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15+ Of The World’s Rarest Dog Breeds

By Kerry
Updated on

If you’re looking to find out more about the lesser-known dog breeds, you’ve certainly come to the right place. While everyone’s heard of the Labrador Retriever and so on, it turns out there are loads of other dog breeds that you’ve probably never even heard of before – even if you’re a big dog lover.

In this article, we’ll be telling you a little about various rare dog breeds and showing you pictures – we think you’ll be thoroughly entertained. Here goes!

(The breeds are listed in no particular order.)

1. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan malamute breed

The Alaskan Malamute is an extremely rare breed of dog, with only around 1,000 dogs living in the world today. They were originally bred as sled dogs for use by the Inuit people who live in Alaska, but they also make great pets.

They have a very strong bond with their owners, and will follow them anywhere. This makes them great guard dogs and can also take care of children.

2. American Eskimo Dog

American eskimo breed

The American Eskimo Dog was developed from crossing a Siberian Husky with an Alaskan Malamute. It’s thought that between 5,000 and 10,000 dogs were used to develop these two breeds.

These dogs are incredibly intelligent and are excellent companions. They love being outdoors and are happiest when they’re running free.

3. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian cattle dog breed

The Australian Cattle Dog is one of Australia’s most popular working breeds and has been used since the 1800s for herding cattle.

Today, they are still used for similar purposes, but they are also good family pets. They’re not too friendly towards strangers though and need plenty of exercise and stimulation.

4. Akita

Akita dog (akita inu, japanese akita) close up portrait

The Akita is another trendy dog breed in Japan. These dogs originated in China, and were brought to Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868).

They are loyal and affectionate and make great watchdogs. They get aggressive towards other animals, though, so they should be kept indoors or securely confined.

5. Basenji

Basenji breed

The Basenji is a small, energetic dog breed from Africa. They were first bred in the late 19th century for hunting leopards and cheetahs.

They are highly trainable, and make great companion dogs. They’re also very smart, and enjoy learning new things.

6. Bedlington Terrier

Two bedlington terrier

The Bedlington Terrier is a medium-sized terrier breed originating in England. They are generally gentle and well-mannered, making them great family dogs.

They are also very active and like to play games such as fetch and tug-of-war.

7. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese mountain dog breed

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, powerful dog breed originating in Switzerland. They are usually black, white, red or brown and have long hair.

This breed loves to be outside, playing in snow and water and is happiest when its owner takes him hiking.

8. Lagotto Romagnolo

Closeup lagotto romagnolo

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a medium-sized Italian Mastiff-type dog. They originate from Northern Italy and are known for their intelligence, strength, and loyalty. They are also very protective of their families.

They are especially known for hunting truffles but also make excellent companions.

9. Maltese Poodle

Maltese poodle breed

The Maltese Poodle, also known as a Maltipoo, is a small, elegant dog breed. They come in many different colors, including white, black, cream, fawn, apricot, chocolate, blue merle, red merle, and parti colored.

A genuinely black Maltipoo, however, is exceptionally rare.

10. Pharaoh Hound

Pharaoh hound on a grass

The Pharaoh Hound is a large mastiff-type dog originating in Egypt. They were originally bred to hunt gazelles, wild goats and hares.

Although they can be extremely protective of their owners, they are also very loving and kind.

11. Portuguese Water Dog

Puppy portuguese water dog

The Portuguese Water Dog is a large, muscular dog that was originally bred to help fishermen find lost nets.

Although they are incredibly strong and agile, they are also quite playful and intelligent.

12. Sloughi

Sloughi im garten

The Sloughi is an ancient Egyptian dog breed. They were bred to herd sheep and protect flocks, and were often used by pharaohs. They are nicknamed the “Arabian Hound”.

Today, sloughis are still found in Egypt, and are valued for their calm nature and gentle disposition.

13. Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan spaniel breed

The Tibetan Spaniel is a small, short-haired spaniel breed in Tibet. They were originally bred for religious purposes, as it was believed that the spirits could leave the body while sleeping inside a tent with one.

