10 Oldest Dog Breeds In The World

old golden retriever

With almost 400 officially recognized dog breeds worldwide, most people probably have no idea as to which are the oldest dog breeds. Not to mention there are so many cross breeds that have become mainstream!

So which breed of our beloved four-legged furry friends is indeed the oldest? We’ve done the research and come up with a list of the oldest dog breeds in the world. 

The Oldest Dog Breeds

10 Oldest Dog Breeds Worldwide Today!

1. Afghan Hound

Tazi – The Long haired hound

long haired afghan hound

The American Kennel Club recognized the Afghan Hound in 1926. They have existed as far back as 6000 B.C. Originally named Tazi, this breed hails from Afghanistan, and was often used as a hunting dog.

Afghan Hounds hunt by sight, as opposed to smell. They possess excellent stamina, speed, and agility, which meant they could hunt for long periods of time. They were bred to help humans hunt in both mountains and the desert for goats, snow leopards, wolves and deer.

This independent breed of dog is graceful and elegant with its silky long coat and chill personality that makes them a suitable choice as a pet for large homes!

2. Basenji

The “Silent” Hunter

basenji oldest dog breeds

There is still some debate as to exactly how old Basenji dogs are, but they have been spotted on paintings on the walls of Libyan caves that date back as far as 6000 B.C.

This breed of dog is most known for its lack of bark. They are not mute, as they make other noises such as whining, growling and even screaming. If they do bark it is usually only once. Originally bred as hunting dogs, their quiet nature would prevent them from scaring away prey or giving away the location of their human counterparts.

Still considered rare in the United States, they were first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1943.

3. Akita Inu

The National Dog Of Japan – Think “Hachiko”

Akita Inu on bed

Akita – The National dog of Japan that has been around since at least 8000 B.C. Bred as working dogs. They now work mainly as military or police dogs as they are extremely protective that excel at tracking.

Akita dogs are affectionate, loyal and extremely intelligent. It was Helen Keller who first brought the Akita to America in 1937. Officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1972, Akita Dogs make excellent family pets and guard dogs. Akitas have an average lifespan of 15 years.

4. Lhasa Apso

A Monks Best Friend

Lhasa Apso in basket

Originally from Tibet, this lovable furry breed was named after the holy city of Lhasa. As they were once exclusively owned by monks and those in nobility, the Lasha Apso is believed to have been around since 8000 B.C.

It was common belief that if their owner passed while the dog was still in their possession, that the owner’ soul was absorbed by his beloved pet.

Although they may require a bit of training in their early years, Lasha Apso dogs are fun, loving, intelligent and make excellent pets! This breed received its official recognition from the American Kennel Club in 1935.

5. Chow Chow

The “Puffy Lion” dog

oldest dog breeds chow chow

Believed to have originated in China, the Chow Chow has been around since roughly 150-200 B.C. They are related to the Pomeranian, Keeshond and Shar-Pei.

Chow Chows were bred as hunting, herding and guard dogs due to their protective nature as well as their strength.

Although they look cuddly, they tend to be a bit aloof. However, if properly socialized at a very early age, the Chow Chow will make an excellent pet as well as a guardian of the home.  They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1903.

6. Alaskan Malamute

The “Lone Wolf”

oldest dog breeds malamute

Having descended from the Arctic wolf, the Alaskan Malamute is believed to have been around since 1000 B.C. They are related to the Samoyed, the American Eskimo Dog, and the Siberian Huskey. 

The Malamute originated near the Arctic Circle of the Bering Sea. They were utilized by the Alaskan Inuit Mahelumut Tribe as sled dogs due to their ability to haul big loads in addition to their roles as hunting dogs.

While the Alaskan Malamute makes a great family pet, they prefer to be the only dog of the family. Due to their tireless nature, they will require a great deal of exercise and playtime. This breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1935.

7. Saluki

The Greyhounds of Persia

saluki dog in a field

Native to Turkey, the Saluki is closely related to the Afghan Hound. Egyptian tombs that contained mummified Salukis that were buried with Pharaohs were discovered dating back to as early as 2100 B.C. Hardly surprising since King Tutankhamen tomb had carvings of his favourite Salukis!

Known to be extremely fast runners, Saluki tend to excel as hunting dogs. Similar to the Afghan Hound, they hunt by sight rather than scent.

Previously known as “Persian Greyhounds,” Saluki dogs can run up to 35 miles an hour thus requiring plenty of exercise to tire them out as they love to chase anything that moves. The Saluki was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1927.

8. Chinese Shar-Pei

The “Skinny” Dog

Shar-pei on side walk

Believed to have come from the Han Dynasty in 206 B.C., the Shar-Pei may be related to the Chow Chow. This is due to the fact that both breeds have similar blue-black tongues.

Bred for tracking, herding, hunting and protecting livestock, this breed makes a stellar guard dog for their human companions. However, the Shar-Pei fell out of favour during the Communist Revolution. In the 1970s, they regained popularity among Chinese citizens, thanks to a Hong Kong business entering to save the breed from dying out.

The Chinese Shar-Pei is currently a popular dog breeds in the U.S and gained recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1988.

9. Samoyed

Santa’s possible helper?

oldest dog breeds Samoyed

Bred to herd reindeer, pull sleds and hunt by the Siberian Samoyed, this breed of dog dates as back as 1000 B.C. The Siberian Samoyed were used to pull sleds during polar exhibitions – being one of the fittest and strongest dog breeds that was able survive the tedious, bitter cold journey.

An extremely loyal, intelligent and affectionate breed they make ideal family pets. Samoyed dogs gained recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1923.

10. Pekingese

Beijing Royalty

Two Pekingese oldest dog breeds

First bred in China over 2,000 years ago, Pekingese dogs were named after the city from which had originated – Peking (now Bejing). They were originally owned by exclusively by royalty. 

Making their first appearance around the mid-1800s in England, this breed was only recognized as a proper breed by the American Kennel Club in 1909.

To this day, they are a popular choice for household pets as they are loyal and affectionate. Often known as lapdogs or couch potatoes, Pekingese dogs love to be near their humans at all times.