Ever wondered if there are rare dog breeds you’ve never heard of? Whether or not you are fond of dogs or you own a dog, chances are you can name quite a few breeds if you’re asked to do so. Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers – there are several breeds of dogs that nearly everyone has seen and heard of, since they are normally found in different parts of the globe and are commonly recognized. But did you know that there are actually over 190 dog breeds in the world?!
There are several rare dog breeds that are present in rather small numbers, which are often concentrated in small corners of the world. This means that they often go unnoticed in other countries. Here are 10 of the top rare dog breeds that you have probably never come across in your life!
1) Bedlington Terrier
First on our rare dog breeds list is an adorable dog can easily be mistaken for a lamb! This rare dog breed is known for its light-colored and curly wool coat, exactly like that of lamb. These small dogs take their name from the Bedlington town in England, where they are commonly seen, but some of them can be traced as far back as 1782.
While these cute terriers look like they would calm and quiet, they are actually surprisingly athletic and sharp, and are traditionally used in dog sports like racing and catching vermin. They’re also extremely strong and are known to be able to overthrow any other dogs of their weight.
Outstanding Trait: They can be beasts when needed, but are also extremely gentle and are perfect with children.
2) Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
This cute little dog breed is as unique as its name! These are the least known among the retrievers, and are medium-sized dogs originally bred for hunting in Canada. Often referred to as ‘tollers’, they are athletic, muscular and powerful despite their small size.
Since they were originally bred to retrieve from cold waters, they have a double coat that is water-repellent. Ranging from red to golden, the pups are often mistaken for golden retrievers, but they don’t grow as big. They are also very intelligent and playful, and are easily excited. Curious and outgoing, they get along with nearly everyone they meet; they do not have an aggressive bark, nor natural protective instincts.
Outstanding Trait: If you’re looking for a dog with low energy, a Toller definitely isn’t the one! These little bundles of energy will have them running around most of the time that they spend awake.
3) Hairless Peruvian Inca Orchid
Inca Orchids, strangely, can be traced back to 750 AD and are yet among the most uncommon and least known rare dog breeds today! The most important characteristic of the breed, as the name suggests, is its hairlessness. The hairless skin is usually dark copper, gray or chocolate brown.
These Peruvian dogs can vary in size, and range from 9 to 55 lbs. At their ideal weight, they are lean, slim and rather elegant. As for their temperament, they are alert dogs that can often be suspicious of strangers, but are extremely affectionate with family – especially children.
Outstanding Trait: Inca Orchids need to be around owners who can keep them entertained; they don’t like being left alone for long periods of time, and are definitely not entertained with merely ‘Fetch’.
4) Catahoula Leopard Cur
This American dog breed, also referred to as the Catahoula Leopard Dog, is a tough one with a strikingly unique appearance. This is the state dog of Louisiana since 1979, and is often theorized to have been bred by the Native Americans. While they have been rumored to be bred from wolves, this theory has been negated by modern researchers, who are more inclined towards believing that they come from greyhounds and molossers.
Catahoulas vary greatly in size, and can be anywhere from 40 to over 100 lbs. They also come in many colors, both spotted and solid. The most common ones seen are shades of reds, browns, grays, blacks and whites. They are extremely energetic and sharp, and while they are not aggressive, they are still known to be assertive and protective.
Outstanding Trait: Owners often say their Catahoulas ‘own’ them. They feel responsible for caring for those around them and getting things done!
5) Karelian Bear Dog
The Finnish Karelian dog is extremely popular in its home country, though little known otherwise. Medium sized, they are characterize by a black and white coat and a furry, curled tail. These fearless hunting dogs have fast reflexes and are naturally aggressive when met with other dogs – or most animals. However, they can function well with other pets when properly trained.
These bear dogs are extremely protective and territorial. They are also high on energy and usually prefer being outdoors, with plenty of space to run around and exercise. Not only do they need physical stimulation, but they are at their best when also mentally stimulated.
Outstanding Trait: They might kill another animal if they sense a threat, but they were almost never bite a human.
