Friday, August 19, 2011

10 Lesser Known Dog Breeds Of The AKC

Spinoni Italiano by Johan Michaëlsson

A few days ago, I went with my mom to the Corner Bakery and came across this unusual yet lovable dog. When I asked the owner what type of dog it was, she told me it was an Italian Spinoni (pictured above).

It made me think that with over 167 breeds, there are a few dogs that some dog lovers never even heard of or that have a small, devoted following. I wondered which dogs were not as popular and the top 10 and came up with the following breeds. One of the best things about getting a breed that is less popular is owners will not have to worry about over breeding.
Note: This does not mean that these dogs aren't great dogs, just dogs with fewer numbers.

So here are some of the more unknown dogs of the AKC. See if your dog made the list:

Ranked #158
Finnish Spitz
Known as the national dog of Finland, the Finnish Spitz is known for its hunting
skills and is great with children. It's a friendly dog yet cautious with strangers. They vary in shades of red but you will not find them only in that color.

It measures 16 to 20 inches (38-51 cm) and weigh 25 to 36 pounds (11-14kg). This breed is slow to mature. He is known for his thick coat but is a dog that can adapt to all temperatures. He is independent yet trainable and will shed quite a bit.

Ranked #159
Norwegian Buhund
Known as the dog of the Vikings, this dog has a rich history. The word buhund is derived from bu (meaning farm in Norwegian) and hund (meaning dog). These medium-sized dogs have a height of 16 to 18.5 inches (41 - 47cm) and a weight of 26.5 to 40 pounds (12 to 18kg). It has a coat in various colors such as white, wheaten, red, black and wolf sable. They have a short and harsh outer coat and a soft, wooly coat underneath.

Photo: Muu-karhu
Like the Finnish Spitz, this dog will shed heavily during the change of seasons. However, this dog is more of a shepherd than a hunting dog. It's high-energy is great for active families and ideal for children. Not only are these ideal shepherd dogs, they are also used as police dogs, tracking or therapy dogs. They are excellent watchdogs yet are friendly and have a gentle disposition.

Ranked #160
Skye Terrier
The Skye Terrier is a beloved breed to the people of England and Scotland. Originating from the Isle of Skye (islands northwest of Scotland), this is a true terrier in every sense of the word.

With a height that puts this breed low to the ground at about 10 inches (25.5cm) and having a weight that falls between 25 to 40 pounds (16-18 kg), this distinctive breed stands out for many reasons. All Skye Terriers have a body that is twice as long as their height.

They have a long outer coat, and soft, wooly undercoat which shields them from the brush. This is a dog that will be high-maintenance for grooming. Their colors include black, blue, gray-blue, dark or light gray, silver platinum, fawn or cream. Some you will find accented with white on their chest or black points on their ears or paws. They also have two types of ears: prick ears which stand up and dropped which fold over. Dogs with dropped ears tend to be more rare of the two.

Queen Victoria was a big fan of this dog. It doesn't require a whole lot of exercise and an every day walk is adequate for them. While they are an affectionate and loyal dog, this breed isn't for everyone. It's ideal for single individuals or senior citizens. It's a good breed for apartment dwellers. Being a terrier, it's likely to chase small animals. They are close to family but reserved with strangers.

Ranked #161

The Otterhound is a large dog that loves the water. This scent hound was originally bred to hunt otters, that has since fallen out of favor since sea otters have been added to the list to protect them from extinction. Like the NewFoundland these dogs are expert in the water and have webbed feet.

They are big dogs, standing 24 to 26 inches high (60-65 cm) and weighing anywhere from 66 to 115 pounds (30-52 kg). They

They are a dog that love the outdoors as well.They need to be in a living environment where they have plenty of room in the backyard and are taken on a long walk every day. They are eager to please and are wonderful therapy dogs. They are great around children and are a friendly breed but their large size and clumsiness may be overwhelming for some people.

While they love other dogs, they are liable to chase other animals such as cats. Training is challenging because this breed can be quite stubborn. They will need firm boundaries and they tend to get into messy situations. They will grunt, snort and drool. Still, they are good watchdogs and have a sweet disposition.

Ranked #162
Pyrenean Shepherd

Originating from the Pyrenees Mountains in France, these shepherd dogs are quite small compared to other breeds. They are 16 to 19 inches (40 - 48) in height and 25 to 32 pounds (11 - 14.5kg) in weight. You will find them in a multitude of colors and hair types. There are some that are smooth-faced and others that are rough-faced.
Photo: Ulyssebleu
Bred, with a job to do, these dogs don't like to sit still. They require much time for socialization but are highly trainable and intelligent. They are excellent candidates for agility. They need space to run and have a very high activity level. They are great with kids but wary of strangers.

Ranked #163
Canaan Dog
The Canaan Dog is an true beauty from the country of Israel. Considered one of the oldest breeds, has been around since the ancient middle ages (2000 BC). Known for their intelligence and independence this dog adapts well to most situations but can be hard to train since it needs a strong pack leader. Some may be good fits for apartment living but most will be comfortable in a larger living environment.

