9 Extinct Dog Breeds of the World | DogExpress
Wednesday , July 24 2024
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extinct dog breeds

9 Extinct Dog Breeds of the World

Dogs are the best gifts from God. A trusted companion for humans, dogs are loved for their different traits. They are favorites of humans of all age groups. Today, we have many dogs of various breeds to love, such as Doodles, Chihuahuas, and Dachshunds. However, have you ever wondered who walked these paw-shaped paths before these babies came around? Well, as you may or may not know, there were indeed several dog breeds once on the face of this planet that are, unfortunately, no longer there.

A lot of them disappeared due to various reasons, such as changes in human interest, fashion, and necessity. Well, here we would delve into some of those extinct dog breeds – ones that were once there but are no longer and nowhere to be found except perhaps in a few photos.

  1. English White Terrier 

English White Terriers were referred to as Old English Terriers. It should not come as a surprise that it was in Britain that these pups were bred. Apart from that, not much is known about their past. There is a wide range of viewpoints about the origin of these cuties, and you may wonder why that is the case. It is primarily because, like the other Terriers, they were rather popular among breeders in the 18th century who were keen on raising the best breeds for the shows.

As part of this, they tried to present so-called distinct breeds even when they may have been a part of another breed that already competed at dog shows. No matter how they originated, it can be said safely that these dogs did not do so well at these shows. It is perhaps the reason why people lost interest in breeding them. These dogs may have become extinct, but their legacy does live on in other breeds. It is through breeding programs that the following breeds were created from them:

  • Fox Terrier
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Sealyham Terrier
  • Boston Terrier
  • Rat Terrier

English White Terrier 

  1. Talbot Water Dog

It is said that in their prime, Talbot Water Dogs were immensely popular as hunting dogs. They accompanied their humans on crucial trips and were even featured in paintings! They were common in England when William the Conqueror ruled. It is believed that they originated in Normandy. However, when more efficient hunting dogs came into the mix, people lost interest in breeding them. Modern dogs, such as Bloodhounds and Beagles are supposed to be their descendants.

  1. Molossus

Are you seriously looking for ancient dog breeds that have now become extinct? In that case, you do not need to look farther than Molossian hounds. These canines were as chunky as they came and were reared by an ancient Greek tribe of the same name. Their popularity can be gauged from the fact that they were featured on silver coins, along with works of art that are famous in Greek literature. Apart from sitting as pretty as they did, Greeks also had them for protecting livestock and homes. They were used to fight and hunt as well.

9 Extinct Dog Breeds of the World

Many believe that a lot of modern-day Mastiff dogs descended from them.   

  1. Bullenbeisser

Bullenbeissers were also known as German Bulldogs. It is said that these sturdy hounds were the ancestors of the present-day Boxers. It is thought that they were related to several other rare and extinct dog breeds, such as Barenbeisser. Even now, Dogo Argentino and Spanish Bulldogs are compared to them! This is a reason why, the fact that they became extinct because of crossbreeding, rather than loss of human interest, should not come as a surprise. During the late 1800s, Germans bred them with smaller dogs to create the Boxers, and that led to their eventual disappearance.   

  1. St. John’s Water Dog

Do you want to thank any of the extinct dog breeds? If yes, you can do so to the St. John’s Water Dogs. You may wonder why it is so. Well, these babies were the ancestors of the two most popular dog breeds today – Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. They were originally bred as early as the 16th century in Newfoundland. They were known for how docile they were and how remarkably exceptional they were in terms of their retrieving abilities. If it sounds familiar, there is every reason for that.

This is because you get these qualities in Goldens and Labs as well! Sadly, thanks to the heavy taxes slapped on dog owners at that time in Newfoundland, this breed went extinct. It also did not help that Britain imposed a long-term quarantine on imported animals, so it could stop the spread of rabies. Their numbers may have dwindled, but even now, you would find a lot of large black dogs that have the same characteristics that these dogs did.

9 Extinct Dog Breeds of the World

  1. Tweed Water Spaniel 

Well, we are not talking of smart blazers over here! Our focus and attention are on extinct dog breeds. So, if you are interested in the former, you are in the wrong place, mate! Coming back, these extinct dogs were not named after any attire worn in the British countryside. Rather, they were named after Berwick upon Tweed. The latter is located on the Scottish border close to the River Tweed. They were bred originally as water spaniel dogs, as their names would indicate. As such, they lived close to water and helped their humans in hunting and related activities.

Unfortunately, they became extinct during the 19th century. This happened because breeders, at that time were focusing on crossbreeding, so they could produce Retrievers.

  1. Kuri 

So far, we have been talking about extinct dog breeds that flourished in Europe. Now, let us move on to the other side of the world and talk about such dogs from the other parts. As such, we start our discussion with Kuri, a breed once bred for food, clothes, hunting, and weapons by Maoris. Between 1200 and 1300 AD, these dogs came to New Zealand with their humans from East Polynesia. They were with their humans for several years before finally disappearing. It happened when European settlers arrived in the country and brought their dogs along with them that sadly were not able to breed with Kuris.

