Salukis and Pulis and Keeshonds – oh my! Little-known breeds you won’t see at the dog park
From burly working dogs like German Shepherds to toy dogs like Pomeranians, there is spectacular diversity among dog breeds. Dog Time says there are over 200 kinds of canine, and new breeds seem to pop up each year. With so many varieties of pup out there, you (sadly) probably haven’t crossed paths with them all. To help bridge the gap in your dog breed knowledge, we’ve put together a list of adorable and obscure woofs you won’t often run into at the dog park.
1. The Keeshond
This precious, regal pup looks like it should be the prince of an Italian empire. With their plush, two-layer coat of black and silver fur, Keeshonds are known for their luscious mains. These woofers grow to be about 30 to 40 pounds and have a playful but obedient temperament.
2. The Bergamasco Shepherd
The Bergamasco Shepherd may look like it just crawled out of a storm drain, but these fine floofers are very intelligent and eager to please. Their defining feature is their mat-like coat of hair, which grows over the course of their lives and eventually reaches the ground when they’re around six-years-old.
3. The Azawakh
With its ultra-thin frame, the Azawakh looks fresh off the Milan runway… and possibly a juice cleanse. They may be skinnier than supermodels, but the Azawakh’s wiry build makes them excellent hunting dogs able to run up to 40-miles-an-hour. Azawakhs also make for alert, attentive pets who are loyal and deeply affectionate.
4. The Saluki
If the Saluki could talk, we think it would probably speak in a French accent. Also known as the Persian Greyhound, Salukis are reserved and intelligent puppers. Their aloof personalities and independent nature make Salukis challenging to train. A Saluki will happily sit by your side, but probably not on your lap.
5. The Puli
We’re not sure if the Puli is a dog or an old, happy mop. Their long, corded coats appear to be in the dreadlock family, and help protect these doggos in harsh weather. Pulis are faithful, energetic companions and excellent herding dogs. They are very active, strong-willed, and love having room to run.
6. The Caucasian Ovcharka
Unless you live in the mountains and seek protection from bears and wolves, the Caucasian Ovcharka probably isn’t conducive to your lifestyle. These “Russian bear-hunting dogs” originate from the Caucasus Mountains and aren’t perfect dogs for just any owner. These dogs are powerful, massive creatures, sometimes reaching up to 200 pounds. However, they strongly resemble Nana from Peter Pan, (even though she was actually a St. Bernard), and still look like they’d be fun to snuggle.
7. The Xoloitzcuintli
If you’re intimidated to try and pronounce this one, it’s “SHOW-LOW-ETZ-QUEENT-LEE,” but you can call it the Xolo for short. The Xolo is a hairless dog originally from Mexico and resembles some sort of hyena-rat hybrid. This dog is also one of the world’s oldest and rarest breeds. With origins dating back over 3,500 years, the ancient Aztecs believed the Xolo would ward off evil from their homes (we can kind of see where the Aztecs were coming from).
There are a plethora of rare dog breeds out there that are adorable, hilarious and fascinating to learn about. If you’re itching to discover more, take a peek at Dog Time’s comprehensive profiles of hundreds of breeds and brush up on your doggo knowledge.