10 Dog Breeds You've Probably Never Heard Of

10 Dog Breeds You've Probably Never Heard Of

Author WDF Staff


It is impossible to know exactly how many dog breeds there are in the world and most of us are familiar with between 50 or 100 most popular dog breeds. We all know Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Dobermans, or French Bulldogs and these breeds are registered and accepted in most, if not all major cynology associations and clubs.

The Worlds biggest cynology association union is the Fédération Cynologique Internationale or the FCI. It has 98 members from 6 different continents and most of these cynology associations have the same breeds accepted and registered within their associations. There are local breeds that are not yet accepted by the FCI but most of the national associations are working towards full registration and acceptance by the FCI.

American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo dog is a part of the Spitz breed family and it is a Nordic breed. That means they have a thick coat that had to protect them from extreme weather in their native parts in the far north. They have faces that remind us of foxes and pricked upright ears. Their tail is slightly curved and carried over their backs.

These dogs come in three varieties: Toy, Miniature, and Standard. Toy versions are the smallest and they are between 9 and 12 inches tall, then the Miniature version fallows with the average size between 12 to 15 inches and finally the Standard version that is 15 to 19 inches tall.

american eskimo dog

These lovely American dogs have captured the hearts of people wherever they go. They have a lively personality and love a good playing session. They are naturally distrustful towards strangers just like all the nordic breeds and that is a characteristic that makes them great watchdogs. You can count on your Eskie to alert you about anyone approaching your home.

The American Eskimo Dog is generally a healthy breed with some potential health problems future owners should be aware of. Their average lifespan is 13-15 years. They thrive on being around family and love having company. If they are left alone for too long they can develop separation anxiety. Eskies get along great with children and other dogs but are not the best for living with other, smaller pets.


The Boerboel or as it is also called, South African Mastiff, is a large dog breed that originated in South Africa. It was bred and created when Boer farmers (Dutch settlers of South Africa) crossbred European breeds with native African dogs of that area. It is believed that Mastiffs and Great Danes were used to create the Boerboel.

Their main job was to protect and they were good at that job. They were trusted with protecting livestock from African predators and their owners from unwanted guests.

boerboel dog

These dogs have quite an intimidating look and anyone will think twice before approaching them, however, they are also very loving, devoted, playful, and love being around their families. They are particularly fond of the children from their families and develop a special bond with them, although they are better suited for families with older children because of their enormous size. They can accidentally knock a child over while playing.

The Boerboel is called by many names and some of those names are Borbull, Bole, or South African Boerboel. The correct pronunciation of their official name is “boo-r-bull”

Boykin Spaniel

The Boykin Spaniel is a hunting dog breed that is completely American. It is a relatively “new” breed that is just over 100 years old.

Its exact origins are a bit of a mystery as it is not known how this breed came to life. What is known is that a South Carolina man by the name of Alexander White found a dog outside of the church he was attending in 1900. He adopted that dog and named it Dumpy. That happened in a small community called Boykin in South Carolina.

Mr. White was a passionate hunter and owned many pureblooded retrievers he took hunting with him. His adopted dog Dumpy showed extreme potential and enthusiasm for hunting and after a short period of adjustment, performed as good as any pureblooded retriever Mr. White owned.

boykin spaniel

Since Mr. White wasn’t a dog breeder, he took Dumpy to the community leader Mr. Boykin who immediately fell in love with Dumpy. He was extremely fascinated with the dog and decided to build a completely new breeding program around Dumpy. He crossbred breeds such as Chesapeake Bay Retriever, American Water Spaniels, and Cocker and English Springers with Dumpy and his descendants to ultimately create what we know today as the Boykin Spaniel.

These dogs are energetic, alert, playful, and most of all, extremely good hunters. They thrive as both a working dog breed or a very active family pet. These dogs are especially good at flushing and retrieving waterfowl from lakes or fields. They even have webbed feet so they are extremely good swimmers. They have a beautiful coat that can be liver-colored or chocolate-colored with all the possible shades between.

