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Most Wrinkly Dog Breeds

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: November 7, 2023
Most Wrinkly Dog Breeds

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The most wrinkly dog breeds include the Shar Pei, English Bulldog, Pug, Neapolitan Mastiff, Bullmastiff, Dog de Bordeaux, Bloodhound, Pekingese, Serrano Bulldog, Basset Hound, Chinese Crested, Clumber Spaniel, French Bulldog, Tibetan Mastiff and Puli. These dogs can be big or small, with wrinkles all over their body or some just on their face. Dog breed wrinkles are determined by genetics, so they are passed down between generations. While wrinkles on humans are often seen as unattractive traits or the inevitable result of age, they are often desirable traits in dog breeds. This has led breeders to encourage it in certain dogs.

Find out more about the 15 most wrinkly dog breeds with AnimalWised. We provide photos of big and small dogs with wrinkles, as well as information on each breed.

You may also be interested in: Laziest Dog Breeds - Low-Energy Dog Breeds

Why do dogs have wrinkles?

Dogs develop wrinkles for various reasons, although the presence of wrinkles is often associated with their breed, genetics, and the purpose they were originally bred for. Here are some key factors that contribute to why some dogs have wrinkles while others do not:

  • Breed-specific characteristics: certain dog breeds were selectively bred for their wrinkled skin. These breeds often have a genetic predisposition to wrinkle formation.

  • Skin elasticity: differences in skin elasticity can affect wrinkle formation. Some dogs have looser and more elastic skin, which tends to wrinkle more.

  • Function and history: many wrinkled breeds were originally developed for specific functions, such as hunting, guarding, or tracking. The loose skin allowed for better mobility and protection.

  • Genetics: genetics play a significant role. If a dog's parents had wrinkles, the offspring are more likely to have them as well.

  • Age: wrinkles can become more pronounced as dogs age due to a decrease in skin elasticity.

  • Weight loss or gain: significant changes in a dog's weight can affect the tightness or looseness of their skin, leading to more or fewer wrinkles.

It's essential to note that not all wrinkles are purely cosmetic. In some breeds, excessive wrinkles can potentially lead to skin problems in dogs and other health issues. Responsible breeders and owners need to ensure proper wrinkle care and hygiene. The presence or absence of wrinkles is largely determined by a combination of breed genetics and individual factors, with some dogs being naturally more predisposed to wrinkle formation than others.

Shar Pei

Many people might be looking for the dog breed with the most wrinkles. The Shar Pei is believed to be this dog. These wrinkles served a functional purpose in their history, allowing them flexibility and protection during hunting and guarding tasks. While the number of wrinkles can vary between individual dogs, the typical Shar Pei features a ‘hippopotamus’ face with deep furrows.

Caring for a Shar Pei's wrinkles is essential to prevent skin issues. Owners should clean and dry the wrinkles regularly, as moisture and debris can accumulate in these folds, leading to skin infections. Special attention should be given to the face, as tear stains are common in this breed. Gently wipe the wrinkles with a damp cloth and ensure thorough drying. Applying a veterinarian-recommended, hypoallergenic moisturizer can help maintain the skin's health and minimize dryness.

Proper wrinkle care is a crucial aspect of Shar Pei ownership, as it ensures the dog's comfort and overall well-being. One of the specific diseases to this breed is Shar Pei fever, an infection which is linked to increased amounts of hyaluronic acid. This is a compound which causes the characteristic wrinkles in their skin.

Most Wrinkly Dog Breeds - Shar Pei

English Bulldog

English Bulldogs are renowned for their signature wrinkled appearance, which plays a role in their unique charm. These folds of skin are a characteristic feature of this small wrinkly dog breed's history, dating back to their origins in bull-baiting. The wrinkles provided a shield, helping protect the dog from injury while engaging with bulls. Over time, these dogs have been selectively bred, leading to the exaggerated facial wrinkles seen today.

Most Wrinkly Dog Breeds - English Bulldog

Pug

Known for its charming and wrinkled face, the Pug is a another small wrinkly dog breed with folds for both practical and aesthetic reasons. Historically, these wrinkles helped protect the Pug's eyes from injury while hunting, acting as a natural shield. Today, they contribute to the breed's adorable appearance. Pugs typically have wrinkles on their foreheads, which create a distinctive M-shaped pattern.

Proper wrinkle care is a part of responsible Pug ownership, ensuring the dog's comfort and health. Due to their facial structure, moisture, debris and even food can accumulate in the folds, potentially leading to skin irritations and infections. This is one of the common health problems in Pugs. Applying a veterinarian-recommended, hypoallergenic moisturizer can help keep the skin of this wrinkly dog breed in good condition and minimize dryness.

Most Wrinkly Dog Breeds - Pug

Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff is famous for its copious, drooping wrinkles that drape over its massive frame. This makes them potentially the largest wrinkly dog breed. These wrinkles were initially a practical trait, helping to protect the dog during combat and giving the appearance of a larger and more intimidating adversary. While these wrinkles were historically beneficial, they are now a defining aesthetic feature of this wrinkly dog breed.

