There are so many dog breeds. How are we supposed to choose our favorite? That choice might get a little slimmer soon as some dog breeds are on the very edge of extinction.
There is a good reason that dogs are so popular all around the world. Sure, their wet noses and loving personality are great additions, but would you believe there is even more to our four-legged friends than first meets the eye? Their wet noses actually have a purpose as they help our pooches to absorb any scent chemicals and dissect smells. This is enough to make their sense of smell 10,000 times stronger than ours.
Have you ever wondered if your dog loves you? There have been plenty of studies that show they do feel a form of jealousy if we start paying attention to and loving another pet or person. However, they’re not alone. Many of us are envious of other people’s pets and want one for our own, leading to plenty of dog breed trends over the years. While some breeds, such as French bulldogs and pugs, are more popular than ever, some dog breeds are at the very edge of extinction. It might not be long before they’re gone.
Sealyham terriers, often called Sealies, are distinctive terriers thanks to their unique face shape and coat. They have bustling personalities, are very confident, and love to get into all kinds of things to check out the world around them.
Believe it or not, but they were once one of the most popular breeds of terriers in the world.
Now, they are highly endangered. In fact, Great Britain has named them as one of the most endangered breeds in the country. Just 107 were registered to The Kennel Club back in 2018, and they were placed 164th most popular breed in the US.
This medium-sized terrier was once bred on the Isle of Skye in Scotland to help keep foxes away from their animals. These days, Skye terriers are typically used as companions.
Queen Victoria made the breed as popular as they once were as the royal was always seen with one by her side.
Their popularity only grew when they were painted by famous artists of the time. Sadly, they require a lot of attention and grooming thanks to their long coats. It’s believed that just 50 Skye terriers were registered in the UK back in 2018, and they were ranked at the 178th most popular dog in the United States.
Irish water spaniel
Irish water spaniels were bred for a life in the water. Who would have thought? Like most other spaniels, they were first bred to help while out hunting.
They are excellent swimmers and have a lot of endurance, meaning they could chase down and collect ducks and other water animals. That’s not all.
Many owners say that Irish water spaniels are the clowns of the family. They love to spend time with their owners and keep them entertained. While they are easy to train, these dogs need a lot of exercise. To top it off, they don’t tend to shed their coat very much, but they do need a lot of grooming to keep healthy.
Cardigan Welsh corgi
There are two types of corgis in the world: cardigan and Pembrokeshire Welsh corgis. The biggest difference between the two breeds is the length of their tails.
Cardigans have longer tails while Pembrokeshire corgis have docked ones instead. Depending on where you are in the world depends on whether this breed is considered endangered.
The UK Kennel Club says there must be less than 300 registered dogs to land a space on the endangered list, and this has been the case on and off over the years across the nation. However, they are a popular breed in the US, meaning they could transition from their native land to flourish across the pond.
Pembrokeshire Welsh corgi
There are dogs that are fit for a queen, and then there’s the Pembrokeshire Welsh corgi. The breed was a favorite for Queen Elizabeth II since her 18th birthday as she was gifted one.
The Queen continued to breed the dogs throughout her life before her final four-legged friend, Willow, passed away in 2018.
They are the smallest breed in the herding group determined by the American Kennel Club and can be highly intelligent – and stubborn. It turns out that the Queen isn’t the only one who has stopped breeding these dogs over the years. The UK reported that just 147 of these corgis were born in 2018.
If there is one thing that many people have learned about spaniels over the years, it’s the fact that they often need a lot of care and exercise to keep them happy. The Sussex spaniel is no exception.
In fact, some professionals state they need up to two hours of exercise every day, making them tougher to care from than other spaniels.
Amazingly, they have a slow pace as they were bred to scare birds into the air out on hunts. Even so, they have incredible stamina. Their striking liver-colored coat wasn’t enough to see more than 34 registered in the UK in 2018, and they aren’t very popular in the US either.
For many generations, bloodhounds have been the loyal breed that many have had by their side. They have an incredible talent for following scents. This means they have been used on hunts, especially those on horseback, for decades.
However, recent hunting laws and the fashion trend of having designer dogs and crossbreeds have been enough to see them on the edge of extinction.
