What was the first domesticated dog breed?

Moon Pod Bean Chair
Rated & Reviewed as Best--Moon Pod Bean Chair. Find Out Yourself Why Number One. Top Scores & Best in Class.
Valerian Root Tea For Sleep
Limited Time Offer on Valerian Root Tea For Sleep-- Only Hours Left to Save on Valerian Root Tea For Sleep!

All modern-day dogs descend from wolves, but what was the first breed distinct from wolves? The answer is hazy. Humans first domesticated dogs in prehistory, the time before writing. We have to look at evidence like art, archeology, and genetics.

Experts believe the following breeds to be some of the most ancient. These dogs are considered basal breeds. Basal breeds are dog types that diverged early from wolves and predated modern breed categories.

Basenjis, 6,000 B.C.

Though this breed is ancient, humans categorized the modern basenji as a distinct breed in 1895. Some experts believe that prehistoric cave paintings of dogs depicted basenjis. These canines were, like many ancient dogs, originally bred to help people hunt. Basenjis are small dogs with alert pointed ears. They’re energetic and highly intelligent.

Afghan Hounds, 6,000 B.C.

Afghan hounds also started as hunting dogs. They helped humans track and take down prey in the rough environments of what is now modern-day Afghanistan. Their graceful gaits and long, silky hair made them favorites at English dog shows starting in the 19th century. They aren’t the most affectionate dogs, and some owners have even described their temperament as catlike.

Alaskan Malamutes, 1,000 B.C.

Cheap Buggies
Most Popular Choice--Cheap Buggies. Tons of Users Agree. This is the Best!
Black Infant Car Seat
Find the Best Deals on Black Infant Car Seat-- Shop Today & Save. Best Prices Online. Buy Now!

Alaskan malamutes are perfect sled dogs. In some parts of the world, sled dogs are still superior means of transportation compared to cars, which might slip and slide in harsh Arctic weather. Though they’re named after a U.S. state, their origin is probably Siberia. Unlike many dogs, they still look wolf-like to human eyes. Like wolves, they function best in packs. Most Alaskan malamute owners don’t need dogs for transportation. However, these canines still have a grand time if their owners train them to pull a sled around the yard.

Samoyeds, 1,000 B.C.

Samoyeds have a wolf-like shape, but you might not notice it under their fluffy fur. These are Siberian herding dogs, originally put to work directing reindeer. They’re cooperative and friendly. If you’re looking for a guard dog, the Samoyed is not for you. However, if you’re looking for a canine who’s unlikely to show aggression, this breed could be ideal. Samoyeds’ faces often look as though the dogs are smiling. Though the breed is excellent as herding, they’re also good sled dogs.

Salukis, 329 B.C.

Salukis are thin, graceful sighthounds. Sighthounds hunt using their eyes, not their noses. Humans bred salukis in the Fertile Crescent, one of the earliest locations of civilization. Many people describe this breed as aloof but gentle. Training a saluki takes kindness and patience. If you try to dominate a saluki, you will most likely lose its trust.


Formal dog breed categories are relatively modern, but that doesn’t mean the breeds themselves are modern. Many dogs are almost identical to their ancient ancestors. Humans have worked with and loved their canine companions since before we developed writing, and we continue to love them today.

Related posts

What is the AKC?

Published December 8, 2020

The American Kennel Club, the AKC, is a not-for-profit group that protects the purity of its dog breed registry and fights to protect the health and well-being of family pets of all breeds. The AKC has been in existence since 1884 and is the world’s oldest not-for-profit registry, with more than 190 breeds held within...

How Do I Tell My Dogs That I Love Them?

Published March 6, 2021

Dogs are the best emotional support animals. Why? The priceless gift that your canine offers is unconditional love, no matter the situation. Naturally, pups are loyal, protective, and obedient to their master. That is why they look excited when you arrive from work. They’ll always run into your arms for hugs and cuddles. However, dogs...

What are the most difficult dog breeds to potty train?

Published February 28, 2021

Regardless of what kind of breed you get, one of the hardest tasks you’ll have is potty training them. Some breeds are completely trained in a short amount of time, while others are more difficult to work with and don’t learn for weeks or months. In addition to talking about some of the most difficult...

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to amazon.com and affiliated sites. We will also become members of other affiliate programs, from time to time. Whenever you click an advertisement or link, we may be compensated if a qualifying purchase is made.