Many animal species have become extinct over time. Some are sad losses, but some, like the dinosaurs, are best left in the past. Many dog breeds are no longer around. Some are the ancestors of dog breeds we know and love today and have left lasting legacies. Others have disappeared, leaving hardly any trace of their existence.
Canine historians and dog fanciers have spent much time and effort tracing back their history as best as possible. Using historic documents, archeological finds, and more, some of these extinct breeds are thousands of years old. Some of the breeds were extensively documented, whereas many were not.
We explore the list of extinct dog breeds here. Some we know a fair bit about, and others not much at all. We also examine some of the most frequently asked questions about dogs and their extinction. Although it’s not an exhaustive list, it’s very detailed. So, this is the place to be if you’re after a history lesson on extinct dog breeds. So, let’s get digging into the history of these lost hounds.
- Extinct Dog Breeds
- African Hairless Dog
- Alpine Mastiff
- Argentine Polar Dog
- Belgian Mastiff
- Black And Tan Terrier
- Braque Dupuy
- Celtic Hound
- Chiribaya Dog
- Cordoba Fighting Dog
- Cumberland Sheepdog
- Dalbo Dog
- Dogo Cubano
- Dumfriesshire Black And Tan Foxhound
- English Water Spaniel
- English White Terrier
- Fila Da Terceira
- Grand Fauve De Bretagne
- Halls Heeler
- Hare Indian Dog
- Hawaiian Poi Dog
- King's White Hound
- Lapponian Shepherd
- Marquesan Dog
- Moscow Water Dog
- Norfolk Spaniel
- Norman Hound
- North Country Beagle
- Old Croatian Sighthound
- Old English Bulldog
- Old Spanish Pointer
- Old Welsh Gray Sheepdog
- Paisley Terrier
- Rastreador Brasileiro
- St John's Water Dog
- Salish Wool Dog
- Southern Hound
- Tahitian Dog
- Tahltan Bear Dog
- Talbot Hound
- Toy Bulldog
- Toy Trawler Spaniel
- Turnspit Dog
- Tweed Water Spaniel
- Welsh Hillman
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Extinct Dog Breeds
We have collated a list of extinct dog breeds, and although it isn’t exhaustive, it gives us an insight into previous dog breeds, how they came to be extinct, and how they have influenced the breeds we love today. Some list breeds such as Limers and Raches in their list of extinct breeds. However, these were umbrella terms for various dogs given a hunting purpose rather than a breed in itself. For this reason, you won’t find these “breeds” in our list.
African Hairless Dog
The African Hairless Dog, sometimes referred to as the Abyssinian Sand Terrier or African Sand Dog, was one of many hairless dog breeds that once roamed the continent. They were “semi-wild,” which means they used to follow cattle breeders rather than live with them. They were relatively small and looked similar to the Xoloitzcuintli. If you want to see one, a specimen is preserved at the Natural History Museum in Tring, England.
The Alaunt dog lived on the European and Asian continents. It is thought that they were bred by a nomadic Iranian tribe called the Alani. These ancient tribes created different strains of the breed to fulfill different purposes. All Alaunts were large and short-haired. The more athletic and slender Alaunts were kept for hunting, and the larger and broader Alaunts were for fighting and bullbaiting.
The colossal Alpine Mastiff was shown in English dog shows in the 19th century and was much bigger than today’s English Mastiff. The dog was named L’Ami and came from the convent of the Great St. Bernard Pass area. The Alpine Mastiff has the same or similar ancestors as the Saint Bernard, and the names were used interchangeably. However, they were distinct breeds. The hospice at Great St. Bernard Pass developed the modern-day Saint Bernard by introducing the Newfoundland and Great Dane. These dogs became more popular, and the Alpine Mastiff breed eventually disappeared.
