We love all sorts of dog breeds here at Homes Alive Pets, even the weird dog breeds. From the Finnish Spitz and the Cesky Terrier to the Thai Ridgeback--some of the rarest dog breeds make for great family pets!
Take a look at 15 of the strangest, most bizarre-looking dogs, according to the American Kennel Club. In the end, you will find there's often more to them than first appears, including traits like webbed feet!
15 Top Weirdest Dog Breeds
1. Alaskan Klee Kai
Alaskan Klee Kais look pretty normal at first glance, but there's something odd about this little breed of dogs - their size. Alaskan Klee Kais look almost exactly like Huskies, but they only reach a maximum height of 17 inches.
As one of the more unique dog breeds, they were actually a breed originating from Huskies, American Eskimos, and Schipperke dogs in the 1970s to create the Husky look with diminutive size. According to the American Kennel Club, this breed is wary of strangers but very friendly.
2. Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog
This stump-tailed dog is another breed doppelganger, but this cattle hound isn't as much of a thief as you might think. The Australian Stumpy-Tail Cattle kind of Dog breed has actually been recognized as a breed for almost 50 years longer than the Australian Cattle Dog and is additionally well-known as a herding dog.
And that's not a docked tail, you see! When this breed has a tail, it is no longer than 4 inches long.
3. Brussels Griffon
These furry friends look like they belong on the forest moon of Endor. But there's more that is strange about Brussels Griffons than just their appearance. Brussels Griffons are very difficult dogs to breed. Despite their small size, they often need Caesarean sections.
4. Irish Wolfhound
It's a wolf! It's a horse. It's a...weird breed dog? Irish Wolfhounds make our list because of their extreme size. The tallest dog breed, Irish Wolfhounds can stand up to 7ft tall on their hind legs. That's taller than most men! Irish Wolfhounds benefit greatly from a large amount of exercise and make great guard dogs thanks to their size.
If noses were a competition, the Catalburun dog breed would have everyone beat. Catalburun has what's known as a split nose and is only one of three weird types of dog breeds to have them (the other two are the Pachon Navarro and the Andean Tiger Hound).
And it's not just for show, either. The Catalburun has one of the best senses of smell of the pointer and hunting breeds.
You may know this dog breed better than the Mexican Hairless. The name Xoloitzcuintli is Aztec, making this dog the oldest breed in North America. The Aztec people believed it to have healing powers. Not that far-fetched considering the modern studies linking family pets to health benefits. These dogs are hairless, except for the occasional tuft on their head or tail.
7. Bull Terrier
Bull Terriers are probably one of the most recognizable strange dog breeds on our list - especially if you watch Canadian Hockey. But this breed has such a unique appearance we couldn't skip it. One of the Bull Terrier's most remarkable features is its triangular eyes. Bedlington terrier is the only rare dog breed to have them.
8. Bergamasco Shepherd
While this dog may look like he needs good grooming, he's just acting naturally. The Bergamasco Shepherd has a coat with natural dreadlocks. The Bergamasco sheepdog has three instead of the two usual coats, which are prone to developing mats.
While these unique physical features may seem like a disadvantage, Bergamasco's hair has served it well over the 2000 years of its history. Acting as camouflage, insulation, and a shield from the sun's rays, this alpine sheepdog's hair deserves its place.
Because of their size, Bargamasco Shepherds are excellent guard dogs.
9. Peruvian Inca Orchid
Sometimes known as the Peruvian Hairless or just Orchid, dog owners or dog lovers, this hairless dog breed is thought to have originated in Asia. Their name comes from the Spanish who conquered Peru. The explorers named the unique dogs "Perros Flora," or "flower dogs," as they discovered them among the Peruvian Inca orchid houses.
10. Norwegian Lundehund
The Norwegian Lundehund may appear normal, but have a look at their feet. These dogs are born with double dewclaws, so they have 6 toes on each foot. But that's not where the weirdness ends. Lundehunds also can turn their heads 180 degrees!
11. Cambodian Razorback
Many dogs have a strip of hackles along their back that becomes visible when they are angry. But this pooch isn't angry. He's a Cambodian Razorback, belonging to a group of dogs with similar bumps on their backs called ridgebacks. The Cambodian Razorback looks distinct from other ridgebacks because of its natural long hair.
12. Chow Chow
The Chow Chow name means "puffy-lion dogs," and it's easy to see why they are a favourite among pet owners. The Chow Chow is one of the only strange and rare dog breeds to regularly have a purple-black tongue and lips. And that's not all. The Chow Chow nose is actually blue or grey rather than the usual black.
Another dreadlocked dog, the Puli uses its natural matting hair for insulation and all-weather protection. These cords aren't there at birth, though. The curly, coarse hair usually doesn't appear until 9 or 12 months.
This dog is nicknamed the Lion Dog because of a popular breed haircut. However, in a survey done of Lowchen dog ownership, only 35% actually keep this odd haircut. But it's still weird enough to include in our list. Look familiar? The Lowchen is a part of the common Bichon group of dogs.
15. Chinese Crested
We may have saved the weirdest dog breeds for last. The Chinese Crested Dog is one of the better-known weird dog breeds. But not all Chinese Crested dogs are hairless.
While some have very little or no hair, some individuals (called "Powderpuffs) have soft, human-like hair. Not actually from China, this breed is thought to have originated in Africa or from the Mexican Hairless (there are some genetic similarities).
One origin story is that the Spanish conquistadors of Peru brought them back to China as gifts.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the weirdest dog breeds out there?
Some of the unusual dog breeds include the Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog), known for its hairless appearance; the Brussels Griffon, with its distinctive face resembling an Ewok; and the Bergamasco, recognized for its unique matted coat.
Are these weird-looking breeds recognized by kennel clubs?
Yes, many of these unusual breeds are recognized by kennel clubs and have their own breed standards. While their appearances might differ from the norm, they often have rich histories and unique qualities that enthusiasts appreciate.
Do these unusual breeds have any special care requirements?
Depending on their distinct features, some weird-looking breeds may require specific care. A hairless breeds might need protection from the sun or moisturizing skincare.
Can I find these breeds easily, or are they rare?
While some weird-looking breeds might be less common than more popular ones, they can often be found through breed-specific rescue organizations, reputable breeders, and even adoption centers.
Are these breeds suitable for families and households?
Just like any other breed, the suitability of these dogs for families and households depends on their individual temperaments, exercise needs, and compatibility with your lifestyle.
What motivates people to adopt or own these unusual breeds?
People are often drawn to unusual dog breeds due to their distinctive appearances, standing out from the typical dog breeds.