'/> Amazing Animals: May 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in the Philippines

There are no exact criteria in selecting the Top 10 Dog Breeds Most Favored by Pinoys Today. It's a matter of perspective. Several factors are considered but at the end of the day - it all boils down to what the home needs in a given situation. Find out who made the list and learn some facts about them as well.

10. Beagle

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If you’re looking for a mild-mannered companion for kids and adults alike, then the Beagle is the perfect dog for you. The Beagle is a happy, inquisitive, short-haired hound who makes a great family companion, an eager hunter in the field — or both! Their noses guide them through life, and they're never happier than when following an interesting scent. So watch out for those trash. though. That inquisitive nose can sure spread mischief round the house.

Resembling a miniature Foxhound, the Beagle are merry and fun loving, but being hounds, they can also be stubborn and require patient, creative training techniques. Because of its playful nature, firm training is required.

Still, many Pinoys have found comfort in their friendly nature because this little wonder is loving, sweet and gentle. Eager and happy to see everyone, greeting them with a wagging tail.

9. Poodle

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Beautiful, sophisticated, and intelligent, the Poodle stands out in the crowd. Poodles are affectionate family dog and make very good watchdogs for their size. Showing poise, grace and intelligence, many have found this impressive dog to be a very trainable dog. However, they need a regular daily morning walk for without the proper type and amount of exercise they may be high-strung and timid.

8. Pug

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'Big dog in a little body', that's how dog breeders described the pug. Square-proportioned, compact and of a cobby build, the pug is a large dog in a little space. This breed is a good choice for happy-go-lucky masters. For what reason? Pugs are known as the clowns of the canine world because they are comical and like to show off.

These playful dogs are also lovers - love to be the center of attention, and are heartsick if ignored. Pug thrives on human companionship! Pugs are intelligent, loyal, amiable, and affectionate with its family. Pugs seldom get into real mischief. Adults spend much of the day sleeping. Just one thing to remember, it bores easily without variety in its training.

7. Golden Retriever

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Smart, good-natured, and eager to please, the Golden Retriever excels as a family companion and working dog. And with its wavy blond fur, an amiable nature and playful personality, it is easy to understand why this charming dog is a fave for dog-lovers. Not only is it easy to train, the golden retriever has been known for its intelligence. And like other intelligent breeds, it needs to have a job to do, such as retrieving balls, carrying items in its mouth, or simply waking up family members. You should also remember that a golden retriever is definitely not a watchdog.

6. Dalmatian

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With its super-friendly nature, regal carriage and unique spots, you’ll find Dalmatians hard to resist. But this breed is definitely not for everyone. A Dalmatian requires an active owner who can provide plenty of training, socialization, and opportunities for hearty exercise. A Dalmatian must have adequate daily exercise and its high energy level can be exhausting to live with. One thing is sure - Dalmation he will be a great addition to your family given the right combination of love, discipline and training.

5. Shih Tzu

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The descendant of regal dogs of China, the Shih Tzu makes a loyal and lively friend. Shih Tzus 'little lion' may give poodles a run for their money when it comes to the well-dressed department. All those beautiful conflagration of hair is sure to wow your guests and bring your household more finesse than otherwise possible. Just like the poodle breed, you’d need to put extra effort in keeping this breed well-groomed. Don’t worry these dogs have been known to be very warm and friendly. Just don’t forget to keep them exercised so they can let all their energies out.

4. Chihuahua

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Meet the world's smallest dog. The Chihuahua is one dog breed many Pinoy love to have at home. Chihuahuas are loyal, entertaining, and affectionate. They love nothing more than being with his family. Also, Chihuahuas are intelligent and fast learners. It's important to remember to socialize your Chihuahua to children, adults, and other animals.

With its big eyes, big ears, and bigger-than-life attitude, the Chihuahua is the epitome of cocky canine in a petite package. This pint-sized pet is a curious explorer and fears nothing, which makes them good watchdogs.

