Top 10 Rarest Dog Breeds Of All Time

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Rarest Dog Breeds

The Blue Angel Sea slug, Rainbow Eucalyptus trees, Goblin Sharks, Bismuth element, Astatine chemical, Blue moon, True Love, etc. all have one thing in common. All of them are rare in their own way on this planet Earth. There are plenty of things which are rare. Such an ironical statement that is. But the rarity is in their own ecosystem. And when we talk about breeds, there are again very rare breeds available in every specie on this planet. Let’s talk about dogs. Now if we talk about numbers then there are around 470 million pet dogs amongst 360 recognized breeds. Looking at the numbers one may wonder that on average there are 1.3 million dogs per breed. But in reality, the numbers are way different. The range goes from over 200,000 for the most popular to 200 for the rarest dog breed. Let’s have a look at the Top 10 rarest dog breeds of all times!

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10. Norwegian Lundehund

  • Average Weight: 13 to 15 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height: 12 to 16 inches (male and female)
  • Estimated Number of Dogs: 1200 to 1400 worldwide
  • Life Expectancy: 5 to 10 years

Norwegian Lundehund is a small dog originated from, as the name suggests, Norway. The name is actually a combination of Lunde which means ‘Puffin’ and Hund which means ‘Dog’. A valuable working dog which got its name for its contribution towards killing puffin birds, has now gone rare and almost extinct. These dogs were quite unique in some physical traits. For e.g. being able to bend their head backwards along the spine, rotate their forelegs at 90 degrees, 6 toes per foot and foldable ears are all the unique traits of a Lundehund. 

Their rarity culprits are bird nets which took away their primary task from them. Then, around World War II, the canine distemper virus almost caused the breed to go extinct. 

9.  Stabyhoun

  • Average Weight: 40 to 60 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height: 19 to 21 inches (male and female)
  • Estimated Number of Dogs: 3500 to 6000 worldwide
  • Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years

Stabyhouns are a medium sized dog breed which finds its origin in the Netherlands. Hunters by profession, they were bred to hunt foxes which eventually changed to being a house companion. These are very gentle and affectionate as a breed. Despite that, cross breeding and other popular breeds have become a reason for their rarity. 

8. Lagotto Romagnolo

  • Average Weight: 30 to 35 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height: 16 to 20 inches (male and female)
  • Estimated Number of Dogs: 2000 to 3000 worldwide
  • Life Expectancy: 15 to 17 years

Originated in Italy, the Lagotto Romagnolo is a medium sized horse-like lower body dog breed. It is also known as the ‘duck dog’. Hunter by profession, it is used for hunting even in recent time along with companionship inside the house. The cause of low population figures here is the greed to constantly improve the hunting skills resulting into several attempts of cross breeding to the species. The problem was so much that the specie almost went extinct around the year 1970.

7. Azawakh 

  • Average Weight: 45 to 50 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height: 25 to 30 inches (male and female)
  • Estimated Number of Dogs: 1500 to 2000 worldwide
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

The tall and elegant, Azawakh is a beautiful dog breed having its origin in South Africa. It was developed for guarding livestock. Termed as one of the most loyal and affectionate dog breeds it is well suited for homes with families and children. 

The African laws are responsible here for the low numbers. The law that prohibited the breed to be exported outside the continent decreased the demand. Another reason is its high cost which comes due to obvious reasons of its personality and rarity, which can go up to $10,000.

6. Thai Ridgeback

  • Average Weight: 35 to 70 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height: 20 to 25 inches (male and female)
  • Estimated Number of Dogs: 1000-1100 worldwide
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 13 years

The Thai Ridgeback dog from Thailand gets its name because of a physical trait of its ridge of hair along its back that runs in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat. The rarity is explained by its origin which dates back 4000 years in the isolated islands of Eastern Thailand which was so secluded that a proper transport was not available and hence low breeding.

5. Otterhound

  • Average Weight: 80 to 120 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height: 25 to 28 inches (male and female)
  • Estimated Number of Dogs: 500 to 600 worldwide
  • Life Expectancy: 11 to 13 years

Otterhound the medieval dog from England is amongst the rarest or rare breeds of dogs. Majority of the 600 alive are in the US. The specie is almost on the verge of extinction as only a couple of litters are born every year in the US.

4. Mudi

  • Average Weight: 20 to 30 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height: 15 to 18 inches (male and female)
  • Estimated Number of Dogs: 800 to 1000 worldwide
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

A Hungarian breed of dog, Mudi was originally developed by farmers for farm work. The exceptionally intelligent and obedient breed is now in hundreds. Komondor and Puli working dogs are said to be the culprits of this breeds low population along with the Second World War.

3. Chinook

  • Average Weight: 55 to 80 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height: 22 to 26 inches (male and female)
  • Estimated Number of Dogs: 700 to 800 worldwide
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

Early 1900s and New Hampshire are the origin history of the Chinooks. These drafting and sled dog racing dogs are low in population today but once was declared the rarest of dogs as the population touched 28 around 1980s. 

2. Peruvian Inca Orchid

  • Average Weight: 8 to 18 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height: 10 to 25 inches (male and female) (small to large)
  • Estimated Number of Dogs: 500 to 600 worldwide
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

Peruvian Inca Orchid Developed for religious and medicinal duties, and originating from Peru is a rare breed that is now being used as a companion. The noble-minder dog is now at the verge of extinction because of its hairless property which made it undesirable.

1. Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog)

  • Average Weight: 10 to 50 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height: 10 to 25 inches (male and female)
  • Estimated Number of Dogs: 600 to 800 worldwide
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

A dog breed that has been on this planet for over 3000 years, the Aztec dog of the gods, Xoloitzcuintli was almost extinct back in the 1950s but due to efforts by breeders, it has survived.

Bonus – The Rarest – New Guinea Singing Dog

  • Average Weight: 20 to 30 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height: 12 to 18 inches (male and female)
  • Estimated Number of Dogs: 150 to 200 worldwide
  • Life Expectancy: 15 to 20 years

Claiming the spot for the rarest dog breed with less than 200 dogs alive, the New Guinea Singing dog is a native to the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. The term singing in the name comes from their ability to change their pitch of howling. Most of the dogs are in captivity owing to its critically endangered nature.

Most governments and institutions make several attempts to preserve the rare breeds and most of them are successful as well. Being rare also makes them costly at times. 

Dogs have been loyal to us and have served multiple purposes since thousands of years from guarding to hunting to herding to farming and many more. It is now our moral responsibility to preserve the species and its rare breeds irrespective of the fact that they are useful to us or no. Not everything is supposed to be done for selfish reasons.

Here at Spot Pet Insurance, we do our best to provide helpful dog info. We care deeply about your dog’s health and want to be with you every step of the way. For other helpful info about pets, check out our Spot Pet Insurance webpage! Here we provide you with educational materials that can help you with the best foods, toys, safety, and care tips for your dog. We also offer personalized pet insurance plan options to help keep your dog protected in case of unexpected accidents and illnesses.

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