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These Are The World’s Oldest Dog Breeds

Anyone who has dogs or has had a dog knows how much joy the can bring a family. They, like most owners, should become familiar through self-education and/or experience with how rambunctious our canine companions can be.

Since the first of the wild wolves decided to form an alliance with humans about 33,000 years ago in Europe, we’ve sought to learn everything about them. Here are some of the breeds that have existed since the beginning of recorded history:

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1.     Chow Chow

Year: Circa 150-200 B.C.
Origin: China
Typical Lifespan: 10-15 years

Known for its fluffy coat, researchers believe the breed may have begun in the colder northern regions of the Asian country. There are even artifacts from the Han Dynasty that show hunters with a dog possessing features similar to that of the Chow Chow.

They are known in China as Songshi Quan, or “puffy-lion dog.” It has a black-blue tongue, the color reaching the breed’s lips. Chow Chows have the capacity to be aggressive, though a proper training regimen will transform them into a loyal and loving member of the family. Familiar faces such as Martha Stewart and Elvis Presley had previously owned one.

2.     Chinese Shar-Pei

Year: 206 B.C.
Origin: China
Typical Lifespan: 8-12 Years

This breed of dog is immediately recognizable for its wrinkles and skin folds. It was kept as a pet a few hundred years before the Chow Chow. The name itself actually translates to “sand skin” in English, referencing the rough skin that makes up its folds.

This breed was developed to hunt boar, protect farm animals, and be an all-around guard dog if needed. A great breed for any bachelor or bachelorette and it’s also great with children 10 years and older.

Pups of this breed look funny, having more wrinkles than their adult counterpart. Much like the bones in the human body, as the dog ages, it has fewer wrinkles.

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3.     Saluki

Year: 329 B.C.
Origin: Egypt
Typical Lifespan: 10-17 years

If you want a dog with an abundance of wolf DNA, then Saluki might be a breed to keep your eye on. Certified as the world’s oldest breed by Guinness Book of World Records, these ‘sighthounds’ were primarily used for hunting thanks to their speed, strength, and ridiculous endurance.

With a top speed ranging from 30 to 35 miles per hour, it should be no surprise they are taken on trips to hunt for goats, foxes, and deer.

4.     Samoyed

Year: 1000 B.C.
Origin: Siberia
Typical Lifespan: 12-14 years

The Samoyed breed was the original sled dog. Though it was also used for the purposes of hunting and herding reindeer. Researchers have had trouble determining exact origins of the breed, but are certain that it may have been brought the region.

Sometime during the 1800s one was even gifted to Queen Alexandria of England, a move that popularized the animal across the world. They are known for their playful nature, high intelligence, and their loyalty to loving families.

5.     Alaskan Malamute

Year: 1000 B.C.
Origin: Norton Sound Region (Alaska)
Typical Lifespan: 10-15 years

This breed gets its name from the Mahlemut tribe, the peoples who breed the dog somewhere between 2000 and 3000 years ago. It is the go-to sled dog and has been for hundreds of years.

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It is said their loving nature makes them great for families who like taking their pets on trips. Take care not to let them around smaller animals, though. You might not be able to override their ‘high prey drive.’

6.     Afghan Hound

Year: Circa 6,000 B.C.
Origin: Afghanistan
Typical Lifespan: 12-14 years

In the modern-day, many believe that the Saluki is this breed’s closest relation. No one can say for certain where they came from, but what is known is they’ve been breed for at least 8,000 years.

These are desert hounds that hunted large prey in addition to the dunes they traversed. It was one of the earliest show dogs in the Kennel Club of England in the 1800s. They are easy to keep as pets, but the breed is known for its desire to not receive affection like hugging or petting.

7.     Basenji

Year: 6000 B.C.
Origin: Central Africa’s Congo Basin
Typical Lifespan: 13-14 years

It is believed that this breed is what is depicted on the cave drawings in Libya, dating back thousands of years. One odd trait about this breed of canine is that it is “barkless.” That’s right, no barking. But it can still growl, whine, and scream.

Basenjis are very energetic so they are likely suited best for active owners. Leave this dog alone with no playtime and you can say goodbye to your new couches.

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