18 Lesser-known Dog Breeds That You May Have Never Come Across –
Dogs are the most loyal companion ever known to mankind. For centuries, people have raised them as pets, hunting companions (Labrador Retriever), guide dogs (German Shepherd) and even accessories (Chihuahua). While most dog breeds have been sent and received as gifts or have been brought to different continents, there still remain some which are native to their place of origin. You can’t see such dogs every day in the neighboring park. They are unique and rare because it is hard to adapt to a different climate for most of them. In this article, we have brought 18 such unique dog breeds together.
1. Bedlington Terrier
Bedlington Terrier is native to Bedlington, Northumberland located in North East England, from where it got its name. One glance at the Bedlington Terrier reveals the reason of its uniqueness: Its resemblance to sheep, an oval shaped head with almond shaped eyes, etc. Also, the back of it is a bit arched giving it a unique shape. Its close resemblance to sheep is due to the sheep like fur which is kept not more than one inch long. This gives their coat a crispy texture and tiny sheep like look.
Humans have used Beddington Terrier as a race dog for a long time. It is also used for other dog sports like dog fights, and sometimes as companion dogs. They usually come in grey, blue and liver color. Even though Beddington Terrier has a fighting spirit, they are mild, gentle, and playful around people.(source)
2. Swedish Vallhund
Swedish Vallhund is an ancient dog breed of Sweden which has originated about a thousand years ago. Swedish Vallhund is a very rare dog, and in the 1940s, it was on the verge of extinction. In those years, people used them as a farm dog and herder of cows, hence, it is also known as Swedish cow dog. It has a strong long body with a wedge shaped head.
Swedish Vallhund is small in stature and it can do well in both cold and hot climate. However, it requires constant shade and water in hot climate. This dog has short legs and so it doesn’t do very well in deep snow, but other than that, this breed is extremely agile, obedient, and athletic.(source)
Azawakh is a sighthound dog breed, native to sub – Saharan Africa. It is so thin that one might think that it is malnourished as its bone structure is clearly visible through the skin. They are extremely agile and can adapt very well in extremely hot weather with temperature of more than 100 degree Fahrenheit. Nevertheless, they can’t stand rain and cold weather. That’s why they are quite uncommon in relatively cold continents such as Europe and North America.
Azawakh is a very social dog and it forms a lifelong bond with its owner. In other words, this dog breed has an extremely affectionate and emotional temperament with those who are close to it. It loves to exercise, and additionally, this dog needs daily walk and regular run.(source)
4. Russian Toy
With a length varying from 20 cm to 28 cm, Russian Toy is one of the smallest dog breeds in the world. It is native to Russia and is believed to be bred from the English Toy Terrier / Manchester Terrier. This breed was on the verge of extinction twice; the first one was in the 1920s, and the second one in the 1990s. Also, it had been hardly known outside Russia till 1990s.
The Russian Toy is a very friendly, cheerful, and active dog breed. They are two types: smooth coat and long coat. Smooth coat Russian toys have short shiny coat while their long coat counterparts have relatively long fur in tails, ears, and legs. They are small and very delicate, and they were once associated with Russian aristocracy. They are very loyal and get extremely attached to family members.(source)
Most people who see Affenpinscher for the first time wonders whether it is a dog or a monkey. The monkey-like face on its body is its most unique feature which gained it the nickname, Monkey Dog. It originated in Germany in the 17th century. Actually, Affe in the name Affenpinscher means ape or monkey.
This dog breed has shaggy coat, with short coat in its back and long mane-like coat on its shoulder and head. They are very active and adventurous dogs as well. Therefore, they get bored easily when they do not do anything. Since they are territorial about their food and toys, you should not keep them as pets in household with small children.(source)
Otterhound is an endangered dog breed which is native to Britain. It is a big dog and possesses great strength. Hence, people use them for hard works such as hunting. What makes it different from other hounds is its oily double coat, which is rough in texture, along with its webbed feet. Also, ithas this amazing ability of tracking in mud and water with its nose for more than 72 hours. Due to its sensitive nose and inquisitive nature, Otterhound should never be let outdoor without proper supervision.(source)
The Mexican Hairless Dog, Xoloitzcuintil, is an extremely old breed. Its lineage dates back to the Aztecs and Mayan culture where people considered it sacred. Some civilizations even worshiped itome civilization
It is nicknamed as Xolo and its most striking feature is its hairlessness. It is a strong active dog with a very high intelligence. Xolo puppies are energetic and noisy till they are 2 years old. After age of 2, they start to settle down and forms a calm demeanor. When kept as pet, Xolo needs proper grooming, bathing, and moisturising.(source)
8. Wirehaired Vizsla
The Wirehaired Vizsla is a native dog breed to Hungary where it was raised as hunting dog. It is a natural hunter and has an exceptionally good smelling ability. It can even remain on scent while it is swimming. Other than its hunting ability, it is a gentle mannered and affectionate dog, and it is very protective of its owner and family. All these qualities of it make it a perfect companion at home.