Catahoula Leopard Dog

The Lousiana’s Catahoula Leopard Dog is a working breed bred for tasks in rough terrain such as swamps and mangrove forests.

This American breed came to life as a result of crossbreeding Spanish Mastiffs, Greyhounds, and native American dog breeds. They were bred for hunting and to this day that is their main job in the American south. They were mostly used for hunting wild hogs and other large mammals in that area. These dogs have webbed feet so they are great swimmers and can easily run in the wet swamp area where most of their prey resides.

catahoula leopard dog

The Catahoula Leopard Dog has many striking features and is an impressive sight to see. Their coat can be brindled, spotted, patched, or solid-colored. Some of these dogs can have “cracked” eyes (two colors in one eye) and their eyes can be blue, green, amber, or brown.

This breed isn’t for everyone. It is mostly a working breed and they need a job to be happy. They are strong-willed and independent. They will work with hunters but never for them. They need to have an owner who is firm and consistent and who will know how to handle such a breed. If all of their needs are met, they can be very docile, lovable, and devoted companions.

This breed became the national dog of the state of Lousiana.

Plott Hound

The Plott Hound is another American hunting dog breed. This breed comes from North Carolina and it is around 200 years old. Their main job was pack hunting and they specialized in hunting wild boar and bears. They have an excellent sense of smell so they do well in tracking and other dog sports.

These dogs are very active and full of energy. The Plotts love to explore and run around so make sure that you provide them with enough space to roam. They do tend to follow their nose with little to no regard for where it might take them. It would be best if their area is properly fenced so they wouldn’t wander off.

These dogs are intelligent and powerful which makes them excellent hunters. They are descendants of the German dog breed called the Hanoverian Schweisshund and were brought to the United States at the beginning of the 18th century by a man named Johannes Georg Plott. It is clear how they got their name.

The Plott Hound belongs to the family of coonhounds (coonhounds are specialized in hunting raccoons) but it is the only breed from that family that is not descended from the Foxhound. Some Plott owners say that it is degrading to use these dogs for raccoon hunting as they are specialized in big game hunting.

They tend to be dominant and in some cases even aggressive so socialization is a must for any future Plott Hound owner. If these dogs are properly raised and socialized, they can be wonderful companions and pets.

Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier is an all-American dog breed specialized in vermin control. They are typical Terriers - energetic, enthusiastic, alert, active, funny, and never boring.

One of these Terriers was given to the American president Theodor Roosevelt after his staff reported a huge rat infestation in the White House. It is said that President Roosevelt’s Terrier is singlehandedly responsible for cleaning the White House of rats.

rat terrier

President was so impressed with this breed that he started breeding them. These dogs are excellent farm dogs. They will control and keep the stables vermin free. Even though they are often mistaken for the more famous Jack Russell Terriers or even a smooth-coated Fox Terriers, true breed lovers know how to spot this unique and lovable breed.

These dogs can be stubborn and love to dig. They are somewhat of an escape artist and love to escape enclosed areas. It would be very wise to keep them properly contained and fenced. If you do not wish to do that, try and get your dog microchipped or invest in a GPS dog collar because these dogs will most likely try to escape and run through the neighborhood like their life depends on it. If you are willing to turn a blind eye to some of the “naughty” behavior that is typical for ratting Terriers, these dogs can become great companions and pets. Make sure you teach them, socialize them, and fulfill their activity needs and you will have a great pet that will constantly make you smile.

Redbone Coonhound

The Redbone Coonhounds are medium-large hounds that were bred for hunting purposes and they have a stunningly beautiful red coat. It is important to know that these dogs are passionate barkers. They bark when they are hunting as well as when they are not. It is a good idea to teach them how to stop barking on command.

Male Redbones are usually between 22 and 27 inches high and females are slightly smaller and are between 21 and 25 inches tall.

