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Top 10 Uncommon Dog Breeds You’ve Probably Never Heard Of


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The American Kennel Club has nearly 200 registered breeds of dogs. Many of these breeds are familiar to us like German Shepherd, Doberman, or Golden Retriever. It’s commonplace to see such dog breeds in households around the world or doing their rounds with local police.

But the AKC has many lesser known, more obscure breeds registered with it as well.  These have hard to pronounce names and some of them look a complex mix of other breeds. They have uncommon traits and characteristics that make them even more unique.

If you’re into the world of canines and always looking for new info, read on to see how many of these breeds you are aware of.

#10 Spinone Italiano

One of the most ancient dog breeds dating back to 200 AD, the Spinone Italiano is mostly known for its hunting skills. It is quick to point and retrieve game during hunting. Characterized by its soft and sweet looks, the shaggy features of this breed make it a loveable family pet. Full of energy, a Spinone Italiano will never refuse a chance to run and play. It goes by another name – “Braco Spinoso” – which can be attributed to its bushy nose.

#9 Sloughi

The Sloughi is characterized by a long, tapering body. It was developed in North Africa and is a very old breed. It’s also called the “Arabian Greyhound” because of its similarity with greyhounds. It has sad and dark eyes, another distinguishing physical characteristic besides its long neck and head.

The Sloughi was used to hunt both small and large animals and have retained this instinct. They will run after anything that catches their attention.

Loyal to their human owners, the Sloughi is shy and quiet at the home ground but likely to be uncomfortable in front of strangers.

#8 Norwegian Lundehund

Hailing from Norway, the Lundehund has some uncommon physical features that make them quite unique. Armed with six toes, they can bend their head backward to touch their spine. They can even literally hug the face of a cliff, thanks to their flexible shoulders that enable them to stretch their legs on the sides. This breed is also known by the name of Puffin Dog as they were used to retrieve puffins from deep cracks and crevices in the steep cliffs of their homeland.

The Lundehund is small in stature, stretching up to a height of only 13 to 15 inches in case of males and 12 to 14 inches in case of females.

Lundehunds can be stubborn at times but overall, they are playful and friendly with their human family but a little apprehensive of strangers.

#7 Lagotto Romagnolo

A romantic name that means the “the lake dog of Romagna”, the Lagotto Romagnolo is an Italian dog breed. This breed loves to swim as its name suggests and is therefore used for retrieving purposes. Their strong sense of smell also helps them in this activity. They are especially used to search for truffles.

Physically, they make an adorable picture with their tight, round curls and distinctive beard and eyebrows. They are easy-going and loving, and so make great companions for their human family members.

Besides being a family pet, the Lagotto Romagnolo is used a therapy dog and in rescue missions. But they aren’t all work and no play, they also indulge and excel in sports like tracking and rallies.

#6 Dandie Dinmont Terrier

This unusual breed got its name from Sir Walter Scott’s novel, “Guy Mannering”, where one of the characters bore the same name. It was around 1700 when the Dandie Dinmont was recorded as a breed.

The key features of this breed include a loud voice, large eyes that express all emotions, and a fluffy head. But it’s wrong to assume that this small sized dog is all meek and mild. It has the personality and bark of its larger canine brothers. And it gives a look of utmost confidence.

Although they are rough and tough, kids enjoy playing games with a Dandie Dinmont.

Its most distinguishing feature is its tail that resembles a curved sword.

#5 Coton de Tulear

Originating from Madagascar, the Coton de Tulear has a French name, meaning cotton. And indeed, true to its name, this breed is soft and gentle. Although their size is small, their energy is not so by any means! Known for their special responsiveness to their human companions, the Coton de Tulear almost mouth their words when talked to. It is an excellent sports dog and keeps the owner entertained with new tricks.

#4 Chinook

Chinook is named after the first dog born in this breed. This breed, the official state dog of New Hampshire, was developed in the same state for the purpose of pulling sleds. So, they are naturally well-built and strong and perform well in sports like sledding.

The Chinook also makes a friendly family dog and is well-appreciated for its intelligence and athletic traits.

#3 Cesky Terrier

The Cesky Terrier hails from the former Republic of Czechoslovakia and is a mix of two very different breeds called the Scottish Terrier and the Sealyham. The sole purpose of developing the Cesky Terrier was to have a dog that could serve as both a hunter and a family pet.

Physical characteristics include a strong jaw, weight between 16 and 22 pounds, and a grey shade of fur that was black or tan when they were born. This breed is good at sports and is agile in nature.

#2 Canaan Dog

The national dog of Israel, the Canaan breed of dogs were adopted as pets as late as only the 1930’s. So, they have still naturally retained their survival instinct which makes them exceptionally alert to their surroundings. Although friendly with their human owners, they get a bit wary of strangers. It’s quite easy to adopt these as house pets.

In Israel, the Canaan dogs are used to detect mines because of their keen sense of smell and hearing. They are also used as guard dogs and as messengers.

#1  Beauceron

By nature, the Beauceron is protective of the family, the home, and the herd. They belong to the family of French sheepdogs and weigh between 70 and 110 pounds. Devoted to their master, they follow them around wherever they go.

A little wild side with plenty of energy, they may prove a bit too much for people who have never owned dogs before. Beauceron has a good physical build and they can perform multiple roles including military work and sports like skijoring. This breed is also good at sports.

One distinguishing mark of the Beauceron is their double claw-like extensions near their rear legs that look like thumbs.

Is there any other dog breed you know of that can be added to this list? Please share in the Comments section below!

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