What is the rarest breed of dog? Here’s a fun fact about dogs and their breed origins: all canines come from the wolf family! That means that there is no such thing as purebred or “pure” dogs — only those who have been bred to become more desirable for humans over time.
A few breeds were actually developed by people specifically to be companions, like the Pomeranian, but others came about because they had special talents, like herding cattle, guarding property or hunting prey. And some dogs just looked cute! The oldest living purebred dog in the world right now is an Afghan hound named Kala (born May 24, 1937). She was purchased at auction in 2001 for $50 after being abandoned on someone’s doorstep. But she isn’t even one of the most ancient dogs around. You guessed it — she belongs to the German Bishon Frise, which has its roots in Egypt.
One of the rarest dogs in America happens to be the American Hairless Terrier, also known as the Rat-Terrier. It looks very much like any other hairless terrier except without fur anywhere. The first documented sighting of this particular type occurred back in 1869 when George Washington Gale Ferris III brought his pet rat terrier to show off at the Chicago World Fair. If you’re looking for another unusual-looking dog, try the Chinese crested duck dog.
This pooch sports a crest atop its head that stands up high above the rest of its body. In addition to having long ears with tufts of hair sticking out, they’re also big and round. They typically weigh between 70 and 100 pounds and measure up to 26 inches tall.
So what makes these breeds so unique? Read on to find out about our list of the top 9 rarest dogs in the world.
The Mudi originated in Germany where it serves as both livestock guard dog and sheepherder. Its name translates into English as “shepherd.” These dogs are usually gray in color and quite small compared to many of today’s larger breeds.
You will be amazed to see this dog’s hair color. Despite their diminutive stature, however, mudis are still able to hold onto large animals and herd them toward a desired destination. Today, the largest recorded weight for a mudi is approximately 30 pounds. Their average size is somewhere between 20 and 25 pounds.
This is probably the cutest little canine ever created. While otters look kind of silly swimming through water or waddling across land, dogs don’t always need four legs to move quickly. Dogs have two sets of bones (humerus) running vertically down each side of their bodies and joined together near their pelvis.
Otterhounds use these vertical limbs rather than paws to swim and walk. Although not technically amphibious, they do resemble sea mammals in appearance, mostly due to their short tails. Unlike other aquatic dogs like bulldogs and schnauzers, otterhounds retain their ability to bark loudly while underwater.
Their eyesight helps them see underwater too. Because otters spend almost half their lives submerged, their vision works best under water. When trying to catch fish, otters will often lie completely horizontal in shallow waters using their snouts to scoop food out of the sand.
With its smooth coat, elongated skull and flat nose, the pekinese resembles a cartoon character. This popular toy spitzy pup is considered one of the most recognizable breeds in the United States. Even though it may appear fragile, owners should know that pepkses are extremely tough and durable.
Like all dogs, pepkeses love toys, but theirs tend to be bigger than your everyday squeaky balls. So if you want to give one of these sweeties a treat, make sure you pick up something bigger. As far as longevity goes, pepkies can live up to 15 years.
4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
If you’ve got money to burn, then you might consider owning a cavalière anglaise. Cavalières originate in France and England, and although prices vary depending upon quality, the highest end French pups go for upwards of $12,000 per puppy.
With a price tag like that, you’ll definitely need to bring home insurance coverage before bringing one of these puppies home! A cavalière anglaise is similar to a standard cavaliers in terms of temperament, intelligence and physical characteristics. However, unlike their British counterparts, cavallières aren’t really related to horses. Cavalier King also have beutiful fur colors.
Instead, they descend from mastiff-like dogs. One major difference between the two types of cavaliers is their coats. Standard cavaliére anglaises sport short coats that require frequent grooming, whereas the French variety grow longer hair that must be brushed daily.
There are dozens of different varieties of African grey wolves found throughout North Africa, Europe and Asia. All of these species share certain features including strong jaws, sharp teeth and powerful hindleg muscles. Most importantly, wolves have retractable claws on their front feet. This feature allows them to climb trees, dig burrows and pursue prey underground. Unfortunately, domestic dogs never evolved the same trait.
To compensate, modern day azawakhs have shorter toes, instead of the wolf version’ extra long digits. They also have slightly thicker nails than other dogs. But perhaps the most interesting characteristic of the azawakh is its tail. Rather than curving forward like other dogs, it curls backwards towards the ground.
Not surprisingly, this style of walking causes hip problems among older dogs since their hips are forced backward. On the bright side, azawahgs are good swimmers and great escape artists. For example, they are excellent at escaping kennel chains. And sometimes, they manage to break free entirely!
6. Norwegian Lundehund
Norwegian Lundehund hair color are amazing. Although the exact origin of the norwegian lundehund remains unknown, historians believe that they descended from Nordic sled dogs. Since their ancestors spent hundreds of thousands of hours pulling sleighs behind horse-drawn carts, this breed possesses strong upper-body strength and stamina. In addition, these dogs possess keen hearing and smell thanks to their highly sensitive noses.
Norwegians attribute these qualities to their heritage, claiming that once they smelled something unpleasant, they could track it down and attack it. Whether used for labor work, hauling loads or simply acting as watchdogs, these dogs keep themselves busy.
At night, they sleep curled up next to each other in tight groups called skjolden (“shields”). Some say that the word shield comes from the old Norse term skjalldri (“scaly tail”), referring to the thick layer of loose skin covering their lower backsides.
7. Lagotto Romagnolo
Like the original Maltese, the lagotto romagnolo is a popular choice for breading (breeding) new generations of fancy Maltese. Originating in Italy, Lagottos became famous during the Renaissance period when wealthy families would own multiple pets.
According to legend, Queen Marguerite de Valois owned 12 of them! Ownership soon spread outside of royal households, resulting in the creation of numerous local clubs dedicated to preserving the breed. Nowadays, Lagottos remain favorites amongst Maltese enthusiasts.
They have light colored coats, dark blue eyes and erect triangular ears. Lagotts are generally easy going, friendly dogs and prefer spending time outdoors rather than inside. They get along well with children and tolerate roughhousing activities.
8. Basset Hound
Hounds derive their names from either their function or location within the pack hierarchy. Bassett Hounds hunt primarily by scent, relying heavily on their sense of smell for tracking. They’re originally from Wales, but are currently distributed throughout several European countries, Canada and Australia.
Other places where basset hounds roam include South Carolina and Florida. In America, there are three recognized regional subspecies: Northern, Southern and Swamp Bassetts. Bassets tend to be muscular dogs weighing between 60 and 85 pounds. Average height ranges between 27 and 32 inches.
Just like other working dogs, basset hounds enjoy jobs outside of the house, especially ones requiring lots of exercise. Many owners choose to take part in agility training classes. Agility involves navigating obstacles and performing tricks while dressed up in costumes.
9. Great Dane
Danes hail from Denmark where they served as farmhouses’ main source of protection against predators. Over time, farmers began selecting specimens that stood tallest and strongest. Eventually, this led to the development of the giant Danes we recognize today.
Throughout history, Dans have proven themselves useful for farming, military service and police duty. In recent times, they’ve earned fame as mascots for colleges and professional teams. Giant Danes are commonly taller than 22 feet and weigh upwards of 300 lbs.