10 New Dog Breeds Recognized in the 21st Century
From small dainty pups to larger muscular hounds, there are more than 200 dog breeds worldwide that we’ve been lucky to love! But what exactly does it mean to be an “official breed”?
The American Kennel Club recognizes new breeds almost every year through a robust registration process. There are several rules to classify a new breed, such as requiring a minimum population of 300 dogs with a three-generation pedigree. An AKC official breed also cannot be a mix of two already-established breeds, like a Poodle and a Golden Retriever.
This process of establishing a new dog breed can be quite lengthy, and just because a breed is recently recognized doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a new breed. In fact, some pups on this list have been around for hundreds of years. Get to know these 10 new dog breeds of the 21st century!
#1: Rat Terrier
Year recognized: 2013
While they may only grow up to stand 10 inches tall, don't let the Rat Terrier’s adorable features fool you! This breed is an expert hunter originally employed to hunt small prey on farms, like jackrabbits or rats—hence the name. Unless you like freshly dug holes around your yard, it’s important to keep these “exterminators” occupied with lots of exercise or bonding activities. Keep some fun play toys on hand!
#2: Coton de Tulear
Year recognized: 2014
Meet the Coton de Tulear—aka the cotton ball! Coton, the French word for “cotton,” is an appropriate name for these small companions who sport a soft white coat. While the breed’s history is a bit of a mystery, we do know they eventually landed in Madagascar, where they grew in popularity. Cotons are typically a low-shedding breed; however, their fur requires frequent brushing to help prevent knots and mats.
#3: Miniature American Shepherd
Year recognized: 2015
It might seem like a typo at first glance, but the Miniature American Shepherd is a new breed not to be confused with the Australian Shepherd! While they were originally bred as mini Aussies and once called the Miniature Australian Shepherd, this friendly pup went through a few cycles of name changes—including the North American Shepherd—before breeders agreed on the final name and establishment as a unique dog. While they often stay under 19 inches in height, this herder can still be trained to excel at agility games and competitions.
Year recognized: 2016
The Hungarian Pumi made their way across Europe and onto the list of new breeds of dog! You may notice the very alert-looking ears perked at the top of their head, which earned them the nickname “the clown.” This pooch is bred in several different coat colors, but their curls are always recognizable. While they make a good family dog, the Pumi’s herding instincts can still kick in, which may result in loud barking or agitation when alone.
Year recognized: 2016
Get to know the tall, gentle giant known as the Sloughi! Pronounced “SLOO-ghee,” this sighthound is often referred to as the Arabian Greyhound because of their similar appearance to a standard Greyhound. While they were only recently recognized as a new dog breed, the Sloughi has been around much longer. In fact, evidence suggests this pooch may have existed in regions of North Africa for at least 6,000 years, making them one of the oldest dog breeds.
#6: Nederlandse Kooikerhondje
Year recognized: 2018
Do you know how to pronounce the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje’s name? Hint: Nay-der-lands-say Koi-ker-hond-jay (say that three times fast!). Luckily, this Dutch dog is nicknamed “Kooikers” for short. While they have similar features to a Spaniel and a Toller, the unique Kooiker can be recognized quickly by the black hairs at the end of their ears. This new breed of dog was once used by hunters to help lure ducks toward the shore. As you might have guessed, they are excellent in the water and would be a good fit for someone who has an active lifestyle.
Year recognized: 2019
Keep up with the Azawakh...if you can! This West African native was once prized for their hunting skills, using their impressive speed to chase prey like gazelles or hares in the desert. Today, this long-legged friend makes for a great companion on long-distance runs. Not only will this strengthen your bond, but it will help them release their pent-up energy!
#8: Dogo Argentino
Year recognized: 2020
The Dogo Argentino made history in 1973 as the first breed to come from Argentina! This giant dog breed has a very muscular build, which is why they were nicknamed the “Argentine Mastiff” before becoming an established breed of their own. While the Dogo was bred for the strong characteristics of a hunter and watch dog, this pooch has a soft side that makes them a loving member of the family (if you don’t mind a 100-pound companion on your couch!).
#9: Biewer Terrier
Year recognized: 2021
This beloved Biewer (pronounced Beaver) Terrier may look familiar at first glance! Their long hair and delicate facial features closely resemble a Yorkshire Terrier, but this German canine was recognized more than 70 years after the Yorkie. The biggest differential feature is the Biewer’s tri-colored coat with distinct black streaks throughout. Their soft, silky fur can be easily maintained if kept trimmed. However, it will need lots of maintenance if you are going for a longer “show” look.
Year recognized: 2022
Intelligent, versatile, and active all describe the Mudi! Not only are they the newest friends on our list, but the Mudi is also a rare dog breed who comes all the way from Hungary. Often used to herd cattle and sheep, this working dog needs loads of physical and mental exercise to stay healthy. There’s no doubt that spending some extra quality time with your Mudi will leaving you feeling anything but “moody.”
Welcome to the Pack
Give a hound of applause for these new dog breeds! Whether just recently developed or having been around for hundreds of years, these companions are just as lovable as the popular breeds we’ve known and loved for centuries.
How well do you know other furry friends? Take the ultimate dog breed trivia quiz to find out!