While their numbers have slowly increased since 2013, some still believe that they could be in danger. As few at 51 puppies have been registered in some of their lowest years. Hopefully, bloodhounds will soon find a new job to keep them busy.
There is a good reason that Irish wolfhounds earned their name. As well as being fast enough to catch a wolf, they are also powerful enough to take one down.
It turns out that an Irish wolfhounds strengths might be the primary reason that they’re now going extinct. By the 18th century, wolves in Ireland had gone extinct.
One army captain was determined to bring them back from the edge and searched across Ireland to find as many of the dogs as he could. Although he was successful and managed to create a new version of the Irish wolfhound, they are still thought to be endangered in both the UK and the US.
The red and white Irish setter
Many of us have heard of red setters, but what about red and white Irish setters?
While they are like their cousins in many ways, this breed needs more exercise and can be more challenging to train. They are often friendly dogs.
Sadly, they can also be pretty stubborn and take a lot of time to pick up any new tricks. Many people now opt for red setters instead. This means their numbers have been dwindling over the years, placing 146th on the popularity list in the US, and having just 51 of the breed registered in the UK in 2018.
Would you believe The Kennel Club reported there were just 77 smooth collies registered in 2018? They might be adorable, but this breed has earned itself a spot on the most endangered list in the last few years.
They are just like regular collies as they love to run around, are enthusiastic, and are often very intelligent.
However, this breed has short hair instead. The compromise? Smooth collies are known for their constant barking. This has made them pretty unpopular across the world as people typically want a quieter breed. Whoever knew that smooth collies could have so much they were trying to say?
Dandie Dinmont terrier
While many dogs have been bred to hunt and keep the pests away on farms, it turns out the Dandie Dinmont had another job: to be farmers’ friends, too.
Sure, their short legs mean they are great at chasing weasels and skunks, but they are also very calm and loving around humans, something that sets them apart from many other terrier breeds.
It’s their domed heads and puffy coats that make the Dandie Dinmont terrier look so unique. Sadly, even their striking appearance hasn’t helped to save them over the years. It’s believed they are the 167th most popular breed in the US.
Kerry blue terrier
It turns out that many of the greatest hunting dogs formed their roots in Ireland. The Kerry blue terrier is no exception. They were first bred to hunt and take don rodents and pests as well as helping their owners while out hunting.
As if that wasn’t enough, Kerry blue terriers are so intelligent and loyal that they were also used to herd cattle and sheep.
So if they are so good at their job, then why are they endangered? Many believe it’s thanks to their look as they are deemed to be an unfashionable breed. Thankfully, they aren’t as endangered as some of their other cousins in the terrier family, but they could still be in danger.
There are some dogs who can steal our hearts with just one look, and it seems as though clumber spaniels have perfected the look. They are intelligent and usually pretty easy to train as a result.
Plus, unlike many other spaniels, they don’t suffer from separation anxiety as much as others.
They are even a great choice for first-time owners, so why are they on the endangered list? There have been just a few hundred clumber spaniels registered in the UK and the US in the last few years, and people aren’t sure why. It could be thanks to other spaniels who are more popular, or the fact that many have never seen a clumber spaniel for themselves.
There are some dogs who have made their modern home in the show ring, and many dog showing fanatics might be used to seeing a Norwich terrier or two in the ring.
Sadly, that seems to be where their popularity comes to an end. They were once bred to hunt rats before they were tasked with keeping the fox population down.
They often take on prey that is much larger than themselves, adding to the phrase a big dog in a small dog’s body. They are fearless and tough, but Norwich terriers can also be a little bossy and stubborn on occasion.
Glen of Imaal terrier
It seems as though Ireland has been in charge of creating some of the most adorable breeds of dogs in the world. Sadly, not all of them have been able to stand the test of time, the Glen of Imaal terrier is no exception.
The breed is named after the remote area of Ireland where they were first bred.
They were first used for hunting any animal that could hide underground, and their intelligence has been put to good use over the years. However, they can be very independent if they don’t have something to occupy their minds. There are thought to be just 48 Glen of Imaal terriers in the UK.
While many of us have seen regular retrievers over the years, not all of us have been lucky enough to spend time with a curly-coated retriever. They are either black or brown and come covered in sheep-like curls across their bodies.
