5 Extinct Dog Breeds That Deserve to Be Remembered

The world of canines is not just filled with the breeds we know and love today but also echoes with the memories of breeds that have faded off into the sunset, leaving behind a legacy wrapped in mystery and nostalgia. Let’s embark on a journey through the annals of history, exploring dog breeds that, while no longer with us, have left indelible paw prints on the sands of time.

1. The Gentle Talbot: Lost to Practicality

Extinct Dog Breeds - Talbot
Source: Antique Dog Photographs

???? Origin: Believed to be Europe

The Talbot, with its slow, ambling gait and powerful sense of smell, was a prominent hunting dog from the Middle Ages until the 18th century. Known for their loyalty and gentle disposition, these white, large, and muscular dogs were a favorite among nobility for hunting. Though the Talbot no longer roams the forests, its spirit lives on, often symbolized in heraldry and coats of arms.

The Talbot gradually faded into extinction primarily due to its slow pace and high maintenance. The breed required significant care and was less efficient compared to faster, more practical hunting dogs that emerged over time.

Whispers from the Past: The Talbot is believed to be an ancestor of the modern-day Beagle and Coonhound.


2. The Mighty Molossus: A Victim of War and Time

Extinct Dog Breeds - Molossus
Source: Wikimedia – Statue of a Molossian hound. Roman copy after a Hellenistic bronze original

???? Origin: Ancient Greece

The Molossus, revered in ancient Greece and Rome, was a breed of gigantic proportions and a heart to match. Used in war, hunting, and as formidable guardians, the Molossus was celebrated for its strength and bravery. While the breed has faded into the mists of time, its legacy is immortalized in literature and art from antiquity.

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Despite its celebrated status in ancient civilizations it faced extinction due to wars, invasions, and the fall of empires that once cherished them. As territories changed hands and breeding practices evolved, the Molossus was likely absorbed into other breeds or simply faded away as society’s needs shifted.

Whispers from the Past: The Molossus is often considered an ancestor to many of today’s mastiff breeds.


3. The Curly-Tailed Kuri: Consumed into Extinction

Extinct Dog Breeds - Kuri

???? Origin: New Zealand

The Kuri, brought to New Zealand by the Māori during their early migrations, was a small, curly-tailed dog that played a multifaceted role in Māori culture until its extinction in the 19th century. Used in hunting and as a food source, the Kuri also held spiritual significance. Today, it lives on in Māori legends and tales.

The Kuri faced extinction due to over-hunting and the introduction of European dog breeds. The Kuri was not only a companion but also a source of food for the Māori. With the arrival of Europeans and their dogs, the Kuri was gradually outcompeted and eventually consumed into extinction.

Whispers from the Past: The Kuri is remembered for its unique curled tail and erect ears, a distinct look in the canine world.


4. The Fierce Cordoba Fighting Dog: Bred Out of Existence

Extinct Dog Breeds - Cordoba Fighting Dog
Source: @release_thehoundds – A rare photo of the Cordoba Fighting Dog, the Cordoba

???? Origin: Argentina

The Cordoba Fighting Dog, bred for its unmatched bravery and ferocity in the dog-fighting arenas of Argentina until the mid-20th century, was a warrior breed that lived and died by the sword. Despite its fearsome reputation in the arena, it was known to be loyal and protective towards its human companions.

The Cordoba Fighting Dog became a victim of its own breeding practices. The breed was so aggressive that males and females often fought each other to the death rather than mating. Additionally, the decline in the popularity of dog fighting and the development of the Argentine Dogo, which utilized the Cordoba as a foundation breed, led to its eventual disappearance.

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Whispers from the Past: The Cordoba Fighting Dog played a crucial role in the development of the Argentine Dogo, a breed admired for its strength and tenacity.


5. The Regal Alaunt: Dissolved into Modern Breeds

Extinct Dog Breeds - Alaunt

???? Origin: Central Asia

The Alaunt, a breed that journeyed alongside nomadic tribes across Europe and Asia until around the 17th century, was a versatile working dog, adept at guarding, herding, and hunting. With its powerful build and fearless nature, the Alaunt was a cherished companion of warriors and herdsmen alike.

The Alaunt faced extinction not due to neglect but rather through dilution. As the tribes that utilized Alaunts migrated and settled across various regions, the breed was likely mixed with local dogs to create new breeds suited to specific needs and terrains, causing the purebred Alaunt to vanish into a myriad of modern breeds.

Whispers from the Past: The Alaunt is believed to have influenced various modern breeds, including several types of bulldogs and mastiffs.


???? As we step back into the present, the tales of these extinct breeds linger, like distant barks echoing through the ages. The Talbot, Molossus, Kuri, Cordoba Fighting Dog, and Alaunt may no longer walk beside us, but their stories, their contributions, and their ancient lineages continue to weave through the DNA of our modern companions, ensuring that their legacies live on, forever entwined with the history of humanity.


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