Top 10: Rare Dog Breeds

1. Barbet

Described as companionable, joyful, and intelligent, the Barbet is quick to learn and needs lifelong obedience training. This medium-sized French water dog has a wooly and curly coat which grows long and must be groomed regularly to avoid matting. This rare dog breed is great with people of all ages and prefers human companionship. Mental and physical stimulation is a must.

The lifespan of the Barbet averages 13–15 years. It is estimated that there are about 70 Barbets in the United States.

2. Bolognese

This rare dog breed is easy to train, eager to please and enjoys the companionship of people, making it an ideal companion dog and family pet. The small, white, compact dog has shorter hair on the face and a coat that falls in loose open ringlets all over the body.  The hair’s texture is wooly, should never trimmed, but requires regular combing to prevent matting. While not yappy, they have an acute cute sense of hearing and will generally bark at strange noises.

The life expectancy of the Bolognese is 16-18 years.

3. Hamiltonstovare

The Hamiltonstovare, a Swedish breed, is a typical scent hound and will follow its nose. If the breed finds a scent or sees something interesting, they will not necessarily come when called. Best to practice the dog’s recall daily. Hamiltons have a soft fur that rarely sheds, and they have no “doggy” smell.

The average life span for the Hamilton is 10 to 13 years.

4. Hungarian Pumi

The Pumi is a medium-small terrier type of sheep dog from Hungary. Most Pumis are gray, but born black. The breed’s trademark is its ears, which are always alert and very lively. The Pumi is a lively, active and intelligent breed that is easy to train, but barks easily. Pumis are very protective of their families, and often slightly reserved toward strangers, so socialization must begin at early age.

The breed has a life expectancy of 12-14 years.

5. Kooikerhondje

The Kooikerhondje is a small spaniel of Dutch ancestry that was originally used as a duck tolling dog. Described as intelligent, good natured, and quiet, the breed adapts to situations rather quickly. They will not always immediately like strangers, instead choosing to retreat.

The life expectancy of the breed is about 12-14 years. This breed is gaining popularity in the United States.

6. Lagotto Romagnolo

The Lagotto Romagnolo, originating from the Romagna sub-region of Italy, is a gun dog, specifically a water retriever. It is also used to hunt for Truffle.

Loyal and loving, they make great family dogs. If socialized from a young age, they get along with other household animals quite easily. Mental and physical stimulation is a must for this precocious breed. The breed loves to dig and many owners give their dogs a sandbox to satisfy their digging urges.

The life span of the Lagotto Romagnolo is 14-16 years.

7. Mudi

The Mudi is a herding dog breed from Hungary. It is a very active breed and needs to be taken on daily long, brisk walks or jogs. Additionally, they need to be able to run free in a large safe area. Considered an average shedder, the breed is easy to groom, needing combing and brushing to remove dead hair from its coat.

The life expectancy of the Mudi is 13-14 years.

8. Portugese Podengo

The Portuguese Podengo is a sight and scent hound from Portugal. The Podengo comes in three sizes with two hair coats (smooth and wire coat). Described as hardy, intelligent, and independent, Podengos are amenable to training by experienced dog people.

They are very active and usually good with children and other animals, especially when socialized from an early age. They are watchful and observant and will bark when something gets their attention. They are excellent jumpers and climbers, and need a secure fence. The breed is a digger and will need much mental and physical stimulation. The breed does not require extensive grooming and its coat should never be trimmed.

The life expectancy of the Portugese Podengo is 10-14 years.

9. Swedish Vallhund

The Swedish Vallhund is described as fearless, energetic and alert. Although they enjoy either a rural lifestyle or suburban lifestyle, they crave human attention and are very devoted to their owners. The Vallhund is responsive and even-tempered with most people, but they can be wary of strangers. As a result, it should be properly socialized and trained as a puppy as to avoid over-protective behavior as an adult. They are known for heel nipping due to their instinctive herding traits. The breed, an average shedder, is easy to groom with a comb and firm bristle brush.

The Swedish Vallhund can live for about 12-14 years.

10. Xoloitzcuintli

From Mexico, the Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced show-low-eats-queen-tlee ) comes in three sizes – toy, miniature and standard, and two varieties – hairless and coated. Described as calm, loyal and intelligent, the breed makes an excellent companion dog.

It is important that all family members play a role in rearing the Xolo, or it will bond to the one person who takes care of it. The breed is protective and aloof to strangers. Additionally, the coated and the hairless variety of Xolo are very easy to groom.  For hairless dogs, bathe and lotion them twice a month; for the coated dogs bath them twice a month and brush them  at least weekly to reduce shedding.  A coat is recommended in the winter and a t-shirt is recommended in the warmer month as too much sunscreen may clog its pores.

This rare dog breed may live for about 15 to 20 years.

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