Anyone who has done research on the history of dog breeds, will find that there are dozens of canines which no longer exist. With cross breeds, and an increasing number of strays and mutts requiring good homes, the demand for certain dog breeds slowly diminishes over time or simply dies out. It is tragic to consider that a unique kind of dog is more and more difficult to find, or is even in danger of going extinct, as the ill-fated breeds listed below.
List of Some Extinct Domestic Dog Breeds
- Alpine Mastiff
- Cordoba Fighting Dog
- English Water Spaniel
- Hawaiian Poi Dog
- Paisley Terrier
- Tahitian Bear Dog
- Egyptian Tesem
- Toy Bulldog
- Turnspit Dog
- Tweed Water Spaniel, and sadly many more!
Rarest Domestic Dog Breeds
These domestic dog breeds are in the greatest danger of going extinct and significantly dwindling in number.
- Catalburun: This is a distinct dog breed, with a split nose and is a celebrated hunting dog found mostly in Turkey.
- Thai Ridgeback: Like their cousins the Rhodesian Ridgebacks these dogs have strong protective instincts and ridges along their spines. These short-haired muscular pups have only been in America as recently as the mid 1990’s.
- Norwegian Lundehunds: An ancient dog breed and erstwhile hunting companion to the Vikings, the Lundehunds struggle with digestive issues that make long lifespans wishful thinking.
- Neopolitan Mastiff: This breed was nearly obliterated during the 1940’s, when an Italian man took pity on one of the Neopolitan Mastiffs and began to breed then with English Mastiffs. Though the Neopolitan Mastiff’s genetics are stronger because of the breeding, they still have dangerously low numbers. (Fun fact: One Neopolitan Mastiff acted in the Harry Potter movies, as Hangrid’s pet dog named Fang.)
- Tibetan Mastiff: Though this fuzzy bear-like breed has been revered as a tremendous guard dog and protector, they are notably rare. That said, the most expensive domestic canine ever purchased was a Tibetan Mastiff, who sold for $1.5 million.
- Mudi: These herding dogs hail from Hungary and until recently were widely unknown elsewhere. However, their noteworthy agility and herding skills have gained the breed some moderate attention in North America.
- Carolina Dog: Also called the “American Dingo,” the Carolina Dog is mixed with Australian Dingoes, and once ran rampant in the southern states in decades past; but their numbers have drastically decreased over time. Since the 1980’s most Carolina dogs are now bred largely in captivity to protect the species.
- Stabyhoun: This multitalented dog breed is adored by the Dutch people for its skills as a retriever, pointer, and gundog. Though the breed is limited in the United States (having less than 100 Stabyhouns in America), they are prized and protected in the Netherlands.
- Azawakh: The lithe body of these African hunters appeals to Greyhound owners in America. They are svelte and speedy runners, enjoying the company of fellow pack dogs. Sadly though, there are less than 200 Azawakh dogs on American soil.
- Otterhounds: These wooly dogs were famed otter hunters in the United Kingdom as early as the 1100’s, though they became far less popular when otter-hunting was made illegal in the 1970’s. It is believed that currently, less than 400 Otterhounds live in the United States.
- Chinook: This breed descended from a talented sled dog named Chinook (meaning “warm breeze during the winter”). Though the working breed was almost lost several decades ago, in the 1980’s the final 11 Chinook dogs were brought together to mate and keep the breed alive.
Each of these rare dog breeds are beautiful creatures who are fighting to survive in canine-crowded countries, or in limited areas of the world. Hopefully with the right care, and dedicated protection groups around them, these dogs will be able to thrive and increase in spite of their low numbers. May we never see those dog breeds on the “extinct” list!