8 Gray Dog Breeds & Gray Dog Names

Written by AZ Animals Staff
Published: November 12, 2021
Image Credit Alexandra Morrison Photo/Shutterstock.com
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Gray has a reputation as a boring and drab color, but on the right dog, it can be exciting, fast, and cool. It can even look quite beautiful as it sparkles and shimmers in the sunlight. While many breeds have a gray-colored alternative coat, this article will try to only cover gray dog breeds that are most often associated with this color. Every shade of gray, from dark charcoal to blue-gray and silver, will be strongly considered.

Weimaraner – The Gray Ghost

Gray Dog Breeds
The Weimaraner is sometimes referred to as the “gray ghost” of the dog world, originating from its ghostly coat and eye color along with its stealthy hunting style.

The Weimaraner is a large hunting dog that originated from Germany in the 19th century. It’s named after the city of Weimar around which it was initially bred and developed. Its immense speed and stamina, as well as its acute sense of smell and courageous temperament, helped it track down all kinds of animals, including deer, boar, rabbits, and foxes. Sporting a short gray-brown coat and gray or blue eyes, this breed always seems to make an immediate impression on people. There’s a reason it has acquired the descriptive nickname of the Gray Ghost. A long-haired version of this breed is also recognized by many kennel clubs around the world (though not the American Kennel Club). It has a beautiful silky coat with a feathered tail.

You can read more about the Gray Ghost here.

Suggested Gray Dog Name: Ghost

Ghost is a perfect name for a Weimaraner (or any other gray-colored dog). It has become a particularly popular dog name since the first season of the TV show “Game of Thrones,” which featured a young wolf pup called Ghost.

Greyhound – The Fastest Dog in the World

Gray Dog Breeds
Greyhounds are very playful pups but they also like to just cuddle in their dog bed with their favorite toys.

The modern Greyhound descends from an ancient breed that probably originated thousands of years ago in the Fertile Crescent region. These are widely considered to be the fastest breeds in the world. Some individuals can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, which makes them ideal breeds for the racing circuit. Contrary to expectations, however, these are not hyperactive dogs. They’re actually quite calm and docile once they receive enough daily exercise. While the blue-gray coat color gave them their name, they actually come in many other different colors, including red, white, and black. Brindle, a kind of tiger-striped coat pattern, is also quite common.

You can read more about these very energetic but gentle and disciplined dogs here.

Suggested Gray Dog Name: Luna

As the Latin and Spanish name for the moon (and the name of a Roman goddess who personifies the moon), Luna is a great choice for a female dog. The name is simultaneously elegant, mysterious, and very appropriate.

Irish Wolfhound – The Calm and Gentle Giant

Gray Dog Breeds
The Irish Wolfhound is a historic sighthound dog breed from Ireland that has, by its presence and substantial size, inspired literature, poetry, and mythology.

This massive sighthound, which weighs a minimum of 105 pounds, descends from a mixture of British and Middle Eastern hounds of antiquity. It became specialized for a single purpose: hunting down wolves. By the late 18th century, when wolves had completely disappeared from Ireland, this breed nearly went extinct as well. Only the enterprising effort of a few dedicated breeders saved it from this fate. Many members of this large breed sport a long, shaggy coat of gray, gray brindle, silver, or blue fur. Cream, red, and wheaten are also accepted. This gives it a very distinctive, grizzled appearance that many owners might find appealing. Despite the large size and strong hunting instincts, these are surprisingly calm and affectionate dogs. They may have once tussled with wolves, but they are also very well-suited for the home.

You can read more about the Irish Wolfhound here.

Suggested Gray Dog Name: Pepper

Pepper is an appropriate name for any gray dog breed with a bit of a dark tinge to its fur. It is perhaps a good choice for a dog who’s a little zesty and interesting.

Siberian Husky – A Loyal and Affectionate Working Dog

Gray Dog Breeds
Siberian Huskies were originally bred to help the Chukchi people of Siberia hunt more efficiently—but they’re seriously sweet, friendly, and loyal cuddle bugs, too.

Originally bred by the Chukchi people of Siberia to pull sleds and other light loads over long distances, the Siberian Husky is today one of the most popular breeds in the United States. While very strong and muscular, it is also quite mischievous, outgoing, and affectionate, which appeals to people of all ages. The Husky is characterized by a very thick double coat of contrasting dark and light fur that was obviously adapted for the frigid northern climates in which it was bred.

