Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by sheer honesty, or you think me having my own opinions is "being negative", then this is not the place for you, and I suggest you leave and head elsewhere. I call a spade a spade, and I don't sugarcoat anything.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Great Breeds For First-Time Dog Owners

Well, to round off my week of discussing nothing but dogs, I thought this would be a great post to make. If you are just entering the dog-fancy, you no doubt have no idea what breed would be best to begin with. Perhaps you've never had a dog because you are afraid of dogs, and you then discovered what truly fascinating creatures they are. Or perhaps you wasted your life believing the stigma of dogs being "dumb", and just discovered that's a stereotype brought on by catfags and poorly-bred and poorly-raised specimens of breeds. Well, these are some of what I believe are the best dogs to own if you are just entering the world of dogs and thinking of getting one.

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
All spaniels are pretty easy-going. The Cavalier is no exception. It is a remarkable companion dog. It is a nearly perfect breed for a first-time dog owner, as they are gentle and friendly, love people, great with kids, and even affectionate around other pets. They are not so small that they are delicate, but they are also not so big they would become overbearing. They are intelligent enough to also be easily trained.

2. Coton de Tulear
I often call these "cotton dogs", because they do look like big balls of cotton. Though their coat does require a lot of attention, this is a great breed to own for the first time dog owner. They are active, but not overbearing. Generally they are sweet, affectionate dogs that I have found to be great around children. They are not nervous or jumpy, and do not bite. They are also quite easily trained. These dogs were originally bred to lay beside royalty, so they are natural-born companions.

3. Poodle
There are 3 varieties of poodle, the standard, the miniature and the toy. Of all the dogs I have had, perhaps the best was a poodle. They are very smart and easily trained. In fact, ours was housebroken in just under 3 weeks! Toy poodles may be too delicate for rowdy children, but poodles are great companions for any age human. They are the supreme first-dog for new owners. Their only downfall I would say is they are obsessed butt-sniffers. I never met a poodle that wasn't one.

4. Shih-Tzu
Another great companion dog. Though nowadays I am kindof on the fence about them because they have been overbred for so long now, and even bred to be smaller now. But they are wonderful companion dogs that are generally very sweet and affectionate with their owners. Though they tend to be somewhat reserved with strangers. I would not recommend them to families with small, rowdy children though. But they are great couch dogs, that will lie by your side and give you endless hours of affection.

5. Xoloitzcuintle
Yes, I know they are somewhat ugly, but they are wonderful dogs that are active, intelligent, yet gentle and do not require any grooming. There's no hair to groom. The only thing they would need is a sweater in the winter and sunblock in the summer. But that's all the grooming they will ever need. They also are somewhat immune to fleas. But these dogs will love to cuddle with you in your bed or on your sofa, and even make great companions for children.

6. Shiba Inu
This is the smallest version of the Akita. Like the Akita, they are great companion dogs, especially if you are a single person living alone. I know that sounds specific, but this breed will become your very best friend, as they tend to be one-person dogs. It is an active breed, sometimes a bit plucky, but not to a point where it is overbearing. They are great with children, and will guard your home with their life. They also do get along great with other animals if they are introduced to them early on.

7. French Bulldog
Though they are smaller than the English bulldog, they are still tough and rugged dogs. They don't have all the problems that the English bulldog has. The French bulldog is distinguishable by the obviously large ears that perk up, known as "bat-ears". They're not as stocky and heavy as the English bulldog, though they do tend to snore when they sleep, like any bulldog. They are easier to care for and make wonderful cuddling companions for children as well. They are also gentle and mellow, and do not require much grooming. The only downfall to this breed, I would say is they are not that easily potty-trained.

8. Basset Hound
A very iconic breed, this is a short hound dog that is wonderful as a companion for the family unit. They are affectionate, gentle, not very active, and easy to care for. They love children and will easily adapt to accept other pets. Most of their time is spent being lazy, and they can be a bit on the stubborn side. But their biggest downfall is that they would need a fenced in yard. They do not hesitate to go where their sense of smell leads them.

9. Pug
Sweet, saucy and affectionate. These are all words I can use to describe the pug. I used to not like pugs until I went to a specialty show in Enumclaw. Then I saw one and it looked just like a teddy bear! It was so cute! They are always so mellow and friendly. Usually friendly with everyone. They require very little grooming, they are not overly active, and they are also quite tough and rugged. They will mostly be happy enough sitting in your lap as you are stroking it's fur. What I like most about them is they always seem to be smiling.

