Whether you’re trying to complete the alphabet with your menagerie or losing a game of Scattergories, sometimes it’s important to know all the dog breeds that start with a certain letter.
This specific example will be brought to you by the letter “D.” We cover every single dog breed that starts with “D,” so if you’re looking for information on Dutch Shepherds or Dobermans, you’ve come to the right place.
One of the most famous “D” breeds is also one of the smallest. These little wiener dogs are the 12th most popular breed according to the AKC, and Dachshunds are known for being equal parts playful and stubborn. Surprisingly, they make good guard dogs, although you’ll need to socialize them to ward off unwanted aggression.
No, they don’t actually have 99 pups in each litter, but Dalmatians are incredible dogs all the same. While commonly known as firehouse dogs now, they were bred to be dogs of war back in their native Croatia. These dogs are outgoing but suspicious of strangers, so tell your guests to earn their trust before petting them. Remind them to speak up too — Dalmatians are prone to deafness.
3. Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Hailing from Scotland, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a scruffy pup that closely resembles the more-popular West Highland Terrier. This breed is actually at risk of extinction, so if you like what you see, adopt one while you can. They’re low maintenance, although they do love decorating your yard with as many holes as they can get away with.
4. Danish-Swedish Farmdog
The Danish-Swedish Farmdogs are just as their name implies: farm dogs from Denmark and Sweden. These medium-sized pups can do just about everything from working on your farm to guarding your stuff, and their gentle demeanor makes them excellent pets.
5. Denmark Feist
The Denmark Feist is a small hunting dog whose origins date back to Virginia in the early 20th century. The first Denmark Feist was sold to the Slade family in exchange for three opossum hides, a large raccoon, and a wagon wheel — a price that seems totally fair, in our opinion. These dogs are known for being completely silent while hunting, and they are used to track down everything from bobcats to feral pigs.
Some people would argue that the Dingo is a separate species and therefore not deserving of a place on this list. We disagree because these feral mutts resemble other dogs in just about every way possible. They’re said to have a “commensalistic” relationship with indigenous Australians; this means they can live together but also function perfectly well when apart.
7. Doberman Pinscher
The ferocious-seeming Doberman Pinscher was developed in 1890 by a German tax collector. These dogs look like fuzzy rockets, and they’re often used as guard dogs or for military or police applications. However, many modern Dobermans (especially those bred in America) are actually quite gentle and trusting of strangers, making them wonderful companions.
8. Dogo Argentino
The powerfully-built Dogo Argentino was bred to hunt wild boar and other big game in Argentina in the early part of the 20th century. It’s a mix of several other large breeds, notably the Cordoba Dog and the Great Dane. They can be loving and loyal to their families, but they need training and socialization as pups so they won’t view every single stranger as a threat to be dealt with.
9. Dogo Guatemalteco
The Dogo Guatemalteco is a Mastiff-type dog hailing from Guatemala (it’s actually their national dog). These dogs were used for bull-fighting when first bred, but they have since been put to work as guard dogs, farm dogs, and pets. They’re loving and affectionate toward their families but can be wary of outsiders, so it’s imperative that you train and socialize them as much as possible.
10. Dogo Sardesco
An Italian Molosser-type dog, the Dogo Sardesco was originally used to guard livestock, although it was often conscripted into the army to function as a dog of war. Despite being native to Sardinia, the breed is most popular in Norway, thanks to one particular breeder who took a shine to these animals.
11. Dogue Brasileiro
Also known as the Brazilian Dogo, the Dogue Brasileiro is an offshoot of the Bull Terrier. The breed started in 1978 when a Brazilian breeder mixed his Bull Terrier with a neighbor’s Boxer; the resulting pups were both stronger than their parents and more loving and affectionate. Nevertheless, they make great guard dogs and have a long lifespan for bigger pups (around 13 years).
12. Dogue de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux — a.k.a. the French Mastiff — is a huge animal, regularly tipping the scales in excess of 150 pounds. They were used to pull carts and move heavy objects in the 19th century, although they were quickly promoted to guarding castles. We can’t imagine anyone storming the gates with these dogs standing watch!
13. Drentse Patrijshond
The Drentse Patrijshond is also known as the Dutch Partridge Dog, but since there are only about 5,000 of them in the world, it’s not likely to come up that often. These Spaniel-like pooches are extremely quick and agile, and they’ll both point to and retrieve fallen prey, making them versatile hunting companions.
The Drever is a Swedish scent hound that looks like a cross between a Corgi and a Beagle. It’s used for drevs, which is a type of deer hunt in which the dog drives the animals directly toward the hunters. They’re almost always used exclusively as hunting dogs rather than pets, which is probably a good thing — the last thing you want is to come home to discover that your dog chased an entire deer herd into your living room.
Dunkers were bred by Norwegian hunters to track hares. These dogs are friendly but require a ton of activity, so we hope you have a big backyard.
16. Dutch Shepherd
Predictably, the Dutch Shepherd was bred by Dutch farmers to watch over their flocks. This dog looks like a brindle-colored version of its German cousin, and like those dogs, Dutch Shepherds make excellent guard dogs. These dogs almost went extinct during WWII, and it’s still a rare breed today, although Dutch breeders are working hard to remedy that.
17. Dutch Smoushond
The shaggy Dutch Smoushond was bred to eliminate rats and mice in stables in the Netherlands. They’re popular in their native country still, although they’re virtually unknown in the rest of the world. Despite being from the Netherlands, they were labeled as Dutch to avoid being confused with the Brussels Griffon.
We Give These “D” Dogs an A
There you have it: 17 different dog breeds, all of them beginning with the letter “D.” These pups run the gamut from tiny little lap dogs to giant beasts of burden, so you’re guaranteed to find one to your liking.
Beyond having their names start with the same letter, these dogs have one other thing in common: They’re all absolutely adorable.
Featured Image Credit: Liliya Kulianionak, Shutterstock
- 1. Dachshund
- 2. Dalmatian
- 3. Dandie Dinmont Terrier
- 4. Danish-Swedish Farmdog
- 5. Denmark Feist
- 6. Dingo
- 7. Doberman Pinscher
- 8. Dogo Argentino
- 9. Dogo Guatemalteco
- 10. Dogo Sardesco
- 11. Dogue Brasileiro
- 12. Dogue de Bordeaux
- 13. Drentse Patrijshond
- 14. Drever
- 15. Dunker
- 16. Dutch Shepherd
- 17. Dutch Smoushond
- We Give These “D” Dogs an A