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The weirdest dog breeds

by Véronique Harvey

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Dog parks are full of Labradors, French bulldogs, and Australian shepherds, but every once in a while there’ll be a one-of-a-kind dog that looks like it came straight from another planet. Check out these 20 strange dog breeds that will definitely catch your eye!

Puli

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The puli, or Hungarian shepherd, is characterized by fur that gathers in cords (like dreadlocks), giving it a mop-like appearance. These tresses can even cover the dog’s eyes! Needless to say, caring for this type of water- and cold-resistant fur is an art. This breed is often confused with the komondor, a slightly larger dog with the same kind of fur.

Catalburun

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From afar, this dog is unremarkable, but a closer look reveals that it has a split (or double) nose! In fact, catalburun means “forked nose” in Turkish. This very rare breed’s hanging ears also have a particular shape.

Peruvian Inca Orchid

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Peru raised the Peruvian Inca Orchid, its only native dog breed, to the rank of National Patrimony in 2001. Westerners often consider its appearance strange. While some have just a mohawk, two-thirds of these peculiar canines have no hair at all. Furthermore, such exposed skin increases their sensitivity to the sun.

Bergamasco sheepdog

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The Bergamasco sheepdog’s coat is really impressive. While it may look unreal, this Italian dog’s rough coat naturally grows in flat layers of felted hair as an adult. Luckily, long eyelashes protect its eyes from all that hair.

Borzoi

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The borzoi, or Russian wolfhound, has a noble and haughty look with a personality to match. This breed is famous for being extremely stubborn!

Tibetan mastiff

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The Tibetan mastiff has long been considered a sign of wealth in China, where puppies can sell for over one million dollars. Much too big (between 45 and 75 kilograms, or 100 and 160 pounds) and noisy (frequent, very loud barking) to live in an apartment, this dog requires a seasoned master to manage its strong character.

Bedlington terrier

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The Bedlington terrier has an alien-shaped head, sports a sheep-like coat, and is the ideal companion for hunters…and active families.

Caucasian shepherd dog

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The Caucasian shepherd dog isn’t actually strange, just HUGE! Nevertheless, while they may look too big to exist, they’re really as sweet as a…bear cub! Interestingly, this is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.

Brussels griffon

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You’ll simply melt in the presence of this funny little ball of energy. Despite its small size, the Brussels griffon likes to lay down the law and dominate other dogs. With its owners, on the other hand, this breed is very affectionate and makes an excellent apartment dog. Just don’t leave it alone for too long!

Irish wolfhound

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Also called Cú Faoil in Ireland, this dog is a gentle giant measuring 86 centimetres (34 inches) at the withers and weighing at least 55 kilograms (120 pounds). In short, the Irish wolfhound’s size is comparable to that of a human, making it one of the largest dog breeds in the world. Add to that the soul of a formidable hunter and a rough, coarse coat that serves as a sort of armour for playing (or hunting) outdoors without getting hurt. Yet another of this breed’s unique characteristics is its bushy eyebrows and goatee, giving it the look of a wise old man.

Bull terrier

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There’s no way to confuse this unique dog breed with any other! The bull terrier’s egg-shaped head makes it instantly recognizable! This pooch is no longer associated with the dogfights for which it was created in the 18th century. Today, bull terriers are a calm and docile breed, ideal for the family.

Chow-chow

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The chow-chow boasts a fur collar, reminiscent of a lion’s mane, muscular body, small eyes that seem to judge anyone who meets its gaze, and a blue-black tongue. It’s one of the oldest dog breeds in the world and has long been associated with Chinese nobility.

Chinese crested dog

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Most of the time, Chinese crested dogs have long, delicate hair on just their head, legs, and tail, leaving most of their body bare. Those that come into the world with a full coat are called Powderpuffs.

Cane corso

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The cane corso is aptly named, translating from Latin to “protective dog.” This Italian breed was originally used to hunt bear and herd livestock, hence its athletic physique, and the majority of these dogs have their ears clipped. Cane corsos need a lot of stimulation, both physical and mental, so living with an active family who will keep it busy is essential.

Affenpinscher

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The affenpinscher, whose name means “monkey terrier,” is characterized by a very short, mustachioed snout. Of German origin, this dog was once used as a ratter, so keep an eye on your affenpinscher if you have vermin at home.

Thai ridgeback

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As its name suggests, this dog breed of Thai origin is characterized by a ridge of hair growing in the opposite direction along its spine. Created to defend humans from cobra attacks (!), this “primitive” dog is known for being protective and loyal, but also very difficult to train!

Portuguese podengo

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Descendant of the greyhound, this Portuguese coursing dog is a born hunter. The podengo comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large. The small variety is lively and fast, making it a formidable rabbit hunter. So, as long as you keep them active, they are excellent companions.

Saluki

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The saluki has been around since long before Jesus Christ and served as a hunting dog for Egyptian pharaohs. In fact, some were so cherished that they were mummified along with their masters. Today, this calm breed needs a human presence to be happy.

Schipperke

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In Flemish, Schipperke means ”little captain,” but this breed is often called “barge dog” in reference to where it was put to work hunting vermin. Schipperkes are recognized by their fox-like heads, ebony coats, and bushy ruffs.

Czechoslovakian wolfdog

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A cross between a German shepherd and a Carpathian wolf, the Czechoslovakian wolfdog is one of two breeds of domestic wolfdogs (along with the Saarloos wolfdog) recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Don’t worry, though, these dogs aren’t any more aggressive than other breeds!

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