How many dog breeds in the world, we may never really know. However, the World Canine Organization compiled a registry of all internationally accepted dog breeds. The latest count would make it 339 official dog breeds! This excludes the breeds that no longer, either these extinct dogs were no longer maintained or has already evolved into our favorite modern breeds.
These 12 dog breeds had once graced our globe with their mighty presence, but can now no longer.
1. Tweed Water Spaniel: Extinct since the 19th century, the Tweed Water Spaniel is most known for being the predecessor of the modern Golden Retriever. They were described as generally brown, athletic water dogs – more retrieverish, and not at all spanielly.
2. Paisley Terrier: Though they can kill rats, and maybe other vermin, the Paisley Terrier is essentially a pet dog, and is usually kept as such. They were also a popular showdog. The Paisley Terrier was the progenitor of today’s Yorkshire Terrier.
3. Toy Bulldog: This cutie existed in England at 18th and early 19th centuries. They were created when breeders attempted to develop a new breed of miniature bulldogs, but they were never very healthy or fertile and the Toy Bulldog was never fully developed into a recognized breed.
4. Turnspit Dog: The Turnspit Dog was a short-legged, long-bodied dog bred to run on a wheel, called a turnspit or dog wheel, to turn meat so that it would cook evenly. The dogs were also taken to church to serve as foot warmers. One story says that during service at a church in Bath, the Bishop of Gloucester gave a sermon and uttered the line “It was then that Ezekiel saw the wheel” At the mention of the word “wheel” several turnspit dogs, who had been brought to church as foot warmers, ran for the door.
5. Russian Tracker: Also known as the Russian Retreiver, was a large dog, sometimes weighing 100 pounds or more; but he was fast and flexible enough to chase off wolves and other predators that threatened his sheep. The Russian Retriever wore a thick, coffee colored double-coat that protected him from both the harsh weather and the savage wildlife. This mountain dog was also blessed with exceptional intellect – he could keep himself and his flock alive and well for months on end with no human help.
6. Hawaiian Poi Dog: The original Hawaiian Poi Dog got its name from poi, a Hawaiian staple food made from taro root. Poi was fed to fatten the dogs for use as food because meat was too valuable to be used as dog food.
7. Alpine Mastiff: They are the ancestors to modern-day Mastiffs. The Alpine Mastiff was once considered the largest dog in England. Breeding with Newfoundlands and Great Danes created the St. Bernard.
8. English Water Spaniel: They were no longer since the early 1900’s, the English Water Spaniel was best as the waterfowl hunting dog. It has been said that these dogs could swim, duck, and dive as well as the waterfowl they were hunting.
9. Braque du Puy: Also known as the Dupuy Pointer, this French working dog was bred for hunting in the lowlands and known for being fast and flexible.
10. Norfolk Spaniel: Also known as Shropshire Spaniels, ceased to exist after 1903 when The Kennel Club lumped them in with the newly created English Springer Spaniel breed. The picture below is Dash II, a Norfolk Spaniel show dog, who competed at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1886 and placed second in the large spaniel class.
11. Southern Hound: The Southern Hound was a tall, heavy dog with a square head and long ears. It had a deep chest, a long bony body and a deep melodious voice. It was a slow dog, but with excellent scenting abilities and was employed to hunt deer and rabbits. Southern Hounds were eventually bred with Bloodhounds to create the modern breed.
12. Toy Trawler Spaniel: Their reign ended in the 1920’s. The Toy Trawler Spaniel is a direct descendant of the original King Charles Spaniel. Originally created for hunting, they were more often used as pets or as toy dogs. A preserved specimen is kept in the Natural History Museum in England.
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