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30 Extinct Dog Breeds: Canines That No Longer Exist (With Photos & Illustrations)

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on July 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

Thomas Brown The Bull Dog illustration of extinct Old English Bulldog

30 Extinct Dog Breeds: Canines That No Longer Exist (With Photos & Illustrations)

Dogs have been around in some capacity on the planet for many thousands of years.1 However, many dog breeds have become extinct and are no longer roaming around with us. Extinct dog breeds came in many shapes and sizes, and they all had unique functions in society. We put together a list of 30 extinct dog breeds that you might be interested in. Keep reading to learn more about them!

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The 30 Extinct Dog Breeds

1. The Alpine Mastiff

Alpine Mastiff extinct dog
Image Credit: 1815 Alpine Mastiff, Wikimedia, Public Domain

Although this breed is extinct, certain aspects of the Alpine Mastiff can be seen in today’s English Mastiff breed, as they are closely related. These dogs came from Ancient Greece, and their large frames made them efficient mountain dwellers. It is thought that they became extinct in the 1800s due to extensive crossbreeding with other established dog breeds.

2. The St. John’s Water Dog

St Johns dog old photograph
Image Credit: St Johns dog, Wikimedia, Public Domain

This impressive dog breed originated in Newfoundland, where they lived as domestic workers and human companions. As their name suggests, the St. John’s Water Dog enjoyed swimming, and they made excellent companions for fishermen. These dogs were exported to England throughout the 20th century to be crossbred with other dog breeds. Unfortunately, the breed’s numbers started declining shortly thereafter, and they became extinct in the 1980s.

3. The Cordoba Fighting Dog

Cordoba Fighting Dog
Image Credit: Cordoba Fighting Dog, Wikimedia, Public Domain

These muscular dogs resembled the modern-day Boxer and Bulldog but were a breed all their own. The Cordoba Fighting Dog was first developed in Argentina and exhibited a high tolerance for pain and a penchant for fighting to the death. Therefore, they became prized fighting champions that were well-known for their aggression. Eventually, they were phased out by crossbreeding them with less-aggressive dogs.

4. The Braque du Puy

Braque Dupuy extinct dog breed old photograph
Image Credit: Braque Dupuy, Wikimedia Commons, CC0 1.0

This pointer breed originated in France. No Braque du Puy dogs can be located today, leading most experts to believe that they are extinct. There are multiple theories as to how this breed came about, one of which is that they were saved from extinction during the French Revolution. Sadly, it does not seem that these sporting dogs were saved from extinction a second time.

5. The Norfolk Spaniel

Norfolk Spaniel extinct dog breed
Image Credit: Dash II Norfolk Spaniel, Wikimedia, Public Domain

These small dogs were developed for bird hunting and were the most common dogs throughout England during the 19th century. The Norfolk Spaniel lost their label as a unique breed when they were lumped together with other Spaniel breeds by the Spaniel Kennel Club in the 1900s. So, they are considered extinct today. It is thought that the English Springer Spaniels currently living are direct descendants of the Norfolk Spaniel.

6. The Talbot

Talbot dog as depicted in Shrewsbury book
Image Credit: Shrewsbury_Book_f.2_(Talbot-Dog), Wikimedia, Public Domain

A distant ancestor of both the Beagle and the Bloodhound, the Talbot was a medium-sized hunting dog that was developed in Normandy. They had sleek, white coats and athletic bodies that made them efficient at hunting small animals. As more efficient hunting dogs were developed and the high care needs of the Talbot grew tiresome to owners, they were bred less and less until they became extinct.

7. The Tesem

Tesem ancient Egyptian dog breed sighthound ancestor
Image Credit: Tesem2, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

The Tesem was a long, thin dog with triangular ears that stood tall above their head. These Egyptian dogs were fierce hunters and loyal human companions. There’s a drawing of a Tesem that dates back to between 3200 and 3000 B.C. They are thought to have become extinct by 1650 B.C., after Egyptians started replacing them with other breeds.

8. The Alaunt

medieval alaunt dog guarding sheep in painting
Image Credit: Jacopo del Sallaio, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

The Alaunt is an extinct dog breed that lived throughout Europe and Central Asia in ancient times. They were bred to work in a variety of capacities by Sarmatian nomads. They had a large, stout body similar to that of the Great Dane and were revered for their strength and precision. Unfortunately, they became extinct in the 17th century.

9. The Dogo Cubano

Dogo Cubano extinct dog breed illustration
Image Credit: DogoCubano2, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

These Cuban dogs are still considered one of the heaviest breeds in the world, as they could weigh up to 300 pounds when fully grown. They had short muzzles, broad necks and heads, and alert eyes. They were revered as excellent companions by their owners but were known to be aggressive toward other animals. The Dogo Cubano became extinct in the 19th century.

