Wrinkly dogs are adorable, we can all agree on that. But how much do you really know about these adorable dog breeds? What are they like? And here’s a question you may never have thought to ask: What kind of skincare routine do they need?
We have created a list of the characteristics and differences between 10 wrinkly dog breeds, as well as a short guide for proper wrinkly dog skincare, so keep reading to learn more about these squishy, floppy, wonderful creatures.
The Shar-Pei, also known as the Chinese Shar-Pei, is number one on our wrinkly dog list because their wrinkles extend far past their face to all over their back and sides, making them the wrinkliest of them all. Aside from their wrinkles, their thick, wide snout is their most distinctive feature, along with their short, coarse fur — Shar-Pei literally translates to “sandpaper skin.”
Something that you may not be aware of about Shar-Peis is their domineering, independent attitude. They do not do well with other people or dogs unless they are socialized at a young age. In fact, lack of socialization and training can result in unpredictable behavior that borders on dangerous. Shar-Peis can be agreeable, but they need to get to know someone before opening up and being friendly.
2. French Bulldog
This wrinkly, bat-like bulldog is known for its slightly stubborn behavior and screechy bark. Their wrinkly snout and forehead places them in this category, but they are otherwise smooth, with a short, one-layer coat over the rest of their body. They are similar in build to English Bulldogs, just in a smaller form. They share the English Bulldog’s musculature and wide-set shoulders, but French Bulldogs are much less wrinkly and have large, pointed ears that are different than the English Bulldog’s small, triangular ones.
They do not require much outdoor exercise and are generally quiet, which makes them great house pets. It also makes them especially well-suited for apartment living. French bulldogs are quite playful and get along with families well. They are, however, well-known for having health problems that can be costly, so be sure to do your research before adopting a French Bulldog.
3. English Bulldog
The English Bulldog is the epitome of a wrinkly dog breed. They sport wrinkles all over their body, as well as droopy, loose skin that adds to their wrinkly appearance. Their ears differ significantly from those of a French Bulldog, as they are much smaller and do not stand upright. Another distinctive feature of the English Bulldog is their teeth and jaws. It’s not uncommon to see an English Bulldog with an undershot jaw, which causes their bottom teeth to protrude out.
English Bulldogs are playful and caring, and despite the fact that they can weigh up to 50 pounds, they still insist on being lap dogs. They require moderate exercise, so a walk around the block daily will keep them healthy and happy. However, be mindful of the temperature and humidity if taking them out for a walk or leaving them outside, as it can be difficult for them to breathe due to their short snout.
Pugs have a similar short, wrinkly snout like the French Bulldog. They are also small in stature with a slight, muscular build and a distinctive curly tail. Pugs are playful and can be a little mischievous, but they aim to please their owners. They do well with people of all ages, as well as other dogs, and they can thrive in almost any environment.
One caveat to Pug ownership is weight maintenance. Pugs love to eat and will eat more than they need, which makes them prone to being overweight unless their meals are properly portioned and moderate activity is kept in their daily routine.
5. Neapolitan Mastiff
Neapolitan Mastiffs have astounding features, including long, wrinkly faces and droopy lips. They can ward off intruders with their striking appearance, and their massive build shows that they have the strength to protect their loved ones. Although Neapolitan Mastiffs can be intimidating, they have a good reputation with families as being loving and gentle.
This breed, unlike the Pug or the French Bulldog, is much larger and requires more room to roam, as well as to get enough exercise. They are not as well suited for small apartments due to their size.
Bloodhounds share similarities to the Neapolitan Mastiff with their large size and drooping, loose faces. Their distinctive long, drooping ears, however, set them apart.
Bloodhounds are well-known as being scent-driven and being able to find missing people and items because of their intense sense of smell. This can be challenging because they often get distracted on walks, so it is important to keep them on a sturdy leash.
7. Dogue de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux (DDB) is also known as the “Mastiff of France,” as they share the same watchdog qualities, wanting to protect their loved ones and having the large body to intimidate and ward off threats. Their faces, although not droopy and loose, are wrinkled around their short snout. They have medium-sized drooping ears and a strong, muscular build.
DDBs require a strong hand when being trained during puppyhood. They can have a difficult time obeying orders if they do not have a strict authority figure at a young age.
Being in the Toy group, the Pekingese breed is small, only growing between 6 and 9 inches in height. They sport a long, flowing “mane” that covers most of their body. Their wrinkles can be found on their tiny faces, along with a short snout and bright eyes.
Pekes essentially think that they’re royalty, and they behave accordingly, acting sophisticated and regal. They enjoy playing but don’t tolerate roughhousing, which makes it important to keep an eye on children playing with them. Despite this, they can form tight bonds with their main caregiver and are quite protective.
The Bullmastiff is named such because it is the result of a crossbreed between Bulldogs and Mastiffs. You can find their wrinkles on their faces and the backs of their neck. They are large in size, similar to other Mastiffs, weighing up to 130 pounds, but their facial features and coloring resemble Bulldogs, or even Pugs in some ways.
Bullmastiffs are loving creatures, great for family environments, as they are playful and affectionate while also being watchful and protective.
10. Serrano Bulldog
The Serrano Bulldog shares traits with the English Bulldog, including their face and ear shape, as well as their broad, muscular shoulders. They are taller and leaner than English Bulldogs, however, and are more athletic.
In terms of temperament, Serrano Bulldogs are quite even-tempered, not too excitable and not too aggressive toward other people or animals. They make great companions, as they form tight bonds with their owners and enjoy physical activity.
Now that we’ve discussed the characteristics and differences between these wrinkly dog breeds, it’s important to mention the importance of a regular skincare routine. Wrinkly dogs require more care when it comes to grooming because dirt, oil, and bacteria can build up between their skin flaps, causing skin irritation or rashes. Because of this, it’s necessary to take a warm washcloth to clean out all their unexposed crevices. Make sure to dry their skin thoroughly afterward, as leaving it damp can cause bacterial infections.
Wrinkly dogs can be adorable lap dogs, gentle giants, intimidating watchdogs, funny playmates, and overall great pets to have around your family and other pets. As long as you maintain proper care for their skincare needs, wrinkly dogs can be an excellent addition to your household.
Featured Image Credit: Seongbin Im, Flickr
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.