9 Super Strange Dog Breeds You’ve Never Heard Of

Strange Dog Breeds

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but some breeds are truly one-of-a-kind. From the hairless Xoloitzcuintli to the web-footed Mudi, here are 9 super strange dog breeds you’ve likely never heard of before. These unique pups stand out from the pack with their unusual looks, histories, and talents.

9 Super Strange Dog Breeds

1. The Unusual Xoloitzcuintli

mexican Xoloitzcuintli dog

The Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced “show-low-eats-queent-lee”), also called the Mexican Hairless or Xolo, is an ancient Aztec breed with a hairless body and bony exterior. While they may look otherworldly, Xolos are loyal companions with calm dispositions and moderate exercise needs.

Their hairless skin requires extra sun protection and moisturization. Xolos come in three sizes and can have a thin coat of hair known as the “powderpuff” variety. Their unique appearance masks a devotion to their families – Xolos often become very attached to their favourite people.

2. The Mudi – Hungary’s Versatile Farm Dog

hungry mudi dog breed

Hailing from Hungary, the Mudi is a versatile sheepdog bred to herd flocks and assist farmers. These energetic pups are eager to work and exceptionally smart. Unlike most breeds, the Mudi is polydactyl, meaning they have one or more extra toes on their paws.

The extra toes give Mudis better stability and traction, especially helpful on rough or uneven terrain. Mudis have a unique, low-maintenance coat that requires little grooming. Most remarkably, Mudis have webbed feet which allow them to swim efficiently when needed. Their adaptability made them a Hungarian farmer’s ideal helping hand.

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3. Africa’s Exotic Basenji

Africa's Exotic Basenji

The Basenji resembles no other breed – they don’t bark, have cat-like grooming habits, and were originally discovered in the African Congo. Basenjis yodel and make other unusual vocalizations instead of barking. Originally bred to hunt alongside humans, Basenjis can scale steep inclines and are still used for hunting by some African tribes today.

Basenjis keep themselves meticulously clean like felines, often grooming several times a day. Their short coat sheds little and produces no doggy odor. Intensely curious and energetic, Basenjis will investigate every corner of their home and yard. High fences are a must!

4. The Talented Catalburun – Turkey’s Double-Nosed Dog

Turkey's Double-Nosed Dog

The Catalburun, whose name translates to “forked nose” in Turkish, is an exceptionally rare breed with a defining split nose. Their unusual faces give Catalburuns an almost otherworldly look. But behind their distinctive double noses are incredible hunting skills aided by superb scenting abilities.

Originally from eastern Turkey, Catalburuns hunt everything from birds to bears. They’re courageous, obedient pack dogs able to perform agility feats with ease. Loyal, energetic and intelligent, Catalburuns form close bonds and thrive on plenty of activity and attention from their owners.

5. The Puffed Up Pumi – Hungary’s Fearless Herder

Puffed Up Pumi

Resembling a tiny mop head, the cheerful Pumi is a Hungarian herding breed with an airy, corded coat. The dense, rope-like cords spring from the Pumi’s back and limbs, surrounding a foxy face with lively, inquisitive eyes. Unlike human dreadlocks which twist together, Pumi cords curl separately, giving them a distinct look.

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The Pumi’s coat is hypoallergenic and doesn’t shed – perfect for those with allergies. Beneath the cords lies an alert, active dog ready to herd flocks with great energy and boldness despite their small size. Pumis are eternally optimistic and clever, always up for playing or learning new tricks.

6. The Kooikerhondje – Holland’s Duck Decoy Spaniel

The Kooikerhondje

Hailing from the Netherlands, the Kooikerhondje was originally bred as a duck decoy dog used to lure fowl into traps. Their patterns of red, black, and white resemble wild ducks. Kooikers are highly intelligent, fast workers and well-suited for canine sports.

True to their heritage, they love to swim and some even enjoy retrieving waterfowl. Alert, eager to please and lively, the Kooikerhondje retains strong working abilities behind its adorable exterior.

6. The Peruvian Inca Orchid – Peru’s Hairless Sighthound

Peruvian Inca Orchid -

Like the Xoloitzcuintli, the Peruvian Inca Orchid is an ancient pre-Incan breed. They were revered in Peru before the arrival of the conquistadors. Graceful and sleek, the Inca Orchid possesses sighthound features and superb speed with the added distinction of a coatless body.

Their skin comes in many colors but requires sunscreen and moisturizers to prevent damage. Though they look delicate, Inca Orchids are hardy dogs able to adapt to extremes of temperature. They love physical activity and mental stimulation – a perfect combination of beauty and brawn.

7. Portugal’s Cattle Dog

cattle dog

Few breeds can jump as high or with such grace as the Cao de Castro Laboreiro. Originating in Portugal, Castro Laboreiros were named after a mountain cattle dog from the Castro Laboreiro region. Powerfully built yet remarkably agile, Castro Laboreiros effortlessly leap over 5-6 feet from standstill.

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Their unlocked elbow joints give them an extended range of motion. Originally used to herd cattle and defend flocks from wolves, Castro Laboreiros are attentive workers with strong territorial instincts today. Their long coat houses a robust, muscular frame able to perform astounding athletic feats.

8. The Cão de Fila de São Miguel – Azores Giant Dog

Azores Giant Dog

Arising from São Miguel island in the Portuguese Azores lies a Molosser breed of monumental proportions – the Cão de Fila de São Miguel. Impressively large and powerfully built, the São Miguel weighs over 100 pounds on average. Used to guard estates and accompany nobles on big game hunts, the Cão de Fila possesses incredible strength and size combined with agility and intelligence.

Despite their imposing frame, loyal and protective Filas form close bonds with human and canine companions alike. Their short brindle coats require minimal grooming for easy maintenance. For those seeking a formidable yet loving guardian dog, the Fila fits the bill.

9. The Mysterious Otterhound – England’s Aquatic Dog

Mysterious Otterhound dog breed

The Otterhound originated in medieval England as a versatile scenthound used for hunting otters and other aquatic prey. They possess oily, water repellent coats and webbed feet ideal for swimming. Ranging up to 115 pounds, Otterhounds are one of Britain’s largest native scent hounds. Their cheerful, inquisitive personalities made them wonderful family pets until otter hunts were banned.

Sadly hunters no longer bred Otterhounds and they nearly went extinct. The remaining genetic lines are closely protected today. Friendly and laidback, devoted Otterhounds still enjoy paddling in water – remnants of the breed’s amphibious history. Their shaggy coats require regular brushing but make Otterhounds ideal companions for those seeking a fun-loving water dog.

Conclusion

Some dogs perfectly suit classic conceptions of man’s best friend. Others like the nine breeds we just explored, break the mold with unusual talents, looks and histories. But no matter their oddities, all dogs seek affection and purpose. Unique pups like Xolos, Mudis and Pumis enrich our human-canine bond by revealing Mother Nature’s boundless creativity.

If you welcome dogs who boldly challenge the norm, one of these strange breeds might make the perfect eccentric addition to your home. Which stood out as your favorite? Let us know!