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here are so many unique dog breeds that you’d never come across at your everyday doggie park. A lot of them are endangered, foreign, and simply hard to find. Here is a short list of My favorites, it hard to say how to take care of them without extensive research, but I will include a couple of tips in case you’re actually lucky enough to own one….

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiff

They are a ball of fur, With a thick coat and weighing in at 100 to 160 pounds, these dogs were bred to survive the harsh winters of Central Asia and used to protect monasteries and homes in Tibet.

These dogs are Extremely independent and intelligent, with their own  agenda: have exceptionally strong jaws and teeth, and this, combined with remarkably high intelligence.

For safety– should be kept contained when exercised. Prospective owners should note the breed is highly protective of their family and property, so it may be difficult to bring people into your home.

This type dog can be destructive, a nuisance barker and same sex aggressor.

Care:  They shed their coat only once a year, but regular brushing is still required. Hot spots are a common problem for this breed, especially during the summer months. To prevent hot spots you must remove the dead undercoat so the air can get down to the skin, if not moisture will cause irritation and form hot spots; keep Hot Spot Foam on hand just in case. Tibetan Mastiff drool and if not kept up with and kept dry it can form red yeast and a foul odor. Facial Cleansers can be used between baths to keep the area clean and dry.

Leonberger

Leonberger
Leonberger

The Leonberger is a Calm, gentle and sweet dog, the Leonberger excels as a multi-purpose working dog, but most important task is being a reliable family companion. They are friendly dogs that are willing to please, making them excellent therapy dogs. Despite the breeds lion-like looks and large size, the Leonberger is actually quite light and graceful on their feet. They can be red, reddish brown, sandy, or yellow brown and always has a black mask.

Leonbergers love children and make excellent family pets with regular training. The Leonbergers profuse coat tends to shed a lot, requiring daily brushing. The breed needs moderate daily exercise.

Care TIPS: same sex should not be kept together

Obedience training should start at three months old Provide enough socialization

Leos can be messy: Their huge paws track in mud; they may drool if stressed

Heavy shedding-Maintain a with brushing and a great deal of vacuuming of your house

Health problems. The lifespan of a Leonberger is short and an alarming number are crippled by bone and joint diseases and/or succumb to cancer in middle age.

Hard to find and extremely expensive.

Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog)

Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog)
Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog)

The Xolo comes in three sizes: Toy, Miniature, Standard, It is very hairless with or without a short tuft of hair on the head and tail. The hairless Xolo should never be hairy, or possess long hair, wire hair or wavy hair. Its skin should be soft and smooth, yet hardy to the elements. The Xolo comes in a variety of colors, from black to slate, gray, bronze, brindle, red, fawn, solid or spotted.

The Xolo is very intelligent, loyal, alert, athletic and extremely loving to its family. It is important that all family members play a role in leadership, rearing, training and feeding the Xolo or it will bond to the one person or people who do. It is naturally protective and aloof with strangers. With proper socializing it is very good with company and children.

Care: Skin health is very important to the hairless variety; a sweater in very cold climates is recommended. Despite what many have read, the Xolos skin is very hardy and requires very little care. Do not over-bath; it can strip the skin of natural protection, causing more harm than good. Also over-lotions and sun screening can clog pores and damage skin, causing acne and such. Only bathe and lotion or sun screen as needed. Let the Xolos natural protection do its job.

Dark-colored and solid-colored Xolos have the hardiest skin; spotted and light colors require more care: it is wise to sunscreen any hairless breed as we would ourselves in hot weather. The spotted and white marks can and do sunburn if not protected. The hairless variety is ideal for allergy sufferers because there is no hair to shed.

TIP: Obtain your Dog from a reputable breeder, to maintain your dogs  health qualities, fine skin, temperament and conformation.

