Can You Identify All of These Underrated Dog Breeds?

By: Ian Fortey
Image: Pixabay / Free-Photos

About This Quiz

Did you know that the World Canine Organization recognizes over 330 different breeds of dogs? Those breeds are further sub-divided into 10 different groups of dogs like cattle dogs, setters, terriers and so on.  With that many different breeds to choose from, you could literally pet a different breed of dog almost every single day of the year. That's so many puppies!

It's almost a shame that a handful of breeds have dominated the landscape for so long. Sure, a pug is adorable and awesome in every way, but there are a ton of other breeds that deserve some respect, too.  If you think you're a true dog lover, you might even recognize them all.  This quiz isn't about a golden retriever or a poodle. This is about those underrated dogs that need some more recognition and love. The dogs that get looked over in favor of cocker spaniels and chihuahuas. The dogs you're only going to know about if you really know your pooches.  And you do know your pooches, don't you?

If you think you can tell a Basenji from a Tibetan mastiff, or a Bergamasco shepherd from a Kai Ken, then grab a leash and head on down the road through this quiz!

Basenjis are known for being something of a stubborn breed that can be difficult to train. They have a bad habit of chewing whatever you leave on the floor, no matter how often you tell them not to.

The Australian Kelpie was probably interbred with dingoes at some point in their history. They're often used for cattle herding and were named after Kelpies, which are Celtic water spirits that could take on human form.

The Dogue de Bordeaux is also known as a French mastiff and can trace its roots back in the Bordeaux region of France over 600 years. They make very good guard dogs and are usually pretty easy to train.

The Harrier is a scent hound and was originally bred to hunt foxes and rabbits in packs. They tend to get along well with children and other dogs, but their hunting instincts mean that other animals could easily be confused with prey.

Korean Jindos are almost legendary for their loyalty. In fact, there's a famous story of a Jindo that was sold in 1991 and moved 187 miles away. Seven months later, it showed up at the home of its original owner again.

The Leonberger is a German breed that you can expect to weigh over 150 pounds. Despite their massive size and intimidating appearance, they're usually well-adjusted family dogs that do well with children.

This is likely one of the first breeds of dog to exist in North America. The name is often abbreviated to simply "Xolo," which is pronounced "show low." Because they generally have no hair, the dogs are often helpful for keeping warm, since they're toasty to the touch.

The Azawakh is a long-legged and lean dog that is very reminiscent of a greyhound. They are traditionally hunters and are a sighthound, which means they have a tendency to want to chase things that move.

Lagotto Romagnolo means "lake dog from Romagna," and originally the dogs were bred to retrieve waterfowl. These days they're the only breed specifically bred to hunt for truffles, meaning these pups can make a lot of money when they go to work.

The Borzoi can trace its roots back to the 1600s in Russia. The dogs were bred by royalty for hunting and their name actually means "fast." It's not the most creative name ever, but it works.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback gets its name from the noticeable ridge on its back. The ridge is the result of a streak of fur that grows in the opposite direction of the rest of the dog's fur.

Sloughi, which rhymes with "loogie," is a very old breed of hunting dog. Like most hunters, they were used for chasing down foxes and hares, but the sloughi was also skilled at hunting wild pigs, jackal and gazelle.

Despite its rumored origins in Egypt, the Pharaoh Hound is actually the national dog of Malta. In Maltese, they are called "Kelb tal-Fenek," which means "rabbit dog," since they were traditionally used to hunt rabbits.

Mudi's are often used to her sheep in Hungary, and they do a great job of it. A Mudi can handle a herd of up to 500 animals, which is pretty impressive for a dog that doesn't even weigh 30 pounds.

The Plott Hound gets its named from Johannes Plott, a German immigrant who brought Hanover Hounds with him to America. Those dogs bred with some local hounds and the Plott Hound was born.

In medieval England, the Otterhound was bred for, you guessed it, hunting otters. They must have been pretty good at it, given that they have webbed feet and are skilled swimmers.

The Keeshond has a long history in the Netherlands as a barge dog. The history of its name is a little mysterious as there are conflicting stories. One story says it was named for a mascot of the Dutch Patriots party, while other stories say it was named for actual human members of the party.

The shaggy-looking Komondors make good working dogs but don't always get along with other pups and are sometimes best as solo pets. The biggest issue with having a Komondor as a pet is managing its thick, cord-like coat that can get filthy in a hurry.

