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Four of the Rarest Dog Breeds on Earth

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Labradors are Golden Retreivers are fantastic. But what if you're looking for something different? Or even....VERY different? Here are 4 of the rarest dogs that you can actually get if you want one! (We'll cover even more rare breeds in future posts, so stay tuned!).


Rajapalayam

The Rajapalayam is a rare and old breed of sighthound from southern India. They are also known as the Polygar Hound, Shikkar Hound, and Indian Ghost Hound. The breed is named after Rajapalayam, a town in Tamil Nadu. Rajapalayams are large, muscular dogs with long legs and deep chests, with a somewhat streamlined appearance but not overly thin. They are typically pure white with pink noses and pale skin beneath the fur. Their eyes can be brown or blue, but bi-colored eyes are uncommon and break breed standard in India. Rajapalayams were originally bred to hunt wild boar and other small prey. They are also excellent guard dogs because they are wary of strangers and their large size can intimidate intruders. They are known to be devoted, affectionate, and intelligent. They are playful and get along well with children, but have a reputation for being less tolerant of other dogs and may exhibit some dog-on-dog dominance behavior and/or same-sex aggression. They are a fairly healthy breed, typically living approximately 12 years. Rajapalayam puppies in India can cost between 9,000Rs to 20,000Rs (only $109-$245), but are almost unheard of in the United States. Importing the dog from India is permitted, as the Indian government does not currently have any export restrictions on the breed.


Azawakh

The Azawakh is a medium-sized, tall, elegant dog breed that originated in the West African Sahara Desert. They are known for their speed and agility and can run up to 40 mph. Azawakhs are sighthounds that were bred by nomadic tribes to hunt game, such as gazelles and hares. They are also used as guard dogs. They are very loyal and they become extremely attached to their families. They are wary and aloof with strangers, but not aggressive. They are known to bark to alert their owners, and they have a reputation of being extremely observant and aware of what is going on around them. Azawakhs have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. Here in the US you can expect to pay anywhere from $2,500 to $5,500 for an American-bred puppy.


Peruvian Inca Orchid

The Peruvian Inca Orchid (PIO) is a breed of dog that originated in the Andes. The breed's name translates to "dog without vestments" or "naked dog" in Quechua, the language of the Incas. The PIO is also known as the Peruvian hairless dog, the Flower Dog, and the Incan Hairless Dog. The PIO is an ancient breed that dates back to 350 BC. Evidence of the breed appears on Moche, Chimu, Chancay, and Incan pottery. The PIO's urine was used in medicine and their body warmth was used to treat arthritis and respiratory conditions. The PIO is a rare breed, but they can occasionally be found within the US. There are only about 1,000 in the world, so finding one can take quite a bit of dedication. The PIO comes in hairless and coated varieties. The hairless variety doesn't require much grooming unless they have small patches of hair on their feet, tail, or head. Their skin requires special care, including moisturizing and sunscreen. The PIO comes in a range of sizes. The smallest may stand just short of 10 inches, and the largest may top out at nearly 26 inches. They are still being actively imported for American breeding programs.


Lagotto Romagnolo

The Lagotto Romagnolo (often referred to simply as a Lagotto) is a medium-sized dog breed from Northern Italy. They are known for their sense of smell and are the only purebred dog recognized as a truffle searcher, giving them their alternative name of Italian Truffle Dog. Their thick, water-repellent coats kept them warm while retrieving birds from wetlands. Even though no dog is truly hypoallergenic, they are considered by most experts to be one of the breeds that comes closest to being hypoallergenic, as they produce very little dander and are minimal shedders. They are exceptionally healthy and have a life expectancy of 15 to 17 years. Males weigh about 35 lbs on average, and females are slightly smaller. Their fur is usually white, brown, orange, or cream and is often spotted similarly to the Parti Poodle. They are energetic, playful, and intelligent. Excellent family dogs. They are known for being vocal and can bark a lot, especially when trying to bring their family’s attention to something. They are sensitive to noise and social fear, so they should be properly socialized from an early age. They are affectionate and get along well with other dogs and children. They are highly trainable and respond very well to positive reinforcement training.


Expecting to see things like Otterhounds, Xoloitzcuintli, Xiasi, and the Chongqing? We'll cover those next time!

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