‘Ugly’ dog breeds are some of the world’s most unusual dogs. With their unique appearances, curious features, strange fur coats, or even a complete lack of hair, these dogs aren’t loved for their looks.
It’s such a shame because some of the world’s ugliest dog breeds are also the most lovable. On the inside, these dogs are loving and kind, loyal and intelligent, and ready to be your best friend!
In this article, we’ll explore the world’s ugly and weird dog breeds — the overlooked, misunderstood dogs that deserve a family and a home. From the Mexican hairless dog to the English Bull Terrier, here are the most unusual ugly dog breeds.
What Are Ugly Dog Breeds?
The word ‘ugly’ is very subjective. Our list of the world’s ugliest dog breeds isn’t meant to be the ugliest dog contest; we understand that what one person sees as ‘ugly,’ another finds beautiful!
The dogs that have made it onto our list, though, are characterized by unique features that don’t necessarily fall into place with common attributes that we consider, as a society, to be attractive in dogs.
None of these breeds will ever be considered the cutest dog in the world, but they have so much more to offer. We just want these ugly dog breeds to be given a chance!
Our list includes the following ‘ugly’ dog breeds:
- Mexican Hairless Dog
- English Bull Terrier
- Shar Pei
- Irish Wolfhound
Let’s take a look at these ‘ugly’ pups in a little more detail!
#1. Mexican Hairless Dog
The Mexican Hairless Dog is one of the more unusual animals on this list because this poor dog is almost entirely hairless!
This hairless dog originated in pre-Hispanic Mexico and was said to be a favored pet of the Aztecs. They saw the real beauty in this often overlooked dog, and consequently, the Mexican Hairless Dog has been bred over many, many centuries to have a royal, regal character.
They might be hairless dogs, but the Mexican Hairless Dog is proud, independent, and incredibly loyal if you choose to take them in. They have a distinctive, hairless coat (that’s most often black in color) and distinctly pointy ears that stand tall.
The Borzoi is a Russian hunting dog that has a very unconventional look and shape. Although it’s often considered to be a contender for the world’s ugliest dog, the Borzoi is also one of the most talented dogs in the world.
These working dogs were originally bred in Central Asia, where they worked as hunters and herders for the nomads of the steppe and the mountains. They can grow to over 30 inches in height, but their slender, athletic build means they can move fast.
The Borzoi has the body shape of a Labrador or Retriever but the facial features of a Greyhound. They truly are unusual, but they are unmatched in terms of athletic ability.
The Pug is a serious contender to win the ugliest dog contest, but these tiny pups have the largest hearts in the dog world. You’ll need a bed ramp for dogs if you raise a Pug, because it’ll want to spend all day and night cuddled up next to you - but it’s far too small to jump up on the couch by itself!
Pugs don’t grow much taller than 12 inches in height, and they are well known for their pug-like faces. These wrinkly fellows look wizened and old, making this ugly puppy a super unique looker from the day they are born!
Pugs have so much love to give, though, and they are absolutely perfect companion dogs to raise in apartments and small houses.
The ugly Chihuahua is one of the world’s most divisive dogs. Named after a state in Mexico, this tiny pup is considered to be an excellent companion dog. They stand no more than nine inches tall and weigh just a few pounds - they literally fit inside a handbag!
The tiny Chihuahua is known for its ‘ugly’ features, like its unique head shape, flattened face, and bulging eyes. The Chihuahua is famously fierce, a characteristic which some owners love, and some people just can’t deal with.
The Chihuahua has endless character, and while it is difficult to train, it will soon grow on you as it gets up to mischief around the home!
#5. English Bull Terrier
The English Bull Terrier could be the world’s ugliest dog because this unusual breed of canine doesn’t have any of the traditional dog-like attributes we expect (except for four legs and a tail).
The English Bull Terrier is squat and compact, but it’s the head-shape that is the ugliest feature about this dog: English Bull Terriers have an almost egg-like head — a head that could be described as alien-like!
English Bull Terriers look nothing like traditional terriers, and their triangular (yes, triangular!) eyes and large shoulders are quite off-putting. English Bull Terriers are hard workers, though. They are independent, intelligent, and they are great at catching rodents!
#6. Shar Pei
The Shar Pei is one of the world’s most famous wrinkly dog breeds, and in some people’s eyes, that makes this one of the ugliest dog breeds too.
The Shar Pei has a super wrinkly face and lots of loose folds of skin that droop from its body. This breed originated in China where it was bred to be a fighting dog well over 2000 years ago. That makes the Shar Pei one of the most ancient breeds in the world, and they have a wise character to match their wizened appearance.
Shar Peis make excellent family dogs. They are mid-sized to large, and they can be easily trained to guard your home, while they’ll also love cuddling up with the kids on the couch.
The Dachshund is another ‘ugly’ dog that seriously divides opinion. Some people see these lovable little dogs as adorable, if somewhat curious to look at - others just see them as ugly!
The Dachshund is short, squat, yet long, and it’s often referred to as a ‘Sausage Dog’ for its unique build. Dachshunds have long, floppy ears and a long face to go with their long bodies, but they are remarkably friendly creatures to have around the home.
Dachshunds can work hard, too, if needed. Although they are primarily kept as companion dogs, they were originally bred for hunting rabbits and rodents. Let a Dachshund loose in the garden and you won’t have a problem with animal intruders again!
#8. Irish Wolfhound
The Irish Wolfhound is one of the biggest dogs on our list, but it’s not on here because of its imposing size (and at a potential height of 32 inches and 150 pounds, these dogs are absolutely enormous!).
The Irish Wolfhound is considered ugly for its long, shaggy coat. The Irish Wolfhound has a unique yet scruffy appearance, and its thick fur is almost impossible to tame. The Irish Wolfhound was bred to be a hunting dog, and they have a keen sense of sight and smell, as well as an athletic ability that’s unmatched.
They might appear unkempt, but they are a wonderful dog to raise if you have the space (and the time!).
Ugly Dog Breeds: The Last Word
Ugly dog breeds might look curious or unusual on the outside, but rest assured, these dogs are beautiful on the inside!
Ugly dog breeds include the Mexican Hairless Dog and the Pug, but regardless of their outside looks, they are loyal, loving, and full of character on the inside.
Give these pups a chance and they’ll stay by your side for the rest of their lives. If you’re interested in raising a new dog, then why not bookmark our guide to the world’s ugliest dog breeds for future inspiration?