They say “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” – this phrase certainly comes into play in the world of canines. While I can truly appreciate almost any type of dog if they have a great personality or a charming puppy grin, well….some of them are just funny looking! (Luckily dog’s don’t really mind if you laugh in their general direction, as long as you have a good treat to make up for it). Actually many of the dogs on this list are rather unique in their appearance, which causes quite a few of of us to do double takes when we encounter one on the street (if you ever happen to!).
Bedlington Terrier: Is that a dog or a lamb? Bedlington Terriers have to be one of the strangest dogs I have ever seen. With their pear shaped heads, curly sheep-like fur and triangular ears, these dogs truly look like no other breed out there! While the Bedlington may look like a timid little sheep, in the early days this breed was often used for fighting. While the Bedlington’s of today have been bred to be sweet companions, they can still hold their own if they are challenged.
Photo by Deanna
Photo by rjseg1
Chinese Crested: Hairless breeds always draw a crowd. Most people *do* believe dogs should have fur! The little Chinese Crested has fur on its paws (socks), its tail (plume) and a long flowing mop on its head (the crest). Their skin is soft and needs to be carefully cared for. Sunscreen must be used to make sure the dog doesn’t burn and they should be bathed regularly to prevent acne and other skin issues (and moisturised to control dry skin!). Some Crested owners bring their dogs in the shower with them to maintain this routine. A Chinese Crested named “Sam” was voted the “World’s Ugliest Dog” three years in a row! When he passed away at age 14, the contest judges decided that Sam was indeed “The Ugliest Dog Ever”.
Photo by Fuzzycub007
Photo by kiny
Neapolitan Mastiff: This giant Molosser breed looks something like a mini-Rhino! The Neapolitan Mastiff stands out as “strange” due to all that loose skin! They have wrinkles all over their bodies, most prominently on the face and head. All those wrinkles need some extra TLC – the folds must be cleaned and kept dry as acne and infections are a concern if they are moist. The canine actor who played “Fang” in the Harry Potter movies was a Neapolitan Mastiff.
Photo by anushaperera
Photo by TX Powell
Puli: The Puli is one of the 3 “dread locked” breeds on this list! The “dreads” are actually known as “cords” and naturally begin to form when puppies are about 9 months old. Owners have to help this process by separating the cords as they can form very large matts if they are not maintained. Bathing one of these dogs is a lengthy process, as they take hours to dry!
Photo by Tapidu
Photo by Specklet
Komondor: Komondors resemble Pulik (the plural of Puli), as they both have corded coats. However the Komondor is quite a bit larger than the Puli and seems to resemble a large mop (the breed is always white). Actually the coat color much resembles a used mop as the cords are often a bit “off white” from dust and dirt. Komondors were bred to guard livestock and their thick coats protected them from the elements as well as predators. The Komondor needs a great deal of intense grooming.
Photo by mrteapotpostcards
Photo by Katrina Bird
Peruvian Inca Orchid: Another hairless breed, these little dogs have even less hair than the Chinese Crested! This ancient breed appears in art dating back to 750 A.D. However when Peru was conquered by the Spanish, it almost led to the loss of these unique dogs. While these dogs occasionally have a bit of hair on their feet, tails and heads – breeders strive for a completely hairless dog. Grooming requires moisturizing with lotion to prevent skin drying. Peruvian Inca Orchids can be prone to acne and blackheads and obviously need to be kept warm in the colder weather!
Photo by mookiebones
Photo by melissamoore
Shar Pei: No one can confuse a Shar Pei with any other breed. This heavily wrinkled dog also has an unusual “hippopotamus” shaped muzzle. I have seen dogs of various breeds react in a confused manner towards Shar Pei. I’m guessing they didn’t recognize them as one of their own kind! As puppies the wrinkles are everywhere! As the dog grows the wrinkles often become less evident and are limited to the head and back. Shar Pei should always have a solid bluish-black tongue; spotted tongues are considered a fault and a pink tongue is a disqualification!
Photo by waldopepper
Photo by matthew_i_ aldous
Xoloitzcuntle: The last of the hairless dogs on our list- these guys have quite the name! Pronounced “show-low-its-queen-tlee”, you can also call a Xoloitzcuntle a Mexican Hairless or even a “Xolo” for short. These little dogs look almost exactly like the Peruvian Inca Orchid, but their roots are not the same. Xolo’s were considered sacred by the Aztecs as they were believed to help guide individuals through the underworld after their death. Like the other hairless breeds, Xolos require bathing, moisturizing, sunscreen and coats to keep these little baldies happy and healthy!
Photo by xolita
Bergamasco: Another “moppish” looking breed, the Bergamasco’s coat is actually considered “felted” and not “corded”. The matts are made up of the 3 types of hair that the dog grows and begin to form in late puppyhood. Due to their dark color, they often appear quite shabby. The Bergamasco is from Persia and like the Komondor, served as a sheepdog and livestock guardian. While some owners may be tempted to shave these heavily coated dogs, breeders absolutely frown on this, saying the dogs coat will never be the same.
Photo by merdeath
Photo by Imolnar
There you have it! A list of 10 of the strangest looking breeds out there! Don’t be offended if you are the owner of one of these fantastic dogs – you are one of the few who get to experience their unique personalities (as well as looks!). Wrinkled, hairless or heavily matted – these are dogs who draw a crowd wherever they go!