Argentine Polar Dog
The Argentine Polar Dog became extinct at the orders of humans. The Argentine Army created them by supposedly mixing the Alaskan Malamute, Greenland Dog, Manchurian Spitz, and Siberian Husky. They were well suited to working in freezing conditions, pulling heavy sleds quickly over long distances. Under the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, the government banned the Argentine Army and their dogs from Antarctica. They were not native species, and they feared that they could transmit diseases to local wildlife. Eventually, these dogs died, and no breeding program was established to save the breed.
The Belgian Mastiff originates from the Low Countries, historically known as Flanders, the coastal region of Northwestern Europe. This large dog was bred for pulling heavy carts to transport goods. This large and mighty dog weighed around 100 pounds and had a smooth coat and a docked tail. During the 20th century, draught dogs became redundant. Belgian Mastiffs weren’t very friendly, and they were expensive to keep. It is believed they became extinct sometime during the latter half of the 20th century.
Black And Tan Terrier
The Black and Tan Terrier was one of the earliest terrier breeds and is believed to be the ancestor of many modern terriers. They were trendy in England in the 19th century and were used for fox hunting. They were classified as Fell Terriers, originating from northern England. Their narrow chest and long legs allowed them to track prey down small tunnels.
The Braque Dupuy was a type of Pointer from the Poitou region of France, although it was more closely related to the English Pointer. They generally weighed between 50 and 60 pounds and had a short, fine white coat with dark brown patches. This pup had a long and slender frame, and Greyhounds and Sloughis were thought to be mixed into their bloodline to give them extra speed to hunt. Braque Dupuy was rare in France, but their numbers eventually dwindled. They are now listed as an extinct dog breed, although there are unfounded claims that a few remain.
From the 13th century, it was common for different hounds to hunt different animals. Staghounds hunted stags, Harriers hunted hares, and Buckhounds hunted smaller bucks and fallow deer. During the 14th century, buck hunting became popular, and the Royal Buckhound pack was established. The royal family maintained this pack until the 20th century, when they disbanded them to save money. Over time, stag hunting became more popular, and Buckhounds became redundant and eventually died out.
The Bullenbeisser originated from Germany and was used to hunt large predators such as boar, stag, and bear. It was a large dog with a dark coat, similar in size and appearance to the Dogo Argentino. It was also known as the German Bulldog and was an ancestor of the modern-day Boxer. The Bullenbeisser became extinct through endless crossbreeding to create a more petite and more family pooch.
If you grew up with Irish relatives, you might have heard of the Celtic Hound, sometimes known as Vertragus. Thanks to their hefty frame and courageous character, they were used for hunting game and fighting alongside their owners in battle. Folklore describes how the mythological hero, Sentanta, killed a vicious Celtic Hound named Cuchulainn. They can be seen in many 17th-century paintings and were likely the progenitors of the Irish Wolfhound and Scottish Deerhound.
Also known as the Gray Saint Louis Hound, they originate from medieval France. Legend has it they were introduced to France by Saint Louis, who was gifted these hounds as a gift after the Crusades. These large dogs were preferred over Bloodhounds because they were more substantial. However, their hunting abilities were not anywhere near as good. Their history is muddled, but we know they are now extinct. Historians believe they are ancestors of the Bloodhound, which might explain the badger gray hair interspersed on some Bloodhound coats.
Archaeologists in Peru discovered the mummified remains of more than 40 dogs. They were buried alongside humans, with blankets and food, demonstrating their once high status. They were a pre-Columbian breed from southwest Peru, and the mummified remains date from 900 to 1350 CE. Researchers found that these dogs had short legs and a long snout and resembled a small Golden Retriever. This breed is also known as the Peruvian Shepherd Dog and was known to herd llamas.
Cordoba Fighting Dog
The Cordoba Fighting Dog is an ancestor of the Dogo Argentino, developed in Cordoba. It was the result of crossbreeding unknown Mastiff-type dogs. In the 1920s, breeders crossed the Cordoba Fighting Dog with other breeds, such as the Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Boxer, Great Dane, Pointer, and others, to create a dog more suited to hunting vermin. Over time, the Cordoba was bred out.
