While the most common dog breeds are the most popular ones, there are other rare breeds that you should discover if you love unique things. Though these dogs are hard to find, the efforts to discover them are worth it.
These are the dog breeds that you won’t come across on every sidewalk. In fact, they are present in such a small number that some of these aren’t even listed on the American Kennel Club (AKC). So, if you’re tired of running the same dog breeds over and over, here are some dogs for you to consider. Have a read below and check out these rarest dogs, big and small.
What Makes a Dog Breed Rare?
Different types and breeds of dogs serve different purposes. So, if a dog breed is rare, it means that the intended motive of that breed isn’t needed anymore. When a dog breed faces a decline in its popularity, it becomes rare. Most often, the popularity of a breed is associated with its purpose. So, when the job or purpose is no longer needed, the popularity goes down, and the breed becomes rare.
For example, some dogs were particularly used for hunting otters in England. However, when otter hunting was banned in 1978, these dogs weren’t needed and were introduced as pets. Slowly their popularity declined, and they are rare now. Similarly, some dogs were specifically bred for hunting animals and birds or for herding, and they are rare now.
Rarest Dog Breeds in the World
1. Lagotto Romagnolo
Lagotto Romagnolo is a curly-haired Italian dog breed. These dogs have cute and bubbly looks and are also known as ‘truffle dogs’ because earlier, they were used for hunting truffles. The curly-coated dog breed was also used to hunt ducks from the Italian marshlands. Though this breed was almost extinct in the 70s, it was saved by an Italian breeding group.
Lagotto Romagnolos have a sharp sense of smell and are easy to train. They are energetic and playful in nature—you’ll often find them splashing in a muddy puddle while going on a casual walk. Overall, they’re easy-to-go dogs who are happy and playful most of the time.
- Height: 15 – 20 inches
- Weight: 25 – 35 pounds
- Temperament: Playful, alert and adaptable
- Life expectancy: 15 to 17 years
- Origin: Italy
Azawakh is a sweet and passionate dog breed of sighthound from Africa. These dogs are similar to the greyhounds in speed and agility. They can prove to be fierce and loyal companions and brilliant pets on the go. They have short fur coats with some markings and shades of fawn, clear sand, and blue fawn.
Like most sighthounds, Azawakh is a long-legged dog and was found in the Sahel region of Africa. The rare mixed dog breed was then brought to the US in the ‘80s and was recognized by the AKC in 1997. The breed is not very social and thus, to prevent aggression, socialization in early ages is imperative. Since Azawakh dogs were bred for hunting and guarding purposes, they tend to be quite protective and agile.
- Height: 265 – 29 inches
- Weight: 33 – 55 pounds
- Temperament: Affectionate and lively
- Life expectancy: 10 to 13 years
- Origin: West Africa
3. New Guinea Singing Dog
New Guinea Singing Dog is one of the oldest breeds of dogs. The breed got its name because of its distinct howling behavior. This rare dog breed is known for uttering a howl that has a melodic feel to it, and the vocalization also changes its frequency. Eerie, isn’t it?
The New Guinea singing dog is intelligent and strong and can prove to be an amazing companion. The wildlife biologists used to think that this breed became extinct in the 1970s, but in 2012 a New Guinea singing dog was snapped in the mountains of New Guinea.
- Height: 12 – 19 inches
- Weight: 18 – 30 pounds
- Temperament: Independent and intelligent
- Life expectancy: 15 to 20 years
- Origin: New Guinea
4. Bedlington Terrier
The Bedlington Terrier resembles a lamb as he has a thick wool coat and furry look. The dog is lively and cuddly and loves learning new things. Though he’s small and cute, he is very athletic and energetic too. Traditionally, this breed was used for catching vermin and racing because of its fine build and agility.
Though Bedlington Terrier is a rare breed belonging to unknown dog breeds, it is recognized by the AKC. The official dog record-keeping service describes Bedlington Terriers as versatile athletes, alert watchdogs, and cuddly companions. This breed still has the same hunting instincts and a sharp sense of smell but isn’t used for hunting purposes today.
- Height: 16 – 18 inches
- Weight: 17 – 23 pounds
- Temperament: Lively and active
- Life expectancy: 12 to 14 years
- Origin: England, Northumberland
5. Catahoula leopard dog
The Catahoula leopard dog is a strong and agile animal and is one of the rare big dog breeds. He has beautiful leopard-like spots on his coat and is also known as a farm dog. Since he has a high level of energy and endurance, he’s used for hunting and farming. Though he isn’t good with strangers, his loyalty and friendship are exemplary.
The breed is also known for its intelligence; enjoying a hard day’s work is his favorite activity. However, he also requires lots of early training and attention. If trained properly, the Catahoula dog can prove to be an excellent watchdog and protector.
- Height: 21 – 24 inches
- Weight: 50 – 100 pounds
- Temperament: Determined, loyal, and active
- Life expectancy: 10 to 14 years
- Origin: Louisiana
6. Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound
This is a rare German breed with amazing tracking skills and hunting instincts. The dogs of this breed are reserved and loyal to their owners and are a good choice for large families. Though the breed is one of the uncommon dog breeds, you might be able to spot them in local shelters instead of pet shops.
Bavarian hounds are very energetic, and they need large spaces to roam around. They aren’t the ones who spend a lot of time alone. On the contrary, they are quiet but love to mingle with people. They are calm and loyal, but they also demand an experienced pet owner.
- Height: 17 – 21 inches
- Weight: 37 – 55 pounds
- Temperament: calm and devoted
- Life expectancy: 15+ years
- Origin: Germany
The Chinook is one of the rarest dog breeds—it is also known as the sled-dog racing breed. The dogs belonging to this breed are known to be used for drafting and racing expeditions in Antarctica and Alaska. The Chinooks have a thick fur coat that keeps them warm in the colder regions.
The Chinooks tend to be amazing family pets because they are playful and adaptable. They also require some grooming because they have long and thick fur coats. Although the AKC doesn’t recognize these dogs, they are still popular as one of the rare dog breeds in the US.
- Height: 21 – 27 inches
- Weight: 55 – 90 pounds
- Temperament: Gentle, sweet, and athletic
- Life expectancy: 10 to 15 years
- Origin: New Hampshire, Wonalancet
The Bottom Line
Getting to know about the rare dog breeds is now easy, thanks to the plethora of information available on the web, especially the American Kennel Club, the national registry of dog breeds. If you need to buy a rare dog breed, you can look for a breed club on the internet or connect to breeders online. Since the breeders don’t have a large number of rare breed puppies, you might be put on a waitlist to get your desired breed.
We believe that many intelligent and wonderful dog breeds are becoming rare gradually. However, buying and owning an endangered dog breed will prevent the extinction of these beautiful dogs. To know more about different types of dog breeds, head to our Dog Breeds section, where we discuss it all.