Here Are the Top 4 Ancient Dog Breeds

Dogs have been around humans for an incredibly long time. The first dog breed that scientists have evidence of is the Akita Inu, which existed around 8,000 BC. When you get a dog of this breed, the pet you invite into your home is very similar to what would have existed nearly 10,000 years ago. Of course, this dog breed is not the only ancient dog breed. There are quite a few others. 

If you're looking for a pup with a long, storied history, here are the top four ancient dog breeds that you might want to consider!

One of the Most Ancient Dog Breeds: Akita Inu

The Akita Inu is one of the most ancient dog breeds that's still around today. Their original purpose was to guard royalty in Japan about 10,000 years ago. They also hunted for animals, most notably bears, boars, and sometimes even deer. 

As you might expect, these guard dogs carry quite a bit of weight and strength with them. They weigh between 70 and 130 pounds and can be as tall as two feet four inches at the shoulder. Remarkably, for their size, they have quite a long lifespan of between 10-12 years.

Akita Inus have unwavering loyalty to their owners but do have an affectionate, sweet side. They'll follow you from room to room, finding all the ways to protect you. 

If you want a healthy dog, a loyal protector, and beautiful addition to your family, the oldest dog breed, Akita Inu, might be a perfect fit!

Chow Chow

It's hard to misclassify a Chow Chow. With a distinctive blue tongue and a lion-like appearance, the Chow Chow is one of the world's most beloved dogs. It's also one of the more ancient and popular dogs, having originated around 150-200 BC. Therefore, it has lived on this planet for more than 2,000 years!

Chow Chows are bulky dogs, but their fur is super cuddly. They can be a little aggressive toward people, but once they get to know you, they're much, much more well-behaved.

These dogs are relatively healthy, living between 10 and 15 years on average. With a little luck and some high-quality nutrition, these pups have a shot at living even a little bit longer.

One word of caution: if a Chow Chow grows up around children, they can learn to be amicable towards them. However, by nature, the Chow Chow is a more aggressive dog that doesn't do well with a child tugging on its tail. Therefore, if you have small children, a Chow Chow might not be the dog species for you!


Originating from Siberia, this hypoallergenic dog breed is one of the more exciting dogs around. This breed first appeared around 1,000 BC, so it co-existed with humans for 3,000 years. These dogs originally hunted, herded reindeer, and pulled sleds for the Samoyede people of Siberia. That's why they have such a lovely, fluffy fur coat!

These dogs do not do well in solitary confinement. They need love, attention, and lots of time in the great outdoors and walks (remember, they worked in a pack to herd reindeer initially, so sitting in your apartment won't work for them). 

However, with the right training and lots of patience, these dogs can become loyal and loving. They'll love to snuggle with you on the sofa and enjoy spending time with you!

Samoyeds have a relatively long lifespan of about 12-14 years. They're healthy dogs, as well, so for the most part, you shouldn't have any issues with this breed.

Afghan Hound

Many people wonder whether the Afghan Hound is the oldest dog breed instead of the Akita Inu. There's evidence of both on the Earth at around the same time. 

Once you've seen an Afghan Hound, you'll know what it is. It has long fur and a very dignified look. Nowadays, the fur's appearance is striking and makes people pause and stare at the park. In the early days of this breed, that fur protected them from the harsh climate in Afghanistan's mountains. It was a survival tool and not a coat to show off.

Afghan Hounds are mighty creatures. They stand as high as 27 inches at the shoulder and weigh as much as 60 pounds. For being a medium-sized dog, it has a life expectancy of 12-15 years. 

Having come from the mountains, these dogs need plenty of exercise. However, their build and strength make it challenging to provide them this much-needed activity. They need long runs, not short walks. They also need to be on a leash since their instinct is to hunt prey. Additionally, since these dogs can jump so well, any enclosed space for exercise needs to have a tall wall. Keep this in mind if you want to get this ancient dog breed!

Some of the Most Ancient Dog Breeds Are Also the Best

The world's oldest dog breeds have robust characteristics that have enabled them to withstand the test of time. They're all very attached to their owners, adept at hunting, and relatively healthy. If you're looking for a unique dog that other owners don't have, consider one of these four ancient dog breeds!

What was the first dog breed?

There isn't enough evidence to conclusively say which dog breed was first. However, there's evidence that two dog breeds - the Afghan Hound and the Akita Inu - existed around 8,000 BC, making one of these the most ancient dog breed. There are quite a few dog breeds around today that are at least 2,000 years old.

How many dog breeds are there?

Multiple governing bodies determine what types of dogs officially count as a breed. The American Kennel Club lists 190 recognized dog breeds. Internationally, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) lists over 360 dog breeds.

What's the oldest dog?

The official oldest dog that ever lived was an Australian Cattle dog by the name of Bluey. He died in his sleep at age 29 back in 1939. There have been quite a few dogs since then to live to almost 29 years, but, so far, they haven't exceeded Bluey's long life.

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Written by Leo Roux

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