3. German Shepherd

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Amazingly versatile, highly-intelligent and protective, the German Shepherd Dog has won Pinoy hearts a thousand times. Added to that, GSDs are courageous, alert and fearless. They will not think twice about giving their lives for their masters. Truly a guard dog.

On the sober side, GSDs are obedient, confident, clever and eager to learn. German Shepherds are cheerful, loyal, and love to be close to their families. They can be wary of strangers, but only bark when they feel it is necessary. This is a high-energy dog who needs a lot of activity and exercise. It is recommended to start training the dog at an early age with a firm and loving hand.

2. Doberman

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Noble and athletic, the Doberman Pinscher is a courageous guardian. Like a champion boxer, the Doberman is compactly-built, muscular, agile and athletic. Add intelligence, loyalty, gentleness to the mix and you have a courageous guard dog as well as a beloved family companion. These are the reasons why Dobermans are the most revered and most prized dog in our country. In spite of his positive qualities, the Dobie isn't the right breed for everyone. This able defender is huge at 30 – 40 kg (66 - 88 pounds) , and he's extremely active, both physically and mentally. He needs a lot of exercise.

1. Labrador Retriever

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Black Lab, yellow Lab, Silver Lab, Chocolate Lab — take your pick. The Labrador Retriever has won the hearts of millions of Filipinos the world over. The intelligent, muscular and athletic Labrador Retrievers have proven their usefulness and versatility - from fisherman's companion, to retriever for hunters, to show dog, to rescue dog, to therapy dog and to modern working dog. One role has remained constant: a friendly companion.

There's one dog job that Labs are hopeless at: watchdog. Nevertheless, the loyal, loving, and affectionate Labs are a symbol of warmth and friendship - making a great family dog.

Just don’t forget to harness its energy by exercise and play.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Meet the Seven Kingfishers Endemic to the Philippines

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails. There are 93 species worldwide and 18 species occur in the Philippines. Furthermore, seven species of kingfisher are endemic to some of its islands.

If you are planning on a birding trip to the Philippines, then the country’s seven endemic kingfishers is a must-see experience. We have Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher for the major islands, Indigo-banded Kingfisher and Spotted Wood Kingfisher in Luzon, while Mindanao and its satellite islands have Silvery Kingfisher, Rufous-lored Kingfisher, and the Blue-capped Wood Kingfisher.

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1. Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher

The Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher (Ceyx melanurus) is a tiny, colorful, forest-dwelling kingfisher recognizable by its striking bright red bill and bright red legs. The species is found in the islands of Luzon, Polillo, Alabat, Catanduanes, Tablas, Samar, Leyte, Mindanao and Basilan. It prefers subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. The species is threatened by habitat loss.

This shy kingfisher measures 12 cm (4.72 in) and weighs 16·4 g (0.58 oz). Three subspecies are recognized, each of which differs in its range and appearance. (Ceyx melanurus melanurus) has reddish-brown plumage with washed lilac breast, rump, on the crown, and ear-coverts. A blue and white neck blaze, the throat and belly are white. The wings are glossy bluish-black, and black "V" mark on back.

(Ceyx melanurus samarensis) differs from Ceyx melanurus melanurus by having a darker back, a more lilac-washed head, and a slightly larger bill and wings. (Ceyx melanurus platenae) is larger, lacks any blue on the neck, more lilac, and less black in the wings.

2. Indigo-banded Kingfisher

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The Indigo-banded Kingfisher (Alcedo cyanopectus) is one of the most-striking kingfisher endemic to the Philippines. It is found in the islands of Luzon, Cebu, Mindoro, Negros and Panay. Its natural habitats include tropical or subtropical dry forests and tropical or subtropical mangrove forests. The species prefers clean freshwater rivers and streams where it hunts small fish, crabs and aquatic insects.

This colorful and also among the smallest kingfisher endemic to the Philippines measures 13.97 cm (5.5 in) in length. The Indigo-banded Kingfisher is classified as Least Concern.

3. Spotted Wood Kingfisher

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The Spotted-wood Kingfisher (Actenoides lindsayi) is endemic to Luzon and Negros and Panay. It is strictly a forest kingfisher found in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and usually seen near bodies of water. It feeds on insects, other invertebrates as well as small vertebrates.