Well those are some of the best breeds I can think of for first-time dog owners. Of course there are others as well. If a person has had a dog before, and it was a breed that is not listed on this post, they can get along great. Even if it had been years since that person had that dog. To those that have had success being first time owners of a breed not on this list, I commend you in deciding to get your first dog. I am not saying these are the only good breeds for first-time owners. I'm just saying these are my best picks for first-time owners, simply because these are some of the most mellow, trainable, and family-friendly breeds.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

My Week Of Dogs

Well, so far it's been a fun week of just talking about dogs. I remember when I was in middle school, I used to drive everyone crazy because all I drew and talked about was dogs. LOL! Including the teachers would get sick of me constantly talking about dogs. But that was my thing when I was a kid, dogs and horses. I loved them both. I grew up with both. Its sad that now dogs and horses are being cast aside for a useless creature like cats. But I blame that on the internet. I spend a lot of time chasing cats away from my yard. What makes cats so dumb is that I chase them with brooms, and they still keep coming back for more! LOL! Stupid cats!

Well, this morning someone responded to a comment I made on a video, that old video of a cat saving a child from a dog attack. Someone said cats are "the most regal and majestic animals of all". And I said No they're not! This morning someone else chimed in with "Yes they fricken are. That is the end of that." and again, I repeated, "No they're fricken not. I can think of 100 more regal and majestic animals than cats. That is the end of that!" So I thought in this post, I would try to name all 100 of the regal and majestic animals I can think of that are MUCH more majestic than any cat, or any feline for that matter. I just think this would be a fun post to read and discuss. So, here goes, in no particular order...

1. Gorillas (especially the huge silverback males)
2. Elk
3. Elephant
4. Killer whales
5. Elephant seal
6. Sea lions (Again, especially the males)
7. Ostrich
8. St. Bernard dogs
9. German Shepherd dogs
10. Kangaroos (all kinds)
11. Civets
12. Foxes (especially the red and kit foxes)
13. Saltwater crocodile
14. Anubis baboon
15. Crab-eating macaque
16. Gray wolf
17. Jackrabbit
18. Ox
19. Horse
20. Golden pheasant
21. White-tailed deer
22. Raven
23. Bald Eagle
24. Anaconda
25. Mandrill
26. Blue whale
27. Emu
28. Great Dane
29. Peacock
30. Tim Farriss
31. Eland
32. Ringtailed Lemur
33. Any lemur, for that matter!
34. Tyrannosaurus Rex
35. Pelican
36. Humpback whale
37. Water buffalo (yes I know they're ugly, but they can kick a lion's butt!)
38. Golden eagle
39. Triceratops
40. Giraffe
41. Coyote
42. Michael Hutchence
43. Chihuahuas
44. Papillons (Cannot forget my Muu!)
45. Babakoot
46. Moa
47. Swan
48. Chacma baboon
49. Boa constrictor
50. Great bustard
51. Hummingbirds (At least they're more interesting)
52. Stellar's Jay
53. Aardvark
54. Giant Pacific Octopus
55. Suricate
56. Dingo
57. American Alligator
58. Great White Shark
59. Red-tailed hawk
60. Tasmanian Devil
61. Collie (all varieties)
62. Gibbons (of all varieties)
63. Orangutan
64. Frigate bird
65. Gulls (all varieties)
66. Okapi
67. Rhinoceros (Again, they can kick a lion's ass)
68. Giant Palm Civet
69. Hippopotamus
70. Maned wolf
71. Macaws (All varieties)
72. Gazelle
73. Brown bear
74. Polar bear
75. Leopard seal
76. Iguana
77. Zebra
78. Whale shark
79. Dhole
80. Genet (All varieties)
81. African gray parrot
82. Capybara
83. Arctic tern
84. Walrus
85. Diplodocus
86. Nile crocodile
87. Tapir (all varieties)
88. Rhea
89. Cape Hunting Dog
90. Fruit Doves (all varieties)
91. Black bear
92. Tiger-Quoll
93. Vultures (All varieties)
94. Snowshoe hare
95. Sunfish (Mola-mola)
96. Springbok
97. Flying fox (or any pteropod)
98. Fossa
99. Bottlenose dolphin
100. Emperor penguin

