Extinct Dog Breeds: A Brief Guide To These wonderful Dogs
Several distinctive canine breeds are no longer in existence today, just as other species have gone extinct over time. Many of these dog breeds have left enduring legacies, with some of the most well-known and prosperous dogs of today descended from their predecessors.
Others, who left virtually any evidence of their existence, have largely faded into obscurity.
Dog lovers and historians have put a lot of effort into compiling exact data on these dog breeds to provide a realistic portrait of how they originally appeared and the functions they were bred to carry out.
Some barely existed for a few decades, while others may have existed for several centuries until being outlawed by contemporary society.
Extinct Dog Breeds List
- Alpine Mastiff
- Alpine Spaniel
- Argentine Polar Dog
- Black & Tan Terrier
- Blue Paul Terrier
- Braque Du Puy
- Bull and Terrier
- Celtic Hound
- Chien Gris
- Chiribaya Dog
- Cordoba Fighting Dog
- Cumberland Sheepdog
- Dalbo Dog
- Dogo Cubano
- English Water Spaniel
- English White Terrier
- Fuegian Dog
- Grand Fauve De Bretagne
- Hare Indian Dog
- Hawaiian Poi Dog
- Hunting Dog (Felids)
- Lapponian Shepherd
- Marquesan Dog
- Moscow Water Dog
- Norfolk Spaniel
- North Country Beagle
- Old English Bulldog
- Old Spanish Pointer
- Old Welsh Grey Sheepdog
- Paisley Terrier
- Panther Dog
- Polynesian Dog
- Rastreador Brasileiro
- Russian Tracker
- Sakhalin Husky
- Salish Wool Dog
- Seskar Seal Dog
- Southern Hound
- St. John’s Water Dog
- Tahitian Dog
- Tahltan Bear Dog
- Toy Bulldog
- Toy Trawler Spaniel
- Turnspit Dog
- Tweed Water Spaniel
- Welsh Hillman
There are numerous contributing reasons when it comes to a breed going extinct. Some happened to be in the wrong location at the wrong moment.
This is especially true for those poor breeds that were exterminated during the World Wars when many dogs were eaten as food, and the world was in chaos.
Others had less dramatic endings; they merely lost popularity or were replaced by breeds of a similar nature that proved to be more well-suited to contemporary living.
Because of the development of modern society, some working breeds became essentially obsolete, and those that were unable to adapt or keep up with changing needs fell largely out of favor.
One select few individuals may not be alive now, but despite naturally “evolving” into other breeds, they continue to exist today in other ways.
Which dog went extinct most recently?
The Sakhalin Husky has the dubious distinction of being the most recently extinct breed of dog. Most people concur that the last breed member passed away in 2012. Because the final two animals were male, breeding could not continue.
Which Dog Breed Will Be the Next to Extinct?
Currently, the Otterhound breed in the UK is perilously close to being extinct. The 1970s hunting prohibition on otters is to blame for this dangerous position. The fact that many of the dogs in the breed outbreed other dog breeds is another difficulty they have.
For the most part, this is now required to stop hereditary diseases like Hip Dysplasia from affecting future generations. This native breed might be the next to join the list of extinct dogs, with only 24 purebred Otterhounds registered with the Kennel Club in 2017.
Extinct dog breeds
The complete list of extinct dog breeds throughout human history is provided below.
While some may visually resemble the dog breeds we know today, others will seem completely different. These dogs were a great assortment of personalities, and it is heartbreaking to think that they are no longer with us.
It is believed that the ‘Alani,’ an Iranian nomadic tribe, were the initial breeders of the Alaunt, which once roamed Europe and Asia.
These prehistoric humans used their dogs as laborers and deliberately developed distinct strains of the breed that were suitable for various jobs.
While the larger, Molosser-type dogs were utilized in dog fighting and bull baiting, the smaller, faster dogs would hunt. In fact, some experts consider the Alaunt to be one of the first forerunners of the contemporary Bulldog.
The Alaunt canines were huge and short-haired, with varying amounts of head sizes. Unique types were bred all around Europe, so the Spanish Alaunts stood apart from the French Alaunts. The Alaunt dog breeds still exist today, and lovers are creating new varieties like the British Alaunt and American Alaunt.
One of the first “giant breeds” developed by man is believed to be the enormous and striking Alpine Mastiff.
This Molosser-type dog was much larger than the English Mastiff today, reaching huge heights and weights. This dog was displayed in England during the 19th century to allow onlookers to be in awe at its enormous size.
They were undoubtedly a sight to behold with their gigantic head, lengthy limbs, and loose skin folds. There is some misunderstanding since the terms “Alpine Mastiff” and “St Bernard” are occasionally used synonymously, even though they are two very different breeds.
The Alpine Mastiff, Great Dane, and Newfoundland are supposed to have been combined to create the current St Bernard. To replicate this visually intimidating breed, considerable effort is now being made.
The Alpine Spaniel once performed the honorable duty of finding lost or submerged mountaineers and informing rescuers of their positions in the icy mountains of Switzerland and Italy.
In contrast to modern spaniels, these canines were far bigger and more powerful, growing to heights of over 60 cm. Their close-fitting, tightly curled coat protected them from the abrasive weather.
It is believed that the unfavorable conditions in the Alps, where accidents and illness outbreaks were common, contributed to their extinction. It’s believed that the last dog passed away in the middle of the 19th century.
