15 Strange & Weird Dog Breeds That’ll Make You Do a Double Take!

weird dog

There are cute dogs, wild dogs, scary dogs, and fast dogs, but how could we ever forget about the weird dog breeds?! Yep, those canines that make you scratch your head and think, ‘There goes the neighborhood.’

I’ve seen many a dog in my lifetime who did something to make me say, “That’s just weird.” But I’m sure they’ve looked at me and said the same thing. Whether a dog sleeps in bizarro positions or just has a mug only a mother could love, it’s all the same… Flat-out weird.  

Let’s not forget, though, that a dog’s looks, behavior, and personality make each and every one of them unique and really, really special.

So, let’s have a toast to the weirdest dog breeds we’ve ever seen. May they be strange and unnatural for the rest of their lives! 

Weird Dog Breeds 

Let’s put it this way… Have you ever seen a non-weird Chinese crested dog? There are just some dog breeds that deserve the “weird” adjective. Sure, it’s relative. I might think something is weird that you don’t, but a Chinese crested dog being weird is more like a fact than an opinion. They made it to our list anyway.

Whether it be looks, behavior, or other needs, we’ve compiled a list of weirdness that could make you giggle, make your jaw drop open, or just make you tilt your head and go, “Hmm.” They might be small, medium, or large, but the one thing these dogs have in common is they’re weird!

You may want to call them “strange” or “uncommon,” and that’s perfectly fine. Our feelings won’t be hurt. (And we hope these dog breeds can understand why we’re calling them what we are. We don’t want an angry Neapolitan mastiff after us.) 

Well, here we go… into a world where “ugly” is the new “pretty freakin’ cool”… the world of weird dog breeds.  

1. Alaskan Klee Kai

weirdest dog breeds
Height12”-17” (up to the withers)
Weight6-25 lbs
Life span13-16 yrs

Exercise needs: This Arctic breed, with a medium-high energy level, needs strenuous exercise but doesn’t need to pull a sled daily to get it. Curious, fast, and vigilant, they love everything from camping and hiking to going for walks and playing fetch.

Excel at:

  • Scent work
  • Obedience
  • Racing
  • Agility
  • Dock diving
  • Emotional support
  • Service work
  • Diabetic and gluten detection (weird, huh?)

Weird facts about the breed: With a white marking/mask that surrounds all of their combined facial features, their faces look like little foxes. These beauties have little odor (their coats repel dirt) and only need a few baths yearly.

They make some strange noises when they communicate, including grumbling, purring, chirping, and yodeling. Weird, man.

2. Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

weird dog
Height17”-20”
Weight32-45 lbs
Life span12-15 yrs

Exercise needs: This is a highly active dog breed and needs energetic exercise like walks, a place to run, plus toy puzzles to keep their minds active. This is understandable since they’re bred to drive or herd cattle.  

Weird facts about the breed: They’re often mistaken for blue heelers/Australian cattle dogs due to the resemblance. With their small-ish, compact, statue-like presence, you can see their alertness and curiosity.

They’re generally born with a docked-like tail, although some come into the world with beautiful fluffy tails but regularly have them docked/cut off (which is as egregious as it sounds).

They have the knack to work in extreme heat, which stands out from some breeds that need moderate temperatures or even super cold temps.

They have the knack to work in extreme heat, which stands out from some breeds that need moderate temperatures or even super cold temps.

3. Bedlington Terrier

weird dog breeds
Height15”-17.5”
Weight17-23 lbs
Life span11-16 yrs

Exercise needs: This breed loves to play (with you!) and loves to run around, so they need the space. They also adore a good swim, so a dip in the pool or the lake would be a bonus.  

Weird facts about the breed: Bless its heart. (Yes, I’m in the South.) Can you say, “Sheep with a football-shaped, weird head mixed with a poodle?” because this breed fits the bill. They also have a weird defect in copper metabolism and storage, but other than that are generally healthy. Their saving grace is that they’re great family pets.

4. Bergamasco Shepherd

weird dogs
Height22”-23.5”
Weight57-84 lbs
Life span13-15 yrs

Exercise needs: Though they need about an hour of walks per day, otherwise, you can let them get out in the yard for some me-time. They love their smells and to investigate the world around them.

