There are many breeds to choose from when looking for the ideal canine companion. Regardless of how many pups you think you are familiar with, there are certain obscure canines that you might not even be aware of. In fact, some of the most thrilling canine breeds are the most unusual. With that in mind, let’s check out the rarest dog breeds of 2022 (all recognized by the AKC).
Rarest Dog Breeds of 2022
It seems like new designer breeds pop up almost daily, with their creators claiming that “this is the world’s rarest dog!” Well, sure, it’s the “rarest” when that first successful litter is literally the only one in existence. So, if you’re factoring in every dog currently in existence, it’s pretty hard to come up with a “rare dog breed list.”
If you look only at breeds recognized by the AKC, though, it’s a lot easier to figure out which pups you’re unlikely to see at your local dog park. Let’s start with the rarest of all and work our way up.
1. Norwegian Lundehund
This rare breed’s name comes from the Norwegian word “Lunde”, which means sea parrot. Here’s an intriguing little factoid: Lundehunds are polydactyl! In other words, they have 6 toes on each foot. The extra toes give the dog better traction and grip when crossing high or rocky hills in its Norwegian homeland.
|COAT/COLOR:||Double, Short Coat/ Black, Gray, Reddish Brown, White, Yellow|
|HEIGHT:||13-15 inches(MALE) |
|CHARACTER:||Loyal, Energetic, Alert|
2. English Foxhound
The sweet-natured English Foxhound is sociable and can get along with kids and other dogs. They have high energy and require sufficient exercise every day, though, so these dogs are best suited to active families.
|COAT/COLOR:||Double, Short Coat/ Black White & Tan, Lemon & White|
|CHARACTER:||Affectionate, Sociable, Gentle|
3. American Foxhound
When you first see a picture of the American Foxhound, you might think “That’s not a rare dog, I see them everywhere!” Chances are you’re mistaking them for a Beagle. After all, they look pretty similar, especially if you’re just seeing one far afar. Stand them side-by-side, though, and you’ll notice the Foxhound is significantly taller than the Beagle.
Because of their endurance and love of running, American Foxhounds make excellent jogging partners for active pet parents. And due to their high level of energy and intensity, this breed requires a lot of open space to run around in and dedication to plenty of active playtime.
|COAT/COLOR:||Smooth, Short Coat/ Black White & Tan|
|HEIGHT:||22-25 inches (MALE) |
21-24 inches (FEMALE)
|WEIGHT:||65-70 pounds (MALE) |
60-65 pounds (FEMALE)
|CHARACTER:||Independent, Easy-Going, Sweet- Tempered|
4. Belgian Laekenois
The Belgian Laekenois is an excellent family dog because they want to please and guard their owners. This dog may not be suitable if you spend a lot of time outside the home and don’t plan to take your pup along because they do not perform well when left alone for extended periods.
|COAT/COLOR:||Wiry Rough, Medium Coat/ Fawn, Mahogany, Red, Red Sable, Fawn Sable/ Black Mask Markings|
|HEIGHT:||24-26 inches (MALE) |
22-24 inches (FEMALE)
|CHARACTER:||Affectionate, Alert, Intelligent|
Nicknamed the “Arabian Greyhound,” Sloughis are consummate hunters. They are tender and loving when it comes to family, but this breed tends to be apprehensive and distant among strangers. So their pleasant natures frequently don’t extend beyond those they know and love.
|COAT/COLOR:||Smooth, Short Coat/ Cream, Mahogany, Red, Sandy/ Black Mask, Brindle, Brindle Black Mask, Darker Overlay, Mantle, Black Brindle, Brindle Black Mantle Markings|
|HEIGHT:||26-29 inches (MALE) |
24-27 inches (FEMALE)
|CHARACTER:||Reserved, Graceful, Noble|
6. Pyrenean Shepherds
These muscular dogs move with incredible speed. They may live in apartments, but they require a lot of exercise and have intense energy levels, so make sure you can keep up with them on many walks. They will stay active with agility training, and when appropriately trained, they excel in many dog sports.
|COAT/COLOR:||Smooth, Rough, Medium Coat/ Black, Black & White, Blue Merle, Brindle, Fawn, Gray, Slate Gray, Fawn Merle, Brindle Merle|
|HEIGHT:||15.5-18.5 inches (MALE ROUGH-FACED) |
15-18 inches (FEMALE ROUGH-FACED) 15.5-21 inches (MALE SMOOTH-FACED) 15.5-20.5 inches (FEMALE SMOOTH-FACED)
|CHARACTER:||Affectionate, Active, Enthusiastic|
7. Finnish Spitz
The Finnish Spitz is a cold-weather dog that favors chillier climates. That makes sense given that they originated in, as the name implies, Finland. Fair warning, they do shed a lot and needs frequent grooming. They’re also known for barking, and dog experts claim that they are not recommended for homes with neighbors who would complain about barking.