While several different color schemes are accepted, including black, red, and brown, the traditional gray and white scheme is the most popular color combination. Some people also really like the look of the agouti Husky, in which each strand of fur contains bands of multiple alternating colors. This breed has an unusual feature called heterochromia in which its two eyes are completely different colors from each other. Brown and blue eyes are the most common iris colors.

You can read more about the Siberian Husky here.

Suggested Gray Dog Name: Ash

Ash is a thematically appropriate name for a gray dog breed. It is actually a shortened version for both Ashton or Ashley, so it works for either sex.

Alaskan Malamute – A Happy-Go-Lucky Working Companion

Gray Dog Breeds
Alaskan malamute running on snow. It is slower than other types of sled dogs, but it can travel longer distances thanks to its great stamina and strength.

Aneta Jungerova/Shutterstock.com

The loyal and affectionate Alaskan Malamute is thought to be a descendent of the original domesticated wolf-dogs that came over to the Americas thousands of years ago. A large, powerful breed, weighing up to 85 pounds, it was put to use by the indigenous people to pull heavy sleds across the snow.

Like the Siberian Husky, the Malamute has a very thick double coat of contrasting light and dark fur to keep warm. Gray, silver, seal, and dark blue (including agouti) are some of the most common color combinations, but red and sable are accepted as well. The dark color tends to cover the back, sides, and the top of the head, while the white covers the face, chest, legs, and inner ears. Other important physical features include erect triangular ears, a curved bushy tail, and a long snout. However, unlike the Siberian Husky, blue eyes are generally not accepted in this breed.

You can read more about the Alaskan Malamute here.

Suggested Gray Dog Name: Smoky

Perhaps no other name epitomizes the color gray more than Smoke or Smoky. It’s a good choice for dogs with a solid coat of true gray fur.

Neapolitan Mastiff – A Gigantic Guard Dog

Gray Dog Breeds
The Neapolitan mastiff is an ancient Italian dog breed known for its huge size and profoundly wrinkled fur. 

Dioniya/Shutterstock.com

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a large Italian guard dog, weighing up to 150 pounds, which descended from ancient dogs in the Roman Empire, perhaps dating as far back as 700 BC. The most distinctive physical feature, apart from its immense size, is the incredibly wrinkled skin that sags from the face. The short and smooth coat can come in both a light bluish-gray and darker gray color, sometimes with a brindle pattern. These dogs tend to bond very strongly with a single person, whom they’ll shower with plenty of loyalty, gentleness, and affection. But intruders should beware: these dogs are very wary and suspicious of strangers.

You can read more about these big guard dogs here.

Suggested Gray Dog Name: Dusty

While actually a shortened form of Dustin, this name conjures to mind the brown-gray dirt of a long dusty road. It’s very fitting for a dog with a particularly brindled or muddy kind of appearance.

Old English Sheepdog – A Smart and Gentle Shaggy Dog

Gray Dog Breeds
The Old English Sheepdog is a large, athletic dog breed with an unmistakable shaggy coat. 

Crystal Alba/Shutterstock.com

This iconic herding and driving dog, which originated from England in the late 18th century, sports a long shaggy coat that obscures its eyes and covers its feet. The most common coat colors are gray or dark blue surrounded by white fur. Despite the long hair, the Old English Sheepdog actually has a compact, muscular body to help it drive livestock long distances to the market. As it walks along, owners might notice its distinctive bear-like gait. It’s also a very watchful but gentle breed, protective of children, and a tolerant playmate. It should fit in very well with the family.

You can read more about the Old English Sheepdog here.

Suggested Gray Dog Name: Misty

Misty is generally considered to be a female name that conjures to mind the sensation of a light dew or mist in the morning or evening.

Poodle – The Elegant Companion

Gray Dog Breeds
The Poodle is extremely smart, athletic, and highly trainable.

The elegant Poodle is small water or gundog with a proud, dignified bearing and very intelligent mind. Its original purpose was to retrieve fallen fowl from the water, but today it consistently ranks among the most popular companion breeds in the world. The long coat, which can be either soft or wooly, comes in many different colors, including gray, silver, silver beige, and dark blue. Black, brown, cream, red, and white are accepted as well. There are also three or four different sizes to choose from: the standard Poodle, the medium Poodle, the small miniature Poodle, and the toy Poodle, though the medium Poodle isn’t always recognized by every kennel club.

You can read more about the small elegant Poodle here.

Suggested Gray Dog Name: Silver

This is a great name for any dog with a silvery sheen to its coat. It suggests elegance, luxuriance, and even speed.

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