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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.