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5 Exotic Dog Breeds (with Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021

Dogs are known to be good allies to human beings. Exotic dog breeds are no exception as they also make good human allies. They are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.

Golden Labs, Bulldogs, Boxers, and German shepherds are among the most common breeds. You can sight one or two in the nearby courtyard.

Still, there are numerous captivating breeds that are a rare sight for many of us. They’re referred to as exotic breeds.

Below are some of the most sought-after exotic dogs.

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1. Leonberger

leonberger_sesheta_Pixabay
Image Credit: sesheta, Pixabay
  • Weight: 90–150 lbs
  • Colors: Red, golden yellow, and mahogany
  • Height: 2730 inches
  • Lifespan: 8 to 10 years
  • Exercise: 20 minutes in a day
  • Temperament: Adaptive, loyal, affectionate, companionable, and fearless

Leonbergers are peaceful and silent. However, they aren’t sluggish. They like staying with their guardians as they’re not excellent kennel dogs. This breed is quite active, thus needs more exercise other than just a walk.

Besides being smart and teachable, these dogs can be stubborn. They’re not known for being aggressive, and they tend to be a little cagey with new faces.

Leonbergers enjoy interacting with people. When socialized well, they’re usually good with other pets. Nonetheless, they can be somewhat stubborn.

They neither need trimming nor drool. You only need to comb and brush their fur twice every week.

Leonbergers love swimming, skating, carting, and back parking. Additionally, they love company, and they don’t do very well when lonely. For lovers of large active dogs, this is the breed to go for.

Usually, these dogs can live for up to 10 years.


2. Shar-Pei

shar pei_style81_Pixabay
Image Credit: style81, Pixabay
  • Weight: 45–60 lbs
  • Colors: Sables and all compact colors
  • Height: 18­­–20 inches
  • Lifespan: 8 to 12 years
  • Exercise: Average
  • Temperament: Committed, affectionate, reticent, independent, and doubtful

This one-of-a-kind dog has little ears roosted on the head, wrinkles all over the body, and an inverted tail. The Shar-Pei breed was developed during the time of the Han Dynasty. These dogs’ drawings appear on artifacts.

Farmers in China used this dog as a hunter, a herdsman, or a livestock guardian. The name “Shar-Pei” implies “sand skin,” describing the uneven, coarse coat of this breed. The Shar-Pei dog breed was nearly eradicated in 1949 when China prohibited dog ownership and shot down any wandering dog they came across in the country.

Luckily, a couple of Shar-Pei dog breeds survived in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The Shar-Pei dog is faithful to the family. However, they don’t get along well with strangers or with any other dog breed.

They only require an occasional bath and, therefore, their grooming requirements are minimal.

When it comes to exercise, this dog breed is adaptable. It can take fewer and shorter strolls or take long daily walks guided by an active owner. The Shar-Pei breed can easily adapt to dog training such as agility, pursuit, and obedience.

Due to their protective instincts and a desire to take responsibility, early training and socialization is vital.


3. Tibetan Mastiff

brown tibetan mastiff_Shutterstock_Liliya Kulianionak
Image credit: Liliya Kulianionak, Shutterstock
  • Weight: 70–150 pounds
  • Colors: Blue Gray, Brown and Tan, Black, and Red Gold
  • Height: 24–26 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
  • Exercise: About 45 minutes per day
  • Temperament: Smart, reserved, protective, obstinate, dogged, and strong-willed

This large dog breed may weigh up to 100-160 pounds. It’s easy to understand why Tibetans believe that mastiffs were transformed nuns and monks. It’s because of the deeply set, wise eyes of this dog breed.

No one knows exactly how old this breed is since Tibet is traditionally secluded. The heavy coat of these dog breeds assisted it in enduring the chilly temperatures during winter in Middle Asia.

Tibetan Mastiffs may not be comfortable with strangers, but they’re relaxed and friendly to people. They’re strongly territorial and make great watchdogs.

This breed requires less grooming; you only need to brush it twice or three times every week. You may require de-shedding devices if the dogs shed their coats yearly.

They require frequent exercise. However, instead of having lots of stamina, they experience brief energy bursts. Instead of playing, they choose to work. They may be inspecting the perimeter of their region.

It can be challenging to train these dogs as they’re independent and shouldn’t be left on a leash in an open location.


4. Borzoi

Image Credit: Jeannette1980, Pixabay
  • Weight: 60–105 lbs.
  • Colors: Any color allowable
  • Height: 29–31 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
  • Exercise: 40 minutes every day
  • Temperament: Silent, autonomous, respectful, smart, gentle, and athletic

The name “Borzoi” is derived from “borzyi.” It’s a Russian word that implies “swift.”

Although they may be a little foolish, Borzoi dog breeds are a decent breed to own as pets. They’re gentle, peaceful and are always pleased with whatever entertainment they come across even if it’s just a run.

Borzoi dogs are passionate hunters and will hunt any small creature that’s running away. You cannot distract them from chasing.

This kingly-looking dog can move up to speeds of 35 to 40 miles every hour.

When it comes to people, this dog breed is loving and calm.

A rapid brushing daily and frequent baths are fine as it doesn’t require much grooming.

Also, the dogs require exercise such as lengthy strolls every day or running in a fenced garden. Hunting small animals is their passion and, therefore, they shouldn’t be kept in a cage. They’re excellent in training for lure coursing and agility.


5. Shiba Inu

shiba inu
Image Credit: Akbudak Rimma, Shutterstock
  • Weight: Males – 23 pounds
    • Females – 17 pounds
  • Colors: Sesame, Cream, Red and Black Sesame, Black & Tan, Red
  • Height: Males – 14 to 16 inches
    • Females – 13 to 15 inches
  • Lifespan: 13 to 16 years
  • Temperament: Attentive, keen, faithful, confident, charismatic, and fearless

This old Japanese breed was discovered around 300 B.C. It was primarily used to chase large wild animals in uneven mountainous terrain. The Shiba Inu dog breed is the best acquaintance dog in Japan.

The Shiba Inu can reside in rural areas or cities. It is good-natured, and tends to create close ties with its owners. However, it tends to hold back when it sees new faces.

This breed has lots of energy; in the absence of sufficient fenced space, you can take it for everyday walks.

These dogs are simple to tame, although it’s challenging when it comes to training them.

The good part is ease of maintenance as it only needs a bit of grooming and frequent brushing.

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So, What Exotic Breed is your Best Choice?

In human history, the most ancient symbiotic relationship is the one between dog and man. This association between dogs and man goes back to the hunter-gatherer union. The co-existence between human beings and dogs greatly enhanced the survival chances for early human groups.

One of the primary forces that enabled human success was the domestication of these furry friends. The myths and symbolism concerning dogs are rich.

Dogs are especially cherished due to their corporation, loyalty, obedience, and intelligence. We’ve provided a list of the top five exotic dog breeds that you’ll find captivating. Which one do you prefer? It all boils down to preference.


Featured Image: Tatyana Kuznetsova, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.