In the National History Museum of Switzerland, skulls from two different Alpine Spaniel breeds, each with a different head size and shape, are on display today. St Bernard and the Clumber Spaniel are believed to have inherited genetic traits from the Alpine Spaniel.
Argentine Polar Dog
The history of the Argentine Polar Dog is unusual and bizarre.
The Argentine army actually developed this breed to help them when stationed in the Antarctic; it did not develop naturally.
These big, hairy canines were mostly employed as sled dogs to pull things through the ice and snow. The Argentinians demand a breed that is low maintenance and simple to train in addition to being healthy and fit.
Manchurian Spitz, Alaskan Malamute, Greenland Dog, and Siberian Husky were combined to form this breed. These canines possessed three layers of fur and a dense coating of fatty tissue to keep them warm, making them well-suited to subzero temperatures.
Larger males may weigh up to 60 kg, yet they are quick on their feet and could cover a lot of ground on snow and ice quickly.
Sadly, because they were not considered to be native creatures, all Argentine Polar Dogs were ordered to be removed from Antarctica in 1964.
They were given this order because of concern that they would spread diseases like the distemper virus and parasite infestations to seals to nearby animals.
Since no coordinated breeding program was formed when the dogs were moved to Argentina, most of them perished from diseases against which they lacked immunity.
Black & Tan Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier and the Airedale Terrier are two modern canines descended from the Black & Tan Terrier, also known as the Old English Broken-Haired Black & Tan.
They were mostly used for hunting foxes and were quite well-liked in England in the 1800s. They would have been little with narrow chests, classified as “Fell Terriers,” and they would have come from the north of England.
This would have allowed them to track prey down tiny tunnels and burrows. They had short, black, and tan fur that was long on the legs and tail.
The black and tan terrier was viewed as more of a “type” of a dog than a breed during its existence; therefore, there would have been a significant variance in each individual’s look.
Blue Paul Terrier
The Blue Paul Terrier, a Scottish-born breed sometimes known as the “Poll Terrier,” was a medium-sized dog with a very large head, a short coat, and a muscular body, with fur which tended to be blue.
The breed’s main function was competitive dog fighting, which it conducted with bravery and endurance. This breed’s origins are unknown, and while there are many tales and theories, there is little concrete proof.
The most plausible theory is that sailors brought them to Scotland and bred them with indigenous dogs to produce effective warriors. Many believe the Blue Paul Terrier contributed to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s blue coat color.
Due to a mix of fighting-related injuries and the growing trend of using them to create other breeds, such as the American Pit Bull Terrier, this breed most likely went extinct in the late 1800s.
Braque du Puy
There are numerous current variations of the French Pointing dog, the Braque. The Braque du Puy was not among the fortunate ones and went extinct sometime in the 1970s.
This breed undoubtedly suffered from the effects of the World Wars, and breed numbers fell precipitously in the 1920s and the 1940s.
Most people assume that the Braque du Puy was produced by mating with the Braque Français and a Sighthound, such as a Sloughi, even though records are scarce.
The Braque du Puy was primarily used as a hunting dog, going after small prey like birds before freezing and pointing so the hunters would know where to move.
These dogs were exquisite, like the other Braque breeds, with long, slim limbs, narrow, drooping ears, and a thin tail. They wouldn’t have weighed more than 30kg because they were thin and had fragile bones.
Bull And Terrier
One of the more well-known extinct dogs, the Bull and Terrier, is frequently mentioned today due to the legacy it left behind.
It was a hybrid of an Old English Bulldog and a Terrier (also extinct). This hybrid dog was well-liked by the populace and was employed for canine combat, bull-baiting, and hunting.
This dog needed a lot of tenacity, courage, and a large, well-muscled body to succeed. The tails of the Terrier and Bull were frequently docked, as is still done in some regions of the world today.
In addition, their ears would be cut to make them appear more formidable. The Bull and Terrier were outbred over time and under the influence of breeders who favored particular characteristics and colors, leading to the development of distinct breeds.
These are currently referred to as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the Bull Terrier. For a species that is now extinct, they contributed significantly to modern dog breeds and, in some ways, continue to exist.
Due to deliberate effort to breed the dog with the Old English Bulldog during the late 19th century, the German Bulldog, also known as the Bullenbeisser or Bärenbeisser, is the ancestor of the Boxer.
The Bullenbeisser ultimately perished due to this successful mating since the Boxer swiftly rose to the top of the two. The Bullenbeisser, a canine with an intimidating appearance and an athletic, muscular build, was once employed in both bull-baiting and boar hunting.
Bull Biter is the literal English translation of the German term Bullenbeisser. Most experts concur that it evolved from Mastiff-type dogs that were bred to be smaller and more agile.
Germans valued them for their abilities to protect people and property in addition to their sporting responsibilities. These dogs came in various sizes, from 40 to 75 centimeters tall, and lived in European nations.
Every Irish child has heard stories about the legendary hounds known as the Celtic Hounds.
These dogs presumably had a physical appearance with the present Irish Wolfhound and Scottish Deerhound, among other breeds; they were tall and had rough, wiry coats.
These canines were carved into jewelry and appeared in numerous artworks during the 17th century, in addition to the legends that they were passed down from one generation to the next.
The story of Cchulainn, a fierce Celtic Hound owned by a blacksmith named Cullan who once attempted to attack the Irish mythological hero Setanta, is one of the most well-known legends.
The dog was quickly killed when Setanta fired a sliotar (traditional ball) at it with his hurley, a weapon resembling a hockey stick. As a young man, Setanta went on to defend Ulster alone (one of the four Irish provinces).