Well, that's it. 100 animals that I can think of that I believe are more majestic and regal than any felines. LOL! I may be the first person to say something like that and literally mean it! But there is my list. Truth is, to me, ANY animal is better than a cat! I still chase cats away from my yard with a broom. And I always will. The catfags may hate that, but I don't want no cats in my yard coughing up hairballs, spreading fleas, scaring away all the birds and squirrels, pissing on everything and shitting everywhere. Yeah they bury their shit, but that makes things even worse, because then you cannot see it when you step on it! YUK!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Dog Breeds That Are Not Popular, But Should Be

The Labrador retriever and Golden retriever are the two most popular breeds of dogs around today. We love them because they are playful, loyal, and versatile. However, there are many breeds of dogs that display just as fine characteristics as any labrador or golden retrievers, but are not as popular, and probably never will be as popular. Not all these breeds are rare, but many are becoming endangered due to a simple lack of interest from humans. This post is not intended to encourage backyard breeders to look into breeding these dogs. This is just my own opinion of breeds that are not popular enough and I just cannot understand why.

1. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Sometimes affectionately called "Chessies" by those that own them, this breed of retriever somehow fell by the wayside. They never gained the popularity of it's more popular relatives, the labrador and golden retrievers, and yet they are just as versatile and intelligent as they are. Being the largest of the retrievers, quite possibly plays a role in this breed's lack of popularity. However, they are gentle, trustworthy and wonderful family dogs. I've even heard a story about a Chessie that surprised it's owner by attacking a man that broke into his home, chasing the burglar away.

2. Skye Terrier
Well, back to the Skye, this breed is not as popular as it should be, despite the fact it is perhaps the oldest of the British terriers. They are loyal and affectionate dogs. There was even one case of a Skye named Bobby who waited by his deceased owner's grave for 14 years before he died. This is a testament to the loyalty of this breed. I had a skye terrier as a child and I can tell you he aided in making me a dog lover. He was so sweet and lovable! It is unfortunate this breed is not that popular.

3. St. Bernard
Though it is one of the most iconic breeds in the world, the St. Bernard is not that popular. And I don't understand why. It is a gentle giant, but will also defend it's family from intruders very effectively. One of my BILs loves the mastiff-type dogs like this. Not everybody likes having a big dog around that slobbers a lot. But they are very affectionate animals, and love being with the family. So, it is a wonder this breed is not more popular now than it is.

4. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
Though this is the largest of the Swiss mountain breeds, they are not vicious. And unlike the St. Bernard dog, they do not slobber a lot. They are true gentle giants that rarely even bark. Though they do emit a sort of howling noise, they have never been known to attack anyone. During the early part of the 2000s, this breed saw a bit of a rise in popularity, but they fell in numbers again in recent years.

5. Papillon
The Yorkshire terrier and the Pug are the two most popular toy breeds in the world today. But what about the Papillon? I grew up with a Papillon and have always owned one and they are active dogs, but not flighty. They were bred to be handled by royalty, so they calm way down when you hold them, much like ragdoll cats. They are also not as yappy as other toy breeds like the Yorkshire terriers. In 1999, a papillon named Kirby won the Westminster Dog Show, and the breed's popularity began to rise, and has slowly ascended. But that progress has been slow. VERY slow.

6. Scottish Terrier
Though I would not recommend any terrier to a first-time dog owner, Scottish terriers are one of my favorite terriers of all. I had one for a while and she was the sweetest, most affectionate dog I've ever owned. Though like any terrier, she was plucky, and stubborn sometimes, she was also very active and superior at ridding my place of such pests as rats and mice. I used to see the results of her labors when I would go out and clean the yard! I'd see at least 4 or 5 dead rats in the yard. LOL! But in the home, she was a sweet dog, with her tail always wagging.

7. Tibetan Spaniel
Though they look a lot like pekingese dogs, these dogs are somewhat larger with a longer muzzle than those of pekingese. But like their closely-related counterparts, they are sweet and affectionate dogs. They are as affectionate and easy-going as any spaniel, and love to cuddle. They are probably not that popular because they were muscled out by the popularity of the pug, which requires a lot less grooming than this breed does. But as far as companions go, this is the nearly perfect breed for that.

