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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.
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