The Absolute 10 Strangest & Weirdest Dog Breeds in the World!

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: August 7, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/Bigandt_Photography
Share this post on:

We all think our dogs are the best-looking fur babies on the planet. But the truth is that there are some pretty strange dogs out there! For some humans, the stranger the dog looks, the better — they just love the quirkiness of some canines. So, we’ve researched the strangest and weirdest dog breeds we can find. Of course, this is always a matter of personal preference, and there are many people who won’t think these guys look strange at all. So, in no particular order of strangeness, let’s look at the amazing variety that the canine world has to offer!

1. Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested dog has flowing fur on its head, ears, feet and tail but apart from that its skin is hairless exposing flesh that can be dark or pink. Their fur can be a range of colors including black, white, slate and blue. They do not shed which makes them attractive to many owners. It is thought that they were first bred in Africa and were imported to China. These dogs have an affectionate, lively and playful nature and make great family pets.

  • Size: 11-13 inches
  • Weight: 8-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: 13-18 years
  • Exercise needs: low
  • Separation anxiety: high
  • Special note: You need to protect its exposed skin from sun.
Chinese crested dog running on the beach
If you have a Chinese crested dog, make sure you protect their skin.

iStock.com/Bigandt_Photography

15,802 People Couldn't Ace This Quiz

Think You Can?

2. Komondor

The lovely Komondor is a big dog and immediately recognizable – no other dog looks quite like they do! The breed originated in Hungary where they were bred originally to guard livestock. Their stand-out feature is their coat which grows in cords and looks like dreadlocks. These guys are large in nature and large in personality so they need a firm hand but they also make extremely loving family pets. Their unique coat is usually white but they can have some cream or buff shading.

  • Size: up to 30 inches
  • Weight: 100+ pounds
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Exercise needs: high
  • Separation anxiety: moderate
  • Special note: You need a fence because they are great escape artists.
Types of Big Dogs
Komondor puppies have a white, soft, and fluffy coat that changes between 12-24 months. Then the coat becomes matted.

iStock.com/volofin

3. Xoloitzcuintli

The Xoloitzcuintli is one of the most ancient dog breeds we have and can trace their ancestry back to the Aztec civilization. You will also see these dogs called the Mexican hairless and they are also affectionately called the Xolo (pronounced show-low). They have very old connections with the spirit world and their numbers once went into decline because of their association with paganism.

Most (but not all) of these dogs are hairless and they have a sleek body with large ears – their wrinkled forehead gives them an expressive face.

They are a loyal and protective dog but they need a lot of mental and social stimulation.

  • Size: up to 23 inches
  • Weight: up to 50 pounds
  • Lifespan: 13-18 years
  • Exercise needs: moderate
  • Separation anxiety: high
  • Special note: You need to protect their exposed skin from sun.
Xoloitzcuintli standing on sand dune
Not only do Xoloitzcuintlis not have hair, but they also don’t have molars either.

art nick/Shutterstock.com

4. Brussels Griffon

A long time before mixed breeds like the Cockerpoo became popular, the Brussels Griffon was created! It is actually a mix of Pug, English Toy Springer and Affenpinscher and was recognized as a breed itself in the late 1800s.

They are petite dogs who can be a range of colors including brown, blue, black, tan and beige. You will get an endearing dog with bags of personality so watch out for the bossy traits to emerge! They love to be close to their humans but can be quite vocal if there is something they want to communicate to you. If you remember the Star Wars series, these dogs may look a little familiar. That’s because creator George Lucas used them as inspiration for the Ewok creatures in the films.

  • Size: 7-8 inches
  • Weight: 7-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Exercise needs: high
  • Separation anxiety: high
  • Special note: Some dogs in this species will bite when scared.
Brussels Griffon
Brussels Griffon dogs look like Ewoks.

Ann Tyurina/Shutterstock.com

5. Bedlington Terrier

The Bedlington Terrier is a cute little dog with a strangely arched back and pear-shaped head. They originate from Bedlington in England and were originally bred to hunt rodents in industrial settings. They have an unusual curly coat that makes them look a little like a sheep – but they do not shed which is a plus for many owners.

This breed is intelligent and more loving and less rowdy than many of the other terrier breeds. They have, however, retained that stubborn terrier streak which makes them a bit tricky to train. An ideal family for a Bedlington Terrier would have a very active lifestyle and a large house and garden – their vocal nature may not suit apartment living.  

  • Size: 15-18 inches
  • Weight: 17-23 pounds
  • Lifespan: 11-16 years
  • Exercise needs: moderate
  • Separation anxiety: moderate
  • Special note: Their coat will need daily grooming to keep it healthy.
Bedlington Terrier with flowers in the background
Bedlington Terriers rarely shed. They have a poodle like coat. However, you will need to groom them well and frequently.

SubertT/Shutterstock.com

6. Russian Borzoi

The Russian Borzoi is the type of dog that makes you look at them twice. At first glance, they look like a Greyhound, but then you see all the fur! They were first bred in Russia for hunting rabbits and foxes and they can run very fast! When they are at home, however, they are extremely laid back and a total couch potato. Most are gentle and serious dogs but some can become the clowns of the family. However, they do not like to be left alone so will not suit a family that is out all day. Feeding them can be a challenge as they can be fussy eaters.

