Dogs with spots and freckles have a certain cuteness factor about them. From the famous dogs of media, such as Petey the Pit Bull from the "Our Gang" troupe, to the universally beloved Snoopy, spotted dogs have warmed our hearts. Most spots are either black or liver colored on white or cream colored fur.
Spots come in various sizes and have various names. Small spots on the face are freckles, and large spots on the body are sometimes called patches. Regardless of size of spot, dogs of all sizes can have freckles, spots or patches, but the most spotted dog in the land is the dapper dalmatian. The American Kennel Club's breed standard for the dalmation addresses the spots, specifying: "Spots are round and well-defined, the more distinct the better. They vary from the size of a dime to the size of a half-dollar. They are pleasingly and evenly distributed."
The diminutive Chihuahua is the smallest of the recognized dog breeds, so spotted Chi's are the smallest dogs with spots. Other toy group dogs with spots include the handsome and clever papillion, the English toy spaniel and the adorable Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Japanese chins can have black patches of long hair and tan points. The points include tan or red spots over each eye, inside the ears, on both cheeks and at the anal vent area, according to the breed standard.
Many medium-sized dogs answer to the name, Spot, including spaniels, terriers and setters of every national origin. English setters and Irish red and white setters are spotted, as are English cocker spaniels, which can have lots of spots. American spotted cockers make up the parti-colored variety. English springer spaniels can have flecks and ticking on any white portion of the coat, and Welsh springers are known for spots in plenty. Brittanys, which once were considered spaniels, but now are pointers, are spotted, as are the fox and Jack Russell terriers, in both smooth and wire-haired variations.
Giant spots are seen on giant dogs; think of Saint Bernards and similarly sized Newfoundlands - the Landseer variety is spotted and very much in demand. The harlequin Great Dane is white with black spots, but no patch should be so large that it appears to be a blanket. German short-haired and wire-haired pointers have spots, as do their English cousins. Spots make a dog individual, and the most individual of all is the mixed breed dog - no two are quite alike.
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