The wirehaired Vizsla has a distinct appearance due to its golden sand color coat. It has pronounced eyebrows and distinct beard which results in a determined expression on its face.(source)
9. Norwegian Lundehund
The Norwegian Lundehund is the native dog to Norway. It was raised originally to hunt down puffins (a sea bird) and their eggs. This was the reason they are called Lundehund. Lunde means puffin. It’s most unique characteristic is its flexible body. It can tip its head backward, far enough to touch its back. Also, it can stretch its legs in both directions. Another unique feature of Norwegian Lundehund is its six toes on each foot which enable it to firmly grip the rocky cliffs as it hunts.(source)
Puli is a unique dog breed mainly because of its uncanny resemblance to a mop. Hence, it is also called mop dog. The mop-like appearance is due to its coat which is in the form of tight curls. The tight curling cords which forms the coat of Puli needs to be groomed regularly to keep a neat appearance. Puli came into limelight recently when CEO of facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, brought one home as a pet.
It needs lots of exercise as it is an active dog. It is also quite intelligent. You better don’t be deceived by their mopy appearance, they are quite fast and agile. Also, Puli is very friendly. So, it is an ideal pet for household with children.(source)
11. Chow Chow
Chow Chow is a native dog breed of Nothern China where it is known as Songshi Quan which means puffy lion dog. It is one of the oldest dog breed known to man. The most distinguished characteristic of this breed is its blue black tongue. It has smooth dense double coat all over its body, and the neck area has thicker coat than rest of the body. This creates a mane-like formation around the neck and gives it a somewhat lion like appearance. Chow Chow does not like training but needs regular exercise.(source)
12. Karelian Bear Dog
Karelian Bear Dog has its roots in Finland and is now considered as the national treasure of the country. They are excellent hunter. Earlier, they were bred for hunting bears, moose, and wild boar.
Karelian Bear dog has stiff coat of straight hair with thick undercoat. They are usually black along with white markings. Their love for outdoor activities and exercises make them not so popular as a pet in household or as companion dog.(source)
13. Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a small dog breed which is native to Scotland. Its elongated body and knot of hair on its head gives it a unique look. Originally they were used for hunting down small animals such as otters and badgers.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier breed is found in two color ranges: pepper and mustard. Their legs are darker than the rest of their body. They are tough and very friendly which makes them good companion dogs. They are quite protective of their owners due to which they can be used as guard dogs too.(source)
Leonbergers are giant mountain dogs and were originally bred to resemble the lion in the crest of a town, Leonberg, in Germany. The dog derived its name from the name of this city. This massive dog can weigh up to 68 kg and has a very striking appearance due to its massive body and luxurious coat.
Leonberger is a well-socialized and self-disciplined dog. It is loyal and playful, so it is an ideal pet for homes with children. Also, Leonberger comes in a variety of color such as red, red – brown, lion – yellow, and sand.(source)
15. Australian Shepherds
From the name Australian Shepherd, one might decipher that this dog is native to Australia. However, it is not the case. Australian Shepherd was actually developed in US. Also, they are known as Aussie or the little blue dog. The name little blue dog was derived due to the striking blue color eyes of these dogs.
They are medium built dog and come in black, liver or marbled white, black, and grey colors. They have long and wavy coats which shed heavily in spring. Therefore, this breed should be groomed and brushed regularly.(source)
16. Ibizan Hound
Ibizan Hound is a Spanish dog breed whose two straight and upright ears are the most striking feature of it. The ears have a deer-like appearance which looks graceful. They have striking amber colored eyes, and were traditionally used to hunt small animals like rabbits.
These dogs are active and intelligent creatures. They take great pleasure in entertaining their human companions. Moreover, they are very sensitive and docile around children. Ibizan Hounds have a lean body and are very athletic. So, daily walking and exercise is a must for this breed.(source)
17. Peruvian Inca Orchids
Peruvian Inca Orchids is an ancient dog breed and is known to have existed during the Inca Empire. These hairless dogs have a beautiful tuft of short hair on the top of their head. Also, small amount of hair is present in the feet and tail tip of this hairless dog breed. They have a slim frame and look quite elegant.
Peruvian Inca Orchids are very friendly dogs and can be kept as companion dogs. Another point about them is that they require good maintenance as lack of proper grooming might cause acne and blackheads. Lastly, they also need proper protection from both sunlight and extremely cold weather.(source)
18. Chinese Crested
Chinese Crested are small dogs and come in two varieties: the Hairless and the Powderpuff. Powderpuff have luscious, long, and soft coat while the hairless Chinese Crested has the most striking appearance. They are hairless like most hairless dog variety except for the tuft of long flowing hair on their head, paws, and plumes.
A hairless purebred Chinese crested dog named Sam won the World’s Ugliest Dog contest from the year 2003 to 2005.(source)