9 Extinct Dog Breeds of the World

  1. Alpine Mastiff 

It is said that size was the most striking feature of Alpine Mastiffs. It is also supposed to be the first giant dog breed created by humans. During the 19th century, they were featured regularly on dog shows in England. This was done simply so that dog lovers could behold the spectacle that an Alpine Mastiff happened to be. It is thought that they may have originated from the same dogs as St. Bernards. Even if it’s not the same, one can still assume they shared similar ancestors. However, if you are under the conception that Alpine Mastiffs were the same as St. Bernards, you are wrong.

The story of these Mastiffs started in the Italian and Swiss Alps, and their legacy spanned hundreds of years. However, owing to crossbreeding with other large breeds, they sadly disappeared forever.

  1. Alpine Spaniel

Once upon a time, Alpine Spaniels were supposed to be a rare dog breed but they have become extinct! During their time, they played an important role in the mountains of Italy and Switzerland. Their strength, skill, and determination are to be admired. These were also the reasons why the babies could be entrusted safely with searching for buried and stranded mountaineers no matter how harsh the conditions outside were. Once they could find what they were looking for, they were rather adept at letting their humans know. It also helped that they were as strong as they were – you would not find that in today’s Spaniels.

Their fur was tightly curled, and this helped them brave the elements as well. Sadly, this breed went extinct during the mid-1800s. The main reasons in this case were accidents, poor conditions in the Alps, and diseases.

9 Extinct Dog Breeds of the World

The other dog breeds that must be mentioned 

It would be a mistake to think that the list of extinct dog breedsends with the ones we have talked about so far.

Several other breeds can be named such as the following:

  • Turnspit Dog
  • Welsh Hillman
  • Salish Wool Dog
  • Hawaiian Poi Dog
  • North Country Beagle
  • Paisley Terrier
  • Rastreador Brasileiro
  • Blue Paul Terrier
  • Moscow Water Dog

Turnspit dogs are unique even among dog breeds that have gone extinct, but this is not because of ancestry, status among humans, or appearance. These dogs were not that remarkable in these aspects, in any case. It was the role that they played in the households, which they were a part of that made them as unique as they were. The hint lies in their names – these dogs accompanied their humans in running a wheel continuously, a lot like hamsters. These spits were used to make sure that meat was cooked evenly.

Like many dog breeds that have gone extinct, the name Welsh Hillmans pretty much explains itself. It becomes clearer when you juxtapose this with how creative people today have become in naming breeds with mixed ancestries. As you may have guessed, and correctly so, these dogs were bred in the hills of Wales. Humans employed these fluffballs to herd livestock. Some people think that they were the first of their kind in Wales.

Salish Wool Dogs may have been small, but their history is long. They were also referred to as Comox Dogs and were kept as pets by Native Americans in British Columbia and Washington, the state. It is said that they were the first dogs in North America that humans farmed.

People in pre-colonized Hawaii bred them for food, but these cuties were named after the food that they fed on. These pups were white with short hair, and they were fed poi, a substance made from a plant named taro.

North Country Beagles originated anywhere else but Britain, as most of the dogs on this list did. They were referred to as Northern Hounds. They were immensely popular in their time, as scenthounds but have now sadly become extinct. The main reason for this was the greater affinity of breeders towards other quicker breeds that were more suitable for fox hunting, an activity that started to become popular in Britain during the 18th century.

9 Extinct Dog Breeds of the World

Paisley Terriers were the ancestors of Yorkshire Terriers, a much-loved breed these days, with the only difference perhaps being that the former came from Scotland. It is said that they looked pretty similar as well. They were said to be the show dog versions of Skye Terriers. This is why, they were popular among dog show enthusiasts, a fact that should not surprise you.

Rastreador Brasileiro dogs were referred to as Brazilian Trackers. These pups were large and rather popular, and as their name would indicate they came from Brazil. However, the way they became extinct is tragic indeed! During the 1960s, they were wiped out because of overdosing on insecticides and a disease outbreak.

Blue Paul Terriers are referred to as Poll Terriers and Scottish Blue Palls. As you may have guessed by now, these pups originated in Scotland. As unfortunate as it sounds, they were primarily used by humans for competitive fighting with other dogs.

Moscow Water Dogs were rather sizeable individuals and were created by mixing Caucasian Shepherds and Newfoundlands.


If you are serious about preserving the tapestry of canine history and its genetic diversity, you must learn about and understand extinct dog breeds. Each of these breeds represents unique chapters in the relationship shared by humankind with dogs. The same can be said of their place in the context of the cultural histories of the regions where they lived. When you study these breeds, you gain insights into ancient human societies, their relationships with dogs, and the needs they had for them.

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