There are all kinds of dogs: big, small, companion, hunting… But did you know that there are also dog breeds that no longer exist? The so-called extinct races have disappeared from the map for different reasons.

However, we can still tell their stories, how they came about and how, unfortunately, they disappeared. We have separated a guide with the 10 main extinct breeds of dog . Follow up!

First of all: how do dog breeds arise?

According to experts, the breeds are as old as the beginning of the domestication of dogs. The process happened in two ways. On the one hand, furry from different regions had different characteristics. On the other hand, some were better for certain roles. Thus, artificial selection favored a differentiation that gave rise to races.

Dog Breed Standardizations

The process for obtaining the different races only became more organized in 1873, when the Kennel Club was created in England. The club started to regulate the existing canine breeds . Today, who plays this role is the International Cynological Federation.

For a breed to be validated, the FCI needs to analyze its characteristics, compare with other existing breeds, check the histories, among other procedures.

If all goes well, the breed will be recognized by national and international bodies. Otherwise, the puppy is a mixed breed (SRD).

Check out 10 extinct dog breeds

By 2016, the FCI had recognized 339 existing breeds. Impressive, isn’t it? However, that number would be even more if extinct dog breeds were to be counted. Below you can see some of the most famous of this select group!

1. Turnspit

Origin: United Kingdom

Turnspits are the most remembered dogs when it comes to extinct breeds. They emerged in the 16th century and were very functional. In kitchens in England, families set turnspit to walk on hamster-like wheels.

The movement made by the dogs was used to help cook meat and vegetables on a roller. Today, this type of activity may seem cruel. But the practice was common until the mid-19th century.

Animal rights organizations and technological innovations have ended the forced labor of turnspits. Scholars believe that, as there was no longer any need to put them on wheels, they crossed with other pets and lost their characteristics. Thus, it became an extinct breed of dogs .

2. Kuri

Origin: Polynesia

These cute pets lived in Polynesia and New Zealand. Of medium size and light coat, they were excellent companions and lived alongside the Maori people until the 19th century.

With the arrival of the European conquerors, the race was, little by little, disappearing.

Scientists are still trying to find out what happened to the charming Kuri today. The most accepted theory is that they crossed with European races, generating new derivations. Even today, you can find stuffed kuris in museums in Oceania and Europe. 

3. Cuban Dogo

Origin: Cuba

The Cuban dogo is another breed that has disappeared, as it has lost its function. These dogs, strong and smart, were bred in Cuba from crossing the Mastiff and Bulldog.

With a strong temperament, it was used by farm owners for an extremely cruel practice: terrorizing enslaved people.

The main function of the Cuban dogo was to hunt down escaped enslaved individuals. When the end of slavery finally came, in the second half of the 19th century, its function became meaningless. Little by little, the breed was mingling with others and they became extinct dogs .

4. Old english bulldog

Origin: United Kingdom

If you think about it, you’ll notice that the name bulldog means “bull-dog”. And that name indicates the origin of this popular breed. During the Middle Ages there was a very common practice in the UK called “bull baiting”.

A bull was tethered and tried to escape, while dogs tried to bite and tame him. The old english bulldog was a champion in the sport thanks to his small body and strong jaw. However, in 1835 the practice was considered cruel and illegal.

From then on, the animal had to transform in order not to join the group of endangered dogs . Thus was born the bulldog, a dog with a brave face, but very loving and companion!

5. Bullenbeisser

Origin: Germany

The bullenbeisser has a very similar history to the old english bulldog. In fact, even its name has the same origin: bullenbeisser is something like “bullbiter”.

They were also used in bull baitings and, with the end of the practice, they lost their fame. It is believed that the bullenbeisser crossed with other dogs and gave rise to new breeds such as the boxer.

6. Cordoba fighting dog

Origin: Argentina

The Cordoba fighting dog is an extinct breed raised in Herman lands. Some dog lovers have crossed different breeds like mastiff, boxer and bulldog.

The result was a strong, brave and aggressive dog. The breed was successful in fighting fighters, but it was so aggressive that it didn’t last for many years.

According to reports, males and females preferred to fight than to mate. Over time, the cordoba fighting dog ended up extinct. But it gave rise to a more famous breed of dog : the Argentine Dogo which, despite being strong, has a more controlled temperament!

7. moscow water dog

Origin: Russia

The Moscow water dog was created by the Soviets at the end of World War II. Researchers wanted to create a breed that was excellent swimmer and could save drowning victims.

Through different crossings, they arrived at the Moscow water dog. The problem was that, although he was a very good swimmer, he wasn’t friendly at all.

Upon finding a drowning person, they generally preferred to attack rather than help. The breed, little by little, was becoming an endangered dog .

8. Hawaiian Po Dog

Origin: Hawaii

This curious breed was very common on the islands of Hawaii. Its name comes from a type of regional food called “poi”. The islanders gave poi to the dogs to feed them.

The breed was used for two purposes: as a form of lucky charm for children and as a source of food. Yes, as there were not many animals in the region, it was common to eat the meat of the Hawaiian poi dog!

With the arrival of European settlers, both practices fell into disuse. As there were now other ways to obtain meat, they no longer needed to raise poi dogs, thus becoming an endangered breed of dog 

It is believed that some specimens were taken to Europe and, there, crossed with other dog breeds.

9. Talbot

Origin: United Kingdom

Despite being an extinct breed of dog , the talbot is still very famous. He was a hunting dog and excellent company!

Pleasant and friendly, he was the favorite dog among kings and nobles. His fame was such that we still find statues and paintings of the talbot in the country. The talbot became a symbol of nobility.

Over time, the breed ended up mixing with other dogs and giving rise to popular pets today, such as the beagle.

10. Brazilian tracker

Origin: Brazil

This Tupiniquim dog also entered the list of extinct breeds. In the 50s, a farmer named Oswaldo Aranha Filho, thought of creating a breed that was fast and strong for hunting. However, it should not be confused with the traditional yellow color of the Atlantic Forest jaguars.

From different crossings, he arrived at the Brazilian tracker: an agile dog with white and black fur. The breed that was recognized by the FCI in 1967.

However, he soon came to be considered an endangered dog . This, after an epidemic of tick disease and pesticide over-intoxication. Over time, the Brazilian tracker was declared extinct and dropped from the FCI breed list.

Knowing more about the history of pets is always excellent. This makes it even easier to fall in love with these amazing little animals!

If you are interested in any of the extinct dog breeds, don’t worry. With good research, it is possible to find a furry friend with all the necessary features.

Best of all, Petz can help you on this quest. We regularly hold adoption fairs for all audiences. Keep an eye on our calendar and adopt a furry one!