They are perfect swimmers as well as being confident, fast, and elegant with their moves.
Curly-coated retrievers are great companions. Sadly, even all of their loveable personality traits haven’t been enough to save the breed as their numbers have been dropping over the years. In 2018, 70 curly-coated retrievers were registered in the UK – and they’re not on hot demand in the US, ranking in at 162nd.
It turns out that Scottish deerhounds looked identical to Irish wolfhounds. It wasn’t until people wanted a dog that was more suited to hunting deer that they started to gain their unique looks.
It’s believed they have been around since the 16th or 17th century where they have been a vital part of people’s lives over the years.
As deer and larger animals became extinct or rare across the UK, the Scottish deerhound’s numbers started to dwindle. Plus, hunting animals with antlers using dogs is largely banned across the US. While some people love Scottish deerhounds and welcome them into their family, their numbers have never recovered since their heyday.
Cavalier King Charles spaniel
It’s believed that Cavalier King Charles spaniels were first bred in the 17th century and named after King Charles II.
Although they were once a popular breed among the Royals, they almost became extinct when Queen Mary I took to the throne as she preferred pugs.
The spaniels were soon bred with pugs to try and help bring their numbers back from the edge. This resulted in shorter snouts – and a host of health issues. They are prone to heart conditions while others have problems with their brains thanks to the size of their head. Even so, they are highly affectionate and loyal to their owners.
Miniature bull terrier
It turns out that miniature bull terriers are actually made up of a whole host of other dogs. That’s right; English white terriers, dalmatians, and bulldogs are just some of the many breeds that have come together to make this unique dog.
They are small and sturdy, but looks can be deceiving.
Many say that miniature bull terriers are just like toddlers. This is because they love to clown around and have fun. However, the breed is also known for its independent thinking and can be stubborn or tough to train. Just a few hundred of these dogs have been registered in the UK and US in the last few years.
They are huge, they are mighty, but this breed is on its way out. Amazingly, there were just 143 mastiffs registered in the UK back in 2018, but the US might help to bring those numbers back up as they were the 29th most popular breed the same year.
They were bred from fearsome war dogs that fought alongside armies around 7,000 years ago.
Unlike their ancient ancestors, mastiffs are known for their gentle nature and loving personalities. They really are some of the biggest softies in the world. Sadly, their size is one of the reasons that people often avoid the breed and choose a smaller dog instead.
While many spaniels are looking for something to do, one of the field spaniel’s main priorities is to spend as much time with its family as possible. They get lonely quickly and love to spend time with people.
This means they are great for active families who can spend time at home or take their pets to work.
Sadly, not everyone is willing to bring one into their life as they rank as the 149th most popular dog in the US, and there were only 48 puppies born in the UK in 2018. Field spaniels are smaller than springer spaniels and larger than cocker spaniels, meaning they are the best of both worlds.
Smooth fox terrier
Amazingly, it turns out that many native breeds to the UK are at risk because people simply don’t know they exist. The UK Kennel Club confirmed that just 126 smooth fox terriers were registered back in 2018.
This breed is known for being courageous and affectionate as well as incredibly loyal to their owners.
They are also very smart, meaning they can adapt to almost any job put in front of them. Sadly, their endurance and intelligence mean smooth fox terriers need plenty of exercise to keep them fit and a lot of mental stimulation, so they don’t look for their own entertainment.
Once again Manchester terriers were bred to hunt across Northern England. They were soon named the “gentleman’s terrier” as they were favored by the upper class, and their sleek coat and manners mean they are often well-behaved dogs.
Manchester terriers have been compared to Doberman pinschers over the years, but they are a lot smaller and have a sharper appearance.
Their numbers have risen and fallen over the years as many prefer other terriers instead. However, Manchester terriers are thought to be the only working rat-catching dogs left in the world. Seeing one of these dogs is a rare sight to behold.
While Gordon setters might be one of Scotland’s oldest breeds, the nation is working hard to try and bring them back from the edge of extinction.
They are a traditional hunting dog. However, just 170 dogs were registered with the UK Kennel Club in 2018 – a number that looks as though it will continue to fall.
