25 Rare Dog Breeds – The World's Rarest Dogs That Make Great Pets – The Pioneer Woman

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These pups are one of a kind!
Some types of dogs are household names, like the basset hound, the yellow Lab, or any one of these cute, fluffy dog breeds. But even if you’re a pup lover, you may have never even heard of some rare dog breeds like the Azawakh, the Xoloitzcuintli, or the Hovawart.
Some of these breeds, like the Russian Toy, are so rare that they have battled extinction. Other breeds, like the Canaan Dog and the Sloughi, descend from primitive canines (a.k.a. wild dogs) and have been around since ancient times. There are also some hairless breeds, like the Peruvian Inca Orchid dog, that hail from great civilizations and are part of their country’s national heritage.
There’s even a rare dog breed that might fit right in on Drummond Ranch among Ree Drummond’s beloved dogs. The Swedish Vallhund was actually bred more than 1,000 years ago for…cow herding!
While you might not get the chance to see these pups around your neighborhood, you’ll love learning about the quirky traits, unique histories, and fun-loving personalities of these rare dog breeds. Take a look at this roundup to learn a thing or two about these one-of-a-kind dogs! When you’re done, don’t forget to pick up one of the best dog toys for your four-legged BFF.
The Chinook is a relatively rare dog breed that was bred in New Hampshire in the early 1900s and used as an all-purpose sled dog. At one point there were said to be only 28 of these dogs remaining! The Chinook is also the official state dog of New Hampshire.
These pups were bred to hunt puffins, which is how they got their name. (In Norwegian, “lunde” means puffin, and “hund” means dog.) This breed has some pretty unusual characteristics, including six toes on each foot, and one less tooth on each side of its mouth.
These large scent hounds do just as well on land as they do in water. In fact, they even have webbed feet, a unique trait among hounds. While they were developed to hunt otters, this breed also makes a great family companion.
The Azawakh looks a lot like a Greyhound or Whippet but it’s actually a breed native to West Africa. Azawakhs are lean and athletic but also playful and affectionate.
This breed is the largest of the French sheep dogs and is almost unknown outside of its country of origin. Beaucerons are used for herding and guarding and make amazing dogs for search and rescue missions.
Is it a little lamb or a dog? It’s a Bedlington Terrier! These shaggy white pups are anything but sheepish. They’re fiercely protective and great hunters. They were also rumored to accompany nomadic, Romany-speaking groups in the Rothbury Forest in England in the 18th century.
This tiny pup is often mistaken for a Yorkshire Terrier. In fact, the tri-colored Biewer Terrier was initially bred from a Yorkie in Germany. But despite its German roots, the breed remains unrecognized in the country.
The Canaan Dog is the national dog of Israel. These dogs have lived all over the Middle East since ancient times and today make good guardians and watchdogs.
Before we go any further, you should know that this breed is pronounced “show-low-eetz-kweent-lee,” and is one of several breeds of hairless dogs. These pups are native to Mexico and Central America. Their name is derived from the Aztec deity Xolotl, the god of fire and lightening.
This cute pup is the national dog of the Czech Republic. The Cesky Terrier is known for being attention-loving and loyal. These dogs are also said to be less active and quieter than other terriers.
These little Scottish terriers were bred for hunting badgers and otters. The Dandie Dinmont is also the only breed to take its name from a character in literature. The name is from a character in the novel Guy Mannering by the Scottish author Walter Scott.
While it might not be as rare across the pond, the English Foxhound is one of the rarest breeds in the United States. These super active dogs are best suited for the countryside where they can romp in the wide open spaces.
These giant mountain dogs are one of the oldest breeds in Portugal. They’re known for being loyal, affectionate, and protective.

This breed looks a lot like a fox and was bred to hunt both small and large game. Finnish Spitzes are known to be independent, stubborn, and very “talkative.”
These dogs were developed in Germany for the purpose of being guard dogs. Their name literally means, “guardian of estates.” They can be a little tricky to train, so they’re usually best for experienced dog owners.
This Italian working breed needs a lot of mental stimulation and physical exercise. These dogs were first used for hunting waterfowl but are now best known as truffle-hunters.
Meet the state dog of Louisiana! Named after Catahoula Parish, Louisiana, the Catahoula Leopard Dog is a tough breed that can tackle the state’s forests and swamps.
Also known as the Dutch Spaniel, the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is a hunting dog that hails from Holland. These dogs have plenty of energy to go around, so if you’re looking for a low-key lap dog, this spaniel won’t sit around with you for long.
One of the hairless dog breeds, the Peruvian Inca Orchid is native to Peru and has been officially recognized as part of the country’s cultural heritage.
Originating in Hungary, this medium-small sheep dog is known for being lively and active, with the most adorable facial expressions. While they are said to be easy to train, they’re also a more vocal breed.
Cats are said to have nine lives, but the Russian Toy has a few to spare, too! These pups were almost wiped out twice and until the 1990s were almost unknown outside of their native Russia.
This Dutch Sheepdog almost went extinct during World War II. The dogs we see today are descended from those few survivors!
The Sloughi is one of the primitive sight-hound breeds native to North Africa. They’re treasured for their hunting skills and are known for hunting game such as hare, fox, jackal, gazelle, and wild pigs.
The Stabyhoun, also known as the Stabij, is one of the rarest dog breeds in the world. They hail from the Frisian forest area in the Netherlands and their name translates to “stand by me.”
This dog would be a perfect addition to Drummond Ranch! They were bred over 1,000 years ago to be cow herders. Their bodies are low to the ground like a corgi so they can nip at the ankles of cows.


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