We’ve all heard people refer to dogs as men’s best friends. This friendship dates back to many years ago. In fact, if some sources are to go by, the dog remains the first animal to be tamed by man.
Over the years, the dog-man bond has only grown stronger. Currently, dogs top the list of the most popular pets, not only in the United States but also on the planet.
We have so many dog breeds; some well-known and others rare. Talk of German shepherds, Retrievers, Beagles, Mastiff, Siberian Huskies, Poodles, and a few more, and chances are that you have heard or interacted with them.
But have you ever known that there are many dog breeds you probably haven’t heard about, leave alone interacting with them? Well, discover 15 rare dogs from around the world on our comprehensive coverage!
This dog was bred to help Hungarian farmers in herding all types of livestock. The medium-sized dog has an average life expectancy of 13 years. The few owners of these canines compare their intelligence to that of a Border Collie, if not better.
Mudik are all-round skilled dogs that excel in different areas of training. They are also very courageous and will take on almost anything without fear! Although they are very protective, they are most of the time not too aggressive to new faces. The small population of these dogs is scattered in Hungary, Finland, the USA, and some parts of Europe.
#2 Norwegian Lundehund
The breed is a native of Vaeroy, Norway. It was intended for hunting puffin birds. Furbabies of this breed have several unique qualities like additional toes, foldable ears, flexible neck, and others. All these distinctive features rendered them well-suited for the job. Their numbers were hardly hit by the Distemper virus, an outbreak that saw a huge number perish.
As of 2012, there were only about 1400 registered Norwegian Lundehund. Of this number, a third were from Norway while the remaining were from a few other parts of the world. Norwegian Lundehunds have a larger than life temperament but can display some standoffish behavior around strangers.
#3 Otterhound (OH)
These hounds were developed with otter hunting as the primary purpose. They have a large black nose that will smell otters over great distances. OHs are large-sized dogs that can reach a height of 27 inches and weigh up to 115 pounds when fully-grown. They make tireless swimmers, something believed to be propelled by their powerful shoulders and broad chest.
According to the report by the American Kennel Club, we only have about 800 OHs on the world. We don’t expect the number to spike any time soon given that they are scattered in different parts of the world.
The United Kingdom, the homeland, leads the world with the largest number of OHs. The United States, Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia, and Netherlands, and Canada are other countries where you will find them in smaller populations.
They are also called Frisian Pointer or Friese Stabij. Stabyhoun is a Dutch name that translates to “stand-by-me-dog.” Therefore, if you are lucky to own one, you will have found an amazing friend for life for your family, friends, and other pets.
Nothing gives Stabyhoun more pleasure than hunting for moles and rabbits. He is also a good retriever who enjoys life near a pool, lake, or other water body. Since he’s a hunter, Stabyhoun is very inquisitive, so never be worried to see him follow you to the store once you are back home- they simply want to know whether you brought them some treats!
They have a long coat with black and white coloring although a few will have brown and white coats.
Although Azawakhs are among the world’s rarest dogs, they have been around for about a millennium. The West African sighthounds have for centuries served as great companions for Tuaregs, a South-Saharan nomad community.
In all these years, Azawakhs have shared a roof with their owners, so they are excellent family companions, even around children. They are aloof to strangers, however, but you can curb that through early socialization and training. Their short coat makes them thrive better in hot climates, so be sure to get a thick sweater when going outside in the cold with your Azawakh.
The swift canines have an impressive record in hunting gazelles, wild boars, antelopes, and hare. Usually, they are lean. But beware, they an attract obesity with days of a few more treats of what their body needs.
#6 Lagotto Romagnolo
The “Carino,” as Italians call them, have a history dating back to several centuries ago. They have a keen nose that makes them irreplaceable truffle hunters. Amazingly, that’s not their original job.
Primarily, the Lagotto Romagnolo dogs were for retrieving ducks of Romagna. They were so successful at it that they drained the marshes in the 19th century. That’s when a change of profession took place for these lovely furbabies.
Other than making great family friends, Lagotto Romagnolo pups are very intelligent and easy to train. They excel in agility training and tracking but they can also make great therapy dogs. The carinos stand under 19 inches high and can live to 17 years.
#7 Thai Ridgeback
Do you have Ophidiophobia? Chances are that you do; and it’s normal for humans to have fear for snakes. But that’s not the case for the Thai Ridgebacks. These fantastic guard dogs are ever ready to wage a war against any attacker at all costs. They will detect and fight off snakes fearlessly including the king cobra.
Thai Ridgebacks have an excellent jumping ability, a trait they find useful when tackling snakes. The medium-sized pooches are fiercely loyal and will love to spend most of the time with their families. Their high level of smartness doesn’t allow them to bond easily with any new face.
But know that they will thrive better under the care of an experienced dog owner. Thailand is their original home.