The Celtic Hounds were used for hunting animals, such as rabbits and deer, and for fearlessly participating in battles alongside their masters before they became part of folklore.
In the Middle Ages, the Grey Saint Louis Hound, known as the Chien Gris, roamed Western Europe.
This dog was a Scent Hound with royal ancestry who belonged to the French monarchy’s hunting groups. These dogs were probably mated with native French hounds throughout the years, and their appearance may have evolved.
They are best known for being big hound with rough coat that was rough grey on the body and darker on the face before turning red.
They were exterminated during the French Revolution, like with many other French breeds, when hunting was regarded as the luxurious pastime of the wealthy.
The potential of the surviving breed members was being enhanced through crossbreeding at the same time. The Chien Gris eventually went extinct due to both of these circumstances.
A very ancient breed, the Chiribaya Dog, lived in pre-Colombian civilizations in Peru.
The only reason we know about the Chiribaya Dog today is because of Sonia Oneglio, an anthropologist who found over 40 mummies during an excavation in the southwest of Peru.
In addition to serving a useful purpose (herding llamas), historians have concluded that these canines were cherished by their owners and interred beside people with food and blankets.
Although it is difficult to be positive about their exact appearance, researchers agree that these dogs were probably short with long beige fur and may have developed rabbit-like paws to aid with sand walking.
Regarding their legacy, DNA research on their bones has yet to establish a connection between the Chiribaya Dog and the contemporary dogs that still inhabit the same region. They may have no living ancestors left and are actually extinct.
Cordoba Fighting Dog
The Cordoba Fighting Dog is said to have started in the city of Córdoba in central Argentina.
This hardy dog served a variety of purposes, including intimidating guard duty, bold wild boar hunting, and use in dog fights. It was also employed to hunt other large games.
Although it is believed that the last member of the breed passed away in the 1950s, the Dogo Argentino, a near descendent of the Cordoba Fighting Dog, carries on the breed’s bloodline.
The Argentinians originally produced the Cordoba Fighting Dog from Mastiffs and Bull-type breeds to produce a local breed that was both brave and a great warrior.
Even though various coat colors were genetically feasible, breed enthusiasts preferred those with a white coat. Therefore they quickly became the most well-liked.
Although historians are unsure of the precise cause of the Cordoba Fighting Dog’s extinction, it was probably related to the fact that the breed’s members would frequently die in battles because it had grown too vicious to procreate properly.
Additionally, the Dogo Argentino, their close relatives, were displacing them in considerable numbers.
The Cumberland Sheepdog is a curious breed related to the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd.
Its records are scant and frequently mixed up with those of the Border Collie. Many even wonder if they are just two different dogs with a name difference.
We are aware that the Cumberland Sheepdog was a medium-sized dog with a black and white coat who loved to herd sheep.
Although they were mentioned in Clifford L.B. Hubbard’s book on British dogs, it is difficult to locate any additional information about this dog, which is assumed to have gone extinct in the early 1900s.
The Swedes hired this native of Sweden to hunt down wolves and bears and to guard the farmers’ animals. It was a huge, well-built dog of the molosser breed.
They were renowned for having a strong mentality and would not back down from a task, in addition to having a strong physical constitution.
Additionally, they were skilled herders who thus properly paid their rent on the farm. They could endure the harsh Scandinavian winters outside thanks to their large fur coats.
The breed went extinct sometime in the late 1800s since it never really gained much popularity. There’s a chance the Swedish Famine played a role.
Even though the Dalbo Dog is extinct, some dog lovers in Sweden are working hard to revive the breed there successfully.
The Dogo Cubano, also known as the Cuban Mastiff, was a huge and durable Molosser-type dog employed both for pursuing and apprehending escaped enslaved people and for competitive dog fighting.
They would also operate as faithful property guardians, bravely repelling any intruder.
This dog was described as having small, drooping ears and a shorter muzzle that resembled a mix between an English Mastiff and a Bulldog. They frequently wore a black facial mask, and their fur was a dark rust hue.
Since related breeds, like the Dogo Argentino, were preferred in the competitive realm of canine fighting, it’s possible that these vicious canines no longer served much of a role at the time they went extinct, roughly coinciding with the end of slavery.
English Water Spaniel
The last true breed members went extinct in the early 20th century, although many of our contemporary dog breeds resemble the English Water Spaniel.
With its origins in the 16th century, the English Water Spaniel is considered one of the oldest Spaniel breeds. Most publications claim that this breed had a curly, waterproof liver and white coat.
The English Water Spaniel would usually hunt ducks and other types of waterfowl in addition to being able to “dive like a duck.”
It was a very popular dog in Britain during its prime and was employed by many hunters. Being a prolific breed, it is likely responsible for the origins of many modern Spaniels, the English Cocker Spaniel being just one of many examples.
Due to extreme outbreeding over time, the purebred population of this breed eventually vanished into oblivion, which suggests that it significantly contributed to the development of other Spaniel varieties.
English White Terrier
Some people may refer to the English White Terrier as the White English Terrier, which has a fairly interesting and peculiar history.
The English White Terrier was specifically bred for the show ring and to have a certain appearance, unlike other dogs of the time. They were among the first pedigree dog breeds that the Kennel Club recognized.
A poorly behaved dog, prone to several significant health and behavioral diseases, including congenital deafness and anxiety, is the unfortunate result of the inbreeding’s numerous hereditary health problems.
