21 Rare Dog Breeds That You’ve Probably Never Even Heard Of

For centuries, people have bred dogs to create breeds with specific colorations, distinct personalities and more. This has resulted in all kinds of breeds, each with a very particular appearance and demeanor.

No matter how well you think you know all of them, there are many lesser-known breeds to be discovered. Not only are they amazing, some of them are simply stunning!

Just take these 21 relatively unknown dog breeds, for example. In fact, they’re so rare that you’ve probably never even heard of them before…

1. The appenzeller sennenhunde is a muscular midsize dog of Swiss descent. Overall, they are said to be affectionate and charming toward people as well as with other breeds. They are typically leaders of the pack, too.

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2. At first, most people confuse the azawakh for a typical greyhound, but they are actually completely different. They do have many commonalities in their appearance, except for their long and distinctive curly tails.

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3. The Bergamasco shepherd is typically a livestock herding dog. They’re noted for the distinctive cords of fur that cover the entirety of their bodies and heads. Not only that, but they are also said to be an extremely obedient breed, as well.

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4. The Bracco Italiano is most widely noted for its strikingly similar appearance to a cross between a beagle and a bloodhound. Not only are these dogs smart, but they’re also incredibly athletic and affectionate toward people.

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5. Native to Turkey, tarsus catalburuns, or Turkish pointers, haven’t really been found anywhere else on the planet. They are noted for their distinctive “fork noses,” and their keen sense of smell, which aids in their ability to serve as hunting dogs.

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6. A Russian bear-hunting dog, the Caucasian ovcharka comes from the Caucasus Mountains. While not typically kept as pets, these dogs are capable of being loving and cuddly, though they fair better when hunting for prey.

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7. Strikingly similar in appearance to a husky, the Czechoslovakian vlcak is one of the most loyal dogs imaginable. They also have uncanny reflexes and are very active. If you plan on keeping one as a pet, prepare to go on plenty of walks!


8. While there are two types of Estrela mountain dog, long and short-haired, the most common is the former. They’re noted for being a rather independent breed, but they are totally capable of being well-trained pets, too.

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9. Just take a look at the adorable grand Basset griffon vendéen. Not only do these little cuties stay small for their entire lives, but they are also extremely friendly and affectionate toward people. They’re just asking to go home with you!

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10. While the outward appearance of the hovawart might scream “Doberman,” these fluffy and cuddly dogs are much more similar in temperament to the golden retriever. Just look at that loving face — they’re so adorable!

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11. An extremely rare Japanese breed, kai ken are most notably recognized by people as indoor dogs. It is also one of only six breeds that are protected by the Nihon Ken Hozonkai, an association that works to preserve Japanese dogs.

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12. The most distinguishing feature of the kooikerhondje are the black tips on their floppy ears, which researchers have dubbed “earrings.” Additionally, these dogs are noted for being extremely friendly and affectionate.


13. The Lancashire heeler is a small breed of dog that sits relatively close to the ground. Like many little dogs, they will go after your ankles if you’re not careful. That’s an easy fix, however, as they are most definitely trainable dogs.

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14. Raised to herd sheep and pigs, mudi are extremely fast dogs that love to run in big, open spaces. If you consider adopting one, you might want to be sure that you have access to an open field, because they can run for miles and miles. 

Mudi CA

15. The pumi’s most distinguishing feature is without a doubt its elongated muzzle. Originally bred in Hungary, these dogs have been showing up more and more in different countries around the world. While they’re naturally friendly, they are also incredibly fierce guard dogs.

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16. There are small dogs like the Chihuahua in existence and then there’s the Russian toy, practically the smallest dog on the face of the planet. While many small breeds are known for attacking people’s ankles, these little ones aren’t known to do that.


17. Of Dutch descent, schapendoes are often regarded to as “Dutch sheep poodles.” While they’re most known for their distinctive long hair, they are typically more active than their outward appearance lends them as they love to go on long walks and runs.


18. Known for their broad chests and strong necks, the Slovensky cuvac is a loyal guard dog that reaches a peak weight of nearly 100 pounds. In fact, despite their cheerful demeanor, many breeders refer to these dogs as fearless defenders of their packs. 

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19. Sporting an gruff look and a stocky build, the Spanish mastiff is an extremely heavyset dog. Seriously, these dogs can weigh upwards of 260 pounds! That’s a lot of a weight for a person, let alone your dog. Even their heads look heavy!

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20. Known for their sweet faces and being mild mannered most of the time, Swedish lapphund’s can be a bit stubborn at times, too. Though, what they lack in patience they more than make make up for in sweet personality.

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21. Noted for their rather lean frames, wire-haired vizslas are regarded as very noble dogs. Also, they are known to be extremely gentle and affectionate. Many breeders have noted that they’re particularly good with children.


So many of these breeds are very similar to ones you know, it’s such a surprise to find out how different they really are!

Share these rare dogs with your friends below!

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