There are 14 breeds that are considered the oldest based on genetic markers linking them closely with wolves. These include many Asian breeds like the shar-pei, chow chow, Tibetan terrier, Lhasa apso and shiba inu.
These 14 breeds were developed so long ago that it is impossible to say for certain which breed is the oldest. Instead, scientists studied the DNA of dog breeds to determine how closely they are related to wolves. Some supposedly ancient breeds were found to be modern recreations. The Alaskan malamute was the only ancient breed from the Americas. The samoyed and Siberian husky are ancient Russian breeds, and the basenji originated in Africa. The other breeds that have been identified are the akita, Pekingese, saluki, Afghan hound and shih tzu, all from Asia or the Middle East.