Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. From small to big, medium-sized, tall, short, long, skinny, and wrinkly. Blame it on genetics but quite a number of dog breeds have wrinkles on their bodies.
The most common dog with wrinkles all over its body is the Chinese Shar-Pei. It features rolls of fat right from the face, neck, back, limbs/ legs, stomach, and even the toes. Other breeds with wrinkles include the Neapolitan Mastiff, which also has rolls of fat all over, Pug, Bulldog, and Bull Mastiff with wrinkles mainly on their face, and the Blood Hound and Basset Hound with wrinkles on their necks.
Interestingly, for some of these breeds the rolls of fat act as their protective barrier against bites, for others, well, genetics. If you want to know more about them, read further.
First in line is the Chinese Shar-Pei ancient to the South of China, this is the most wrinkled dog breed. With clearly loose skin on the face, neck, back, stomach, limbs, and even toes, they take the crown for extreme wrinkles.
From the first view, you will see waves of loose skin most especially on their back as they align themselves one after the other up to the tail section. Even so, working as guard dogs, their loose skin has aided them in fights and hunting as they easily circumnavigate their attackers. For such a wrinkled friend, they enjoy cuddle time as well as simply playing around. They’re very calm and independent.
Next up is the Bull Mastiff that’s grown very formidable over the years. Weighing just over 130 pounds, they exhibit most of their wrinkles on their face. This large wrinkly dog was anciently known as the “Gamekeeper’s Night-Dog” because they worked as guardians of the grounds.
This may not have changed, but their adorable wrinkles also have them playing pets from the toy group as they enjoy more leisure and companion. With the loose skin flopping right above the nose, the dog has a very cute appearance
The pug isn’t far off from the bulldog and the mastiff family. Even with their small 18 pounds and 13-inch tall body, what makes even more appealing is their very wrinkled face. Their face is greatly adorned by rolls of loose skin that’s also seen on their chest and back. Just not so many wrinkles as that of the Shar-Pei.
The wrinkly pug makes an even more cute appearance with their big prominent eyes lines with a dark underline and their short curly tail. From the toy family, the pug enjoys the benefits of being very wrinkly as you see them preferable to royal families as their companions.
The list would be incomplete without the Neapolitan Mastiff. Working as guard dogs, they mainly use their wrinkled skin as barricades against getting hurt by others as they fight and hunt. They are heavily wrinkled from their head down to their toes as many other dogs in the mastiff family.
To add on their loose skin, more emphasis lies on their dropping jowls, dropping eyes, and rolls of fat around their legs. This not only makes them more wrinkles than other breeds in the list but also gives them a distinct yet adorable appearance.
For 150 pounds of weight and 32 inches in height, the Neapolitan Mastiff also plays the role of a sweet and playful companion who wouldn’t mind some cuddle time. Their loose skin is guaranteed to keep you warm and snuggly.
The bloodhound is rather wrinkled specific as you see most wrinkles on their face and most especially the area around their eyes. To add to that, they display very droopy eyes that only emphasize the loose skin on the face and their endearing eyes.
Furthermore, they add even more loose effects thanks to their dropped pendant ears and loose jowls clearly seen when they sip on drinks.
Even as large dogs weighing over 110 pounds, they are very friendly and can be quite snuggly. Coming from a hound family, they work diligently as search and rescue dogs, devoted to finding lost people and helping people find their way back. What isn’t to love about this dear wrinkled friend?
Dogue de Bordeaux
Very similar to the Neapolitan Mastiff, the Dogue de Bordeaux features a very large head with delightful wrinkles and loose wrinkles all over their body. Their fatty skin is particularly seen around the nose and eyes, as well as their huge necks.
The loose fat around the neck can also be evenly distributed to their long backs up to their tails. They are the best at cuddling seeing they have a weight of 110 pounds and a height of 27 inches. Great companions with whom you can snuggle and cuddle on a cold day, loyal, and also very playful.
It’s not common to refer a bulldog as a wrinkle Saurus, but they too can get a little too fatty especially on their face. Weighing 28 pounds and with a height of 11 to 14 inches, they have hallmarked wrinkled faces like that of the mastiff makes them appear aggressive but on the other hand, along with their bat-like ears, they seem like adorable pet dogs, harmless to say the least.