  • Size: 26-32 inches
  • Weight: 55-105 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Exercise needs: moderate
  • Separation anxiety: high
  • Special note: They will chase anything, so you need a dogproof fence to keep them in.
Tallest Dogs: Borzoi
The Borzoi is one of the tallest sighthounds and sports a unique wavy coat.

Grisha Bruev/Shutterstock.com

7. Bull Terrier

The only strange thing about the Bull Terrier is their head. Their appearance divides dog lovers all over the world. You either love their elongated face and small wide-eyes or you don’t! Either way, you have to admit that this breed has had a hard time in the past thanks to their connections with bloodsports like bullfighting and dogfighting. These days, they are capable of being very loving family pets but they do need to be raised correctly.

Bull Terriers have a lot of energy and are very intelligent but their stubborn streak means that you will need patience and a gentle but consistent approach to train them. This breed makes an excellent guard dog and their coat (which can be black, white, tan or red) will require very little grooming. However, they very rarely get on with other household pets (especially cats) and would not be the best choice if you have young children.

  • Size: up to 22 inches
  • Weight: up to 65 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10 -14 years
  • Exercise needs: high
  • Separation anxiety: moderate
  • Special note: These dogs can be aggressive if not socialized correctly.
bull terrier puppy standing on pavers
The egg-like shape of the Bull Terrier’s head is its most distinctive feature.

iStock.com/Ирина Мещерякова

8. Shar-Pei

The adorable Shar-Pei is all about the squish and the wrinkles! These medium-sized dogs are originally from China and were bred for fighting. The wrinkles are actually for protection and are not a fashion statement.

They are independent and serious little pups who will grow up to be headstrong adults if they are not trained correctly from a very young age. They are also very wary of strangers which is a good thing for a guard dog but a bad thing for a family pet so early socialization is essential with this breed. These dogs suit families with older children or adult-only households the best. In the right family, they will be an incredibly loyal and loving companion.

When it comes to grooming, their skin folds will need some special maintenance to make sure that they do not become infected.

  • Size: 17-20 inches
  • Weight: 35-44 pounds
  • Lifespan: 9 -11 years
  • Exercise needs: low
  • Separation anxiety: moderate
  • Special note: Use wipes to clean their wrinkles so they don’t develop sores or an odor.
Chinese Shar-Pei puppy playing outside in the garden.
Shar-Peis need to have their wrinkles wiped clean to keep them from developing an odor.

Waldemar Dabrowski/Shutterstock.com

9. Neapolitan Mastiff

This very striking breed is huge and has unbelievable wrinkles! The Neapolitan Mastiff is one of the world’s giant breeds. They are no lap dogs but like to think that they are – which can lead to some squashed humans! A male adult can grow to weigh up to 200 pounds.

This breed has a proud and ancient history as guard dogs in ancient Italy and they still have a strong protective instinct.

Because of their imposing size, they are not the best choice for people who live in apartments (unless it is a big one) or for first time dog owners. You do not have the choice of picking them up and carrying them away from a tricky situation! They prefer to have a yard that they can patrol and they do need some exercise to prevent them from becoming obese.

These guys also have some personal habits that some humans may not be very pleased about. That includes breaking wind, grunting, snorting and slobbering. If you are looking for a genteel dog, this is not the best breed for you.

  • Size: up to 31 inches
  • Weight: up to 200 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Exercise needs: low
  • Separation anxiety: high
  • Special note: As this breed can get cardiomyopathy, consider a legume-free food.
Neapolitan Mastiff sitting outdoors
The Neapolitan Mastiff can weigh up to 200 lbs!

Christian Mueller/Shutterstock.com

10. Peruvian Inca Orchid

Our final choice is another hair-free dog. The Peruvian Inca Orchid is also sometimes called the Peruvian hairless dog. This is yet another old breed that can be traced back to ancient times when it was bred as a sighthound and would have hunted small rodents. As with other sighthound breeds, it has an athletic build and a sleek outline.

When it comes to temperament, this breed can be quite complex and you never really know what you are going to get. Some are quite wild and others are docile but they are all very sensitive and hate to be left alone.

They do well in apartments and only need 30 minutes of exercise a day. However, watch out for their phenomenal prey drive.  If they spot a rabbit or squirrel, they will give chase and you will not be able to keep up with them!

  • Size: up to 26 inches
  • Weight: up to 55 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Exercise needs: moderate
  • Separation anxiety: high
  • Special note: These dogs do not do well in cold weather, so you will probably need a coat to keep them warm.
peruvian inca orchid standing in the grass
This breed has a long average lifespan of 13 years.

Anna Krivitskaya/Shutterstock.com

Up Next:

Ready to discover the top 10 cutest dog breeds in the entire world?

How about the fastest dogs, the largest dogs and those that are -- quite frankly -- just the kindest dogs on the planet? Each day, AZ Animals sends out lists just like this to our thousands of email subscribers. And the best part? It's FREE. Join today by entering your email below.

What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?

X-Small
Small
Medium
Large
Xtra-Large

If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Kids
Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

Yes
No
How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?
Chinese crested dog running on the beach
A Chinese crested dog is a great option for those who have allergies.
iStock.com/Bigandt_Photography
Share this post on:
About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/