What are the rarest dog breeds in the world?

What are the rarest dog breeds in the world?

Clara Danneberg, Evan Williams

There are many different dog breeds that vary in size and shape, with different characteristics and personalities. What are the rarest dog breeds in the world, what do they look like and why are they so rare?

One of the rarest dog breeds is the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog. © 123RF / Zuzule

There are tons of perfect pooches out there, but many are underrated.

Some are so undervalued that their species are slowly disappearing. The numbers of these rare dog breeds may be declining, or there may not have been many in the first place.

Still, our love for them will never diminish.

Dog stranded on RV roof in Hurricane Ian's flooding experiences miracle
dogs
Dog stranded on RV roof in Hurricane Ian’s flooding experiences miracle

Whatever the reason for their rarity, these canine companions deserve our attention. In this dog guidewe take a look at eleven of the world’s rarest dogs, why they’re rare, and what you need to know about them.

Why are there rare dog breeds?

There are many possible reasons why a particular dog breed is considered rare. Maybe a particular breed was created just by the magic of breeding and science, maybe people just don’t like the look of a breed, or maybe there’s another reason in general.

In most cases, a rare breed occurs either because the dog has difficulty breeding itself, or because the native dog species is endangered.

The latter option is perhaps the saddest, as breeds such as the Australian Dingo and the New Guinea Singing Dog are often threatened with extinction by human activity or hunting. In the case of non-pure dog breeds, it is likely that there are fewer because a particular breed has not yet been “prepared”.

What are the rarest dog breeds?

There are many different dog breeds in the world that can be considered rare. While this selection is not definitive, and there may be other dog breeds that are technically more “rare” than some, these puppies are both incredibly rare and incredibly interesting.

From Azawakhs and Thai Ridgebacks to the New Guinea Singing Dog, these are some of the rarest dogs in the world:

11. Azawakhs are a rare dog of West Africa

Azawakh is especially rare in Europe.

Azawakh is especially rare in Europe. © 123RF / Alecta

The Azawakh dog breed is rarely found in Europe, as they come from Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso in West Africa.

These are desert dogs named after a valley between Mali and Niger – the Azawakh Valley. These special dogs were used for hunting, guarding and protection.

Characterized by their thin, lean and graceful bodies as well as their long legs, these fast and hardy dogs are able to run long distances in difficult and often very hot terrain.

The dog goes for a ride on a TikTok bike adventure
dogs
The dog goes for a ride on a TikTok bike adventure

They are intelligent, reserved, loyal and sensitive, which is a shame that they are so rare.

Note: It is important to remember that most of the time the incredibly thin body shape of Azawaks is due to lack of water as well as nutrition. If this dog is fed a gender-balanced diet, it will look quite different.

10. Is the Bedlington Terrier the cutest rare dog breed?

The Bedlington Terrier is actually surprisingly popular in the UK.

The Bedlington Terrier is actually surprisingly popular in the UK. © 123RF / Sergeitikhomirov

The Bedlington Terrier is one of the most expensive and at the same time the rarest dog breeds in the world.

They come from Bedlington in the United Kingdom, from which they get their name, and must be carefully bred because they are prone to Menkes and Wilson’s disease (copper toxicosis).

Originally intended as companion dogs for miners, Bedlington Terriers are also known to be used as hunting dogs and are very popular with the British aristocracy.

They are brave and obedient and incredibly cute, but very hardworking. If you want to adopt this rare breed of dog, you need to give a lot of care and love and invest in serious training for your dog!

9. Is the Bergamasco Shepard the hairiest dog breed?

The Bergamasco Shepard is protected by a thick coat of fur.

The Bergamasco Shepard is protected by a thick coat of fur. © 123RF / Slowmotiongli

As the name suggests, the Bergamasco Shepard comes from the Italian province of Bergamo and is one of the oldest and rarest dog breeds in the world.

Their fluffy fur protects them from cold and wet weather, as well as wolf bites. They are docile and reliable and resemble sheep, so they are often used to guard livestock.

This is certainly not an indoor dog, as they require space and freedom. But if they are well raised and cared for, they can be wonderful companions.

There are quite long waiting times to adopt a Bergamasco Shepard, so due to their rarity, you shouldn’t hold your breath to get one as a pet anytime soon.

8. The Mexican Hairless dog is incredibly rare

The Mexican Hairless Dog is so rare that it was once endangered.

The Mexican Hairless Dog is so rare that it was once endangered. © 123rf / Masaryk512

The Mexican Hairless Dog is one of the oldest dog breeds in the Americas and one of the rarest dog breeds in the world.

The Aztecs actually believed that this particular dog was the earthly representation of Xolotl, the revered dog of thunder, death and misfortune. As a result, this particular dog breed has a rich history.

When Central America was first settled by foreigners, Europeans actually fed on the flesh of these poor pooches. Over time, the Mexican Hairless dog declined in population until it was nearly extinct in the mid-20th century.

They are fantastic family dogs and are incredibly intelligent and friendly, but they are seriously rare.

7. The Neapolitan Mastiff is a rare dog that wrinkles

Just look at the wrinkles on the Neapolitan Mastiff!

