While the United States is filled with two of the most popular dog breeds in the country- Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherd Dogs, these are not American breeds of dogs in reality. Yes, you read that correctly! The Labrador Retriever is a breed of retriever-gun dog from the United Kingdom that was developed from imported Canadian fishing dogs, and the German Shepherd Dogs originated in Germany like the name suggests. Well, it isn’t always easy to tell where the dog breeds hail from. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to these ‘Made in USA’ dog breeds that are not only unique, but also, the most exciting and rare American breeds of dogs you will ever know about.
1. Alaskan Malamute
This may be the closest thing to a real wolf one can have in their house – the gorgeous Alaskan Malamute. Originating over thousands of years ago, Alaskan Malamutes were kept as loyal companions by the Mahlemuts, an Inuit Tribe in Alaska. Alaskan Malamutes are the largest and oldest of the Arctic Sled dogs, relatives to the Native American Dogs which descended from Grey Wolves. They are known for their majestic looks, stamina, friendly personality, affection and playfulness. Notably, these breeds are good with children and make loving family dogs. However, they do require regular exercise and would fit the best with an active family.
2. Catahoula Leopard Dog
In 1539, a Spanish explorer, Hernando, landed in Florida and began to explore the US. He noticed that there was only one species of domestic animal in North America: the Native American’s dog. These native dogs were bred with the Bloodhounds, Greyhounds and Mastiffs brought by the Spanish explorers. The Native Americans called these new dogs ‘Hunting Wolf Dogs.’ Once the French migrants arrived with their hounds, these were crossbred again to develop a family dog that was well-suited to work, hunt and guard, yet good with children. Thus, the Catahoula Leopard Dog came into being, taking its name from the Catahoula Parish, Louisiana, US.
3. Australian Shepherd (Aussies)
Despite its name, the Australian Shepherds did not originated in Australia, but were actually born and bred in California, US. It was in the late 1800’s, when the Basque sheep herders from Spain began emigrating to the United States and Australia, bringing with them this little shepherd dog. It is believed that the Australian Shepherds descended from a variety of herding dogs like Collies, Basque Shepherd Dog and Pyrenean Sheepdog. At present, the Aussies are one of the most popular American breeds of dogs. One can find them happily working on the ranches, and also as therapy and guide dogs enjoying all the attention from their companions.
This canine breed has an interesting history. Arthur Treadwell, a polar explorer, developed the Chinook during the early 1900s to be a sled dog with strength, readiness, and a calm nature. The numbers of this breed decreased so badly in the early 1980s that only eleven Chinooks remained in the United States. Fortunately, enthusiasts and breeders in Maine, Ohio and California divided the remaining Chinooks and saved them from extinction. Currently, most Chinooks are companion dogs and are great at sports like skijoring and hiking. Chinook owners report that they are easy to train and do well in obedience and agility competitions.
5. American Foxhound
Bred to hunt in large packs, the American Foxhounds are scent hounds, developed in Virginia by hounds brought by English settlers. This rare breed of the American soil is a cousin of the English Foxhound and French Foxhound. It still lives and works the way its ancestors did when they came to this country more than 200 years ago. Like all hounds, the American Foxhounds are quite vocal and their howls can carry for miles. They are known to be extremely active and independent, hence, they are not recommended for city living.
6. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
In 1807, two Newfoundland puppies ‘Sailor’ and ‘Canton’ were rescued from a collapsing English ship near the United States Chesapeake Bay area. These dogs were then bred with the area dogs, certainly, spaniels and hounds, creating the beginnings of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. This medium to large-sized dog breed was historically known for its ability to retrieve hundreds of waterfowls a day. Well, the Chesapeake’s dense and wavy coat, allows it to easily deal with extreme weather conditions. Today, the Chesapeake is primarily a family pet and hunting companion.
7. Blue lacy
The Blue Lacy or Lacy Dog originated in Texas as herding dog breeds. They are named after their developers, the lacy brothers- Ewin, Frank, Harry and George who moved from Kentucky to Texas in 1858, where they settled in the Hill Country and developed the breed to work free-roaming hogs. The Blue Lacy is a mixture of the English Shepherd and Greyhound. They are bold, intelligent, active and energetic. Though Blue Lacys can be found with red or tri-colored coats, all of these dogs carry the gene for blue coloring.
8. Plott Hound
Interestingly, the Plott Hound American dog breed is named after its human ancestor, Johannes George Plott. It was in 1750 that Plott had immigrated to America from Germany. He had bought three brindle and two buckskin Hanoverian Hounds with him. He settled in the mountains of North Carolina where he raised his family and bred his dogs. Since then, the Plott Hounds have been bred for seven generations (over 200 years) and known by their family name – Plott’s. The Plott Hound is the official state dog of North Carolina and a member of AKC.
9. American Water Spaniel
Hi there beautiful! These rare spaniel beauties were developed in the state of Wisconsin, US and were used as versatile hunters, agile in both land and water. They have dense and warm coats, fantastic swimming abilities, intelligence, obedience, loyalty, affection and enthusiasm making them the perfect dogs for your family and kids. Currently, there are no more than 3,000 American Water Spaniels in the world. This makes them a special and unique mid-sized dog.
10. Boston Terrier
One of the native American breeds of dogs, the Boston Terrier is known as the ‘American gentleman’ because of his calm and gentleman looks. As his name suggests, the Boston Terrier was developed in Boston, Massachusetts. This dapper looking breed is a product of the English Bulldog and a white English Terrier. These lively little companions were often called Round Heads or Bull Terriers before their name was changed to Boston Terrier. Well, looking at his prom-looks, compact body and manners, I would have officially named him ‘Tuxedo Terrier’. Lol!