One of the most colorful endemic kingfishers in the Philippines, the species is sexually dimorphic (the male looks different from the female).

4. Silvery Kingfisher

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The Silvery Kingfisher (Alcedo argentata) locally called kasay-kasay is found in Samar, Leyte and Bohol. A shy and inconspicuous kingfisher, it prefers subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and rivers. The species is threatened by habitat loss due to extensive lowland deforestation throughout its range.

This small yet distinctive kingfisher has mainly black and white plumage with silvery-white rump and blaze on back. There are two subspecies of the silvery kingfisher; (Alcedo argentata argentata) easily recognized by its black head with silvery white spots, black wings and a silvery white back; and the smaller (Alcedo argentata flumenicola) with purple-washed underparts, and a creamy-colored throat. Silvery Kingfisher measures 14 cm (5.5 in) in length.

5. Brown-breasted Kingfisher

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The Brown-breasted Kingfisher (Halcyon gularis) is a large kingfisher found in the islands of Luzon, Mindoro, Negros, Panay and Samar. The species is found near coastal waters, estuaries, lagoons, and lakes. Adults measure 28 cm (11.02 in) long and sports bright blue back, wings and tail. Its has white neck and throat.

6. Rufous-lored kingfisher

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The Winchell's Kingfisher or the Rufous-lored Kingfisher (Todiramphus winchelli) is endemic to the Philippines widely distributed throughout the Visayas, and Mindanao. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. The species is listed as Vulnerable due to habitat loss.

A medium-sized kingfisher, males measure 25 cm (9.8 in) long and weigh 60–64 g (2.11-2.25 oz). The male has white underparts and dark blue upperparts. A rusty-orange 'collar on the neck and shining blue on crown and rump.

7. Blue-capped Kingfisher

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The Blue-capped Kingfisher (Actenoides hombroni) is endemic to the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. Its habitat includes undisturbed rainforest, montane and mossy forest. This species qualifies as Vulnerable because it has a small, fragmented population, which is undergoing a rapid decline due to deforestation.

The blue-capped kingfisher is a stunning bird, known for its dark purple-blue crown and ‘moustache’. Blue-green upperparts and rufous-orange cheeks and underparts. Off-white throat, rest of underparts rufous-orange. It has a distinctive dagger-shaped, red bill. Blue-green upperparts of the same colour, and a prominent, dagger-shaped, red bill. The male measures 27 cm (10.62 in) long and weighs around 108–124 g (3.80-4.27 oz).

Monday, May 11, 2015

20 Animals That are Often Confused for One Another

It is amazing that nature has created such different animals to look the same. And often, we confused these animals for one another. Here are our favorite pairs of confusing animals and how to tell the difference.

1. Butterflies and Moths

Butterflies and moths belong to the order Lepidoptera and both shared things in common, like scales that cover their bodies and wings. But there are numerous physical and behavioral differences between the two insect types. How can we identify if the insect is a butterfly or a moth?


Butterflies are diurnal (active during the day) On the other hand, moths are nocturnal (fly and feed at night). Though there are exceptions, including the sometimes-diurnal Gypsy moth and the Sunset moths. So the winged insect you see feeding from a flower in the middle of a sunny day is most likely a butterfly.

Antennae or Feelers

A butterfly’s antennae are club-shaped tipped by a bulb. Moth's generally have comb-like or feathery antennae.


Most butterflies sport larger and more vibrant colors. Moths are typically smaller, duller colors with obscuring patterns of zigzags or swirls. Furthermore, butterfly wings fold up vertically over their backs when at rest, while moth wings are more tent-like and over their abdomen when resting.

2. Rabbits and Hares

Rabbits and hares are often confused for one another, so much so that most of us have always assumed that “hare” was just another name for a rabbit. After all, these animals look almost identical -have long ears and hop around. However, rabbits and hares are quite different. For one, they're separate species!

