Most ANCIENT Dog Breeds That Still Exist Today!

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Check out the most ancient dog breeds that still exist today! This top 10 list of amazing rare dogs explains the history of dogs, starting with some of the oldest dogs that were kept as pets thousands of years ago!

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10. Chinese Shar-Pei
The Chinese Shar-Pei are thought to have originated in Tai Lin, China, and are easily recognized by their deep set wrinkles and bluish-black tongue. They were named in 1978, as one of the world’s rarest dog species by Time magazine, and while the American Kennel Club only recognized them as their 134th confirmed breed in 1992, they are thought to be one of the oldest breeds in the world.
The first known records of Shar-Pei have been found among artefacts that date back to the Han Dynasty Period, about 220 BC, with tomb statues and clay figurines that resemble them very closely. Very little is known about China’s history with the Shar Pei from that time, but a 13th century Chinese manuscript was recently uncovered which also mentions the Shar-Pei. They were a popular breed in the region through the 18th century, but their numbers dropped in the 20th century when people chose more ferocious dogs that were being imported from the rest of the world.
Nowadays, they are making a comeback, but as is the case with many breeds of dogs they have been bred to exaggerate their features to make them more appealing. The extremely wrinkly, wide headed and deep set eye types that you may see today are a far cry from the lean, small wrinkled Shar-Pei’s that were popular in China. But it has been a couple of thousand years…

9. Basenji
With a name meaning “dog of the bush”, the first mention of Basenjis by European travellers came in 1895 where they were found being used by locals in the Congo. They were prized for their intellect, speed, bravery and silence, and even had to wear bells so their owners knew where they were in the dense jungle. Otherwise they could just sneak up on you! Evidence suggests, though, that the breed has existed alongside humans for far longer than this- with carvings found in Egyptian tombs depicting dogs with very similar features.
Basenjis are very energetic dogs, and are one of the smallest breeds of hounds- weighing about 24 pounds when fully grown. They have excellent eyesight and a strong sense of smell, and have large ears that stand on end when alert. They are very protective with their family, but not so much towards strangers- and are often referred to as being cat-like because of their fondness of climbing to high places and self-grooming.

8. Lhasa Apso
Lhasa Apsos originated in Tibet, and are named after Lhasa, the Tibetan capital city and, unsurprisingly, their word for “bearded”. They weigh, at most, 14 pounds, and have very distinctive coats that only fully form in adulthood. My parents had one and they loved it, although it was very independent!
They are thought to have been domesticated as a pet as long ago as 800 BC, which makes it one of the oldest recognized breeds in the world- meaning it has strong genetic links with the ancestral wolf. They live for a long time, more than 20 years in some cases, and were used in Tibet as companions for monks in Buddhist monasteries and acted as sentinels that would alert the monks to any intruders.
Historically it was not possible to purchase a Lhasa Apso, you could only receive one as a gift, and they were very closely tied with religion. It was believed that their bodies could be inhabited by the souls of Lamas, the Tibetan Spiritual Master, while they awaited their rebirth. The first pair of Lhasa Apsos arrived in the U.S as a gift from Thubten Gyatso, the 13th Dalai Lama, to an American explorer who was the first Christian to enter the Tibetan Holy City, in 1933.

7. Afghan Hound
Afghan Hounds come from the cold mountains of Afghanistan, and have developed their signature thick, flowing coats as a result. Their isolation in the mountains, and use by humans as shepherding and hunting dogs, has meant that they have a high breed purity, because there wasn’t much of an opportunity for them to encounter other types of dog.
It used to be completely prohibited to export the hounds from their home country, where they have been living with humans for a very long time. They are depicted in cave paintings in the mountains that have been dated back to more than 4000 years ago, and they can also be seen in some examples of Egyptian Papyrus.
Afghan Hounds typically grow to weigh up to 64 pounds.

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77 Comments on “Most ANCIENT Dog Breeds That Still Exist Today!”

    1. +HeyNonyNonymous Some of it is definitely Hebrew. When commentaries quote from the Torah that’s Hebrew. Many terms they use are originally Hebrew. But no Yiddish for sure, that didn’t develop until some time later.

