it has been assessed that people and dogs have lived respectively cheerfully for between 2,000 and 3,000 years although historical sources don’t give an exact date it is generally accepted that the domestication process of wolves started between 20,000 and 30 000 years prior this is because wolves are the ancestors of current domestic dogs changing both physically and mentally over time to become friendly pets many of the most popular dog breeds today rise out of the 18th and 19th centuries hundreds of years shockingly, however, a few breeds have survived a great many years and evolved alongside humanity keeping up certain unique features in their appearance and character. Here are the most ancient and oldest dog breeds in the world.
1. Chow Chow
Chow Chow a blue-black tongue is one of the Chow Chows most distinctive traits and artistic depictions of the dog. Despite their cute appearance, Chow Chow’s have been used as working dogs for a long time date back to 150 BC. It’s known that they existed in China 2000 years ago and they were described as heavily built dogs with harsh coats, straight hind legs. The breed is from China were used by the Chinese likely descends from the ancient Tibetan Mastiffs and may be the ancestor of Spitz breeds like the Keeshond, Norwegian Lundehund, and Pomeranian in fact the oldest recorded dog fossils dating back several million years ago look very similar in structure to the Chow Chow long before then, along with the Mongols when they invaded the region 3000 years ago and as among the breeds with genetic evidence showing they are truly ancient. They have been found represented in pottery and sculptures of the Han Dynasty and were also a popular breed in Tibet. Long ago as a hunting dog due to their capacity to follow bigger animals like wolves and panthers. They were also used to pull sleds and to guard livestock. Chow Chow’s were also bred for their fur, and their meat is still considered a delicacy in some parts of China. They first made their way over to Europe in the 1800s on clipper ships, and Queen Victoria was given one as a gift- reportedly taking it with her wherever she went and the breed name may be from the pigeon English word chow which refers to miscellaneous items brought to England from the far east by emergence. Then made the transition across the Atlantic to America. The Chow Chow was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1903.
2. Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. While they are usually bred across cool regions, they have been followed back to Zhokhov Island in Siberia. Here, evidence of domesticated dogs over 9,000 years old have been found, where they would have been used as hunting and sled dogs. This was an important way of survival back then in the harsh weather conditions of the region, and the dogs would have been an invaluable tool. The breeds used back then had the same traits as the Siberian Husky, and while it is a modern day version of what was present back then, it is very closely related to them. They are thought to have been developed by the Chukchifolks of Siberia, who brought them to Alaska in 1908 for sled-dog racing, which is when the world first became aware of them. They were known as Chuckchis, but because of their ability at racing, they were taking to the US, where they were renamed Siberian Huskies. Nowadays their appealing looks, affection, and loyalty have made them an extremely popular breed, and amazingly they haven’t changed much over the years.
3. Akita Inu
Akita this breed is originated from Japan which many of us didn’t know until we started to research them. These dogs would find animals like wild boar deer and even bears. They were also used as guard dogs in ancient times. The Akita Inu is native to the Akitas region in Japan and is the national dog of Japan. The Akita is a flexible variety great as a police or military dog guard dog a hunter of bear and deer and a sled dog. The Akita Inu originates from the mountainous regions of Japan. There are actually two forms of the breed. The Akita Inu is a Japanese Akita and American Akita. The first Akita was brought to the U.S in 1937 by Helen Keller after World War II who received him as a gift sadly the dog died of distemper shortly after he arrived in 1938. Japanese Akitas only come in a narrow range of colors and have a short double-coat, but American Akitas come in all varieties. They are powerful dogs, which is why they have been a popular animal for Japanese people over generations. Early records from about 900 years ago show how they were highly prized as hunting and fighting dogs, as well as sources of nutrition, often regarded as “good eating”. There was a time in Japanese history where only a ruler was allowed to own an Akita Inu and they would wear a collar that represented their owners’ rank. Their popularity has risen and fallen over the years, but at the beginning of the 20th century, they became prized around the world as a result of Emperor Taisho’s fondness for them. Today you’ll find them all over, where they are valued for their loyalty, power, and independence. The AKC does not recommend this breed for first time owners, as they can be quite temperamental and very dominant.
4. Indian Pariah
Indian Pariah dog it may come as a surprise to some but these are a few of the only pure breeds that originate in India. There has been no human intervention in their breeding process. The Indian pariah dog was named so in the British era it draws its inspiration from the Pariah tribe of Tamil Nadu. The origin of this breed is shrouded in mystery no one knows as to when this breed came into existence they have been always present in Indian villages and cities since time immemorial in fact historical references show that the Indian pariah dog has been present in the country since the Neolithic times no one knows for certain as to when the domestication of these dogs started.
