They are known as man's best friend and recent research indicates that they may have been given this title longer than we first believed. Although many dog breeds date back centuries, there are a few that date back well before that. Below is a list of the oldest dog breeds on record and a little information about each breed.
Dating Back 10,000 Years – Akita Inu
The Akita Inu is a historic breed of dog who originated in the mountains of northern Japan. The two separate varieties of Akita are a pure Japanese strain, also known as Akita-ken and a mixed American strain, commonly larger. This breed has a short double coat similar to northern spitz breeds. The Akita Inu is a very strong, loyal and focused dog who's been around for a long time.
Dating Back 9,500 Years – Greenland Sled Dog
The Greenland Sled Dog is a sturdy, powerful and heavy-built dog with a wedge-shaped head, slightly tilted eyes and small triangular ears. This breed is covered with a thick coat which helps to prevents frostbite. This breed has a very long history of being a loyal and hardworking dog known for its incredible stamina.
Dating Back 8,000 Years -- Afghan Hound
While many believe that the Afghan Hound was originally from the deserts of Egypt, its name suggests otherwise, and a more realistic theory is that they were originally bred by the nomadic people of Afghanistan and its neighboring regions. This breed was used to hunt animals such as antelopes and leopards. They are very fast and focused dogs that have a very long history.
Dating Back 8,000 Years -- Greyhound
The original primary use of Greyhounds, both in the British Isles and on the Continent of Europe, was in the coursing of deer for meat and sport. Over thousands of years, this breed has become a very popular family pet due to their gentle and loving demeanor. Greyhounds are also extremely fast and are able to maintain great speeds over long distances. As of today, the Greyhound is known as the fastest breed of dog in the world clocking in at 45 mph.
Dating Back 5,000 Years -- Basenji
The Basenji is an ancient dog breed tracing their lineage from pariah dogs to the Egyptians and then to hunting dogs for the tribes in the Congo. Running in silent packs, the Basenjis often wore bells to alert their human partners to their whereabouts in the deep jungle. This breed of dog was a tremendous hunter whose stamina and loyalty won the hearts of humans for thousands of years.
Dating Back 5,000 Years – Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan mastiff is a large-size dog breed that originated in China. They are often described to be as magnificent and alert as a lion. This breed was used in Tibet for thousands of years as powerful and imposing estate guard. They are very protective and loyal dogs whose appearance can be intimidating. Despite being very intelligent dogs, they can be stubborn and at times difficult to train. Many would suggest training at a young age will yield the best results.
Dating Back 5,000 Years -- Saluki
The Saluki is a very old breed of dog dating back thousands of years. Images of this breed with have been found on various artifacts in the Middle East, such as tomb paintings and mosaic sculptures. The Saluki was bred to hunt and unlike many dogs that utilize scent to do so, this breed utilizes its amazing vision. These are strong, alert, and fast dogs that have a long and proven history of helping mankind.