Weird facts about the breed: This dog has a mixture of three types of hair that form thick mats/flocks. You know those flappy thingies that hit your car as you get it washed at a car wash? That’s the Bergamasco. And despite all of that hair, they shed very little.

With ancient roots, they’re descended from dogs who traveled in pre-Roman times from the Middle East. 

5. Brussels Griffon

strangest dog breeds
Height7”-10”
Weight8-10 lbs
Life span12-15 yrs

Exercise needs: With a “medium” need for exercising, they excel at:

  • Agility
  • Obedience
  • Tracking 

Weird facts about the breed: With their down-turned mouths and long beards, they look like they have perpetual frowns. They’re quite scruffy-looking, too (although there is a smooth-coated type). The Griff, their nickname for those of us in the know, were bred to kill vermin in stables. Belgium’s queen, Marie Henriette, was a fan of the breed and bred them in Europe.

6. Bull Terrier

crazy dog breeds
Height 21”-22”
Weight50-70 lbs
Life span12-13 yrs

Exercise needs: Dogs with high energy, they need about 40 mins of exercise per day. Mental stimulation is also necessary since they were originally bred to hunt and use their minds.

Weird facts about the breed: Another strange-looking dog, talk about an egghead, they have a prominent bump between their eyes and eyebrows. This bully breed has a look that’s all their own. The fancy word for the head shape is dolichocephalic (long face).

Known as the “white cavalier,” this weird breed is a cross between the old English terrier and the bulldog. Did it ever have a chance of looking “normal?”

7. Chinese Crested

odd dog breeds
Height11”-13”
Weight8-12 lbs
Life span13-18 yrs

Exercise needs: Excellent family pet dogs; this breed has no problem going for a walk with you, but not for a mile. A dog this small is generally not a “high activity” dog.

Weird facts about the breed: And the winner of the weirdest-looking dog breed is…the Chinese crested. I just really like this dog. (Have a look at the little guy. Enjoy!) The hair! That skin! Those tongues! The New York Times reported that Chinese crested dogs were probably not from Asia but more likely from America. (Talk about a need for dog-therapy.)

The powderpuff and the hairless are the two types of these weird, ugly dogs…I say with all the love in my heart. They’re odorless and non-shedding. 

8. Irish Wolfhound

weirdest dogs
Height 30”-32”
Weight105-120 lbs
Life span 6-8 yrs

Exercise needs: With moderate energy levels, a nice long walk and some time outside per day should do this breed just fine. 

Weird facts about the breed: These lanky, unkempt, long-muzzled dog breeds look like your next-door neighbor found a dog and brought it over so you would adopt it. One of the tallest breeds in the dog kingdom, they can be over seven feet tall when standing on their hind legs(!). 

9. Komondor

weird dog breed names
Height25.5”-27.5”
Weight80-100 lbs
Life span10-12 yrs

Exercise needs: Although they’re only “moderate energy” dogs, they’d like to play fetch with you rather than roam around outside alone since they’re people dogs.

Weird facts about the breed: That they’re the largest of the Hungarian breeds may be more of an interesting fact than a weird one, but wait ‘til you see how they look. Simply adorable, they could use a scrunchie for the hair on their heads (no, for real) to be able to see more efficiently. 

10. Neapolitan Mastiff

weird looking dogs
Height24”-31”
Weight110-150 lbs
Life span7-9 yrs

Exercise needs: A 15-30 min walk and some backyard play will do this big guy just fine. Neapolitan Mastiff dogs don’t need jogs or long walks due to the undue pressure it could put on the joints. You also don’t want to get into a tug-of-war game as play since this massive breed will quickly learn he’s stronger, which could turn into behavioral difficulties later.   

Weird facts about the breed: A wrinkly cutie-bug, their droopy faces cry out, “Kiss me!” (although the excessive drool might be a slight deterrent.) This unique breed is an excellent guard dog.  

11. Norwegian Lundehund

weirdest dog breed names
Height12”-15”
Weight12-18 lbs
Life span12-15 yrs

Exercise needs: With a medium to high energy level, he needs a ½ hour-long walk or several rowdy games of catch each day.

Weird facts about the breed: He’s a polydactyl dog, meaning he has six fully formed toes on each paw (rather than four). Also, the only dog breed created for puffin hunting, they’re out of a job now, thank goodness, and only serve as friendly companions.

