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Standing out is a risky move to become popular, at least for most of us. But quirky behavior and strange looks are what make some of the weirdest dog breeds around extremely rare and valuable. 

The American Kennel Club (AKC) doesn’t refer to dogs as being weird. Instead, it recognizes them as rare, especially since dog owners in the United States typically prefer Labrador Retrievers, French Bulldogs, and increasingly popular hybrid “doodles.” 

Meet 15 of the weirdest dog breeds that will steal your heart and make you question if you have room for one more puppy in your pack.

The Weirdest Dog Breeds According to the Internet

1. Chinese Crested Dogs

This lively and affectionate breed is most often seen as a hairless breed, with luxurious locks on the head, tail, and feet. But there are “powder puff” versions of the Chinese Crested dog that look, well, like a powder puff.

Chinese Crested dogs are an alert, toy breed, weighing eight to 12 pounds with a life expectancy of up to 18 years.

2. Xoloitzcuintli aka Mexican Hairless Dog

Second on our weirdest dog breeds list is the Xoloitzcuintli, or the Mexican Hairless Dog. This breed’s roots go all the way back to the days of the ancient Aztec and presents in three sizes (toy, miniature, and standard).

Despite having hairless in its nickname, the Xoloitzcuintli breed contains two varieties – hairless and coated. This breed is known for being loyal and calm and lives for up to 18 years.

3. Bedlington Terriers

No, we didn’t sneak a lamb on this list! The Bedlington Terrier is instantly recognizable due to its fur coat that looks remarkably like a sheep after shearing. 

Known for its loyalty and fun personality, the AKC notes this weird dog breed likes to frolic and look after its master. The Bedlington Terrier can weigh up to 23 pounds and live for 16 years.

4. Norwegian Lundehund

At first glance, you might think the Norwegian Lundehund isn’t a weird dog breed. But this fox-like dog has a lot of quirks, including six toes and the ability to close its ears to protect itself.

Like the Xoloitzcuintli, the Norwegian Lundehund is a breed originating from ancient times. It gets its name from the Norwegian word for puffin, which it was initially bred to hunt. In addition to being a hunting dog, the Norwegian Lundehund is extremely flexible, allowing it to burrow in small spaces and turn its head over on its back.

This hearty breed was saved from the brink of extinction in the 1930s and now serves as friendly, athletic companions that weigh up to 30 pounds and live for up to 15 years.

5. Brussels Griffon

Next up on our weirdest dog breeds list is the Brussels Griffon, a grumpy-looking dog that is smart, devoted, and takes itself very seriously.

Griffs are stocky and wear strange beards that make them look like a hipster who judges you for drinking a Bud Light. Best suited for households without small children (we weren’t kidding about the judgmental stares!), the Brussels Griffon is curious and loyal, weighing about 10 pounds and living for 15 years.

6. Russian Borzoi

The Russian Borzoi is more regal than weird at first glance. But once you get past its silky coat, it’s hard not to see it as a fluffy version of the Greyhound.

Russian Borzois are affectionate and energetic but quite independent and stubborn. It has an easygoing gait at a trot but will pursue a cat or squirrel at full speed based on instinct.

Male Russian Borzois can weigh up to 105 pounds and live for around 12 years.

7. Neapolitan Mastiff

The sheer size of a Neapolitan Mastiff is startling if you’ve never been around one. Known for its face full of folds and flappy jowls, this dog is an intimidator until it takes a drink from its water bowl. Then this ferocious guard dog becomes a slobbery mess.

The adult male Neapolitan Mastiff weighs in at 150 pounds fully grown and lives for about seven to nine years.

8. Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

Don’t be fooled; the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is not a docked-tail version of the Australian Cattle Dog. The two breeds are distinctly different from their stances and tails to how they interact with people and other dogs.

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog gets its weird look from it’s naturally bobbed tail. It is full of energy and requires lots of mental stimulation. While this bob-tailed pup will act as a natural defender, it is slow to show affection and likes its independence.

9. Irish Wolfhound

There’s a reason for the “wolf” in the Irish Wolfhound’s name. This breed stands at least 32 inches tall, which matches the size of a standard gray wolf in North America. But this gentle giant is a wonderful choice for an adventurous family because of its calm, agreeable demeanor. 

The Irish Wolfhound sports a rough, hard coat along with a body size that matches its height! The Irish Wolfhound can weigh as much as 120 pounds. Some believe it’s sheer size for a canine is a root cause of its lower-than-average life expectancy of seven years.

10. Cambodian Razorback

Native to a small area of Cambodia, the Cambodian Razorback isn’t acknowledged by the American Kennel Club. This primitive breed is friendly and good-natured despite its intimidating “ridge” of hair that stands up along its back like a mohawk.

While there are other breeds with ridgeback fur like the Thai Ridgeback and Phu Quoc dog, the Cambodian Razorback is bigger with a broader head and bushier tail. 

11. Affenpinscher

Try to look at an Affenpinscher without smiling. We dare you. This tiny dog has a big personality and is quite the comedian despite its serious appearance. They approach every adventure with confidence and fearlessness despite their foot-tall statures.

12. Bergamasco Shepard (or Sheepdog)

On its days off, the Bergamasco Shepherd could moonlight as a mop thanks to its corded coat (that doesn’t shed!). Known for being laidback, this wooly breed is eager to please and devoted to its family and job.

Its coat is made up of three textures that form “flocks” that protect from cold weather and wild predators (at least in its ancestral home of the Italian Alps). Like most herding dogs, the Bergamasco loves watching over its family and uses aggression as a last resort only due to its large size. 

13. Peruvian Inca Orchid

Elegant as a flower, the Peruvian Inca Orchid is a sighthound known for its intelligence and agility. Although the breed comes in hairless and coated varieties, the coated Peruvian Inca Orchid is quite rare despite being born in the same litter as hairless ones.

This noble breed loves its family but isn’t afraid to attack small animals it may view as prey. They live for up to 14 years and come in a variety of sizes, ranging from eight to 55 pounds.

14. Puli

Similar to the Bergamasco Shepherd, the Puli is a coated dog that can masquerade easily as a mop. But this is a high-maintenance mop if you’ve ever seen one! The naturally occurring dreadlocks or cords are dense, weatherproof, and require a lot of attention.

Under its signature coat, the Puli stands at around 17 inches and is remarkably light on its feet. If you can stand the daily attention to its coat, the Puli is a great family pet and loves spoiling its family with affection.

15. Bull Terrier

Despite its egghead appearance, the Bull Terrier is quite popular thanks to its biggest role as Bullseye, the real-life mascot for Target. This stocky, mischievous dog is fun to be around and quite playful (and we swear their eyes twinkle with personality).

Its short legs bring it to stand under two feet tall, while its athletic build weighs in at around 60 pounds. While the Bull Terrier is good-natured, it doesn’t like other dogs and should always be supervised around children.

Do you love reading about dogs?! At Ruffly Speaking, we do more than talk about the weirdest dog breeds online. In fact, we’re an online community exclusively for pet parents

Founded by world-renowned The Dog Gurus, Ruffly Speaking is a membership community that offers real-time training exercises, insider information on the latest dog products and food, and access to some of the most experienced dog trainers and pet professionals around. 

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