Being guard dogs, they solely use their wrinkled faces to display their steady temperament, confident, and focused on themselves.
Finally, the basset hound. A very relaxed dog breed with wrinkles all over their body. They may not have extremely protruding wrinkled fat but they majorly have fat around the neck and down towards their limbs.
What makes them even more adorable if not unconventionally attractive is their pendant ears that emphasize their loose skin from head to toe. What’s more, their shortness and miniature appearance only make it seem like they have wrinkled skin everywhere.
What Brings About the Rolls of Fat?
Wrinkles found in multiple dog breeds has been characterized as a hereditary disorder referred to as Mucinosis, which is present mainly in the Chinese Shar-Pei. A group of researchers at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) discovered the genetic alteration on these dog breeds which multiplies the activity of an enzyme responsible for the excess production of hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid is one of the main components found in between tissue cells that encourage and stimulate the growth of fat. The substance accumulates under the skin, therefore, causing wrinkles. According to the researchers, this is the new way of breeds aging process and a new way of looking at how molecular mechanisms contribute to the overall health of the dog.
Interestingly, the Chinese Shar-Pei found in the South of China didn’t have this feature of excess rolls of fat however, after many years, their offsprings began to exhibit an appearance of thicker skin and a greater number of wrinkles. These excessive wrinkles were attributed to an inherited skin disorder called cutaneous mucinosis.
The build-up of mucin in the layers of skin and bloodstreams, allowed scientists to demonstrate that synthesis of hyaluronic acid is produced in abnormally high amounts due to an excess in the activity of the HAS2 enzyme. Also known as overexpression. The HAS2 is among the three enzymes responsible for the synthesis of acid in mammals. Therefore excess activity leaves to overproduction of hyaluronic acid, which ultimately results in excessive wrinkles.
Yet again, some of the breeds discussed above only have rolls of fat around the neck area. In this case, the neck fat or the loose skin around the neck can be in two forms;
- Scruff – the extra skin found on the top of the neck. All dogs will have this extra skin.
- Dewlap or wet neck – the extra skin around the under part of the neck areas. Only a few dog breeds will have this feature, most commonly, the Chinese Shar-Pei, Mastiff, and Bloodhound.
The scruff is a holding pallet for holding and carrying of puppies by their mother or superior. Moving them from place to place was easier that way. However, the dewlap is beneficial to the dog, especially for guard doge because even with the grip of the neck fat, the dog can still fight.
The loose skin was used to protect the dog from an attacker such that even with a grip or bite on the wrinkled fat, the dog can fight back. The extra wrinkled skin was a barricade to safekeeping the inner body parts of the dog even from deep bites.
Pros of Having Wrinkly Dogs
There are four major advantages of having them as pets.
- Distinctive appearance – having rolls of fat on their body isn’t a common occurrence. Yes, all the animals have a scruff, but seeing how athletic most dog breeds are, it’s unique and rare to have the Chinese Shar-Pei as your pet.
- Most of these pet breeds are loyal and devoted to their owners. As you have read, the breeds above mostly come from hounds, bulldogs, and Mastiffs. These are very loyal dogs.
- Confident – the extra layer of skin/ wrinkled fat gives them the confidence to face danger head-on knowing the extra skin will protect them from deep bites from attackers.
- Cuddle-buddy – they offer more skin for cuddling than smaller less bodied animals like lapdogs of the toy group would. The likes of Chihuahuas and Pekingese.
Wrinkly Dogs Cons
Unfortunately, the extra layer of fat is a breeding ground for infection-causing bacteria. They need more care and maintenance especially keeping them hygienic and clean under their skin folds. Here are some of the cons of having them as pets.
- Skin infections – without proper care they can easily develop skin issues from bacteria buildup under their skin folds.
- Constant itching – the rolls of fat offer a suitable spot for dirt, debris, and moisture to get stuck in between causing irritation and itching. You will notice you’re dog biting and pawing at their skin in an effort to scratch and rub themselves.
- High maintenance – these types of dogs mean you may need to clean them up more often than usual. Otherwise, they can develop red, bump, and irritable spots on their bodies.
- Eye problems – especially with wrinkles on the face, the dirt can buildup around the eye causing eye issues and problems.