8. Saluki
Though this is not a breed I would recommend for someone who is a first-time dog owner, or who lives in an apartment, this is the perfect breed if you like dogs, but you do not like dogs that are clingy and needy. The saluki is one of your more independent dogs. In fact, saluki owners have often described them as being more like cats than like dogs. And they are not as nippy and nervous as such breeds as the Afghan hound. This breed even cleans it's self like a cat!

9. Newfoundland
Much like the St. Bernard, the Newfoundland is a gentle giant. They do not even make great watchdogs because this is a breed that was created to help people, and are such people-lovers. They will normally even greet strangers on the street. Being such affectionate family dogs, they should be more popular than they are. But keep in mind, they are big dogs, and not likely to be good for apartment living, unless they are allowed to roam for a while each day.

10. Klee-Kai
If you think you're looking at a husky, think again. Introducing the Klee-Kai dog. It is a miniature version of the husky, and the popular mixed breeds known as "pomski" is most likely a result of crossing pomeranians with these dogs. They have just been brought to the World's attention recently. Though they look like huskies, and are indeed miniature versions, they are perfect for the dog owner that loves the look of huskies, but doesn't love the faults huskies have. For example, the Klee-kai does not have the advanced prey-drive that huskies have. Nor is it likely to jump your fence and wander off. Plus, these dogs make much better apartment dogs than the huskies, because they are smaller and easier to control. Though they are active, a simple game of fetch for 30 minutes a day is enough to keep them satisfied.

11. Basenji
This dog is well-known for being one of the few breeds that do not bark. The vocalizations uttered by this breed has been described as being more like a yodel. This breed is a product of Africa, and is used for hunting there. They are brave and plucky, but they are also sweet and affectionate with their family. They are also very clean dogs, that also clean themselves much like cats do. Like cats, this breed also has a very independent side to them as well. They are quite active dogs too, and need some stimulation. But they make great dogs for a person living in an apartment or small house.

Well, that is my take on dog breeds that are less popular than they should be. To learn more about these breeds and many more, read our book UMG's Encyclopedia of the World of Dogs at UMG Productions. I just updated it last night. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dog Breeds That Were Almost Extinct, But Did A Complete 180

OK, we looked at breeds that are rare, breeds that are extinct, and today, we will look at breeds that were once rare, but for whatever reason, did a complete turn-around and today are very popular. Though dogs unfortunately in general are dying out as the internet glorifies cats more, and people are getting lazier, these are breeds that were once on the verge of extinction. People often start breeding programs to revive nearly extinct breeds, and sometimes they are successful. Here are some examples of those success stories.

1. Portuguese Water Dog
This breed, from Portugal, originally was uncommon, or unheard of, outside it's native country. By the 1930s, the breed was almost wiped out. Even with AKC recognizing the breed in the 1990s, it was still uncommon. That is until US President Obama decided this was the breed he wanted to give his children in 2009. Because his daughter had an allergy to dog hair, and this is a truly hypo-allergenic breed, they were brought together. Before you knew it, everybody wanted one of these dogs, and for a while, they were becoming quite popular in the USA.

2. Rottweiler
Most people do not know it, but in the early years of the 20th century, the rottweiler was almost wiped out. They were originally bred as cattle-drovers, but when steam engines replaced that task, the breed was nearly wiped out, and the breed virtually disappeared. In 1882, at a dog show, the last known specimen of this breed was shown, and was a very poor representative. But today, every rottweiler in existence is descended from that one poorly bred specimen. They might be extinct today if it had not been discovered to be a great police dog. During WW1 and WW2, these dogs became extremely popular.

3. Shar-Pei
Though this breed was created 4000 years ago in China, by 1978, it was considered the world's rarest breed. Only 11 specimens were known to exist then. It wasn't until the late 1980s that this breed began to gain a stronghold, and 200 specimens of this breed were smuggled to the USA to begin breeding practices. I saw my first shar-pei pups in a pet store in 1990, and I was amazed because I had known years before that the breed was almost extinct. They especially became popular when Daniel Wood of New Kids on the Block, was pictured in a rockstar magazine holding a shar-pei puppy.