Some were employed as hunters or rat catchers, but they needed to be more suited for the jobs and could not deliver good results.
It was a dog that was created in the early 1800s and had a lifespan of about 100 years. Despite only existing for a brief period, this breed significantly impacted the Boston Terrier and the Bull Terrier.
The bizarre-looking Yaghan Dog, also known as the Fuegian Dog, is a domesticated variety of the South American or “Andean Fox” (Lycalopex culpaeus).
The Fuegian Dog is a relatively unusual animal because other domestic dogs are descended from wolves. It is said that these creatures were large and hideous, with snout-like muzzles and wiry, white or red fur. A few specimens have been kept and are on display in museums.
Due to their lack of utility and propensity to attack and kill animals, these canines lost favor. Additionally, it’s believed that despite being domesticated, they may have acted aggressively toward people.
They were characterized as unreliable watchdogs who had no devotion to their master. However, some tales claim that they were proficient otter hunters and that humans warmed themselves with their fur (so they weren’t all awful!).
Grand Fauve de Bretagne
The Basset Fauve de Bretagne of today, as well as other Basset and Griffon breeds, are descendants of the Grand Fauve de Bretagne (The Big Fawn Hound of Brittany).
The Grand Fauve de Bretagne was a French Scent Hound that was employed to hunt in packs during the Middle Ages.
It was likely similar to the Basset Fauve de Bretagne of today but stood taller, measuring an astonishing 75 cm at the withers – over double their height!
These canines have a truly royal heritage because it is popularly believed that King François I owned a pack of them and liked hunting with them. A long-legged canine hunter was expected to ride beside the elite on horses.
However, smaller dogs that could travel with them on foot were preferred when the less wealthy people started taking up the habit of hunting around the time of the French Revolution.
The Grand Fauve de Bretagne eventually went extinct due to this shift in breeding patterns.
Hare Indian Dog
The Hare Indian Dog is another intriguing extinct dog that may have been a hybrid of coyotes and domestic dogs.
The Sahtu, a North American Indian tribe that lived in Canada, are also referred to as the Hare Indians. This type of dog, which had short, long fur and a long, pointed muzzle, was primarily used as a coursing dog.
They were referred to as “playful,” but it was also said that they “dislike confinement” and “howled like wolves.” Unfortunately for the Hare Indian Dog, it lost popularity and use as hunting methods evolved and the gun was created.
The Canadian Eskimo Dog, among other local domestic dogs, was frequently crossed with it during its existence; thus, some of its genetic makeup is thought to have persisted.
Hawaiian Poi Dog
The Hawaiian Poi Dog was a Pariah Dog that roamed Hawaii’s tropical island before the Americans settled there.
This breed of dog was short with white fur, and a flat skull descended from similar-looking Polynesian breeds. Their name comes from the poi, a staple of native Hawaiian cuisine made from the stem of the Caro plant, which they were fed.
Poi is where they got their name from. Health problems and malnutrition were probably the results of this diet. Hawaiian Poi Dogs were not employed as hunters or herders but as a food source and a lucky charm.
After Hawaii was colonized, European and American dogs started mating with Hawaiian Poi Dogs, resulting in a variety of crossbreeds and guaranteeing that the purebred Hawaiian Poi Dog would never be found again.
Even today, Hawaiians still refer to mixed-breed dogs as “Poi Dogs,” although it is unknown if any still have true Poi Dog genetics.
Hunting Dog (Felids)
During the prehistoric era, when humans and dogs coexisted on Earth with ferocious predators like lions and cougars, there were several exceptional hunting dogs that had the strength, bravery, and expertise to hunt large, wild felids (wild cats).
Others bravely attacked the big cats before their master arrived, while some would simply pursue the animals and corner them while waiting for a man’s weapon.
These canines are assumed to have been the normal, enormous Molosser breed. They would have had large heads, strong jaws, heavy bones, and layers of muscle.
It has even been claimed that these fighting dogs competed for sport in Roman amphitheaters against lions. Because of how highly regarded they were at the time, many statues, mosaics, and paintings from that period feature images of these canines.
The ancient Polynesian breed known as the Kur is comparable to the Hawaiian Poi Dog.
The dogs are believed to have traveled to New Zealand with the Maori people from Polynesia, but they went extinct soon after European colonization in the 19th century.
These dogs would have been crucial to the survival of the native people since they gave them access to food and fur. They likely went hunting as well.
The breed was small with short legs, prick ears that floated forward, and a snout-like nose, as evidenced by a preserved carcass on display in New Zealand’s National Museum.
Due to the lack of significant disease outbreaks, scientists are somewhat perplexed as to why this breed of dog went extinct. No one is really sure, but they speculate that widespread inbreeding with imported European dogs caused them to go extinct slowly.
The Lapponian Shepherd gave birth to the Lapponian Herder.
A Spitz-like dog with a wedge-shaped face, prick ears, a curled-over tail, and a soft, glossy coat, the Lapponian Shepherd was named. The Sami of Lapland, in northern Finland, retained these dogs at first.
They kept dogs as pets and used them to herd reindeer on their farms. These dogs were known to be calm and obedient, making them excellent workers.
Only in 1945 was the Lapponian Shepherd Dog recognized as a distinct breed. Individuals in the breed had both long and medium-length coats.
Over the following few decades, this dog divided into two branches: the longer-haired Finnish Lapphund and the shorter-haired Lapponian Herder.
The original Lapponian Shepherd dogs were bred less frequently as a result of this natural evolution, and eventually, they were declared extinct.
