Can You Identify These Underrated Dog Breeds?

By: Zoe Samuel
Image: Wiki Commons by Disarut

About This Quiz

When it comes to dog breeds and recognition, there's a clear hierarchy. Labradors, German shepherds,  Chihuahuas, Great Danes and Jack Russells are household names. Everyone recognizes them instantly, and most people are pretty good at discerning one from the other. There's a second tier which most people would recognize as a breed they have seen before, even though they might not be able to name it, including breeds like bichon frisé, Westie, wheaten terrier, pointer, boxer, shih tzu, St. Bernard, Irish wolfhound, Weimaraner, Samoyed, Rhodesian ridgeback, Pekingese and others. Any serious dog lover would surely know all of these and probably many more.

What about all the other dogs, though - the ones that perhaps are not as popular in the USA or are simply more obscure on a global scale? Would you know a Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Finnish Spitz or Akita if you saw one? Could you put the correct name to a Komondor, an American Foxhound, Chinook, Mudi, Otterhound or Thai Ridgeback? We've made it multiple choice to help you out, but it's not going to be easy to score more than 75% on this test! Fortunately, no matter your score, it'll be extremely cute - and pretty darn informative. Let's get started!


This dog was bred in the US state of New Hampshire. It looks a lot like some of the larger shepherd or husky breeds, and its original purpose was sled dog racing!

The Skye Terrier is related to the West Highland terrier. It's not very popular and as a result is sadly among one of the endangered breeds of the United Kingdom.

You can recognize this breed by its dachshund-like proportions. It has a long body and very short legs. Unlike a dachshund, though, it's usually grey, and comes with a charming topknot on its noggin!

This cute name is purely descriptive; the little lion dog has no actual lion relatives, of course. It's a small fellow known by the American Kennel Club as a non-sporting dog, though others call it a toy breed. It is also known as a Löwchen.

This beautiful midsize breed used to be limited to its native Thailand. It is known there as the "Mah Thai Lang Ahn." You can identify it by the ridge of "backward" fur on its back, just like its Rhodesian cousin.

This massive and very fluffy dog was bred for protecting flocks in the chilly mountains. It's bigger than most wolves, who are the main predator of sheep in the area, meaning they would tend to run the heck away when they saw a Pyrenean shepherd coming.

This hairless dog has a fine pedigree going back thousands of years. It was bred by the Incas, a powerful civilization whose vast empire dominated large swaths of South America for centuries.

The mudi is a little Hungarian dog. It's related to the puli, and it's used mostly for competition and sports, as well as some herding, which was its original purpose.

This is one of six official Japanese native breeds. In their home country, they are known as "tora inu," which means "tiger dog," so named for their distinctive stripy fur.

This name literally means "Lake dog from Romagna." The Lagotto Romagnolo is bred for hunting, especially retrieving from water. However, these days, it is also used to find truffles!

This dog is a native of Wisconsin, where it was bred from its English and Irish predecessors. It is a retriever and incredibly high energy, so if you spend a lot of time out of doors, it might be the right pet for you.

This dog goes back centuries and was bred for guarding, especially royalty. These days, its protective nature makes it a popular pet in Hungary.

The Viszla is the red-coated gun dog from Hungary. It is similar to a Labrador in temperament, but thanks to its shorter coat, it means slightly less cleaning!

The puli is a breed with curls so tight they can look like it has dreadlocks! The plural of "puli" is "pulik." It's a close relation of the mudi, which we saw earlier.

The Kooikerhondje is a fine Dutch dog that was bred to be similar to a spaniel, though it looks a little more like an Australian shepherd. It's a very popular dog in its homeland as it makes a fine pet.

The Harrier is an English breed created for hunting: in its case, hares. It's a little smaller than other hound breeds and built a bit more like a Labrador, but its hunting instincts are up there with the foxhound!

The New Guinea singing dog is aptly named. It makes a very adorable "singing" sound. These dogs are not domesticated and live in the mountains of Papua New Guinea. They're one of the rarest breeds in the world.

