There are some gorgeous breeds of dogs around from tiny Yorkshire Terriers to the larger St Bernards and lots of others in between. You may come across many different breeds when you walk your four legged friend in a local park but have you ever come across a Cane Corso or maybe an Icelandic Sheepdog on your travels?
Here are 10 unique breeds you may not have ever heard of and which have some pretty unique talents too!
This gorgeous breed is native to Spain, and are supremely graceful dogs with beautiful amber coloured eyes. The breed boasts large ears and their coats are dark tan and white. Some Ibizan Hounds are smooth haired and others have a wire haired rougher coat.
These magnificent dogs were originally bred to hunt rabbits but today make wonderful family pets and are extremely well behaved around children. The breed is well known for its quiet nature but due to the fact, the Ibizan Hound can jump heights of over 5 foot – you'd need a pretty high and secure fence around your garden if you want to keep them in!
This gorgeous breed is native to Italy and there are records of them dating back to 600 AD. The breed's name is pronounced “Connie Corso” and they are descendants of the Roman dogs of war. The breed is large with a wonderfully athletic build, and they are strong characters never happier than when they are working. The Cane Corso is renowned for its herding, guarding and hunting instincts.
The breed nearly became extinct back in the eighties but thankfully today, the Cane Corso is making a welcomed comeback. They tend to be devoted to their owners but quite suspicious of people they don't know. You would need to have a lot of experience in handling dogs to own one of these gorgeous, ancient Italian canine.
Native to Belgium, this small breed is extremely energetic. They are well known for their inquisitive natures and have one of the most beautiful coats ever. They are often nicknamed “the little black devils” because they were bred to hunt rats and other rodents which they did very efficiently.
Schipperkes are really happy little dogs that make very loyal companions to their owners although they can be quite naughty too. They are great escape artists which means they need very secure gardens and when on a walk in a park, owners usually need to keep their beloved pets on leads!
Native to the island of Madagascar, the Coton de Tulear is also known as the “Royal Dog”. The breed has been around for centuries and shares its ancestors with the Maltese as well as the Bichon Frise. They are known as being very happy characters and are incredibly social as well as smart. They are the true four legged furry clowns of the canine world.
The Coton de Tulear as a breed, has plenty of energy but they are very endearing, although if an owner lets them get away with too much, they tend to rule the roost in the home.
Native to China, the Tibetan Mastiff is one of the most ancient breeds around today. They are well known for being highly protective and intelligent dogs that love their independence. They are also known for not being that easy to train, finding commands and walking off leads quite a challenge.
Tibetan Mastiffs are majestic looking dogs and do make great family pets as long as their owners are experienced and have all the time in the world to give these large dogs the attention and training they need.
This delightfully scruffy looking dog may look like a mongrel, but in fact, the Berger Picard boasts a very proud French pedigree. The breed was first bred as sheepdogs and for a while after World War II, they almost disappeared from the face of the earth. Luckily over the years, breed fanciers have managed to re-establish the breed not only in their country of origin France, but all over the world too.
The Berger Picard is a very quiet and loyal character. They are athletic and love attention. They can also be real clowns when they're in a playful mood.
This gorgeous spaniel has the most amazing gold coloured eyes and a beautiful, soft chocolate coat. The Boykin Spaniel first appeared on the scene in south-eastern America early in the 20th century when they were bred as hunting dogs. Their speciality was tracking down wild turkeys. The breed is known for its spirited nature and they love to work.
Today, the Boykin Spaniel is recognised as South Carolina's “state dog” and is well known to be extremely good family pet because they adore children.
Although the name might suggest the breed originates from China, the Chinese Crested is in fact native to Central America. In centuries past, they were often used as “ratters” on trading boats that sailed along the coast of Mexico. The sailors of the day, adored these dogs.
There are two kinds of Chinese Crested dog, one of which is hairless and the other is known as a powderpuff. One notable point is that one litter can boast both types of the Chinese Crested dogs!
Native to Germany, the Leonberger was adored by many European royal families. The breed is strong and have been likened to lions. They are imposing yet they are very loving characters that make great companions.
The Leonberger adores being around children, and although they are big and cuddly, they do need correct training to remain manageable – they can weigh in at over 120 lbs and if left to their own devices, they definitely think they are boss!
The Icelandic Sheepdog is a rare breed, only just rescued from extinction back in the fifties. The breed is unique and thankfully is growing in numbers, not only in Iceland but in many other countries of the world too.
The Icelandic Sheepdog is well known for being a natural herder, they are very friendly to other animals and extremely gentle with children. They also form strong bonds with their owners, in fact so strong they find any separation very hard to endure which can lead to a lot of barking!