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23 Weird Dog Breeds: The Most Unique Animals In The Dog World!

23 Weird Dog Breeds: The Most Unique Animals In The Dog World!

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There are more and more dog owners all around the world each year. However, in the West, we are used to seeing mostly the same breeds. 

We already know what popular American dogs like German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Corgis, and Maltese look like. You come across one of them each day you walk around the block.

So, if you are looking to adopt or purchase a unique dog that is a bit unusual in appearance, one of the weird dog breeds mentioned below will have you and those around you doing a double take!

Most of these breeds are not only weird and unique looking but also quite rare! They come from parts of the globe that get the least coverage in western media, including movies, news, and viral videos.

This not only means that they are much less likely to be spotted in western countries, but also that they are much more expensive, challenging to find, and complicated to bring to the United States.

Weird breeds of dog

Some of the weirdest dogs on our list have fascinating histories. For example, the first one on our list of weird dog breeds, the Xoloitzcuintli, may have the appearance of a rebellious teenage punk from the ’70s rocking a two-color Mohawk.

But, it is actually an ancient dog breed whose name is derived from an Aztec language for the god Xolotl. So, if you are determined to adopt or purchase one of the strange dogs below, make sure you read up on their history as well, as it can be truly fascinating!

With that said, let’s get into some of the weirdest dog breeds you can come across!

1. Xoloitzcuintle (Xoloitzcuintli)

Xoloitzcuintle dog breed

What makes this dog weird, other than its name, is its appearance. The Xoloitzcuintli, sometimes referred to as Xoloitzcuintle or simply Xolo, is truly a sight to behold.

If you are still struggling with pronouncing the name, don’t worry, there is a simpler one: Mexican hairless. As this less of a tongue-twister name suggests, these dogs are completely hairless!

Xoloitzcuintli have a long history in Mexico, and at one time, they were regarded as sacred animals. They are so unique mostly due to the fact that they haven’t got any hair on their bodies, but they also have gorgeous almond eyes, a long neck, and a super sleek body.

All of this, combined with a dashing mohawk on the head, makes them truly one of the strangest dog breeds you can find in the world!

2. Affenpinscher

two Affenpinscher dogs sitting in grass

The Affenpinscher is a funny-looking dog breed that was aptly nicknamed the Monkey Pinscher. One look at their tiny faces, and you’ll quickly see the reasoning behind this nickname.

These pups not only look like monkeys but act like them, too! They are cheeky little dogs that are always looking for ways to get into trouble.

The Affenpinscher has the body of a terrier but with shaggy fur, while its face is just adorable and looks like it was squashed in.

These monkey-looking features are quite unique in the dog world and make the Affenpinscher one of the weirdest dog breeds around. In addition to their monkey faces, their fur is thicker around the chest than any other part of their body, making them appear as if they have a lion-like mane!

This fascinating dog breed comes in a wide range of colors, including black, tan, beige, red, silver, and grey!

3. Puli

two puli dogs running

The Puli is a unique-looking dog breed due to its long dreadlocks. However, it is probably the best-known breed among the weird dog breeds we have for you today.

The dreadlocks on this breed are mostly referred to as cords, and they start to form on the dog’s body when it reaches around nine months of age.

Because of their rasta-like appearance, these dogs need regular grooming to keep their coat in optimal condition. Also, the cords need to be regularly separated to keep them from getting matted or tangled.

When you first lay your eyes on a Puli, you might think that its coat is too heavy for it to move around. However, it’s quite the opposite. The coat of a Puli is really lightweight, and the dogs are quite the athletes too! They are energetic, agile, and light in weight, so they have no problem zipping by you at full speed!

4. Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier standing

At first glance, you might mistake a Bedlington Terrier for a little lamb, and no one can judge you. These dogs are one of the cutest dog breeds, and with their sweet personalities, they make an excellent addition to any family!

But, this doesn’t make them any less strange! After all, how often do people mistake dogs for a lamb? A Bedlington Terrier’s head resembles a pear, their coat is curly, and their ears are triangular. There really is no way to describe the dog without having it turn out weird, so you might just wanna take a look at a picture!

When it comes to temperament, these pups are so docile that it is difficult to imagine they were once bred for fighting. They are sweet, cuddly creatures who want nothing more than to be accepted as they are and have a loving family around them!

For additional proof of the breed’s weirdness, Bedlington Terriers have long fur on their heads and legs but shorter fur on the rest of their body. The reason behind this is that they used to hunt vermin, and as hard as it is to believe that someone would breed dogs with these traits on purpose, it is the truth.

