If you’re looking for a dog that is not likely to be found in your neighborhood, then check out this list of least popular dog breeds. The list is based on the American Kennel Club list of popular breeds (Labrador Retriever, anyone?) but let’s talk about the pups that are not at the top of the list, but rather at the end. Some of the least popular dogs are surprisingly cute, while others might make you scratch your head and wonder why they were even bred at all!
Are you interested to know more about the least popular dogs in the world? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page.
Here's what we'll cover:
- Cirneco dell’Etna
- Cesky Terrier
- English Foxhound
- Japanese Chin
- Tibetan terrier
- American Foxhound
- Belgian Tervuren
- Finnish Spitz
- Bergamasco Shepherd
- Welsh terrier
- Berger Picard
- Nederlandse Kooikerhondje
- Canaan dog
- Neapolitan mastiff
The Cirneco dell’Etna is a legendary Sicilian hound dog that dates back to antiquity. Cirnecos are known for being athletic and tough, capable of navigating difficult terrain in search of invertebrates. The AKC recognized the breed in 2015.
Most people in America do not know about the Azawakh. The African sighthound is rare and new to them. It is from Africa, and it has been around for a long time. The first Azawakh arrived in the United States in the 1980s, birthing the country’s first domestic litter by the end of the decade. The AKC classified them as “miscellaneous” in 2011, and they just became a part of the official Hound Group in 2019.
The Cesky is a small terrier from the Czech Republic, and it’s known for being more trainable than your average terrier. It’s also called the Bohemian terrier, and it’s energetic and clever. It has an accent that sounds like “chess-kee,” which means Czech in English.
The English foxhound is a small, robust hunting dog regarded for its mild disposition and athleticism. This is the breed for runners: these foxhounds have been developed to run miles. In 1909, the AKC recognized them as a distinct breed.
Japanese chins are descendants of the ancient palaces of Japan and China, where they would even have their own staff to take care of them. Their pampered natures continue to this day, making them a dream dog for an indulgent owner.
Leonbergers are regal creatures designed to be ruled by kings, and they truly exude the phrase “gentle giants.” Males can reach a height of 31 inches and 160 pounds. King Edward VII, Napoleon III, and Tsar Alexander II are among Leonberger’s most famous owners.
Tibetan terriers are bright, friendly, and docile but maybe more reserved around people they don’t know. Dogs have long been associated with good fortune for travelers in their culture.
The history of briards as assistance dogs is fascinating. They aided by carrying ammunition while soldiers slept and worked with the Red Cross during World War I. The big herding dogs, which can reach 27 inches tall and 90 pounds, want to be in the middle of all family activities.
These are tiny but strong and fearless pooches that are sometimes mistaken for beagles. With the history of the hunters, this is one breed that has evolved gracefully into a family pet. Harriers generally like children, but their energy might be too much for younger youngsters to manage.
The American foxhound was developed in the early American colonies by crossing English foxhounds with Irish and French hounds to better match the terrain and hunting circumstances of the New World. The AKC recognized it in 1886.
The first-ever AKC herding competition was won by a Belgian Tervuren, which demonstrates this breed’s work ethic and endurance. While they are certainly wonderful pets, these animals are also working dogs that continue to work with the police in Belgium.
There were less than 350 otterhounds in the United States recently and as few as 600 worldwide. These dogs have good dispositions and are friendly, making them wonderful pets. However, because of their thick double coats, they require at least weekly brushing.
The Finnish red-gold hunting breed is the national dog of that country, with a heritage dating back thousands of years. These medium-sized dogs are energetic, brave, and friendly, and they require plenty of activity and a fenced yard. In 1960, the AKC recognized them as an official breed.
The dog’s dreadlocks are his most distinctive feature, which helps to keep him warm—and they occur naturally! The Bergamasco is an ancient breed with a strong herding nature that was originally bred in northern Italy. It was added to the AKC register in 2015.
The Chinook was created by Arthur Walden as an American sled dog breed and debuted to the general public in 1922. The original Chinook was a mix of sled dog and mastiff, named for the sire that started it all. The New Hampshire state dog is the Chinook. 2013 marked the year this breed was recognized by the AKC
The Lundehund is a dashing little dog. The Lundehund is a rare breed with several unusual characteristics, including the ability to tip its head backward until it touches the spine and six toes on each foot. This is one of the features that makes them so successful hunting puffins in the Arctic north. In 2018, they were added to the AKC.
The Welsh terrier is deeply connected to the history of Wales. The breed was first mentioned more than a thousand years ago, but it was not until 1855 that the pups were given their name. These dogs were initially developed to hunt foxes and rats; however, they are currently more common at a dog show working for the crowd amusement.
A French hunting breed called the Barbet has been around since at least the 16th century, and it is known for its joyful disposition. These endlessly energetic pups resemble Muppets come to life with their shaggy, curly hair. The breed was almost extinct, but now it is becoming popular again.
The breed’s unique hair made them ideal smugglers. The breed is said to have been utilized to smuggle tobacco and matches across the Franco-Belgian border. Shaved dogs with fur pouches of tobacco would be carried over the border undetected, smuggling contraband.
The Dutch name for this breed refers to its origin in the Netherlands, where these active and friendly spaniels were used to assist hunters in enticing ducks into traps. Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes weren’t counted as a breed in the United States until 2019. Despite this, these dogs have been demonstrating their watchdog talents for centuries—even allegedly saving the Dutch royal William of Orange from assassins in the 16th century. The breed’s unique orange-red and white coat, as well as black-tipped ears, may be used to identify it.
The Canaan dog’s ancient history dates back to Biblical times. Canaan dogs herded sheep and other livestock before the Romans razed Jerusalem. The dogs escaped to the desert after their owners were driven out of their homes. There they remained undomesticated until recently.
Although the name of this dog breed may not come to mind often, it is nevertheless one of the oldest. Xolos, or Mexican hairless dogs, thrive in a group (human or canine) and are recognized for their devotion to the person they form a bond with.
Neapolitan mastiffs are one of the world’s most massive dogs, weighing up to 200 pounds. Because of their size, Neapolitan mastiffs should be trained as soon as possible.
Sloughis have been attached to their owners since ancient times, at the least according to legendary maxims. These graceful dogs have always attracted the attention of royalty throughout history, and some nomadic owners still mourn them like human family members today.
Credits: thanks for the cover photo to Canva.
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