The verdict is in: humans love dogs! Oh, who are we kidding--the verdict came in eons ago. Indeed, trusty canines have been man’s best friend since the dawn of modern civilization, resulting in a broad range of breeds that are as wonderfully diverse in appearance and personality as the very people who bred them. Good for companionship and protection alike, dogs remain so lovable that we’re even willing to look the other way when they occasionally ruin the carpet or destroy our favorite pair of slippers.
Meanwhile, as we crafty humans continue to experiment with the possibilities of genetic selection and crossbreeding, new purebreds emerge, bringing all sorts of lovable (and not so lovable) new traits along with them. That’s not to mention all the breeds that have been around for hundreds of years, slipping under the American radar until finally earning their way into our hearts and homes. It might lead one to wonder: have any new purebreds been officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC)--which determines our pedigree registry--over the last decade or two?
Wonder no more because Stacker is here to heed the call. From the big and slobbery to the cute and cuddly, we’ve listing out every dog breed officially recognized by the AKC since the year 2000. For the data, we went straight to the source, reviewing the AKC list in full and culling the most recent entries. As it turns out, there are no less than 47 new dog breeds to emerge since the turn of the 21st century. What will the future hold for our favorite furry friends? Only time will tell.
Distinguished by a muscular build and thick coat of fur, Spinone Italioni are Italian hunting dogs with origins dating back to 200 B.C. Emanating from their somewhat droopy faces are tender eyes and bushy brows, making these dogs hard to resist among Americans and Italians alike. This relatively docile breed might not sprint at high speeds, but they can stay agile and alert for long periods of time.
With wagging tongues and shaggy coats that frequently cover their eyes, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs (better known in the states as PONs) are recognizable on sight and surprisingly impervious to shedding. This trusty breed was cultivated in Poland, where PONs are so iconic that they get their own stamp. Also worthy of note is that PONs were almost wiped out of existence during World War II, only to be saved by a veterinarian and her proactive dog, who sired a small legion of litters. PONs are hard-working, intuitive, independent and relatively easy to train.
Sporty in physique and loyal in disposition, German Pinschers are truly man’s best friend. More to the point, the desirable breed is highly intelligent, energetic, reasonably easy to train, and always ready to play. Throw in a life expectancy of 14 years and you have yourself everything one might look for in a dog.
True to its name, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a sporting breed with a natural instinct for luring ducks to the shoreline, making those ducks an easy target for hunters. Once the duck is shot and/or killed, this compact, outgoing breed and its water-repellant double coat of fur take to the water to retrieve the day’s catch.
Small (as in less than a foot tall) and perennially enthusiastic, Toy Fox Terriers simply burst with personality. Also helping is the fact that this breed is highly intelligent, intensely loyal, easy to train and known to live well into its teenage years. Plus, who wouldn’t want a dog that effectively doubles as a live action toy?
To create the elusive Black Russian Terrier, scientists combined no less than seventeen different dog breeds. The result is a fiercely protective and dependable search and rescue dog that packs 40% of its total body weight in its shaggy head alone. Keep one by your bedside and consider yourself duly protected at night.
A gentler alternative to most terriers, the Glen of Imaal Terrier manages to be completely adorable in spite of its wiry coat and workmanlike background. Standing a mere 14 inches tall, this breed loves the outdoors and makes for the perfect addition to any farm.
Don’t be startled by the Neapolitan Mastiff and its formidable size, whereas the droopy-chinned purebred is tremendously sweet and loyal...at least to its owners. Once known as the “big dog of the little man”, this massive canine is descended from Roman dogs of war. Some folks go even further back, claiming the breed was brought to Greece around 300 B.C. by Alexander the Great himself.
As a breed that’s both fearless in its pursuits and resoundingly loyal, Plotts serve up the best of two worlds. Hosting a muscular frame and a smooth, dark coat, this breed is wildly popular among hunters in search of big game. It’s also the official state dog of North Carolina.
As recent as 2013, Tibetan Mastiffs were so sought after among China’s elite that just one purebred could fetch up to $200,000. What those owners got in return was a noble guard dog with a thick coat and a somewhat aloof demeanor. Given the breed’s legendary independent streak, Tibetan Mastiffs are notoriously hard to train for organised events like dog shows.
An ideal watchdog, the beautiful Beauceron is known for its intelligence, athleticism and herding instincts. Touting a pointed head and dark brown eyes, this canine is known to remain balanced and agile at all times. A word of caution to potential owners: don’t buy this breed unless you can keep up with its overactive lifestyle.
Touting a name that loosely translates to “herding” dog, the Swedish Vallhund was reportedly a mainstay on Viking ships over a century ago. Nowadays, the breed is known moreover as a trusty farm dog, good for herding cattle by nicking at their heels. With its thick coat and long body that hang low the ground, this breed bears a fairly straightforward resemblance to the Corgi, its distant cousin.
Proving there’s more to France than wine and cheese is the Dogue de Bordeaux, a stocky mastiff-type dog with a smooth coat and lovable face. If this breed looks familiar, you might recognize it from the 1989 Tom Hanks movie Turner and Hooch, where it helped catch bad guys and then drooled all over them.