Bergamasco Shepherd-The Dread Lock Dog

Bergamasco Shepherd-The Dread Lock Dog
Bergamasco Shepherd-The Dread Lock Dog

A sheepdog with a strong work ethic, the Bergamascos most unique characteristic is its coat, which contains dog hair, goat hair and wool that combine to form black or gray felt-like mats. The mats grow over the course of the dogs life, reaching the ground at approximately 6 years of age. The coat can actually smell like a sweater when it is wet. But despite its formidable appearance, the Bergamasco is really a trim, athletic sheepdog.
The Bergamasco is a sociable, highly intelligent breed that possesses a deep desire to please its master. The breed thinks independently. Despite its unique appearance, their coat does not actually take much time to maintain. After the mats set at age one, the coat needs only 1-3 baths per year and no brushing. Shedding is minimal.

The Bergamasco has extremely acute hearing and an almost psychic awareness of its environment. With these faculties, they can be very reliable predictors of approaching visitors or violent behavior. They have even been known to warn unsuspecting people that another dog was preparing to attack.The Bergamasco is a very sociable animal, developing independent relationships with each person in the household, and relating to them in an individualized way.

TIP: These dogs  are so rare, popularity and over-breeding have yet to take a toll on their health, but it’s a good idea to ask breeders about the incidence of hip dyspepsia, eye problems and gastric torsion.

  • Remember that after you’ve taken a new puppy into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity. Keeping a Bergamasco at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to extend his life. Make the most of your preventive abilities to help ensure a healthier dog for life.

Saluki

Saluki
Saluki

This breed is the oldest breed, This is a royal dog of Egypt, the Saluki is perhaps the oldest known breed of domesticated dog.
They were held in such great esteem that their bodies were often mummified like the bodies of the Pharaohs themselves.  This dogs has a graceful and fragile appearance, the Saluki is an avid hunter and possesses the strength and endurance to chase quarry over long distances and difficult terrain. Today, this sight hound is popular at lure coursing events and in the show ring.
Salukis can be coated (with feathering on the legs) or smooth. In both varieties, colors include white, cream, fawn, golden, red, grizzle and tan, tricolor, and black and tan.These dogs are Gentle, dignified, loyal but independent-minded, and require a lot of training and patience.

  • They require a lot of running room, they are very speed endowed dogs, actually faster than a top Olympic sprinter.
  • COAT & GROOMING: The Saluki with smooth coats require occasional brushing; “feathered” Salukis need more grooming.

Neapolitan Mastiff

Neapolitan Mastiff
Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a serious, powerful dog. The body of this massive, rather rectangular looking dog has abundant, hanging wrinkles and folds on the head and a very large dewlap. The wide, flat head is large in comparison to the rest of the body. The muzzle is 1/3 the length of the head and is as broad as it is long with a well-defined stop. The large nose has well-open nostrils and a color that coordinates with the coat. The teeth meet in a scissors, pincer or slight undershot bite. They do have a strong Jaw and Bite.

These dogs have been used  to serve in the police force and army where their size and intelligence makes them invaluable.  This Dogs temperament needs a dominant owner who understands and is capable of controlling them properly. They will be easiest if this is established when the dog is still a puppy, but it is still possible to communicate with an adult  and knows the human is in charge. Socialize this breed while they are young.
This is a natural guard dog and protection training is not necessary. You cannot breed out the guard in the dog, no matter how submissive they become. If they sense there is a threat to the home they will react unless the owner is there and tells them everything is OK. Be sure you are consistent in approach and do not keep repeating commands the dog has failed to obey.

Health: Prone to cherry eye, hip dyspepsia, bloat, pano-ostiosis (joint pain from growth can occur at 4-18 months and usually goes away on its own).

Care: Need a great deal of exercise. They should be taken on daily, long walks at least twice a day. These giant, short-haired dogs are easy to groom. Remove loose, dead hair with a rubber brush. This breed is an average shed.  They have a Short life  up to 10 years.

These are just a few of the rarest Breed of Dogs, if you are lucky enough to have one, trat them with love and care.It is a rare treat to won one as it is that they are rare to us.

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My border collie, Max, is my motivation! I created this site after he became ill and I couldn't find help anywhere online, in a bid to help others in a similar situation to me. If you have any questions that haven't been answered in an article on the site, don't hesitate to email me at Nat@trifty.co