9 ancient and wild dog breeds

Modern dogs are domestic pets, farm helpers, service animals, and an integral part of human society. But throughout history, some breeds known as feral pariah dogs have remained. Unlike the pets we know and love, parrot dogs have evolved without human intervention and thus have adapted to survive, rather than look or temperament. The number of breeds considered pariah is disputed, and estimates range from 13 to 45. Some of these breeds have since been domesticated, while others still live half-wild in the outskirts of human civilization.

Here are nine breeds of pariah dog with ancient and wild lineage.

Carolina dog

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The Carolina dingo, or American dingo, was discovered in the 1970s and lives in the wild in secluded stretches of the southeastern United States. Lear Brisbane Jr., long mistaken as a stray, first saw him for what he was: a unique breed with its own distinct characteristics. With an orange or ginger-colored coat and demeanor much closer to wild dogs than to feral dogs, DNA testing eventually showed the breed to be more closely related to primitive East Asian dogs than to European dog breeds. The Carolina Hound has since been domesticated and is now recognized as a pure breed by the United Kennel Club.

Australian dingo

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Like most pariah dogs, the Australian dingo’s lineage is a bit muddled. Scientists cannot agree on whether it was a unique subspecies of the wolf, or a domesticated breed that returned to the wild thousands of years ago. Either way, the modern, purebred dingo is content to live outside of human influence, hunting kangaroos, possums, and rabbits in groups. There are also many dingo dog hybrids as a result of crossbreeding with domestic animals. With the increase in the number of hybrids, pure dingo dogs are likely to be on the decrease.


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The Basenji is best known for being a “barking dog” – it is largely silent, but when it vocalizes, it sings. It originated in the densely forested regions of the Congo Basin in Africa.

The ancestors of the modern Basenji have lived with humans for thousands of years as a semi-mobile hound. Pictures of dogs with basenji characteristics (pricking ears and tightly curled tails) can be found in Egyptian tombs, revealing the ancient origins of this species.

bald mexican dog

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Of course, the notable feature of the Mexican hairless dog was mentioned in its name. It is possible that the hair loss was caused by a spontaneous genetic mutation that occurred at some point in its 3,000-year history as a breed. The boom turned out to be beneficial, given its hot and humid tropical habitat.

It was not recognized as an official breed until the 1950s, when it became clear that he would die if not recognized and protected by breeders.

native american indian dog

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The Native American Indian dog has been a companion to the indigenous peoples of the Great Plains for thousands of years. They are a hard working breed that have been used for many tasks, from guarding and hunting to pulling sleds, but modern pets are also desirable as family pets. They are a medium-sized breed similar to husky dogs, with large ears, and a sable colored coat that ranges from cream to golden and brown to black.

indian abandoned dog

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An example of a pariah dog breed is perhaps the Indian pariah dog, which can be found throughout the Indian subcontinent. Although ubiquitous on the streets of India, the Daisy dog, as it is also known, is not just a common stray, but a unique species with its own characteristics and distinctive pedigree. Thanks to their natural development, they are a robust breed that does not suffer from many of the health issues that can plague dogs of weak pedigree. When they are domesticated, they tend to be poorly groomed and have little body odor.


S. Chleiounakis / Wikimedia Commons / GFDL

Alobekis is a small pariah breed that has its origins in ancient Greece. Their existence was mentioned by classical writers such as Aristotle, and images of these dogs can be found in pottery, carvings, and carvings, including a clay vase dating back to 3000 BC.

Unlike many modern breeds, its smaller stature is not the result of selective breeding, but rather has been a gradual decrease in size over the course of its evolutionary history. This is evident thanks to its natural proportions, and the lack of problems such as bowed legs or the appearance of an excessively long back.

new guinea dog singer

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The New Guinea Singing Dog is a close relative of the Australian dingo, and little is known about its behavior in the wild. Although considered one of the most primitive and ancient dog breeds, they have not been seen roaming in the wild since the 1970s and are only found today as a species reintroduced into captivity. It is a small, short-legged breed with an alert nature. It does not bark, but is known as a “chorus howler”, similar to coyotes and other wild dogs.

Canaan the dog

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The Canaan dog, also known as the Bedouin Sheepdog, is a pariah dog that lives in most parts of the Middle East. According to tradition, he was an old companion of the Israelites who were left behind during the Jewish Diaspora centuries ago. In the following years, the dogs returned to the wild. Unfortunately, many of the remaining Canaan dogs were killed by the Israeli government in the war against rabies in the early 1900s. Today, it is the national dog of Israel, and breeding programs are being implemented to increase the population.

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