Dogs are a man’s best friend. But which dog breeds are the oldest? Do you know? Nobody knows for sure but some of the oldest dog breeds include the Tibetan Mastiff, the Chow Chow, and the Akita Inu. These breeds have been around for centuries and are known for their loyalty and good temperament. Each of these breeds has a unique history and personality that makes them a great pet for any family. If you’re thinking about adding a furry friend to your home, consider one of these ancient dog breeds!
Chow Chow-Estimated 2,500 Years Old
The Chow Chow has been one of China’s most popular dog breeds for centuries. They weigh between 35-65 pounds (16-29kg) and stand 17-20 inches (43-51cm). Their coats are thick, straight, and come in many colors; their eyes vary depending on the color of their coat. Their function has changed over time; they were originally bred for hunting game during the Qin Dynasty of China (221-207 BC), but today they are more suitable as indoor companions.
Samoyed-Estimated 3,000 Years Old
The Samoyed was used for pulling sleds by the ancient Samoyede people of Siberia. They weigh between 40-60 pounds (18-27kg) and stand 21-23 inches (54-59cm). Their coats are thick, weatherproof, and come in many colors; the color of their skin is usually a shade of brown. They were bred to hunt with people, guard goods and families, and pull sleds.
Xoloitzcuintli-Estimated 3,000 Years Old
Xoloitzcuintli (or Xolos) originate in Mexico; they weigh between 10-35 pounds (4.5-16kg). Their coats are wiry and come in many colors; their eyes range from brown to blue. They were bred as both guard and working dogs by the ancient Aztecs and Toltec people of Mexico, and they were known as ‘The Mexican Hairless Dog’ until the 20th century.
Alaskan Malamute – Estimated 4,000 Years Old
An Alaskan Malamute’s ancestors lived in the Arctic Circle 4,000 years ago, and were used as sled dogs by the Inuit people. They are currently most popular in the United States and Canada; they weigh between 80-100 pounds (36-45kg) and stand 22-24 inches (57-61cm) high. Their coats are heavy, weatherproof, and come in many colors; their eyes range from brown to blue. Alaskan Malamutes are good family pets, but due to their strength they should be supervised around small children.
Saluki – Estimated 4,000 Years Old
Salukis have been bred in Egypt since the time of the ancient Egyptians; their name is derived from an Arabic word meaning ‘traveler’. They weigh between 35-55 pounds (16-25kg) and stand 20-23 inches (51-60cm). Their coats are fine and come in many colors; their eyes range from brown to blue. They were originally bred as coursers, who would chase down antelope and gazelle.
Tibetan mastiff-Estimated 5,000 Years Old
Tibetan mastiffs originated in Tibet, China, and Mongolia along the Himalayas. A mastiff is a large dog with a short coat that reflects its history as a working breed. They can weigh as much as 160 pounds (72kg). A Tibetan Mastiff’s coat ranges from dark gold to reddish brown. The more common colors are pale fawn or white, with dark facial mask and ears. Tibetan Mastiffs were initially bred to guard the palaces of nobles in Nepal; they are now used as guard dogs by nomadic people in Tibet.
Afghan Hound – Estimated 8,000 Years Old
The Afghan Hound was originally bred in the Middle East to be a courser; it is also known as the ‘Persian Greyhound’ (as is the Saluki), despite its lack of relation to greyhounds. They are one of the oldest breeds; they are considered a basal breed that predates the emergence of the modern breeds. They are tall dog with a strong neck, deep chest and straight back. The coat is silky and fine to medium in length. Afghans were used in coursing games that were held for royalty and high-ranking people in ancient times.
Basenji – Estimated 8,000 Years Old
Basenjis were originally bred in the Congo Basin of Central Africa; they are more popular in Western countries than their native regions. They weigh between 24-32 pounds (11-14kg) and stand 17-19 inches (43-48cm). Their coats are short and fine; they come in many colors, but white is not uncommon. Basenjis were bred to hunt small game such as vermin and birds, and to drive larger prey out of hiding.
Shiba Inu – Estimated 9,000 Years Old
The Shiba Inu originated on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido. Shibas weigh up to 30 pounds and stand about 17 inches. They were bred as hunters and are known for their cat-like cleanliness. The Shiba Inu is a healthy breed, living between 12-15 years or longer.
Akita – Estimated 10,000 Years Old
The Akita is a powerful dog with an independent temperament. According to DNA testing, they are believed to go back 10,000 years! They are big dogs weighing up to 130 pounds and standing 28 inches. Their are two breeds of Akita-the American Akita and Japanese Akita Inu. The Akita Inu is smaller than the American Akita.