Tibetan Spaniels are devoted, friendly dogs who love to spend time around people.

14. Kai Kens

Kai kens breed

The Kai Ken is a Japanese Spitz type dog. They originated in Japan, where they were used as watchdogs and hunters.

These days, Kai Kens are most commonly kept as pets, although they do keep guard duty at some temples.

15. Chinese Crested Dog

Chinese crested dog breed

The Chinese Crested Dog is a toy dog breed originating in China. Although they look similar to poodles, they are not related.

These dogs are affectionate, smart, and loyal. They are good with children and make great family dogs.

16. English Foxhound

Two english foxhound

The English Foxhound is a large hound breed originating in England. They were originally bred as scenting dogs and were used to track down criminals.

Although they are generally quiet, reserved, and dignified, these dogs have been known to bark loudly when excited or threatened.

17. Australian Kelpie

Australian kelpie breed

The Australian Kelpie is a large, powerful working dog in Australia. They were originally bred by shepherds to herd cattle.

Although they are considered to be aggressive towards strangers, they can actually be quite friendly toward humans.

18. Saluki

Stading saluki

The Saluki is a medium-sized, long-legged hunting dog, originating in Arabia. They were originally bred from the Arabian wolf, but are now mostly descended from the Persian wolf.

They are highly athletic, intelligent, and independent. These dogs need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation.

19. Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound

Bavarian mountain scent hound breed

The Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound is a medium-sized hound breed in the German Alps. They were originally bred specifically to hunt bears, wolves, boars, and other animals.

Although they are very protective of their owners, they are also extremely friendly.

20. Estrela Mountain Dog

Estrela mountain dog running at the beach

The Estrela Mountain Dog is a rare Portuguese dog breed. They originate from the Alentejo region, which has a dry climate.

This makes them excellent swimmers, as water keeps their fur from getting too hot.

21. Perro de Presa Canario

Perro de presa canario seats

The Perro de Presa Canary is a dog breed native to Spain. It originates from the Canary Islands, where it was used as a hunting dog.

It is an active, energetic, and playful breed. This breed needs lots of exercise, so take your puppy out daily.

22. The Swedish Vallhund

Swedish vallhund breed

The Swedish Vallhund is a Nordic breed of dog. Originating in Sweden, this breed is a cross between the Swedish Lapphund and the Norwegian Elkhound.

This breed is very agile and fast, making it a great companion for those who like to hike.

23. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Cardigan welsh corgi running

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a small, short-haired dog breed in Wales. They are often called “Welsh corgis” because they resemble the smaller version of the larger Cardigan Corgi.

Although they are usually calm, sweet-natured, and gentle, they will protect their families if necessary.

24. Lagotto Romagnolo

Lagotto romagnolo breed

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a medium-sized Italian dog breed. Originating in Italy, this breed is one of the oldest breeds in existence today.

These dogs originated as herding dogs but have since become popular pets.

25. Dingo

Dingo on fraser island

The Dingo is a wild dog that lives in Australia. Although they are not really domesticated, they do live with people in some areas.

These dogs are very loyal to their family and love being around children.

26. Azawakh

Azawakh standing

The Azawakh is a small African dog breed. Originating from Ethiopia, these dogs are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and trainability.

Because of their size, they make great guard dogs.

27. New Guinea Singing Dog

New guinea singing dogs relaxing

The New Guinea Singing Dog is a small, high-pitched dog breed in Papua New Guinea.

Their bark sounds similar to human singing, hence the name.

28. Catahoula Leopard Dog

Catahoula leopard dog breed

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is a large, long-legged dog breed in Louisiana, USA.

They were originally bred for use as hunters, but now they are kept as companions.

Wrap Up

So, there you have it. A quick run through of well over 15 of the rarest dog breeds in the world today. We hope you’ve enjoyed this article, and if this has kept you entertained, do stick around because we’ve plenty of similar articles here for you.


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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.