    2. +RM B We don’t know how old this text is. Some of it is Hebrew, and those parts refer directly to the Torah. So it’s plausible that this is a Gemara text in Aramith.

    1. Rose Thorne that is actually not true, Chihuahuas come from Europe, not Mexico, you can see Chihuahuas in European paintings long before they’ve even discovered the Americas

    2. It’s not the dog fault he’s been deformed through generations of inbreeding. Lot’s of genetic deformations, very prone to allegies, constant pressure on it
      ‘s skull (it’s constantly in mild pain, I would get angry too). Just like a lot of other breeds. Pugs as well, they will have respiratory problems all their life. For a pug, it constantly feels like it’s breathing through a straw.
      Adopt! Don’t shop! Get a mutt, stop the breeding.

  1. missed the irish wolfhound they are suspected to have been around from 273 bc but some think earlier they are mentioned in some of the earliest irish literature

  2. dogs are so cool, all breeds included. they are one of the smartest Animals GOD has givin us. Hi Katrina, great video on older breed of dogs. really liked watching as always. have a great week!!

    1. Jon Netzinger erm, technically Dogs are created through selective breeding by human.

      God gave us wolves and human made dogs out of them.

    1. All of these are canids, the jackel, wolf, coyote , and so on. The domestic dog is also in the canid (canine) classification that being said, jackets wolves, coyote, and so forth are in different sub sets just as dogs are. It is why you can come across hybrids of them.

    1. +Aphrodite Venus no Lhasa Apso and Shitz Zu’s are entirely separate breeds. I use to breed Lhasa’s and find them to be a lot less yappie then Shitz Zu’s. They are great dogs!

    2. +Space Man Space Pants sorry to hear that. Sounds like it wasn’t appropriately socialiazed. Also, some owners do not know how to be a pack leader and the dog never learns boundaries. Remember any dog can bite. Question is why did they bit?

  3. Husky s are very talkative. If you want a quiet dog, consider something else. They will literally throw fits like toddlers.

    1. I have a Husky that is just over a year and a half and he doesn’t talk unless we are playing and he doesn’t throw any fits (not throwing fits is rare though). A Husky can go either way with how much they talk.

  4. You mention a Basenji and didn’t talk about how they don’t bark!!? they’re the only breed of dog that doesn’t bark! It’s more attributed to a yodel

    1. I have a basenji mix. Because he’s a mix, he can bark but full blooded basenji’s vocal cords are different than regular dogs and can only get out something like a yodel.

  5. Another breed that has been around for centuries is the Great Pyrenees. Dating back to nearly 10,000 B.C., the Great Pyrenees breed originated from the enormous white dogs or flock guardian dogs of Asia Minor. Around 3000 B.C., when nomadic shepherds took their sheep to the Pyrenees Mountains, they also brought the flock-guarding dogs, which were the ancestors of the Great Pyrenees. Such dogs proved their prowess as livestock guardians for centuries.
    This breed became a brave fortress guard in medieval France. In 1675 King Louis XIV decreed the breed as “Royal Dog of France”.

  6. Hi, Katrina. Im sorry but i think you need to do some more research on your videos when it comes to dogs. I am a pitbull owner,and they are some of the sweetest ,most loving and loyal dogs out there. They’re sometimes called,
    ‘ Nanny dogs’.
    Please do some research on the bred . They already misrepresented.
    Thank you, for your time

    1. +rubiscas The American pitbull terrier is a breed?? Pretty sure I covered that already. They can be registered, have their own breed standards etc…..and amstaffs are nothing but pit bulls.

      fatality info is pretty friggin accurate. Considering the Owners identify the dogs that killed then you have the , ac , police , and in some cases veterinarians identify breed(s) as well.

      If fatality info was not accurate we would not see many of these other blockheaded dog breeds listed you claim as being misidentified as pits…..

      like cane corsos, or dogo’s. Everything according to you would be listed as pit, but they aren’t. Weird huh? on the fatality list I have for the past 5 years Boxers are labeled as boxers, labs as labs, rotts as rotts, dogos as dogos and the lost goes on and on. Mixed breeds are labeled as such. Of course the breed it most likely resembles is named such as lab , pit mix etc…. and what’s wrong with that??? And oh Unknowns are labeled as such.