The best part is, the shorter the fur, the better! As if their pear-like heads weren’t enough to make them one of the strangest dog breeds on the planet!

5. Lowchen

lowchen breed dog

This dog breed is often referred to as the “little lion dog.” They are simply amazing and really look like little lions because they only measure between seven and thirteen inches in height.

Note that this breed of dog doesn’t have an undercoat, and its fur should never be allowed to curl. Lowchens are extremely intelligent canines, suitable for apartment living, and also very friendly towards other animals and people.

Not only is the Lowchen among some of the strangest-looking dogs on the planet, but it is also one of the most expensive. So, provided you have the money, and you actually find a purebred Lowchen for sale, you should go for it as they make loveable pets.

6. Cambodian Razorback Dog

Cambodian Razorback Dog looking through the window

Photo from: @piper_the_puppo

An extremely rare breed. Although it may not look like some other weird dog breeds on our list, the Cambodian Razorback Dog has a very large line of hair running down its back.

Even though they are tropical dogs, their hair is long. This is usually the opposite of what you see on dogs living in a tropical climate. Dog breeds that are best suited for hot weather usually have short coats.

Cambodian Razorback Dogs can be found all over Cambodia, and they don’t seem to have any problems with their long coats. They don’t overheat, which is highly unusual.

With all things considered, they are very friendly pups that love their owners and families, but they probably aren’t the best choice for first-time dog owners.

7. Lagotto Romagnolo

Lagotto Romagnolo

This dog has a unique and dashing appearance. Its hair is thick, curly, and woolen, but the dog is still considered hypoallergenic. They sport a double coat that needs occasional trimming and regular grooming.

This dog breed has a special talent for finding truffles. Originally, only pigs were used to search for truffles, but the Lagotto Romagnolo has proven to be quite useful and is slowly but surely taking over the role.

Apart from this “golden goose” trait, these canines would make an awesome furry friend for anybody. They are healthy, joyful, and enjoy walks and playtime with their owners.

Lagotto Romagnolo dogs are also highly intelligent, making them a breeze to train. They are truly rare, adorable little companions, despite being one of the weirdest dog breeds you can come across.

8. Bergamasco Shepherd

two Bergamasco Shepherd dogs

This weird dog breed is covered in dreadlocks, but not the ones we are used to seeing, ones that come in the form of cords.

The dreadlocks that Bergamasco dogs proudly show off are called felts. There are actually three different types of coats on these dogs, and one of them is really thick!

Although these herding dogs are born with smooth, short fur, eventually, mats appear. The mats begin at the spine and reach down to the flanks. This is the main reason behind this breed’s unique appearance.

9. Chinese Crested

three chinese crested dogs

Some people think that this breed of dog is ugly, but we disagree. Each breed is beautiful in its own way, and just because some made their way onto our weird dog breeds list doesn’t make them any less beautiful!

With that said, the Chinese Crested is an adorable breed with a very unique appearance. They are totally hairless except for the paws, tail, and the top of the head.

Because they hardly have any fur on their bodies, Chinese Crested dogs are quite sensitive to the sun. You will need to use sunscreen on your pooch, especially if you live in sunny areas.

Chinese Crested dogs also need regular baths. You will also need to apply moisturizer to their skin to prevent dryness and infections. If you don’t find it strange to cuddle with a hairless four-legged creature, then the Chinese Crested will be a great addition to your household.

10. Neapolitan Mastiff

neapolitan mastiff

The main reason these massive dogs look strange is the loose skin that folds over their faces. They have wrinkled skin all over the body, but more so around the face and rest of the head.

Owners need to spend time thoroughly cleaning between the folds to prevent any skin issues or infections from developing. For a short-coated breed, the Neapolitan Mastiff sure does require a lot of grooming!

Their incredible size is another trait that makes them perfect for our weird dog breed list. These dogs are HUGE! If you want to purchase or adopt a Neapolitan Mastiff, you better have the space for it to roam around.

The Neapolitan Mastiff might seem familiar to you if you are a Harry Potter fan. That’s right – the “cowardly Fang” is actually a paid actor of the Neapolitan Mastiff breed.

11. Komondor

portrait of a komondor

Photo from: @krutherfordphoto

The Komondor breed originates from Hungary and reaches an average height of thirty inches when fully grown. These dogs appear even larger because of their huge coat of fur that is actually the thickest found on any canine in the world today.

