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Every dog is unique in its own special way. But, what if I told you that there are very rare and unique dog breeds that you have probably never heard of? 

That’s right! 

The list you’re about to read is gonna amaze you, not only due to the rarity of the dogs on it and their exquisite looks, but also due to the fact that each and every one of these breeds is incredibly unique. 

Some of these dogs landed on the soil of the U.S. a very long time ago, and even made it to AKC recognition. Some sneaked into the country and remained low-key to this very day. And… some never even made it across the pond and remained familiar only in their homelands.

Sounds interesting? Let’s dig in!

#1 Catalburun

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This Turkish hunting dog is probably the most interesting dog you will find on this list. The Catalburun is unique due to its “double nose” or fork-like nose that you won’t see on any other dog.

According to Petek and Dİnçel1, this breed originates from Tarsus – the historic city in Southern Turkey.

The Catalburun specializes in hunting small game, and is extremely affectionate towards its family. It is estimated that there are only around two-hundred Catalburun dogs remaining in the world today, which makes this breed one of the rarest.

The average Catalburun dog doesn’t exceed 55 pounds in weight, and its average height is around 17 to 24 inches

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Their loyalty to families is undying, and the dog is even-tempered, which makes it perfect for crowded environments. Aside from hunting, the Catalburun can make a good police dog due to its excellent tracking abilities.

#2 Otterhound

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Otterhounds originally come all the way from medieval England, where they were used for hunting otters – hence, the name, Otterhound. Over time, this hunting activity was out-lawed and Otterhounds became mostly family dogs.

These boys are extremely strong despite their shaggy, innocent looks. Weighing between 100 and 115 pounds, an average Otterhound could take on a 20-pound, sharp-toothed otter.

The breed has an extremely heightened sense of smell, and they can follow an otter scent even underwater. They’re known to be amazing swimmers, with a waterproof, double coat. 

Despite being affectionate with their families, Otterhounds are not the type of dogs that crave attention at all times. Unlike many family dogs, they belong to breeds with lower separation anxiety.

#3 Mudi

Photo from: @mudidog_fuge

All the way from Hungarian farms to the selected community of AKC comes the Mudi, also known as the Hungarian farm dog. A fun fact about the Mudi is that the breed was officially recognized in 2022, which makes it one of the newest AKC breeds.

The Mudi’s biggest trademark is its gray-brown, white, black, and yellow coat that is usually curly and medium long. Despite their smaller size, which revolves around 20 to 30 pounds in weight, these Hungarian boys and girls make excellent watchdogs and working dogs.

They have the impeccable ethics of German breeds, as well as their stunningly high trainability level. The average Mudi is quite easy to train, which makes it ideal for family life. 

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#4 Cesky Terrier

Cesky TerrierCesky Terrier
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Did you know that the Cesky Terrier has been among us for the last twelve years? That’s right… this small dog with a huge personality was recognized as an independent breed by the AKC in 2011.

Still, the breed is not widely represented in the U.S. nor in other parts of the world. As the name itself suggests, these dogs come from the Czech Republic. 

Unlike many terriers from their families, these small pooches are not exactly frantic, but calm, peaceful, and friendly.

However, you can’t deny their high prey drive and the fact that they are still… well… terriers!

Even though they don’t exceed 25 pounds in weight, this small dog, unlike many other small breeds, gets along with children excellently! 

Are you thinking about a smaller dog with fewer needs than Labs, GSDs, or Goldies? No problem… just get a Cesky if you can, as they are extremely rare.

#5 Finnish Spitz

Finnish SpitzFinnish Spitz
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Of all the fox-looking breeds, the Finnish Spitz might take the crown. With its reddish coat and short, pointy ears and muzzle, these beautiful spitz dogs resemble foxes in their looks.

But, not only in their looks! Another thing that makes them similar to these wild animals is their prey-drive and hunting instinct. Finnish Spitzes are known as agile, loud dogs that excel in bird hunting.

As soon as they spot a bird, they bark loudly in the attempt to alarm their owner. That’s why they’re also called the Barking Bird Dog.

I need to give them credit for being amazing family dogs, too. Even though their natural habitat is in the field, these 30-pound canines don’t shy away from living indoors. Quite the opposite – they love it! 

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They have a special, unique way with young children, which is why the breed is absolutely recommended to have in big families. The only problem, though, is their loud barking.

If you’re living in an apartment or you’re the kind of person who likes having their sleep undisturbed, this doggo is probably not for you. They will bark whenever they feel like it. And, they feel like barking… a lot!

#6 Azawakh

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This doggo qualifies on two lists at the same time – the list of the rarest breeds in the world, and at the same time, the list of the most expensive breeds in the world. That’s right. The price for this slender canine can go up to $10,000, which is quite fascinating. 

Azawakhs originally come from Western Africa. Given their athletic nature and slim body, they were widely used for gazelle hunting. In other words – you won’t find a faster dog than this 50-pound slim boy!

