Even the most dog-savvy folk come across breeds they’ve never heard of, and it’s no surprise when there are so many rare breeds out there. Have you ever seen a dog somewhere and wondered what kind it was but were afraid to ask? Here we’ve compiled a list of some of the rarest dog breeds around the world, though they are listed in no particular order. Perhaps you know them all, but maybe you’ll find one you’ve never seen before!
#1 – Fila Brasileiro
The Fila Brasileiro, or Brazilian Mastiff, originates as a hunting and guard dog. Coming from Brazil, as it’s name suggests, it is known for it’s aggressive nature and excellent tracking ability. They are very wary of strangers, incredibly loyal to their owners, and naturally protective, making them excellent guardians. In fact, Brazil even has a common saying, “As faithful as a Fila,” to honor the dogs’ loyalty and temperament.
#2 – New Guinea Singing Dog
What started as a wild animal has now made it’s way to domestication and become a beloved pet for some around the world. Coming from New Guinea, these dogs have been named for their unique way of vocalizing, which sounds like singing. Their domestication started early, with New Guinea tribes keeping dogs as hunters and companions for their children. Today Singing Dogs are both captive-bred and wild, preserving both sides of their genetics.
#3 – Stabyhoun
The Stabyhoun comes from the Netherlands, where it was used as a general all-around dog. It is used to protect properties and catch vermin, and also serves as both a pointing and retrieving hunting dog. They are typically used as water retrievers and can withstand the cold, northern Dutch winters. Today, many Stabyhouns are still used as working dogs, but others can be found competing in obedience and agility.
#4 – Mudi
The Mudi is a Hungarian herding dog that is bred for both work and show (and companionship, of course). Although not as popular as other Hungarian herding breeds, many prefer the Mudi for work and believe they remain unmatched in their skill.
#5 – Lagotto Romagnolo
This rare Italian breed comes from Romagna, a sub-region in the southeast. They were originally bred as water retrievers, but have also been used to hunt truffles as well. Although many feel that the working drives and instincts have been bred out of Lagotto Romagnolos, they are considered excellent family companions that are easy to train and care for.
#6 – Azawakh
The Azawakh is a rare sighthound breed that originates in Africa. Like other sighthounds, they are tall and slender, making them excellent runners and hunters. In fact, they’ve been used to hunt gazelle at speeds of up to 40MPH! Enthusiasts of these fascinating dogs take pride in their independent temperaments and ruggedness.
Photo by oldmischief via Flickr.
#7 – Thai Ridgeback
This unique breed comes from Thailand and sports a ridge along it’s back just like Rhodesian Ridgebacks. This ridge is a strip of hair that grows in the opposite direction of the rest of the coat, and there are only three breeds known to have this trait. Although the history of this breed is subjective, but they are gaining popularity around the world when once never seen outside of Thailand. Thai Ridgebacks are independent and escape artists, which make them typically a bad choice for the novice dog owner.
Photo by bjorr via Flickr.
#8 – Czechoslovakian Wolfdog
This breed originates from working-line German Shepherds that were experimentally bred with Carpathian wolves. The experiment was held by the Czech military to create better military working dogs. It was officially recognized as a breed in 1982 by the Czechoslovakia, and now is the national breed of Slovakia. They have now become a versatile breed competing in a variety of venues, and they can easily learn to live with families and other domesticated animals.
#9 – Norwegian Lundehund
This spitz breed was developed in Norway and used to hunt Puffins and their eggs. These unique dogs are famous for having six toes on their feet instead of four. This, along with their flexible joints, provides them with excellent range of motion and control over the arctic tundra where it hunts.
Photo by Lundtola via Flickr.
#10 – Kooikerhondje
Kooikerhondje are Dutch spaniels originally bred for hunting waterfowl. The breed faced extinction after World War II but was brought back to life by enthusiasts. Although still relatively unknown, it has made international recognition by various breed clubs around the world. This breed is affectionate and happy going and makes for an excellent companion for even a non-working home.
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