Dog Breeds
discovering top ten rarest dog breeds

Discovering the Top 10 Rarest Dog Breeds Around the World

Written by Ryan Gliozzo


Explore a canine world of rarity with our captivating article on the top 10 most uncommon dog breeds. Uncover the unique characteristics and fascinating histories of these extraordinary and seldom-seen canine companions.
3 dogs standing in a row in the forest


The world of dog breeds is vast and varied, with some breeds being more common than others. However, there are those that stand out due to their scarcity and uniqueness, known as rare dog breeds.

In this blog post, we delve into the top 10 rarest dog breeds from around the globe. Each breed not only boasts its own distinctive characteristics but also a unique history. So, let’s dive into the list of the world's rarest breeds.

For prospective dog owners, understanding the full spectrum of dog care, including insurance considerations as outlined in our guide to
Different Types of Pet Insurance, is essential.

Breed 1: Chinook

a chinook dog in snow

Origin and history

The Chinook holds a unique position among dog breeds in the world, having been bred in the United States. This breed's origin traces back to the early 20th century and is closely linked to sled dog racing.

Although not as popular as other retriever or sled dog types, the Chinook holds a special place in canine history. Its development was aimed at creating a versatile and powerful sled dog, and it has since become a symbol of American canine heritage.

For those intrigued by less common breeds, our article
Dogs That Don't Shed or Shed Little offers insights into managing breeds with unique grooming needs.

Breed 2: Peruvian Inca Orchid

a peruvian inca orchid laying down

A Peruvian gem

Originating from Peru, the Peruvian Inca Orchid is a sight to behold. This hairless dog breed is not only rare but also steeped in history, dating back to pre-Inca cultures. The breed's most notable feature is its almost entirely hairless body, save for some tufts on the head and tail. Their skin colour can vary, adding to their unique appearance. The Peruvian Inca Orchid is a testament to the diversity of canine breeds.

Understanding the care requirements of such unique breeds is crucial, as highlighted in our exploration of the
Most Expensive Dog Breeds.

Breed 3: Azawakh

an azawakh dog walking on grass

Mali's graceful hound

The Azawakh is more than just a rare dog breed; it's a cultural icon in its native lands of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. Known for its slender, elegant build and graceful gait, the Azawakh is a sighthound, originally bred for hunting. Its rarity outside its native region makes it one of the world's rarest dog breeds.

This breed exemplifies the diverse beauty of canine breeds, akin to those listed in our
Top 10 Dog Breeds in the UK.

Breed 4: Thai Ridgeback

thai ridgeback dog in a plant

Thailand's ancient companion

Thailand's Thai Ridgeback is a breed of dog known for its distinct ridge of hair running along its back. This rare breed has a history that dates back centuries in Thailand. Originally bred for hunting, the Thai Ridgeback is now valued for its loyalty and protective nature. Its rarity outside of Southeast Asia adds to its allure.

Breed 5: Catahoula Leopard Dog

catahoula leopard dog looking to the side

Louisiana's hunting partner

The Catahoula Leopard Dog, originally from Louisiana, USA, is a hunting dog known for its striking coat patterns. This breed, bred for hunting in the swamps of Louisiana, is recognised for its versatility and strength. Its unique coat and keen hunting skills make it a sought-after but rare breed.

Breed 6: Telomian

a telomian dog laying down on a blanket

Malaysia's rare treasure

Malaysia's contribution to the canine world, the Telomian, is a small to medium-sized dog with a unique set of skills. Known for its adaptability and intelligence, the Telomian is a unique breed that remains largely unknown outside of Malaysia.

Breed 7: Otterhound

an otterhound standing up on a fence

A rare British breed

The Otterhound is one of the UK's treasure breeds. Initially bred to hunt otters, this large hound has a distinctive double coat and webbed feet, perfect for its original purpose. Despite its historic role, the Otterhound is now one of the rarest dog breeds in the UK.

Breed 8: Estrela Mountain Dog

estrela mountain dog herding

Guardian of Portugal's peaks

Portugal's pride, the Estrela Mountain Dog, is a large and powerful breed, originally used as a guard dog for herds in the mountains. Known for its loyalty and protective nature, the Estrela Mountain Dog is a rare yet magnificent example of a working canine.

Breed 9: Norwegian Lundehund

a norwegian lundehund in the grass

The flexible Norwegian

Norway's Norwegian Lundehund is unique for its extraordinary flexibility and history as a puffin hunting dog. This breed can bend their neck backwards and has six toes on each foot, adaptations that were perfect for its original hunting purpose. Today, it's one of the rarest dog breeds in the world.

Breed 10: Mudi

a mudi dog stood next to owner

Hungary's energetic herder

The Mudi, hailing from Hungary, is a versatile herding dog known for its intelligence and agility. This rare breed is still used for herding in Hungary and is prized for its ability to work with a variety of livestock.

Wrapping up: the most rare dog breeds in the world

The dog breeds we've explored today are among the world's rarest. Each breed, from the Chinook in the United States to the Mudi in Hungary, has unique characteristics and histories that make them special.

These rare dog breeds not only add diversity to the canine world but also hold cultural and historical significance in their regions.

As dog enthusiasts, it's crucial to appreciate and preserve these unique breeds. Share your thoughts or experiences with any of these rare breeds, and let's continue to celebrate the diversity in the world of dogs.

If you have a breed you need to protect in case of injury or illness, check out our post about the
Different Types of Pet Insurance. Here, we highlight the best options for insuring your pet and discuss what Waggel provides.

If you are looking for the perfect family dog, our guide to the
Top 10 Family Dogs is the perfect place to start. Interested in small dogs? Our article on the top 10 small dogs will guide you to the most super cute pups in the world.


What makes a dog breed rare?

A dog breed is considered rare due to factors like limited breeding populations, geographic isolation, or specific breeding purposes that are no longer in high demand. Rarity can also be due to preservation efforts following a decline in numbers.

How can people contribute to the preservation of rare dog breeds?

Contributing to the preservation of rare dog breeds can involve supporting breed-specific rescue organisations, responsible breeding practices, and raising awareness about these breeds' unique qualities and needs.

Are rare dog breeds more difficult to care for?

The care requirements for rare dog breeds vary. Some may have specific health, dietary, or exercise needs due to their unique characteristics. It's important to research and understand the needs of a particular breed before deciding to bring one into your home.

Can rare dog breeds be good family pets?

Many rare dog breeds can make excellent family pets, but it depends on the breed's temperament and the family's lifestyle. Some rare breeds are more suited for active families, while others may prefer a quieter environment.

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