Here's the sketch I eventually decided was a fun direction- combining the anatomy of three dog heads into one monstrous face and seeing where I could go with it. I also thought it would be fun to combine other aspects of anatomical fusion with the tail and some vestigal limbs. I also felt like some other texture would be nice, so I also incorporated a bit of anthropod in there.
just figuring out the base colors. I figure it would be complicated to render so I didn't tackle colors or patterns just yet, and focused on the anatomy. I knew the face was going to be a pain to solve so I just jumped into it.