKC Foundation Stock Service since 2012, the American Leopard Hound comes with a leopard or spotted hair pattern. They come in many colors, including blue, red, black, or brindle, making up two-thirds of their coat, the other being white.
One of the cleverest breeds on the planet, they protect children. They weigh up to 70 pounds with a height of up to 27 inches.
American Staffordshire Terrier
Also known as the Amstaff, the American Staffordshire Terrier is very loyal and trustworthy. Recognized in 1936 by the AKC, the Amstaff loves being part of a family.
Very muscular and stocky, they have a height of 19 inches and weigh up to 70 pounds. The Amstaff is a descendant of the American Pit Bull Terrier.
American Water Spaniel
The American Water Spaniel was initially bred as a hunting dog that could be transported in small riverboats and withstand the icy river temperatures.
They have a waterproof coat with webbed toes and thickly padded feet. They are 18 inches high and weigh up to 45 pounds.
Anatolian Shepherd Dog
One of the quickest breeds on this list, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog, was bred to protect livestock. Originally from Turkey, they originate from some of the oldest domestic-canine animals.
They shed their coats excessively and must be brushed once or twice weekly. They stand in height up to 29 inches and weigh up to 150 pounds, although they look a lot heavier due to their thick coat.
Also known as the Appenzeller Mountain Dog or Appenzell Cattle Dog, the Sennenhund is a fearless guard dog. The Appenzeller is a great farm dog and originally bred to be a cattle-herding dog.
They are not suitable for apartment living and need a lot of exercise. The Appenzeller Sennenhund stands up to 22 inches tall and weighs up to 70 pounds.
Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog is another breed suited to cattle herding. Related to the wild dingo, this breed of cattle dog is muscular and sturdy, with great strength.
At 20 inches high, they can weigh up to 50 pounds. They have a white coat with black or red hairs interspersed and, generally, a mask covering one or both eyes.
Another breed of the Foundation Stock Service, the Australian Kelpie, has a great deal of energy. They are great sheepdogs, having descended from Collie dogs.
There are two varieties of Kelpie: The Show Kelpie and the Working Kelpie. The name Kelpie comes from a shape-shifting water spirit of mythological Celtic folklore. They can grow up to 20 inches in height and weigh 44 pounds.
An intelligent dog, the Australian Shepherd, is also known as the “Aussie.” With a height of 23 inches and a weight of up to 65 pounds, these dogs have a beautiful, long, tri-colored, bi-colored, blue merle or red merle coat.
These dogs are not suitable for home life due to their high work drive and are bred as working dogs.
Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog
Another working Australian dog, the Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, is big on personality. Another AKC Foundation Stock Service member stands 20 inches in height and weighs up to 45 pounds.
They were bred from Smithfield, herding dogs, and cross-bred with the wild dingo. Their most distinctive feature is where they get their name, a short 4-inch tail.
Part of the Terrier group, the Australian Terrier is a small breed at 11 inches high and weighing up to 20 pounds. They have a medium-length coat with a distinctive ruff around the neck.
They are quick to be trained and are fantastic watchdogs. The Australian Terrier may not be for you if you have other dogs in the household.
From West Africa, the Azawakh are from Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, in the Azawakh Valley. Part of the Hound Group, they grow up to 29 inches tall and weigh up to 55 pounds.
They have short coats, with colors of sand to dark brown, brindle, and red. They can also have a dark mask on their face, white tips to their feet, tail tips, and big.
Bryan Harding is a member of the American Society of Mammalogists and a member of the American Birding Association. Bryan is especially fond of mammals and has studied and worked with them around the world. Bryan serves as owner, writer, and publisher of North American Nature.