The breed was first bred back in the 18th century at Gordon Castle. Now, the descendant of the creator of Gordon setters is hoping to help the breed thrive once again. Gordon setters usually pick a favorite in the family and shower them with unconditional love. Many worry that people merely don’t know the breed exists.
Can you believe that just 39 otterhounds were born in the UK in 2018? It’s not only the UK that prefers other breeds.
Otterhounds are also considered to be one of the most unpopular choices across the US. This is an old breed that has been around for around 500 years.
They were once bred to hunt otters, hence their name. As if that wasn’t enough, no one has any idea why they aren’t more popular. Otterhounds are often referred to as the class clown thanks to their fun and boisterous behavior. They love people and make their families their priority. Unfortunately, it seems that not all of us feel the same way.
The Australian tiger dog
While some dogs are endangered, others have already become extinct over the years. The Australian tiger dog once thrived across the nation. That was until humans wanted to find a way to keep their sheep and other animals safe.
They were never a domesticated breed of dogs but looked and behaved like a cross between dogs and foxes.
They first evolved around 4 million years ago and earned their name thanks to the tiger stripes on their backs. Sadly, they were soon hunted to extinction. Although the last of the breed passed away in captivity many years ago, some people believe there could still be living in the Outback.
Although this dog might look familiar, the Molossus has been extinct for many years. They were first bred around 7,000 years ago and are the ancient ancestors of mastiffs.
This large breed was once an important part of everyday lives, with the Ancient Greeks mentioning them many times throughout history.
No one knows exactly why they were bred. Some claim they were used to help fight while others believe they were to protect families from intruders. A handful of people have now made it their mission to bring the Molossus by breeding other dogs in their lineage, with some puppies selling for $5,000 each.
There is little information about the Cumberland sheepdog as the breed became extinct so many years ago.
It’s thought that the were a favorite of the 6th Earl of Lonsdale, Lancelot Edward Lowther. Many also believe that they were a part of the family for more than 100 years.
There seems to be no real reason that Cumberland sheepdogs became extinct. Their numbers started to dwindle at the end of the 19th century. By the time the 20th century rolled around, most people referred to them as border collies. The breed was absorbed by the latter, with others claiming that Cumberland sheepdogs are also the ancient ancestors of Australian shepherds, too.
Hare Indian dog
It’s thought that the hare dog was a cross between a coyote and a domestic dog. Studies show that they were kept by many Athabaskan tribes living around the Great Bear Lake in northern Canada where they helped out on hunts.
They continued to thrive until people found new ways to hunt instead.
By this time, the hare dog was almost extinct and soon lost its identity as people began to breed them with other dog breeds. Some people state the original breed still exists in different forms. Amazingly, hare dogs were known to be incredibly playful and they loved to make friends with anyone who paid them attention.
St. John’s water dog
Some dogs are bred for company or their appearance, while others are there to do a job. St. John’s water dogs were first bred to join fishermen on boats thanks to their excellent swimming skills and bravery.
Here, they would dive into the water and retrieve fishing nets before bringing them back to the ship.
Thankfully, they also had a loveable personality to help keep fishermen company while out on the water. Now, St. John’s water dogs are considered to be the ancestors of labrador retrievers and Newfoundlands. They made it all the way to the 1980s, but their dwindling numbers at the start of the century meant they were eventually all gone.
Back in Medieval times, “talbot” was used to refer to one dog. However, by the 17th century, the name had been given to an entirely new breed.
It’s believed that talbot hounds are ancestors of bloodhounds and beagles as they both share similar personality traits and appearances to this now extinct breed.
They were also used for hunting, and it looks as though they were white with powerful feet and short legs. No one is sure whether talbot hounds relied on their scent, their sight, or their powerful legs to dig up quarries while out on the hunt. All we do know is the breed went extinct around the 1700s.
Salish wool dog
Before the US had sheep, the Salish wool dog stood in as a replacement. That’s right; people would breed the dog and clip their fur in the spring to help make blankets.
The breed is just one of two who are native to the US. They were often kept in packs with 12 to 20 dogs being the average number that lived together on the farm.
They lived in gated caves or islands to keep them safe. It’s believed that the arrival of the Europeans was enough to see this dog come to an end as they bought sheep with them to the new land, and rendered the Salish wool dog useless.