Other than their speed, Azawakhs are used as lure coursers and companions. Next to Mudis, this is also one of the newest AKC members, as the breed was officially recognized in 2019.

#7 Peruvian Inca Orchid

Peruvian Inca OrchidPeruvian Inca Orchid
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Extremely noble and affectionate, the Peruvian Inca Orchid comes from South America. The breed is a sighthound by nature, but it can also be a good watchdog. Incas are known to be a hairless breed, but they can also be short-coated.

With their pliable, soft skin, and prick ears, these dogs resemble Sphynx cats. 

They are decent family dogs, affectionate to their owner, with not so big of an interest in getting along with small kids. They’re not naturally socialized and open to strangers, but if you want a good hunting companion or a field companion – this is the dog for you.

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#8 Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington TerrierBedlington Terrier
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Of all the terrier breeds, the Bedlington Terrier is the rarest. And, probably the weirdest looking! 

An untrained eye would mistake this innocent-looking dog for a lamb or even a Poodle from a distance. They’re charming, frolicking, and loyal companions, with only 23 pounds in weight.

A pear-shaped head, an arched back, and a crisp, curly coat are trademarks of this energetic Englishman. However, their biggest advantage is their non-shedding, hypoallergenic coat. 

If you have a problem with allergies or you just can’t stand the idea of your dog leaving fur balls all over your house – the Bedlington Terrier is the ideal solution for you. 

However, you need to take into consideration that they need a lot of obedience and socialization training.

Despite their small size, these pooches are extremely energetic and won’t be satisfied with a simple, low-key life. 

#9 Telomian

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You will hardly find a Telomian in the U.S., as these Malaysian canines are extremely rare. In fact, if you have ever seen one – you’re lucky! 

An average Telomian weighs no more than 30 pounds, and its main occupation is vermin hunting. Telomians belong to the terrier group of dogs. Despite their size, they’re active, energetic, and always ready for action.

On the other hand, these small dogs are open to all kinds of activities, and they’re eager to meet new people. In fact, a Telomian won’t ever say no to food and a kind touch regardless of who’s on the giving end.

#10 New Guinea Singing Dog

New Guinea Singing DogNew Guinea Singing Dog
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Isn’t this the rarest and funniest dog breed name that you have ever heard? And yet, there’s nothing funny in their origin, as New Guinea Singing Dogs are wild dogs in their origin.

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However, according to Surbakti et al2, these canines no longer exist in the wilderness of New Guinea, but only in captivity.

With their narrow muzzle and wide cheekbones, you could easily mistake them for coyotes. They are extremely athletic and, unlike other dogs, capable of climbing trees without many problems. 

New Guinea Singing Dogs are called that way for a reason. They not only bark – they also yodel and howl. In a way, their vocalization resembles the one in wolves and dingos. 

Although domesticated over time in many households, these wild dogs are not exactly family types. They rather prefer being and hunting alone.

#11 Pyrenean Shepherd

Pyrenean ShepherdPyrenean Shepherd
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Last, but not least… the one and only Pyrenean Shepherd! This dog belongs to the group of cattle breeds, and it comes in two different editions – a rough-faced Pyrenean, and a smooth-faced Pyrenean.

With only 20 to 30 pounds in weight, Pyrenean Shepherds can reach up to 19 years of age, which is pretty fascinating. 

They’re extremely affectionate, loyal, and playful dogs that adapt to family life in no time. Not only do they excel at working tasks – they also love being mentally stimulated and challenged. 

Pyrenean Shepherds are known for their high-trainability potential, too. They easily adopt new knowledge and perfect tasks in no time.


Unfortunately, the list ends here. All of these canines mentioned above are not only rare, but quite unique and amazing in their own temperament. 

More and more dogs are being accepted and recognized as independent breeds every day, but there are also those that slowly disappear, like Catalburuns or New Guinea Singing Dogs.

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This article is a small tribute to all of these eleven canines and a reminder that beauty can be found even in the most distant areas.


[1] Petek, M, and Dİnçel, D. (2012). Catalburun Dogs And Breed Characteristics. Journal of the Faculty Of Veterinary Medicine, Uludağ University. Vol.31, No.1 pp. 25-28

[2] Surbakti, S., Parker, H.G., McIntyre, J.K., Maury, H.K., Cairns, K.M, Selvig, M., Pangau-Adam, M., Safonpo, A., Numberi, L., Runtuboi, DYP., Davis, B.W., Ostrander, E.A. New Guinea highland wild dogs are the original New Guinea singing dogs. Proc Natl Acad Sci. DOI

By Andy Marcus

Hello, my name is Andy Marcus, and I am a passionate dog lover and enthusiast. For me, there is nothing quite like the joy and love that a furry friend can bring into our lives. I have spent years studying and learning about dogs, and have made it my mission to share my knowledge and expertise with others through my website. Through my website, I aim to provide comprehensive information and resources for dog owners and enthusiasts. Whether it's training tips, health and nutrition advice, or insights into dog behavior, I strive to create a platform that is accessible and useful to everyone who loves dogs.

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