1. The Cirneco dell'Etna
Although the Cirneco dell'Etna wasn't officially recognized by the AKC until last year, this sighthound from Sicily is one of the few ancient breeds that have undergone very little manipulation by man.
2. The Löwchen
Löwchen means little lion dog. These little puppies are also the rarest dog in the world. In 1973 there were only 65 registered examples of the breed!
3. The Keeshond
Growing to 33 to 43 lbs, the Keeshond is an excellent family dog, known for its obedience and agility.
4. The Xoloitzcuintli
The Xoloitzcuintli, pronounced SHOW-LOW-ETZ-QUEENT-LEE, is also known as the Mexican hairless dog. The breed's history is long and fascinating, going all 3,500 years back to the Aztecs and Mayans. Back then, people believed the Xolo would safeguard the home from evil spirits as well as intruders.
5. The Harrier
The harrier looks similar to an English foxhound. Then again, the breed is also referred to as "a beagle on steroids." The harrier is cheerful, muscular, and a great pack animal.
6. The Bergamasco
Friendly and energetic, the Bergamasco has a super unique coat that's made up of wool, goat-like hair, and more typical dog hair. The hairs combine to form a sweater-like feel; this doggy will keep you warm.
7. The Plott Hound
Although not a commonly recognized breed, the Plott hound is actually the state dog of North Carolina. This breed is active and loves humans and water. Perfect for dates to the beach.
8. The Puli
The puli is smart and home-loving. The breed's coat is similar to dreadlocks, making the coat almost waterproof. Pulis are loyal and energetic, and need lots of exercise.
9. The Otterhound
The otterhound switches between being an energetic outdoor dog and a couch potato. This hound has a nose that can track in the mud and water for over 72 hours.
10. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier
The Dandie Dinmont terrier weighs between 18 and 24 lbs. Originally bred for hunting badgers and otters, it's still prone to challenging other animals, like foxes and dogs.
11. The Swedish Vallhund
These rare dogs love human attention and are very devoted to their owners. The Swedish vallhund is also known to be somewhat of a clown. They love to show off and do tricks, like agility, tracking, and flyball.
12. The Beauceron
The Beauceron is a French herding breed that once guarded sheep and cattle against wolves. This dog has double dewclaws, which can be roughly translated to mean that the Beauceron has two paw-thumbs.
13. The Clumber Spaniel
The Clumber spaniel is a gentle and loyal coach potato. The dogs often have a "trophy mentality," which means they always need to be carrying something in their mouths.
14. The Briard
During WWI, the Briard was used in the French army as a sentry and a messenger, and to search for wounded soldiers. Known as "a heart of gold wrapped in fur," the Briard is very loyal, but can be aloof around strangers.
15. The Saluki
These tall drinks of water hail from the Fertile Crescent. The saluki is patient, graceful, and fast; the breed can reach speeds up to 42.8 miles per hour.
16. The Leonberger
Do you like big dogs? THEN YOU WILL LOVE THE LEONBERGER! Known as a gentle giant, this breed ranges from 100 to 170 lbs. A great family pet, the Leonberger is kind, self-disciplined, and insensitive to noise.
17. The Schipperke
The naturally curious schipperke is a small breed with high energy. Not necessarily the ideal pet for a first-time dog owner, this breed is also nicknamed the "Tasmanian black devil." Don't worry, in the hands of a well-trained dog parent, this breed can excel in obedience competitions.