11 Rare Dog Breeds That Will Make You The Envy Of Your Block

Labs are great, but wouldn't you rather have a Lagotto Romagnolo?

rare dog breeds
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All dogs are wonderful, no matter whether they’re purebreds worthy of winning Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show or mutts made up of a dozen different breeds. But in a world filled with retrievers, there’s something special about a rare dog breed that begs people to ask, “What kind of dog is that?” Rare dog breeds are anything but a dime a dozen, and if you’re lucky enough to welcome one into your family, you’re sure to have both a companion for life and the coolest dog in the neighborhood.

There’s nothing wrong with beagles, bassets, and bulldogs. You’re also much more likely to find a popular dog breed for adoption rather than a rare dog breed. But if you do get the chance to adopt a Catahoula Leopard, we recommend that you take it. If you want to stand out on your block, these 11 rare dog breeds might just help you do that.

rare dog breeds - swedish vallhund
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Swedish Vallhund

Long and low like its distant cousin the Corgi, the Swedish Vallhund is a cattle dog known for its intelligence and endless supply of energy, according to American Kennel Club. Though this breed used to occupy Viking longships, its cheerful demeanor now makes this pup a great addition to your family.

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rare dog breeds - otterhound
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Otterhound

With its durable double coat and webbed paws, the friendly and unique Otterhound combines the qualities of both a land and water hunting dog, according to American Kennel Club. The Otterhound was bred to hunt in packs, but despite its large size and energy, this breed is a great fit even for families with children.

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rare dog breeds - Harrier
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Harrier

According to Dog Time, this breed is sometimes referred to as a "beagle on steroids," as it was bred to hunt hares and foxes in large packs. Though not as outgoing as beagles, the Harrier is just as sweet-tempered and friendly, though it enjoys the company of people more than other dogs.

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rare dog breeds - Catahoula Leopard
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Catahoula Leopard

According to the American Kennel Club, the Catahoula is the only breed of dog to have originated in the state of Louisiana and its name means "sacred lake." The Catahoula Leopard is known for its independence and protectiveness, but with careful training, this breed makes for an affectionate and loyal companion.

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rare dog breeds - Norwegian Lundehund
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Norwegian Lundehund

With six toes on each paw, according to Dog Time, the Norwegian Lundehund (which is also called the puffin dog) is best known for its incredible agility. This breed was originally discovered on a remote island in Norway, where it was used to rob puffin eggs, and though mischievous, this pup is highly intelligent and easy to train.

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rare dog breeds - Lagotto romagnolo
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Lagotto Romagnolo

The Lagotto Romagnolo is best known as Italy's truffle hunting dog whose well-trained nose can root out truffles, according to American Kennel Club. Despite being a rugged worker, the Lagotto is also undemanding and affectionate, with beautiful curls that you won't be able to resist.

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rare dog breeds - mudi
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Mudi

Also known as the Hungarian Mudi, this breed originated in Hungary, where it was bred to help shepherds maintain their flocks, according to Dog Time. A Mudi requires plenty of exercise, but its alertness and high intelligence makes it a wonderful watchdog and incredibly easy to train.

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rare dog breeds - stabyhoun
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Stabyhoun

According to American Kennel Club, the Stabyhoun is both a soft-mouthed retriever and a pointer who's often used for bird hunting, as well as by farmers for mole and rabbit catching. Though inquisitive and energetic, a Staby wants nothing more than to please and care for its family.

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rare dog breeds - ovcharka
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Ovcharka

Seeing as this breed is known as the Russian Bear Dog, according to Dog Time, it's no surprise that the Ovcharka is just as well known for its massive size as its protective nature. Loyal and brave, this giant pup is happiest while caring for flocks and protecting its family.

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rare dog breeds - Kai Ken
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Kai Ken

Bred to hunt game in the mountains of Japan, according to American Kennel Club, the Kai Ken is considered rare even in its native country. As well as being known for its athleticism and strength, this breed has earned a reputation for being a wonderfully loyal and trustworthy companion.

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rare dog breeds - brussels griffon
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Brussels Griffon

According to Dog Time, this tiny breed was originally bred to hunt mice and rats in Belgian stables, though it eventually became a house pet as well. With its intelligent and human-like face, the Brussels Griffon is very affectionate and is certain to demand your attention.

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