If you are one of those owners that has a very uncommon or rare breed of dog you may be able to find a specific breed club in your area. With more and more globalization and awareness of different breeds, people do have many more options for importing or exporting dogs that simply weren't even heard of just a few years ago.
While this ability to have very rare breeds is helpful to ensuring the continued lines of some of the breeds, it also means that finding other dogs of the same breed can be difficult at best. With rare breeds you may have to travel out of state or even farther to find a suitable mate if you do want to breed and continue on with the line.
Many of the rare breeds are from other countries or are dogs that have been bred in very specific locations for a specific task. These dogs may not be recognized by the Kennel Clubs or even registries, yet if enough owners form a club or association set a breed standard and work through the application process the breed may eventually become recognized. Although this process tends to be long and rather challenging, it is definitely worthwhile as a way to help preserve the dog breed and get the public interested in the unique qualities of the dogs.
The internet has really been a boom to rare breed dog owners. Through online forums, virtual dog clubs and even specific rare breed websites owners are able to share valuable health, training and breeding information and attempt to locate suitable breeding stock within and outside of their own countries and areas.
Below is a listing of several of the rare breed dog clubs and the breeds that they represent:
Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog - this dog has been bred exclusively in the Alapaha River region of Southern Georgia in the United States. As a breed they have a wide range of colors including browns, fawns, blacks, brindles and merles, all with significant white markings. The face has the bulldog shape but the ears and tail are left long and natural. They are a true bulldog type, weighing up to 90 pounds and much taller and leggier than the traditional bulldogs. Unlike typical bulldogs the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog was used as an all round farm and plantation dog involved in herding, hunting, companionship and protection. They are very friendly by nature and are not prone to aggression unless provoked.
Chinese Foo Dog - this breed was originally thought to be extinct and legend has it they are related to the mythical Foo Dogs of China. They are similar in general appearance to a Chow Chow however they are found in three distinct sizes, toy, miniature and standard. They have the alert, intelligent and regal looking square faces of the Chows as well as the spitz type curled tail. They are one of the few breeds that can have either a pink/red mouth or a blue/black mouth. Although there is a Chinese Foo Dog Club of America it follows all standards set out by the Chinese Foo Dog Club of China to ensure consistency in this very rare breed of dog.
Irish Glen Of Imaal Terrier - although popular in its native country of Ireland, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is still relatively uncommon and rare in other countries. They are a short legged terrier that is built something like a Corgi through the body but with the wiry terrier hair and the typical terrier face and love of life. Colors can range from red to blue, wheaten to a dark cream and even in brindle colorations. Active, friendly but also somewhat stubborn, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is great for active families and those that enjoy spending time with their dog. They are terrific ratters and are excellent in earthdog type competitions and events. There is an Irish Glen Of Imaal Terrier Club in the United States as well as one in Ireland.
Lundehund - one of the rarest breeds, this medium sized Norwegian Lundehund is considered a primitive dog breed. They were originally used for hunting Puffins in Norway and have developed some interesting physical characteristics. Each foot has six toes including two dewclaws which makes these dogs very agile at climbing and traversing very rough terrain. They are almost fox-like in appearance and color with brown, sable and black markings on the back and cream colored coats on the underside. White markings are very common on the legs, face and chest. These dogs may be very difficult to housetrain but they enjoy the outdoors so may make a good outdoor dog. They are highly affectionate with humans and other animals when properly socialized. There is a Norwegian Lundehund Club of America which provides information on the breed to those interested.
Sabueso Espanol - a breed of large hound type dogs found almost exclusively in Spain, the Sabueso Espanol is considered to be rare outside of their native land. They have incredibly long, hound type ears and the sad looking face, solid long body and long, pointed hound tail. They have the deep baying vocalizations of a hound as well as the very relaxed temperament when they are not out hunting. Their coat is short and tends to be white with red or less commonly with black markings. The red coloring actually has a lot of variation from almost a lemony color to an orange and then into the deeper rust colored reds.
There are several associations designed to protect and promote rare breeds of dogs. In the United States the more commonly used rare breed organization is the American Rare Breed Association. This association works with other rare breed groups around the world to promote different breeds. They host shows, provide information as well as keep registries in the USA for the breeds that they recognize. They are also willing to consider adding other breeds to their listing of the current 130, however the breeds that they list cannot already be listed with one of the national kennel clubs to qualify as a rare breed. Since some breeds may be recognized outside of the United States it is always important to check all Kennel Clubs for possible breed registries that you may wish to contact.