The beautiful Mad Max dog that got away
February 20, 2011 5:20 PM   Subscribe

I met a dog once. He was large, sturdy, and brindled, with a basically friendly demeanor. Other than a mohawk-like crest at the top of his head, he was hairless. What on earth was he?

I've been trying to figure out WTF this dog was for about a decade and a half now. I'm not normally much into the hairless breeds, but this guy was *gorgeous.* A friend and I met him while walking around the little housing development where we lived in college. His owner was a middle-aged Asian gent with (apparently) limited English proficiency (or maybe just a super-thick accent) and he was not able to tell us the dog's breed in a way we could understand. We came away with the idea that the dog was of a very rare breed that hailed from Africa, somewhere-- though given how muddled the interaction was (and how dimly I remember it) for all I know, he was telling us that the dog's name was Africa, or that he'd been purchased in Africa.

Here's what I remember about the dog: He was hairless. Height was comparable to that of a golden retriever, and he had a strong, stocky build-- not quite as muscular as a Staffordshire terrier, but somewhere in that ballpark. His head was heavy, broad, and generally ovular head (somewhere between a Staffordshire terrier and a bull terrier). He was brindled all over, and he had a short, mohawk-like crest on his head and a toothy, sort of smiley face. Dispostion-wise, he was happy to greet strangers and to give a demure slurp in exchange for a few pats, but he was not wiggly or effusive.

Basically, he looked like a dog from Beyond Thunderdome. He was one of the most awesome canines I have ever seen.

Trying to research the dog over the years, the closest thing to a match I've seen is the large version of the Peruvian Hairless, but the dog I remember was much, much stouter. Also, I don't think Peruvian Hairlesses come in brindle.

[And no, he was definitely, definitely not a hyena or a painted wolf. ; ) He appeared to be a regular old doggie-dog; just a very unique variety of same.]

Anyone have any ideas about what sort of pooch this was?
posted by palmcorder_yajna to Pets & Animals (15 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
A standard-sized Mexican Hairless Dog, also known as the Xoloitzcuintle?
posted by easy, lucky, free at 5:26 PM on February 20, 2011

Easy, lucky, free: That's been my other major candidate, but frame and head-wise they're pretty similar to the Peruvian Hairless-- they're not as stocky and large-boned as the dog I remember, plus they don't have crests, I don't think.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 5:29 PM on February 20, 2011

The mohawk, toothiness, solid build, and temperament immediately makes me think of the Rhodesian ridgeback. They're not hairless, but are very short and dense-coated, so can look almost hairless in certain lights. They definitely come in brindle and originated in, well, Rhodesia back in the day.

I met one a few years ago, and it was definitely memorable -- gorgeous dog, very pleased to meet strangers, but never exceeded the bounds of gentlemanly reserve, and when we petted him, he gently mouthed/licked our hands instead of slurping up a storm the way that most labs or retrievers would.
posted by joyceanmachine at 5:32 PM on February 20, 2011

Chinese Crested Dog?
posted by orthogonality at 5:33 PM on February 20, 2011

It might be too small, but maybe the Chinese Crested? "The Chinese Crested originated in Africa, but is associated with China. Chinese sailors probably brought the ancestors of today's dogs home. In China, they were bred for smallness. They became regulars on sailing boats, and were able rat killers."

Also: Ugliest dog in the world.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:34 PM on February 20, 2011

Abyssinian Sand Terrier.
posted by trip and a half at 5:34 PM on February 20, 2011

What about the Chinese Crested? google link here

I've seen these guys and they do seem to match somehow the temperament you describe....
posted by theKik at 5:34 PM on February 20, 2011

I had a peruvian hairless as a patient way back in vet school, and he was brindle. You may be underestimating how much variance there is within a breed when it comes to how stocky the dog can appear to be.

He does sound pretty awesome!
posted by Nickel Pickle at 5:35 PM on February 20, 2011

I came in to suggest Abyssinian Sand Terrior too. Here's a description that suggests the wide range of appearances associated with the breed and another And another.
posted by carmicha at 5:40 PM on February 20, 2011

Hairless Khala?
posted by prenominal at 5:41 PM on February 20, 2011

It might just be a mutation in an other-wise hairy breed too. My neighbour had a small terrier who was mostly hairless, and it was a specific mutation from that dog's family rather than any kind of breed characteristic. Nature throws up things like that from time to time and that little doggie, at least, was otherwise healthy.
posted by shelleycat at 5:42 PM on February 20, 2011

Thanks for all the suggestions and doggie pix, folks! I think the pup I met was probably an Abyssinian sand terrier. The picture trip and half linked to is now, officially, the closest match I have ever seen-- though I'd definitely like to see a brindled Peruvian hairless for comparison.

Y'all rock, as usual!
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:03 PM on February 20, 2011

It's a Peruvian Hairless.
posted by VikingSword at 9:12 PM on February 20, 2011

OK, never mind, I see you already have a pic of a Peruvian Hairless.
posted by VikingSword at 9:13 PM on February 20, 2011

Wow, thank you Metafilter for introducing me to the badass Peruvian Hairless!
posted by sweetmarie at 11:59 AM on April 5, 2011

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