Lifestyle and Behavior

• Hares have not been domesticated, while rabbits are often kept as house pets. So, what is being sold in pet shops are rabbits not hares.
• Baby rabbits, called kittens, are born furless and blind. On the other hand, baby hares, called leverets, are born with hair and open eyes.
• Hares tends to be a loner in life, while but rabbits are more social living in colonies with a dominant male.
• Hares live in simple nests above the ground, while rabbits (except the cottontail rabbit) live underground in burrows or warrens.

Physical Appearance

Hares are generally larger and faster than rabbits.

Ears, Legs and feet

Hares have longer ears that stick straight up from the head. Also, hares have stronger hind legs and bigger feet than rabbits.

Fur Coat

Rabbit's fur coat remains its color year-round, while hares change color from grayish brown in summer to white in winter.


Rabbits prefer softer foods like soft stems, grass and vegetables, on the other hand, hares prefer hard foods like bark, rind, buds and twigs.

3. Wasps and Bees

Bees and wasps all belong to the order Hymenoptera. They are also members of the suborder Apocrita, characterized by a common narrow waist. Both have larvae resembling maggots, and have unique ovipositors which they use to sting and inject venom.But what about their differences.


• Wasps are more aggressiveness compared to bees who are more docile.
• Honey bees die after they sting someone. Wasps can sting multiple targets.
• Wasps live in papery nests. Hives Bees live in geometric wax hives.
• Bees are pollinators, spending much of their lives visiting various plants and flowers to gather and distribute pollen. Wasps, however, are predators or parasites of other insects. Their bodies are sleeker and more streamlined for hunting.

Physical Appearance

Bees have robust, hairy bodies with flat rear legs, while wasps are smoother and shiny with a narrow waist connecting the thorax and abdomen and have slender cylindrical-shaped legs.

4. Dolphins and Porpoises

Dolphins and porpoises (and whales) are all mammals that belong to the order Cetacea. All are air-breathing, warm-blooded mammals that give birth to live young. But if we look closer, there is a big difference between a dolphin and a porpoise.

Physical Appearance

• Porpoises are rarely longer than 7 feet, while dolphins can be 10 feet long or longer!
• Dolphins also tend to be leaner and sleeker, while porpoises are more compact and often look chubby in comparison.
• Dolphins generally have prominent, beak-like, pointed snouts. Porpoises have blunt, rounded noses.
• Dolphins have dorsal fins that are more curved like a wave. Porpoises, on the other hand, have triangular dorsal fins, like a shark.
• Dolphin teeth are cone-shaped. Porpoise teeth are flat and rectangular.


• Dolphins live in large groups and show little fear of humans. They are outgoing and will often interact with humans and even swim alongside boats. Porpoises, on the other hand, live in small pods of two to four animals and are quite shy. They rarely approach boats or people.
• Dolphins produce sounds that humans can hear. Porpoises, on the other hand, make sounds that humans cannot hear.

Life Expectancy

Most porpoises only live 15 to 20 years, while dolphins can live up to 50 years or more.

5. Llamas and Alpacas

Llamas and alpacas are even-toed ungulates that belong to the family Camelidae. But aside from this fact, there really are a lot of differences between llamas and alpacas. For one, llamas have been bred as a pack-carrying animal. Alpacas, on the other hand, had been bred as fiber-producing animals. Here are other differences between the two animals.

Physical Appearance

• The llama is roughly twice the size of the alpaca. An adult llamas can reach up to 400 pounds, while an adult alpaca weighs between 100 and 175 pounds.
• Llamas have longer faces while alpacas have more of a smushed face.
• Llamas have little hair on their face and head, while alpacas have a large tuft of hair on the top of their head that falls into their eyes.
• Llamas have a very coarse outer coat over a softer inner coat, while alpacas have a very fine, single coat.
• Llamas have long banana-shaped ears while alpacas have short spear-shaped ears.

