If you’re looking for a dog breed that’s been around for a long time, you’ll probably find it on this list.
The domestication of dogs took place over 15,000 years ago. Today there are 340 breeds recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, the world-governing body of dog breeds, but some are older than others.
According to a 2004 article in Science magazine, the Basenji, Saluki, Afghan, Tibetan Terrier, Lhasa Apso, Chow Chow, Pekingese, SharPei, Shi Tzu, Akita, Shiba Inu, Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, and Samoyed show the closest genetic relationship to the wolf.
Out of these fourteen, these seven are thought to be the oldest.
The Akita is one of Japan’s oldest native breeds, and was used as a hunting and guard dog in ancient times.
The Alaskan Malamute was named after a native Alaskan tribe that began breeding the dogs around 1000 BC.
This African breed is arguably the most ancient breed in the world, and sculptures of dogs resembling the Basenji can be found in Egyptian tombs.
This distinct fluffy breed with the black tongue originated in China and was used for hunting, herding, and protection.
A Chinese breed, the Shar Pei can be seen depicted on pottery dating back to 206 BCE.
This Japanese breed was bred as a hunting dog, and hunted both boar and bear.
The Siberian Hisky was developed by the Chukchi people of North Eastern Asia, and dates back 4,000 years or more.
All dogs are “man’s best friend,” but these seven breeds have been man’s best friend a lot longer.