Delivering far more bark than bite is the Bluetick Coonhound, a strong and swift nocturnal hunting dog that’s unafraid to vocally express itself. While the moniker might conjure associations with woodsy, blood-sucking insects, Bluetick is actually a reference to the ticking pattern and colour of the dog’s coat.
According to legend, a little brown dog named “Dumpy” followed a man home in early 1900s South Carolina. Deciding to keep Dumpy, the new owner enlisted the help of Lemuel Whitaker “Whit” Boykin, who bred the dog with a female. The Boykin Spaniel was thus born. It’s a gorgeous breed that falls somewhere between a Cocker and Springer in terms of size, and is known to be a natural swimmer.
Popular among dog enthusiasts and bird hunters alike, the Irish Red & White Setter is a magnificent sight to behold. Among its features is a long body, a creamy multi-colored coat and a downright friendly smile. In addition to flaunting a clean aesthetic, that unmistakable coat allows hunters to spot the dog at great distances.
Originally a guard dog and shepherd, the Norwegian Buhund has achieved even greater functionality in modern times as a helper dog for the hearing impaired. That’s probably a good fit, given this breed’s tendency to bark loudly and frequently.
Before arriving on native soil, the Pyrenean Shepherd (aka Pyr Shep) was herding sheep in the mountains of Southern France. From this bite-sized breed, expect a smart and playful, but mischievous personality, as well as a long life span.
Sporting a beautiful red coat and constant look of expectation, the Redbone Coonhound is a medium-sized hound that’s eager to please and always ready to engage. This breed is quite popular on the hunt, with a loud bark that can travel great distances. Naturally, that same constant bark is slightly less appealing when you’re just sitting at home trying to watch some TV.
The Cane Corso was originally a guard dog and it’s not hard to figure out why. Between the dog’s stern gaze and tall, muscular figure, this might be the last breed a burglar wants to see in the middle of the night. Beware of dog, indeed!
Medium in size and highlighted by a soft coat, pointy ears, bushy tail and persistent smile, the Icelandic Sheepdog is one of about 50 northern breeds to qualify as a spitz. This canine is the quintessential companion, at its happiest when in the presence of its owner(s).
The Leonberger might cut a bulky figure, but behind that imposing physique is a fairly calm dog that stays light on its paws. Thanks to tight flews, this breed retains a dry mouth, even if it looks ready to drool all over you any moment. Ideal for work and play, the Leonberger makes for the perfect addition to any family.
Descended from a line of European scent hounds, the American English Coonhound is predictably a trusty athletic companion. Of course, that doesn’t mean this breed doesn’t relish a good nap every now and then. Quick tip: when going for a walk, don’t let it off the leash, especially if there are squirrels around.
Representing a mix of Scottie and Sealyham, Cesky Terriers date back to turn of century Czechoslovakia and a breeder named Frantisek Horak. Features include a compact body and elongated face with wavy hair at the end of it. Unmistakable in appearance and sporty in demeanor, the Cesky Terrier is pretty much always ready for action.
The smallest of four Swiss mountain breeds, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog hosts an eye-catching tricolor coat of black, white and burnt orange. This affectionate purebred comes from a herding background and instinctively looks out for children. That said, younger Entlebucher Mountain Dogs occasionally mistake human children for part of their flock, which means you’ll want to keep an eye out before your toddler gets treated like the herd.
Finnish Lapphunds (also known as Lappies) come from a Nordic background and accordingly tout thick, insulating coats of fur along with curled, bushy tails. This strong and hard-working breed has a long history behind it. Just how long, you might ask? Well, researchers have found Lappie remains from as early as 7000 B.C., when the dogs were used to herd reindeer.
While the Norwegian Lundehund might sport a fox-like vibe, this spitz breed has nothing but love for humans. Meanwhile, its distinguishable from all other breeds thanks to some completely unique characteristics, such as the presence of six toes on each foot, ears that can fold and a head that can tilt all the way back. At least some of those characteristics make these dogs exceptionally skilled in the art of hunting puffins.
For obvious reasons, Xoloitzcuintlis are more commonly referred to as Xolos or Mexican Hairless Dogs. Certain cultures believe that this breed has healing powers, and can even ward off evil spirits. It’s also one of the oldest breeds known to man, with ancestors who migrated to to the Americas across the Bering Strait.
If you’re looking for a small, energetic, dedicated and fearless dog, look no further than the Russell Terrier. This breed finds endless ways to keep itself busy or entertained, and definitely requires an owner that can keep up with the action on all fronts. In return, you’ll get one of the most loyal and enthusiastic purebreds that money can buy.
Originally bred to hunt raccoons, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is a true Southern dog with the twangy name to show for it. This courageous and intelligent breed is a favourite among hunters, primarily due to it being “hot nosed”. The Treeing Walker Coonhound derives its name from Thomas Walker, an important 18th century breeder who was instrumental to its development.
