Welcome to the all new Caninest Subscribe now for the latest in the dog world.

Ancient Dog Breeds

By Paige

Ancient BreedsDomestic dog breeds are descendants of the mighty Grey Wolf that we’ve domesticated & started breeding for specific characteristics.

There are a myriad of dog breeds & types in the modern world, however there are a few of the ancients still around. In 2004 14 breeds were identified through genetic research as having bloodlines closest to the grey wolf. These animals are thought to come from the earliest domesticated members of the canine family.

In the coming weeks we’ll take a closer look at each one of these ancient breeds with pictures & interesting facts.

Grandpas of the Dog World

We’ll update this post with links to each breed as we get a closer look, so keep checking back.

  • Afghan Hound
  • Akita Inu
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Basenji
  • Chow Chow
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Pekingese
  • Saluki
  • Samoyed
  • Shar Pei
  • Shiba Inu
  • Shih Tzu
  • Siberian Husky
  • Tibetan Terrier

The Great-Grandpas

Of the 14 above, 7 have been recognized as having the oldest genetic patterns.

  • Akita Inu
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Basenji
  • Chow Chow
  • Shar Pei
  • Shiba Inu
  • Siberian Husky

Stay Connected

In the coming weeks we’ll learn more about the magnificent breeds & we’ll share everything from interesting facts to great images.

19 Responses to “Ancient Dog Breeds”

  1. Joe says:

    Isn’t the Sharplaninac, a Yugoslav Sheepdog the oldest breed in the Balkans, where it was used to guard the livestock and homes of people who lived on the slopes on Mount Shara, where the breed got its name from.

  2. Sam Heaton says:

    Where is your Tibetan mastiff in those lists as it’s now proven they have DNA that proves they predate other breeds.

  3. The Dude says:

    They have tested the DNA of every known breed of dog and these are breeds of dog’s that came from the most ancient civilizations that were the first humans to domesticate the dog for man’s benefit. Obviously Yugoslavia is no where near as the civilizations of China, Afghanistan and the Middle East such as Egypt and Persia, and the early men that adapted to the Ice Age that wiped out many civilizations, thus the Malamute, and Samoyed, both sled dog’s that served several purposes, such as excellent guard dogs, hunting dogs, and could defend the tribes against known predators in the Arctic Regions because of their size, pack mentality and bravery. Sheep herding started thousands of years after the first dogs were domesticated, the first dogs were domesticated by hunter gatherer society, farming came long after man stopped his Nomadic lifestyle and settled in one place. As for the Tibetan mastiff, the Chinese never bred large dogs until they were introduced to the value of larger guard dogs buy Western Civilizations, before that they fully entrusted all of their valuables to much smaller breed that we normally think of being guard dogs, the very ancient breeds you see on these lists. The Tibetan mastiff may predate other breeds but it does not predate one single dog on this list of ancient breeds so far, just as the article says. It says keep checking back as they continue to investigate other breeds. Science is not perfect, it is in the same way that anthropologists have just in recent years found that the giant Neolithic tombs found in New Grange, Western Ireland, that are indeed domes and marvels of engineering, also align to the Winter and Summer Solstice and predate the first Pyramids by thousands of years, shocking a whole hell of a lot of people and making that civilization not only much older than previously thought but a hell of a lot more advanced than anyone ever could have imagined, not just in their building skills but in their knowledge of math and astronomy. Science is not static, it is constantly being tossed on it’s ear and challenged and changed.

  4. CMK says:

    Are Norwegian Elkhounds an ancient breed?

  5. Sophie says:

    What about the Australian dingo and New Guinea singing dog?

  6. Ray Olivier de Vezin says:

    The current DNA studies on doemstic dog breeds indicate that on both the Y-DNA and MT DNA the Basenji seems to have the most rooted when compared to te breeds studied. The pictographic record of the dogs similar to the Basenji breed goes back to neolithic period settlers of pre Berber tribes in the north and middle African areas. In ancient Egypt such dogs are depicted as house dogs of the Pharoahs.
    Genetic patterns of the breed indicate relationship to the Near Eastern wolf more than other breeds.

  7. Runswithdogs says:

    Samoyed – Migrated along with the Samoyed tribes… working together with each other to survive the ice-age… was respected so much that the people would allow the dog to stand guard over children and reindeer while adults went off to hunt. Loss of lead dog occured when the polar bear would come hunting in the village and the dogs would go out to fend it off…

  8. Brittney C. says:

    I find it hard to believe that my Chihuahua originated from those breeds or even wolves for that matter. There is reason to believe that Chihuahuas originated from the Techichi (an ancient Aztec breed) or the Fennec Fox. Also Chihuahua like dogs have been found represented in cave drawings of the Aztecs, in ancient pottery, as well as, mummified in Aztec ruins. I think more testing is needed!

  9. Theo says:

    What about the Qimmiq (Canadian Eskimo dog) is genetically the same dog that took the Eskimos over the baring strait. Way older than the malamute!

  10. Magda Armisetad says:

    How abot dogs from the Americas? Chihuahua, Xoloescuintle (aztec or mexican harless) and peruvian hairless? Is well documented these dogs were here thousands of years ago and these ancient civilizations clearly had them domesticated since they are depicted on sculptures and paintings.

  11. ben says:

    Where’s the Techichi? Ancient Mayan dog, believed to the the predecessor to the chihuahua?

  12. Chris says:

    The Lagotto Romagnolo should be in your list of ancient breeds. Link to the AKC website http://www.akc.org/breeds/lagotto_romagnolo/history.cfm talks about the Lagatto being an ancient breed. From Wikipedia . . . “The Lagotto is an ancient breed of water retriever from the lowlands of Comacchio and marshlands of Ravenna, Italy. All modern water retrieving dog breeds are believed to have descended in part from the Lagotto Ramagnolo.

    Andrea Mantegna in the 1474 work titled “The Meeting” depicts a small dog in the lower left corner that is the perfect image of today’s Lagotto.”

  13. Kathy says:

    Time recently…maybe 6 months ago…put out a list of those canine closest to the wolf in DNA. #1 was the Shiba Inu.

  14. Hansy20 says:

    I have an italian greyhound and read that remains have been found in egyptian tombs.

  15. Raphael says:

    What about the Korean Jindo Dog, the Tibetan Mastiff and definitely the New Guinea Singing Dog, which show genetic mutations arguing the fact that the breed is actually older then the Dingo?

  16. Raphael says:

    And the Canaan Dog, Greyhound

  17. Kayla Ellis says:

    Regarding Norwegian Elkhounds: “The breed falls under the mitochondrial DNA sub-clade referred to as d1 that is only found in northern Scandinavia. It is the result of a female wolf-male dog hybridization that occurred post-domestication.] Subclade d1 originated 480-3,000 years ago and is found in all Sami-related breeds: Finnish Lapphund, Swedish Lapphund, Lapponian Herder, Jamthund, Norwegian Elkhound and Hällefors Elkhound. The maternal wolf sequence that contributed to these breeds has not been matched across Eurasia and its branch on the phylogenetic tree is rooted in the same sequence as the 33,000 year-old Altai dog (not a direct ancestor).” -Wikipedia

    Also, ” It is one of the oldest dog breeds, and Elkhounds have been found buried in Viking burial grounds. ”

    A little confused as to why they’re not on here…

  18. Heather says:

    You do not have xolo’s on the list. They date back to Aztec times and that is a lot older than many you have on the list.

  19. Topking says:

    Thai Ridgeback Dogs

Leave a Reply