This is one of the shaggiest breeds you can come across. These pups look like big dust mops with hair that takes on a tangled, almost dreadlock appearance.

12. Russian Borzoi

Russian borzoi

As its name suggests, the Russian Borzoi was originally bred in Russia. Its body shape is similar to that of a Greyhound, but that is where the similarity ends.

The Russian Borzoi’s coat is sleek on top, getting curlier and thicker as you approach the belly and legs. They are one of the weird dog breeds on our list, not just because of their appearance but also because of how much trouble they cause dog trainers.

These pups are known for their sense of independence and stubbornness. However, they are also quite energetic and agile and love to chase and hunt small animals.

13. Brussels Griffon

brussels griffon behind a fence

Photo from: @agirlnamedchucky

The first thing that might come to your mind when looking at a Brussels Griffon is that it has to be some sort of Ewok terrier crossbreed. These strange-looking little dogs don’t realize that they are a small breed.

They usually strut around the yard or the street looking for someone to mess up (or at least try). They love to take charge and always attempt to dominate other dogs in their area.

Brussels Griffons are highly opinionated canines that assert themselves over anyone around them. Because of this, it is important to start training and socialization from day one and make sure that they are the submissive part of this equation.

14. Bull Terrier

bull terrier

Most of us have seen a Bull Terrier, and some may wonder why it is listed on our weird dog breeds guide. But, to those who see a Bull Terrier for the first time, the unusual egg-shaped head would raise some questions.

Add to that a pair of sharp pointy ears that stand up straight, and you’ve got yourself a really weird-looking pooch. Just because they are a more popular breed than some of the other breeds in our article doesn’t mean that they don’t look a bit on the bizarre side.

15. French Bulldog

french bulldog lying on floor

Another rather popular and often seen dog, the French Bulldog is known and loved for its loving and affectionate personality. They are lapdogs that can’t seem to get enough attention from their owners.

But, there is a reason they are among the weird dog breeds listed here. Although they do have adorable faces, we must admit that they look like they’ve been through a trash compactor with a multitude of wrinkles and a smashed-in-looking nose that make their face resemble a mask of sorts.

16. Mudi

hungarian mudi

Photo from: @kavethemudi

The Mudi is a Hungarian dog breed produced to work in herding and protecting flocks of sheep. These unusual-looking sheepdogs have a coat with tight, wooly curls of grey fur.

The Mudi actually looks like a mix between a Poodle and a Llama, with a long neck and curly hair that extends outwards and gives the pooch a sleek look.

17. Azawakh

Azawakh dog walking

The Azawakh is a dog breed that first appeared in West Africa. While there is no doubt that the dog exhibits an elegant appearance, its elongated neck looks like it has been stretched to abnormal lengths.

The Azawakh’s head looks tiny compared to the rest of the body because of its long neck. These dogs are known to possess intelligence levels that are far above the average in dogdom.

Despite their somewhat humorous appearance, Azawakhs are sighthounds that make great family pets and watchdogs.

18. Peruvian Inca Orchid

Peruvian Inca Orchid

This is perhaps one of the most bizarre-looking canines on the planet. The Peruvian Inca Orchid is an ancient dog breed that is believed to have appeared in Peru around 750 AD.

They are among the rarest dogs in the world, and some dogs of this breed come completely hairless! Some of these hairless dogs come with a few tufts of fur on the top of their heads, giving them an even more unique yet quite disturbing appearance.

19. Norwegian Lundehund

Norwegian Lundehund

Photo from: @lundehunden_hirka

As its name suggests, the Norwegian Lundehund originates from Norway. The dog was created to hunt Puffin.

What makes the Norwegian Lundehund a weird dog breed is that they have six toes on each foot! Not only that, but these dogs have full control over their ears, which generally remain in an upright position.

For the grand finale of strange traits, dogs of this breed can tilt their heads backward until it touches their backbone. There aren’t many dog breeds with this level of control over their bodies, making the Norwegian Lundehund one weird breed of dog!

20. Otterhound

portrait of an otterhound

The Otterhound is a clear case of a fish and dog love story. These dogs are massive in size, and even though they are not all that unique in appearance, they do come with some physical traits that set them apart from all the others in the canine brethren.

Otterhounds are incredible and very capable in water. This amazing aquatic agility is attributed to the webbing built right into their feet.

Think of it as Aquaman but more like Aquadog.

