5 of The World’s Rarest Dog Breeds

When it comes to pet pooches, there are an abundance to choose from. Whatever size, temperament and colour you like – from little to large, from tame to playful, from fair-haired to dark, and everything in between – there’s a different dog for everyone, regardless of taste. But while we all know someone with one of the more popular types of dog; from loveable Labradors to boisterous Boxers, have you ever stopped to consider the rare breeds that we know less about? While these types of dogs aren’t frequently found in your local park, or seen in the nearby dog-friendly café, that doesn’t make them any less endearing.

Defined by The Kennel Club as a breed that is registered less than 300 times a year, have a read of our guide to five of the world’s rarest dog breeds; one of which may just be the perfect match for you.


Originating in Azawakh Valley in East Africa, this rare breed has long been used as a guardian and companion to tribes in the Sahara Desert. Loyal to those that they know, yet often standoffish to those that they don’t, Azawakhs are protective and faithful pets. Tall and elegant, these beautiful hounds are protective and gentle and can be an excellent companion to active owners, who enjoy taking their pooch with them on outdoor excursions. 


A dependable and devoted dog, while the Chinese Crested breed are sociable types, they have a tendency to laze around and can often be needy when it comes to love and affection from their owner. Wonderful family dogs, Chinese Cresteds are loving and playful. Due to their small frame, these dogs are ideal for homes that aren’t large in size, and offer stable companionship to both children and adults alike. Don’t, however, let their small build fool you; while they may be little their bark can be fierce.


With a lamb-like coat and a mild manner, the Bedlington Terrier is gregarious and graceful with a springy gait. Loveable around their own family, this type of dog can be reserved around strangers and needs early socialisation to avoid timidity when in a social setting. Calmer than other types of terrier and conveniently sized, Bedlington Terriers are distinctive looking pooches that make brilliant pets.


A traditional British dog breed, the Otterhound was – unsurprisingly – originally used for hunting otter. A large and fun-loving pet, this shaggy breed is a large dog that loves nothing more than being in the great outdoors, and requires regular and lengthy walks. With a distinctive coat and a musical bark, this friendly breed can be soft and sensitive, despite its domineering size.


A Scottish breed often referred to as the gentleman of the Terrier family, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a relaxed and reticent pet, while staying true to the doggedness of its Terrier heritage. The breed’s small build and relative exercise requirements make it the perfect pet pooch for both city life and country dwellings. Affectionate and lively, these pets get along well with other dogs and children alike, making it a low-maintenance breed, ideal for anyone looking for the true meaning of a man’s best friend.

Do you own a rare dog breed that we haven’t listed here? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Lucy is a Sydney-based book and travel writer, formerly from the UK. She grew up with three sisters and a house full of pets, including a beloved black Labrador. Since moving to Australia she likes nothing more than dog-sitting for friends, and heading out to explore the city's many walks with a furry companion in tow.


  • Reply February 16, 2018

    Desiree Cherrington

    Do you own a rare dog breed that we haven’t listed here? Tell us about it in the comments below!

    We have a smooth haired fox terrier and think they are pretty rare. Surprisingly we’ve met and seen a few Bedlington Terriers but have never met another SHFT owner! (Not that we’ve ever met any of the other rare breeds mentioned). We’ve only ever met people whose parents and grandparents owned the breed “in 2012, only 94 puppies were registered (compared with more than 36,000 labrador puppies)” http://www.countrylife.co.uk/articles/save-the-smooth-fox-terrier-3066

    Best wishes

    From me and my Fantastic Mr Fox Terrier!

    • Reply February 16, 2018

      Sara White

      Hi Desiree, wow yes that is rare! Glad to see you’re doing your bit to keep the breed going strong 🙂

  • Reply February 26, 2018

    Christine Brady

    Hi iv just heard my friends pups have arrived. We have never came aross these dogs breeding together so not sure what they would be called. It was a male boxer and a female bedlington terrier. Iv never heard of this mix before and it wasnt a planned breed.

    • Reply February 27, 2018

      Sara White

      Wow that does sound like an interesting combination! Thanks for sharing x

  • Reply January 2, 2020

    Jacob Wondercheck

    My family has owned a poodle cross bedlington terrier for the last 12 years. When we found him in 2007 the breeders informed us that the breed was not on purpose, as they usually bred poodles and bedlington terriers separately. Nonetheless he is the best dog in the world. Although he is part poodle, he looks nearly exactly like every picture I’ve seen of bedlington terriers, aside from the fact that he may be slightly larger. In any case he is an excellent dog who is very mild mannered and extremely lovable. Fantastic dog breed.

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