Special Report

Newest Dog Breeds You've Probably Never Heard of Before

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Cane Corso
> Year recognized: 2010
> Current popularity rank: 21 out of 197
> Life expectancy: 9-12 years

Originating in Italy and bred as a guard dog, the cane corso is described by the AKC as a peerless protector. This dog is intelligent, loyal, and docile in the company of its owners. However, that docility may not extend to others, and the cane corso requires intensive socialization and training.

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> Year recognized: 2010
> Current popularity rank: 102 out of 197
> Life expectancy: 9 years

The Leonberger was popularized by Heinrich Essig of Leonberg, Germany, in the 1800s. This very large breed caught the attention of artists and celebrities and was even used in theater productions in the U.S. It almost went extinct after World War I but was revived in Europe and re-established in America in the 1970s and 1980s.

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> Year recognized: 2011
> Current popularity rank: 119 out of 197
> Life expectancy: 13-18 years

The Xoloitzcuintli was named after an Aztec god — the Aztecs revered the breed and believed it to have healing powers. One of the world’s most ancient breeds, it was actually registered with the AKC from 1887 to 1959 as the Mexican hairless dog, but was dropped because of insufficient numbers being bred and registered. The Xoloitzcuintl was subsequently revived and officially recognized in 2011.

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Entlebucher Mountain Dog
> Year recognized: 2011
> Current popularity rank: 173 out of 197
> Life expectancy: 11-13 years

Originating in Switzerland, the Entlebucher was used to herd cattle in the Alps. It is small, muscular, athletic, and agile. The Entlebucher has a beautiful coat — black with symmetrical white and tan markings — that requires minimum upkeep.

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Finnish Lapphund
> Year recognized: 2011
> Current popularity rank: 168 out of 197
> Life expectancy: 12-15 years

The Finnish lapphund is an ancient breed that was used by indigenous people to herd reindeer. It has a tendency to bark, which makes it a good watchdog but also means it requires careful training. The lapphund is used as a therapy dog and in search and rescue.

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