I think one aspect that makes a dog distinct may be the kind of hair or lack of hair. For example, a Chinese crested dog has a hairless body with just small tuffs of hair on their heads, tails and ankles. In contrast, a Bedlington Terrier looks like a lamb, and a Komondor looks like a mop. Another distinct characteristic might be a dog’s ears.
A Papillion, which in French means “butterfly”, is the perfect name for this dog because their ears make their head look like a butterfly. Also nose and ear sizes and shapes can be considered distinct features such as a Bloodhound’s ears or a Double-nosed Andean tiger hound.