What is the first dog breed?

Answered by Edward Huber

Well, if we’re talking about the first dog breed, it’s a bit tricky to determine with absolute certainty. However, based on archaeological evidence and studies, it seems that the Basenji might have emerged before the Akita Inu.

Let’s start with the Basenji. This breed is often considered one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Prehistoric cave paintings dating back thousands of years depict a dog that closely resembles the modern-day Basenji. These paintings, which date back as far as 6,000BC, were discovered in the Congo region of Africa.

The Basenji is a unique breed known for its hunting abilities and distinctive features, such as its tightly curled tail and wrinkled forehead. It’s believed that the Basenji’s ancestors were used by African tribes for hunting small game, thanks to their keen sense of smell and agility.

On the other hand, we have the Akita Inu, a breed that originated in Japan. While the Basenji’s history can be traced back through ancient cave paintings, the Akita’s origins are supported by archaeological findings. Excavations at the Kamikuroiwa Rock Shelter site in Japan revealed the remains of dogs that closely resemble the Akita Inu. These remains were estimated to be around 5,000 years old, which predates the cave paintings depicting Basenji-like dogs.

It’s important to note that these are just some of the findings and theories surrounding the origins of these breeds. The study of dog genetics and evolution is an ongoing field, so new discoveries and evidence may emerge in the future.

While the Basenji is often considered one of the oldest dog breeds based on cave paintings, the discovery of ancient Akita Inu remains suggests that it may have emerged even earlier. However, it’s worth mentioning that the concept of dog breeds as we know them today didn’t exist thousands of years ago, so it’s challenging to pinpoint the exact “first” dog breed.