Discussing dog breeds, dog-adoption, and the human-canine connection.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Less Commonplace Dogs I - The unique, rare, and endangered

Having recently posted about the most popular - or one might prefer to call them the "common dogs" I thought it best to give some equal time to the uncommon dog. I will focus on the clubs who make it easiest to find this information, the AKC and the Kennel Club. What I particularly like about the Kennel Club is that they track dogs native to the UK who are "threatened" or facing extinction due to low numbers registered, usually over a number of years.

As of 2011 (still waiting for 2012 stats to be released) the AKC recognizes 173 breeds. The 20 breeds with the fewest registered are as follows (working our way down to the least common of all, the American Foxhound.)

 Swedish Vallhunds

 Curly-Coated Retrievers



 American Water Spaniels

 Glen of Imaal Terriers

 Polish Lowland Sheepdogs

 Dandie Dinmont Terriers

 Sussex Spaniels

 Pyrenean ShepherdPyrenean Shepherds

 Sealyham Terriers

 Skye Terriers

Norwegian Buhunds*


 Finnish Spitz

 Canaan Dogs


Norwegian Lundehunds**

 English FoxhoundsEnglish Foxhounds

 harriers.jpg (15238 bytes)Harriers

 American FoxhoundsAmerican Foxhounds

** Lundehunds and Xoloitzcuitli's first year of official AKC recognition was 2011.
* Buhunds second year of official AKC recognition was 2011.

Dog Trivia: the founder of the American Foxhound was George Washington, who bred his English Foxhounds to local hunting dogs to create a uniquely American version of the hound. A taller, faster hunter than the English, the American Foxhound has always had a limited but devoted following.

[Harriers fill the hunting gap between the Foxhound and the smaller Beagle...back in the day this used to be a more note-worthy gap...they are a cheerful dog, quieter and larger than a Beagle.]

I find that my poor little blog is getting overwhellmed by the amount of data I'm asking it to hold in this post, so I shall have to break this post in two...the endangered local breeds of the Kennel Club will be featured in the next post.


  1. Not as surprising to me as the other list. Though I did not realize Foxhounds and Skye Terriers would be here. Talking to dog folks here in rural MO, this used to be Foxhound country. These days you just don't see them.

    1. Sue, I find it fascinating how heavily the popularity of a breed (not just dogs but also horses, cattle, sheep) can rise and fall based on what is happening socially.

      Foxhounds used to be widely spread throughout the U.S. when hunting was a popular social activity. Hunting is not as much a part of daily life for as many people, it is not a dominate activity with the middle and upper class, and the kind of hunting that is done no longer relies so heavily on a pack of hounds with a range of jobs to do (meaning a person doesn't need three or more types of hounds in their own kennel to pursue their hunting.)

    2. I hope that eventually someone who has lived with an English or American Foxhound will post about the sound temperament of these breeds. They can make great companions and are happy to make people their pack members.

  2. I am very surprised about the hounds and the harriers being on this list. I don't know any of them but my friend who is a runner has 2 fox hounds. She says that they are amazing athletes.

    Actually, I saw a bear-hunter running his pack of dogs this spring in Utah, and those dogs looked a lot like American Fox Hounds. I wonder if they're used for that kind of hunting. In bear hunting, the dogs tree the bear, and then the human finishes the job. I find it abhorrent but the dogs looked like amazing athletes.

    1. Foxhounds have been used on a range of game and are highly prized for their athleticism, so it certainly is possible that hunters in Utah are using them. Sounds like your friend has the perfect set up, these are dogs that love to move. Thanks for stopping in and sharing!

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