Wrinkled, hairless, matted or flat faced, unusual dogs are popular pets, but some have special needs.

They say there’s a dog breed for everyone. Perhaps that’s because dog breeds vary so greatly. A few breeds are even a bit strange looking.

Those who want to own an odd looking dog should be aware of any special needs it may have. The following are a few dog breeds that may garner second looks from passers-by.

Bedlington Terrier

The Bedlington Terrier is said to look more like a lamb than a dog. Its soft coat with coarse guard hairs mixed in requires frequent brushing to prevent mats but sheds very little. Health concerns for this breed are Copper Toxicosis, ear infections, and eye problems. Bedlingtons are generally playful and usually get along well with children and other pets.

Bergamasco

The Bergamasco has an unusual coat of dense, flat mats. The puppy coat is shorter and soft but continues to change as the dog matures. At approximately one year of age, the coat must be “ripped” into mats. This can take several hours or several days but it needs to be done only once in a lifetime. The Bergamasco sheds very little, does not need to be brushed and requires bathing only a couple of times a year. This herding breed is said to be very intelligent and capable of thinking for itself. It is good with kids and makes a great watchdog. No particular health concerns are documented for this rare breed.

Basset Hound

The long, heavy body, stubby legs, big feet, and loose skin certainly qualifies this breed as strange looking. This hound breed needs plenty of exercises. The coat sheds constantly but requires minimal bathing and brushing. Basset hounds are generally sweet and gentle and make great family dogs. They have a deep bark and love to follow scents. The Basset’s weight must be carefully monitored as the long heavy body can be prone to spinal problems. Bassets are also prone to bloat.

Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier

Borzoi

This tall, slender hound with a narrow head and long muzzle require plenty of exercises. The wavy coat sheds seasonally and requires regular brushing and occasional bathing.

The Borzoi is intelligent, affectionate, and loyal but can be stubborn. The deep chest of this breed makes it prone to bloat.

Chinese Crested

This hairless breed does have a coated variety which can appear in the same litter. The hairless variety should be bathed frequently with cream applied to the skin. They obviously shed very little but are sensitive to cold and sunburn. Exercise is important for this playful dog who bonds very closely with its owner. The Chinese Crested is intelligent, affectionate, and good with children yet somewhat fragile. They can become protective of their owner though generally bark very little. This toy breed can be prone to skin irritations and dental problems.

Pug

Pug

Pug

The Pug has a stocky body with a short coat and flat muzzle. Intelligent, affectionate, and playful, this brachycephalic breed is prone to breathing problems, skin problems, and sometimes Pug Dog Encephalitis. These dogs need regular exercise but can easily overheat. Pugs are not excessive barkers but make good watchdogs and family dogs.

SharPei

Scientists now know why this wrinkled breed’s skin appears to be several sizes too large. These dogs are intelligent, playful, and loyal but can also have a stubborn streak. This breed needs a moderate amount of exercise but must be protected from overheating. Some Shar-Pei suffers from skin problems and kidney problems.