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Pets & AnimalsDogDiscovering the Past: 10 Oldest Dog Breeds in the World

Discovering the Past: 10 Oldest Dog Breeds in the World

Oldest Dog Breeds in the World – In a world where canine companionship knows no bounds, there exists a unique fascination for the ancient and the timeless.


Welcome to a journey that transcends centuries, exploring the captivating world of the oldest dog breeds in the world. These remarkable breeds, with their storied histories and enduring charm, offer a glimpse into the rich tapestry of our shared past.

Ancient dog breeds, bearing the imprints of their forebears, not only serve as living relics but also provide invaluable insights into the human-canine partnership throughout history.


This blog post is your gateway to understanding the origins, characteristics, and continued relevance of these remarkable breeds. Join us as we delve into the past to discover the living treasures that are the oldest dog breeds in the world.

Importance of Understanding Ancient Dog Breeds:

  1. Preserving Cultural Heritage: Ancient dog breeds are living relics of human history. They embody the heritage, traditions, and lifestyles of the past. Understanding these breeds helps us preserve cultural legacies and celebrate the human-canine bond that has endured for millennia.
  2. Uncovering Canine Evolution: Studying ancient breeds offers valuable insights into the evolution of dogs. They showcase how selective breeding, environmental factors, and human needs have shaped canine characteristics and behavior over time.
  3. Biodiversity Conservation: Ancient dog breeds often possess unique genetic traits that have been passed down through generations. By preserving these breeds, we contribute to the conservation of genetic diversity within the canine population, which is crucial in the face of increasing genetic homogenization.
  4. Learning from Tradition: Ancient breeds have been bred for specific purposes such as hunting, herding, or guarding. Understanding their traits and skills can inform modern breeding practices and help us learn from the wisdom of our ancestors in selecting dogs for various tasks.
  5. Companions with Character: Ancient breeds have distinctive temperaments and behaviors. By knowing their characteristics, we can better match dogs to the right owners, ensuring harmonious companionships and reducing the likelihood of dogs ending up in shelters due to mismatched expectations.
  6. Medical Insights: Some ancient breeds are relatively untouched by modern breeding practices, which can result in fewer hereditary health issues. Studying these breeds can provide insights into natural canine health and inform efforts to improve the well-being of all dogs.
  7. Cultural Exchange: As many ancient breeds come from diverse regions worldwide, understanding them fosters cultural exchange. It encourages appreciation for the traditions and lifestyles of various communities, promoting cross-cultural understanding and respect.
  8. Preserving Endangered Breeds: Some ancient breeds are on the brink of extinction. Learning about them can inspire efforts to save these rare breeds from disappearing forever.

Also, Read – Best Brindle Dog Breeds


Oldest Dog Breeds in the World


The Basenji is an ancient dog breed, known as the “barkless dog,” originating in Africa thousands of years ago. These small to medium-sized dogs were originally bred for hunting. They are unique in that they don’t bark like other dogs; instead, they produce yodel-like sounds.

Basenjis are known for their alertness, independence, and strong hunting instincts. They have a short, fine coat, often with distinctive white markings on their legs, chest, and face. These dogs are intelligent, agile, and make excellent companions for active owners, although their independent nature can sometimes pose training challenges.



The Saluki, an ancient breed, traces its origins back to at least 2000 BC in the Middle East, where they were revered for their hunting prowess. These elegant and slender dogs are often called the “Royal Dog of Egypt” due to their association with pharaohs and nobility. Salukis have a sleek and graceful appearance with long legs and a distinctive, narrow head.

They’re built for speed and endurance, making them exceptional hunters. These dogs have a gentle and reserved temperament, but they can be somewhat aloof with strangers. They require regular exercise and a secure area due to their strong prey drive. Salukis are loving and loyal companions for those who appreciate their unique history and beauty.


Akita Inu

The Akita Inu, a revered Japanese breed, boasts a history dating back centuries. Originally bred for hunting large game, this noble and powerful breed is known for its loyalty, dignity, and striking appearance.

Akita Inus have a sturdy build with a broad head, erect ears, and a curled tail carried over their back. They come in various colors, with the Akita Inu known for its thick double coat and a formidable presence. These dogs are renowned for their unwavering loyalty and deep affection for their families.


However, they can be reserved and aloof with strangers, making them excellent protectors. Akita Inus require socialization and consistent training, and they thrive in homes where they receive love, care, and regular exercise.

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu, an ancient Japanese breed, has a history that spans over 2,000 years. This small and agile dog is known for its charming and spirited personality. Shiba Inus are compact with a curled tail, erect ears, and a plush double coat that comes in various colors, most notably red, sesame, and cream.


They have a confident and independent nature, often displaying a cat-like aloofness. Shiba Inus are strong-willed, intelligent, and clean dogs, making them relatively easy to housetrain.

Their ancient lineage and unique charm have made them a beloved breed both in Japan and around the world. These dogs require early socialization and consistent positive reinforcement training to bring out their best qualities as loyal and spirited companions.


