Actually, there are many more rare dog breeds than you might realize because our canine friends come in all shapes and sizes. The variety of rare dog breeds will definitely astound you. Over the centuries, specialized rare dog breeds have been bred for every imaginable purpose. In different eras and places, dogs have been soldiers, hunters, herders, guardians, police officers, shepherds, trackers, detectors of contraband, customs guards, protectors, and above all, our friends. Every century, new rare dog breeds have appeared, and all of them can now be found in almost every country of the world.

Unfortunately, some of these rare dog breeds are in danger of extinction. They only survive because of the enthusiasm and dedication of owners who have bred them. Like all dogs, the rare breeds are dependent upon their human friends for survival.

Top 10 Rare Dog Breeds


Tibetan Mastiff

As one of the rare dog breeds, Mastiffs are one of the biggest dogs and among the most fearsome because of their size. Tibetan mastiffs are thought to be the original breed of mastiff from the Himalayas. All other mastiffs are apparently descended from them. These mastiffs can be enormous; they can weigh up to 160 pounds. The Tibetan Mastiff can make a really good guard dog because it is protective but gentle with the family. It is easy to see why these dogs are not that popular these days; they bark all night.



The Catalburun is also called Turkish Pointer. This rare dog breed from Turkey is known for its oddly shaped split nose. They make excellent pets and watchdogs because they are both friendly and territorial. At one time, they were believed to be superior trackers. However, the nose does not improve their sense of smell as some people once believed. The Turkish pointers have a very limited gene pool, but they are a healthy dog. 


Catahoula Leopard Dog

This dog got its unique name because of its unusual colorful coat that looks like a leopard’s skin. Interestingly enough, this dog originated in the state of Louisiana. It is believed to be the first species of dog bred in the United States and it becomes one of the rare dog breeds now. The name comes from Lake Catahoula, where they were bred to hunt wild boar. Later on, they were put to work as herders because of their ability to put fences around livestock.


Bedlington Terrier

As one of the rare dog breeds, this unusual dog is known for its oddly shaped head and fur similar to a poodle. They are named for the English town of Bedlington, where they were first bred to hunt vermin. These dogs are known to be highly energetic and also highly lovable. They were originally bred by miners, who raced them for sport. One of their other abilities is to hunt rats. Like other terriers, they require regular grooming.



One of the world’s rarest dog breeds, the Azawakh, was originally bred to hunt wild animals by the Tuareg nomads of Africa. That makes them one of the few breeds of dogs bred by an Islamic people. These dogs can be highly aggressive if they are not properly trained. They can be very leery of strangers but are loving their owners and members of the family. Like greyhounds, they can be very fast and hard to control.



This native of Hungary has been around since the 15th Century, but it almost became extinct during World War II. In the 1960s, the breed was saved by selective breeding, which makes today’s Mudi rather different from the original breed. It is known for its long, wavy coat and smooth face, similar to that of a German shepherd. They come in several colors, including white. They are known as highly talented guard dogs and herders that can exterminate rats and other vermin.



As their name suggests, the Otterhounds were originally bred to hunt otters in England. They are one of the rare dog breeds in the world; only about 350 are believed to exist in North America. One reason why they are so rare is that most otter hunters used traps. Another was bans on otter hunting because the sport was driving the animals into extinction.


Swedish Vallhund

This odd-looking herding dog comes from Sweden. Unlike most herders, it is short, but it has a large head similar to that of a German shepherd. The Vallhunds may have been bred by the ancient Vikings, but they almost became extinct in 1942. The Vallhunds are known to be courageous and energetic like other herders.


Peruvian Hairless Dog

This hairless breed, called Peruvian Inca Orchid, is one of the oldest dog breeds and also one of the rare dog breeds in the world. It was bred by the people of Peru as early as 750 AD, before the Incas and nearly 800 years before the Spanish conquered that nation. They are usually black and hairless but sometimes have a tuft of hair on their heads similar to a punk mohawk. Since they are completely hairless, these dogs can be susceptible to sunburn, so their owners sometimes have to use sunblock on them.


New Guinea Singing Dog

This unusual breed is both a wild dog and a pet. It is a true wild dog that was once found throughout the island of New Guinea. It gets its name from the strange singing sound it makes. Little was known about these dogs until 2 were sent to Australia in 1956. The singing dog is an unusual dog because it is not genetically related to any other species of dog. Some experts have even classified it as a separate species. It is related to the dingo, the first dog in Australia, which was brought to that nation by the ancestors of today’s Aborigines. Although still found in captivity, singing dogs are one of the rare dog breeds in the wild.


Please Log In or add your name and email to post the comment.