We know – all dogs are beautiful and yours is the most beautiful of all. But with over 200 recognized dog breeds in the world (and that's before you've started on all the non-recognized ones and mixed breeds) there are a few that don't quite fit the typical dog ‘look'.
They may be hairless, have an odd-shaped head, be a funny size or be incredibly furry but they're all still adorable. Here are some weird dog breeds that don't quite look like the classic Labrador.
But first, a doggie disclaimer
We might not like to admit it but many humans judge a dog by its looks. This can include specific desirable and undesirable colors, sizes, and shapes.
When adopting or buying a dog, it's much more important to think about the pup's temperament than what it looks like and whether it's a weird dog breed. Funny-looking pups can also make great family pets and deserve a loving home too. After a while, their unique appearance will come to be one of the things you love about them the most!
17 weird dog breeds
Here are 17 of our favorite odd-looking pups for you to have a look at. Which ones would you also add to the list?
Let's start off with this little lamb. The Bedlington Terrier is a unique-looking dog that is groomed to look even more un-dog-like.
The Bedlington Terrier can have pom pom ears, fluffy breaches, and a rat-like tail. They also have a pear-shaped head which really makes them stand out. Despite their sheepish appearance, these Terriers are alert watchdogs that can be protective of the ones they love. They're full of fun and are great family dogs.
Chinese Crested Dog
Chinese Crested dogs are definitely on the list of the all-time strangest dog breeds.
In fact, they look as far away from a Labrador as you can get. Their bodies are bald, showing off their unusual spotted pink skin, feathered tails, and crested head.
These little dogs can grow to be 13 inches tall and are very alert and affectionate. They adore their owners and love to spend time playing and curling up on the couch.
These muscular dogs are easily recognizable thanks to their unique egg-shaped head, small eyes, and pointed ears. Although big-boned and robust-looking, these dogs move with surprising agility and will love canine classes in obedience.
They were bred to be both companion dogs and sporting pups so it's important you ensure your Bull Terrier gets enough mental and physical exercise each day.
These pups were the favored guard dogs of Ancient Rome – and you can see why.
Not many intruders would dare enter with an enormous Neapolitan Mastiff standing in the way. These wrinkly dogs are affectionate and calm with their family members but are aloof and wary of strangers or people approaching those they love.
Socialization from a young age is key with these weird-looking dogs.
Mexican Hairless Dog
These doggos come in three sizes – toy, miniature, and standard and can either be hairless or coated. Both are a little odd-looking but the hairless variety is even more unique!
These dogs are great watchdogs and are very alert although they need regular training. They're also a good option for allergy sufferers as they're considered to be hypoallergenic dogs.
Under all those dreadlocks is a strong and powerful body that's extremely loyal to its humans and that loves to work. Pulis are also very affectionate and playful. One thing potential dog owners should bear in mind is that these dogs require a lot of grooming. Whether brushed out or dreaded, a Puli's coat takes up a lot of time.
How cute is the face of a Brussels Griffon? These adorable little dogs are almost human-like with their inquisitive looks and big, round eyes.
Although only growing to be 10 inches tall, this dog breed has a huge personality that is sure to keep any owner on their toes.
Bergamasco Shepherd Dog
Just like the Puli, these pups are iconic thanks to their unusual coat. Unlike the Puli, however, Bergamasco Shepherds have flocks rather than dreadlocks.
Flocks are strands of hair that weave together and form flat clumps of hair that cover this breed's entire body. Underneath all that hair, Bergamasco Shepherds have a strong body that's used to working long hours in the fields.
These doggos are eager to please and love being around their owners. They're fun, affectionate, and intelligent!
Shar Peis are adorable, squishy dogs that are covered in wrinkles and almost look like they're melting. Something that qualifies these dogs for being on the list of the strangest dog breeds is their blue tongue!
This ancient breed is a fierce protector of both its people and its property but can be very loving towards its family.
Shar Peis, generally, however, are standoffish with strangers and need lots of early socialization if they're not to get overly aggressive. They're not the easiest dog breed ever, but they do make good pets for the right owners.
This may be a little controversial but French Bulldogs really are a bit of a strange-looking breed.
According to the American Kennel Club, these pooches were the second most popular dog breed in 2021 (after the Labrador Retriever) so most people must think they're cute! But the combination of large eyes, squished nose, and pointy ears is a little strange. French Bulldogs are playful, great with children, and require minimal grooming – so are near enough perfect!
The Affenpinscher really is a cute pup but can certainly be considered a weird dog breed.
Also known as ‘monkey dogs' or ‘ape terriers' these toy pups are curious, funny, and very adorable. Their tiny facial features and flat face make them look as though they've run straight into a door!
Affens are loyal dogs that love to entertain those around them. They're confident and don't let things stand in their way so need an owner that can bring out the best in them without letting their confidence rule too much.
These large and elegant dogs look a little like Greyhounds.
They have big bodies and particularly small heads – which makes them look a little odd and therefore qualifies them for this list. They also have lots more fur than a Greyhound.
Just like other similar dog breeds, Russian Borzois are fast pups that can reach up to 40 mph. They're incredible sighthounds that are loyal, calm, and love to relax with their owners.
Peruvian Inca Orchid
This is another hairless dog that is certainly a little strange-looking (although they can be coated too). As the name would suggest, this breed originated in Peru and was used as a sighthound.
Not only are they energetic, fast, and hard-working but Peruvian Inca Orchids are also incredibly affectionate and a little sensitive. They respond best to positive reinforcement and plenty of treats and cuddles from their owners.
This is the third on this list that has an unusual, dreaded coat.
These excellent sheepdogs use their corded coat to their advantage as it protects them from harsh conditions and predators. It also allows them to blend in with the sheep so that predators don't see them.
There's no denying that the English Bulldog is an odd (yet adorable) looking dog. They're stocky, muscular, and covered in squishy rolls.
They also have a funny and totally endearing face with a bit of a turned-up nose and big, inquisitive eyes. They also have an undershot jaw which makes them easily recognizable.
They come in multiple different colors and need a moderate amount of exercise and a careful diet as they can be prone to weight gain.
American Hairless Terrier
These dogs were originally bred in Louisiana and, as you can imagine, they're another hairless and odd-looking pup.
They stand up to their Terrier name and are bold and courageous as well as intelligent and agile. American Hairless Terriers are very affectionate towards their family and even get on well with young children.
They can be a little snappy towards dogs they don't know so lots of early socialization is necessary.
Korean Mastiffs really are odd-looking dogs. They have enormous heads covered in wrinkles and are really distinctive looking.
These pups are normally relaxed and easy-going and can make wonderful guard dogs because of their size and their aloof nature toward strangers.
They love to be with their family and like to give big hugs. So much so that Korean Mastiffs can suffer badly from separation anxiety if left alone for too long. They need plenty of mental stimulation and will enjoy exploring the outdoors.
As we've said, looks aren't everything – especially when it comes to weird dog breeds. It's important you pick a pup that you can train well and that will fit into your family. All dogs are deserving of a loving home regardless of what they look like!
Would you add any other pups to this list?
I’m Charlotte, a content and copywriter from the North of England and currently living in Berlin. Animals have always been a huge part of my life, so writing about dogs is a total pleasure! I love all kinds of dogs and their cheeky personalities, but I’d have to say Weimaraners are my favourite!