Every time I watch a dog show, I’m amazed at all the different breeds — Pulis, Bedlington Terriers and Chinese Cresteds all look so odd to me; I seldom see them in real life (keep in mind that I am constantly surrounded by a pack of corpulent Dachshunds).
But my idea of a rare breed is nothing compared to some of the truly unusual breeds, many of which I’ve never heard of, dogs that either have small populations or unusual talents.
Check out these 5 breeds from around the world. Which one would you like to adopt?
1. New Guinea Singing Dog
New Guinea singing dogs, also called singers, are a rare breed from the highlands of New Guinea. Because their native landscape kept them isolated from other dog breeds for thousands of years, singers have developed a few interesting traits: They are exceptionally intelligent and have superior physical abilities.
Oh, and they SING — throwing back their heads and howling in a strangely melodious fashion.
Although they are extremely rare in their native New Guinea, singing dogs can now be found all over the world, often serving as therapy pets.
Said to look like a cross between a retriever and a Beagle (although to me he looks more like a Jack Russell terrier mix), the Kromfohrlaender (krohm-for-land-ur) is a German hunting dog that was first recognized as a breed in 1955.
A smaller breed, Kroms are usually about 15 inches tall and weigh a little over 20 pounds. Their coats, patterned with various shades of brown markings on white, can be short, long or wire-haired.
Kroms usually have good temperaments and make excellent companion animals.
3. Cambodian Razorback Dog
The Cambodian Razorback, a long-haired ridgeback dog, is native to a very small area of Cambodia, from the Lao border to the capital Phnom Penh.
A larger dog, Razorbacks weigh around 60 pounds and stand about 20 inches at the shoulders. The ridge itself is usually more than 2 inches long, standing up like a mohawk along the back of the spine.
Good-natured, friendly and intelligent, Cambodian razorbacks are loyal guard dogs adept at hunting.
A rare Hungarian herding dog, the Mudi excels at hunting, herding, guarding and ratting.
Like the Border Collies they so strongly resemble, Mudis are high-energy dogs that need plenty of exercise and a job to do. If they can’t guard the flock or take out a few rats, they’d love to compete in agility, obedience trials, flyball, tracking and Schutzhund.
Like most working dogs, they were bred to be live outdoors, but Mudis will do well in homes provided they have a back yard to run around in.
5. Peruvian Inca Orchid
The Peruvian Inca Orchid is a type of South American hairless dog similar to the Xoloitzcuintli Mexican hairless dog. Standing about 25 inches at the shoulder, PIOs can weigh 25–50 pounds.
Like the name suggests, PIOs are bald with wispy hair on their face and ears. They sunburn easily and get very cold in the winter, and they have extremely sensitive eyes. Clever, intelligent and calm, PIOs are generally good with children and other dogs.
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