Thanks to the pandemic puppy boom, it feels like almost everyone has a dog these days. And while us dog lovers are fond of pretty much every breed, there are a number of them out there that are rare and unusual. Whether you’re looking to add another furry friend to your fam or are simply curious about different breeds, these are some adorable pups you may have never heard of before.
Most of us have never heard of (or can pronounce) Schipperke (it sounds like: skipper-key). This dog breed was originally created for catching rats and comes from Belgium. These little black furballs are known for being great with children and they also get along well with other dogs. At first glance, they look part Pomeranian but they’re actually considered to be a small shepherd dog.
Related: The richest pets in the world.
These fluffy dogs often get mistaken for mutts, but they’re actually a type of sheepdog. Originally from France, these shaggy herding dogs are still a very rare breed, as they almost were wiped out after the the two World Wars. It’s a good thing they’re still around, though, considering how loving and athletic they are.
You may also like: 10 questions for anyone who thinks they’re ready for a pet.
These slim dogs are supposedly one of the most ancient breeds around, and they’re originally from central Africa. If you’re looking for an intelligent breed, a Basenji is just what you need. They’re super clean and don’t bark often; however, they do make a strange whining noise. This breed is also considered to be cat-like, so if you consider yourself someone who gravitates towards felines, maybe these pups will change your mind.
Otterhounds aren’t that well-known, and it’s likely because they’re so rare — and, unfortunately, endangered. They are large, shaggy dogs that love to swim, and they used to hunt otters back in medieval England. Thanks to their hunting skills, they have an amazing sense of smell and love to get exercise, so if you want one of these dogs be prepared to go on lots of walks.
These slim dogs are small and fast, and so you can bet they’ll race you if they get a chance. Aside from their running skills, they’re one of the softest breeds of terrier so be sure to spend lots of time keeping their coats clean and smooth. Definitely set aside a grooming budget if you’re in the market for a Bedlington.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
These small Scottish dogs are smart and friendly. They love children and are warm and welcoming to strangers when out for walks. As a small dog with lots of energy, they love to play just as much as they love to cuddle. If you’re looking for a dog that can look glam with a silky coat and an adorable pouf, a Dandie might be for you.
Borzoi, or Russian Hunting Sighthounds, are large, tall dogs that are calm and relaxed. They are happy when spending time outside running, and are excellent hunters. This breed has a hearty appetite, but surprisingly, they eat more as puppies than they do as adults because they grow so quickly. Give them a carrot or some sweet potatoes and you might just have a bestie for life.
If you have a great head of curls and want to be the type of dog owner that matches with their pet, then a coily, shaggy Puli could just be the dog of your dreams. These curly wonders are energetic and quick, likely because they were traditionally used for herding. They are confident dogs who need to be groomed frequently to ensure they don’t get too dirty, so it’s a good idea to keep a brush nearby.
These tiny dogs are often called “little lion dogs” and with all their hair, it’s for good reason. Their coat is traditionally kept in a “lion clip,” which means their back half and back legs are shaved down so they look similar to the rulers of the jungle. The hairy breed is known for being super loving towards everyone, especially young children, so if you’re craving non-stop affection a Lowchen is a match for you.