18 Weirdest Dog Breeds In the World

Written By Jill Taylor

Dogs are perhaps the most visually diverse domestic animals. The American Kennel Club recognizes 200 registered breeds in all shapes, sizes, colors, and coat types. Yet some breeds stand out as truly bizarre. This article reveals 18 of the world’s strangest dog breeds and what makes them so unique.

Xoloitzcuintle (Xolo)

Photo Credit: TatyanaPanova/Shutterstock

Nicknamed the ‘Xolo’ for short, this ancient Mexican breed is a dark-colored, hairless breed that comes in three sizes (toy, miniature, and standard). Whichever size you choose, they look weird, with a bald or patchy coat and a head shape like the Egyptian god Anubis. Xolos were once believed to guide the souls of the dead to the afterlife and were buried with their Aztec owners!


Photo Credit: muroPhotographer/Shutterstock

The AKC claims this giant Hungarian livestock breed “is among the world’s most recognizable breeds,” mainly due to its uniquely corded white coat that makes it look like it’s sporting dreadlocks. Komondors were bred to protect sheep from wolves and other predators, and their thick coat provides insulation and acts as armor, reducing bite and claw injuries.

Chinese Crested

Photo Credit: Anna_Bondarenko/Shutterstock

This hairless breed originated in China centuries ago and is famous for the comical-looking plumes of hair on its head, tail, and feet. They were bred by crossing large, hairless breeds with smaller examples, and were popular royal lap dogs, believed to bring good luck. Despite its hairless reputation, there is also a powderpuff variety with a full coat of soft hair.

Brussels Griffon

Photo Credit: Ann Tyurina/Shutterstock

These small, feisty dogs come from Belgium and have a distinctive, squashed face and luxurious ‘beards’ of facial fur that can make them look like lumberjacks or craft beer drinkers! There are three varieties: the rough-coated Griffon Bruxellois, the smooth-coated Petit Brabançon, and the long-haired Griffon d’Epagne; all were initially bred to catch rodents.

Neapolitan Mastiff

Photo Credit: Christian Mueller/Shutterstock

This giant breed originated in southern Italy and is known for its massive size, enormous head and loose folds of wrinkled skin. They were bred to guard property and livestock, hence their imposing size and muscular, bullish body type. Despite this, they’re well known for their loyalty and protectiveness and often form strong bonds with their families.


Photo Credit: The Len/Shutterstock

Like the Komondor, this is a Hungarian herding breed with a long, corded coat that resembles mop ropes, although they come in a greater range of colors, including black and chocolate brown. Hills Pet claims their dreadlocks help to protect them from sheep predators, thorns, and burrs. Curiously, puppies are born with soft, curly fur that naturally separates and forms mats as they age.

Bedlington Terrier

Photo Credit: Sue Thatcher/Shutterstock

Nicknamed the ‘lamb’ for its resemblance to a baby sheep, the Bedlington is a medium-sized breed originating in England. Bred to hunt rats and mice, these terriers have a distinctive pear-shaped head and a wiry coat that comes in various colors. Contrary to their weak-looking appearance, they’re very agile and athletic and excel in dog sports, like lure coursing and flyball.


Photo Credit: Waldemar Dabrowski/Shutterstock

Wrinkles aren’t normally desirable, that is unless you’re a Shar-Pei! This Chinese breed is known for its loose, wrinkled skin, small eyes and ears, box-shaped head, and unique coat texture. Originally bred for guarding property and fighting, today, Shar-Peis are popular companion dogs, although their distinctive wrinkles require special care to prevent skin problems.


Photo Credit: 220 Selfmade studio/Shutterstock

The pug is a popular, instantly recognizable breed. With their small, compact size, curly tail, and extremely flattened face, they’re undeniably amusing to look at! Originating in China, pugs were bred as lap dogs for the nobility and are known to be entertainingly clown-like and playful. Unfortunately, their brachycephalic snouts can lead to breathing difficulties and skin complaints.


Photo Credit: WatersPix/Shutterstock

Nicknamed the ‘Little Lion Dog’ for its mane-like head fur, the Lowchen is a rare dog breed with a long, silky coat that’s frequently clipped into elegant designs. According to Wag!, the breed was popular with 15th-century nobility in European countries like Belgium, Germany, Spain, and France, and is often depicted in paintings and tapestries of that era.