Just look at the wrinkles on the Neapolitan Mastiff! © 123RF / madrabothair

The Neapolitan Mastiff is an Italian guard dog and protection dog.

They are wrinkled as heck, incredibly strong and muscular, and perfect for guarding territory. Used as war dogs during the Roman Empire, these dogs now serve mainly as herding and farm dogs in southern Italy.

These beautiful dogs are brave, self-confident and fiercely protective. They are not a dog for beginners and are prone to all sorts of health problems due to poor breeding.

Over the years, these dogs have become increasingly rare and are no longer even seen in Italy.

6. Puli dogs are a small rare breed

Puli needs a lot of training and attention.

Puli needs a lot of training and attention. © 123RF/stieberszabolcs

The Puli dog breed originated in Hungary, although their roots actually come from Asia.

There are very few Puli breeders outside of Hungary, which makes them incredibly rare, even though they are perfect as herding and guard dogs and are handsome, friendly, obedient and intelligent.

These are not quiet dogs and should not be adopted into a home that cannot give them much. They need to act urgently and require a stack of activities to keep them happy and calm.

Perhaps their rarity is because they are so hard to look at? It seems most animal lovers will never know.

5. Thai Ridgeback is one of the rarest dog breeds in the world

The Thai Ridgeback is an incredibly beautiful dog breed.

The Thai Ridgeback is an incredibly beautiful dog breed. © 123RF / Ealisa

The Thai Ridgeback is one of the most beautiful, oldest and purest dog breeds in the world. They are also extremely rare, found only in the Southeast Asian countries of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia. As the name suggests, they have a fenced back.

They are incredibly stubborn and lively dogs with a strong hunting instinct and should really only be kept by experienced dog owners.

Surprisingly, with good training, the Thai Ridgeback can also be suitable for families, as they are loyal, love children, curious and incredibly intelligent.

If only they weren’t so rare!

4. Tibetan Mastiffs are one of the rarest large dog breeds

The Tibetan Mastiff is incredibly expensive and difficult to look after.

The Tibetan Mastiff is incredibly expensive and difficult to look after. © 123RF / Daviddo

One of the most expensive dog breeds in the world, the Tibetan Mastiff is an incredibly large dog found in the Himalayas.

Breeding is generally not financially feasible, which explains why these huge and incredibly hairy dogs are so rare.

To make matters worse, they are very expensive to maintain and train, and are generally seen as symbols of wealth in countries like China.

They are strictly territorial and can be very protective, loyal and attentive, making the Tibetan Mastiff a perfect guard dog.

But remember that if you adopt such a dog, it must be very well trained. Why? Well, because if untrained and socialized, this breed can be quite aggressive.

3. Czech Terriers are one of the rarest small dog breeds

Czech Terriers are beautiful and friendly dogs.

Czech Terriers are beautiful and friendly dogs. © 123RF / Catamount

The Czech Terrier is actually a fairly new and largely unknown dog breed, making it very rare outside of its native Czech Republic. They are often called “Bohemian Terriers”.

These dogs were bred to hunt foxes and badgers, but are now mainly used as human companions. As a result, they must be well trained to reduce their hunting instincts.

Czech Terriers are actually calm and sensitive dogs, with a deep gentle soul. It’s a shame they’re so rare because they’re perfect for families, even if they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time.

That being said, they are very easy to train and also very loyal, which is why we highly recommend them!

The Czechoslovakian Wolfhound looks very similar to a wolf in appearance.

The Czechoslovakian Wolfhound looks very similar to a wolf in appearance. © 123RF / Sandrafotodesign

Now, this central-European dog may look almost identical to a wolf, but it is actually a cross between a German Shepherd and a Carpathian wolf.

They excel as herding and herding dogs and are known to be hardy, fast, efficient and incredibly distant. They’re also incredibly stylish – seriously, just look at these beauties!

These dogs are not the best for families, which may explain why they have become so incredibly rare in the last few years. They howl loudly like wolves and can be very demanding. Their constant need for training and socialization makes them almost a full-time job, so it’s no wonder they’re so rare.

What is the rarest dog?

The New Guinea singing dog is perhaps the rarest dog in the world.

The New Guinea singing dog is perhaps the rarest dog in the world. © IMAGO / agefotostock

The world’s rarest dog breed is likely to be the New Guinea Singing Dogin fact, it was considered extinct until just a few years ago.

It is an ancient dog from Papua New Guinea and is closely related to the Australian dingo. They get their name from the beautiful singing sound they make when they bark.

There are very few New Guinean Singing Dogs left in the world, estimated to be around 200, and they mostly live high up in the wild mountains of the Pacific country they call home. Small and medium-sized marsupials like to feed on rodents and birds, but also enjoy fruits.

And well, they’re all-around pretty cool.

There are many different dog breeds that can be considered “rare” and this selection is by no means exhaustive. If you’re looking for an unusual dog, check one of these out. But these noisy singing dogs may be best avoided—for your ears, they should probably be left alone.

Cover photo: 123RF / Zuzule

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