He’s also a contortionist, extremely limber, and his ears fold shut. This is one of the strangest dog breeds and just an all-around weird dog.

12. Peruvian Inca Orchid

funniest looking dog breeds
Height9.75”-15.75” (small) 15.75”-19.75” (medium) 19.75”-25.75” (large)
Weight8.5-17.5 lbs. (small) 17.5-26.5 lbs. (medium) 26.5-55 lbs. (large)
Life span12-14 yrs

Exercise needs: He’s fine with a moderate amount of exercise each day: 20-30 min walk or backyard interactive play.

Weird facts about the breed: It’s tough to describe these Peruvian hairless dogs (except maybe bald and proud), but suffice it to say being weird is in their bloodline. This is one of the rarest dog breeds out there. 

13. Russian Borzoi

weird dog breeds mix
Height26”-28”
Weight60-105 lbs
Life span9-14 yrs

Exercise needs: Since this breed can run between 35-40 mph, it’s a good idea for them to have some land to exercise on and explore (as long as it’s enclosed).

Weird facts about the breed: A greyhound mixed with Lassie with an overly elongated face makes for a silly-looking, weird dog breed. Pet owners who would rather just have a “Lassie” need not apply. 

14. Shar-Pei

weirdest dogs
Height18”-20”
Weight45-60 lbs
Life span8-12 yrs

Exercise needs: Short walks and interactive play breaks inside are really all this breed needs as exercise.  

Weird facts about the breed: With a blue-black tongue, sunken eyes, and “a trillion” folds (or wrinkles), these dogs make a Chihuahua look normal.

15. Xoloitzcuintli

strange dog breeds
HeightHeight:10”-14” (toy)14”-18” (miniature)18”-23” (standard)
Weight10-15 lbs. (toy)15-30 lbs. (miniature)30-55 lbs. (standard)
Life span13-18 yrs

Exercise needs: Long walks and heavy playtime are what Xoloitzcuintli dogs need each day. 

Weird facts about the breed: Let’s start with the name… ’Nuff said. It’s pronounced “show-low-itz-QUEENT-ly.” He is often referred to as a Mexican hairless dog – A little easier to say. This breed looks statue-like and comes in hairless and coated types. If you like rare dog breeds, this is a good one to research.

FAQs

Are These Weird-Looking Dog Breeds Officially Recognized by Kennel Clubs?

Yes, many are officially recognized with their own standards. Despite their distinct looks, they have deep histories and traits that fans adore.

Are There Any Specific Care Needs for These Weird Breeds?

The breeds with folds/wrinkles need to be washed with care and completely dried between those folds. Others are breeds you don’t need to bathe as frequently, and if you do, they could develop skin problems. And still, there are others with the “cord factor” (car wash dogs) that need both meticulous bathing and complete drying. 

Are These Breeds Good for Keeping as a Pet?

All of the breeds listed are incredible companions and, with proper training and early socialization, can make some of the best dogs there are. Catalburun dog breed, Bergamasco sheepdog, and Thai ridgeback are some of the breeds that are also weird looking but not included in our list.

Are These Breeds Commonly Available, or Are They Rare?

Most of these breeds are rare, so if you wanted to buy one, you’d need to look into different clubs or check with the American Kennel Club (AKC). There are also breed-specific rescues you could check with to save the life of one of these adorable canines.

Final Thoughts

Weirded out yet? But really, aren’t unusual dog breeds awesome? So now you know what a Xoloitzcuintli is and that a Neapolitan mastiff looks like Alfred Hitchcock, but don’t forget these breeds are great family pets.

You’d always have a conversation starter when guests come over, and more importantly, you’d have the affection and love these dogs so freely give. 

Well, I’m off to eat ice cream for breakfast. I’m a bit of a weirdo myself!

Jen Flatt Osborn
Born with a pen in her hand and a deadline (and probably a tail), Jen considers writing a vocation, an art, and a release. She’s a freelance copy/content writer who specializes in the pet industry. Previously, she was the founder/director of an animal sanctuary for 12 years, taught classes to middle school students about dog behavior, and has lived a life full of devotion to animals and their welfare. As a vegetarian, Jen advocates for the humane treatment of every living creature. She currently lives with one delightful canine who encourages her to put her head out the car window more often.

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