6. Seals and Sea lions

Seals and sea lions are both pinnipeds, meaning they are fin-footed marine animals, but here’s how they differ:

Physical Appearance

• Seals are generally smaller than sea lions.
• A seal’s front flippers are short and not very strong (and as a result, they will often belly crawl) while sea lions have long, strong, flexible flippers enabling it to "walk" on land.
• Seals have stubby, thinly webbed flippers for their front feet, with a claw on each small toe, while sea lions have larger, skin-covered flippers.
• Seals lack external ears, while sea lions have small flaps.
• Seals have whiskers that are crimped or beaded, while sea lions have long whiskers.


• Seals swim by steering with foreflippers and powering with hindflipers, while sea lions swim underwater using foreflippers like wings of a bird.
• Seals are loners and quiet, who spend most of their life in the water. On the other hand, sea lions are social and noisy, often gathering in herds of up to 1500 individuals barking to each other.

7. Crocodiles and Alligators

Crocodiles and alligators are both reptiles from the order Crocodylia. Both shares many similarities. But what are the real differences between them?

Physical Appearance

• Crocodiles tend to have a lighter appearance than alligators.
• Crocodiles have a longer head and a more more pointed stout shaped like a "V." Alligator heads are shorter and with a rounded snout shaped like a "U."
• When a crocodile snouts are shut, many of the teeth protrude outside along the jawline. On the other hand, when an alligator snouts are closed, most of its teeth are hidden.


• Crocodiles are more aggressive than alligators.
• Crocodiles are better adapted to living in seawater.
• Crocodiles in the wild are found all over the world while alligators are only found in the US and China.

8. Frogs and Toads

While both frogs and toads belong to the order Anura, commonly known as the frog family, there are differences between the two.

Physical Appearance

• Most frogs have smooth, wet skin that makes them look “slimy”, while toads usually have dry, thicker bumpy skin.
• Frogs have a narrow body. Toads have a wider body.
• Frogs have longer, stronger hind legs, while toads have shorter and less powerful hind legs.
• Frogs have higher, rounder, bulgier eyes, while toads have lower, football shaped eyes.


• Frogs need to live near water, while toads do not need to live near water to survive.
• Frogs take long high jumps, while toads take small hops rather than jump.
• Frogs arrange their eggs in a grape-like cluster, while toads generally lay their eggs in a strand.

9. Turtles and Tortoises

Tortoises and turtles are both reptiles from the order Chelonia that are characterized by the bony or cartilaginous shells formed from their ribs. They may look alike to most people, but they are quite different from each other. The major difference between the two is where they live and how they use their habitat.


Turtles live mostly in water, while tortoises dwell on land.

Physical Appearance

• Turtles have webbed feet with claws for swimming, while tortoises have short, stumpy feet that are not webbed.
• Turtles generally have flat, and streamlined shells. Tortoise have heavier and more dome-like shells.
• Turtles have visible irises where as most tortoises have black irises that blend in with the pupil.


• Turtles are primary omnivores feeding on fruits, veggies and meat, while tortoises are herbivore (though they have been known to eat insects, worms, or carrion occasionally).
• Turtle hatchlings stay in their nest on their own for 90-120 days. Tortoise hatchlings move from their nest to the mothers burrow soon after birth.


Turtles can live 20-40 years. The oldest recorded was 86 years. Tortoises 80-150 years. The longest living Tortoise is 326 years.

10. Lizards and Salamanders

Lizards and salamanders seem similar, but they are very different from one another. Lizards are reptiles while salamanders are amphibians.Other differences include.


• Lizards can be found in a number of climates, including those that are hot and dry. Salamanders are found close to water.
• Salamanders lay eggs without shells, and must lay them in a moist environment. Lizard eggs have shells and their nests are typically in the sand.
• Salamanders hatchling go through metamorphosis — from tadpole to adult—just as frogs do. As opposed to newborn lizards which are miniatures of their parents.

