There are hundreds of different dog breeds, each having its own characteristics. There are well-known classics like beagles, collies, and various terriers. There are also plenty of lesser-known and rarer breeds. These dogs are usually only found in a small region of the world that hasn’t really had a need to export their dogs. Today, we’ll go over some of my favorites.
The Azawakh is a long, tall, and slender dog from West Africa bred by the Tuareg people. They are similar in build to the greyhound or whippet with their sleek frame and tight coat that comes in many different colors. They are a social and energetic dog that requires a reasonable amount of exercise. Luckily they aren’t prone to hip dysplasia even though they have such a lithe carriage. The Azawakh dogs are named after the Azawagh Valley where they predominantly live. They are loyal, independent, and very affectionate. They have remarkable speed and sight which makes them excellent hunters.
The Mudi is a strong, smart, and fast herding dog from Hungary. They have a long snout and pointed ears. They are usually black, white, or some shade of grey. They have a rich, full coat with a unique texture due to their close relation to the Puli. Even though they have a distinctive coat, they are fairly easy to groom. The Mudi is a skilled farm dog that is also a hunter, ratter, and herder. It is a clever and active dog with a kind mood and a loud bark. They are good family dogs that are protective without becoming aggressive.
The wonderfully named Norrbottenspets is a stout and sturdy farm dog from Scandinavia. They are adept at rough terrain and weather. They are medium-sized dogs with a long snout, pointed ears, a long curly fan-style tail, and a random white/brown color patterned coat. Now, they are generally just pets, but they were used as hunting dogs in the past. They hunt small birds, rodents, and even small deer. They are undeniably brave. There are cases where Norrbottenspets have driven away bears. For medium-sized dogs, they have big personalities. These valiant little powerhouses are rugged and sweet. And luckily their numbers are growing.
This stable and reliable hound has a signature black ridge running down the length of its back. It was originally bred as a tracking dog in southern Africa. They now mostly function as loyal house pets. They are medium to large-sized and they can be very muscular. They may take some time to warm up to strangers, but they are very loving to their families. They can also be a bit independent and stubborn so you’ll need to have patience with them at first. If they see a rodent they are more likely to listen to their prey drive than they are to you.
Catahoula Leopard Dog
These beautiful dogs have some of the most unique and stunning colorations of any dog. It is a medium-sized dog with a tight coat, straight tail, and floppy ears. They were originally used as hunting and herding dogs. Their name comes from their intricate spots and patterns. There are seemingly endless variations of their coats. They will have at least three or four different colors that overlap and blend together. The most common style of the coat looks a bit like an oreo blizzard. It’s a charming blur of lights and darks that come together to make this already striking dog something spectacular.
Even though it may look a bit like a border collie at first, the Stabyhoun is one of the rarest dog species in the world. They come from the forests of the Dutch province of Friesland. They are considered a Dutch national treasure and only a few thousand exist in total. They are intelligent, responsive, and loving dogs. They are a bit willful at times, but they are gentle and patient dogs that deeply love their families. They are also very curious dogs with a keen sense of smell and determined nature. You will need to keep an eye on them though because their spirit of inquiry can easily get them into mischief.
As you can see there isn’t anything too special about the lesser-known breeds. Like all dogs, they like to run and play and cuddle with their families. They’ll each have their own quirks, but they are unquestionably very good dogs.