Saying a dog breed is “rare” is a relative description. Many breeds considered rare in one country are quite popular in their countries of origin. The following dog breeds are considered rare because they have not yet been recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Mi-Ki Dog Breed

FEATURED BREED

Mi-Ki

A fairly new breed developed in the 1980s, the Mi-Ki incorporates aspects of the Papillon, Maltese and Japanese Chin. A lap-loving companion, this tiny toy breed usually doesn't grow much taller than 11 inches at the shoulders.

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Rare Dog Breeds


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Central Asian Shepherd Dog

LARGE DOG BREED

Central Asian Shepherd Dog

The hardy Central Asian Shepherd Dog was originally found protecting the flocks and property of nomadic tribesmen of Central Asia, and dogs of this type can still be found guarding flocks in countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

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Chart Polski

LARGE DOG BREED

Chart Polski

A symbol of Polish history, the powerful and self-assured Chart Polski, or Polish Greyhound, has been a part of Polish life since the 13th century.

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Chinese Foo Dog

MEDIUM DOG BREED

Chinese Foo Dog

Once believed to be a good-luck charm, the Chinese Foo Dog has also been called the Sacred Dog of Sinkiang, Chinese Temple Forest Dog and Chinese Celestial Dog.

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Chinook

LARGE DOG BREED

Chinook

The name Chinook comes from the warm wind, or chinook, that sometimes blows in Alaska. A dog named Chinook was born in 1917 on the farm of author/explorer Arthur Treadwell Walden.

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Cirneco dell’Etna

Cirneco dell’Etna

The sleek and swift Cirneco, resembling a Pharaoh Hound in miniature, has been maintained and bred on the island of Sicily for 3,000 years. In more ancient times, the breed was also known farther north on Corsica.

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Coton de Tulear

SMALL DOG BREED

Coton de Tulear

Legends abound of the little dogs that survived shipwrecks and swam ashore the island of Madagascar. Although the stories paint a fun picture of this devoted breed, odds are more likely the ancestors of the Coton de Tulear were carried ashore by seamen (and maybe a pirate or two).

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Dogo Argentino

LARGE DOG BREED

Dogo Argentino

Antonio and Augustin Nores-Martinez developed the Dogo Argentino as a large-game hunter in the 1920s.

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Dutch Shepherd

MEDIUM DOG BREED

Dutch Shepherd

The three varieties of the Dutch Shepherd have been recognized in their present form since the early 1700s but didn't gain notice until they were brought to Holland in 1870.

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English Shepherd

MEDIUM DOG BREED

English Shepherd

The English Shepherd is a working farm dog that is suited to a variety of tasks. It is a good herding dog for all kinds of stock, an eager hunter and can learn to pull a cart. English Shepherds work well independently or under supervision.

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Estrela Mountain Dog
Eurasier

MEDIUM DOG BREED

Eurasier

Recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale in 1973, this spitz breed was developed in the 1960s by Prof. Julius Wipfel in Germany by combining Chow Chow, Wolfspitz (Keeshonden) and Samoyed. The Eurasier is robust enough to live outdoors but much prefers to be an indoor companion.

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Fila Brasileiro

LARGE DOG BREED

Fila Brasileiro

This heavy-boned breed with the pendulous lips is known for working ability, loyalty and courage. Native to Brazil, the Fila Brasileiro's origin traces to Portuguese herding dogs (which were brought to Brazil in colonial times), English Mastiffs, Bulldogs and Bloodhounds.

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French Spaniel

MEDIUM DOG BREED

French Spaniel

A cousin to the Munsterlander and the Drentse Patrijshond setter type dogs, the French Spaniel is an old breed. French Spaniels are fine retrieving dogs that do the job passionately. Weight runs from 44 to 55 pounds, and height is from 21 to 24 inches.

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Havana Silk Dog

Havana Silk Dog

In 2000, a small group of Havanese breeders in the United States set out to selectively breed dogs in order to “recreate” what they believed was the true native Cuban breed of old that was popular about 150 years ago.

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Hovawart

LARGE DOG BREED

Hovawart

Reproductions of dogs named Hofewart have been found in documents and pictures dating back to the 13th century. The dog's name means "estate dog" or "farmyard warden" and they were used as courtyard guards.

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Jack Russell Terrier

SMALL DOG BREED

Jack Russell Terrier

Fearless, happy and active aptly describe the Jack Russell Terrier. A working dog through and through, this tough, lively terrier is always on its toes, looking for the next activity or adventure. Its dark, almond-shaped eyes sparkle with life and intelligence.

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Kai

MEDIUM DOG BREED

Kai

A dog of legendary bravery, the Kai is an ancient Japanese hunting dog that was developed on the island of Honshu. Hunting everything from deer to wild boar, this determined, agile dog was said to have climbed trees and swum rivers and lakes to catch its quarry.

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Kangal Dog

LARGE DOG BREED

Kangal Dog

The famous Kangal, known to Turks in all walks of life, is considered the national dog of Turkey, a status reflected in its appearance on a Turkish postage stamp.

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Karelian Bear Dog

MEDIUM DOG BREED

Karelian Bear Dog

This Nordic hunting dog originated in the province of Karelia, which is divided by the Russian-Finnish border into two almost equal parts.

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King Shepherd

King Shepherd

The King Shepherd is an ARBA-recognized breed that closely resembles the German Shepherd Dog.

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