The dog world offers breeds in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some look like teddy bears, others are as big as small horses. But when it comes to highlighting some of the most unique-looking breeds in existence, dogs that look like mops are a great place to start.
Yes, there is more than one breed of dog that looks remarkably similar to a household mop. In fact, there are seven!
The Havanese is a bundle of energy and personality that looks remarkably similar to a mophead, especially when groomed with a technique called cording. But their appearance isn’t the only unique fact about these pups — they’re also the only dog breed native to Cuba.
Left natural, the Havanese has a long and silky coat that shines in the light. Those with corded coats aren’t quite as silky or shiny, but they are just as adorable as their straight-furred counterparts. You can also trim your Havanese’s coat short for less intensive grooming.
The Havanese are known for being robust and social, making excellent companions in cities or suburban neighborhoods alike. Their eager-to-please, extroverted personalities also mean they excel at performing tricks and gaining the attention of passersby.
2. Shih Tzu
Despite the Shih Tzu’s proper and posh appearance, there’s no denying that this breed closely resembles a small mophead. While their coats aren’t suited for cording, their natural fur is long, fluffy, and perfect for picking up stray dust bunnies!
The Shih Tzu comes from China, where it’s been one of the most popular companion dogs for over one thousand years. Although owning a Shih Tzu means spending quite a bit of time maintaining its fur, the charm of this breed makes it worth the extra work.
If you’re dreaming of a canine companion that will thrive in a small home or apartment, then the Shih Tzu should be your dog of choice. The breed needs very little exercise to stay healthy, though you might find training a Shih Tzu to be a bit of a challenge at first.
14 pounds and under
We love the adorable Pekingese, but it’s sometimes hard to believe there’s any actual dog underneath all of that fur! Though they start out with medium-length, fuzzy coats as puppies, the breed’s coat quickly takes over as it matures.
Overall, “frizzy” is the best way to describe this dog’s appearance (in the most flattering way possible). Since the Pekingese bears a thick double coat, slacking on grooming just isn’t an option.
After spending thousands of years living side-by-side with royalty, it should come as no surprise that the Pekingese is bright, loving, and loves being spoiled. Don’t be fooled by your dog’s desire to lounge around the house, though, because they adore participating in sports and other activities when offered.
4. Bergamasco Sheepdog
57-71 pounds (female) or 70-84 pounds (male)
When it comes to showing off the corded style of hairdo, no breed does it better than the Bergamasco. Actually, cording and the Bergamasco Sheepdog pretty much go hand-in-hand. Hailing from the Alps, these dogs served as livestock herders and protectors in one of the harshest mountain climates in the world.
While other breeds require diligent grooming to achieve the corded look, the Bergamasco wears this style naturally. Their coat contains a unique blend of three different hair types, which mat together to form “flocks.” These flocks don’t just look cool, though, they also protect the Bergamasco from the cold and even the attacks of predators.
Since the Bergamasco is meant to have matted flocks of fur throughout its coat, it requires hardly any maintenance. However, all dogs of this breed require manual separation of the flocks when they are about one year old, or when their adult coat comes in. After that, the coat can be left alone for the rest of their lives.
25 inches and up
80 pounds and up
Unless you’re well-versed in mop-like dog breeds, telling the Bergamasco Sheepdog and Komondor apart is easier said than done. Just like the Bergamasco, this breed forms natural mats, or cords, throughout its coat.
This large dog comes from Hungary, where it protects livestock from predators. Because of its rich history as a guard dog, the Komondor is stubborn, independent, and difficult to train. Unless you have plenty of experience training headstrong breeds, it’s best to hire a professional for a little extra help.
Like the Bergamasco, the Komondor requires an initial separation of its cords when its adult coat first comes in. While brushing the Komondor isn’t recommended, they should still receive regular baths.
6. Spanish Water Dog
31-40 pounds (female) or 40-49 pounds (male)
However you choose to groom your Spanish Water Dog’s fur, it’s going to look like a mop regardless. While some owners do cord their dog’s coat, the natural fur of this breed curls in a way that resembles cords all on its own.
The Spanish Water Dog might look like a teddy bear, but they’re known for being hard workers who excel at livestock herding and water retrieval. Because of this history, an hour of daily exercise is practically a requirement of owning one of these dogs. When it comes time to chill out at home, though, they’re just as content.
Spanish Water Dogs aren’t the friendliest with strangers, largely because of their guarding tendencies, but they are extremely easy to train. Puzzles are a must for these dogs, as they love problem-solving tasks.
Another herder that naturally takes on the appearance of a mop is the adorable Puli. These dogs might be little, but they’re packed with brains and toughness when it comes to performing their duties.
Unlike the Bergamasco or Komondor, the Puli’s au naturel cords require quite a bit of maintenance. Some owners also choose to brush out their dog’s fur and leave it curly. If you keep your Puli’s coat corded, though, remember to give them regular baths and reform the cords as needed.
Pulis are high-energy dogs that need both physical and mental stimulation to thrive. They’re also stubborn, so don’t expect training to be a breeze!
Mop look-alikes abound within the dog world, and each one is just as unique as the last. Whether you’re looking for a low-maintenance pup or one that takes plenty of care and grooming, there’s a little walking mophead out there waiting for you!
Which dog breed that looks like a mop is your favorite? Do you own one of these breeds yourself? Let us know in the comments!
Featured Image Credit: Brent Soderberg, Wikimedia Commons