10 Dog Breeds With Unusual Coats or Markings

There are some dog breeds that really stand out in a crowd thanks to their unusual coats or markings. They may catch your eye with long, luxurious coats, flashy spots or crisp curls. There are even some breeds that don't have hair.

From the lamblike Bedlington Terrier to the hairless Xoloitzcuintli, get to know some dog breeds who have a particularly unique look.

Unique-Looking Dog Breeds

Bedlington Terrier dog breed

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Bedlington Terrier

The Bedlington Terrier’s crisp, curly coat can give her an almost lamblike appearance but make no mistake, she’s often happy to chase small prey like rats and squirrels. Her coat is a mixture of hard and soft hair, and it tends to curl, particularly on the head and face. She usually doesn't shed too much, but she does need weekly combing to prevent or remove mats and tangles.

Bergamasco

Eva Maria Kramer, Animal Photography

Bergamasco

The Bergamasco’s thickly matted coat has three types of hair in it (referred to as dog hair, goat hair and wool) that weld together and form into mats. The ancient Italian sheepherder’s coat comes in all shades of gray (and, rarely, black) and helps protect her from the sun, predators and insects. It’s easier to care for than you think, but it tends to smell like a wet wool sweater when it’s wet.

Chinese Crested dog breed

Eva-Maria Kramer, Animal Photography

Chinese Crested

You likely won’t forget the hairless Chinese Crested if you see her. She has a bit of a pony look, with furred head, feet and tail. She also comes in a Powderpuff variety, with a full coat of soft, silky hair. The Powderpuff is relatively low-shedding but needs to be brushed frequently. 

Chinese Shar-Pei

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Chinese Shar-Pei

No other breed shares the short, rough coat of the Chinese Shar-Pei, whose name means “sand-skin.” This famously wrinkled pup needs weekly brushing and her wrinkles should be looked after carefully to prevent skin infections.

Curly-Coated Retriever

Eva Maria Kramer, Animal Photography

Curly-Coated Retriever

Don't mistake the Curly-Coated Retriever for a Labradoodle: She’s a distinct breed created in the 18th century by crossing Irish Water Spaniels, small Newfoundlands, Poodles and the now-extinct Old English Water Dog. The Curly’s crisply curled coat — which can be black or liver-colored — is unusual, but it’s usually easy to care for and doesn't shed much.

Dalmatian dog breed

Tetsu Yamazaki, Animal Photography

Dalmatian

You’re probably familiar with the Dalmatian: This black-and-white spotted dog has a distinctive, flashy coat. Her short, velvety coat is typically easy to groom, but she often sheds a lot.

Komondor

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Komondor

A livestock guardian breed who hails from Hungary, the Komondor sports a dreadlocked coat, which can help him blend in with his flock and protect him from the weather and attacks from predators. He doesn’t typically shed much, but the cords of his coat need to be separated regularly to maintain their look, and his coat does tend to attract dirt. 

Peruvian Inca Orchid Dog Breed

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Peruvian Inca Orchid

The exotic-looking Peruvian Inca Orchid can be hairless or have a short to medium-length single coat that’s short and smooth, long and curly or long and straight. His skin or fur can be any color, including black, brown, gray, tan, pink or white, and it can be solid or spotted. The hairless variety can benefit from sunscreen when he’s outside to help prevent sunburn.

Puli Dog Breed

Eva Maria Kramer, Animal Photography

Puli

The Puli’s corded coat can make her look quite a bit like a floor mop. And it’s not just decorative — this Hungarian herding breed’s coat helps protect her from rough brush and attacks by predators and makes it easier for the shepherd to see her among the sheep. Several dog breeds have coats that cord, but the Puli coat is unique. The outer coat is long and profuse and the undercoat is soft and woolly. Her unique coat needs daily grooming and she tends to shed.

Xoloitzcuintli Dog Breed

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Xoloitzcuintli

The Xoloitzcuintli’s name is exotic, and so is her look. The Xolo, as she’s known, is a hairless breed with thick, satiny skin, though there is also a variety with a short, smooth coat. She needs to be bathed weekly to help keep her skin clean and healthy. She’s sensitive to the sun, so don’t forget to apply sunscreen before walking her.

More on Vetstreet:

Join the Conversation

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!