The 10 Most Unusual Dog Breeds

There are hundreds of different dog breeds running around the world today each with their own unique purposes and looks. While most have retained a relatively classic “dog” look, others have taken on a bizarre appearance. Whether they have a special type of structure or a strange feature that makes them unique, we love these weird dog breeds!

#1 – Bedlington Terrier


The Bedlington Terrier is a small terrier from England that is known for resembling more of a lamb than a dog. Despite their appearance, they were not herding dogs of any kind and were actually used to hunt vermin in mines. They have uniquely round heads with no stop and arched backs similar to sighthounds. They are active dogs that do well sports like agility.

#2 – Puli

Photo credit: Anita Ritenour via Flickr.

The Puli is a Hungarian herding and livestock guardian, very well-known for its long, corded coat. Although they look more like mops than dogs, they are very hard workers and their coats are actually waterproof, making it suitable for them to work in wet weather. They are active and intelligent dogs that do well with a job to do and can get bored when confined to small living spaces.

#3 – Bergamasco

Photo credit: “Bergamasco 600”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The Bergamasco is an Italian herding dog known for its long, felted coat. Unlike the corded coat of the Puli, the Bergamasco’s coat lies flat in mats and flocks. The breed is still used as a herding and livestock guardian in the Italian Alps, where it originated, but is more commonly found as an active family companion.

#4 – Çatalburun

Photo credit: By [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons.

The Çatalburun is a Turkish pointer and one of the three split-nosed breeds, the feature that gives them their unique look. Like the other split-nosed breeds, original enthusiasts felt that the dogs had a better sense of smell due to the odd anatomy. The breed is one of the rarest still in existence today.

#5 – Pumi

Photo credit: Jena Fuller via Flickr.

The Pumi is a small herding dog from Hungary that resembles a cartoon character more than a real dog at times. They have thick, curly coats and tipped ears. They are active, intelligent and expressive dogs that are a joy to own and watch. They do need an active lifestyle, however, or they will be difficult to live with.

#6 – Phu Quoc Ridgeback

Photo credit: By Phó Nháy (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

The Phu Quoc Ridgeback is one of the three ridged dog breeds and originates in Vietnam. They are a very rare breed even in their home country, but are gaining popularity in the Western world quickly. The history of the breed is not well known and they are very independent and primitive dogs, which makes them a poor choice for first time owners.

#7 – Norwegian Lundehund

Photo credit: Scarlett2308 via Flickr.

The Norwegian Lundehund, or Norsk Lundehund, is a small spitz-type dog from Norway. It was originally developed to hunt puffins and their eggs. What makes the Lundehund so unique is that the breed has six fully jointed toes on each foot. This, as well as their extreme flexibility, is standard for the breed as they often need to climb over and squeeze into large rocks and crevices.

#8 – Neapolitan Mastiff

Photo credit: “Mastino sylwetka” by Ewa Ziemska – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The Neapolitan Mastiff is an Italian mastiff used as a guardian dog and it is still used for this position today. Although once a more mastiff-type looking dog, the Neapolitan has been bred to extremes, giving it a large amount of excess skin and wrinkles. Because of this, their appearance is very eye-catching, but it does not come without its health concerns. Enthusiasts are looking to bring back the older style of working Neapolitan Mastiff.

#9 – Thai Ridgeback

Photo credit: Preedang via Flickr.

The Thai Ridgeback is one of the three ridged dogs in the world and originates in Thailand. The history of the breed is relatively unknown and although they are still fairly rare today, they do make good companions for those familiar with more primitive breeds. They are intelligent and independent dogs, have high prey drive and are excellent jumpers. Because of this, they are not recommended for the novice owner.

#10 – Xoloitzcuintli

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The Xoloitzcuintli, or Mexican Hairless Dog, is an ancient dog breed from Mexico, with evidence showing it existed over 3,000 years ago. The breed comes in both a coated and hairless variety, is very primitive and independent, but relatively calm. Because they are a primitive breed, they are not recommended for the first time owner.

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