6) Turkish Double-Nosed Catalburun
More commonly known as ‘Double-Nosed Pointers’, Catalburuns are among the very few rare dog breeds in the world to feature a split nose as well as suspended ears. These dogs are native to Turkey and are often unseen outside of the country; it is said that there aren’t more than 200 in the entire world! In fact, they are not even recognized as an official breed as of yet. (Thus making it to our rare dog breeds list!)
These pointers are usually light-colored, with distinctively dark ears and sometimes dark spots or patches. Weighing up to 55 lbs, these dogs are fierce companions and protectors. They are smart and devoted and can be remarkable if adequately trained. The Catalburun is the kind of dog that will keep a watch outside your house, but will also snuggle at your feet and just be lazy when it wants to! In essence, they make for excellent pets for families with children.
Outstanding Trait: Catalburuns posses the strongest sense of smell among all pointers.
7) Bergamasco Shepherd
The Bergamasco Shepherd is easily recognized by its coat, which is made up of what looks like dreads! The coat is formed by groups of hair weaved together, making them look like mats. The sheepdog breed is ancient and is often said to originate from Persian mountains, where the coat protected the dogs from the harsh, cold climate. These shepherds are muscular and heavy-boned and can weigh up to 85 pounds. With a large head covered with hair that covers the eyes, they have a rather adorable appearance for a large breed. They may go from lighter grays and browns to dark black.
Bergamascos are extremely intelligent and social, and require a lot of exercise to stay in shape. Needless to say, they also need lots of grooming and are intolerant of hot climates. They are alert but also observant and patient, and can work as both guard dogs and companion dogs.
Outstanding Trait: They naturally have mild temperaments. If a Bergamasco is too aggressive or too shy, there’s a fault in training.
8) Russkiy Toy
This very small breed of dog was originally bred from the English Toy Terrier in Russia. Weighing only between 2-5lbs, these are among the smallest dogs in the world!
The Russian Toy comes in two varieties: smooth and long coat. They may have a short and shiny coat, or a long and feathery one, both of which can range from light to dark colors. These small dogs can work very well as watchdogs and are extremely vocal. They’re great with families, regardless of whether they’re dealing with adults or children, but can be rather wary of or reserved with strangers.
Outstanding Traits: Strong-willed and protective, these dogs often don’t realize how delicate they are. They often tend to suffer from physical injuries because of overestimating their strength!
Originally hailing from Hungary, the Mudi is a herding dog that is versatile, strong and active. From tan to black, these dogs come in wavy to curly long coats and can weight around 30 lbs. While most dog breeds are recognizable by their tails, Mudis actually have varying tails; they may be born with long and thing tails, or even bobtails!
Mudis are highly protective of their families and have a loud, high-pitched bark meant for alerting owners. Since they tend to overly protect, it is often recommended that they be socialized at an early age, so they become accustomed to strangers. Extremely keen, smart and loving, they can become rather attached to their families and don’t do well if owners are changed.
Outstanding Trait: Mudis do well living indoors, but almost always need a large space to run free. They’re the happiest when they’re brisk walking!
10) American Water Spaniel
The last dog on our rare dog breeds list originates from Wisconsin in the 19th Century, Water Spaniels are among the most versatile dogs in the world. They are medium-sized with a double coat that is usually shades of brown. The coat may be wavy, or very tightly curled. Interestingly, the color of the coat should always be the same as the color of the eyes; the otherwise may indicate a health problem or a breed defect.
Water Spaniels will often remind you of Labradors with their retrieving skills, and Golden Retrievers with their swimming. They can be vocal, but they are mostly calm and love being pampered and petted. Some dogs are said to be stubborn and slow in maturing, but proper training has shown to negate these traits. Even though these dogs were originally bred to hunt, their size means that they are great for apartments. They also do well with children and love gentle play, but need their rigorous exercise routinely.
Outstanding Trait: They love being the center of attention, and often face behavioral problems when ignored or left alone for too long!