Special Report

Newest Dog Breeds You've Probably Never Heard Of

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21. Lagotto Romagnolo
> Year recognized: 2015
> Temperament: Affectionate, keen, undemanding
> Life expectancy: 15-17 years
> Group: Sporting

The lagotto Romagnolo originated in Italy, where it has been used to hunt waterfowl and truffles. Its hunting skills mean it has also been used in search and rescue. The lagotto Romagnolo can be shy, so socialization is very important, particularly during the early weeks of its life. As a working dog it needs regular mental stimulation and physical exercise.

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22. Miniature American shepherd
> Year recognized: 2015
> Temperament: Good-natured, intelligent, devoted
> Life expectancy: 12-13 years
> Group: Herding

The miniature American shepherd was developed in California in the 1960s and was originally called the miniature Australian shepherd. It has been used to herd small stock such as sheep and goats, and its own small size and temperament makes it a good household pet and travel companion.

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23. Spanish water dog
> Year recognized: 2015
> Temperament: Playful, work-oriented, active
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years
> Group: Herding

Despite its name, this isn’t really a water dog but was developed to herd and protect livestock. In fact, it will herd anything that moves — even children! The Spanish water dog has a curly coat that covers its entire body, including its eyes, giving it a resemblance to the poodle.

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24. American hairless terrier
> Year recognized: 2016
> Temperament: Energetic, alert, curious
> Life expectancy: 14-16 years
> Group: Terrier

This breed first appeared in 1972, when a hairless puppy was born in a litter of rat terriers in Louisiana. A breeding program of the hairless pup led ultimately to registration by the AKC in 2016. In fact, it’s the first hairless breed to have originated in the U.S. The lack of hair means it’s not suitable for hunting or ratting, but it does make an excellent watchdog.

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25. Pumi
> Year recognized: 2016
> Temperament: Energetic, lively, ready to work
> Life expectancy: 12-13 years
> Group: Herding

The pumi was originally bred in Hungary to herd sheep and semi-wild livestock in rugged conditions. It is very energetic and excels at dog sports. It doesn’t shed, but it does need regular brushing and combing. The pumi is relatively rare in the U.S., where only a few litters are born each year.