The Cumberland Sheepdog was similar to the Border Collie we know and love today. They were around 20 inches tall and weighed between 40 and 50 pounds. By the 20th century, some Cumberland Sheepdogs were being referred to as Border Collies, and it is believed that they merged into the Border Collie breed. Some canine experts believe that Cumberland Sheepdogs were the ancestors of the Australian Shepherd.
The natural history illustrator Sydenham Edwards describes the Cur in “Cynographia Britannica,” the 19th-century dog breed encyclopedia. Curs were used primarily as drovers, nipping at the heels of the cattle. They were popular in North England and could separate their master’s cattle from foreign ones. Curs were more robust and larger than typical Collies, with longer legs. And many of them were born with stumpy tails. It isn’t known why the Cur became extinct. They seemed to disappear in the 19th century.
Also known as the Dalsland Mastiff, they were a livestock guardian from Sweden. They were described as large dogs with heavy coats and appeared similar to the modern-day Estrella Mountain Dog and Leonberger. Records show that they were used to protect free-roaming cattle from predators and thieves and were known for their fearless nature. It is believed that they became extinct in the late 19th century due to disease, famine, and breed redundancy.
The Dogo Cubano, also known as the Cuban Bloodhound, was a mastiff-type dog used for dog fighting, bull baiting, and recapturing runaway slaves. They were so successful at recapturing enslaved people that many nobility traveled to Cuba to purchase these dogs and take them home. It is not known when these slave retrievers became extinct, but the abolition of slavery accelerated their demise. It is believed that the Rhodesian Ridgeback is related to the Dogo Cubano.
Dumfriesshire Black And Tan Foxhound
These were a unique black and tan Foxhounds pack near Lockerbie in southwestern Scotland. It is thought that the owner mixed the Bloodhound with the English Foxhound and the Grand Bleu de Gascogne. The banning of fox hunting led to their disbandment and eventual downfall.
English Water Spaniel
The English Water Spaniel was a British gundog with an appearance that resembled a mixture of spaniel and retriever. They were hugely popular in the 19th century with fowl hunters. However, they were used to create the Curly Coated Retriever and the Flat Coated Retriever, which both became more popular than this pooch. By the end of the 19th century, they had become extinct.
English White Terrier
They were used to create the Fox Terrier breed and formed part of the Bull Terrier makeup. The English White Terrier is the epitome of fantasy Fidos. In the latter part of the 19th century, there was a rush to create and claim new breeds. A group of breeders claimed that these dogs were a standalone breed. But, according to the famous canine breeder and writer Rawdon Briggs Lee, they were essentially the result of inbred prick-eared working terriers and white Italian Greyhounds. What’s more, many of them were totally or partially deaf and ill-suited to working terrier life and displayed problematic behavioral conditions. They only existed for around 100 years before they died out.
Fila Da Terceira
The Fila da Terceira was a mastiff-type dog from Terceira Island in the Azores. It was also known as the Roba Torto, which translates to “twisted tail.” This breed never left the island and was bred to be guardians of the home and family. This pooch is an ancestor of the Fila Brasileiro. Records show that the numbers dwindled so low that the government and breeders tried to revive the breed. However, following a disagreement, the project failed. By the 1970s, the breed was declared extinct.
Grand Fauve De Bretagne
The Grand Fauve de Bretagne was a scenthound from Brittany. They were exceptionally skilled at hunting wolves and boars. But they were also problematic and unruly, killing their master’s cattle too. By the mid-19th century, wolves had almost disappeared from France, so the need for this breed declined. At some point, this dog was mixed with the Briquet Griffon Vendeens, resulting in the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne. It is believed they became extinct by the beginning of the 20th century.
The Halls Heeler is a well-known extinct dog breed believed to be the ancestor of the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. Their history is shrouded in mystery, and it isn’t easy to pinpoint the truth. Essentially, the Hall family trained their working dogs to become excellent herders. Robert Kaleski, who eventually wrote the first standard for the Cattle Dog, called these dogs “Hall’s Heelers.” Kaleski mixed them with other breeds to create the Aussie Cattle Dog, so Hall’s Heelers no longer exist in their own right.
