List Of The Oldest, Primitive & Ancient Dog Breeds In The World

Afghan Hound Dog

As a sighthound, this can prove one of the most difficult breeds to train to return to you. Afghans were originally bred to hunt hares, deer, and even wolves in Afghanistan. The Afghan is not a pack hound and is used to working on its own, in conjunction with a horse and rider. Hunting over the inhospitable rocky terrain called for a breed with plenty of stamina and keen eyesight.

The Afghan Hound was first brought to Britain at the end of the nineteenth century, by soldiers coming home from the Afghan War. A serious interest in these hounds led to the formation of a breed club in 1926. Within Afghanistan, there were several different forms, some of which were bigger and had darker coats than others.

These distinctions remained noticeable in the early Afghan bloodlines, but have now essentially disappeared. Their coat does appear to have become more profuse, however, and this aristocratic hound needs thorough daily grooming to prevent its hair from becoming matted. Air-cushioned brushes are often recommended for this purpose.

Sadly, the graceful elegance of the Afghan has attracted owners who have neither the time nor the space needed for this breed. These hounds must have a good run off the lead every day, preferably away from areas where other smaller dogs are exercised, otherwise these may be chased. Afghans will amply reward the efforts of their owner, proving both affectionate and devoted but are soon likely to turn destructive if they are bored.

  • Height: 20-27 in (51-68.5 cm)
  • Weight: 77-88 lb (35-40 kg)
  • Coat type: flowing
  • Colour: wide variety

Tibetan Mastiff Dog

These large dogs bear some similarities to St Bernard, although they were developed far away in Tibet. In their homeland, Tibetan Mastiffs were used to guard and herd flocks. They may be the closest surviving relative of the original ancestral form of the many mastiff breeds, which is thought to have been developed in this area.

Unlike some of the smaller Tibetan dogs, however, this mastiff has never been well known outside its homeland, although it did have a brief period of popularity in Britain during the last century. King George IV (1762-1830) kept two of these dogs, and the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) exhibited the breed in 1875. The black and tan or golden forms are best known in the West, but pure black dogs, some showing white markings have been recorded in Tibet.

There are now signs that Tibetan Mastiffs are becoming more popular. They are hardy and essentially obedient dogs, which can generally be trusted with children in spite of their large size. The American Tibetan Mastiff Association is working hard to encourage the development of this breed along correct lines, ensuring both genetic and temperamental soundness. Interestingly, bitches only come into season once a year rather than twice as most other breeds do.

  • Height 24-27 in (61-68.5 cm)
  • Weight 220 lb (97.9 kg)

Greyhound Dog

The well-muscled profile of the Greyhound reveals a breed that has been bred for its pace. Illustrations of dogs of this type can be found on ancient Egyptian tombs dating back over 5,000 years.

They were certainly known in Britain by the 900s and were jealously guarded by the nobility here, to prevent poaching activities. In more recent times, Greyhound racing has become a popular sport in many countries.

Dogs that are retired from the track, often by four years old, can settle well as household pets, although they should be muzzled when they are first to let off the leash, otherwise they may pursue a toy breed or cat with fatal consequences. In terms of temperament, Greyhounds are very gentle dogs and particularly tolerant with children.

A short brisk run will suit them well in terms of exercise, and their short coat is easy to groom. Greyhounds have not guarded dogs in any sense, however, and rarely bark in domestic surroundings. An unusual feature of this breed is that it is not troubled by hip dysplasia, unlike most other larger breeds of dog.

  • Height 28-30 in (71-76 cm)
  • Weight 60-70 lb (27.2-31.8 kg)
  • Coat type/colour Coat short and smooth. Tail long and low set. Colours black, white, red, blue, fawn, fallow or brindle, or any of these colours broken with white.

Gazelle Hound Dog

Being a member of the Greyhound family, the Saluki is extremely old and of the purest descent. It traces back to about 5,000 years B.C. when it was little different from the modern dog of the Arabs of today. It was widely used for gazelle hunting, both alone and with the falcon, and was highly esteemed by the Sheikhs. The Saluki was introduced into England over a century ago, but not until the Hon. Florence Amherst commenced her kennel in 1897 did it gain ground with the public. It was officially recognized by the Kennel Club in 1922 and is now well established in this country.

These hounds make loyal companions, but should only be kept if you can give them plenty of exercise. Salukis may need to be supervised closely when they are off the leash because they have not lost their hunting instincts.
Available in a good choice of colors, daily brushing of the Saluki’s coat is essential to maintain its sleek appearance. You may need to comb the longer hair on the ears and tail.

  • Height 23-28 in (58.5-71 cm), bitches 20-25 in (50.5-63.5 cm)
  • Weight 66 lb (30 kg )
  • Coat type/color Coat smooth, soft and silky, long on the ears, legs, and tail. Colour white, cream, golden, red, fawn, black-and-tan, grizzle, and tricolor.

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