15 Weirdest, Unique Dog Breeds We Love

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6 Minute Read
 | Amy Dyck
Updated January 3, 2021

We love all sorts of dog breeds here at Homes Alive Pets, even the weird ones. From the Finnish Spitz and the Cesky Terrier to the Thai Ridgeback--some of the rarest dog breeds make for great 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!

Top Unique Dog Breeds

1. Alaskan Klee Kai

  Alaskan Klee Kai

Alaskan Klee Kais may look pretty normal from 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

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

Remind you of anything? This stump-tailed dog is another breed doppleganger, but this cattle hound isn't as much of a thief as you might think. The Australian Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog breed has actually been recognized as a breed for almost 50 years longer than the Australian Cattle Dog, and are 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

Brussels Griffon

These furry friends look like they belong in a Star Wars movie. 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

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.

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5. Catalburun

Catalburun

If noses were a competition, the Catalburun dog breed would have everyone beat. Catalburun have what's known as a split nose and are only one of three 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.

6. Xoloitzcuintli

Xoloitzcuintli

You may know this dog breed better as 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 pets to health benefits. These dogs are hairless, except for the occasional tuft on their head or tail.

7. Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier

Bull Terriers are probably one of the most recognizable 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. Bull Terriers are the only dog breed to have them.

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8. Bergamasco Shepherd

Bergamasco Shepherd

While this dog may look like he needs a good grooming, he's just acting natural. The Bergamasco Shepherd has a coat with natural dreadlocks. The Bergamasco has three instead of the two usual coats, which are prone to developing mats. While these unique physical features may seem like a disadvantage, the Bergamasco's hair has served it well over the 2000 years of its history. Acting as camouflage, insulation, and a shield for the sun's rays, this alpine sheep dog's hair deserves its place. Because of their size, Bargamasco Shepherds are excellent guard dogs.

9. Peruvian Inca Orchid

Peruvian Inca Orchid

Sometimes known as the Peruvian Hairless or just Orchid, dog owners love this hairless dog breed that 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 orchids in Peruvian houses.

10. Norwegian Lundehund

Norwegian Lundehund

The Norwegian Lundehund may appear normal, but have a look at their feet. These dogs are born with double dew claws, 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

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

Chow Chow

The Chow Chow name means "puffy-lion dog" and it's easy to see why they are a favorite among dog owners. The Chow Chow is one of the only dog breeds to regularly have a purple-black tongue and lips. And that's not all. The Chow Chow nose is actually blue or gray, rather than the usual black.

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13. Puli

Puli

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.

14. Lowchen

Lowchen

This dog is nicknamed the Lion Dog because of a popular breed haircut. However, in a survey done of Lowchen owners, 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

Chinese Crested

We may have saved the weirdest dog breeds for last. The Chinese Crested is one of the better known weird-looking dogs. 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.

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Have you ever owned a weird-looking dog? Share with us!

Written by

Amy Dyck

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