It’s hard to imagine that some dog breeds were once hugely popular, but no longer exist. While a lot of breeds have remained relatively unchanged for hundreds of years, some have completely disappeared or have been bred with other breeds to make the ones we know today.
We look at ten breeds that are now sadly extinct:
1. Clydesdale/Paisley Terrier
This cute little pooch originated in the UK and was a smaller version of the Skye Terrier, which still exists today, but is gravely endangered. While the Skye Terrier was considered a working dog, the Paisley Terrier was a lapdog and lived in the comfort of the wealthiest homes. Today’s beloved Yorkshire Terriers are a descendent of this now extinct dog breed.
2. Braque du Puy
This stunning French hound was adored for its speed and flexibility, making it a great hunting companion. The Braque du Puy was created by crossing other Braque breeds with Greyhounds, for the ultimate physical finesse. Breeding these dogs was a craze in the Nineteenth Century and eventually died out; so no breeds we know today descend from this extinct dog breed. However, many breeds of Braque dogs were bred to be slimmer and more agile as a result.
3. Turnspit dog
This little fella was also known as the “Kitchen Dog”. This extinct dog originated in the UK and had the unique job to run in a ‘dog wheel’ in order to turn the meat on a spit over a fire. A common technique to keep these pups motivated was to hang raw meat in front of the wheel. It’s unclear exactly what happened to this breed, but some experts suggest that it’s a relative to today’s Glen of Imaal Terrier, or the Welsh Corgi breeds.
4. Norfolk/ Shropshire Spaniel
This delightfully furry dog breed went extinct in the early Twentieth Century and is an ancestor of the current English Springer Spaniel. The breed was quickly crossed with other Spaniels due to their reputation of being very difficult to train. The traits that breeders attempted to keep from the Norfolk Spaniel were the strong bond they formed with their owners, and their ability to hunt well on land and in water.
5. Hare Indian Dog
It’s unclear whether these beautiful canines were purely a breed of dog, or a dog/coyote hybrid, but what is known is that they had the temperament of dogs and were domesticated in Northern Canada. Hare Indians (or Sahtú) used these dogs for coursing hare. With old methods of hunting on the decline, these dogs were used less and eventually the breed went extinct due to cross breeding with other North Canadian dog breeds.
6. Hawaiian Poi Dog
Hawaiian families kept these little guys for very different reasons. One reason was that they were considered spiritual protectors for households (and especially for children). Unfortunately, when times were hard, the dogs were fattened up and eaten. This is where their name came from, as Poi, a staple dish in Hawaii, was used to fatten them up. These dogs were said to be very strong willed and protective of their families. They eventually went extinct, although the name Poi Dog is still used for mutts and strays.
7. Tahltan Bear Dog
This extinct dog breed was local to Canada and domesticated by the Tahltan natives to hunt bears. Despite their small size, these pups were described as “a mighty power in a small package”. They hunted in groups and harassed bears into submission with their fox-like yaps; distracting them so the hunters could approach. They sadly became extinct, and no breeds descend from them.
8. Russian Retriever
Also known as the Russian Tracker, this breed is similar to the Golden Retriever, but much larger in size (up to 76cm high at the shoulders). This extinct dog breed became extinct for unknown reasons in the early Twentieth Century. They were kept to herd and protect flocks, as well as guide people through the dangerous Caucasus Mountains. The Golden Retriever is the Russian Tracker’s closest descendent, and looks almost identical.
9. Southern Hound
This British born and elegant dog was the great, great, great grandfather of the Beagle; one of the most popular modern breeds. They were known for their deep and euphonious voice, as well as their fantastic scenting abilities. Used to hunt hare or deer, they were progressively cross bred with other hounds due to the fact that they were too slow. The breed went extinct as a result.
10. Alpine Mastiff
The origins of this stunning dog still remain unclear to this day. What is known is that one was taken to the hospice at the Great St. Bernard Pass in Switzerland (where Saint Bernard dogs originated), and they are believed to be the ancestors of the Saint Bernard dogs we now have. They were also a descendant for the modern Mastiff and other large breeds such as the Newfoundland and the Great Dane.
Let us know if there are other extinct dog breeds you know of in the comments below.