#8 Tibetan Mastiff
Powerful, muscular, massive, and intelligent. All these are inevitable terms when talking about the Tibetan Mastiffs (TMs). These dogs can weigh as much as 150 pounds. Amazingly, they are light-footed. It’s well-known that they originate from Tibet, but there is no clear information about when they came to be.
However, some scientific tests suggest that it could be 5000 years ago. A Tibetan Mastiff dog has a noble appearance with a heavy coarse-textured coat. Gold, brown, blue, and black are the most common coat colors.
They make great guardian dogs so strangers need to beware. Although they are trainable, they always have an agenda of their own, so don’t get offended when your TM doesn’t respond to your first command.
This versatile being makes great playing companions with the youngsters. Pups of this breed also obtain happiness from agility training, pulling sleds, and hiking, and many more.
The American breed was developed by Arthur T. Walden, after coming from the famous Gold Rush in Alaska. Walden had purposed to develop an energetic, muscular, and light-footed breed. Other than these qualities, Chinooks are very loyal and will learn to respond to commands when you use a positive reinforcement approach.
They will only bark to strangers and that’s the most they can do to new faces. Since they are very social, Chinooks will develop anxiety when left alone for very long periods.
#10 Fila Brasileiro
Brazillian Mastiff and Brazillian Molosser are other names of this dog breed. It has the monstrous size of the Mastiff and weighs below 170 lbs. Fila Brasileiros are mighty hunters who traditionally excelled at herding, controlling, and protecting livestock from predators.
But far from these roles, Fila Brasileiros were used in Brazil to track down slaves attempting to escape through the thick plantations. That was many years ago when slavery was legal in Brazil. We still see their aggression today, especially towards unfamiliar people.
The large size and their high level of aggression make them a real threat to the public. That’s why most countries around the world prohibit them.
#11 New Guinea Singing Dog
These dogs obtain their name from their distinctive vocalization. The musically-talented pooches produce sounds similar to that of whales, wolfs, and other domestic dogs. The most delightful moment is when they meet in a group; one member will start the “singing” before the others join in at different pitches.
The ancient breed also has other features you won’t find in modern dogs. They have a very flexible spine that makes it possible for them to climb trees and hunt for their most favorite treat- birds! There was fear that this breed had become extinct. Currently, we only have about 300 specimens, all in the conservation center.
#12 Canaan Dog
The next rare dog breed is Israel’s national dog. It is a pariah dog type that is believed to have existed since biblical times. These dogs were for herding a large group of livestock the Israelites kept for food, wool, and ritual sacrifices.
However, over the years, these bushy-tailed dogs have excelled in other fields such as hunting and serving as guard dogs. In the mid 20th century, more than 400 Canaan dogs were trained by Dr. Menzel to serve as land mine detectors.
Surprisingly, their accuracy surpassed that of the mechanical detectors. Canaan dogs also thrive very well when serving as a family dog. However, they show mistrust to strangers but that is easy to correct through training and early socialization.
#13 Finnish Spitz
The history of these dogs trace back thousands of years. It’s the Finlands national dog but also one of the rarest breeds on the planet. The small-sized breed will attain the maximum shoulder height of 20 inches with a weight of not more than 33 lbs.
The pup has a fox-like appearance and makes great and fearless hunters. Finnish Spitz has several nicknames but “Barking Bird Dog” and “Back pointers” are the most popular. When hunting, they will bark to pinpoint to you where your target is.
Back at home Finnish Spitz makes a lively, playful, and loyal friend. The hunting instincts prompt this kind to bark and will at times cause trouble to anyone passing near your territory, so just be sure to have a fenced home.
#14 Bedlington Terrier
With the lamblike appearance of these dogs, it’s hard to believe that their original call was on a dirty and deadly profession. Bedlington Terriers were developed in England with the primary intention of using them as varmint fighters and pig fighters.
The first Bedlington Terrier named Piper was developed in 1825 and got into hunting at only 8 months of age. He did well at it until he was nearly toothless and blind at the age of 14 years.
Bedlington Terriers have a very keen sense of smell and going to the field is one of the things that delight them the most. However, owners no longer use them for that. They are very intelligent, hyper-alert, inquisitive, and as gentle as they look.
#15 Catahoula Cur
Although they have many names, the most popular one is the Catahoula Leopard Dogs because of their leopard patterns. They are medium-large dogs that will weigh up to 95 lbs when mature.
These canines have a short coat and do not have a specific color of coat and eyes. Since they are very muscular, be ready to meet their regular exercise requirements before you adopt one. They will make good guard dogs, watchdogs, tree dogs, bay dogs, and stock dogs.
Nevertheless, they are territorial, independent, and may react in self-defense. When around people that understand them, they make loyal, affectionate, and very friendly canines.
Now that you are familiar with some of the world’s scarcest dogs, how can you get one of these dogs? Well, you can try your luck in the animal shelters. If you don’t find your preferred breed, the remaining option is to find a well-reputed breeder. However, be ready to part with some good amount since they cost more than the popular breeds.