To maintain the health of a Neapolitan Mastiff's wrinkles, regular care is essential. Given the breed's susceptibility to skin issues, vigilant wrinkle care ensures a Neapolitan Mastiff's wrinkly skin remains healthy and comfortable.

Most Wrinkly Dog Breeds - Neapolitan Mastiff

Bullmastiff

A large and imposing breed, the Bullmastiff displays its characteristic loose and wrinkled skin. These wrinkles are an intrinsic part of the breed's appearance and function. Bullmastiffs were originally bred for their powerful guarding abilities. Their loose skin also offered protection from potential threats. These wrinkles provide them with flexibility, allowing the breed to engage in active pursuits while reducing the risk of injury.

Take a look at some other wrinkly-faced dogs with our guide to types of Mastiff breeds.

Most Wrinkly Dog Breeds - Bullmastiff

Dogue de Bordeaux

Have you ever seen one of our favorite 80s American cop buddy movies, Turner & Hooch. Turner is the ever-affable Tom Hanks, but Hooch is actually a pooch. If you have ever wondered what type of dog is Hooch, you will be happy to know they are a Dogue de Bordeaux. This French dog breed is known for their wrinkly facial expression, although the wrinkles don't extend to the rest of their body.

While their power, size and intelligence mean they can be great pets, there is a reason Turner finds Hooch a little difficult. They are a stubborn breed with a playful nature. Training needs to be carried out as early as possible otherwise they may be headstrong. Fortunately, they are also very loving and gentle around children. Their massive size makes supervision necessary, but they can be a wonderful family pet.

Most Wrinkly Dog Breeds - Dogue de Bordeaux

Bloodhound

While they are not the most wrinkly dog breed, the Bloodhound's long droopy face falls with big wrinkles. Their expression surely the inspiration for the description 'hangdog'. When they are puppies, the wrinkles are present, but they develop to be even longer when they grow as an adult. They are a wonderful pet, but another big wrinkly breed, so they need the space to thrive. A gentle giant, they are also great working dogs, but their many health issues mean they have an unfortunately short life expectancy.

Most Wrinkly Dog Breeds - Bloodhound

Pekingese

The origin of ‘peke’ typing in Persian cats, this brachycephalic dog breed's shortened snout contributes to their wrinkled expression. This is similar to the reason why the Pug is so wrinkled. Unlike the Bloodhound or Dogue de Bordeaux, the Pekingese is a small wrinkly dog breed. They originate in China and were valued for their lion-like appearance. An eternal puppy, the Pekingese is very loyal and lovable.

It can be difficult to see the scrunched up face of the Pekingese due to their long hair. They are noted for their ability to be groomed in many different ways, similar to the Yorkshire Terrier. This is something which makes them particularly popular in dog shows.

Most Wrinkly Dog Breeds - Pekingese

Serrano Bulldog

The next in our most wrinkly dog breeds is another Bulldog breed. The Serrano Bulldog is a dog breed from Brazil. They are a sturdy and strong breed, their wrinkles limited to their face. The rest of their body is very muscular. Known also a a Mountain Bulldog, they are a great dog for walking and have a balanced temperament. Like many of the wrinkly dog breeds, their wrinkled features show they have both the look and temperament of a kindly old man.

Most Wrinkly Dog Breeds - Serrano Bulldog

Basset Hound

Known for its signature droopy appearance, the Basset Hound possesses loose, wrinkled skin that serves a functional purpose. These wrinkles are not as prominent as those in breeds like the Shar Pei but help enhance the breed's scenting capabilities. The skin's looseness allows for easier tracking of scents. The Basset Hound's long, pendulous ears also sweep scents from the ground up to their noses.

Most Wrinkly Dog Breeds - Basset Hound

Other wrinkly dog breeds

We have learned about some of the most well-known wrinkly dog breeds, but there are many others with varying degrees of wrinkles. These can be both big and small wrinkly dogs. They include:

  • Chinese Crested: the Chinese Crested dog comes in two varieties, the hairless and powderpuff. The hairless variety often has some wrinkles, particularly around the neck and body.

  • Clumber Spaniel: Clumber Spaniels have a distinctive wrinkled brow and face. They are a heavy and slow-moving breed with a calm and friendly disposition.

  • French Bulldog: French Bulldogs have loose, wrinkled skin, primarily around their face. They are small, affectionate, and known for their bat-like ears.

  • Tibetan Mastiff: the Tibetan Mastiff, a large and powerful breed, often has loose, wrinkled skin around its neck and face. These wrinkles contribute to their majestic appearance, and they are known for their protective and loyal nature.

  • Puli: the Hungarian Puli has a distinctive, corded coat and loose skin that forms wrinkles on their head and neck. Their unique appearance makes them stand out.

Now you know about these different types of wrinkly dog breeds, you may want to know about dogs with floppy ears.

If you want to read similar articles to Most Wrinkly Dog Breeds, we recommend you visit our The most... category.

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