|COAT/COLOR:||Double, Medium Coat/ Red Gold|
|HEIGHT:||17.5-20 inches (MALE) |
15.5-18 inches (FEMALE)
|WEIGHT:||25-33 pounds (MALE) |
20-28 pounds (FEMALE)
|CHARACTER:||Friendly, Good- Natured, Lively|
8. Cesky Terriers
Cesky Terriers are less vocal and active than other terrier breeds, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t lively. Like any terrier, they enjoy digging, so if you like to keep your yard neat, you should pick a spot where it’s okay for them to dig and teach them to do it there.
|COAT/COLOR:||Wavy Silky, Medium Coat/ Gray/ White Markings, Cream Furnishings, Silver Furnishings, Tan Furnishings, Yellow Furnishings|
|CHARACTER:||Clever, Adventurous, Family- Oriented|
9. Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens
Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen dogs are outgoing and eager to please. They require minimal maintenance to keep that coat looking gorgeous, too! They only need to be brushed with a smooth brush once a week, but an occasional wash will keep their coats clean.
|COAT/COLOR:||Wiry, Double, Medium Coat/ Black & Tan, Fawn, White & Black, White & Gray, White & Lemon, White & Orange, White & Sable, White Black & Tan, White & Grizzle|
|CHARACTER:||Independent, Happy, Outgoing|
Harriers adore being around humans and happily lie down and have their bellies rubbed for hours. Although they are family-oriented and yearn to be with their people, they are happy to welcome friends and other visitors into their homes. With individuals of different ages, this breed is dependable and stable.
|COAT/COLOR:||Double, Short Coat/ Black White & Tan, Lemon & White, Red & White|
|CHARACTER:||Friendly. Outgoing, People- Oriented|
11. Canaan Dogs
Canaans suit hikers and runners well due to their toughness and agility. Canaan dogs are witty, self-assured, and aggressive, so early training is essential. These dogs are excellent when positive reinforcement techniques are used. They can express their work ethic through agility and obedience.
|COAT/COLOR:||Smooth, Double, Short Coat/ Black, Cream, Golden, Liver, Gold, Tan, White/ Tan Markings, Gold Markings, Black Markings, Cream Markings, Liver Markings,Red Markings, White Trim|
|HEIGHT:||20-24 inches (MALE) |
19-23 inches (FEMALE)
|WEIGHT:||45-55 pounds (MALE) |
35-45 pounds (FEMALE)
|CHARACTER:||Confident, Alert, Vigilant|
Komondor dogs thrive in big homes with knowledgeable pet owners. They can get along well with older children and even cats with the proper socialization and supervision. Just be careful around other dogs and strangers as chaos may occur.
|COAT/COLOR:||Corded Long Coat/ White|
|HEIGHT:||27.5 minimum inches (MALE) |
27.5 minimum inches (FEMALE)
|WEIGHT:||100 pounds or more (MALE) |
80 pounds or more (FEMALE)
|CHARACTER:||Dignified, Loyal, Brave|
The stunningly regal-looking Azawakhs are loyal dogs with a peaceful demeanor around their homes. They can be aloof with strangers despite being incredibly kind, affectionate, and fiercely protective of their family.
|COAT/COLOR:||Smooth Short Coat/ Black, Blue, Brindle, Brown, Cream, Fawn, Red, Gray, Sandy, White/ White Markings, Black Mask, Piebald, Brindle Markings, Parti-Color, Grrizle Markings|
|HEIGHT:||25-29 inches (MALE) |
23.5-27.5 inches (FEMALE)
|WEIGHT:||44-55 pounds (MALE) |
33-44 pounds (FEMALE)
|CHARACTER:||Independent, Loyal, Deep Affectionate|
14. American English Coonhound
American English Coonhounds are famous for their quickness, stamina, and – of course- that beautiful booming voice on the field. They’ll also bark and bay at home, which makes them a less-than-stellar choice if you have close neighbors.
|COAT/COLOR:||Smooth, Short Coat/ Black, Black & Tan, Blue, Brown, Red, Red & White, Tri-Colored/ Ticked Markings|
|HEIGHT:||24-26 inches (MALE) |
23-25 inches (FEMALE)
|CHARACTER:||Sweet, Mellow, Sociable|
15. Cirneco dell’Etna
The Cirneco dell’Etna is an outgoing and friendly dog with a natural curiosity. This gorgeous hound has a strong sense of independence and, if left unattended, will go on an unsupervised adventure. It is an energetic breed, making it a fantastic playmate for kids old enough to play fetch or other games in a fenced garden.
|COAT/COLOR:||Smooth, Short Coat/ Tan/ White Markings|
|HEIGHT:||18-19.5 inches (MALE) |
16.5-18 inches (FEMALE)
|WEIGHT:||22-26 pounds (MALE) |
17-22 pounds (FEMALE)
|CHARACTER:||Independent. Friendly, Affectionate|
16. Ibizan Hound
The sweet-natured, polite, and beautiful Ibizan Hound isn’t just one of the rarest dog breeds, they’re also one of the oldest! These gentle hounds love a good snuggle with their people, but they would gladly exchange a comfortable bed for the opportunity to hunt and run. Although peaceful inside the house, they become anxious if they cannot run daily.
