It sure seems like there are more dog breeds living around the world than most people can count. But believe it or not, there was a time in which there were even more.
These long-gone breeds once ran around with our ancestors, keeping them company just like our dogs do today. But each of these breeds are now extinct, with practically no hope of ever coming back.
1. The coonhound and the beagle are descendants of the now-extinct talbot, known for its powerful sense of smell. Some have compared the breed to the present-day bloodhound.
2. The St. John’s water dog was a combination of the dogs that lived in Newfoundland and the water dogs that sailed with Portuguese fishermen. Their descendants are today’s labrador retrievers.
3. The modern border collie is believed to be a descendant of the now-extinct Cumberland sheepdog. In Northern England, Cumberland sheepdogs used to be quite popular.
4. English Water Spaniels have been long gone since the beginning of the 20th century. They were developed for the purpose of hunting water fowl.
5. The Old English bulldog was bigger than the bulldogs that are alive today. They were developed for bull-baiting, and their lower jaws extended far further than their upper jaws.
6. Toy Bulldogs lived in the 18th and 19th-century England and were developed in attempts to create a miniature bulldog. They faded away because of issues with fertility and health.
7. The Toy Trawler Spaniel were mostly extinct by 1920. They were bred as hunting dogs, but it turned out that people preferred them as pets.
8. The Turnspit Dog was bred to have long bodies and short legs in order to run on a wheel that twisted a spit with meat on it. They were also used as foot warmers for church parishioners.
9. Cordoba fighting dogs were bred in Cordobá, Argentina. Supposedly, they were so aggressive that they didn’t want to mate, preferring to fight. Naturally, the breed vanished as a result.
10. Hare Indian dogs were bred by Northern Canada’s Hare Indians. It’s possible that they were actually domesticated coyotes. They disappeared after interbreeding with other dogs.
11. The tesem were used as hunting dogs in ancient Egypt. Researchers have found evidence of the tesem dating as far back as 2609 to 2584 BC!
12. The Dogo Cubano was also called the Cuban Mastiff. They were bred both for fighting and catching slaves, but when the Cuban government outlawed slavery, the breed died out.
13. The Chien-gris was a medieval breed of scent-hounds. They were used in the French royal packs roughly between 1250 and 1470.
14. The enigmatic blue Paul terriers were popular fighting dogs. Supposedly, they were among the first dogs brought to America, though we don’t know the region where they first originated.
15. Bullenbeissers were German dogs that were closely related to modern boxers. The extinction came intentionally at the hands of the humans that created boxers.
16. Braque De Puys were fast, excellent hunters. It’s possible that they were the result of the crossing of the Braques with some kind of greyhound.
17. Moscow Water Dogs were developed after World War II so that they could assist with water rescues. Unfortunately, they were so aggressive that they bit more people than they saved.
18. Aristotle’s favorite dog was the Molossus, a breed which is believed to be the forefathers of mastiffs. Though nobody knows for sure, it is thought that they were used for protecting livestock and hunting.
19. The Tahltan Bear Dog was used by the Tahltan people of British Columbia, and were bred to hunt bears. Nonetheless, it is said that they were gentle creatures.
20. Paisley terriers were bred to be show dogs, and were eventually bred into a much more popular breed: the Yorkshire terrier.
It’s unfortunate to think that these dog breeds no longer exist on Earth, but at the same time, it really is incredible to think about how long man’s bond with dogs has gone throughout history.