Hare Indian Dog
The Hare Indian Dog originates from northern Canada, created by the Hare Indians for coursing. Although it was listed as a domesticated dog breed, it is possible that it was a dog-coyote mix due to the speed and similar characteristics of a coyote. They were slender with small heads, narrow muzzles, and extremely thick coats. When aboriginal hunting methods became redundant, so did the Hare Indian Dog. They became extinct through extensive breeding with other dog breeds, including the Canadian Eskimo Dog, during the 19th century. They were remembered for being extremely playful and howling like a wolf.
Hawaiian Poi Dog
The Hawaiian Poi Dog was the wild roaming dog of Hawaii, and it existed before the American colonization of the island. They were short, with a flat skull and a white coat. Named after the food they ate, poi is a staple food made from the stem of the Caro plant. Their poor diet led to malnutrition and subsequent health issues. Hawaiian Poi Dogs were viewed as a meat source for residents and a good luck charm. Following the colonization, these dogs were bred with the newly arrived foreign breeds, losing their identity forever. The term “Poi Dog” is still used in Hawaii when referring to a mixed breed.
King’s White Hound
Also known as the Chien Blanc du Roi, these French scenthounds were owned by the Kings of France until the 18th century. King Louis XV disbanded the pack in 1725 due to rising costs. The royal family was believed to have been gifted a pure white St. Hubert Hound in the 15th century. The dog was used as a stud until the whole pack was full of white dogs. Italian Pointers and the Grand Fauve de Bretagne were mixed into the bloodline, too. Despite being called the white hound, they sported different colors too. They became extinct when they were deemed too fast for the then King to keep up with them on horseback. They were mixed with slower hounds but, as a result, were lost to the history books.
Kuri is the Maori name given to this extinct Polynesian Dog. Maori mythology describes how the demigod Maui turned his brother-in-law, Irawaru, into the first Kuri dog. They were introduced to New Zealand in the 13th century. They had short legs and bushy tails with a narrow muzzle. Kuri served many purposes, including hunting. Further, their skin and fur were used to make cloaks and weapons, and they were also considered a delicacy for humans to eat. They were widespread across the island in the 18th century. But they became extinct in the latter half of the 19th century due to the arrival of European dogs. The last remaining specimen can be seen at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
This extinct breed also went by the name Cockhill’s Finnish Lapphound, originating from Finland. Although their name suggests they came from Lapland, their ancestors came from Lapland. In the 1940s, three native breeds, the Finnish Lapphund, the Lapponian Herder, and the Lapponian Shepherd, were registered under one name, the Lapponian Shepherd. As a result, all three began mixing. But in the 1960s, the Finnish Kennel Club split them into two breeds, forgetting about the Lapponian Shepherd.
This is an extinct dog breed from the Marquesas Islands. The only evidence they existed is from archaeological remains of dog bones, petroglyphic (rock art) images, and carvings. Unlike other extinct Polynesian dogs, it is believed that the Marquesan Dog became extinct before the arrival of European travelers, which is why so little is known about them.
You might have heard of Molossus because they are claimed to be the progenitors of all mastiff-type dog breeds. They were giant dogs kept by ancient Greeks in the kingdom of Molossis, now the region between Greece and Albania. They were renowned for their vast size and ferocious nature and noted in many literature accounts by writers such as Aristotle. Some breeders today claim to have recreated the Molossus breed, but their canine creation is a complete guess on what this extinct breed looked like.
Moscow Water Dog
The Moscow Water Dog was created by the Soviet Union’s Red Star Kennels in a bid to create a water rescue dog. It is believed they were a mix of several breeds, including the Newfoundland and Caucasian Shepherd Dogs. They were large dogs weighing around 100 pounds. However, records state that the dog wasn’t successful at water rescue and became aggressive toward the people they were supposedly trying to rescue. The last record of a Moscow Water Dog is from the 1980s. Although they didn’t last long, they contributed towards a successful breed, the Russian Black Terrier.