Not only does the Norwegian Lundehund have six toes on each foot that are double-jointed, but it's also actually skilled at climbing up cliffs. In fact, they could be trained to climb cliffs and steal eggs from bird's nests.

The Pomsky is a cross between a Pomeranian and a Siberian Husky. If that sounds like an odd mix to you, it's because it is. The two breeds don't necessarily fit together naturally, so they have to be bred artificially for the safety of the dogs involved.

The Saluki was a hunting dog favored by kings of old. Images of dogs that look like Salukis have been discovered on the walls of pyramids in Egypt, and some of the dogs were mummified along with their owners, indicating just how important these animals were.

The Belgian Schipperke was described in the late 1800s by a Belgian writer as a little black devil, minus the hooves and tail. In fairness, the dog does have a tail though, just not a very devilish one.

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a smaller, energetic version of the Siberian Husky. The name "Klee Kai" is actually an Inuit term that appropriately means "little dog." Of course, that term can apply to a lot of dogs, but it really stuck with this one.

The Barbet is a French water dog, used to help in hunting waterfowl for many years. Efforts to reintroduce the breed are ongoing and doing well after its numbers severely dwindled.

It's believed Canaan Dogs may have been around as far back as 4,000 years ago. When the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in the year 70, the Canaan dog fled to the Negev Desert, where they remained undomesticated until the 20th century,

The Russian Toy traces its roots back to English Toy Terriers. In the 18th century, anyone who was anyone in Russia had to have a small dog as an accessory, and these little dogs became symbols of prestige. Sounds a bit like the 1990s.

The Japanese Chin is often described as a very cat-like dog. Their bug-eyed appearance is somewhat deceptive as they're very agile and are known to be able to jump up on fairly high furniture, kind of like a cat.

The Blue Lacy became the official state dog of Texas back in 2005. After a resolution was filed to recognize the dog, Governor Rick Perry signed the legislation on June 18, 2005.

The Berger Picard has a couple of distinctive features that let you know just what you're looking at. Their ears are generally very long and stand 4 to 5 inches while their tails have a very distinctive curve that makes them look like a J.

The Bolognese is from Bologna, Italy and was a popular dog during the Renaissance among the nobility in Italy. It's said they don't do well with separation and if you have a 9 to 5 job out of the house, it's probably not the best dog for you.

The Tibetan mastiff's origins have been lost in time and it's unlikely we'll ever know when or where the breed started exactly. It's suspected they might be the original mastiff breed that all others come from.

The Boerboel was bred in South Africa to protect farms and homesteads. That means that while some dogs were meant to protect your property from foxes or coyotes, the Boerboel had to tangle with hyenas or lions.

The Kooikerhondje hails from the Netherlands where it was a hunting dog that was bred to lure ducks into traps called "eendenkoois" along rivers and canals. How does a dog lure a duck into a cage? Well, that's a story for another day.

The Hovawart has had a rough history as far as dogs go. The breed nearly went extinct in the 13th century, and then again around the Second World War, the breed was threatened. Luckily, it's managed to make a comeback.

The Peruvian Inca Orchid is sometimes called a Moonflower Dog. The ancient Inca, Chimu and Chancay pottery that depicts these hairless dogs sometimes represented them wearing sweaters.

Catahoula Leopard Dogs are the only dogs recognized to come from Louisiana. The breed traces its roots back to a mix of the dogs owned by Native Americans that interbred with the dogs of Spanish explorers and then the dogs brought by French explorers.

The Estrela Mountain Dog has spent most of its existence as a working dog in Portugal and didn't have a lot of specific breed standards. These days, the breed is more popular, but they still can be found working in fields and also as police dogs in Portugal.

The fox-like Finnish Spitz is sometimes called the Barking Bird Dog because they were bred to hunt birds and bark at them when they found them. They apparently really take to the barking part of that instinct and do it a lot.

A Newfoundland is an extremely large dog, and one weighing up to 150 pounds is not uncommon. They were prized by fishermen for their swimming ability which, along with their size, gives them the ability to rescue a full grown man stranded in the water.

The Briard has had a number of famous fans over the years. Napoleon was said to be fond of the dogs and Thomas Jefferson, once the Ambassador to France, brought a pregnant Briard home with him who established the breed in America.

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