They range between 19 to 24 inches (48 - 61 cm) tall and weigh anywhere from 37 to 57 pounds (16 - 25 kg). They come in a variety of colors which include white, red, black or brown or have patches in two colors (like white and black). Their thick double coat isn't too long. It doesn't require as much grooming but will moderately shed throughout the year.
Photo: Yigal Parado
They are calm dogs who have a shepherd background. They are more versatile than a hard-core shepherd dog like the versatile which makes them open to trying new things. They are excellent with young children and other animals as they consider them members of the pack. Canaan Dogs thrive in agility and tracking. They make an excellent guard dog. Still, these dogs will train best with an experienced dog owner since they can have a manipulative side and require firm leadership.

Ranked #164
Dandie Dinmont Terrier

These terriers have an unusual name having been named after a Walter Scott novel from the 19th century. These adorable little dogs first popped up in southwestern Scotland. Basically bred for hunting vermin, these dogs have a similar look to the Dachshund and Skye Terrier.

Photo: Bonfire Buddy
Its colors are primarily Pepper, which is bluish-black, and mustard, which is variations of golden brown. They have a coat that needs to be regularly trimmed but minimally sheds. They are known for their big brown eyes and domed heads and are one of the oldest terrier breeds from Scotland.

These dogs have medium energy levels but will love to chase animals. They are trainable and respond best using positive reinforcement methods. They are ideal for an apartment setting due to their small size. They measure between 8 to 12 inches (20 - 30cm) tall and weigh between 18 to 24 pounds (8 - 11kg). They are reserved with strangers and very protective of their home like most terriers.

Ranked #165
The Harrier looks very similar to the Beagle, but actually descends from the English Foxhound. They love to hunt rabbits and hares just like Beagles. These dogs are truly a rare breed with only 8 dogs registered last year in Canada alone.

They are 18 to 22 inches (48 - 55cm) and weigh anywhere from 45 to 60 pounds (20.4 - 27.2kg). Their colors are very similar to Beagles where you will find them with black, white & tan, red & white, black & tan, black, tan & white, lemon & white, tan, open-markings with lots of white and white.

They can be very vocal and make good watchdogs. They are outgoing and love people and other dogs. They are very people-oriented and are excellent family companions. They are the type that must be in a fenced-in yard because they will wander if they break free. They do have a stubborn and independent streak, so obedience training is a must for this breed.

Ranked #166
American Foxhound

The first American Foxhound was brought here in 1650 by Robert Brooke. These dogs are larger than their Harrier and Beagle counterparts. They are 21 to 25 inches high (53 - 64cm) and weigh about 65 to 75 pounds (29 - 34kg). Their coat can be any color but most of the time it will have two colors. It's a scent hound as well. When the dog fixates on a scent it will take quite a lot to get him to listen.

These dogs are famous in the Southeastern areas of the United States, like Virginia. Virginia has embraced this breed by naming it its state animal. American Foxhounds are true hunters.

American Foxhounds are calm and even-tempered. They love to run! Since they love to run and hunt, a home or farm environment is best for this breed. They don't care to be indoors unless it's to spend time with family. They get along great with children because of their gentle and tolerant nature. They will also get along with small animals if they're socialized at a young enough age.

Speaking of socialization, these guys can be tough to train and housetrain. They are best handled by experienced dog owners. Like the Harrier, this dog has a short coat and requires minimal grooming. They are also known for their loud howling voices.
Ranked #167
English Foxhound
The English Foxhound is one of the oldest breeds from America. It is also the rarest breed with only 17 dogs registered here in the United States. George Washington was especially fond of this breed. The main difference from the American Foxhound is that they are thicker and shorter. The English Foxhound will also resemble a Beagle more whereas the American Foxhound will resemble a pointer with their head shape.
Photo: AKC
This dog leads an active lifestyle and is best living in a large home or rural environment. Exercise is a must with this breed as is firm leadership. Both make great running companions, and this dog is good for accompanying horseback riders.

It is 21 to 25 inches high (53 - 63.5cm) and weigh 65 to 70 pounds (29.5 - 32kg). They have short, dense coats that are easy to groom. Their coloring is very similar to the American Foxhound. They work well with older children but young puppies of this breed may be too rambunctious for younger dogs.

All in all, the dogs above show that you don't have to be popular to be remarkable.

Let's Discuss!

What do you like most about these dogs? Have you ever had a rare breed?

Related Posts

When Dogs Become Too Popular

George Washington and General Howe's Dog
The Most Popular Dog Breeds
20 Dog Breeds That Make Great Running Companions
The Top Dog Breeds Of 2010


  1. This may be a bit off-topic, but I find it interesting that "Harrier" is also the name of a British fighter jet! Now I know where they got the name...

  2. Im from England and my daughter and her boyfriend own a English Foxhound and he is simply the sweetest dog ever! They are amazing breeds.

  3. Thanks for your comment. That is so cool. The Foxhound is a fair resemblance to the Beagle. They are gorgeous pooches.



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