The Norfolk Spaniel was a term for Springer-type dogs who weren’t Clumber or Sussex Spaniels. There is much speculation about the origins of the Norfolk Spaniel, which was described as a large Spaniel type who formed a close bond with their owners. But we know that when The Kennel Club created the new English Springer Spaniel, all Norfolk Spaniels were listed under this new name. Therefore, technically, it became extinct in 1902.
This was a large French scenthound from Normandy. But like a handful of extinct breeds, they weren’t skilled enough at their jobs and fell out of favor. Although they had a skillful nose, the Norman Hound wasn’t fast enough to keep up with the pack. They were declared extinct in the latter half of the 19th century. It is believed that the Norman Hound contributed to the successful Bloodhound breed.
North Country Beagle
Also known as the Northern Hound, this pooch was a British hunting dog common in northern England. Although they were commonly found in hunting packs, they weren’t particularly good at their jobs, mainly because they were slow. It is believed they became extinct sometime during the 18th century. This is another pooch that seemed to disappear without much effort to save them. The North Country Beagle was a descendant of the Talbot Hound, also now extinct. But they contributed to the current English Foxhound.
Old Croatian Sighthound
The Old Croatian Sighthound was a sizeable medieval breed that used to course all game types. They are also known as the Old Bosnian Sighthound. Their numbers dwindled under the government of former Yugoslavia because coursing with sighthounds was banned, and ownership became difficult. Although a program was established to save the breed from the last remaining dogs in the 1980s, the program failed. They were declared extinct by 1995.
Old English Bulldog
The Old English Bulldog was a much-loved dog breed in England. Their breed standard, known as the “Philo-Kuon standard,” described them as 15 inches tall and 45 pounds, similar to the modern-day Bulldog. Canine historians believe that the Old English Bulldog descends from Mastiffs or Alaunts. Some of the last remaining Old English Bulldogs, Wasp, Child, and Billy, who belonged to the Duke of Hamilton, died in the 17th century. The breeding of Bulldogs and terriers to create a superior fighting dog meant that the Old English Bulldog fell out of favor.
Old Spanish Pointer
The Old Spanish Pointer is thought to be the original pointing breed from which all modern pointing dogs descend. They were also known as Perro de Punta Espanol, similar to the modern-day Pachon Navarro breed from northern Spain. The popular German Shorthaired Pointer is believed to descend from the Old Spanish Pointer. It is also thought that English Pointers are the lighter and faster specimens that descend from this pooch. This pup became extinct around the 19th century because breeders bred them out. They created faster specimens and eventually lost their status as a breed in their own right.
Old Welsh Gray Sheepdog
Like many other Welsh Sheepdogs, the Old Welsh Gray Sheepdog fell out of favor in the early 20th century because no other pooch could rival the extremely skilled Border Collie. They were long-haired, shaggy dogs resembling the modern-day Bearded Collie. Specimens were last known in the 1980s from hilltop farms in Wales, but they have since gone. So, it is now believed that this breed no longer exists. However, it is believed that they heavily contributed to the Patagonian Sheepdog breed. Welsh settlers traveled to Patagonia with the Welsh Gray dogs.
The Paisley Terrier is a Scottish breed initially created to be the smaller show-dog version of the working Skye Terrier. This breed originated from Scotland’s Paisley and Clydesdale areas, which is why they were also known as the Clydesdale Terrier. Skye Terrier fanciers objected to their existence, claiming them to be a mixed breed. Eventually, interest in Paisley Terriers declined. The Paisley Terrier heavily influenced the popular Yorkshire Terrier breed and the Silky Terrier.
There is a lot of debate as to whether this breed is extinct. It was first recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1967. However, after an outbreak of disease that wiped out the entire breeding stock, the FCI was declared extinct in 1973. However, efforts have been made to re-create the breed. The FCI re-recognized the breed, and a new breed standard was produced, updated as recently as 2020. However, this breed standard is different from the original breed standard. Plus, little information exists as to how they re-created the breed. This is why there is a lot of debate about whether the Rastreador Brasileiro breed still exists as it was. The consensus is that despite having the same name, the modern-day Ratreador Brasileiro differs from the original breed.
