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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Most ANCIENT Dog Breeds That Still Exist Today!

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From gifts from Aztec gods to reincarnations of the Dalai Lama, here are 10 of the most

ancient dog breeds that are still with us today!


Chinese Shar-Pei

The Chinese Shar-Pei are thought to have originated in Tai Lin, China, and are easily recognized

by their deep set wrinkles and bluish-black tongue.

They were named in 1978, as one of the worlds rarest dog species by Time magazine, and while

the American Kennel Club only recognized them as their 134th confirmed breed in 1992, they

are thought to be one of the oldest breeds in the world.

The first known records of Shar-Pei have been found among artefacts that date back to the

Han Dynasty Period, about 220 BC, with tomb statues and clay figurines that resemble them

very closely.

Very little is known about Chinas history with the Shar Pei from that time, but a 13th

century Chinese manuscript was recently uncovered which also mentions the Shar-Pei.

They were a popular breed in the region through the 18th century, but their numbers dropped

in the 20th century when people chose more ferocious dogs that were being imported from

the rest of the world.

Nowadays, they are making a comeback, but as is the case with many breeds of dogs they

have been bred to exaggerate their features to make them more appealing.

The extremely wrinkly, wide headed and deep set eye types that you may see today are a

far cry from the lean, small wrinkled Shar-Peis that were popular in China.

But it has been a couple of thousand years...



With a name meaningdog of the bush”, the first mention of Basenjis by European

travellers came in 1895 where they were found being used by locals in the Congo.

They were prized for their intellect, speed, bravery and silence, and even had to wear

bells so their owners knew where they were in the dense jungle.

Otherwise they could just sneak up on you!

Evidence suggests, though, that the breed has existed alongside humans for far longer

than this- with carvings found in Egyptian tombs depicting dogs with very similar features.

Basenjis are very energetic dogs, and are one of the smallest breeds of hounds- weighing

about 24 pounds when fully grown.

They have excellent eyesight and a strong sense of smell, and have large ears that stand

on end when alert.

They are very protective with their family, but not so much towards strangers- and are

often referred to as being cat-like because of their fondness of climbing to high places

and self-grooming.


Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apsos originated in Tibet, and are named after Lhasa, the Tibetan capital city and,

unsurprisingly, their word forbearded”.

They weigh, at most, 14 pounds, and have very distinctive coats that only fully form in


My parents had one and they loved it, although it was very independent!

They are thought to have been domesticated as a pet as long ago as 800 BC, which makes

it one of the oldest recognized breeds in the world- meaning it has strong genetic links

with the ancestral wolf.

They live for a long time, more than 20 years in some cases, and were used in Tibet as companions

for monks in Buddhist monasteries and acted as sentinels that would alert the monks to

any intruders.

Historically it was not possible to purchase a Lhasa Apso, you could only receive one as

a gift, and they were very closely tied with religion.

It was believed that their bodies could be inhabited by the souls of Lamas, the Tibetan

Spiritual Master, while they awaited their rebirth.

The first pair of Lhasa Apsos arrived in the U.S as a gift from Thubten Gyatso, the 13th

Dalai Lama, to an American explorer who was the first Christian to enter the Tibetan Holy

City, in 1933.

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Afghan Hound

Afghan Hounds come from the cold mountains of Afghanistan, and have developed their signature

thick, flowing coats as a result.

Their isolation in the mountains, and use by humans as shepherding and hunting dogs,

has meant that they have a high breed purity, because there wasnt much of an opportunity

for them to encounter other types of dog.

It used to be completely prohibited to export the hounds from their home country, where

they have been living with humans for a very long time.

They are depicted in cave paintings in the mountains that have been dated back to more

than 4000 years ago, and they can also be seen in some examples of Egyptian Papyrus.

Afghan Hounds typically grow to weigh up to 64 pounds, and come in a wide range of colors.

They are notoriously slow to train, though, so if youve fallen in love with their long

flowing hair, youll need to be very patient if youre going to get one.


Chow Chow

Despite their cute appearance, Chow Chows have been used as working dogs for a long


Its known that they existed in China 2000 years ago and they were described as heavily

built dogs with harsh coats, straight hind legs and blue tongues.

Some theories think they arrived in China long before then, along with the Mongols when

they invaded the region 3000 years ago.

They have been found represented in pottery and sculptures of the Han Dynasty, similar

to the Shar-Pei, and were also a popular breed in Tibet.

Long thought of as a hunting dog because of their ability to track larger animals like

wolves and leopards, they were also used to pull sleds, and to guard livestock.

Chow Chows were also bred for their fur, and their meat is still considered a delicacy

in some parts of China to this day.

They first made their way over to Europe in the 1800s on clipper ships, and Queen Victoria

was given one as a gift- reportedly taking it with her wherever she went.