These dogs are untypically sensitive and they love attention. They are one of the few breeds that can suffer from canine attention deficit disorder (ADD). It is believed that they come from a line of Irish, British, and Scottish red hounds that came to the United States of America alongside the settlers during the colonial times. The Redbone breeders started focusing more on the looks of these dogs than on their hunting ability and that is one of the reasons why this breed is one of the “best-looking” coonhounds out there. It is one of the six hound breeds that have been developed by the settlers to secure enough food and fur during the big expansion to the west and south of the United States.

These dogs are best suited for farms or countryside that have plenty of room for them to run and spend their excessive energy. They don’t adapt too well to urban living conditions.


The Chinook is a dog breed that comes from New Hampshire and was named after Admiral Byrd’s first Antarctic expedition in 1928. This is an active breed that enjoys all sorts of different family activities such as hiking, biking, jogging, and playing with children.

They were bred for their sled-pulling ability and the idea was to create a sled dog that would be better and more powerful than a Husky. That is how this breed came to life, by crossbreeding a Husky and a farm dog. The farm that this crossbreeding took place was owned by Mr. Arthur Walden. The puppy born of this crossbreeding was named Chinook and he ended up having an extremely lovable temperament. He had big bones and flappy ears. Some described him as being quite handsome and dashing.

The first Chinook fathered many puppies as his owners fell in love with his temperament and naturally, wanted more dogs like him. Most of his puppies ended up with markings and temperaments like their dad and thus the breed was born.

The hallmark of this breed is their sweetness, strength, huge heart, and intelligence. They are moderately active and require 30 to 60 minutes of daily activities to be completely happy and healthy, both physically and mentally. They prefer living inside with their family and if you have a fenced yard, you can be sure you will have one happy Chinook.

One of the funniest traits these dogs have is that they are quite vocal. They love expressing their feelings through a wide range of sounds. You can hear them whining, “woo-wooing”, and barking - a lot. They will gladly express their mental state and happiness.

However, these dogs are quite rare so be prepared to wait a long time for them.

Bluetick Coonhound

This is another breed from the American coonhound family. The Bluetick Coonhound is a hunting breed specialized in raccoon hunting.

This breed is a descendant of the Grand Bleu de Gascogne, a French hunting breed that was used for that purpose for centuries. The English Foxhound is also one of its ancestors so it is no surprise that these dogs are ferocious hunters with plenty of energy to follow. They have a strikingly beautiful coat that is glossy and smooth. It should ideally be dark blue with black spots on the back, ears, and sides.

Bluetick Coonhound

These dogs are primarily hunting dogs and they should be treated as such. They need proper training and socialization from the start if you would like to keep them as family pets. They can adapt to family living but only if all of their needs are fulfilled. They have a lot of energy that needs to be channeled to something productive such as tracking or some other positive canine activity. They also have an extremely high prey drive so they are not the best pets for households that have other small animals.

Biewer Terrier

This small breed is only 50 years old and came to life when two Yorkshire Terriers with the recessive piebald gene were bred. This toy bred was created by Mr. and Mrs. Biewer who had a very successful Yorkie kennel.

They bred and showed their Yorkies around the world during the 1970s and 1980s and one day their friend, who was a veterinarian, visited them. He also wanted to examine the unusual Yorkie that was born in their kennel and came to the conclusion of how that unusual thing happened. Their friend Dr. Bardeleben first said that they should name the new puppy after Mrs. Biewer. In the end, they gave the breed the simple name Biewer Terrier, instead of Gertrude Biewer Terrier.

biewer terrier

These dogs are best suited for apartments or indoor living. They get along great with other pets and are great companions to the children. Since they are very small and fragile, they should always be monitored when playing so no accidents will happen.

These dogs are small, lovable, kind, playful, and very energetic and friendly. These traits made them very popular throughout the world and even though they are not recognized by the FCI, they seem to be growing in popularity in the whole of Europe. 

World Dog Finder team