      There are Over 400 different types of dog breeds many have NEVER killed a adult or a child. Wonder why?

    2. +rubiscas guess I didn’t post regarding the pits history of name change games. That was another video 😐
      We know bulldogs were used for bull baiting in England. In the 1830’s bull baiting was outlawed so the bulldogs were crossed with the terrier to make a fighting dog as dog fighting became a popular past time. With selective breeding these dogs became the Staffordshire bull Terrier. These Staffordshire bull terriers were imported in the US where the US breeders continued to breed them for fighting and renamed them the American Pit Bull Terrier and continued their selective breeding for a little large dog but basically its roots are the same.

      In the 1930’s John Colby, who was a dog man (think dog fighter) and a ABPT breeder fought for AKC recognition. AKC relented and agreed to register the ABPT but they did not want the “negativity” with the name so they at first registered them Staffordshire Terrier. However, it was soon evident that the english bred dogs had been kept much smaller then the American bred dogs so they were again renamed and became the American Staffordshire Terrier. To this day, when cross registered, the ABPT becames the Am Staffordshire Terrier and vice versa depending on the registry used..they are the SAME BREED..the name just changes with the registry being used!

      By this time the original bulldog that was used as for bull baiting was almost extinct and some breeders decided to the “save” the breed, however, they went in and crossed them with milder breeds to correct the temperament issues in the breed so the breed would be much more suitable as pets. This is what is now known as the English Bulldog and registered as just the Bulldog by AKC.

      Fast forward to 2000 and the American Bully shows up on the scene..The American Bully is a “new” breed derived from the smaller pits. Some of the American Bully breeders are trying to selectively breed a smaller, stouter, dog with more of the bulldog look while others are breeding giant ones and what they call XXL dogs. Some of them are supposedly trying to calm the breed down. However, these dogs came directly from dogs that were registered as either APBT or American Staffordshire Terrier..its just another name change for the same breed.

      Never in the history of dogs has one breed had its name changed so many times….

    3. There is no such breed as a Pit Bull, the breed commonly referred to as Pit Bulls are American Staffordshire Terriers. Fun fact, they are currently the most commonly killed dog in shelters not do to misconceptions of viciousness but due to over breading. This over breeding is due to people who veiw the breed as a symbol of defiance and power as well as family defense. The same people who make claim of the breeds apparent loving and protective personality are often the people buying and selling these poorly bred dogs, contributing to the over population and the subsequent deaths of thousands of puppies in shelters everyday. These puppies are often inbred and suffer from a lack of proper care as well as physical and mental abnormalities that can help create a mean dog. So though your comment “Pit Bulls” are not vicious dogs us correct, your premise is wrong. The suffering of American Staffordshire Terriers is not due to misconceptions of viciousness but instead careless breeding by unthinking people.

    1. Ashley Tea l wholeheartedly agree with you, l have had my little boy for five years now (born from Japanese champions) and absolutely love him 😍

    2. Le Galorett how is she butthurt? She’s making fun of people being butthurt over something as dumb as getting their dogs breed wrong. Check yourself bro.

    3. Jeez, I wasn’t *that* serious when making the comment. People need to relax over this stupid argument. Unneccesary. It is all fine

  7. i have a basenji, theyre seen as garbage in spain and left to die on the streets when they’re not fit for hunting anymore. luckily there’s a bunch of organisations sheltering and rehoming them. she’s the most amazing dog you can ask for and you really feel that they’re made for existing alongside humans ❤️

    1. Second School I miss the one we had as a kid it’s why now that I’ve finally bought a home I’m getting another one

  8. Just an FYI….
    The #5 dog, the Japanese Akita Inu….
    Most of the pictures shown in this video are not Akita’s….
    They are of Japanese Shiba Inu’s.
    Akita’s weigh approx 70lbs….Shiba’s only weigh approx 25lbs
    Closely related….BUT BIG DIFFERENCE!!!!

  9. You guys really need to get your facts straight. E.g. originated in the Nile valley (Africa) known as ‘the cradle of civilization’ (Mesopotamia a.k.a. Iraq) which is the Middle East, far from the Nile. C+

  10. You didn’t include the Pharaoh Hound! That dog is said to be over 5000 years old and the Egyptians modeled some statues and God’s after it!

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