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7 Dog Breeds that Prance

Pekingese prancing on sand with trees in background.

Prancing means to walk or move around with ostentatious, exaggerated movements. Although such a gait is generally associated with horses, some dog breeds can also prance. Some canines have prancing as their natural gait (body structure) while others do that when they are happy or excited. The following are some of the dog breeds that prance, either due to their body structure or confidence level.    

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound prancing in yard

If you are looking for an elegant dog, nothing could beat the persona of an Afghan Hound. This ancient breed hails from Afghanistan and was originally known as ‘Tazi’. The silky coat, exotic face, and a fashion-model build make them one of the most beautiful dogs.

In addition to their appealing physical appearance, Afghan Hounds are incredibly affectionate and adaptable. They can adjust to all kinds of families and are also suitable for apartment life. However, you will need to provide them plenty of exercise to handle their high energy levels. Similarly, regular grooming is necessary to maintain their luxurious coat and gorgeous looks.


Brown, tan and white Chihuahua in grass

The combination of small size and big personality makes this breed a rock star in the canine world. The smallest dog breed of the world has a larger-than-life persona and is a very popular family pet.  Chihuahuas are one of the most recommended watchdogs and excel in several dog sports, like agility and obedience.

A Chihuahua loves to be in the company of his/her people and has limited grooming and exercise needs. Don’t be surprised if your pup keeps following you everywhere in the house. This affectionate housemate has a willful character and can develop negative habits if you treat him/her harshly. Therefore, it is important to use positive reinforcement to train these curious explorers.  

German Shepherd

German Shepherd standing on rocky cliff at beach

These intelligent canines are among the most popular dog breeds of the United States. Given the qualities of German Shepherds, it’s not surprising at all to see them make that list. These capable and courageous dogs are extremely versatile and can be trained for almost anything. For example, these intelligent canines are one of the best alternatives when we talk about police and military services.

Many German Shepherds (especially the ones that are in working lines) have prancing as their natural gait. Although many factors contribute to it, the body structure of these canines is the most important one. The length of their front and rear legs, the angulation of the legs, and the length of torso all combine to make them prance.     


Maltese prancing in yard on grass

The Maltese are the oldest of the toy breeds from Europe. This fearless canine loves human companionship and greets everyone like a friend. However, their noble look should never be misunderstood because they require plenty of daily exercise. These companion dogs have also done pretty well in dog sports (agility, tracking, and rally) and as therapy dogs.

This elegant breed has a straight and thick coat that goes all the way down to the floor. Having said that, they don’t shed much and are often considered to be hypoallergenic. The sprightly prance of Maltese is another unique thing about this dog. They have a lot of energy and like to follow you around with their springy steps.


Pekingese prancing in sand at beach

These dogs were originally bred to be the cherished companions of the imperial family of China. They continued to fulfill this rule for centuries and are still a great choice for being family pets. Pekingese treat everyone with dignity and grace and expects the same in return.

Being intelligent and independent, stubbornness is an issue with these canines and they are only recommended for experienced owners. The round brown eyes and straight long hair of Pekingese give them an appealing personality. They are aware of their swagger and love to prance around trying to impress you.

They take pride in being your favorite companion and can continue to please you for hours. Therefore, it’s an ideal dog for those people who can train a Pekingese properly.


Pomeranian standing in yard setting

The Pomeranian descended from the hearty Spitz family of dogs that were native to Iceland and Lapland. In contrast to those large sled dogs, Pomeranians belong to the Toy Group. However, these little dogs have the same attitude that was associated with their ancestors. For this reason, they are often called “the little dog who thinks he can”.

These pint-sized canines have a compact and active body. This makes them a good competitor in dog sports, like agility and obedience. On the other hand, these cute and furry pooches make an excellent companion.

Although they are bold and independent, you can get the best out of them through early socialization and proper training. Most Pomeranians tend to prance (instead of walking). This confident gait perfectly complements the joyful spirit and endearing personality of this breed.  

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu being led on leash in nature setting.

Although the name “Shih Tzu” means little lion, there is nothing fierce about this breed. Bred for companionship, they love to accompany their people. A Shih Tzu will keep following you around and is most comfortable on your lap. These gentle canines are regarded as great family dogs because they get along well with children and other pets.

Recently, some parents have also introduced their Shih Tzus in different dog sports. Consequently, these lapdogs have participated in rally, agility, and obedience competitions. If you are looking for a loving dog that could adapt to apartment life, Shih Tzu is the perfect breed.

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