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Wrinkly Shar Pei puppy

9 adorable wrinkled dog breeds.

© djile - Shutterstock

9 Wrinkly dog breeds that will melt your heart

By Ashley Murphy Content Writer

Updated on the

Wrinkles are a sign that time is catching up with us humans. That's probably why many people will do almost anything to avoid getting them. But this rule goes right out the window when it comes to our pups. And that's because wrinkled dog breeds are some of the cutest and most popular pooches of all. 

There are around 12 wrinkled dog breeds. They include some of the biggest dogs on the block, like the Neopolitan Mastiff, and cheeky little lap dogs like the adorable Pug, Bulldogs, Bloodhounds, and the imposing Dogue de Bordeaux are also part of the wrinkly dog gang.

Wrinkled dog breeds aren't scared to let their wrinkles shine and who blames them, they are adorable! Whether these dogs have wrinkles on their face or have a little extra skin, their skin will need extra care. If you are fascinated by these wrinkly dog breeds, find out more about 9 beautiful dog breeds.

9 wonderfully wrinkly dog breeds

Do these folds and rolls make you want to squish these dogs faces and give them a big smooch? Yes of course! Now with that being said, let's find out more about 9 wonderful wrinkled dogs.

Shar-Pei

The Shar Pei ©Alexeysun - Shutterstock

The Shar-Pei is immediately recognisable by the many folds forming on its body. This breed is hardy and very endearing, but needs firm training because of its rather dominant character. Nevertheless, it remains a perfect pet for families

The Shar Pei is a calm, gentle, quiet and kind dog. He is very protective of his owners, it is a dog that has kept its guarding instinct that you can trust to watch over your house.

A truly unique breed of dog, Shar Peis become less wrinkly as they age. That's because a Shar-Pei puppy grows into the excess skin as they get bigger.

Pugs

The Pug © 220 Selfmade studio - Shutterstock

Cute, cheeky, and with an adorable wrinkly expression, there's no wonder Pugs are one of the most lovable dogs in the world.

Originally from China, the Pug has long been the favourite lucky dog of the mandarins and the aristocracy. The Pug has the particularity of being very sociable. Obviously with his owner whom he loves above all, but also with strangers. He is a very gentle dog, who enjoys being pampered, playful and prankster.

English Mastiff

 The Mastiff © Ricantimages - Shutterstock

For hundreds of years, English Mastiffs earned their dinner as guard dogs for the British nobility. They're still natural protectors. And in the hands of an experienced owner, these dogs make wonderful pets.

The main characteristic of the Mastiff is its imposing body. Not only is this breed recognisable thanks to its black nose and ears, while the rest of its body is fair, it's also his wrinkles on his face that makes him look unique.

Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff© Christian Mueller - Shutterstock

The Neopolitan Mastiff is another giant wrinkly dog. These big softies love cuddling with their favourite humans. But be warned, they're also big droolers!

Underneath its giant teddy bear-like appearance, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a model of strength, power and intelligence. Despite his strong temperament, this dog is affectionate and gentle towards his owner.

Dogue de Bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux © Ermolaev Alexander - Shutterstock

Also known as the French Mastiff, the Dogue de Bordeaux became famous after appearing in the 1989 comedy Turner and Hooch with Tom Hanks.

With its muscular and powerful build, the Dogue de Bordeaux has the look of a boxer. They are stocky and impressive, yet their body is harmonious. Gentle, protective and balanced, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a great companion dog.

English Bulldog

The English Bulldog © Ammit Jack - Shutterstock

Originally from Great Britain, the English Bulldog was used in the Middle Ages to fight bulls. This highly intelligent dog is a very pleasant, loyal and affectionate pet. It is perfectly suited to the elderly as it is a dog that does not require any particular physical exercise. Its main disadvantage is that it drools a lot.

The English Bulldog has an energetic spirit trapped inside a physique that could be politely described as less than athletic! And while their wrinkly face and drooping jowls give the Bulldog a grumpy appearance, these guys are little barrels of love. A perfect choice if you're looking for a new best friend.

French Bulldog 

The French Bulldog © otsphoto - Shutterstock

The French Bulldog is another cutie with a wrinkly face. Behind its grumpy face, the French Bulldog is a cheerful, playful, sociable and very intelligent little dog. It is the ideal companion for children but also for elderly people. He adapts very well to life in a city flat.

More athletic than his English cousin, the Frenchie is a lively pup that is always on the look-out for mischief. Great fun to have around.

Bloodhound

The Bloodhound © Lenkadan - Shutterstock

Bloodhounds were bred to track game through the countryside. So even though they look like lazy dogs, Bloodhounds have demanding exercise requirements. Best matched with owners who have lots of free time and a love for country walks.