St John’s Water Dog
St John’s Water Dog is one of the most well-known breeds on this list. They are the progenitors of retriever dogs, including the Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Chesapeake Retriever, and others. And also the gentle Newfoundland. St John’s Water Dog was extremely popular with fishermen in Newfoundland. Still, to this day, many Retriever-type mixed dogs from the area have a similar appearance to the breed, which was black, often with white tuxedo markings. But the last remaining purebred specimens were photographed in the 1980s. However, they were old male dogs. So when they passed, so did the St John’s Water Dog breed.
Salish Wool Dog
The Salish Wool Dog was also known as the Comox Dog, and they were a common part of the Salish village life. These waterway villages were located in what is now known as Washington and British Columbia. It is an extinct Spitz-type dog breed that had long wool-like fur. This prized fur made thick, sought-after “Salish” blankets that often took months, sometimes years, to produce. The invention of machine-spun yarns contributed to the extinction of the breed. The Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum in Washington D.C. has a Salish Wool Dog specimen and a Salish blanket in its collection.
Like the Northern Hound, the Southern Hound was a hunting dog from England that was more common in the south of England. But because they were a little bit better at hunting than the Northern Hound, they lasted a little longer and became extinct sometime in the 19th century. It is thought that the reason for extinction is that it was bred with other hunting breeds and gradually ceased to exist. It is believed that it contributed to many modern-day breeds, including Beagles, Bloodhounds, Coonhounds, Foxhounds, and Harriers.
The Staghound, sometimes called the English Staghound, was a medieval scenthound used for hunting stag. They were large and powerful, hunting stags in packs with ease. Males and females were significantly different in size, as seen in the portrait of two North Devon Staghounds, “Governer and Famous.” The North Devon Hunt was the last pack of Staghounds. The pack passed hands several times and eventually sold to a German buyer. They were exported to Germany, where they were supposedly destroyed during a rabies outbreak. As such, they were declared extinct in the 19th century.
The Tahitian Dog, which means “native dog” in the Tahitian language, was a common breed on the island. They were served as a delicacy during feasts, which was noted in the diary of the famous explorer James Cook as similar to lamb. Other parts of the dog were used to make ornamental clothing and tools. Like other Polynesian breeds, the Tahitian Dog ceased to exist as a distinct breed after mixing with foreign dogs. Likely, this happened sometime during the early to mid-18th century.
Tahltan Bear Dog
The Tahltan Bear Dog was introduced to Canada in the early migrations. They were small to medium-sized hunting dogs that hunted much larger animals, usually bears. Tahltans were also used as family companion dogs and are said to have slept in the same beds and tents as their owners. They became extinct when European explorers ventured into their territory and were heavily traded for other goods.
The Talbot was a popular hunting dog in England during the 17th century and can be seen in many paintings. Some canine historians claim that they were a French dog brought over from France by William the Conqueror. It’s also unknown whether they were sight or scent hounds and what prey they hunted. They were small with white fur and are considered the ancestor of many successful modern hunting dogs, such as the Beagle. They became extinct when breeders mixed hunting dogs to create ultimate hunting companions, sometime between the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Techichi is the progenitor of the Chihuahua. They were larger than the modern-day Chihuahua but bred down by the Aztecs. The Aztecs believed they had supernatural powers, which is why many Techichi artifacts are found today. European explorers encountered and documented the Techichi in the 16th century. However, as they were staple meat in local’s and foreigner’s diets, they eventually disappeared by the 19th century.
Tesem were hunting dogs from Egypt with lean bodies, curly tails, and tall prick ears that date back some 3,000 years. They are commonly depicted on tombs and cave walls and mummified and buried with their owners. Many canine historians believe that they were sighthounds. And that Sloughi and Basenji breeds descend from the Tesem, as well as African Pariah dogs. It was believed that they were the size of a greyhound. However, skeletal remains show they were similar in size to a modern terrier type.