Also, Read – Remarkable Mountain Dog Breeds

Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound is an ancient and elegant breed originating in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan. This breed’s history spans thousands of years, where they were used for hunting in rugged terrain.

Afghan Hounds are known for their regal appearance with long, flowing coats, a slender build, and a distinctive, narrow head. Their aloof yet dignified demeanor often gives them a noble presence. These dogs have an independent and sometimes even cat-like nature, making them both charming and occasionally challenging to train.


Their speed and agility, which are remnants of their hunting days, make them graceful runners. Afghan Hounds are affectionate with their families, though they may be reserved around strangers. Their stunning beauty and historical significance make them a unique and cherished breed.

Chow Chow

The Chow Chow is a distinctive and ancient breed believed to have originated in China over 2,000 years ago. These dogs are known for their lion-like mane and unique blue-black tongue. With a stocky, well-built body, a curled tail, and a broad, flat head, they have a striking appearance.


Chow Chows come in various coat colors, including red, black, and cream. While they can be aloof and reserved, they are fiercely loyal and protective of their families. Their independent nature means they may require patient training and socialization.

Chow Chows are generally low-energy dogs and are content with moderate exercise. Their history and distinctive appearance make them a captivating and regal breed for those who appreciate their unique characteristics.

Chinese Shar-Pei

The Chinese Shar-Pei is an ancient breed hailing from China, known for its distinctive wrinkled skin and unique “hippopotamus” face. This breed’s history dates back over 2,000 years. Shar-Peis were originally bred for various purposes, including hunting, guarding, and herding.

They have a short, bristly coat, which comes in different colors. Their loyalty and protective nature make them excellent family pets, though they can be reserved and aloof with strangers. Shar-Peis are known for their intelligence and independent spirit, and they require early socialization and consistent training.

While their wrinkles give them a unique appearance, these dogs need proper care to maintain healthy skin. Chinese Shar-Peis make devoted companions for those who appreciate their history and distinctive charm.

Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is a magnificent and ancient breed originating in the Himalayas, where they were bred to protect livestock from predators in the harsh mountain terrain. These massive and powerful dogs have a strong and imposing presence, with a thick double coat that offers protection against extreme weather conditions.

Tibetan Mastiffs are fiercely loyal and protective, making them excellent guard dogs for families and property. They are independent and self-reliant, which can make training challenging for novice owners. Socialization is crucial from a young age to ensure they are well-adjusted and confident.

Their historical significance, combined with their majestic appearance and protective nature, makes Tibetan Mastiffs a unique and cherished breed for experienced dog owners.

Also, Read – Popular Spitz Dog Breeds

Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is one of the oldest and largest dog breeds, with a rich history in Ireland where they were originally bred for hunting wolves, boars, and other large game. These gentle giants possess a kind and friendly nature, despite their imposing size and strength.

Irish Wolfhounds are characterized by their impressive height and a shaggy, wiry coat that can be various colors, often gray or brindle. They make excellent companions, especially for families, and are known for their gentle and affectionate demeanor.

While they require plenty of space and exercise, they are generally calm and even-tempered. Their historical significance as both protectors and loyal companions has made them a beloved breed among dog enthusiasts.

Basque Shepherd Dog

The Basque Shepherd Dog, also known as the Basque Shepherd or Euskal Artzain Txakurra, hails from the Basque region of Spain and France and has a long history dating back centuries.

These versatile working dogs were primarily bred for herding livestock, such as sheep and cattle, in the rugged terrain of the Basque country. They are known for their agility, intelligence, and strong herding instincts.

Basque Shepherd Dogs have a compact and muscular build, often with a short to medium-length coat, which helps them adapt to various weather conditions. Their loyalty and work ethic are highly valued by shepherds in the region.

While they excel in herding, they also make loving and protective family pets. With their rich cultural heritage and strong work ethic, Basque Shepherd Dogs are cherished companions for those who appreciate their history and versatility.


The world of the oldest dog breeds is a portal to our past, offering lessons that extend into the present and future. By understanding, celebrating, and preserving these ancient companions, we not only safeguard cultural heritage and genetic diversity but also deepen our appreciation for the unwavering bond between humans and dogs.

As we look to the future, may our commitment to these timeless treasures remain unwavering, ensuring that these living relics continue to enrich our lives and inspire us for generations to come.


What are the oldest dog breeds in the world?

The oldest dog breeds in the world include the Saluki, Basenji, Shiba Inu, Afghan Hound, Pharaoh Hound, and Azawakh, among others. These breeds have ancient origins and are often referred to as “living relics” due to their enduring lineage.

How do we determine the age of a dog breed?

The age of a dog breed is determined through historical records, archaeological evidence, and genetic research. Ancient dog breeds have well-documented histories and often have physical and behavioral characteristics that reflect their long lineage.

Why is it important to preserve ancient dog breeds?

Preserving ancient dog breeds is crucial for maintaining genetic diversity, understanding the history of human-canine relationships, and conserving cultural heritage. These breeds also often possess unique traits that can be valuable in various roles, from herding to hunting.



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