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Some types of dogs seem to become more and more popular over time, and others are far less common than they were a decade ago. But some dogs are just plain scarce. In some cases, it's because these breeds are not generally found in the United States; other breeds are simply more recent mixes that might not have caught on just yet.
Whether they're wildly popular or totally uncommon, we love dogs, period, and we thought it would be fun to share a few of the dogs from our breed profiles that you aren't likely to run into on your morning walk. Have you heard of any of these pups?
Eva Maria Kramer, Animal Photography
Muscular and slender, the Chart Polski loves to run. He’s more protective and territorial than most sighthounds and was used as a hunting dog as early as the 1600s. The breed faced extinction in the 19th and 20th centuries, but the Polish Greyhound, as he’s also known, made a comeback in Poland in the 1980s.
A medium-size dog, the Pyr Shep can come with two types of coats. He's active, energetic and has energy to spare, which, paired with his alert nature, can make him either a great watchdog or a nuisance barker. He is the smallest of the French herding breeds.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a devoted family pet who loves to have a job, but his aloofness with strangers, paired with a bark that’s big for his size, means he’s also an ideal watchdog. The intelligent Entle is the smallest of the four farm dogs native to Switzerland.
Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography
Originally a Norwegian farm dog, the Norwegian Buhund is a chatty dog known for his cheerful disposition and hardworking nature. These days, the active breed is often found working as a hearing assistance dog or participating as an agility or obedience athlete.
The Spanish Greyhound, also known as the Galgo Español, is a serious dog who is reserved with strangers but affectionate with his family. Get him hunting, however, and you’ll see his lively and energetic side. He’s a sighthound who was created to course rabbits and hares, but these days he’s far more likely to be a companion pet in his native Spain. In fact, he’s rarely found outside that country.
Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography
Equally strong on land and in water, the Large Munsterlander is a model hunting dog who can handle almost any terrain, no matter how rough, wet or cold it may be. He’s a popular gun dog in Europe, and with good reason — his tracking, pointing and retrieving instincts are very strong. This is a highly energetic breed, and even if you don’t hunt with your Large Munsterlander, you’ll need to find a constructive outlet for his vigor.
Nick Ridley, Animal Photography
Another Greyhound cross, the Lurcher is created by breeding a Greyhound with a Terrier, herding breed or large scenthound with the idea of bringing in greater tenacity, intelligence or scenting ability. The variability in breeding means there’s great variability in size — Lurchers can weigh anywhere from 35 to 100 pounds. These hunting dogs tend to be calm and affectionate, so long as there are no cats or other small, furry creatures nearby.
Eva-Maria Kramer, Animal Photography
The Tosa Ken is the definition of the strong, silent type. He was bred as a guardian breed from Japan and is often compared to a sumo wrestler. The Tosa was originally a fighting dog and is characterized by a massive head, wrinkled face and protective instincts. He’s also known by the names Tosa Dog, Tosa-Inu, Japanese Fighting Dog and Japanese Mastiff.
Sam Clark, Animal Photography
A descendant of the Borzoi, the Silken Windhound also claims genes from Whippets and Shelties but has become an entirely separate breed. As the name would suggest, this gentle dog has flowing, silky fur, which requires at least weekly brushing. Silkens are known for a fairly long lifespan, often living well into their teen years.
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