How Well Do You Know These Rare Dogs and Their Histories?
By Erik Ryken
Dogs and people go way back, cohabiting for at least ten millennia. We have shared our homes with them as herders, hunters, guards, and other purposes, but what keeps us together is a companionship so deep we can hardly trace it. In honor of this bond, we’ve compiled a list of some of the lesser known breeds that have played their own special part in human history. We won’t assume that you don’t know any on this list, but it’s always worth diving into the diverse and beautiful world of dog breeds to get to know more about our favorite canine friends, whether or not they are officially recognized by kennel clubs or other so-called dog ‘authorities.’
Here’s our list of 14 incredible dog breeds you’ve probably never heard of:
Looking like a cross between a Rottweiler and a Golden Retriever, the Hovawart (from Middle High German words for “guarding a home or estate”) is a working dog with origins in the Black Forest. Their name has been documented as far back as the thirteenth century in law texts. The early twentieth century nearly saw their extinction but thankfully they now thrive in Germany as companion and working dogs.
Incredible sight-hounds, Azawakhs are similar to Greyhounds, but they can run in temperatures higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Their curly tails contribute to their charm and elegance.
New Guinea Singing Dog
Sadly, the New Guinea Singing Dog is classified as a vulnerable subspecies (related to the dingo) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Their characteristic vocalizations separate them from any other dog, wolf, coyote, or dingo and their unique behaviors have interested people and conservationists so much that many are in captivity across zoos in North American and Europe.