Uncommon Breeds in America

Uncommon Breeds in America
January 13, 2019

Did you know that the American Kennel Club currently recognises 202 dog breeds in America? Naming them would be a daunting task, even for the biggest dog lover.

While there would be no prizes for reeling off a list of the most popular dog breeds, not many people would be able to recall all of the lesser known dog breeds. There are many reasons why some dog breeds are more popular than others – especially in America. Even though imports of dog breeds are not uncommon, it is still pretty rare to see any of the breeds featured on this list on American soil.

If you’re looking for the breed that’s right for you and you’re not blown away by the prospect of one of America’s favourite breeds such as Labradors, poodles and chihuahuas, you may find the breed which is right for you on this list!

America’s Uncommon Dog Breeds Ranked by Popularity

14. The Canaan Dog 

The Canaan Dog is recognised as one of the best watchdogs with a bloodline which stretches far back in history. The Canaan Dog was even featured in the bible for its noteworthy ability to guard life stock. Yet, after the Romans unsettled the population the Canaan Dog only existed as a feral breed until the end of World War II when they were domesticated once more. Yet, there’s only so much training will do for the Canaan Dog as they are still highly primitive dogs. If you’re looking for a quirky breed, you probably won’t find one quirkier than the Canaan Dog.

13. Scottish Deerhound 

It’s not only in America that the Scottish Deerhound remains a rare breed, even in England it can be extremely hard to get your hands on the particularly tall wire-haired breed and they definitely don’t come cheap, whichever part of the world you try to source one. The noble breed can have their moments of regal nature, yet, Scottish Deerhounds also tend to be highly playful, making them the perfect pet for anyone who is confident enough to take the long-limbed breed for a walk! They need plenty of exercises, but they’re also just as happy being curled up on the sofa. 

12. Norwegian Buhund 

Even though the Norwegian Buhund is still extremely popular in Norway and Europe the breed struggled to reach heights of popularity in America. Yet, it certainly isn’t its personality which prevents the Norwegian Buhund from becoming the perfect pet as they are happy go lucky cheerful pets with a hard-working attitude. The fact that they can be a little talkative might upset your neighbours a little bit, but that contributed to the small amount of popularity they do have as hearing assistance dogs. 

11. Glen of Imaal Terrier 

The Glen of Imaal Terrier isn’t exactly the friendliest of breeds, which is probably one of the main reasons why they are not so commonly found in American homes. They don’t tend to form the best relationships with other dogs and can often be found instigating aggression with much larger dogs. On average they weigh in at between 30 and 40 pounds, but they don’t quite realise it! Even though they have a scrappy nature they are also relatively quieter than other terriers. 

10. Dandie Dinmont Terrier 

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier possibly has the most ridiculous name on the list, but their adorably cute faces are anything but ridiculous. The Scottish breed is a member of the Terrier family with an extra long body paired with short legs. Even though the small breed may look harmless, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is extremely hardy. Oh, and if you were wondering where they got their name from, it’s from Sir Walter Scott’s book “Guy Mannering”. 

9. Pyrenean Shepherd Dog 

Of all the French herding breeds the Pyrenean Shepherd dog is the smallest, yet, it’s larger than life makes up for what the breed lacks in size. As one of the most energetic breeds there is, keeping up with a Pyrenean Shepherd dog will take plenty of stamina. If you’re looking for a relaxed dog, the Pyrenean Shepherd dog most certainly isn’t you, they are highly alert and will require a lot of attention. Their devotion to their human families is almost unparalleled, as is their intelligence which means that you’ll need to put a lot of work into keeping this breed happy and healthy! 

8. Finnish Spitz 

Even though the Finnish Spitz is the national dog of Finland, they haven’t seen the same heights of popularity in America. The medium-size Spitz has long been hailed as the “King of the Barkers” which probably explains a lot when it comes to their lack of popularity. They were originally used to hunt bears and other large game, their role in the hunt was ‘bark pointing’ which explains where they picked up their bad habits which would be enough to annoy your neighbours. 

7. Finnish Laphund
 The Finnish Laphund is yet another medium-sized breed of Spitz to make the list, we’re starting to get the point, American’s don’t like Spitzs! They share the same vocal personality as the Finnish Spitz, in addition to this they also shed very heavily due to their double coats. Yet, if you can endure excessive barking and your clothes always being covered in fur, you’ll get to enjoy the agile alert nature of the Finnish Laphund which makes the breed the perfect watchdog who often prove to be friendly, calm and submissive with people. 

6. Otterhound 

Yep, you guessed it, the Otterhound is a hunting dog which was once put to good use hunting otters, now that otters are protected the Otterhound is far less popular than it used to be. Now, it is the 6th rarest dog breed in the world which was almost brought to the point of extinction back in the 70s. The Otterhound is a fairly sizeable breed which can weigh in at anywhere up to 125 pounds, and they don’t tend to be the best house guests either, they are notoriously messy and hairy. 

5. Harrier Hound 

The Harrier Hound looks very similar to the Beagle or an English Foxhound, if not a little larger, yet although they may look similar they are still a very different breed with their very own personality. Anyone who has spent a great deal of time around Harrier Hounds will all tell you the same thing; they are highly energetic, affectionate and sweet dogs which make for perfect pets. Initially, the Harrier Hound was bred and used to hunt foxes and hares, although the breed had plenty of other talents including tracking and agility. 

4. Cesky Terrier 

The Cesky Terrier is one of the most distinctive breeds found in America. Even though the terrier bloodline has not been corrupted they don’t look like your average terrier. Their long bodies and bearded faces may not be of appeal to many owners – the fact that they have quite the penchant for digging and barking further hurts their personality. Yet, anyone who can appreciate an energetic dog is sure to have a lot of fun with the Cesky Terrier – just as long as you have a secure enough fence and can keep the breed away from all small animals. 

3. Norwegian Lundehund 

The Norwegian Lundehund has only recently been added to the American Kennel Club’s register of recognized breeds, even though it has been around in Norway for decades. There aren’t many with the breed’s almost unnatural ability to climb along cliff edges. The Spitz breed was originally used to retrieve live puffins which helps to explain why they have 6 toes on their feet and are surprisingly flexible. 

2. American Foxhound 

As friendly and energetic as the American Foxhound is, they aren’t often thought of as a companion animal. Instead, the typically energetic breed was more popularly put to use in the field to hunt foxes by scent. They are the cousins of the English Foxhounds which are still popular today in Europe. Maybe American’s have grown tired of fox hunting?
 1. English Foxhound
 It seems that the Foxhound family really are unpopular in the states as it is the English Foxhound which is currently the rarest breed in America. If they’re found anywhere, it’s on the Atlantic seaboard or over in the Southern states. Those who still own the English Foxhound tend to also run fox hunting clubs and recognise the breed as an effective scent hunter. The spirited breed has been around since the 18th century and to this day pertains a regal stature, yet, as their barks can be heard from long distances away they aren’t the best breed to keep in suburban or city accommodation.