The Leauvenaar is thought to have been created in the Belgian city of Leuven, which is located east of Brussels.
It was a medium-sized dog with thick fur and triangular, pointed ears. It had narrow, dark eyes and a significantly wide, flat forehead. Although it would have been shorter and stockier, the Leauvenaar resembled the Belgian Shepherd of today in look.
This black-furred worker dog is claimed to be the ancestor of the Schipperke and Belgian Shepherd. The Leauvenaar was a versatile breed that could herd and protect animals, making it a welcome asset to any farm.
In addition to their “day job,” they would trail carts on the neighborhood’s streets. However, no one is really certain why; it is thought that this breed went extinct in the 1800s.
These very old Polynesian canines assumed to have gone extinct long before European colonization, are believed to have originated from the Marquesas islands, a group of islands owned by French Polynesia.
Today, there is little evidence to support their existence. Because of 1950s archaeological discoveries (bones) and wall carvings, we are now aware of them. Given this, it is understandable why we know so little about these dogs.
Because numerous carvings have been discovered in significant and sacred locations, historians surmise that they were used as a source of food and may possibly have served as important religious symbols to the inhabitants.
Although dogs are depicted in the carvings as having long necks and backs, it is assumed that this is an exaggeration of reality. They resembled the Kur dog in size, having short legs and a snout-like muzzle.
Statue of the colossus in Florence, Italy.
The Molossus is one of the original dog breeds and a very significant breed in the history of many modern canines. Originally, this breed was employed by the Molossians, an ancient Greek tribe, to protect their property and livestock.
They were so brave that they would not hesitate to defend themselves from ferocious wolves and bears. Additionally, they likely assisted in supplying their owners with food by hunting.
However, these canines are well-known for their role in Roman-era conflicts. Some would even fight valiantly for their masters while wearing spikes and armor.
The Molossus likely resembled today’s Mastiff breeds, which it undoubtedly descended from. It had a large, muscular body, a thick neck-dewlap, and a strong jaw.
These huge dogs are thought to have a height limit of 80 cm and a weight limit of 80 kg.
The Greek Kennel Club now recognizes a breed known as the Molossus of Epirus, which is regarded as one of the best examples of a Molossus ancestor.
Moscow Water Dog
The Moscow Water Dog did not have a very long life because it was developed for a specific purpose.
The Moscow Water Dog was intended to be a rescue dog that could work in water, but reports indicated that they were not successful at their job and were too aggressive toward humans to succeed.
They were created by the Red Star Kennel for the Soviet Union and were a hybrid of several Eastern European Sheepdogs (including the Caucasian Shepherd Dog and the Newfoundland).
Despite their short lifespan, the Moscow Water Dogs did contribute to the development of the well-known Russian Black Terrier. They were a large breed, weighing over 45 kg, with a thick double coat that was dark brown or black.
As they were bred for their working ability and trainability rather than a uniform appearance, there would have been a good deal of variation within the breed.
The Norfolk Spaniel, also known as the Shropshire Spaniel, had drooping ears, soulful eyes, and a medium-length coat that was either black and white or liver and white.
They were widely used as gun dogs, primarily for hunting birds, and were classified as working dogs.
Since the Kennel Club decreed in the early 1900s that any spaniel of a certain size and appearance that was not a Clumber Spaniel or a Sussex Spaniel should be called a Spring Spaniel.
It is interesting to note that there is a theory that the breed that was once the Norfolk Spaniel was never truly lost and simply became today’s English Springer Spaniel.
North Country Beagle
North Country Beagle, or Northern Hound.
The North Country Beagle was a British hunting dog that was also known as the Northern Hound.
A Scent Hound that once featured prominently in packs throughout the country sometime in the 18th century, this dog fell out of favor, and breed numbers dwindled into eventual extinction.
Another issue was that they were not particularly quick, which must have also contributed to their demise. Most people agree that the North Country Beagle is a direct descendant of the Talbot, a breed that is also now extinct.
However, some people think they may have existed centuries earlier and were descended from Norman dogs that were brought to Britain in the 11th century.
Old English Bulldog
The Old English Bulldog was a sturdy dog with a deep chest and well-developed muscles.
It was a brave fighter but was rumored to be stupid. Over time, the dog was bred to compete in dog fights after being initially used in the practice of bull-baiting.
The “Cruelty to Animals Act,” which was passed in 1835 and made bull-baiting and dog fighting illegal, marked a significant turning point in the history of the Old English Bulldog by making the breed somewhat obsolete.
Of course, it would be unrealistic to assume that all dogfighting ended in 1835; clandestine battles would undoubtedly have continued.
Nevertheless, outcrossing the Old English Bulldog with other dog breeds, such as terriers, was becoming a frequent practice, giving rise to the Bull and Terrier.
The Old English Bulldog was quickly relegated to history because these new hybrid dogs were more effective in dog fighting.
It’s crucial to be aware that the Olde English Bulldogge is currently being “recreated” in Britain, and several breeders claim to be able to offer you one.
These “reincarnations” aim to closely resemble the original breed even though it has undoubtedly gone extinct; however, they are frequently friendlier and less aggressive.
Old Spanish Pointer
John Buckler’s Old Spanish Pointer painting.
The Old Spanish Pointer, often known as the Perro de Punta Espaol or “Grandfather of All Pointers,” undoubtedly significantly impacted the development of Pointing dogs.
