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Uncommon Dog Breeds

Updated on September 30, 2011

Uncommon may not be the best word to describe these extraordinary dogs. These dogs may be popular in certain countries or overlooked by the more popular breed of the moment (Labrador Retriever comes to mind). If you want a dog that's friendly, playful, easy-to-train and not like your neighbor's dog, you may want to check out some of these breeds.

Boykin Spaniel

Orgin: United States

History: The Boykin Spaniel was originally bred in South Carolina for hunting wild turkeys during the early 20th century.

Appearance: Medium sized with a compact body. Has both under and outer coat which is short and dense. Coat is brown, usually a rich, chocolate brown.

Weight and size: Males are 15 to 18 inches and 30 to 40 pounds. Females are 14 to 16 inches and 25 to 35 pounds.

Temperament: The Boykin Spaniel is friendly, intelligent and easy to train. This breed gets along well with children and other dogs. Boykin Spaniels are high on energy and low on aggression.

Additional: The Boykin Spaniel is the official state dog of South Carolina.


Orgin: United States

History: First bred in the early 1900s and are impressive sled dogs.

Appearance: Well balanced, compact and muscular body. Double coat, undercoat is soft while outer coat is thick and medium length. Its color is golden fawn.

Weight and size: Males range from 23 to 27 inches and weigh about 70 pounds. Females are anywhere from 21 to 25 inches and weigh 55 pounds.

Temperament: Calm and non-aggressive. The Chinook was bred to work with other dogs and gets along great with other pets. The Chinook is especially good with children. This dog will want to be treated like part of the family and will follow other familly members around the house. The Chinook is also intelligent and easy to train.

Additional: In 1966 the Chinook was the rarest dog breed according to the Guinness Book of World Records. There were only a recorded 125 in existence.


Orgin: Holland

History: The Keeshond (or Keeshonden) breed dates back to the 1700s. The dog was bred as a watch dog and a companion pet.

Appearance: Medium sized, strong and sturdy. Keeshonds have pointed ears and a fox-like face. Eyes are chestnut brown. The coat color is a mix of beige, gray and black. A keeshond's coat is long and dense, which makes the breed look larger than it really is. The undercoat is downy and a pale cream or gray color. Keeshonds shed a lot, especially during the change of seasons. Daily brushing is a must.

Weight and size: Males are 17 to 19 inches and weigh around 45 pounds. Females are 16 to 18 inches and weigh around 35 pounds.

Temperament: Friendly and very playful. Keeshonds are very good with children. Keeshonds are extremely intelligent and easy to train.

Additional: Keeshonds have a low metabolism and gain weight easily. Because of this the keeshond needs plenty of exercise.

Lagotto Romagnolo

Orgin: Italy

History: The Lagotto Romagnolo is an ancient breed and due to its acute sense of smell has been used as a truffle hunter. In fact this breed recognized for its truffle hunting abilities.

Appearance: Small to medium in size. Lagotto Romagnolo dogs are stout and well proportioned. The coat is thick, curly and wool-like.

Weight and size: Males are 17 to 19 inches and weigh anywhere from 28 to 36 pounds. Females are 14 to 16 inches and weigh 24 to 31 pounds.

Temperament: Clever, affectionate and very loving, especially to its owner. Easily trainable and great watch dog and companion.

Additional: Lagotto Romagnolos need plenty of exercise. They enjoy long walks and love swimming.

Norwegian Lundehund

Orgin: Norway

History: The Norwegian Lundehund (also known as Norwegian Puffin Dog) dates back to the 1500s and is from the arctic islands of Northern Norway. The breed was used to hunt puffin birds.

Appearance: The Norwegian Lundehund is a small, rectangular shaped, spritz like dog, The coat color can be tan, fallow or reddish brown. The coat is double with a tough and dense outer coat. Inner coat is soft.

Weight and size: Males range from 13 to 15 inches and 15 to 16 pounds. Females are 12 to 14 inches and 14 to 15 pounds.

Temperament: This is a very cheerful and happy breed that loves people. They are intelligent and inquisitive. Norwegian Lundehunds are very energetic and need lots of exercise.

Additional: Norwegian Lundehunds are unique in three ways: They have six toes on each foot, can tip head back until it reaches its backbone and has erect ears that can fold closed, forward and backward.


Orgin: Hungary

History: The Puli is an ancient sheepdog and the breed is more than 1,000 years old.

Appearance: Medium sized. Compact, rectangular appearance. Coat is thick and its long cords are mop like. Pulis are usually black but can also be white or gray.

Weight and size: Males are 16 to 17 inches and 25 to 35 pounds. Females are 15 to 16 inches and 20 to 30 pounds.

Temperament: Affectionate and intelligent home loving dogs. They are naturally suspicious of strangers and make excellent watch dogs because of this. They are also very playful and remain puppy-like their entire lives. They are active and may be able to tolerate apartment living but fare off better with a yard.

Additional: Grooming can be a challenge. Instead of brushing, the cords should be separated by hand. Do not bathe too often. Drying can take several hours and if not fully dried their cords can become mildewy.

Which dog is your favorite?

See results

Want to read more about dogs? Learn the truth about pitbulls:

** All photos were legally obtained through Google Images.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love the keeshound it's so cute.

    • amymarie_5 profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy DeMarco 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks Alicia, pulis are def high maintenance. I still think they are adorable. For me it may be worth the extra grooming. My mom has a keeshond and she is the sweetest dog in the world. I always tell my mom that I'm going to steal her. :)

      Hi Realhousewife and Lucky Cats, Im glad you enjoyed the hub and the pics! I always appreciate the comments from both of you! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Lucky Cats profile image


      7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Very imformative Amy..and the pictures are beautiful. thank you..UP Awesome Useful and Interesting

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I love this hub! Great information and photos too - I have never heard of a few of these dogs.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the information and the beautiful photos. I am familiar with the Keeshond and the Puli, but not with the other breeds. All the dogs sound like they would make great pets. I think the Puli's coat would be very hard to look after though!


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