A quintessential sled dog, the Chinook was saved from the brink of extinction by three breeders in the early 1980s. Nowadays, the energetic breed enjoys much healthier population numbers, which is definitely a good thing because Chinooks make for very loyal family dogs. Fun fact: the Chinook is the official dog of New Hampshire, where it was developed at the turn of the 20th century.
Highly active and not without a comic sensibility, the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a primitive breed of multi-sensory hound that uses sight, sound and hearing to hunt. The lively canine is immediately identifiable by way of its tiny body and wedge-shaped head. Both wirecoated and smooth-coated varieties are available, though it’s the wirecoated variant that you’re most likely to find in the states.
At one point in the 1910s and 1920s, the Rat Terrier was actually among the most popular farm dogs in America, good for hunting down rodents and other pesky intruders. Decades later, the breed was still being recognized for its unique rat hunting abilities, prompting someone to write a letter to the New York Times to suggest that the city use this particular breed to deal with a Brooklyn rat infestation.
Often heralded as the “ultimate companion dog”, the Coton de Tulear hosts a fluffy white coat, a heartwarming face and a downright sweet disposition. Records are spotty, but most folks believe this breed descended from a group of dogs who survived a shipwreck off the coast of Madagascar centuries ago. Purebreds don’t get more irresistible than this, folks.
With its powerful nose and adaptive coat, the Wirehaired Vizsla makes for the perfect hunting and tracking dog. Not to be confused with the smooth-coated Vizsla, this breed hosts a distinctly wiry coat, which allows it to blend in with tall, dry grass, and furthermore withstand harsh weather conditions.
Like something straight out of an Italian fabric factory, the Bergamasco’s coat contains a natural combination of “dog hair”, “goat hair” and “wool”. As one might imagine, that unique blend amounts to some utterly distinct texture and style. However, in spite of appearances, the Bergamasco’s coat doesn’t shed and doesn’t require much maintenance once its set. Meanwhile, underneath that shaggy exterior is an unexpectedly spry and agile sheepdog with an admirable work ethic.
A vivacious, medium-sized herding dog that’s no stranger to the show circuit, the Berger Picard has origins going back to the Celtic invasion of Gaul in 400 B.C., and has even appeared in paintings from the Middle Ages. Underneath the Berger Picard’s wiry topcoat you’ll find a short, thick undercoat, lending this breed all sorts of follicle dimension.
As brainy as it is brawny, the Boerboel is a powerful farm dog that hails from South Africa. It features a block-like head and dark skin under its fur. Energetic and dominant when necessary, this breed is very protective of its loved ones.
One look at the Cirneco dell’Etna and you can already picture it chasing cats or squirrels through the yard. In other words, the Sicilian breed is supremely thin and athletic, reportedly capable of jumping great heights in addition to reaching high speeds. Should you make one part of the family, you’ll definitely want to put up a tall fence in the backyard.
Meet the Lagotta Romagnolo, your new furry best friend. The name translates to “lake dog from Romagna”, and the Italian breed is accordingly quite the swimmer. Originally bred to locate delicious truffles, the Logatto Romagnolo is loyal, agreeable affectionate, and apparently a great resource for high end chefs.
Initially developed in California in the 1960s, the Miniature American Shepherd is a compact herding dog prone to sporting different colors in each eye and a range of colors on its coat. This breed is energetic, highly intelligent, eager to please and downright great with kids.
Contrary to its own moniker, the Spanish Water Dog isn’t actually a water dog (though it is willing to work in water). More than anything else, this curly coated breed is an overzealous herder and protector, who might start to herd your kids if not properly disciplined. Thankfully, that’s not too grave an issue, whereas Spanish Water Dogs are easy to train.
In 1972, a hairless puppy emerged from a litter of Rat Terriers, and an entirely new breed was created. Decades later, the American Hairless Terrier was officially recognized by the AKC as a purebred. Curious, friendly and spry, this breed is a huge hit among allergy sufferers for obvious reasons.
A well-rounded Hungarian herding breed, Pumis have slightly pointy ears, upright heads and coats of curly or wavy hair. This breed loves to stay active, and will likely want to play fetch long after you’ve thrown out your arm.
Touting sloped ears and the kind of nimble physique you might expect to find in dog racing, Sloughis are accordingly athletic, smooth and sophisticated. This legendary breed was the original Sighthound for the Berber and Bedouin people, with a history going back as far as 7000 B.C. In fact, ancient artifacts suggest that the Sloughi’s ancestors were integral to Egyptian civilization.
Behind the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje’s hard-to-pronounce name--which translates to “Dutch Decoy Dog”--is some downright interesting history. Apparently, this unique and beautiful breed of spaniel was credited with saving William of Orange’s life by alerting him to an advancing Spanish attack in the 17th century. It’s therefore no wonder that the famous decoy dog then appeared in a number of subsequent Dutch family portraits.
Initially known in France as the poor man’s hunting dog (because it moved slowly enough to trail without a horse), the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen didn’t become its own breed until the 1970s. Before that it was clumped together with the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, which as one might guess was a smaller breed. Over the decades that followed, the differences between the two breeds became more pronounced. With its elongated body and other long features, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen now stands firmly on its own four legs as a purebred, hence its recent recognition by the AKC.