In the human world, wrinkles are something that is frowned upon and avoided at all costs, especially ones found on the face that is often associated with old age. But in the world of the canine, the opposite is true, many would-be dog owners and admirers of the four-legged companion find them simply adorable.
Wrinkles, lines, and ruffles aren’t found in all dog breeds though; instead, they are isolated to a group of familiar faces. And unlike wrinkles in humans they aren’t the result of the aging process – they are usually the result of genetic traits achieved via the process of selective breeding. However, be warned, even though you may find the wrinkly dog look cute, their skin folds and wrinkles do demand some extra care and attention.
So, if you’re thinking of being the owner of one of these loyal companions, or you simply want to admire them once again, here are some of the most wrinkly dog breeds throughout the world:
Pugs are one of the most popular toy breeds around today and due to their very unique appearance that has won the hearts of many have been featured in television shows and blockbusters including the hit sci-fi action film – Men in Black. They are notorious for their loving and loyal personalities and of course their wrinkles and facial folds.
The story of pug wrinkles has a rather endearing back story. Rumour has it that the Chinese royalty was obsessed with breeding dogs with wrinkles resembling Chinese characters. If you take a look at the pug forehead there is a common wrinkle formation that is thought to resemble the Chinese word for “Prince”.
The Shar Pei
Arguably the most famous canine with wrinkles, the Shar Pei doesn’t just bear wrinkles on their faces, but all over their body creating an extremely cute appearance that’s very difficult to resist the urge to hug.
These medium-sized dogs were originally bred in the Canton region of China for hunting purposes and are known for their loyal and protective nature. This is certainly a breed where appearances can be deceiving, as although they may look innocent and cute, they can be quite the guard dog.
The word Shar Pei’s is translated to the English words “sand skin” and is a result of their soft, textured skin and beautiful coats. The coat itself is termed a “brush coat” since it is soft in one direction and rough in the other, it is said to be very rough when petting them in the latter direction.
Although they have a very unique and adorable appearance, it’s important to bear in mind that they have a skin that needs a high level of care as it is prone to infection due to the moisture collection in the folds between the wrinkles. This tends to involve keeping them as dry as possible and cleaning them on a regular basis.
The Neapolitan Mastiff
Also referred to as the Mastino, this an ancient and powerful dog breed that is known for having a protective temperament, making them great attack and guard dogs. Of course, they also have wrinkly, loose skin that hangs from their face and body for a mature and lovable appearance. They look just as impressive as puppies, but don’t think they’ll stay small for long – the Mastino breed can reach an incredible 29 inches once fully grown, so be prepared for long walks and lots of playing fetch.
Their coats come in a variety of different colors including blue, black and brown and they’re all equally as velvety, while their loose skin makes it feel almost like you’re diving into a duvet cover.
Neopolitan Mastiffs have a reputation for drooling, so this is worth bearing in mind. Other than that, these large dogs with cool and calm temperaments are ideal for active families with adequate space.
The British Bulldog
Also called the English bulldog, these small breed dogs may have a mighty reputation but in reality they are known for their laidback attitudes and docile personalities. These qualities make them ideal for families with small children and for homes with limited space.
Just like other bulldogs and the pug, these are short-snouted breeds with an under bite and facial folds making them extremely adorable, while their dome shaped heads and stubby legs give them an almost barrel like appearance.
Like other breeds with shorter muzzles they do require additional care to ensure they are kept clean and dry, in order to avoid any potential bacteria growth. They also tend to suffer from what is referred to as “reverse-sneezing” due to the structure of their soft palates.
Due to its appearance to what many consider “dangerous dogs” the Bullmastiff has suffered from reputation problems in recent years, but the fact is these large dogs have a gentle and mild-mannered temperament.
If brought up properly a Bullmastiff can be a fantastic guard dog, known for their intense loyalty to their owners and family, while being a little standoffish to strangers. Since they are large, they can get a little over-enthusiastic when playing and due to their heavy weight and size this can be a little intimidating for some people.
Mastiffs are a classic wrinkly dog breed and have subtle wrinkles and droopy skin surrounding their necks, faces and muzzles. Like other similar breeds they do have a tendency to drool, but to a much lesser extent than breeds such as the Mastino.
What Causes Wrinkles in dogs?
You may be naturally curious as to why these types of wrinkly dog breeds have wrinkles in the first place, as mentioned earlier it’s all the result of selective breeding. They have been bred for these traits and characteristics.
The Science behind the exact mechanism can get complicated, especially to the layman, however, as mentioned by Science Daily breeds such as the Shar Pei actually suffer from a genetic abnormality. This results in the over activity of an enzyme resulting in overproduction of a substance called hyaluronic acid, which deposits under the skin to produce a particular phenotype – in this case the familiar looking wrinkles.