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The World’s Oldest Dog Breeds

At A Glance

Man domesticated dogs long before horses. The oldest dog breed known to humans is the Saluki, along with the likes of Akita Inu, Basenji, Chow Chow, and a few others.

The oldest dog breed known to humans is the Saluki, along with the likes of Akita Inu, Basenji, Chow Chow, and a few others.

Last Updated on: Jun 27, 2022

The earliest recorded relationship between animals and humans dates back to nearly 30,000 years ago. Humans started domesticating wolves who’d feed on scraps. Dogs, as we know them today, evolved from these domesticated wolves.

Currently, there are at least 360 dog breeds in the world, excluding mixed breed dogs.

But where did it all start?

Here’s a list of the world’s oldest dog breeds.

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

Akita Inu, Japan

Akita Inu dog
Akita Inu is a Japanese dog breed that has been around humans for over 10,000 years now.

Year of Origin: 8000 B.C.

Akitas originated in Japan. They were domesticated and trained for game hunting. Known to be the best guard dogs of all time, Akitas are hard-willed, dominant, and intelligent dogs.

They live for up to 15 years, they are affectionate, and fiercely protective of their masters. Easy to train, Akitas have strong natural instincts and a sharp mind.

Remember Hachiko, the real-life Akita Inu that loved its master so much, it waited for him to return from the train station all its life? That’s right. This is the exact same breed.

Basenji, Congo

The second oldest dog breed in the world, the Basenji hails from the Congo Basin in the Central parts of the African continent, the Basenji is an ancient marvel of the canine world. 

Year of Origin: 6000 B.C.

Inquisitive, muscular, and hyper, Basenjis are natural climbers. This breed of dog is unlike any other because it doesn’t bark. Instead, they prefer squealing, groaning, and growling more. This gave it the name, the “barkless dog.”

Basenjis carry themselves with elegance and pride. They can lick themselves clean and don’t need to be groomed extensively.

Afghan Hound, Afghanistan

Afghan hound dog
Hailing from Afghanistan, the origin of the Afghan Hound dates back to Circa 6000 B.C. This ancient dog breed dons the most exquisite and shiny coat of long, silky hair.

Year of Origin: 6000 B.C.

By the looks of an Afghan Hound, it’s easy to imagine such a beautiful creature to have had some kind of regal or aristocratic importance back in the day.

When this dog breed set foot in England, back in the 1800s, it became one of the first breeds to enter prestigious dog shows.

It’s not the breed for all would-be dog owners. But whenever the dog and owner combination is right, no animal can equal the Afghan Hound as a pet.

Alaskan Malamute, Alaska

Alaskan Mamlamute dog
Stemming from the ice-cold terrains of the Arctic regions, the Alaskan Malamute is not just one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.

Year of Origin: 1000 B.C.

Bred by the Mahlemut Tribe, these dogs were known as Malamute. Its origin dates back to Circa 1000 B.C. 

Alaskan Malamutes are unbelievably strong. They can easily pull and move heavy objects. It has a furry coat and enjoys being cuddled.

Saluki, Egypt

Saluki dog
A close relative of the Alaskan Malamute, the Saluki originated in Egypt around 329 B.C. Bred to survive the extreme conditions of desert regions, Salukis happens to be one of the few closest breeds genetically close to wolves.

Year of Origin: 329 B.C.

It’s delightful to watch them run across open grounds – they run at a speed of 35 miles per hour!

To this day, lean and muscular Salukis still flaunt such athletic qualities and strength. They are a well-adjusted breed. So they do well in apartments, provided they get enough exercise and some open space to run every day.

Also Read: World’s Most Expensive Dog Breeds

Chinese Shar Pei, China

Chinese Shar Pei dog
Shar-Pei is an ancient breed from China. Dating back to about 206 B.C., the Shar-Pei breed is a bit aloof toward humans and always chooses their freedom first. 

Year of Origin: 206 B.C.

Bred to hunt wild boars, these dogs need an adequate amount of physical activity when domesticated. Otherwise, they could become aggressive.

Shar-Pei dogs are strong and sturdy animals. That’s why they make good guard dogs.

Chow Chow, China

Chow Chow Dog
Dating back to Circa 150 B.C., Chow Chow is an archaic dog breed from the northern parts of China. It is called Songshi Quan or “puffy-lion dog” in China. Back in the day, Chow Chow was used to guard temples and was regarded as a working dog.

Year of Origin: 150 B.C.

Unlike most other dogs, Chow Chow has a blue-colored tongue making it a one-of-a-kind breed to have this unique feature.

Several celebrities like Elvis Presley have had Chow Chows as pets. The Queen of England enjoyed the company of this exotic dog breed.

Chow Chow Dog

The oldest dog breeds in the world still continue to provide valuable companionship to human beings.

To this day, these dogs continue fiercely protecting us. It is no wonder then as long as humans remain, dogs will remain an integral part of human history too.


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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.