Dog Breeds So Ugly They're Cute

Japanese Chin Puppy in Garden


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Rear view of a Hairless Mixed-breed dog sitting

Mutt Ugly?

There's a new winner of the World's Ugliest Dog contest, and he is an eye-catcher. "Mr. Happy Face" is an elderly Chinese crested-Chihuahua mix who was rescued from a hoarding situation and is now living his best life. The saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that clearly goes for dogs too. These breeds are either adorable or anything but. And a couple of them are so rare, you may never have seen them in person. So, are these pups cute or cringey? You be the judge.

Related: Popular Dog Breeds That Don't Shed

Saundra Latham and Andrew Lisa contributed.



Another name for this breed is the “Monkey Terrier,” and for good reason. Its little face under all that hair could be from anything but a dog. Its primate cuteness is complemented by the minimal, seasonal shedding of its wiry coat. Though not actually a terrier, the affenpinscher was bred in Germany to hunt rats and mice.  

Related: Is the ChomChom Roller the Last Pet Hair Remover You'll Ever Buy? 



If you believe that part of the joy of owning a dog is running your hands through its fluffy fur, this breed is sorely lacking in that department. And if it seems like the xoloitzcuintli's tongue-twisting name (so-low-EETS-kweenT-lee) suggests an exotic background, you'd be right: Its roots go back at least 3,000 years to the ancient Aztecs, who considered the dog sacred.  

Related: Best Dogs for Seniors 

Peruvian Inca Orchid

Peruvian Inca Orchid

Much like the Xoloitzcuintli, the Peruvian Inca orchid is missing the “fur” in furbaby. But if you love dogs with skin that looks like that of a pink piglet, a giant rat, or a hairless hyena, the breed is worth a second look. The ancient Andean cousin of greyhounds and whippets, this dog is a sighthound — once bred to hunt independently — with a powerful, slender body. There are three different sizes of Peruvian Inca orchid, as well as two coat varieties and several colors, including a distinctive pink.

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If you've ever seen a walking mop that looks like it's on its way to a reggae concert, that's a komondor. The defining characteristic of this brave and loyal Hungarian work dog is its trademark long, dense, corded coat, which protects it from weather and animal attacks. Underneath all those dreads is a large, powerful dog that can grow to more than 100 pounds. 

Looking for a good pair of pet grooming scissors? Try these.

Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested

Is it a chihuahua with a strange haircut? A new breed of rodent? Nope, just a unique little dog. It's almost certain that you'll live your whole life and never confuse a Chinese crested dog with any other breed. These fine-boned toy dogs are either hairless or the powderpuff variety. The Chinese crested is known to act more like a cat and comes with much grooming responsibility despite its lack of fur.

Shar pei


This is one wrinkled face that cream can’t help, and despite its kissability, this breed is not for the average owner who wants to spend their time snuggling. Originally used as hunters, herders, and watchdogs in China, Shar-peis are not particularly friendly with unknown people and other dogs, and are prone to eye disorders. 

Related: Cute Dog Breeds That Make Terrible Pets

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon

You may think this dog is judging you, but don’t be concerned: This breed’s face looks a little judgmental toward everyone. Dogs from the Brussels griffon breed can come in a variety of colors and their coats can be either rough or smooth. This bearded European breed of "As Good as it Gets" fame was originally kept as a rat catcher. 

Related: The Most Popular Dog Breeds in Every State

Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin

No, that pup isn’t giving you a strange look — that’s just its face. Japanese Chins are known for their wide-set, rather astonished-looking eyes. The breed is also known for its history as the lapdog to Asian royalty, with its image depicted on ancient pottery, embroidery, and even temples.

Bergamasco Italian Sheepdog With Dreadlocks Walks Through Park

Bergamasco Sheepdog

This dog isn’t miserably matted and overgrown — it's bred that way. The Bergamasco sheepdog’s coat is naturally made up of three different textures that weave together to form “flocks.” The flocks are what kept the breed protected from the cold and predators in its homeland of the Italian Alps, where it was bred to guard sheep.

Turkish hunting dog. Called double nose, Catalburun


If the nose on this dog causes you to do a double take, it’s to be expected — the Catalburun is one of only three breeds of dogs that have a split nose (the others are the rare Pachón Navarro and Andean Tiger Hound). The nose on this dog is typically split into two sections that are attached by a thin layer of skin. Also known as the Turkish pointer, the Catalburun is unlikely to be seen much outside of its native Turkey. 

Related: The Easiest and Hardest Dog Breeds to Train

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