Although there are hundreds of different breeds of dogs roaming the Earth today, there are a ton of different dog breeds that have gone extinct. Many different factors could determine why a certain breed of dog may cease to exist. They may have been bred into a new type of dog to fit the present-day fashion/use, some are mated out, others wiped out by predators, or possibly just forgotten about by the breeders that had sustained them. No matter what the reason is, it is quite interesting to check out what type of extinct dog breeds existed in the past.
The Aluant breed originally existed in North Caucasus, Europe, and Central Asia from as early as Medieval times up until sometime in the 17th century. This breed was pretty large and had a short coat of fur. They were remarkable hunting dogs and were used by the Alani tribes, a nomadic Indo-European group. The breed was further developed in France, Germany, England, Italy, and Spain.
This breed was the ancestor of the St. Bernard as well as a big contributor to the modern-day Mastiff breed. The largest of these dogs have been believed to reach incredible sizes of more than 39 inches (1 meter) tall at the shoulder and weighed 350 pounds (160 kg) or more. In the early 1970s, efforts were made to try and breed back the Alpine Mastiff using breeds such as Saint Bernard, Great Pyrenees, Bernese Mountain Dog, and Great Dane.
The Alpine Spaniel was used in mountain rescues by the Augustinian Canons (religious communities), who ran hospices near the Great St. Bernard Pass, one of the highest road passes in Switzerland. This breed of dog was very large and had a unique thick curly coat. Its extinction was probably due to the harsh conditions in the Alps. The Alpine Spaniel is thought to be the predecessor of the modern-day Clumber Spaniel and St. Bernard.
Braque du Puy
The Braque du Puy was a hunting dog in France, bred to hunt in the lowlands and characterized as flexible and fast. This breed was created in the 19th century by crossing the Braques with other greyhound-types of dogs. They were medium in size and had a white coat with orange-colored marks. Although the majority of people consider it extinct, a small portion of fanciers insists that the breed lives on in small remote pockets of Europe.
The Chien-Gris was a breed of dog that originated in Medieval times and was part of the royal packs of France. According to historians, King Louis IX received the Chien-Gris as a gift during the Crusades. This breed had grey backs with the legs a tan/red color. By the 19th century, they were nearly impossible to find because of mixed breeding and the French revolution’s effect on hunting.
Cordoba Fighting Dog
The Cordoba Fighting Dog was a fierce, aggressive, and strong dog used and exploited for its willingness to fight to the death. Many members of this breed died in the dogfighting pits which contributed to the breed’s extinction. This breed originated in Cordoba, Argentina, hence its name.
The Dogo Cubana was originally from Cuba, and similar to the Cordoba Fighting Dog, it was used for bull and dogfighting. It was first introduced in Cuba for the purpose of catching runaway slaves. They were between the Bulldog and Mastiff in size, but overall, they were a pretty large dog. They had a broad flat head. People described them as having a “rusty wolf-color”. Many consider the breed to have been extinct since the end of the 19th century.
English Water Spaniel
The English Water Spaniel was a breed that has been extinct since the first part of the 20th century. It is described as similar to a Collie due to its curly fur and generally white/tan pattern. One of its well-known traits was the ability to dive as well as a duck since it was best known for hunting waterfowl.
Hare Indian Dog
The Hare Indian Dog was formerly bred in Northern Canada by the Hare Indians for hunting. It shared many characteristics of the coyote such as speed and temperament. Some even believe that is originated from possibly domesticating coyotes. The Hare Indian dog was slenderly built with a small head and a narrow pointed muzzle. It had a playful personality and easily befriended strangers.
The Norfolk Spaniel was originally thought to have originated from the work of one of the Dukes of Norfolk, but this theory was later proven false. This breed featured a black-and-white coat and was described as being a large cocker spaniel. This breed was known to have ill-tempered and could be headstrong and wilful if not successfully trained.