*A note from MrsT: Click on the title of this post to see the wonderful photos included in the original article!
by B Nelson, Sep 27, 2008
There are hundreds of dog breeds, and they are very unique, so it was hard to pick eight of the most unique dog breeds, but here they are.
There are hundreds of dog breeds, each slightly different than the others, but these breeds have very interesting features worth checking out.
The face only a mother could love? I think not, this is a breed of dog, known for its' excessively wrinkled skin, and black tongues. The folds require special care to make sure fungus does not grow in the cracks. Puppies are far more wrinkled than adults. Their coat is very coarse to the touch. The dog in the photo is from Wikimedia.
These dogs are famous for tracking humans. Their loose skin, long ears, and slobbery mouths, are all traits that actually help them to pick up a scent trail. They can even pick up a scent that is days old. As with many purebred dogs they are prone to some health issues, most noticeably stomach and intestinal problems, as well as eye and ear problems. The lovely dog in the photograph is from Wikimedia.
These handsome dogs are often used for hunting as they are fearless. Their unusual trait is an odd parting of their hair along their backbone, creating a ridge. A clever photo, from Wikimedia, the dog is looking at a calender with another ridgeback dog on the photo.
Both these are the same breed, the first is the Powderpuff variety, the second is the hairless variety, who actually do have hair on their heads, tails and legs. Whereas some dog breeds have long haired, and short haired varieties, with these dogs, they are the same variety. Genetically some have hair and some don't and you must breed the two together to maintain breeding soundness, as breeding of two hairless dogs together will result in a 25% death rate in the pups. So most breeders breed a hairless with a powderpuff and get a litter that is half of each. These dogs are prone to teeth problems and often need their first set of teeth pulled out to make room for their permanent teeth. Photos from Wikimedia
These are medium sized dogs who are often used for herding. Like most herding breeds, they are very smart so need to be kept mentally active if they are not going to be used for this purpose. Agility is a great option for people who are not using the dogs for their intended purpose. This is a very old breed. Picture from Wikimedia.
This dog is not only noted because of its' unusual appearance, but its' name is often misspelled or mispronounced. Often called "Doxies" they may have short coats, long coats, or wire haired coats. They were bred for hunting rabbits and other vermin. Due to their odd shape they are prone to leg and back problems. This photograph is by Igor Bredikhin and is from Wikimedia.
The photo looks normal enough but there are a few special traits in this dog, to start off, they have six working toes on their foot, instead of the normal four. You can see the extra toes on the dogs hind paws in the photo. They can tilt their head backwards along their spine, and can even shut their ears, by bending them forward. If that isn't enough, their front legs are able to rotate 90 degrees. You will note, they are not "hounds" the word "hund" means "dog". This photo is from Wikimedia.
What makes this dog unique is that it is considered a "barkless" dog. They tend to "sing" rather than bark, or may simply be silent. They also have less smell than most dogs. Many people consider these two points to be great advantages, however it should be noted that these are sight hounds, dogs bred to hunt moving things. They may not be safe in homes with cats, rabbits, or even small active children. The picture is from Wikimedia.
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