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Can You Tell the Difference Between These Nearly Identical Dog Breeds?

Only true dog lovers will be able to tell these dog breeds apart.

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Cairn Terrier vs. Norwich Terrier

Can you tell these two little dogs apart? See if you can spot the animals camouflaged in these photos.

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Cairn Terrier vs. Norwich Terrier

It’s difficult to tell the difference between a Cairn Terrier and a Norwich Terrier. Both breeds are tiny, weighing an average of only 13 pounds. They also both have coarse, short hair and pointy ears. An easy way to tell them apart is by looking at their legs and the color of their coat. A Norwich Terrier has shorter legs and a mostly tan coat with hints of black. A Cairn Terrier has longer legs and its coat can be all black, gray, or silver.

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Alaskan Malamute vs. Siberian Husky

You probably think that both of these dogs are Huskies. However, they’re actually two different breeds.

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Alaskan Malamute vs. Siberian Husky

Both Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies were bred to withstand cold climates; so many people get them confused because their fluffy coats look alike. These two breeds actually originated in completely different areas. Malamutes are native to Alaska, and Huskies are native to Northeast Asia. To tell them apart, just look at their tails. Malamute’s tails curl up over their back. Husky’s tails lay flat and don’t curl up. Can you guess these animals based on close-up pictures of their fur?

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Collie vs. Shetland Sheepdog

Can you tell which dog is a Collie?

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Collie vs. Shetland Sheepdog

Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs both have long flowing coats and can very easily be confused. You can tell them apart by looking at their face shapes. Collie’s snouts are long and lean, while a Shetland Sheepdog, or Sheltie, has a much shorter head that’s more wedge-shaped. They have the same coat, but Collies can also be white with colored markings.

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Lhasa Apso vs. Shih Tzu

These long-haired dogs look very similar. Can you tell them apart?

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Lhasa Apso vs. Shih Tzu

The Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu are so difficult to tell apart because they have very similar ancestors. To distinguish between the two breeds, look at their snouts. Lhasa Apsos have slightly longer snouts. You can also touch their fur to tell. Shih Tzus have a silky and soft coat, while a Lhasa Apso’s fur is much more coarse. Watch out for these 15 signs that your dog is secretly mad at you.

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Boston Terrier vs. French Bulldog

Can you tell the difference between a Boston Terrier and a French Bulldog?

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Boston Terrier vs. French Bulldog

Their flat faces and cute, pointy ears make these two dog breeds hard to tell apart. Their similarities stem from the fact they both come from the English Bulldog. To tell Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs apart, look at their coloring and the shape of their body. The black and white coat of a Boston Terrier looks similar to a tuxedo with white marks on its face while the color of French Bulldogs varies. Also, Boston Terriers have longer legs and slightly slimmer bodies than French Bulldogs.

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Great Pyrenees vs. Kuvasz

Which big white dog is a Great Pyrenees?

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Great Pyrenees vs. Kuvasz

It’s easy to confuse these two white, fluffy dog breeds. The Great Pyrenees is slightly bigger than the Kuvasz. Also, the Kuvasz is white with no markings and wavy fur while the Great Pyrenees can have gray, reddish-brown, or tan markings on its fur. These are the most popular dog breeds in every state.

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Belgian Malinois vs. German Shepherd

Can you tell the difference?

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Belgian Malinois vs. German Shepherd

People confuse Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds because of their similar build and coloring. To make things even more confusing, they are also both commonly used as military and police K9s. To tell them apart, look closely at their bodies. Belgian Malinois are more slender and their body length is equal to their height. A German Shepherd is more robust and their body is longer than it is tall. Read up on these 13 unbelievable facts you never knew about your pooch.

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Whippet vs. Italian Greyhound

Can you identify an Italian Greyhound when you see one?

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Whippet vs. Italian Greyhound

It’s hard to tell the difference between these two breeds of skinny dogs. The Whippet and the Italian Greyhound share common ancestors and are both categorized in the family of dogs known as sighthounds. They both look like small versions of Greyhounds with slender bodies and narrow heads. To tell them apart, look at the height of their shoulders. Whippets are about five inches taller than Italian Greyhounds.

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English Springer Spaniel vs. Welsh Springer Spaniel

Which of these cute dogs is an English Springer Spaniel?

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English Springer Spaniel vs. Welsh Springer Spaniel

Both the English Springer Spaniel and Welsh Springer Spaniels were bred for hunting. Many people confuse them because of their similar markings and build. Looking at their coloring is an easy way to tell them apart. The Welsh Springer has a red and white coat and their hair is shorter. The English Springer can have a black and white, liver and white, or tricolored coat and has longer hair than a Welsh Springer. You can also differentiate between them by observing their personalities. The English Springer is very high energy while the Welsh Springer is much calmer and easygoing. Next, try the find the difference between these nearly identical animals.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is an Associate Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She writes for, helps lead the editorial relationship with our partners, manages our year-round interns, and keeps the hundreds of pieces of content our team produces every month organized. In her free time, she likes exploring the seacoast of Maine where she lives and works remotely full time and snuggling up on the couch with her corgi, Eggo, to watch HGTV or The Office.

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