Besides their incredible skills in the water, Otterhounds make excellent family dogs. Their long hair is easy to maintain, and they are always eager to please their owners.

21. Thai Ridgeback

Thai Ridgeback

Similar to the Rhodesian Ridgeback, the Thai Ridgeback has a line of fur growing in the opposite direction from head to tail.

They are strong-willed, loyal, and powerful canines that were used as livestock guardians in their Asian home. Today, they are used as guard dogs, and their strange looks alone might scare off an intruder or two.

22. Irish Wolfhound

irish wolfhound

Is it a wolf? No, it’s a horse! No, wait… it’s a weird breed of dog?! The Irish Wolfhound makes our weird dog breeds list because of its extreme size.

They are the tallest dog breed in the world and can stand up to seven feet tall on their hind legs. That is taller than most humans!

Irish Wolfhounds benefit greatly from a large amount of mental and physical stimulation and make excellent guard dogs, thanks to their overwhelming size.

23. Finnish Spitz

finnish spitz

Photo from: @team.nosoul

This agile, loyal, and hardworking dog breed resembles a fox in more than just appearance. The breed features a dense coat, bushy tail, and erect areas.

It comes in a range of different coat colors, from deep auburn to pale honey. The Finnish Spitz is known for its brisk movements and intelligent expression.

What are the rarest dog breeds in the world?

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the rarest dog breeds in the US are actually some of the most exciting.

In no particular order. here are some of the rarest dog breeds in the world:

1. English Foxhound

These dogs were recognized by the AKC in 1909. They are loyal, gentle, and active companions that were most notably used to hunt foxes in large packs.

2. Harrier

The Harrier dog breed was recognized way back in 1885. It is an old, reliable hunting dog breed from England primarily produced to hunt in packs for rabbits and hares. Harriers are friendly, outgoing, fairly active, and easygoing canine companions.

3. American Foxhound

The American Foxhound is leaner than its English counterpart and was bred in the US to hunt foxes and other game. They are scent hounds bred to run effortlessly for long periods on the chase.

4. Cesky Terrier

The Cesky Terrier is feisty and tenacious in its work, just like a terrier should be! Bred to hunt in packs, Cesky Terriers are slightly more trainable and sociable than your everyday terrier.

5. Chinook

The Chinook is a loyal and devoted family pet originally bred in the US for sled dog racing and drafting. Agile, sturdy, and athletic, the Chinook combines agility and strength for both activities.

6. Pyrenean Shepherd

The Pyrenean Shepherd is an athletic and vigilant herding dog. Dogs of this breed are mischievous and enthusiastic both in play and work. They are playful with their families but wary of strangers. They are the best dogs for active homes.

7. Skye Terrier

The Skye Terrier is a courageous, good-tempered, and canny four-legged furball. Strong and agile, the Skye Terrier is a breed with dignity and elegance. They are highly devoted to their families, although they can be a bit stubborn at times.

Which is the rarest dog in the world?

Otterhound

Photo from: @paleoridge

It is really hard to accurately estimate the number of dogs of each breed alive today. There are millions of breeders around the world, and only a handful of them are registered and keep their records up to date.

This makes keeping track of different dog breeds and their numbers almost impossible, but there are still some estimates on which dog breed is the rarest.

With fewer than eight hundred individuals scattered across the world, the Otterhound is considered the rarest dog breed on the planet. They were originally developed in the United Kingdom, where most of the current population is located and where they were needed to hunt otters.

In medieval England, the otter population was getting out of hand and consuming the river fish, which was a valuable food source for the common folk. Their ancestry may go as far back as the 12th century, but the Otterhounds we have around today appeared in the late 18th century.

Otterhounds have several rough-coated French hound breeds, Bloodhounds, and even the extinct Southern Hound blood in their background.

Weird looking dog breeds: final thoughts

As you can see from our list of weird dog breeds, there is no shortage when it comes to pups that look a little different than what we are used to.

However, that doesn’t make them any less cuddly or lovable! From our hairless Chinese Crested to our beloved Bergamasco Shepherd, they all need a loving home and a patient hand to guide them.

All of the dogs we mentioned above may look a little bit weird, but they are all great with children and love to run, jump, and goof around whenever they get the chance.

Regardless of their looks, each breed listed above is devoted to their families and gets along well with people and other furry pets.
If a strange-looking dog is just what you are looking for, feel free to choose any of the breeds on our list, and you can’t go wrong!