The World’s Oldest Dog Breeds

Hey there and welcome back to the Acoma Animal Clinic blog. This month we were browsing our usual internets with a cup of coffee and found an interesting article on one of our favorite subjects, dogs! In this one, the point of focus was the Chow Chow and its age since the domestication of dogs. That got our wheels turning, just what are the oldest breeds? Well, we did some digging and have compiled ourselves a list of the oldest dog breeds in the world!

Chow Chow

Pottery dating back to 206 BCE depicts dogs that appear to be the Chow, a relative of another ancient breed, the Shar-Pei. The Chow was used for all sorts of work, as hunters, sled dogs, herders, and guards.


Believed to be one of the oldest domesticated dogs is the Basenji. There are a couple of traits that link it back to a primal type of pooch. It is a non-barking breed; they’ll bark a single time and then remain silent. The females also only go into heat once a year as opposed to twice as the average domesticated breed does.

Alaskan Malamute

The Malamute takes its name from the Alaskan tribe of people who originally domesticated, bred, and raised them, the Mahlemuit Eskimos. The Malamute is an Arctic sled dog descended, like most other Arctic breeds from Arctic wolves.

Akita Inu

The national dog of Japan, the Akita has its roots described in oral and written history in the Matagi dog, used to hunt bears. It is one of the oldest native dogs of Japan. One of the most famous pooches of all time was an Akita, the pup Hachiko who kept a diligent vigil for his owner to come home from work after the owner passed while at work.

Afghan Hound

Much like all the other breeds listed, the Afghan Hound is another ‘basal’ breed, specifically meaning they all existed before the 19th century and the modern boom of dog breeding. Unfortunately, while the dog is accepted as an ancient breed, it lacks verifiable records, written or visual. The Afghan Hound, whose original name was Tazi, is thought to date back to the pre-Christian era. Today’s purebred Afghans are all descended from dogs brought to Great Britain in the 1920s as a gift from the Afghan royal family.

Those have been just five of the older breeds of dogs that we know of. We’ll see you next time on the blog!

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