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One of the best things about attending a benched dog show like the National Dog Show presented by Purina is that you get to meet lots of pooches that you don’t usually see walking around the neighborhood or playing at the local dog park.
From the hairless Xoloitzcuintli to the corded Komondor, here are nine of our favorite unusual-looking breeds.
Steve Donahue, See Spot Run Photography
Beneath his gentle, lamblike appearance, the Bedlington Terrier has the heart of a lion. He is one of the more unusual terrier breeds, with his crisp and curly coat and somewhat relaxed nature. Well, relaxed for a terrier.
With her corded white coat, the Komondor, a livestock guardian breed hailing from Hungary, resembles a dog-shaped mop. Her coat helps her blend in with her flock and protects her from weather extremes and the attacks of predators. The cords are naturally-occurring and should develop by the time she is 2 years old.
The Xoloitzcuintli's name is a combination of Xolotl, an Aztec god, and Itzcuintli, an Aztec word for dog. Besides his bare-naked body, the Xolo is distinguished by a lean, smooth head, a wrinkled brow and large, thin-skinned ears that stand erect.
The Black Russian Terrier was created by the Russian army for use as a guard dog in climates with extremely cold temperatures. The hair on the head falls over the eyes and on the face forms a mustache and beard. His double coat comes only in black or black with a few gray hairs scattered throughout.
With its graceful, fairy tale look, the Chinese Crested can't be mistaken for any other breed. Both varieties of the Crested (the hairless and the Powderpuff) can be born in the same litter.
We couldn't help but includie the Old English Sheepdog in our list. Even though this breed is more common than some we've featured, these dogs really make an impact when you see them. The glory of the Old English Sheepdog is his coat — and the most difficult part of caring for an Old English is his coat. Expect to spend at least a half hour to an hour a week keeping it groomed. The breed has evolved from a multipurpose farm dog to a companion and show dog without losing the strong herding instinct that made him the sheep-raising farmer’s best friend in the 19th century.
The Ibizan Hound originated on Spain’s Balearic Islands (Ibiza being one of them) where she was used to hunt rabbits. She stands out for her large, erect ears and pink nose. She thinks for herself, steals food whenever and wherever it’s available, chases prey at every opportunity, and can flat-foot jump a five-foot fence.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier has several characteristics that give him a unique look: his long, low body, a large head with a silky topknot, a "scimitar" tail, and coat colors described as "pepper" and "mustard." The Dandie takes his name from Dandie Dinmont in Sir Walter Scott’s “Guy Mannering.”
The Afghan Hound has long, thick, silky hair with a fine texture, which requires lots of care. You may want to invest in a professional dog blow-dryer if you bathe her frequently. British military officers first brought this elegant breed to the West after being posted to the India-Afghanistan border.
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