5. Tibetan Terrier
These dogs are characterized by having fur that falls over their eyes well there is actually a good reason for that the hair that covers their eyes is a means of protection from the cold climate and elements of Tibet. The country that they originated in Tibetan Terriers is not considered true Terriers they were considered the holy dogs of Tibet because they were raised by Lamas in monasteries they were mostly used for companionship and thought of as good-luck charms by the lamas but they also did some hurting and retrieving.
It’s true origins in the original Samoyed tribes which inhabited present-day Russia and Siberia The Samoyed was used for lots of different jobs during ancient times. The breed comes from Siberia where it was very cold hence it has a thick coat. The Samoyed had breed was used as a reindeer herder a hunter sled puller and a guard dog for over 3,000 years. They were highly valued dogs. The Samoyed expanded beyond Siberia at the end of the 19th century and was used to pull sleds on popular expeditions the expeditions were so difficult and dangerous that only the strongest and fittest dogs were able to survive. The Samoyed was accepted as a breed in England in 1909 and in the U.S in 1923.
7. Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute was named after a Native Alaskan tribe Malamutes Eskimos that began breeding the dogs around 1,000 BC. Alaskan Malamute was bred for the endurance they were designed to be able to carry large and heavy things for long distances they have lots of stamina they are the largest and oldest of the Arctic sled dogs you’ll notice that like their cousins Siberian Husky the Samoyed and the American Eskimo dogs are also included in ancient dog breeds. The breed is descended from the arctic wolf like the salmon these dogs also participated in polar expeditions including Admiral Byrd’s journey to the South Pole.
8. Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu the word Shih Tzu means lion in Chinese. This breed was another treasured companion by the Chinese they didn’t really have any working duties today they are considered one of the most popular pets in America the breed is thought to have originated in Tibet bred by Tibetan Lamas to look like a little lion which is why Shih Tzu means little lion dog evidence such as documents and paintings to pick that the breed is far older dating back to 624 A.D. These Lions were sweethearts of the Chinese Ming Dynasty and today they live long lives as companion animals throughout the world.
With a name meaning “dog of the bush”, the first mention of Basenjis by European travelers 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 owner knew where they were in the jungle. Otherwise, they could just sneak up on you. This African breed is arguably the most ancient breed in the world and sculptures of dogs resembling the Basenji can be found in Egyptian tombs his reputation as a non barking dog may be because early people prefer to quiet dogs as hunting companions. Basenji do bark but usually only once and then they are silent another interesting aspect of this breed is that it may be only partially domesticated the Basenji metabolism is not normal for that some other trained dogs and females just cycle once a year compared to twice a year for other domesticated dogs. The descend you were used by African tribes to flush gained into Nets carry goods and warn of approaching danger. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1943 and to this day the Basenji remains a rare breed in the U.S. They have excellent vision and a solid feeling of smell and have huge ears that remain on end when alert. They are very protective of 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.
10. Lhasa Apso
Lhasa Apsos originated in Tibet, and are named after Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, holy city and, unsurprisingly, their word for “bearded”. This breed is considered to be one of the first dogs considered by humanity as a pet. They weigh, at most, 14 pounds, and have very distinctive coats that only fully form in adulthood his thick coat is designed to protect him from extremes of cold and heat in his native climate. They are thought to have been trained as a pet in the past as 800 BC, which makes it one of the oldest recognized breeds in the world meaning it has solid genetic connections with the ancestral wolf. They live for a long time, more than 20 years in some cases, and were used in Tibet as companions and exclusive property of nobility for monks in Buddhist monasteries and acted as sentinels that would alert the monks to any intruders. Historically it was not possible to buy a Lhasa Apso, you could just get one as a gift, and they were intently attached with religion. It was believed that when an owner died his soul entered the body of his Lhasa. The Tibetan Spiritual Master, while they awaited their rebirth. “The first pair of Lhasa Apsos showed up in the U.S as a gift from Thubten Gyatso,13th Dalai Lama, to an American explorer who was the primary Christian” to enter the Tibetan Holy City, in 1933. The American Kennel Club accepted the Lhasa Apso as a breed in 1935.