4. German Shepherd Dog
Created in 1899 by breeding old German herding dogs, there used to be 2 other varieties of the GSD. Once there was a longhaired and wirehaired version. While the longhaired sometimes pops up in modern GSD litters, the wirehaired version is completely extinct. During WW2, Germany lost a lot of popularity thanks to Hitler, and so did it's dogs. And by the end of the 1940s, the modern GSD was almost extinct. Those that survived became plagued with health problems. Sound specimens had to be imported from Germany to keep sturdy dogs, which were used for police work.

5. Lowchen
This is a small toy dog that, at one time in it's history, there were less than 20 specimens left in the world. Today, it is still not that popular, as there are only a few hundred registered each year. But in 1996, it gained recognition by the AKC. Though it is more numerous now, it will probably never be a very popular dog, but it has made a remarkable comeback.

6. Havanese
This is one of few breeds that is native to the island of Cuba. It is also known as the Havana Silk Dog. Though today, it is considered a separate breed, as it is somewhat different from the original Havana Silk Dog. The original version of the Havana Silk Dog is currently extinct, leaving us with the Havanese, which originally was an endangered breed. In the 1970s, there was only 11 individuals brought to the USA. From those dogs, came the modern Havanese, and it has become one of the fastest spreading dogs recognized by the AKC.

Well, those are some of the breeds that bounced back from the edge of extinction, thanks to human ingenuity. To learn more about all these breeds and many more, check out our book The Encyclopedia of the World of Dogs at UMG Productions.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Extinct Dog Breeds

Well, yesterday I did a post about rarest dog breeds, today I want to discuss dog breeds that are no longer with us. Some have descendants that are still around today. But these breeds themselves are no longer with us. All breeds serve a purpose to aid humankind in specific tasks. Some tasks are no longer performed, and the breeds that were created specifically for those tasks were no longer needed and therefore, no longer bred. I will discuss that about each breed in this post.

1. Tahltan Bear Dog
This is a tiny hunting dog, no bigger than a common fox, and characterized by it's bottle-brush tail. By 1984, only 8 specimens remained, which consisted of mostly males and 2 females, one was spayed, and the other was too old to be bred. Some people claim they are trying to recreate this breed, but the specifics used to create this breed, with it's quirky character, no longer exist and so this breed cannot be recreated. The Canadian Kennel Club stopped recognition of this breed by 1979. This is one of the last known pictures taken of this breed.

2. St. Johns Water Dog
Though this breed is the closest common ancestor of the labrador and golden retrievers, this breed it's self died out in the 1970s. This is the last known photo taken of this breed, and it is clearly of an old specimen. They were said to be very dedicated workers, thus not as good at being pets as the modern labrador retriever. They were bred out due to the rising popularity of the labrador and golden retriever.

3. African Hairless Dog
Also known as the Abyssinian Sand Terrier, or Cane Nudo, this was a small hairless type terrier that was kept mostly as a companion dog. Like the modern chihuahua, they were used as effective bed-warmers. In fact it is believed this breed contributed to the development of chihuahuas. But that is not exactly proven. It was a contributor to the modern Chinese Crested Dogs however. This dog was completely nude, with the exception of the hair on the head and down the tail. This dog disappeared in the late 1800s, possibly due to it's use being diminished, and being mongrelized by European companion dogs.

4. Turnspit Dog
This was a small dog of terrier-type, used for turning cooking skewers in the home via a pulley and wheel system. When the dogs were replaced by levers, and then by machines, that was when the popularity of the Turnspit dog diminished. It was last seen in the mid-1800s. It's closest modern relative is the Glen of Imaal terrier.

5. Moscow Water Dog
Though this breed closely resembles the Newfoundland, it is not the same breed. It bore the thick, waterproof coat and webbed feet of the modern Newfie, but it completely lacked the compassionate, gentle nature of the breed. That is to say this dog would jump in the water after a drowning person, but it would attack that person once it was in the water. That is why this breed died out during the World War 2 era. Because the USSR isolated it's self from the world, these dogs have no modern counterparts. This is the last known photograph taken of this breed in the 1940s.

6. Braque Du Puy
Also known as the Du Puy pointer, this breed originated in France in the 19th century. It was created by the Du Puy brothers. They were extremely fast dogs and very graceful. Though some European sportsmen say the breed still exists, they have not been seen since the 1970s and were declared extinct by the 1980s. They were apparently never as common as other french pointers.