Also known as the Västgötaspets, the Swedish vallhund has been around for over 1,000 years. They were originally bred to herd cattle, despite the fact that they are pretty small.

This breed is pretty new, having only been around since the 1950s. It's a midsize dog popular because it looks like a wolf but is trainable like a dog.

The Wicklow terrier, Glen of Imaal terrier, and just Glen are all names for this little guy. This is not a show dog: it's an intelligent and highly trainable dog ideal for working on a farm.

The Finish spitz was bred as a hunting dog for small game such as squirrels. It helps hunters by spotting prey, then pointing its nose at them and barking to say, "There it is!"

This dog was created to look a little like the lion on the city's crest. It's an absolutely massive breed that can reach 170 pounds as a full-grown adult!

This dog is a relative of the Finnish spitz, who we saw before, as well as various European sheepdog breeds. It is mainly used for herding and is affectionately known as an "Icie."

The Ibizan hound is one of the smaller hound breeds. It was bred for the rocky hills of Ibiza, where it was a coursing dog; that is, one used to help catch ground game such as rabbits.

The Hovawart's name literally means "estate guard dog," which is its original purpose. It looks like a golden retriever, but it comes in black, gold and black-and-gold varieties. If you love cuddles and don't mind shedding, it's a great choice.

The grand basset griffon Vendéen is known as the GBGV by its owners. It was bred in France and is a great family-friendly pet breed.

The Coton de Tulear is a small bundle of fluff. The downside of owning one is that they bark a lot and cannot be left alone for long periods, but the upside is that they are very loyal and only love their family, so they won't let anyone take them!

The Schapendoes is a Dutch sheepdog. It was originally bred for herding, but these days, like collies, the intelligent and flexible Schapendoes participate in flyball and agility contests.

The Maltese-bred Pharaoh hound was originally bred to hunt rabbits. It is also known as Kelb tal-Fenek, meaning "rabbit dog." Its name is tricky as it has no Egyptian roots!

This is one of the five rarest dog breeds in the world! It comes from Friesland in the Northern Netherlands, and it has a medium-length glossy coat like that of a spaniel.

The Turkish pointer has an amazing-looking split nose. It's a gun dog breed that is almost never seen outside its native land. It is also known as the Tarsus Catalburun.

The Canaan dog is a type of "pariah dog." This means a breed that is generally not domesticated—or at least, not originally—and lives on the edges of human settlements picking up scraps. These days, people keep them as pets.

The Lancashire heeler is small but tough. It was bred to help herd cattle in the county of Lancashire, in Northern England, where they would nip at the slower cows' heels to make them keep up!

This dog is noted for its absolutely incredible coat. The Bergamasco shepherd's fur gets like that because there are three types of fur growing on it which turn into the thick "dreadlock" matted coat you can see here.

This dog—plural Komondorok—has an amazing super-shaggy coat, similar to other breeds we've seen today. You can't see his eyes, but they're almond-shaped. He was originally bred to be a guard dog.

The Azawakh is a breed found in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. It is a "sighthound"—that is, a hound bred to hunt without human supervision, albeit usually on our behalf!

The cockerpoo is a hybrid of the cocker spaniel and the poodle. It was bred to be hypoallergenic, meaning that people can own it even if they are allergic to dogs. It's the perfect dog if you wanted a golden retriever temperament, but don't have the space for a golden retriever body!

The Bedlington terrier has the dubious honor of being bred as a mining dog; that is, it was supposed to go into coal mines and hunt out the vermin. These days, of course, that would be illegal in Britain as it was rather cruel. Bedlington terriers are more commonly used now in racing, showing and as pets.

Catahoula Parish in Louisiana gave its name to the Catahoula leopard dog. These dogs are both hunters and herders, and no two of them look alike!

The goldendoodle is a mix of the poodle and the golden retriever. If you are allergic to dander, but you simply cannot live without a dog, this is the choice for you!

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