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10 wrinkly dog breeds: Crinkly cuties that make great companions

Portrait of a Pug - one of the most popular wrinkly dog breeds
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Wrinkly dog breeds don’t just look adorable, they’re also some of the most loving and affectionate pups on the block! With their irresistible rolls and wonderfully unique and diverse personalities, there’s a crinkly canine companion to suit every human and home. 

While some wrinkly hounds are among the friendliest dog breeds, others prefer to reserve their warm feelings for their family and are a little more wary of strangers. These guard dog breeds are more focused on protecting their humans than they are with making friends, so it’s worth doing your research to ensure you choose the right rolly dog for you. 

You’ll also find that wrinkly dog breeds vary in their desire for activity too, with some having high energy and endurance levels that make them great exercise buddies and others being lazy little lumps that will prefer serving as your couch companion. 

It’s worth pointing out that all those love-handles that wrinkly dogs are laden with does mean that a regular skincare regime is going to be essential. You’ll want to invest in one of the best dog grooming kits and ensure that it has veterinary-formulated medicated wipes in it to keep irritation and infection from forming inside all those folds.

Whether you’re after one of the most popular small dog breeds or you’re wanting a canine companion who’s a little more substantial in size, you’ll find all our favorite wrinkly dog breeds below.   

1. Shar-Pei

Shar-Pei

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Hailing from Southern China, the Shar-Pei has been around since at least 200 B.C. and was originally bred to protect the royal family and guard the palace, as well as being used in dogfights. 

Their loose skin served a very important purpose in those times, helping to protect them against attacks from other dogs - if a dog grabbed onto their skin, they could easily pull away and escape without any damage being done to their internal organs.

Thankfully, the Shar-Pei is no longer used for these purposes and is now a loyal family companion, but their interesting mix of physical traits remains. With a broad muzzle, a blue-black tongue, small sunken eyes, tiny triangular ears and an abundance of loose skin, the Shar-Pei is certainly unique.

A strong and independent dog, the Shar-Pei is highly intelligent and incredibly calm and serene in nature. While they love their human family dearly and are fiercely devoted to them, they can be very suspicious of strangers and other dogs, so early socializaton and training is key.

2. French Bulldog

French Bulldog

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With their large bat-like ears and playful disposition, the French Bulldog is one of the world’s most beloved pets. Short in stature and with a muscular body, Frenchies have small wrinkles that gather around their forehead and mouth. 

They may be tiny, but Frenchies have big hearts that are overflowing with love and affection. They adore their owners and are highly adaptable, fitting in everywhere from the city to the country. While they don’t bark much, they’re incredibly alert, which makes them great little watchdogs.

Frenchies are wonderfully relaxed dogs and they’re very intelligent, which means training them is fairly easy as long as you keep things fun - this dog definitely learns best through games. Just bear in mind that they thrive on companionship, so leaving them on their own for long periods of time isn’t ideal. 

3. Pug

Pug

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One of the most popular and adored breeds, the Pug will put a smile on anyone’s dial with it’s hilarious antics and clown-like personality. One of a kind in looks and nature, this little cutie is both charming and mischievous, which is a pretty wonderful combination!

With wrinkled faces that are offset with huge expressive eyes that sparkle with love, the Pug is a happy and curious dog that has delighted people for centuries. Happy in any living environment as long as they’re surrounded by people, the Pug is highly flexible and adaptable but does best in moderate climates that are neither too hot nor too cold.

While they may be clowns at heart, the Pug carries itself with dignity. They love playing games and as long as they’re well trained and socialized, this is a dog that will get on with just about anybody, including other animals and children. The Pug does have a lot of facial folds that can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so regularly cleaning and drying these is a must.

4. Basset Hound

Basset Hound

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Low-slung and low-key, the Basset Hound is one of the most recognizable breeds in the world thanks to their large domed heads, sad looking eyes and long ears, not to mention those wrinkly legs and brow. Incredibly patient, the Basset Hound is great with kids and makes a wonderful family dog.

While they may be mild and agreeable at home, they are prone to moments of stubbornness when they’re in the great outdoors and pick up a scent that they’re determined to follow. They’re also well known for barking a lot, so early training around this is key if you want a harmonious household. 

Although all their loose skin can give the Basset Hound a sad look, they’re actually naturally happy dogs who are calm and even-tempered. They’re very relaxed overall, but they are emotionally sensitive and they don’t respond well to negative reinforcement - firm, consistent but loving is your best approach with this breed.

5. English Bulldog

English Bulldog lying down outside in autumn leaves

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Jokingly referred to as having a ‘sourmug’ face, nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to the English Bulldog’s nature which is overflowing with kindness and friendliness that they bestow on everyone they meet.

