Special Report

Newest Dog Breeds You've Probably Never Heard of Before

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Neapolitan Mastiff
> Year recognized: 2004
> Current popularity rank: 106 out of 197
> Life expectancy: 7-9 years

Often called Neo or Mastino for short, the Neapolitan mastiff weighs about 150 pounds on average. These dogs’ ancient roots can be traced back to 3000 B.C. Even though they look scary, the Neapolitan mastiffs are calm and gentle.

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Black Russian Terrier
> Year recognized: 2004
> Current popularity rank: 127 out of 197
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years

The black Russian terrier is a fairly new breed that was developed during the Cold War. The Russian government was looking for its equivalent of the German shepherd, which was the go-to military dog during both world wars. The Soviet military wanted a cold-resistant, uniquely Russian breed, and the result was the black Russian terrier (even though it’s technically not a terrier).

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Glen of Imaal Terrier
> Year recognized: 2004
> Current popularity rank: 175 out of 197
> Life expectancy: 10-15 years

Glen of Imaal terriers were initially bred to rid houses of vermin and hunt down foxes, badgers, and other animals, and as all-purpose farm dogs.

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Tibetan Mastiff
> Year recognized: 2006
> Current popularity rank: 147 out of 197
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years

This large, hardy breed was originally used as a guard dog by Tibetan Buddhists and as a sheepdog in the Himalayas, protecting animals from wolves and bears. These dogs have been found to be related to rottweilers, Saint Bernards, and Bernese mountain dogs.

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> Year recognized: 2006
> Current popularity rank: 171 out of 197
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years

The Plott hounds are named after the Plott brothers who left Great Britain for America — but only one made it — in the mid 1700s with their five hunting dogs. They were farm dogs that protected both humans and animals. About a century later, the Plott dogs had a reputation as excellent hunting dogs, and hunters were seeking them out for bear hunts.

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