These prehistoric dogs probably predated humans by several thousand years, and hunters used them to find small game-like birds. When they detected the prey, they would freeze motionless and lift a leg in its direction, as is the function of the modern Pointer.
They had broad bodies and wide heads, and they were well-built. They had the floppy ears and long, slim tails of modern pointers, but their features were less refined.
Despite being a native breed of Spain, many of these dogs were exported, most notably to Britain. They were frequently crossed with other breeds in Britain, including the English Foxhound and the Greyhound.
These crossings gave the Pointer crucial hunting characteristics like speed and endurance. Many people contend that even though the Old Spanish Pointer is no longer around, their descendants are a fitting tribute to them—and even an improvement!
Old Welsh Grey Sheepdog
The Old Welsh Grey Sheepdog, a canine with a shaggy coat and grey fur who herded livestock in rural Wales and had a distinctive yappy bark, worked long hours in inclement weather.
One account calls it an “unbeautiful dog” because of its thick, unruly coat. Farmers chose the Border Collie because of its intelligence and speed, which were largely unrivaled in the canine world. As with many herding dogs, this contributed to the Border Collie’s demise.
When working, the Old Welsh Grey Sheepdog was referred to as a “loose-eyed” dog, which essentially meant that they did not focus and look with the same intensity as the Border Collie.
Since there have been no records of the Old Welsh Grey Sheepdog since 1980, it can be concluded that they are now formally extinct.
This dog was a long-haired terrier with upright ears flowing with silky fur, similar in appearance to the Skye Terrier but smaller and weighing little more than 7kg at maturity.
Indeed, some historians even contend that they were a subspecies of the Skye Terrier rather than their own breed because they were so similar to it in terms of appearance and personality.
Their hometown of Paisley in the lowlands of Scotland is where the name “Paisley” originates. It should be no surprise that they are regarded as the ancestors of the modern Yorkshire Terrier, given that their coat was blue and tan.
The Paisley Terrier was primarily used as a companion dog and dog show competitor, though it could also work as a ratter.
Unfortunately, they were unable to work and were also high-maintenance pets due to their long coat, which had served them so well in the show ring.
It is important to note that the Canis Panther mixed breed and the extinct Panther dog are completely unrelated. The original Panther Dog was given that moniker because of its affinity for panther hunting (cougars).
According to legend, the Panther Dog was developed by an American guy named Aaron Hall, who was an ardent hunter and breeder to kill nearby cougars that were considered a threat to the residents of Pennsylvania.
These dogs appeared in the mid-1800s, and it is thought that they were bred from the Bulldog, the Bloodhound, the Mastiff, and the Newfoundland.
Unsurprisingly, this cross-breeding produced an impressively large hound. These dogs, an American hunting breed that never really took off, also perished with their breeder.
The four extinct dogs of Polynesia—the Kur, the Hawaiian Poi dog, the Tahitian Dog, and the Marquesan Dog—are together referred to as “Polynesian Dogs.”
There were other Polynesian breeds, of course, but these are the four that are best known and most thoroughly studied. All of these animals were landrace Pariah dogs that coexisted with their owners, giving the tribes a source of meat, fur, and company.
Although they were free to roam the islands, they could not be classified as feral because they were domesticated. Some of these breeds also had significant cultural significance, serving as “lucky charms” and appearing in numerous Polynesian myths.
According to some sources, these Polynesian dogs are said to have ancestry with the dingo, though this is not a widely accepted theory.
All of these Polynesian breeds were exterminated due to European colonization of the Polynesian islands because they were so widely and carelessly crossed with imported dogs that they gradually lost their distinctive characteristics.
The Rastreador Brasileiro was, in fact, a Scent Hound that would track and hunt enormous game because the Portuguese word “Rastreador” may be translated into English as “tracker.”
This dog would go after the strong jaguar and the wild boar. A dog lover named Oswaldo Aranha Filho first developed this breed in the 1950s.
He developed the breed using a variety of indigenous Brazilian dogs as well as European and American hunting dogs. The breed was most well-known for being the first Brazilian breed to gain attention outside.
They were regarded for their capacity to function well even in hot, humid environments and gave out a distinctive smell when working. Sadly, this breed was only around for a very brief time before it was officially listed as extinct in 1973.
The early extinction of this athletic breed was brought on by a combination of chemical poisoning and disease epidemics (most likely Babesiosis, which is a result of tick parasitism). There have been significant efforts made to replicate this breed, and it may one day be revived.
These huge, densely furred dogs, which were bred by farmers to protect cattle in isolated regions of the Caucasus mountains, are not physically dissimilar from the Golden Retriever of today.
With weights of up to 50 kg and heights of about 80 cm, this huge dog could fend off the wolves and bears that frequently attacked the nearby farmers.
This dog is described by historians as being intelligent as well as athletic. They were supposed to be able to live with their flock for extended periods without requiring assistance from humans.
They were intelligent and skilled at managing their flock to keep them safe from harm. As to when the Russian Tracker ceased to exist, reports are hazy.
Most likely, they became less popular with the advent of modern agriculture and became extinct sometime in the early 20th century when their job became defunct.
The last known Sakhalin Husky perished in 2012, making it likely the most recent breed of dog to go extinct.
The island of Sakhalin, which is near both Japan and Russia, is where this dog, also known as Karafuto-Ken, is believed to have originated.
This breed, which looks like a cross between an Akita Inu and a Siberian Husky, was typically used as a sled dog. They rose to fame when they were a part of the 1950s Japanese Antarctic exploration.