10. The Alpine Spaniel

Alpine spaniel extinct dog breed illustration
Image Credit: Alpine spaniel, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

The Alpine Spaniel was a medium-sized gun dog breed that had a curly thick coat suitable for winter weather. These dogs were used as guard dogs and for mountain rescues around the area of Great St. Bernard Pass, which was where travelers commonly got lost. They were originally developed in the 19th century and became extinct in the same century due to severe disease.

11. The Chien-gris

chien gris extinct dog breed illustration
Image Credit: Gris_De_Saint-Louis_from_1915, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

This large companion dog was known for their cheery and affectionate personality. They were gray, but some of them had white, tan, or red spots. Although lean, these dogs could weigh up to 95 pounds and stand 27 inches tall as adults. They became extinct by the year 1800 as other breeds became more popular.

12. The Salish Wool Dog

salish wool dog breed in old photo
Image Credit: Salish-dog-01-girls-with-dog, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

This long-haired dog breed was originally bred by Coast Salish people in an area now known as British Columbia. They were confined to small areas in blocked caves and on tiny, isolated islands to maintain their bloodline and their snow-white coats. The Canadian Kennel Club recognized the Salish Wool Dog as a unique breed in the 1940s, but they sadly became extinct by the 1990s.

13. The Hawaiian Poi Dog

This ancient breed descended from Polynesian dog breeds that were brought to the Hawaiian Islands. These dogs were named after a staple food in Hawaii called poi, derived from the taro plant. Poi was used to feed them and fatten them up for eating. The dogs were raised for meat because animal protein sources on land were scarce. As the Hawaiians became more proficient at fishing and raising pigs and goats, the Poi Dog started to lose popularity, which ultimately led to their extinction.

14. The Russian Tracker

Also referred to as the Russian Retriever, the Russian Tracker was a domestic hunting dog that lived until the 1800s. These dogs were avid flock herders and were known to do whatever it took to protect their human companions and the animals on the farm. Nobody knows exactly why the breed became extinct.

15. The Old English Bulldog

Image Credit: CribandRosa1811, Wikimedia, Public Domain

Not to be confused with the modern Old English Bulldogge, this English sporting dog was primarily bred for bull-baiting. Experts believe that the Old English Bulldog was derived from ancient warring dogs. It is estimated that the breed was originally established in the 1600s or 1700s, and it is not clear exactly when they became extinct.

16. The Paisley Terrier

Paisley Terrier extinct dog breed
Image Credit: PaisleyandBT1894, Wikimedia, Public Domain

The Paisley Terrier was bred for showing and as a companion, but they were also used as a ratter. They had a small body, an affectionate disposition, and a silky, smooth coat. This breed was used to develop the Yorkshire Terrier, so their legacy lives on. The Paisley Terrier was also sometimes referred to as the Clydesdale Terrier, as the Clydesdale was a popular area for breeding this dog.

17. The English Water Spaniel

English Water Spaniel extinct dog
Image Credit: English Water Spaniel, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

This breed became extinct in the 20th century, but until then, they were revered as awesome duck and waterfowl hunters. They were also excellent water divers, and human companions loved taking them on fishing trips. It is thought that the English Water Spaniel was the breed that William Shakespeare referred to in “Macbeth.” Records indicate that the breed became extinct in the 1930s.

18. The Moscow Water Dog

old photo of Moscow Water dog
Image Credit: Moscow Water dog, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

Also known as the Moscow Diver and the Moskovsky Vodolaz, the Moscow Water Dog was a rare breed of dog that was developed from the Caucasian Shepherd Dog, the Newfoundland, and the European Shepherd. Meant to rescue people from the water, these dogs ended up wanting to attack people instead of saving their lives, so their breeding program was ended and they became extinct.

19. The North Country Beagle

North Country Beagle extinct dog breed illustration
Image Credit: Beagle (PSF), Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

There is not much known about this extinct dog breed other than the fact that they shared similar physical characteristics to the English Foxhound. Some documents show that these dogs were highly active and did not tire easily. They existed in Britain until sometime in the 19th century, and they disappeared due to crossbreeding.

20. The Blue Paul Terrier

Blue Paul Terrier dog illustration
Image Credit: Scozia4-bluePaul terrier, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

The Blue Paul Terrier was a fighting breed that was popular in the United States and Scotland. This breed is credited with providing the blue coloring that the modern-day American Staffordshire Terrier is so popular for. Nobody knows for sure exactly when they were developed or even when they became extinct.

