At the low end of the upscale breeds is the Saluki. Men have kept Salukis as companions since the pharaohs. Also known as the Royal Dog of Egypt, the Saluki was the breed-of-choice for merchants following the Silk Road. Hare and gazelle hunters also relied on Salukis, and they are among the oldest domesticated breeds that still exist in their pure form.
One of the very few African breeds available for purchase in America and Canada, Azawakhs were initially bred by nomadic tribes as a guard and hunting dog. The breed can reach up to 40 mph — faster than Greyhounds and was used mainly to hunt also. Brave dogs, Azawakhs will chase any sized predator to protect their pack — and they consider humans a part of the pack.
Maybe one of the world’s weirdest looking dogs, the Peruvian Inca Orchid is completely bald except for stray hairs on the feet and the top of the head. Typically described as “elephant grey,” the Peruvian Inca Orchid sometimes has copper or chocolate brown coloring. A hairless dog may seem like a great thing — so long to expensive groomers — the naked skin needs a great deal of special care. Without hair to protect it, the skin is prone to clogged pores, skin dryness, and even sunburn. For obvious reasons, the breed is not a great choice for colder climates.
The Akita is reasonably the best known of the dogs on this list. Split into two strains, the Japanese Akita, and the American Akita, both can bring high prices for pups. The Japanese Akita trades for more.
Rottweilers first were bred as pulling dogs. Until the 1800s, the breed was used largely to pull wagons to market. The breed was also utilized for herding and as a stock protection dog. Strong, sturdy and very smart, Rottweilers often reach 130+ pounds. They are brave dogs that defend their masters and territory. Rottweilers should be socialised from an early age to dodge explosive behaviors.
Despite its name, the Pharaoh Hound isn’t from Egypt. The national dog of Malta, the Pharoah Hound, has a lot going for him. From its very royal appearance to its athletic skill and unusual intelligence, the Pharaoh Hound also blushes — look at its ears and nose — when they’re happy and excited.
The wandering Samoyedic tribe originally cultivated the Samoyed. Originating in Serbia, Samoyed are historically reindeer herders and were bred not only to assist with the herding, but also to be sled-pullers. While not that big, the Samoyed are robust, powerful and extremely ambitious. Herding traits, lost on city dwellers, are made up by their loving predisposition.
Celebs like Justin Beiber and Joe Jonas are forking over up to $25,000 for ultra-rare English Bulldogs. Included in the price are genetic modifications to the dogs’ DNA, resulting in exotic traits like blue eyes and tuxedo-colored fur. Because of human breeding practices, many Bulldogs have serious health problems and an average lifespan of just 8 years old.
Getting one will require flying to the Czech Republic. Scarcely known outside of its homeland, the Wolfdog has only existed since 1955 when Carpathian wolves bred with purebred German shepherds. When compared to most breeds, the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog has a wide variety of expressions. As barking is unnatural for them, they try to interact with their masters in other ways through body language as well as growls, grunts and whining.
Recently, a Tibetan Mastiff was sold in China for a whopping $2 million, making it the most expensive dog ever. Originally from Nepal and China, the Tibetan Mastiff can grow to 160 pounds and stand over 33 inches at the shoulder. In early times, the breed was used to guard flocks and homes from leopards and wolves. Anyone thinking about getting one should figure in the cost of obedience school. Tibetan Mastiffs tend to be headstrong and strong-willed.