7. Talbot Hound
This breed dates back to the 1400s, and was said to be a highly-effective hunting breed. They were gentle in nature, had a great sense of smell and a melodious howl. However, they were high-maintenance dogs too, that often needed tending to. This breed has not been seen since the late 1700s. By the early 1800s, classes were held for this breed, but since none were ever entered, the classes were dropped. Though this breed is extinct, many popular hunting dogs today are descended from them, including the beagle, bloodhound and the basset hound. This is also one of the breeds used to create the rare Billy.

8. Alpine Spaniel
More of a mastiff than a spaniel, this is a heavy-set breed that was originally used to do avalanche rescue. They were kept in the monasteries in Switzerland and nearby countries and sent out to rescue people who had gotten stuck in blizzards or caught up in an avalanche. They carried the familiar buckets of brandy around their neck for the hapless travelers. Unfortunately, this breed was wiped out in the 1840s by distemper. Only one specimen survived and she was bred out to local mastiff-type dogs to create what is today the modern St. Bernard. They also live on in the relatively rare Clumber spaniel.

9. Kuri Dog
This was the only true breed created in New Zealand. They became companions to Maori women. But when European settlers invaded New Zealand, they found the dogs to be snappy and unpleasant, and quite unattractive. The native people kept them both as pets and would also eat them. The breed disappeared in the 1860s, mostly by being mongrelized with European breeds.

10. Bullenbeisser
This is perhaps the last known photograph of this breed. It was created in Germany and perhaps died out in the mid 19th century. The reason it died out is mostly because it was mongrelized out of existence. Though that is not entirely a bad thing, as it gave us what is today the Boxer and the Bullmastiff. This breed has created a very long line of large, heavy-boned, and very courageous dogs.

11. Chinese Happa Dog
This was a toy dog from China, and was perhaps the short-haired version of the pekingese. It was a breed that was created in China over 3000 years ago. This photograph is probably the last known of this breed, and it was taken in 1915. The breed disappeared by the 1920s. But they were the common ancestor of the pekingese, the japanese chin, the tibetan spaniel and the pug.

12. Paisley Terrier
Though it was said this dog could kill rats and mice, it was primarily a companion dog. I think this picture is of a similar, reconstructed dog and not of the actual breed. It was a pet/show version of the skye terrier, and was once also known as the Clydesdale terrier, as it was mostly bred in the Clyde valley of Scotland. This breed was simply bred out of existence, with it's closest descendant, the Yorkshire terrier, taking it's place. It is unsure when this breed totally dropped from sight, but it was uncommon in the USA by the 1920s.

Well that was my list of extinct dog breeds. Some you may know, some you may not know. To learn more about the descendants of these breeds that are still around today, check out our book "The Encyclopedia of the World of Dogs" at UMG Productions.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

World's Rarest Dog Breeds

Well, dogs as many of you may know, come in many different varieties. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors. All of them bred for different purposes. For example, chihuahuas were bred for cuddling and keeping their owners warm. Border collies were bred for herding livestock. Foxhounds and the like were bred for hunting. Terriers were bred for hunting and ridding farm areas of vermin. Well, these are some of the rarest dog breeds in the world today. Many of these breeds are so rare for different reasons. Mostly because they do not make good house pets. I will discuss each breed on this post.

1. Levesque
This is perhaps the rarest dog around today. It is rapidly becoming extinct. They were never very popular breeds, even in their heyday. They never gained any popularity because they are workaholics who would typically escape from their grounds to chase game, often getting into mischief and even killed by some game animals. This breed is so rare, that this is the only really known picture of this breed and it is probably already extinct outside of it's home country of France.

2. Billy
Almost unknown outside of France, which is where this breed originated. Like the Levesque, these hounds are not good family pets. They are very active and not hesitant to follow it's nose when it picks up on something interesting. Though they are not extinct, probably less than 50 individuals are registered annually through the FCI.

3. Kerry Beagle
This is a large dog that resembles the English Beagle in a lot of ways, but it comes from Kerry County in Ireland. Like the Levesque and the Billy, these animals are workaholics. But they also make good family pets, unlike the others. Though they can be loud. They often howl loudly when they are on the trail of their intended game. Like other beagle breeds, they love to hunt rabbits and hares.

