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Unusual Dog Breeds

How does one define "Unusual Dog Breeds"? Is it their shape, color,size, type of hair? Or is it just a matter of being more rare than the average dog? Dogs come a huge number of shapes and sizes and some are more weird looking than others!

No surprise, really when you consider that there are over 400 breeds of dogs in the world which have been bred for a variety of different purposes. Before the dawn of written history, dogs were being used to hunt, protect, herd, haul heavy loads and keep their humans company. 

Each region of the world has its share of unique breeds, some of which have been around for a very long time.

Scientists now know that humans and dogs existed side by side long before man transformed from a hunter-gather to farming and agriculture. Developing the perfect hunting dog, for example, may take many generations of puppies being born, raised and bred. Hunting in rocky, mountainous terrain  is different than flat lowlands overflowing with vermin.  Each needed a different type of breed.

Thanks to the popularity of "Designer Dogs", more unusual dog breeds are popping up all over the place such as the Labradoodle (Labrador and Poodle cross), the Yorkipoo (Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle cross) and the Jug (Jack Russell and Pug cross).

Unusual Dog Breeds

There's a bit of controversy surrounding "Designer Dogs". Quite a few of them are part Poodle. This is due to Poodles having a different type of fur compared to many other dogs which makes them suitable for allergy sufferers.  Hybrids or Designer Dogs can be any combination of two or more dog breeds.

Crossing a dog breed who usually suffers from a lot of health problems, such as a Bulldog with another breed to produce a dog with less health problems is no bad thing in my opinion. The hybrid may be healthier than the parents.

There are dogs bred for chasing and cornering lions (the fearless Rhodesion Ridgeback), dogs bred for protection (Akita Inu) and even dogs bred for no other reason than for cuddles! (Coton De Tulear).

So below are a list of my favorite unusual dog breeds. They look pretty different than most mainstream breeds and would certainly be a talking point when you're out walking with them!

It's close call between these weird dog breeds as they all look fantastic to me! But, if I had to choose, then I think my favorite would have to be the Bedlington Terrier. It would be like having two pets in one - a lamb and a dog!

If the name is in a different color then you can click on it to learn more about that breed.

My Favorite Unusual Dog Breeds

Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested is a lively, alert, energetic breed that makes an excellent companion, and their size fits just about any environment. They make for lively company, but also like relaxing around their owners. They’re almost always up for playing, making them fun, interactive pets.

The Crested is a quiet breed, barking only when alerted to something new or if left alone. Otherwise, they make for fairly quiet company, and can calmly relax with their owners.

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Hungarian Puli

A black Hungarian Puli dog sitting down looking at the camera, against a white backgroundHungarian Puli

Origins:  Hungary
Size: Small to Medium
Grooming:  Time Consuming
Training:  Time Consuming
Recognition:  FCI:  Group 1;  AKC:  Herding;  ANKC:  Working;  CKC:  Herding;  KC:  Pastoral  NZKC:  Working;  UKC:  Herding

Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon is a fun, inquisitive, watchful little companion dog who is very eager to please! They have huge hearts and are so affectionate - they just love jumping up for snuggles!

The Brussels Griffon is fairly difficult to train. You might have to spend quite a lot of time house-breaking him too. The good news is that he is eager to please so will try his hardest to learn for you.

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Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a very impressive dog! Massive, heavy set and a little bizarre looking, these huge protective dogs are not to be messed with! They need a huge amount of space indoors due to their sizable bodies and, puppies particularly, are very clumsy.

Neapolitan Mastiffs need a lot of training. They are stubborn and head-strong and dislike being told what to do as they are independent thinkers. However, they are intelligent so perseverance and patience will eventually pay off.

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Peruvian Inca Orchid

A Peruvian Inca Orchid standing up indoors, facing to the leftPeruvian Inca Orchid

Bedlington Terrier

Don't be deceived by this Terrier. They have a fragile lamb-like appearance - BUT underneath those cute little curls is a hardy little dog which has feistiness and affection in equal measures!

The Bedlington originally hails from the North-East of England in a town called Rothbury on the Scottish/English borders of Northumberland. In fact, the breed is still sometimes called the Rothbury Terrier.

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Chinese Shar Pei

The Chinese Shar Pei is a defensive and steadfast pal, whose wrinkly skin is a distinguishing trait that catches lots of attention from those who have the opportunity to be within its presence.

Once the respect of a Chinese Shar Pei is achieved, it will express a degree of unwavering loyalty to its owner that is only matched by very few other dog breeds. It is due to the strong attachment this dog forms with its owner and other loved ones, that causes them to prefer being close to their master at all times.

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Also called Toy Mexican Hairless

Origins: Mexico
Size: Small or Toy; Miniature and Standard Size
Grooming: Easy
Training: Average
Recognition:  FCI:  Group 5;  AKC:  Nonsporting;  CKC:  Nonsporting;  KC:  Utility;  UKC:  Sighthound & Pariah

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Bergamasco Sheepdog

The Bergamasco Sheepdog is one weird looking dog! It's fur changes as it grows from a cute fluffy puppy into a scruffy teenage rebel before eventually becoming the dreadlocked cool dude in adulthood!

In terms of personality, the Bergamaso Sheepdog (or Bergamasco Shepherd as he is also known) is a friendly, intelligent, peaceful and well balanced breed. He loves children - his natural herding and protective naturally comes out when he is around kids and the Bergamasco dog breed has been successfully used as a therapy dog for disabled children.

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The brown and white head of a Catalbrun dogCatalburun

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