7 Adorably Photogenic Dog Breeds That Will Mesmerize You
Not to be confused with the Peruvian Hairless Dog, the Xoloitzcuintle, also referred to as the Xolo or Mexican Hairless Dog, takes the cake as one of the strangest looking in dog breeds. This pooch comes in three sizes–Standard, Miniature, and Toy (10-55lbs/9-26 inches tall), its name comes from the god Xoloti, which means “dog” in Nahuati.
Unfortunately, Spanish accounts from the 16th Century tell of these dogs being served as food during Aztec merchant feasts. In 1999, a gene study was done using mitochondrial DNA from dogs from the Old World and the Xoloitzcuintle that found that the DNA sequences were identical.
One of the oldest dog breeds in existence, ceramic sculptures of hairless dogs have been unearthed in ancient West Mexican Mayan and Toltec burial grounds. Sadly, in ancient times, these dogs were often sacrificed when their owners died and then buried with them to act as guides on their journey to the underworld.
Happily, today, these dogs enjoy a spot in both the American Kennel Club registry and the Mexican Federation Cynologique Internationale’s registry.
Fun fact: A CGI animation movie star Xolo by the name of Dante is the main character in the 2017 American Disney/Pixar film Coco.
2. Bergamasco Shepherd
This herding dog is another strange-looking breed, and finds its origin in the Italian Alps near Bergamo. Surprisingly, this dog breed is where the German Shepard came from, way back in the early 1800s. This dog’s claim to fame is its plentiful, voluminous coat that forms mats all over its entire body.
These copious amounts of hair were designed to protect the dog from the outdoor elements and also from predators that it might come across while protecting its flock. This is a larger breed, weighing in at between about 60 and 90lbs, with females weighing less than males. They stand about 23 inches at the shoulder.
The Bergamasco is described as a muscular, heavy-boned, patient, observant dog breed with good self-control, making them a great companion, as well as good in agility and obedience trials.
Fun fact: The flat mats of the Bergamasco are called flocks, and are anywhere from 1.5-3 inches wide.
3. Peruvian Inca Orchid
The Peruvian Inca Orchid is a medium-sized hairless breed that stands between 20-26 inches tall and weighs between 26 and 50lbs. An indoor dog for sure, they require skin protection year-round to prevent both chilling in cold weather and sunburns in the summer. To prevent anxiety and destructive behaviors, this high-energy breed should be exercised daily and be giving lots of mental stimulation.
The life expectancy of a Peruvian Inca Orchid is 11-12 years, and their litter size is generally between 3-5 pups. As their name suggests, this breed originates from Peru, and were discovered in Incan homes by Spanish explorers in the early 1500s. These Spanish explorers brought the dogs to China as gifts, and it is thought that the Chinese Crested came from their lineage.
Fun fact: In Quechua, the Peruvian Inca Orchid is called a “Calato,” which means “naked.”
4. Cambodian Razorback
This extremely rare tropical dog is native to Cambodia, and sports a ridge of spiky hair that runs the length of its spine, giving it its distinctive name. These active, muscular, agile dogs have a broad skull and pronounced cheek muscles. They come in almost all colors and combinations of colors, including black and white, blue, brown, and fawn.
The Cambodian Razorback is known as a primitive or Pariah Dog, and although they are good-natured with their own family, they can be fiercely protective and territorial, making them a natural guard dog who also enjoys hunting.
Socialization at an early age is important, so experience with dogs is preferred for the Razorback owner. They stand about 20 inches high and can weigh 60lbs or more. Their life expectancy is around 10-12 years and their litter size is 4-6 generally.
Fun fact: The Cambodian Razorback is known to yelp, yodel, and howl.
5. Alaskan Klee Kai
The Alaskan Klee Kai is as fun to look at as their name is to say! These dogs look like a Siberian Husky, but in miniature–weighing in at between 5 and 22lbs and standing between 13-17 inches at the shoulder. Their height and weight depends on whether they are of the toy, miniature, or standard persuasion.
This smart, high-energy breed is particularly clean, as they shed very little and groom themselves. They do blow their coat twice a year, so daily brushing is a good idea. Their name comes from an Inuit term that means “small dog,” and unlike the Siberian Husky, they were bred to be a companion animal, and are therefore highly trainable.
Fun Fact: Klei Kai dogs don’t bark, but make a “woo-woo” sound when happy and scream when they are unhappy!
6. Brussels Griffon
This former Belgian street dog was originally bred to hunt and kill rats in stables in places like Brussels, Belgium; and today makes an affectionate, lively family addition. Interestingly, the Brussels Griffon was made popular by Queen Marie Henriette, who visited Belgium annually to observe the dog shows. In modern times, the breed was popularized by the movie starring Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson As Good As It Gets.
These dogs are very high energy, and bark quite a bit, so outdoor exercise time does them a lot of good. This sturdy little breed stands about 10 inches tall and weighs about 8-10lbs. They grow hair, not fur, which can be wiry or smooth, so they do require some grooming.
Fun Fact: Because of their human-like facial features, Griffons are often likened to an Ewok.
The lively Löwchen gets its name from the German for “little lion,” as they are said to be as brave as a lion, and resemble one too. “Little dogs with a big heart,” they are lovingly referred to by their people. Weighing in at around 10-15 pounds and standing at between 11-13 inches at the shoulder, this small breed dog lives well into its teens.
Considered hypoallergenic because they do not shed, the Löwchens are generally friendly, healthy, and playful. They are also highly intelligent and have the distinction of being associated with the wealthy and elite, as they are featured in many art pieces dating back to the 16th century.
Fun Fact: In 1973, the Lowchen had the distinction of being the rarest dog in the world.