In the hopes of a later rescue, the mission was abandoned, and the dogs were left behind. Sadly, the weather got worse, and the rescue effort was abandoned.
Thankfully, two dogs were discovered alive one year later! These survivors, who went by the names Taro and Jiro, immediately rose to fame.
After passing away, one of these dogs was stuffed, and it is still possible to see it in the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo.
It’s interesting to note that Taro and Jiro’s narrative was the inspiration for a Disney movie called Eight Below.
Salish Wool Dog
The Comox Dog, commonly referred to as the Salish Wool Dog, has a pretty extraordinary claim to fame.
Many people think this was the first dog developed and “farmed” in North America. These little, densely furred dogs of the Spitz breed were kept by the Native Americans of Washington State and British Columbia and valued for their white “wool.”
In fact, because of how thick their coat was, it was rumored that it was “sheared” every summer. The locals were aware of the need to maintain the lines’ purity and ensured the dogs were kept apart from other canines.
The Salish Wool Dog eventually went extinct due to colonization, inbreeding with the local dogs, and easier access to sheep wool, among other factors.
Despite having a long history, this woolly dog breed didn’t go extinct until during the first decade of the 20th century.
Seskar Seal Dog
The Seskar Seal Dog was a species of Spitz that was a native of Finland and was used for hunting seals since the Stone Age.
These dogs shared the wedge-shaped head, triangular prick ears, and dense, double coat of contemporary Spitzes. They had a medium size and either white, brown, or black water-resistant fur.
The Seskar Seal Dog, also known as the “Seskar Dog,” is a fresh replica of the original breed that is claimed to have gone extinct sometime in the 1950s.
Despite not being a direct descendant of the Seskar Seal Dog and not engaging in seal hunting, this new ‘line’ resembles the original dog very closely both physically and perhaps also in terms of many personality qualities.
Only a tiny number of this unique breed are found in Finland, and it is not recognized globally.
The Smithfield Dog is a sizable Collie breed that was bred for herding animals, particularly cattle.
They had flopped-down ears and shaggy fur, that gave them a disheveled appearance. They typically had a coat that was black, grey, or red with white markings.
While the majority had short “bob” tails, some had medium-length, well-plumed tails.
According to legend, the name “Smithfield” was inspired by the renowned Smithfield Market in London, where members of the breed would patrol the area and assist with the sale of sheep and cattle.
Although it did poorly in the heat, it is known that this breed was sent to Australia to labor. However, there are contemporary dog exhibitions on the island of Tasmania that highlight a breed known as the “Smithfield.”
Even though these dogs are not recognized as pure breeds, one wonders if they could be related to the first Smithfields from England.
The Southern Hound was a British Scent Hound whose popularity decreased with the introduction of horseback hunting and the immigration of longer-legged, faster hounds, much like the aforementioned Northern Hound.
Since many Southern Hounds were probably bred into other hunting dogs to create an all-around athlete, the Southern Hound is likely still present in some modern breeds, such as the Beagle.
As is true of the Northern Hound, researchers suggest that the Southern Hound was either a direct descendent of the Talbot or was a dog brought over to Britain by the French in the 11th century.
These dogs did not appear, unlike today’s Foxhounds, with drooping ears, head tight to the head, well-proportioned bodies, and long, thin tails. The Southern Hound was said to have exceptional scenting abilities.
St. John’s Water Dog
The Newfoundland-born St. John’s Water Dog is among the more well-known extinct canines.
They would assist the local fishermen and were highly regarded for their ability to maintain composure and stillness on boats and for their submissive nature.
They were tasked with retrieving fisherman’s catches, whether they were on lines or in nets. These dogs loved swimming and being around the water, in addition to having a waterproof coat.
After being exported to Britain in the 1800s, the St. John’s Water Dog played a significant role in the development of many of today’s most popular breeds, including the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever.
Although they were all black with white markings, these dogs resembled Labradors in appearance. It is believed that the last St. John’s Water Dog perished in the 1980s.
It is believed that this once very common dog had gone extinct with the development of newer fishing techniques because it simply had no use anymore.
The Tahitian Dog, a native of the island of Tahiti and one of the extinct Polynesian dogs, met a similar demise to its brethren.
They were no match for the European settlers, whose dogs quickly bred with them, producing crossbreeds that no longer resembled the original native dog.
These landrace dogs once thrived, serving the local people as sources of food, fur, and even tools.
They were short, had crooked legs, and flat skulls, which were likely signs of malnutrition because they were fed a vegetarian diet (due to the scarcity of meat available).
This portrayal resembles that of the Hawaiian Poi Dog, another breed that consumes an unsuitable diet. Our understanding of these dogs is relatively limited because they did not endure for very long after the arrival of the Europeans.
In the 1960s and 1970s, their bones and teeth samples were found during excavations.
We also have a few works from European painters who came to the islands, though it can be difficult to tell if they depicted the Tahitian Dog or the recently arrived foreign dogs.
Tahltan Bear Dog
Native to British Columbia, the Tahltan Indians bred the Tahltan Bear Dog specifically to hunt bears despite their diminutive size.
These small hunting dogs, rarely weighing more than 10 kg, were bold and powerful. With their reddish brown dense coat, they could be mistaken for a fox if spotted from a distance.
They were friendly dogs who weren’t hostile to people because they lived with their masters. The Tahltan Bear Dog was a highly valued breed that was traded extensively.
