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20 Unique Breeds of Canine

You've probably come across many different breeds of shepherds running around in the park, but none are as rare and exotic as the breeds seen here. Some breeds were once owned by the wealthy French and German elite, while others prefered to remain isolated from the outside world. One particular breed is so rare that fewer than 8 exist today!  
 
Here are 20 of the most exotic dog breeds:

1) Tibetan Mastiff
20 Unique Breeds of Canine

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The Tibetan Mastiff relies on a thick coat of fur to keep warm during the harsh winters in Tibet. They typically weigh anywhere between 100 to 160 pounds or (45 to 64 kilos). 

20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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2) Dandie Dinmont Terrier
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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The origin of this pint-size little fellow traces back to the early 1700's in Scotland. This particular breed is a unique mix of a Skye Terrier and a Scotch Terrier. They are also very rare.

 
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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3) Leonberger
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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These massive hounds are an interesting mix of a Newfoundland, St. Bernard, and a Pyrenean Mountain Dog. They were rumored to have been bred to resemble lions, hence the name. Only 8 of them remain in existence today.

 
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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4) Portuguese Water Dog
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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This curly guy hails from the gorgeous shores of Portugal. They were once used to help fisherman, even acting as courriers from one ship to another. Portuguese Water Dogs are extremely rare today. 

 
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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5) Löwchen
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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The German translation for Löwchen is Little Lion. The Löwchen remains one of the most rare breeds out there, dating as far back as 1442. They were once owned by the wealthy elite of Germany and France. They can be seen through historical paintings as well. 

 
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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6) Brussels Griffon
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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These little terriers originated from Belgium before the World Wars had begun. They were also used to hunt small rodents, and made wonderful companions. Very few exist today. 

 
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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7) New Guinea Singing Dog
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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These singing dogs have been isolated for over 10,000 years in the mountains of New Guinea. The different pitched howls produce a symphony when joined together. There are fewer than 100 Singing Dogs that remain outside of their natural habitat today. 

 
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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8) Czechoslovakian Vlcak
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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The Vlack is closest thing to a wolf you can possibly own. They maintain their resemblance to wolves, since they often travel in packs. The origin of the Vlack dates back to 1955, when they were first bred. 

 
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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9) Bergamasco Shepherd
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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You might mistake one of these guys for a rag mop, but they are very friendly, and extremely obedient to their owners. They were bred in the mighty Alps.

 
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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10) Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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The Grand Basset once belonged to French aristocrats, and accompanied them on hunting missions. Their torsos remain quite large despite their tiny legs. 

 
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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11) Lancashire Heeler
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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Heelers are a unique mix of Welsh Corgis and Manchester Terriers. They were quite friendly to their owners, and kept many characteristics of their herding ancestors. 

 
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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12) Mudi
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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Mudis originated in Hungary. They are extremely brave, intelligent and compassionate dogs. Their wavy sheep-like coat made them quite distinguishable from other herding dogs.

 
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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13) Russkiy Toy
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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These chihuahua-like canines once belonged to the Russian elite. They left the Soviet Union sometime during the late 1990's. Be careful not to step on them, as they are less than a foot in height! 

 
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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14) Caucasian Shepherd Dog
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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Caucasian Shepherd Dogs are ideal for farmers that need to protect livestock or for people in search of a giant friendly companion. They typically weigh between 110 to 200 pounds, and can be found in Georgia.  

20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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15) Swedish Vallhund
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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The Vallhund, also known as the "Viking Dog", was originally bred to herd cattle in Scandinavia. They have been in existence for over a millennium. They seek human affection, and make wonderful companions. 

 
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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16) Slovensky Cuvac
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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Believe it or not, these cute little guys were once used to defend flocks of animals in Slovakia. The Cuvac had a fierce reputation among other animals, and were very loyal to their owners.

 
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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17) Neapolitan Mastiff
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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These lovable giants originated in the Southern Italian region of Campania, and have been around for over 2,000 years. They were once used in gladiator arenas due to their massive features. They currently assist the Italian military and police forces. They also possess very high intelligence levels. 

 
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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18) Bedlington Terrier
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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These terriers bare striking resemblances to little lamb. Their powerful and crushing jaws were used to kill small rodents. Bedlington Terriers are playful and mischievous as well. 

19) Bouvier Des Flandres
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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These fuzzy guys were once bred as working dogs by Belgian monks. They remained very loyal to their owners, and had remarkable searching abilities to find injured soldiers during the war. It has been rumored that a Bouvier Des Flandres once bit Hitler's hand.  

20) Catahoula Leopard Dog
20 Unique Breeds of Canine
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Leopard dogs originated in North America, and made for excellent hunters. They enjoyed the companionship of people, and were very friendly as well. Their leopard-like coats give them the distinctive name. 

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