10 Dog Breeds With White Patches On Their Chests

Photo by Ben Sweet on Unsplash

Are you one of those people who love a dog to have a flash of white on their chest?

Do you like the look of the white against the darker surrounding hair?

Well in my post today, I highlight nine dog breeds who are more likely to have a white patch on their chest than some other breeds.

But before that, I quickly want to explain how the hair on a dog’s coat is coloured.

Or in the case of white hair, how and why it isn’t coloured. 

What causes white patches on a dog’s chest?

White hairs on a dog are the result of there being no colour pigment.

The colours on any dog’s coat are controlled by two pigments- black and red

The exact shade of black or red or both that make up the pattern on the coat are controlled by individual genes.

Scientists know that the gene that causes white hair is the “S Locus” but they don’t understand fully how it works yet. 

White patches or blazes on a dog’s chests is referred to as white trim or residual white

Whilst there is no genetic basis for it, it is clear that some breeds are more likely to have a white patch on their chest.

[1] Border Collie

The border collie is a gorgeous thick-coated breed that is full of energy known for its agility. They were originally bred as herding dogs and are very popular in Scotland. 

The white patch on the border collie chest often flows up around their neck like a collar. Their coat is long, soft, and very full! Typically a border collie is a black or dark brown with their large white patch. Very rarely will you find a blonde border collie, but they do exist.

While they are still used as herding dogs, the agility and intelligence of the border collie make them perfect for dog sports and shows. 

Border collies need a lot of activity and are perfect for families. 

An adult male border collie can grow as big as 19-22in(48-56cm) weighing in at 30-45lbs(14-20kg), they are not small dogs and will need space to grow and run! 

[2] Staffordshire Bull Terrier

A much more robust dog than the border collie, Staffies have a very thin, short-haired coat. The most common colors Staffie coats have are black, brown, or tan. Sometimes Staffies have a thin white patch on their chest. The white patches seen on staffies are often small, either covering some of the chests or growing under their neck. 

Their full name is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and gives a better idea of their type of breed. Staffies are a mix of the bulldog and terrier, giving them their short and stocky shape. 

These dogs love to play and run! Though they are fairly energetic, Staffies are sensitive to heat and shouldn’t play too hard on hot summer days.  

An adult male will grow as short as 14-16in(36-41cm) and as wide as 28-37lbs(13-17kg), these companion dogs are perfect for families and love playing with children. 

[3] Bernese Mountain Dog

Now for a bigger breed, the Bernese mountain dog is a large and fluffy work dog. Their coat is long and thick, often layered in black, brown, and white. Their white chest patch is a distinct feature of the breed. The white often fully covers the chest and flows up all the way to the face. 

Though the Bernese mountain dog needs daily exercise, they are actually more mellow than other breeds. This breed is well recognized for their loyalty and obedience – and their need for grooming. The thick long coats of the Bernese will shed and need to be maintained. 

An adult male Bernese mountain dog will grow to 25-28in(64-70cm) with a weight ranging from 84-110lbs(38-50kg) and will not like living in a small space. Bernese mountain dogs need space to run and grow, although they may have calm temperaments they are still working dogs!  

[4] Cane Corso

Another fairly large dog, the Cane Corso is an Italian mastiff breed that can be seen working with law enforcement or as a glorious guard dog. The AKC labels him as majestic and it’s not hard to see why – with his muscular body and extremely fine coat the Cane Corso has a command over his strength and guards with his stare. 

These dogs pack a lot of power and will thrive in environments where they can run and play – they actually need it to keep their muscle tone as well. Though they can be intimidating to look at, they are very good companion dogs and are loyal to their owners. 

The short coat that covers the Cane Corso grows most often in shades of black, but can also be slightly marbled with brown and white. Some Cane Corsos have a striking patch of white in the center of their chest, typically across the shoulders and often in a T-like shape. 

The adult male Cane Corso will grow to be 24-28in(62-70cm) in height and 99-110lbs(45-50kg) in weight.  

[5] Bloodhound

How can you not love those droopy faces! The bloodhound is incredibly famous for its distinct sense of smell. For centuries they have helped track animals – and people, with their determined noses. Bloodhounds are still used to help police efforts today!