Toy Bulldogs were a miniature version of the Old English Bulldog. They were created to be a smaller version, more compatible as a companionship and show dog. Their exact makeup isn’t known, but they commonly had prick ears. They were popular then, and French dog fanciers took a shine to this breed, later creating the modern-day French Bulldog. However, the exportation of the breed and preference for other breeds led to their extinction in the early 20th century. Nowadays, some breeders try to sell Bulldog and Pug mixes under this name, but they are not the same.
Toy Trawler Spaniel
The Toy Trawler Spaniel is believed to be a mix of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Sussex Spaniel. They became famous as companions and show dogs and were noted for their sweet but feisty personality. Toy Trawler Spaniels weighed around 15 pounds and had a very curly coat. This breed fell out of favor, eventually leading to their extinction in the early 20th century. A specimen is displayed alongside the African Hairless Dog at the Natural History Museum in Tring, England.
The Turnspit Dog, also known as the Kitchen Dog, was bred to run on a wheel to turn cooking meat. They would work in pairs so the other dog would take over when one became tired. These dogs were tirelessly worked, but they were taken to church on a Sunday and supposedly used as foot warmers. Because they were common dogs, very few records were kept. But they were described as short and long with crooked legs with a generally unhappy appearance. Their makeup is unknown, but it is considered a terrier type. The dog became a sign of poverty, and because people shied away from them, they became extinct around the late 19th century.
Tweed Water Spaniel
The Tweed Water Spaniel is known for contributing to the Golden Retriever and Curly Coated Retriever. They were intelligent gundogs with a penchant for water. And they were common to the areas around the River Tweed close to the borders of Scotland. Some think they were related to an imported St John’s Water Dog, also an extinct breed. Other retriever types, especially the Golden Retriever, became the favorite canine of choice. Eventually, this led to the extinction of the Tweed Spaniel sometime in the 19th century.
It is believed that the Welsh Hillman has been extinct since 1990, when the last known breed member passed away. They were herders on the hilltops of Wales, and they looked similar to German Shepherds, albeit slightly smaller. They were great at herding, but the rise in popularity of the Border Collie and other herders meant their numbers fizzled out. Some historians say that they are possibly the oldest Welsh Sheepdog breed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do Dog Breeds Become Extinct?
There are many reasons why dog breeds become extinct. Their purpose might not have been needed anymore, like the Turnspit Dog. Other dog breeds might have been favored over them, like the St John’s Water Dog, which the more popular Labrador Retriever replaced. Some dog breeds ceased to exist through extensive breeding.
Are There Any Dog Breeds Near To Extinction?
According to the Kennel Club and other sources, a few dog breeds are vulnerable. These include the Otterhound, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, the English Toy Terrier, the Harrier, the Chinook, the Skye Terrier, and the Sussex Spaniel, to name just a few breeds. It has been stated that there are more Giant Pandas in the world than Skye Terriers.
Can Extinct Dog Breeds Be Brought Back?
Although some breeders claim to have brought back extinct dog breeds by mixing similar breeds, it’s impossible to bring an extinct animal back that way. All they have done is create a mixed breed that looks similar. However, recent DNA-editing technology has brought scientists close to being able to bring back extinct animals from the dead. They are currently working on bringing back the dog-like marsupial, the Tasmanian Tiger, back to life.
But when it comes to dog breeders’ claims that they have brought an extinct dog breed back, don’t listen to them. For example, a handful of breeders claim to have resurrected the ancient Greek Molossus dog, now calling them the American Molossus. Not only is this impossible, but it is also based on guesswork founded on incomplete historical records.
Now you know about most of the extinct dog breeds that have existed at some point, and we hope you have enjoyed reading about them. If you’d like to own a part of canine history, many breeds on this list are genetically related to existing dog breeds. Some breeds look almost identical to extinct ones. Remember, don’t work with a breeder who claims to have recreated an extinct dog breed.