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

Akbash Dog

LARGE DOG BREED

Akbash Dog

A native of Turkey, the Akbash Dog is a striking white flock guard that has made a name for itself on American farms and ranches, where it successfully protects livestock from grizzly and black bears, wolves and coyotes.

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Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog

LARGE DOG BREED

Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog

This Georgia-born bulldog takes its name from the Alapaha River region, where it was developed to work livestock and guard property. Alapaha Blue Bloods are possessive and attentive. They're protective of their people and property and establish their territory at a young age.

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Alaskan Klee Kai

SMALL DOG BREED

Alaskan Klee Kai

An extremely rare breed, the Alaskan Klee Kai is a smaller version of the Alaskan Husky; it was designed to be a companion version of the great sled dogs of the north. It was developed in the 1970s by Linda S. Spurlin of Wasilla, Alaska, and her family, and made available to the public in 1988.

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American Bulldog

LARGE DOG BREED

American Bulldog

True to the name, the relatively new breed of American Bulldogs was born in America.

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American Hairless Terrier

SMALL DOG BREED

American Hairless Terrier

In 1972, one entirely hairless female dog appeared in a litter of medium-size Rat Terriers. She was normal in every way, and her owners were determined to develop this new strain.

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American Pit Bull Terrier

MEDIUM DOG BREED

American Pit Bull Terrier

This canine product of the American melting pot is a true success story, a bulldog-terrier cross that made its way out of the fighting pits and into the hearts of dog lovers.

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Azawakh

MEDIUM DOG BREED

Azawakh

The Azawakh bonds strongly to a single person or family. Puppies that are not properly socialized or older dogs that are re-homed often find it difficult to adjust. This is a highly intelligent breed that needs the occasional run for exercise, but is also happy as a house and guard dog.

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Barbet

MEDIUM DOG BREED

Barbet

What’s that adorable, shaggy-haired walking down the street? No, it’s not a designer Poodle mix—it’s a Barbet, a French sporting dog with a long history. Truly “the original” water retriever, the Barbet has been around since the 14th century.

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Basset Fauve de Bretagne

MEDIUM DOG BREED

Basset Fauve de Bretagne

A lively dog developed in France for hunting rabbits and hare, the Basset Fauve de Bretagne is known for its well-developed scent-tracking skills, courage and friendly nature. Derived from the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne in the 1700s, the Basset Fauve had nearly vanished by the end of World War II.

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Belgian Laekenois

LARGE DOG BREED

Belgian Laekenois

This breed is one of four types of dogs known as the Belgian sheepdogs (the others are the Belgian Sheepdog, the Belgian Tervuren and the Belgian Malinois).

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Bergamasco Sheepdog

LARGE DOG BREED

Bergamasco Sheepdog

Developed in Asia, bred in Italy and dreadlocked like a Rastafarian, the fun-loving, protective Bergamasco Sheepdog creates a special bond with owners.

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Berger Picard

Berger Picard

Best known as the title character in the 2005 film Because of Winn-Dixie, this rustic dog is one of the oldest French breeds of sheep-herding dogs.

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Biewer Terrier

SMALL DOG BREED

Biewer Terrier

Originally known as the Biewer Yorkshire Terrier a la Pom-Pon, the Biewer Terrier is a somewhat new breed, having only been around since the mid-1980s. The breed is named after Werner Biewer, the German who first introduced his black-and-white Yorkshire Terriers to the show ring in 1988.

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Black Mouth Cur

Black Mouth Cur

The history of the Black Mouth Cur is shrouded in mystery. Some claim that the breed originated in the Tennessee mountains; others maintain that it hails from Mississippi. Southern geography notwithstanding, early Americans used them widely as versatile working dogs.

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Boerboel

LARGE DOG BREED

Boerboel

Bred in Africa since the 17th century, the Boerboel is a fearless protector of home and family. A blend of European mastiff-type dogs and large African native dogs, the result is an imposing, self-assured, loyal dog with strong guarding and watchdog instincts.

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Bolognese

SMALL DOG BREED

Bolognese

Named for the northern Italian city of Bologna, the Bolognese was once a favorite of nobility and the ladies-in-waiting of many European courts. Records show the existence of the Bolognese since the year 1200.

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Bracco Italiano

LARGE DOG BREED

Bracco Italiano

The Bracco Italiano is a classic pointer with an elegant, loping gait and a strong instinct for game. The breed's origins can be traced back centuries. The Bracco developed in Italy, descending from Molossus and Egyptian Hounds.

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Canadian Eskimo Dog

LARGE DOG BREED

Canadian Eskimo Dog

A strong hunting, sled and pack dog of the Canadian Arctic, the Canadian Inuit/Eskimo Dog's history dates back about 2,000 years. Called 'Qimmiq' by the Inuit, the breed figured prominently in polar expeditions and has the reputation of being able to work long hours in extremely low temperatures.

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Carolina Dog

MEDIUM DOG BREED

Carolina Dog

Several types of feral dogs with long, immense ears lived some 8,000 years ago in what is today the United States. The Basketmaker Dog, now extinct, was nearly a clone of the Dingo and was used by primitive Indians in the Southeast.

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Caucasian Ovcharka

LARGE DOG BREED

Caucasian Ovcharka

The Caucasian Ovcharka, also called the Caucasian Mountain Dog, is a large livestock-guarding dog native to the mountainous regions of the Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani republics, as well as the steppe regions of the Caucasus district.

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