Because of its origin as a hunting dog, it is a dog with a strong personality that can easily be dominant. As a pet, it must therefore be firmly trained. But it is in fact a gentle, kind, calm, unruffled dog that is particularly attached and loyal to its owner.

Fila Brasileiro

The Fila Brasileiro©Artush - Shutterstock

The Fila Brasileiro is a large working breed with a short coat that's easy to maintain. But these dogs are a bad choice for first-time owners. The Fila Brasileiro is loyal and intelligent, but they can also be stubborn, demanding, and domineering.

Meet 2 more beautiful wrinkly dog breeds

Ironically, in the dog world, it seems that folds are a sign of tenderness and beauty. Often, more folds means more adorableness. This is something that humans could also learn to see and appreciate. You've already met 9 wrinkly dogs, but we wanted to treat you and present you 2 more wrinkly dogs. 

Meet the Bullmastiff and the Basset Hound.

Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff ©BORINA OLGA - Shutterstock

The Bullmastiff is a British dog. It is a cross between the Mastiff and the English Bulldog. The aim of this cross was to obtain a large, massive dog that would help foresters in the fight against poaching.

The Bullmastiff is a breed with a strong and powerful physique. This gentle giant is calm and courageous and will not hesitate to put his life in danger to protect his owners. This jovial and active dog is easy to train and is an excellent companion for children and a very loyal watchdog.

This dog has a short, hard coat, which gives it good protection against the weather. His wrinkles are mostly present on his face and neck, which reduces somewhat his severe appearance.

Basset Hound

The Basset Hound ©Marry Kolesnik - Shutterstock

It is the darling of the Americans: the Basset Hound. It's true that he attracts all the attention with his oversized ears, his long body, his small legs and his wrinkles.

Underneath its melancholy appearance, the Basset Hound is an affectionate, friendly and gentle animal. This breed enjoys the company of children and make excellent pets. This dog is never aggressive or fearful. And even though they may look very chilled, contrary to popular belief, they are active dogs that need to be exercised.

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Why are some dogs wrinkly?

Wrinkled dogs have a genetic condition called mucinosis. Discovered by scientists in 2008, mucinosis is a gene mutation that produces excess hyaluronic acid - a chemical that plays an impart role in maintaining the skin. The excess hyaluronic acid affects the skin's natural tightness, causing it to sag. This then creates skin folds and deep wrinkles on the head, neck, and body.

What dog breeds have wrinkled foreheads?

Mucinosis affects different breeds in different ways. This explains why dogs like the Pug and Bulldog have wrinkled foreheads, while other pups (including the cuddly Shar-Pei) have deep skin folds all over.

What dog breeds have loose skin around the neck?

Basset hounds, Bulldogs, and Shar Peis dogs are born with loose skin around the neck. But no canine pulls off this unique look quite like the Neapolitan Mastiff. The large sagging skin folds around the neck, known as 'dewlaps' by breeders, are a defining feature of this gentle giant. In fact, dewlaps are essential for any Neopolitian show dog that wants to enter competitions.

What causes saggy neck skin?

For some pooches, a saggy neck is part of their natural look. It's down to genetics, which may have been selected by early breeders. For example, some canine experts think the saggy skin around a Bloodhound's face helps them trap scents.

What does loose skin on a dog mean?

Loose skin on the neck can also be a sign of underlying health issues, especially in dogs who are not genetically predisposed to ' wrinkles.' It may relate to problems with the saliva gland, lymph nodes, or a neck trauma - like a bee sting or insect bite. It could also be a side effect of facial paralysis caused by an undiagnosed minor stroke. In all of these cases, your dog will need veterinary attention ASAP.

How to care for a wrinkly dog?

Wrinkly dogs require a little more pampering than the average pup. You should focus your extra efforts on keeping the skin in between their wrinkles clean and dry. Without regular cleaning,  crevices between the wrinkles will soon become a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to irritation, infection, and long-term skin problems. 

A bath every two to four weeks should be enough, although this isn't as easy as it sounds for giant breed owners. Instead, use baby wipes and cotton wool for a quick-fire clean between bath times. Speak to your vet before using any wipes, including those advertised as alcohol-free or hypoallergenic. Alternatively, you can buy special doggy wipes from pet supply retailers.

Wrinkly dogs come in all shapes and sizes. But there are a few things they have in common - they're adorable, loving, and, make excellent pets in the right hands. Some of them are a little high-maintenance.  But when you love something this much, an extra bath time or grooming session is just another excuse to spend some more time with your best buddy.

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