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Dog Breeds That No Longer Exist - Kuri

What makes a dog breed go extinct? Some are mated out, completely turned into new types of dogs to fit the fashion or function of the day. Others are wiped away by predators (humans included) or ignored by the breeders that had sustained them. No matter how it happened, extinction for dog breeds is permanent. Here are examples of dogs that no longer walk the earth.


The Kurī was brought to New Zealand around the 14th century, most likely from East Polynesia. While it's said that the dog was a favorite companion of the Maori women, not everyone loved them. "They were always treacherous and bit us frequently," wrote Julien Marie Crozet, a Frenchman who traveled to New Zealand as part of an expedition in 1771. Kurī were often described as ugly and stubborn with a poor sense of smell, and the breed was eventually lost to extinction.

The Kuri was a dog breed kept by the indigenous Maori of New Zealand prior to that Island’s conquest by the British Empire. The Kuri played a very important role in the lives of the Maori, who used the breed for protection, food, clothing, weaponry, tools, decoration, religious rituals, hunting, and companionship. Most believe that the Kuri was relatively uniform throughout New Zealand, but others have suggested that it was more variable in appearance. All agree that the breed was relatively small and fox-like. The Kuri was held in very low regard by New Zealand’s European settlers, who considered it highly inferior to their own dogs. The Kuri eventually went extinct as a result of disease, lack of interest, and interbreeding with European dogs. The Kuri is also known as the Peropero, New Zealand Indigenous Dog, New Zealand Native Dog, Polynesian Dog, and the Maori Dog.

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