They have a distinctive waddle, a tough and muscular build, loose skin on the head and a furrowed brow with hanging chops on either side of their jaw. Looking at them, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d be rather lazy, but the English Bulldog enjoys a brisk walk and regular exercise. 

This dog is calm, courageous, tenacious, and docile with a very sweet and gentle temperament. They’re incredibly people-orientated and will actively seek out attention but in a very non-demanding way. Just one word of warning: they tend to snore heavily, so you might want to tuck them into bed in another room at night!

6. Neapolitan Mastiff

Neapolitan Mastiff

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The Neapolitan Mastiff has a powerful and imposing presence, which is what you’d expect from a breed that’s been intimidating intruders and guarding people and property since ancient Roman times. And yet, while they may be wary of strangers, they are incredibly sweet and placid when it comes to their family.

With a rather large head that’s covered in voluminous folds and a fair amount of drool that comes from those large jowls, even the youngest Neapolitan Mastiff appears somewhat old in appearance. But these gentle giants really are a joy to have in your home with their steady, calm, and watchful presence bringing a sense of security and comfort. 

While young Neapolitan Mastiffs are fairly active, adult Mastiffs tend to be lazier and love lounging around the house. They do need a lot of room to sprawl about, so they’re not well suited to apartment living, and while they adore children, they’re a bit too large and clumsy to be around very small children who may be unsteady on their feet. Best to wait until the kids are a bit older before welcoming this breed into your family. 

7. Dogue de Bordeaux

Dogue de Bordeaux

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Existing as far back as the 14th century, this breed of dog was very popular in Southern France in the region around Bordeaux, hence its name. It’s lineage isn’t quite clear although it’s likely that the Dogue de Bordeaux is closely related to the Bullmastiff and Tibetan Mastiff.

Historically put to work pulling carts, transporting heavy objects and guarding flocks, their protective instincts are now solely focused on their human families, who they are fiercely loyal and devoted to.

They are incredibly courageous and affectionate and their wrinkled face and soulful eyes make them appear very endearing. Even-tempered yet vigilant, they are very sweet and sensitive souls but they can be stubborn and dominant if they’re not trained consistently from a young age.

8. Pekingese

Pekingese

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We’re pretty sure the Pekingese was a feather duster in its past life and we’re almost certain that just walking this little cutie across your floors will probably be all that’s needed to keep them sparkling clean! Bred for centuries to be the companion animals of the imperial family of China, this cherished toy dog makes the perfect cuddle buddy.

With their lion’s mane, impressive furriness and deep wrinkles on their mane, these adorable dogs have a regal manner and an affectionate nature that makes them impossible to not fall in love with. While they may be small, they can be opinionated and stubborn, so a firm but loving hand is imperative with this breed.

Charming and confident, they form very tight bonds with their humans and yet at the same time, they’re also very independent, so you don’t need to worry about them being overly clingy. Although they will tolerate children, they don’t like rough housing, so they’re best suited to calm kids or adult-only homes.

9. Bullmastiff

Bullmastiff

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Bred to tackle poachers in England, the Bullmastiff has retained its fearless work ethic but is a loving and docile companion when at home with their people. Powerful and protective, this courageous and devoted dog has a fairly imposing presence, standing at around 27-inches in height and weighing in between 100 and 130 pounds.

While they may not at first glance appear like they’d make good family dogs, they’re incredibly gentle and affectionate with those they love. Calm and easy-going, they enjoy being around well-behaved children but may not take as kindly to other animals.

Although they have good hearts, the Bullmastiff can be a very independent thinker, which means they’re no pushover. Firm and consistent training and socialization is absolutely vital so that they know who’s top dog in the pack - you! If they don’t learn their place early on, they can end up dominating the home and everyone in it, which is not what you want.

10. Bloodhound

Bloodhound at the beach

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With huge ears and droopy skin that tends to hang in deep folds around their head and neck, you definitely won’t mistake a Bloodhound when you spot one. Known as the ‘sleuth hound’ because of their unrivaled ability to find people who are lost or hiding, this breed is relentless when they’re on a scent trail.

But when they’re not stubbornly and single-mindedly tracking people down, this easy-going breed enjoys the company of adults, kids and other dogs. They’re affectionate and gentle as well as highly active and intelligent. If you choose to welcome a Bloodhound into your family, get ready for lots of exercise - this is one breed not content to laze around.

Yet while they do have endless energy and endurance and they are prone to drooling and a distinctively hound-like odor, they’re also kind and sensitive and their tolerant nature means they’ll do well in most homes.