In fact, it’s possible that the breed’s fame—which resulted in so many dogs being exchanged that there were few left to really breed with one another and preserve the population—was what caused it to go extinct.
Although some dispute this, and there are reports of people claiming to own Tahltan dogs still, descended from those sourced from the natives through trades, this primitive breed is generally thought to be extinct.
This white-furred Scent Hound, a hunting dog that was known to be held in high regard, is thought to be the ancestor of many of the most productive hunting dogs of the present day, including the Beagle and the Coonhound.
Some historians believe William the Conqueror brought the Talbot from Normandy as a French dog and brought it to England.
While any working hound was once referred to as a “Talbot,” the Talbot dog didn’t become its separate breed until about the 17th century.
The breed did not last very long; only 100 years later was it officially deemed extinct. Although the causes are unknown, it is most likely that more effective hunting breeds simply took their place.
These dogs were obviously important in their day because they were depicted in numerous paintings and even gave their names to nearby pubs!
Tesems are often thought of when Egyptian hieroglyphs of dogs are pictured.
A hunting dog with prick ears, a curled tail, and a lean build was referred to as a “Tesem” in ancient Egypt. The Tesem dogs would be mummified and buried with their owners in addition to being shown on their cave walls, demonstrating how highly regarded they were.
Appearing in engravings that are supposed to be 3,000 years old, these are genuinely ancient dogs. Similarly, paintings of these dogs have been unearthed from around this time, most notably one featuring a dog named ‘Akbaru’ who wore a collar.
Most people concur that two contemporary descendants of the Tesem are the Basenji and the Sloughi. As well as this legacy, some scientists claim that African Pariah dogs of today may be living descendants of these remarkable Egyptian canines.
The Toy Bulldog was a small-sized Bulldog that lived in Britain in the early 1800s.
The toy Bulldog was created from the Old English Bulldog, which was a very well-liked breed in its day. Its sole function was as a companion animal (and occasionally as a show dog), not as a working dog.
In addition to being considerably smaller than its ancestor, the Toy Bulldog would frequently have prick ears, which was thought to be a desirable characteristic.
This new variety really appealed to the French, who brought them in great numbers. Naturally, this eventually resulted in the development of the contemporary French Bulldog.
Many of the original Toy Bulldogs are believed to have been sold and exported, which caused their popularity to decline in their home country.
Their extinction began around 1920 as a result of the interaction of these two elements.
Some breeders nowadays will advertise that they are selling Toy Bulldogs, but these pups differ from those from decades ago. Instead, these tend to be Bulldog hybrids, such as those mated with the Pug.
Toy Trawler Spaniel
The Toy Trawler Spaniel evolved from combining the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with an archaic variation of the Sussex Spaniel.
Though it is claimed this breed was designed to be a sporting dog initially, it was truly primarily utilized as a companion and show dog and was only kept within the UK.
While resembling the modern Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, they had a less rounded cranium, longer ears, and fur that was more curly and profuse.
They were known to be brave and calm, and their gait was described as “smart and prancing.”
One of the last dogs of the species, which is believed to have perished in the 1920s, was given to the Natural History Museum in Tring, where it is now on exhibit.
One does tend to be amazed at how far we have gone while learning about the Turnspit Dog.
Before the days of electricity, it was the task of the Turnspit Dog to run tirelessly in a wheel, roasting meat on a spit, keeping it from getting turned in one direction for too long and burning.
As well as being little and short-legged enough to fit inside the wheel, these canines had to have enormous stamina and be of a tough constitution.
These dogs were believed to ‘work in shifts’, so when one tired, they were changed with another. The wheel that they ran in was kept at some distance from the open fire to prevent overheating.
These canines are said to have assisted their owners in cooking and acting as “foot and hand warmers.” While they were alive, this breed received little attention, and few records were kept.
It is believed to have existed sometime in the sixteenth century. The origins of the Turnspit Dog are a subject of intense debate, with some saying it was a type of Spaniel and others saying it was a Terrier.
Tweed Water Spaniel
Taking their name from the River Tweed, the Tweed Water Spaniel lived and worked around the Scottish border.
These Spaniels had a curly brown coat, long thin tails, and big, drooping ears. They were categorized as water dogs because they loved to swim and would cheerfully work both in and out of the water.
This breed’s primary function was to aid fishermen in dragging heavy nets back to shore. One of the breeds thought to have been employed in the development of this Spaniel is the St. John’s Water Dog.
Perhaps the Tweed Water Spaniel’s most notable claim to fame is that it was one of the Golden Retriever’s “parents.”
One of the first matings involved a bitch named Belle, a Spaniel that Lord Tweedmouth had bred to a Wavy Coated Retriever. Unfortunately, the Tweed Water Spaniel went extinct before the end of the 19th century.
Among all Welsh herding dogs, some people think the Welsh Hillman is the oldest. They were employed to herd the native livestock on the Welsh hills.
Gorgeous dogs, they were rather huge and had lengthy limbs, reaching heights of 60cm. They shared characteristics with German Shepherds, such as relatively large, upright ears, a long muzzle, and a well-developed abdominal tuck-up.
Red or light brown with black and white markings covered their coarse coat. They typically featured white paws, a white tail tip, and a black saddle marking. They were reportedly graceful, quick, and light on their feet, as well as productive workers.
The breed progressively started to disappear in the 1900s, and the last known individual belonged to a female by the name of Jess, who died in 1990.
However, many people think that the breed is still alive in the numerous crossbreed sheepdogs that are still employed on the Welsh hills.
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