Also known for their time spent with royalty, it makes sense that these dogs are mild-mannered, calm, and patient. Bloodhounds are great around children and play well with other animals.

Though they are calm they do have a strike of independence in them and will follow the scent they please.

Bloodhounds have very short coats that are rough to the touch, their colors are typically black and brown, or red. They can sometimes grow a white patch on the lower part of their chest, often in a small round shape. 

An adult male bloodhound can be anywhere from 25-27in(64-69cm) tall and weigh between 90-110lbs(41-50kg). 

[6] Neopolitan Mastiff

Another droopy face with an even floppier body! The Neopolitan Mastiff may be covered in rolls, but underneath lies a dignified, loyal guard dog. They are always wary of strangers and protective over those that are close. 

However loyal they may be, it does not prevent this breed from being fairly stubborn while training. 

A Neopolitan Mastiff will love to play, but access activity can be harmful to his body. Their joints and bones can be damaged when faced with the heaviness of their body! By the time they are 3 or 4, they tend to be very laid back adults needing little activity. 

The very short rough coat grows mostly in shades of black, sometimes tan, and is very easy to maintain. Occasionally these majestic guards will have a beautiful crest of white on their chest. The white patch often perfectly highlights their strong bone structure from shoulder to neck.

They can grow into their large size ranging from 25-30in(63-77cm) and 130-150lbs(60-70kg)

[7] Boxer

A very proper looking breed, Boxers are native to Germany packing lots of energy and life. They have a strong muscular structure and make perfect guard or family dogs. Boxers love to play and are full of energy, and have been known to run off for a chase – so be careful where you let them roam! 

Though they love to play and need lots of exercises, Boxers cannot stand the heat. Boxers should have ample water and shaded areas when they go outside to play.

Their very short and coarse coat is either black or tan, almost always with a large white patch on their chest. The white in the Boxer’s coat fills their chest and flows into the middle of the face, making them look like adorable characters with lots of personality. Their paws are also often white, almost like little booties. 

These stunning creatures grow to about 22-25in(57-63cm) in height and 60-71lbs(27-32kg) in weight as males. 

[8] Azawakh

Unlike some of the other breeds we talked about, the Azawakh is very thin and small. Though still tall, these lanky animals hail from West Africa where they were originally hunting dogs. Now the Azawakh acts as a camp guard or family pet. 

They are incredibly sporty and will want plenty of exercise to keep them healthy. Being native to the desert, though, the Azawakh can’t stand the cold and shouldn’t be taken out in the snow. 

Their coats are extremely short and fine, their color is most often tan to red with a white patch on their chest. The white on the Azawakh typically fills the chest and neckline, sometimes Azawakhs are entirely white! 

An adult male Azawakh can measure to about 25-29in(63-73cm) and weigh in at 44-55lbs(20-25kg). 

[9] Redbone Coonhound

The Redbone Coonhound has been bred as a hunting dog in the Southern United States since the 19th century. These hounds are professionals at tracking small game and intimidating larger animals. 

Redbone Coonhounds are incredibly loyal to their owners and only want to make them happy. You may tire of their barking, but it is only out of love – and they may have seen a squirrel for you to hunt. 

If you’re not taking them hunting, they will still want plenty of exercise and playtime to get out their energy. 

Their coat often grows in a beautiful red color, perfect for hunting in the south. The Redbone Coonhound’s short and smooth coat is sometimes accented by a light patch of white on the chest. The white patch is often hidden under their belly or is very faint across the shoulders and up the neck. 

An adult male Redbone Coonhound can grow to be 22-27in(56-68cm) and 50-70lbs(23-32kg).

[10] Vizsla

You may not have heard of the breed, but you have probably seen the sweet stare of a Vizsla before. These affectionate and gentle dogs love people and just want to be cuddled, they will rarely want to be left alone. 

They are also very energetic! The Vizsla is a Hungarian hunting dog that thrives on a good run and will need one every day. If you aren’t already exercising daily, you might need to get a dog runner for this one! 

Their coat is very thin and short and grows in a gorgeous rust-red color. When they do grow white patches on their chest, the patch is often very small and right in the center. It is almost like their patch highlights their heart! 

An adult male Vizsla will grow to be roughly 22-25 inches (56- 64 cm) tall and weigh in at 44-64 lbs(20-29 kg).