The Weirdest Dog Breed In The World

It's a doggy dog world. These canine companions have stayed by humanity's side for countless generations, and millions of Dalmatians, bloodhounds, and Shiba Inus populate the globe, of all shapes and sizes. There are large dogs. There are small dogs. There are lap dogs, and then there are wolf-like dogs. Of all these dogs, though, which one is the weirdest? 

To start with, you have to define "weird"

First off, it's important to recognize the inherent subjectivity of naming the "weirdest" dog. For one, all dogs are weird. Just look at the way your pal Spot tilts his head, or how Lucky always loves to roll around in stinky piles. So, if you're going to label a certain dog breed as the most unusual of them all, you can't just look at odd behaviors. There has to be something surprising about a so-called "weirdest" breed. Something that turns heads. They have to possess characteristics so radically different from other dogs that they stand out like ... well, a weirdo. 

Rareness is another factor to keep in mind. After all, a spotted canine like a Dalmatian would seem totally freaky if everybody wasn't already used to them. Similarly, while pugs are quite strange, they're also too well known to be considered, seeing how the American Kennel Club ranks them as the 28th most popular dog breed. 

The Xoloitzcuintle is certainly one candidate ...

Okay, so with those parameters in mind, there are a few candidates on the canine weird-o-meter. An obvious one is the Xoloitzcuintli, a mostly hairless dog with a mohawk (really). The Xoloitzcuintli is hardly the newest dog on the block: About 3,000 years ago, these courageous animals were prized by the people of the Aztec Empire, and according to National Geographic, it was believed that they would serve as guides and protectors for their owners in the afterlife, guiding human souls through the Underworld. Their name, sometimes shortened to "Xolos," comes from the canine-headed deity Xolotl.

While the unusual appearance (and relative rarity) of Xolos makes them quite unique, they're arguably a bit too noble — and storied — to be labeled the world's weirdest dog. They're definitely a top contender, though. 

But is there anything weirder than a Puli?

Then, you have the Puli. Once you've stared at one of these pups long enough to realize that you're staring at a dog, it's hard to imagine a stranger canine existing on Earth. These Pulik — that's the plural of Puli — rank at #160 on the AKC's popularity chart. Pulik are mainly known for being covered in a thick tangle of, well, dreadlocks. These cords render them completely weatherproof, and basically waterproof, so good luck giving them a bath. 

By the way, they aren't the lumbering oafs you're about to brush them off as. They're highly intelligent, for one, and shockingly agile, to the point where they've sometimes been called the "acrobat of the dog world." So, like any good weirdos, Pulik are full of surprises.