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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Kooikerhondje

MEDIUM DOG BREED

Kooikerhondje

If you happened to spy a Kooikerhondje walking down the street, you probably wouldn’t know what to call it, much less how to pronounce it (it’s “koy-ker-hondt-chuh”). Just seeing one of these dogs in the United States would be a treat because they are so rare.

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Kyi-Leo

SMALL DOG BREED

Kyi-Leo

Although its heritage comes from dogs of Asian origin, the Kyi-Leo was made in the United Sates, resulting from crosses between Maltese and Lhasa Apso. This sturdy, shaggy little dog is active, alert and agile.

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Lagotto Romagnolo

MEDIUM DOG BREED

Lagotto Romagnolo

Truffles, Anyone? The charming, curly coated Lagotto is an old breed of water retriever from the lowlands of Comacchio and the marshlands of Ravenna, Italy. Eventually, the marshlands were drained and turned into farmland, leaving the Lagotto without a job. But not for long!

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Longhaired Whippet

Longhaired Whippet

Longhaired Whippets came about when a Whippet breeder named Walter A. Wheeler Jr. set out to bring out a recessive longhaired gene lurking in the Whippet breed. He found success and introduced his new dogs to the public in the 1970s.

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Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog

LARGE DOG BREED

Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog

No one quite knows the origins of the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog, but these unusual and unique dogs have been around for a long time. One theory suggests that early Spanish expeditions, in search of gold and adventure, brought along Spanish war dogs.

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Maremma Sheepdog

LARGE DOG BREED

Maremma Sheepdog

The Maremma Sheepdog has all of the attributes essential for an effective guard: strength, independence, stamina, courage and a strong sense of "ownership." This Italian flock guard bears a strong resemblance to the Kuvasz, and the two breeds probably share the same ancient origin.

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Mi-Ki

SMALL DOG 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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Miniature American Shepherd
Miniature Australian Shepherd

MEDIUM DOG BREED

Miniature Australian Shepherd

A smaller version of the Australian Shepherd, the Miniature Australian Shepherd was developed during the 1960s by a Californian who acquired several full-size Aussies from the rodeo circuit, where they were popular trick performers.

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New Guinea Singing Dog

MEDIUM DOG BREED

New Guinea Singing Dog

The New Guinea Singing Dog, a very rare breed, is a native to the central highlands of the island of New Guinea. This breed shares many traits with the Australian Dingo. The NGSD is small, weighing about 20 to 30 pounds.

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Norrbottenspets

Norrbottenspets

This diminutive spitz breed from Sweden is likely descended from small hunting dogs that lived in ancient times with the hunters of the Nordic region. Natural selection ensured that only the fittest dogs would reach maturity and procreate.

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Olde English Bulldogge

LARGE DOG BREED

Olde English Bulldogge

Said to be a re-creation of the 18th century Bulldogge, the Olde English Bulldogge is alert, friendly, courageous and highly protective of owner and property.

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Patterdale Terrier

SMALL DOG BREED

Patterdale Terrier

Avid terrier people in Yorkshire and the Lake District breed strictly working stock, generally referred to as fell terriers. As is common with working dogs, they show physical variation, because mating is based only on working qualities and gameness.

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Perro de Presa Canario

Perro de Presa Canario

The Presa Canario, also called the Dogo Canario or Canary Dog, was historically a guardian and cattle driving dog. The breed originated on the Canary Islands, a group of Spanish volcanic islands that sits about 100 miles northwest of Africa.

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Peruvian Inca Orchid

MEDIUM DOG BREED

Peruvian Inca Orchid

The Peruvian Inca Orchid (PIO) is an ancient breed (a.k.a. Perro sin pello del Peru) believed to have originated in Asia. The Peruvian Inca Orchid has a nature as beautiful as its name. Tranquil and intelligent, this striking hairless breed radiates warmth.

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Polish Tatra Sheepdog

LARGE DOG BREED

Polish Tatra Sheepdog

Native to the Tatra Mountains of southern Poland, Tatra Sheepdogs were raised for centuries as guard dogs for protecting sheep flocks from bears and wolves.

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Portuguese Podengo

Portuguese Podengo

The Portuguese Podengo, the National Dog of Portugal, is an ancient rabbit hunting breed related to the Cirneco dell'Etna, Ibizan Hound and Pharaoh Hound. Purebred Portuguese Podengos were first seen in the United States in the 1990s. Podengos come in three sizes.

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Pumi

MEDIUM DOG BREED

Pumi

The Pumi has been an established breed for more than 300 years, but wasn't officially recognized until the 1920s. Its unique appearance is said to have been derived from another Hungarian breed, the Puli, being bred to French and German herding dogs.

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Pyrenean Mastiff

LARGE DOG BREED

Pyrenean Mastiff

The Pyrenean Mastiff, a molossian-type dog, orginated in northeastern Spain as a guardian of livestock, people and property. This breed is charming, docile and sweet to its owners and friends, but aggressive with strangers, warning them off with its deep, intense bark.

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Rat Terrier

SMALL DOG BREED

Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier is commonly seen on farms and in homes as an alert watchdog and lively companion. This breed was originally developed from crosses between Smooth Fox Terriers and Manchester Terriers.

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