4. Tayra
This is a very little-known greyhound-type dog. They originated in Turkey, and were used for hunting deer and antelope, as well as hare. They are also workaholics, and the added issue is they are very fast, like all greyhounds. These dogs are so rare that no reputable kennel club registry recognizes them as a distinct breed.

5. Aidi
The national dog of Morocco, but it is almost unknown outside of it's home country. The Aidi, also known as the Chein d'atlas or Atlas sheepdog, is a working dog that was bred to guard flocks of sheep and goats and protect them against predators like wolves and leopards. This is a large, strong, brave dog, but it's whole life centers on protection. Even to the point where they do not get along with other dogs, and sometimes might attack their owner's friends. This is the contributing factor to the rarity of this breed.

6. Armant
Also called the Egyptian Sheepdog, this breed is extremely rare, even within it's homeland of Egypt. As its name suggests, it is a breed used to herd sheep and goats. The reason it is rare nowadays is because Egypt does not have a national kennel club of its own, so the breeding of these dogs has not been documented or regulated by a standard, and chances are it was mongrelized out of existence.

7. Soft-Coated Griffon
If you'd been studying dogs as long and deeply as I have, you'd know that usually the word "griffon" refers to gun dogs and hounds that have long, hard, wiry hair. This is not the case for the soft-coated griffon. Also known as the "boulet griffon", this was the first breed to be registered by the FCI. Ironically now it is extremely rare and possibly extinct. By 1984, the breed was removed from the FCI's list of recognized breeds. A revival program was started later on, by a man named Phillipe Seguela, and he had created near-perfect replicas of the old breed, but unfortunately he lost interest and abandoned the project in the early 1990s.

8. Prazsky Krysavik
Also known as the "Prague ratter", this is a toy terrier native to the Prague region of Czechoslovakia. It is rare outside of it's homeland because for years Czechoslovakia was behind the iron curtain, and that also meant livestock could not go in or out, including dogs. This dog was mostly used by apartment dwellers to rid the home of rats and mice. Today, it is still unknown outside of it's home country.

9. Markiesje
A breed created in the Netherlands, this is also known as the Dutch Tulip Hound. It is actually a spaniel-type dog, not a hound. It has only just been recognized as an official breed by the Dutch National Kennel Club. It is rare outside of it's country, because it has only been recognized recently. This breed though is believed to date back to the 15th century. It is an active dog, but has been known to make a nice family pet.

10. Telomian
A very rare pariah-type dog, This breed is not really recognized by any major kennel club, therefore is not regulated or documented. This breed originated in Indonesia, and often is not kept within the family unit, so they often run wild in their homeland, which may explain why this breed is so rare. Though they are classed as a companion dog, they are also great for hunting.

11. Lithuanian Hound
This breed is extremely rare today outside of it's home country. They are used to hunt big game like hogs. During the hunting season of the late 70s and early 80s, many individuals of this breed was killed by wild boar in fact, which was the major contribution to the rarity of this breed. The breed never quite recovered from that, and today is extremely rare.

12. Skye Terrier
One of the oldest of the British terriers, the skye terrier was also once one of the most popular. Today, it is falling by the wayside. I had a skye terrier when I was a kid, a black one named Sir Knight. I know he was a skye terrier because when he got older, he looked just like the dog in this picture. Like all terriers, they are feisty, and powerful for their size. I remember back in 1999, I saw an ad in the local newspaper, someone was giving a skye away because it killed his cat. So, socialization is very important. There is believed to be only 5000 of these left in the world.

13. Otterhound
Though this is a cuddly-looking hound, they are also vicious hunters of otters. This breed was developed with webbed feet and a waterproof coat to aid in hunting for otters. Today, otters are rare in Great Britain, and protected in the USA, so otterhounds are not really needed for their original task. Thus the breed is now facing extinction. There have been less than 100 registered through AKC annually over the last few years. Because these dogs are specialized workaholics, they do not make the greatest family pets, which is why they are becoming extinct.

Well, that is my take on the rarest dog breeds in the world today. To learn more about these breeds, and many other breeds both common and exotic, take a look at our book "Encyclopedia of the World of Dogs" at UMG Productions.