Even most dog lovers come across breeds they’ve never heard of, and it’s no surprise when there are so many rare breeds. Have you ever seen a dog somewhere and wondered what kind it was, but were afraid to ask? Here we have compiled a list of some of the rarest dog breeds in the world, although they do not appear in any particular order. Have fun with the top 10 rarest dog breeds.
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The kooikerhondje was developed in the Netherlands in the 1500s, where it was used to hunt ducks in cages for hunters. It was nearly driven to extinction as a result of World War II. In 1971, this breed was officially recognized by the Dutch Kennel Club, which has helped the breed gain popularity and maintain its pedigree. Although not common outside of Europe, this Spaniel-type dog can be found in some households in the US, Canada and Scandinavia. The Kooikerhondje measures between 35 and 43 cm and its long coat is reddish brown and white in color. It is considered a pet that is friendly and well behaved.
The Catahoula is known as the Catahoula Cur or the Catahoula Leopard Dog. It is believed to originate from the US state of Louisiana, although its roots are unclear. Some theories suggest that this breed is the result of a cross between Native American dogs and greyhounds, which were introduced to the area by Hernando De Soto in the 1500s. Another popular theory is that this dog appeared in the 1800s after the French brought the Beauceron dog. The Catahoula’s coat has a unique leopard-like appearance and can come in a variety of colors, including: red, blue, silver, and tricolor. This breed measures between 50 and 66 cm in height and can weigh between 18 and 50 kg. It is the state dog of Louisiana.
8. Norwegian Lundehund
The Norwegian Lundehund was discovered on a small island off mainland Norway. This breed presumably dates back to before the last Ice Age, which survived by eating fish and seabirds. It is the oldest Scandinavian dog breed and also known as the Norwegian Puffin Dog because of its history of hunting puffins and their eggs. This dog breed is extremely unique as it has 6 double or triple joints on each foot. His extra toes help him navigate and climb over cliffs and rocky shores. The Norwegian Lundehound can range from 5 to 7 pounds and 30 to 40 cm in height. It is considered a Spitz and has a similarly small, rectangular size.
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The Catalburun hails from Turkey, where breeding resulted in a split nose. It is one of the only 3 breeds of dogs with this physical characteristic, which is believed to be caused by significant inbreeding due to the small population size. Breeders once believed that this cleft nose gave the dog an increased sensitivity to smell, but now it is associated with a higher risk of cleft palate. This breed is not often seen outside of Turkey. The Turkish Catalburun is typically bicolor with tan or brown and white spots. It has a light-colored nose and long, dangling ears.
6. Tibetan Mastiff
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The Tibetan mastiff can be traced back to the canine companions of the nomadic people of Tibet, Nepal, India and Mongolia. Historically, this breed has protected both homes and herds of livestock from predators such as bears, tigers, leopards, and wolves. They are known for being powerful, stubborn and loyal. The Tibetan Mastiff can weigh between 45 and 72 pounds and the males can grow up to 83 cm in height. It has a heavy coat that usually appears in solid black or black-and-brown, although any color combination can occur.
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The Azawakh dog has its roots in West Africa and is descended from the forest dogs of the area. Considered a rare sighthound, it was bred to hunt fast-moving game such as gazelles and hares. Several indigenous communities own the Azawakh, including: Tuareg, Bella, Hausa, and Peulh. This breed is not common in Europe or America. In physique, the Azawakh resembles the more common Greyhound. It weighs between 15 and 24 kg and is between 60 and 73 cm high. Its fur is often reddish in color, but can also be bluish-gray or black.
4. Swedish Vallhund
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The Swedish Vallhund, as the name implies, hails from Sweden where it was bred over 1000 years ago to herd livestock. This breed is considered an athletic dog and is known to learn quickly in obedience and agility training. It nearly became extinct in 1942, until 2 Swedish dog breeders helped increase its population and the Swedish Kennel Club added it to the list of recognized breeds in 1943. The Swedish Vallhund is a relatively small dog, growing to between 30 and 32 cm with a long body and short legs. Its coat is rough and can appear in a variety of shades of gray and even reddish brown.
3. New Guinea Singing Dog
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The New Guinea Singing Dog is native to the highlands of New Guinea where it is believed by some to be a wild dog. Others disagree, pointing out that this dog was kept by tribesmen as a companion and hunting aid. This breed is so rare that only 2 photos of it have been taken in its natural environment and it is on the Vulnerable Animals list. It is known as a “singing dog” because of its unique vocalizations, which sound like a song. The New Guinea Singing Dog is of medium build, measuring between 30 and 45 cm in height and weighing between 9 and 14 kg. Its fur is typically brown, black, or tan.
2. Peruvian Hairless Dog
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The Peruvian Hairless Dog, also known as the Peruvian Hairless Dog, probably dates back to the pre-Inca cultures of the area. The depictions of this dog were discovered on Moche ceramics from the early 750 AD. This breed was nearly lost during Spanish colonialism, but some rural communities managed to keep the dog alive. In these areas, it is believed to have magical medicinal properties and is thought to treat arthritis in humans. As the name suggests, this breed of dog is famous for being one of a few hairless breeds, although some hairs may appear on top of the head or along the tail. His skin is usually dark in color, although some dogs are lighter. The Peruvian hairless dog comes in several varieties: small, medium, and large.
1. Lagotto Romagnolo
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The Lagotto Romagnolo originated in the Romagna sub-region of Italy, located in the southeast of the country. Historically, this breed has been used as a water retriever and is believed to be the ancestor of many contemporary water retriever dog breeds. This breed of dog is also used for truffle hunting and is considered an excellent family dog today. The Lagotto Romagnolo measures between 40 and 48 cm in height and weighs between 10 and 15 kg. Its coat is typically thick and curly, and comes in colors from golden to dark brown.