Physical Appearance

• Lizards have dry and scaly skin, while salamanders have smooth and moist skin without scales.
• Lizards have claws and ear openings, while salamander have no claws and ear openings.
• Lizards have 5 fingers and 5 toes, while salamanders have 4 fingers and 5 toes.
• Lizards have longer toes, while salamanders have stumpy toes.
• Lizards have long limbs and move by creeping, while salamanders have short limbs and move fastly.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

10 Most Funny Looking Dog Breeds

Dogs come in sizes and looks... but these 10 dog breeds are simply funny-looking ones. Check them out!

1. Puli

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Look at those dreadlocks. Am I seeing a Jamaican moving mop? Or this dog simply imitating Bob Marley's signature dreadlocks? One thing is sure, this funny looking dog breed hails from Hungary.

The Puli is famous for its long, corded coat whose tight curls make it virtually water resistant. They’re energetic, intelligent and loyal. Definitely, these usually black dogs be the center of attention in your home.

2. Chinese Crested

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Chinese crested usually comes out the winner in the yearly "Most Ugly Dog" contest. But to fair, they ain't ugly at all, just exotic looking dog breed. Contrary to popular belief, Chinese Crested originated from Africa and not in China.

The breed comes in two types: with fur (Powder Puff) and the (Hairless), with silky hair on the head (the crest), tail (plume), and feet (socks).

He's a beauty - elegant and graceful and full of surprises. This dog is, amazingly, incredibly tolerant of heat! A Chinese Crested can lie in 100-degree sun for hours - no need to wear sun block or moisturizing lotion to protect its skin.

3. Bedlington Terrier

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Is this beauty disguising as a lamb just to get fair treatment from his master? Nope, this really is a funny looking dog! A native of Bedlington, England, this lamblike dog with a wedge-shaped head, triangular eyes, and wooly hair is wooly hair is perfect for allergy-prone dog owners.

4. Brussels Griffon

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With its distinct, eye-catching fuzzy beards, the Brussels Griffon is definitely a stunner. Named after its city of origin: Brussels, Belgium, this terrier-like Brussels Griffon is a small dog with a big personality! Billed as a dog "full of self-importance," the hilarious looking toy dog is proud, spunky, energetic, and comical. Even with his miniature look, he is a 'bossy' dog - able to dominate other dogs.

5. Bergamasco

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Will somebody calls a hair stylish. This dog needs a hair makeover. The Bergamasco is another mop dog which traces its origin in the Italian Alps near Bergamo. He is a herding dog with the unusual matted coat. The coat may come in gray or silver gray to brown and black. With a funny looking dog like this, herding and guarding sheep and cattle in the Italian Alps is a fun experience.

6. Xoloitzcuintli

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The Xoloitzcuintli or (Xolo for short) is a breed of dog native to Mexico and Central America. Sometimes called the Mexican Hairless, the Xoloitzcuintli or (Xolo for short) is not only funny looking but also a rare breed of dog.

In their native Mexico and Central America, locals believe this dog has special 'healing power'. They believe that the heat given off by their body is a cure for certain ailments.

Prized as both a companion and guard dog, Xolos may come in three sizes: toy, miniature and standard.

7. Neapolitan Mastiff

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With its massive wrinkles and sags, only his master will love this funny looking dog. But don't be deceived by its look, this gentle giant is fearless. His massive size and bestial appearance makes him an ideal guard dog. Just bear with his loud snoring, snuffling, and drooling.

8. Bull Terrier

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This highly unusual looking dog made our list because of its distinctive looks – an 'egg shaped' head and unique triangle-shaped eyes.

Exuberant, playful, mischievous, comical, assertive, stubborn best describes the bull terrier.

9. Komondor

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Another pride of Hungary, the Komondor is acclaimed for its long, white corded coat. What really makes this funny looking canine remarkable is its fur: reaching up to 27 cm in length, the Komondor has the thickest fur in the canine world. That’s one shaggy dog!

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

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To round up our list, the plucky Dandie Dinmont Terrier can certainly bring chuckles. This rare (and quite nearly extinct) dog breed owns an elongated body, short little legs and a peculiar silken "top-knot" of hair on the head.

Adding beauty to this small dog is its large, round, wide-set eyes; a well-defined muzzle and a "scimitar" tail covered with a rather crisp double coat.