|COAT/COLOR:||Wiry Smooth Short Coat/ Red, Red & White, White, White & Red|
|HEIGHT:||23.5-27.5 inches (MALE) |
22.5-26 inches (FEMALE)
|WEIGHT:||50 pounds (MALE) |
45 pounds (FEMALE)
|CHARACTER:||Family- Oriented, Even- Tempered, Polite|
17. Skye Terrier
These dogs are independent and quick to act on their desires, much like other terriers. They are also extremely affectionate towards their people! Although they can get along with other dogs when raised together, they usually prefer living in single-dog households.
|COAT/COLOR:||Double, Long Coat/ Black, Blue, Cream, Fawn, Gray, Silver, Platinum|
|HEIGHT:||10 inches (MALE) |
9.5 inches (FEMALE)
|WEIGHT:||35-45 pounds (MALE) |
Slightly lighter (FEMALE)
|CHARACTER:||Courageous, Good-Tempered, Canny|
18. Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Another incredibly affectionate breed, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog is also dependable and confident. As people-pleasers, they’re also fairly easy to train as long as you stimulate them mentally as well as physically. They get along well with everyone from kids to other pets, making them an amazing family dog.
|COAT/COLOR:||Double, Long Coat/ Beige, Black, Black & White, Brown, Gray, Gray & White, White, Chocolate & White, Tri-Colored|
|HEIGHT:||18-20 inches (MALE) |
17-19 inches (FEMALE)
|CHARACTER:||Confident, Clever, Lively|
19. Bergamasco Sheepdogs
Bergamasco Sheepdogs are independent like mountain dogs but also intelligent, devoted, loving, and trainable. They develop vigilance for watching over loved ones. They are wary of strangers unless adequately introduced and only use aggression when necessary.
|COAT/COLOR:||Corded, Long Coat/ Black, Gray/ Black Patches|
|HEIGHT:||23.5 inches (MALE) |
22 inches (FEMALE)
|WEIGHT:||70-84 pounds (MALE) |
57-71 pounds (FEMALE)
|CHARACTER:||Independent, Sociable, Intelligent|
Once considered THE rarest dog breed of all, the Otterhound’s increased popularity in recent years knocked him down to the 20th spot on our list. Otterhounds get along well with youngsters; however, tiny children may find them too disruptive due to their enormous size and bouncing character. They may also be overly loud for the elderly.
|COAT/COLOR:||Rough Double, Medium Coat/ Black, Black & Tan, Gray, Liver & Tan, Tan, Wheaten, Blue & Cream/ White Markings, Black Markings, Badger Markings, Black & Tan Markings, Grizzle Markings, Liver Markings|
|HEIGHT:||27 inches (MALE) |
24 inches (FEMALE)
|WEIGHT:||115 pounds (MALE) |
80 pounds (FEMALE)
|CHARACTER:||Even- Tempered, Amiable, Boisterous|
21. Sussex Spaniel
Although quite amiable indoors, this long, low, heavyset dog adores the great outdoors and will run through the fields. The Sussex Spaniel is reserved around new people and occasionally even protective (very unusual for a spaniel). However, if visitors are welcomed, he behaves politely and can even be endearing, provided he has been well-socialized.
|COAT/COLOR:||Double Medium Coat/ Golden Liver|
|CHARACTER:||Friendly, Merry, Even- Tempered|
22. Pharaoh Hound
Pharaoh Hounds are the official breed of Malta, where they’re known as the Kelb Tal-Fenek. These sweet sighthounds with their big, beautiful ears are HIGHLY intelligent and loving. While affectionate, they’re not people-pleasers when it comes to training. So you need to get creative and try methods that engage both their minds and their bodies.
Fun fact: Pharaoh Hounds blush and smile when they get excited.
|COAT/COLOR:||Smooth, Short Coat/ Chestnut, Red Golden, Rich Tan, Tan/ White Markings|
|HEIGHT:||23-25 inches (MALE) |
21-24 inches (FEMALE)
|CHARACTER:||Friendly, Smart, Noble|
23. Glen of Imaal Terriers
Glen of Imaal Terriers are often calmer, more laid-back, and less vocal than most other terrier breeds despite their capacity for energy and tenacity. They enjoy being active but are not demanding and are content to rest by their owner’s side. They make good watch dogs because of their authoritative, loud bark, similar to a much larger dog.
|COAT/COLOR:||Wiry, Medium Coat/ Blue Brindle, Wheaten|
|CHARACTER:||Spirited, Gentle, Bold|
24. Dandie Dinmont Terriers
The petite Dandie Dinmont terriers is affectionate, friendly, and playful. Dogs of this breed typically bond with just one person. However, they can get along well with other family members. Although highly affectionate, they can be stubborn; therefore, a firm yet patient trainer is necessary.
|COAT/COLOR:||Double, Medium Coat/ Mustard, Pepper|
|CHARACTER:||Independent, Smart, Proud|
I hope you enjoyed reading about these rare dog breeds! Keep in mind that these rankings change constantly. So, today’s #1 dog could be tomorrow’s #24! Still, it’s fun to learn about unique dogs, isn’t it?
Do you have any of the rarest dog breeds listed above? Share below!