If you love dogs, chances are you’ve heard of more than one breed, but how many dog breeds are there? If we’re talking about the official count, it seems like the list keeps getting longer. The Kennel Club says there are around 190 recognized dog breeds, but the Dog Registry of America says there are over 800! It all depends on your definition of ‘breed,’ but if you’re planning to adopt or buy a dog, knowing the difference between types and breeds of dog could be very useful.
There are ten dog breeds that you probably have never heard of
You’ve probably heard of some of the most popular dog breeds in the world, such as the Labrador and Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, and Dachshund. But there are dozens of other rare dog breeds that only some people have ever heard of. Check out this list to see 10 rare dog breeds you didn’t know existed!
1) The American Hairless Terrier
Despite its name, there is a bit of hair on an American Hairless Terrier. You have to look for it. This breed came from Louisiana and was bred as a vermin exterminator because it’s fearless, loyal, and equipped with excellent hearing and vision. The American Hairless Terrier also makes a beautiful family pet. Just don’t call him naked.
2) The Bergamasco Shepherd Dog
This mountain-dwelling pup is a healthy, friendly, sturdy dog with an easy-going temperament. The Bergamasco gets along well with children and other animals, but it tends to be standoffish around strangers. This loving breed can live outside in warm or cold climates and prefers an active lifestyle. It makes a good watchdog as it has an innate ability to recognize when something isn’t right in its surroundings, though it usually won’t bark unnecessarily. While breeders specialize in bringing dogs into Canada from Italy, if you would like to adopt a Bergamasco Shepherd Dog, you may need to contact rescue groups for available dogs or start your search online.
3) The Shih Tzu
Little lion dogs, Shih Tzus, were initially bred in China to be companion animals. Their gentle demeanors make them great family pets, and they also do well with other pets such as cats. They’re very affectionate, social animals and tend to follow their humans around all day long. Because of their small size, may not be suitable for families with children under six years old who might accidentally hurt them. However, Shih Tzus are clever enough to hold their own when teased by older kids or adults and generally get along very well with other pets. They do need a fair amount of grooming, though, so plan on spending about 30 minutes every two weeks brushing its soft coat.
4) The Canaan Dog
The Canaan Dog is an ancient breed with a long, storied history. Believed to be descended from dogs brought to Israel by trading caravans, Canaan Dogs were initially bred by nomadic desert tribes as guard dogs. Today they are used as guide dogs and search-and-rescue animals in their native land. Smaller than most of its cousin breeds, Canaan Dogs features a somewhat rat-like face with deep chestnut coloring. According to legend, during a haunt for jackals, a member of one nomadic tribe acquired one of these now rare canines.
5) The Cane Corso
The Cane Corso, also known as Italian Mastiff, is an Italian working breed that descends from ancient Roman molasses. The Dogo Canario: The Dogo Canario is a sizeable Molosser-type dog that was once bred to hunt wild boar in Spain’s Canary Islands. It likely descended from dogs imported to Spain by Phoenician traders or migrating Celts and Carthaginians. The Chow Chow: The Chow Chow is an ancient breed from northern China. According to Chinese legend, a Chinese consort walked with her pet spaniel one day when she came upon a lion about to devour a dove. She threw her favorite chopsticks at it, scaring it away.
6) The Bolognese
A companion animal is a great family pet with a loving and playful personality. Bolognese dogs are considered very intelligent and good with children but are not always good with other dogs. They enjoy living indoors but can adapt to apartment life if necessary. Known for their sweet temperament and striking white coloring, their eyes are frequently a shade of blue or brown. As companion animals go, they don’t require much exercise outside of walks and playtime, but they enjoy romping around in open fields or parks when adequately exercised. However, because of their contentment with indoor life, many Bolognese owners choose to shower them with lots of attention instead!
7) The Appenzeller Sennenhunde
The Appenzeller Sennenhunde, or just Appenzeller, is a medium-sized working dog from Switzerland. They originated in Switzerland as draft dogs and flocked guards, used by farmers to watch sheep. It’s believed that they descended from crosses between local farm dogs and Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs. The name comes from their place of origin: Appenzell.
8) The Norfolk Terrier
The Norfolk Terrier is a small terrier descended from and bred to hunt vermin. This means he’s fearless and also a little nippy! Don’t worry, though—he can be trained to curb his hunting instincts. He barks because he wants attention and companionship, so give him plenty of both. His long coat requires regular grooming, and he can develop allergies quickly if he isn’t adequately cared for. He doesn’t require much exercise; his happy sitting at your feet as you do your daily tasks or running around in a small yard with toys for the company will suit him just fine.
9) The Parson Russell Terrier
The Parson Russell Terrier is a scarce breed of small, short-legged but swift terrier that has been around since before 1800. The standard for conformation has been written since 1946, and a breed club was founded in 1994. The International Parson Russell Terrier Association (IPRTA) is based in Pennsylvania; its members seek to preserve and protect this traditional sporting breed which they refer to as the poor man’s foxhound. They also aim to educate prospective owners and promote responsible breeding practices through a system of certification programs.
10) The Picardy Spaniel
A toy breed of Spaniel originating in France, with a typical weight between 6 and 15 pounds. A happy, affectionate family pet with a charming personality. The Picardy’s silky coat needs regular grooming to keep it from matting. It has a beautiful temperament and is friendly with other dogs and children. The Picardy is easy to train for basic obedience, but you may want to think twice about letting it off-leash in an unfenced area – its size can make it vulnerable to coyotes or larger dogs.