Ancient Dog Breeds

History of wolf domestication and specialization

The history of humans and dogs date back to around 18,800 and 32,1000 years ago when a group of wolves initially came into contact with European hunter-gatherers. Despite many breeds that have gone extinct, many have survived for thousands of years. Here is a list of 8 of the oldest dog breeds in the world, all of which remain as popular pets in modern society.

Akita Inu

The Akita Inu is one of the oldest dogs in the world. Although the exact date of origin isn't known, it is related to the Matagi-Inu which existed about 10,000 years ago. They are originally from Japan, named after the northern area of Japan's mainland. This fluffy canine makes a great guard dog and is known to be affectionate, loyal, and intelligent.


The Basenji is an ancient do knwn for it's hunting skills. They are originally from Central Africa and they are dated back to 6,000 B.C. This highly energetic dog is called a barkless dog, for their barks are not typical. They are highly actie dogs that are curious and can be destructive when inactive.

Afgan Hound

The Afghan Hound is closely related to the Saluki. The Afgan Hounds history can be traced back to at least 8,000 years ago. Afghan Hounds were originally used for hunting large prey in both the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan. Afghan Hounds are known for their exotic looks and long hair.

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is the oldest and largest of the Arctic sled dog breeds, which was bred by the Mahlemut tribe, for which the breed is named, around 2000 – 3000 years ago. Malamutes are incredibly strong and were used by the Mahlemut to hunt big game and pull sledges loaded with gear.


According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Saluki is the world's oldest dog breed, dating back to ancient Egypt around 329 B.C! They were sighthounds bred for their speed, strength, and endurance and belonged in Nomadic tribes to help with hunting. Their average life span was 10-17 years.


Originating from Siberia, Samoyeds were used for hunting, herding reindeer, and pulling sledges for the Samoyede people of northwestern Siberia. It is thought that the Samoyede tribe migrated to the Arctic from Central Asia at least 1,000 years before Christianity. In the 1800s, the breed was introduced to England and Queen Alexandra was gifted a Samoyed and promoted the breed extensively. Nowadays, Samoyeds are clever, playful, and loyal dogs perfect as family pets.

Chow Chow

The breed is known for blue-black tongue, which extends to its lips, making it the only breed where the blue-black color is present in its lips and oral cavity. Although Chow Chows have a reputation for being aggressive toward people, early and frequent socialization will produce a dog that is loyal and well behaved.Chow Chows are a popular breed and many famous people have kept them as pets, including Sigmund Freud, Elvis Presley, Martha Stewart, and Calvin Coolidge.

Chinese Shar Pei

The Chinese Shar Pei, which is often recognized for its skin folds and wrinkles, is an ancient breed first depicted in Chinese clay figurines that date back to around 206 B.C. The breed’s name translates to “sand skin” in reference to the dogs’ short and rough coat. The Shar Pei was developed to hunt wild boar, protect farmers’ livestock from predators, and guard its master’s home Shar Pei’s tend to be independent dogs and make great companions for single people or families with older children. Their puppies have many wrinkles, which loosen and spread out as they age.

The World Map of Ancient Dogs