Everyone has heard of labs, pugs, dalmatians, golden retrievers among other breeds. But there are some breeds that most people haven’t even heard of. Here are some breeds that you didn’t even know existed. These breeds are no less significant than other breeds but just that their number have dwindled over the years and they are mostly endemic to the places from where they had originated.
The azawakh is a kind of hound which is not found outside Africa. It is also known as ‘oska’ or ‘idi’. These dogs weigh about 15 to 25 kilograms and reach a height of about 24 to 29 inches. They are highly muscular and agile dogs and they are used for hunting gazelles in the African deserts. They might look huge and a little scary but they are actually timid creatures who are very affectionate once you get to know them.
These dogs are also known as the ‘American dingo’ or ‘Dixie dingo’. These dogs were initially a wild breed but are now a breed recognized by the United Kennel Club after they were discovered by Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin. These dogs are thought to be the oldest breed of dogs living in North America and they also appear on rock paintings which were painted by the Native Americans. These dogs are excellent in hunting and love to run. So if you decide to keep one make sure he/she has a lot of space to exercise.
These breeds are different from all other breeds. They have six toes in each foot, their ears move in all directions at their will and they can make their heads touch their backbone. They were initially bred in Norway as puffin hunters and even their name means puffin dog. There aren’t a lot of lundehunds in the world today because after the puffin bird became a protective species they became less important to the farmers and slowly but steadily their numbers declined.
This breed became the official state dog of the state of Louisiana in the United States of America in 1979 and hence it is also called the Louisiana Catahoula leopard dog. These dogs are believed to be the first dogs that were bred in North America. These dogs were a favourite of Teddy Roosevelt. They have exceptional hunting qualities and were traditionally used for hunting wild bores.
They are also known as ‘Italian mastiff’. They are basically guard dogs due to their severe protective instincts and they are an ancient breed. Initially they were bred alongside the Romans and they were used in wars. They were given armour and their job was to disembowel the enemy horses. For some reason they became almost extinct after WWII but due to the efforts of an Italian painter who set up kennels for them and bred with English mastiffs they numbers rose. We all have seen this breed in the Harry Potter movies but we remember him as Fang, Hagrid’s pet dog.
This breed is also known as the ‘Mexican hairless dog’. They come in all sizes – toy, miniature and standard. These dogs are so ancient that they were worshipped by the Aztecs. Since most people haven’t seen this breed before they are often mistaken as the chupacabra, a mythical creature who was believed to drink the blood of the livestock. These dogs are the symbol of a professional Mexican football club called Club Tijuana. These dogs are very strong and hardy and make wonderful pets.
This breed originated in Thailand and was unknown outside it. They are also known as ‘ Mah Thai Lang Ahn’. This breed is one among the three breeds that have a ridge of hair on its back with hair growing in the opposite direction to the rest of the fur on the body. The other breeds are the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Phu Quoc Ridgeback. They are strong and sturdy and are mostly used to guard livestock.
This breed originated in Tibet but is also found in China, Nepal, Ladakh and central Asia. These dogs are strong enough to take on leopards and wolves when they are performing their duty of protecting the livestock. They are in no way apartment dogs and they need a huge yard to jump and play around. They are suspicious of new people so they need to be trained well in order to avoid mishaps. They sleep during the day to be alert and active throughout the night. Instead of calling them Tibetan Mastiff a better name for them would be ‘Tibetan mountain dog’ because they aren’t exactly mastiffs.
This breed originated in Spain and they are Spanish hunting dogs. Their characteristic feature is their double nose which led people to believe that they had superior olfactory senses but it has now been proven that this is not true. The Pachon Navarro is not recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale which is Europe’s major Kennel club. It is a type of hunting dog and it was famous among the Spanish nobility of the 18th and 19th centuries.
The above mentioned breeds are very rare and none of them are easy to come by in India. Most of them are built for hunting so they are strong and agile. These breeds require a lot of space to exercise so if you decide to get one make sure to thoroughly read up on the breed so that you can provide it with all the facilities that it requires. These dogs may look ferocious and different from the dogs that we are used to but they will love you no less because at the end of the day they are still dogs and as Josh Billings said ‘ A dog is the only thing on earth than loves you more than he loves himself’.