11. Shar Pei
Shar Pei is easily recognized by their deep set wrinkles and bluish-black tongue. A particular and tender appearance makes the sharpay simple to be attracted to anyway these dogs generally stood out for their hunting and herding skills. They normally have a similarly distinctive character and can be very independent. The primary known records of Shar-Pei have been found among antiques that go back to the Han Dynasty Period, around 220 BC, with tomb statues sculptures and clay figurines that resemble them very closely. Very rare is known about China’s history with the Shar Pei from that time, but a 13th century Chinese manuscript was recently revealed which also specifies the Shar-Pei. They were a famous breed in the region through the 18th century, but their numbers dropped in the 20th century when folks picked more brutal dogs that were being imported from the rest of the world. These days, they are making a comeback, yet just like the case with many breeds of dogs they have been bred to exaggerate their features to make them more appealing The incredibly wrinkly, wide headed and deep set eye types that you may see today are a long ways from the lean, small wrinkled Shar-Pei’s that were famous in China. But it has been a couple of thousand years They were named in 1978, as one of the world’s rarest dog species by Time magazine, and while the American Kennel Club just recognized them as their 134th confirmed breed in 1992. They are believed to the most oldest breeds in the world.
12. Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiff also is known as the Tibetan bulldog is considered the progenitor of all breeds of mastiff dog its lineage has recently been shown to have diverted from the gray wolf some 58 000 years ago more than the other 11 dogs which were used in this particular study it is a powerful dog with a muscular build and particularly dense coat accentuating its already large frame it was used for looking after flocks of livestock and was the traditional dog to guard Tibetan monasteries.
The Saluki is considered the second oldest dog in the world and its history has been traced back to 685 B.C during the tang dynasty this dog has a particularly unique profile with its slim body and slightly sloped face its ancient role was as a hair hunter as well as a protective watch dog. Saluki is also known as the Persian Greyhound and originally came from around the Nile valley in an area known as the Cradle of Civilization- where human civilization is thought to have emerged. Having come from such an area, it’s maybe nothing unexpected that they’re thought to be one of the oldest dogs still present on earth. There is pottery decorated with dogs thought to be Saluki, or their ancestors, from Mesopotamia dated at over 6,000 years old. They were depicted on Egyptian tombs from the Middle Kingdom onwards, about 2000 BC, and became increasingly popular in Egyptian art thought of as the Royal Dog of Egypt, mummified remains of Saluki were found in the tombs of some Pharaohs. It wasn’t only the Egyptians who revered them for their chasing abilities, with records from Greece, Persia, and the Middle East depicting their importance. Their name comes from the tragically missing Arab city of Seleucia, and today these elegant dogs are a popular pet, and star attraction at any show they go to.
14. Afghan Hound
Afghan Hounds come from the chilly mountains of Afghanistan and have built up their signature thick, flowing coats as a result. Their isolation in the mountains, and use by people as shepherding and hunting dogs, 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 likewise be found in certain examples of Egyptian Papyrus. Afghan Hounds typically grow to weigh up to 64 pounds and come in a wide range of colors. They are notoriously slow to train, though, so if you’ve fallen in love with their long flowing hair, you’ll need to be very patient if you’re going to get one.
Also known as the Mexican Hairless Dog, which is much easier a lot to say, is one of the few breeds of hairless dog. The name is a mix of Xolotl, the Aztec god, and Itzcuintli, the Aztec word for dog. The reality the Aztecs named this breed gives an idea quite to how old the breed is, with some estimates suggesting it’s well over 3,500 years old. It is thought that they were brought over to the Americas from the Asian continents, and became valued parts of the societies that made the countries their homes until the Europeans arrived. They are extremely easy going and comforting dogs, and those who chose one as their companion were said to bring upon themselves the favor of the gods. Their remains have been found in burial chambers from the Aztec times, where they were often sacrificed alongside their owners to assist them with their travels to the underworld. They were mentioned in Columbus’ earliest journals of his findings when he set foot in the Americas, before taking specimens back to Europe with him where he knew people would be amazed by their hairless appearance. Today, Xolo’s are still tightly linked with Mexico, and it is the official national dog of the country. It’s quite uncommon to see them in the US or Europe.
The Pekingese is another breed of long haired dog that originated in China, thought to date back more than 2,000 years. Their manes and similarities to lions led them to be referred to as Lion Dogs, and they held royal status with the ancient dynasties for a long time only members of the Chinese Imperial Palace were allowed to own them. At last other rich members of society were allowed to have them and they were a top favorite choice of monks who wanted companionship in the temples. They were taken to Europe in 1860 during the Second Opium War when 5 of them were taken from a palace, and Empress Dowager Cixi gave one to several important American figures including Theodore Roosevelt’s daughter. They were first recognized by the AKC in 1906, but it was only during the economic boom in the US following the second world war that large numbers were bred and they turned out to be increasingly in demand of the 178 purebred dogs, according to the AKC, Pekingese is the 80th most popular.