21. The Bullenbeisser

Bullenbeiser extinct dog illustrated
Image Credit: Bullenbeiser, Wikimedia, Public Domain

Well known for their muscular build and agile movements, the Bullenbeisser was developed to bait bulls. They are ancestors to the dog breed that we call Boxers today. They lived in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The crossbreeding of these dogs began in the 1800s, and it did not take long before they became extinct.

22. The Turnspit Dog

Turnspit dog breed illustration extinct
Image Credit: Turnspitdog-1862, Wikimedia, Public Domain

The Turnspit dog was highlighted in the first book ever written about canines in 1576. They were called kitchen or cook dogs because they were developed to run on a special wheel that kept the roasting spit moving. Sadly, these dogs were not thought of as pets or sentient beings. They were simply thought of as kitchen appliances. They reached their height of popularity in the 1700s, but they started gradually disappearing and eventually became extinct in the early 1900s.

23. The English White Terrier

Olde White English Terrier
Image Credit: Olde White English Terrier, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

In the mid-1800s, a few breeders in England wanted to create a new show breed with pricked ears and a small, athletic body, which is how the English White Terrier was created. Unfortunately, they did not do well in the show ring, so they were crossbred to create breeds like the Jack Russell Terrier and the Fox Terrier. Eventually, people stopped breeding the English White Terrier, and they fell out of existence.

24. The Molossus

ancient statue of Molossian Hound dog
Image Credit: Statue of a Molossian hound. Ca. 320 B.C., George E. Koronaios, Wikimedia Commons, Licensed under CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

These strong, muscular dogs were extremely popular thousands of years ago. Belonging to the Kingdom of Molossia in Italy, the Molossus were said to have served as guards for the Roman army. We are not sure exactly when the breed became extinct. Experts think that they were at least partly responsible for the development of all Mastiff breeds are that in existence today.

25. The Tweed Water Spaniel

Tweed Water Spaniel
Image Credit: Tweed Water Spaniel, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

These large dogs lived close to the border of Scotland along the Tweed River. They were popular for being athletic swimmers and bird hunters. They had brown, curly coats and long, floppy ears that gave them an endearing look. They are thought to have been first developed in the early part of the 19th century. But by the last part, their numbers had declined, and they eventually faded away completely.

26. The Toy Bulldog

Toy Bulldog extinct breed illustration
Image Credit: Toy Bulldog BDL, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

This small, stout breed from England existed in the 18th and 19th centuries before becoming extinct. The French Toy Bulldog Club of England presented the Toy Bulldog to the Kennel Club once they were established, but the breed never took off or became popular because of their poor temperament and health, as many were born with health or fertility problems.

27. The Toy Trawler Spaniel

Toy Trawler Spaniel old photograph
Image Credit: Toytrawlerspaniel, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

Thought to have been a descendant of the King Charles Spaniel, the Toy Trawler Spaniel was bred as a sporting dog. However, the breed was not successful at hunting, so they evolved to become a show dog. It is unknown where the breed originated or exactly when they went extinct, but there were at least a few still around in the 1920s.

28. The Southern Hound

Southern Hound dog illustration
Image Credit: Southern Hound, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

The Southern Hound existed in Britain, but it is not known where or when they originated. They were tall dogs with bulky, square heads and a talent for following scents. Some say that these dogs existed from ancient times, while others think that they were imported into Britain later. They were slow yet sturdy dogs that were used for following the trails of deer that were being hunted by their owners.

29. The Hare Indian Dog

Hare indian dog extinct
Image Credit: Hareindiandog, John James Audubon, Wikimedia, Public Domain

Originally developed by the North Slavey people (historically, Hare Indians) in Canada, this breed was used to hunt on open lands. These dogs had small, narrow heads and long, pointed muzzles. Records show that they disliked containment and barked frequently. However, as hunting methods progressed, the usefulness of the Hare Indian Dog waned, and the breed slowly died out.

30. The Tahltan Bear Dog

Tahltan bear dog extinct in old photo
Image Credit: Thaltan bear dog, Wikimedia, Public Domain

These strong, loyal dogs were created and maintained by the Tahltans, who lived in British Columbia. Bred to hunt bears, the Tahltan Bear Dog was small in stature but big in personality. They were easy to train, they were loyal, and they never backed down from a fight during a hunt. Europeans brought a variety of dog breeds with them to the area, and they crossbred them with the Tahltan Bear dog until the breed was too diluted to carry on.

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Final Thoughts

Many interesting dog breeds roamed our earth in years past. They all deserve to be preserved in our writings and thoughts because without them, we would not have the breeds that we do today nor could we experience the breeds that are forthcoming. Which of the extinct dog breeds on this list interests you the most?

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Thomas Brown The Bull-Dog, Wikimedia, Public Domain

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