They then made the transition across the Atlantic to America, with the American Kennel Club

registering approximately 10,000 new puppies every year.


Akita Inu

The Akita Inu originates from the mountainous regions of Japan.

There are actually two forms of the breed, the Inu that is a Japanese strain, and the

American Akita.

Japanese Akitas only come in a narrow range of colors and have a short double-coat, but

American Akitas come in all varieties.

They are powerful dogs, which is why they have been a popular animal for Japanese people

over generations.

Early records from about 900 years ago show how they were highly prized as hunting and

fighting dogs, as well as sources of nutrition, often regarded asgood eating”.

There was a time in Japanese history where only a ruler was allowed to own an Akita,

and they would wear a collar that represented their ownersrank.

Their popularity has risen and fallen over the years, but at the beginning of the 20th

century they became prized around the world as a result of Emperor Taishos fondness

of them.

Today youll find them all over, where they are valued for their loyalty, power, and independence.

The AKC do not recommend this breed for first time owners, as they can be quite temperamental

and very dominant.


Xoloitzcuintli (show-loh-eets-kweent-lee)

Also known as the Mexican Hairless Dog, which is also much easier to say, is one of the

few breeds of hairless dog.

The name is a combination of Xolotl, the Aztec god, and Itzcuintli, the Aztec word for dog.

The fact the Aztecs named this breed gives an idea to quite how old the breed is, with

some estimates suggesting its well over 3,500 years old.

It is thought that they were brought over to the Americas from the Asian continents,

and became valued parts of the societies that made the countries their homes until the Europeans


They are extremely easy going and comforting dogs, and those who chose one as their companion

were said to bring upon themselves the favor of the gods.

Their remains have been found in burial chambers from the Aztec times, where they were often

sacrificed alongside their owners to assist them with their travels to the underworld.

They were mentioned in Columbusearliest journals of his findings when he set foot

in the Americas, before taking specimens back to Europe with him where he knew people would

be amazed by their hairless appearance.

Today, Xolos are still tightly linked with Mexico, and it is the official national dog

of the country.

Its quite uncommon to see them in the US or Europe, though, so you should feel honored

if you see one!



The Pekingese is another breed of longhaired dog that originated in China, thought to date

back more than 2,000 years.

Their manes and similarities to lions led to them being referred to as Lion Dogs, and

they held royal status with the ancient dynasties- for a long time only members of the Chinese

Imperial Palace were allowed to own them.

Eventually other rich members of society were allowed to have them, and they were a favorite

choice of monks who wanted companionship in the temples.

They were taken to Europe in 1860 during the Second Opium War when 5 of them were stolen

from a palace, and Empress Dowager Cixi gave one to several important American figures,

including Theodore Roosevelts daughter.

They were first recognized by the AKC in 1906, but it was only during the economic boom in

the US following the second world war that large numbers were bred and they became increasingly

in demand.

Of the 178 purebred dogs, according to the AKC, Pekingese are the 80th most popular.



Saluki are also known as the Persian Greyhound, and originally came from around the Nile valley

in an area known as the Cradle of Civilization- where human civilization is thought to have


Having come from such an area, its perhaps no surprise that theyre thought to be one

of the oldest dogs still present on earth.

There are pottery specimens decorated with dogs thought to be Saluki, or their ancestors,

from Mesopotamia dated at over 6,000 years old.

They were depicted on Egyptian tombs from the Middle Kingdom onwards, about 2000 BC,

and became increasingly popular in Egyptian art.

Thought of as the Royal Dog of Egypt, mummified remains of Saluki were found in the tombs

of some Pharaohs.

It wasnt just the Egyptians who revered them for their hunting abilities, with records

from Greece, Persia, and the Middle East depicting their importance.

Their name comes from the long lost Arab city of Seleucia, and today these elegant hounds

are a popular pet, and star attraction at any show they go to.


Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky might just be the oldest dog breed in the world.

While they are commonly bred across cold regions, they have been traced back to Zhokhov

Island in Siberia.

Here, evidence of domesticated dogs over 9,000 years old have been found, where they would

have been used as hunting and sled dogs.

This was an important way of survival back then in the harsh weather conditions of the

region, and the dogs would have been an invaluable tool.

The breeds used back then had the same traits as the Siberian Husky, and while it is a modern

day version of what was present back then, it is very closely related to them.

They are thought to have been developed by the Chukchi people of Siberia, who brought

them to Alaska in 1908 for sled-dog racing, which is when the world first became aware

of them.

They were known as Chuckchis, but because of their ability at racing they were taking

to the US, where they were renamed as Siberian Huskies.

Nowadays their appealing looks, affection and loyalty have made them an extremely popular

breed, and amazingly they havent changed much over the years.

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The Description of Most ANCIENT Dog Breeds That Still Exist Today!