Bergamasco Shepherd

Photo Credit: slowmotiongli/Shutterstock

This Italian herding breed is known for its unique, matted coat that forms into felted slabs that look like a dog groomer’s nightmare! Bergamasco Shepherds were bred to work in the harsh Alpine environment, and their thick coat provided insulation and protection from the elements. The mats develop naturally as they are not brushed out when they form in puppyhood.


Photo Credit: katamount/Shutterstock

These pocket-sized German terriers resemble squashed-face primates and have an unusually rough and wiry black coat. Known for being mischievous, entertaining, and tenacious, they were initially bred to catch rats in kitchens and shops. The name ‘Affenpinscher’ translates to ‘monkey pinscher’ in German, referencing the breed’s resemblance to a monkey!

Peruvian Inca Orchid

Photo Credit: Anna Krivitskaya/Shutterstock

This hairless breed was bred by ancient Incas to be companions and was believed to have healing powers! They have smooth, spotted skin and a delicate, elegant build. Today, purebred examples of the breed are rare and highly prized for their unique appearance and typically gentle temperament. The most common skin pattern is black, gray, or brown brindle (stripes).

Nederlandse Kooikerhondje

Photo Credit: BIGANDT.COM/Shutterstock

The Kooikerhondje is a Dutch spaniel with short, silky fur and distinctive white markings with patches of orange or red. While their appearance is not especially strange, their origins are, as they were specifically bred to lure ducks into traps using playful, enticing movements! Today, these traits make them friendly, happy family dogs that excel at agility and other dog sports.

Coton de Tulear

Photo Credit: Agnieszka Agis/Shutterstock

Do you want a dog that resembles a fluffy, white cloud? Then this diminutive dog breed from Madagascar may be for you! Bred as companions to Malagasy royalty, DogTime says they were believed to bring luck and remain popular therapy dogs and companion animals. While their coat can be beautifully white and silky, it requires a lot of maintenance to keep it looking its best.

Lagotto Romagnolo

Photo Credit: Ricantimages/Shutterstock

This breed comes from the Romagna region of Italy and is known for its curly, woolly coat and excellent truffle-hunting abilities, a skill they were specifically bred for. They have a fantastic sense of smell, are obedient, and have a gentle nature. Despite appearances, their thick, poodle-like coat is hypoallergenic and perfect for dog lovers with allergies.


Photo Credit: jadimages/Shutterstock

Like the Pug, Bulldogs are a squash-faced breed with a reputation for being lovable. They were originally bred in Britain, as bull-baiting dogs; their facial wrinkles, muscular build and short snouts were advantageous when gripping large animals in the ring and pooling any blood away from the dogs’ eyes. Today, they are surprisingly laid-back and affectionate family dogs.

Russian Toy

Photo Credit: otsphoto/Shutterstock

This toy breed was developed in Russia during the early 20th century and has a smooth, silky coat that can be long or short. Some have incredibly long fur on their comically long ears, making them look like they’re sporting pigtails! Despite their delicate appearance, Russian Toys are known to be playful and energetic, and their size makes them ideal for smaller homes.

Up Next: 18 Reasons Why Men Get Grumpier As They Age

Photo Credit: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock

You might read this and be able to relate, or you may feel you’ve become grumpier the older you’ve gotten. Or maybe you know of a male friend or relative who has. Here are 18 reasons why men get grumpier as they age.

18 Reasons Why Men Get Grumpier As They Age

17 Products Millennials Refuse to Buy and It’s Affecting the Economy

Photo Credit: Stockbakery/Shutterstock

Millennials have been the center of so much media attention due to their spending habits. Their unique ways of spending have built up and crushed many traditional industries. In this article, we look at 17 things millennials stopped buying and how that has impacted society.

17 Products Millennials Refuse to Buy and It’s Affecting the Economy

Where Even Truck Drivers Won’t Stop

Photo Credit: Jacob Boomsma/Shutterstock

Truck drivers tend to be hardy souls—well-seasoned travelers who aren’t often afraid to rest up or refuel in risky locations. However, there are certain U.S. locations that even the most road-weary trucker refuses to stop at for fear of criminal activity or natural dangers. Here are 17 such locations that even experienced truck drivers approach with trepidation (or not at all).