Look at those soulful eyes…that cuddly fur…that precious face! Scrunchy-faced dog breeds will turn heads every time. Can we ever get enough of them? From the Pekingese to the lesser-known Dogue de Bordeaux, these breeds tend to be big lovers.
So if you’re curious about droopy-faced dog breeds, keep reading and we’ll explore the worlds of these irresistible dogs.
Before scrolling down this list, check out these recommendations: Top Ten Dog Breeds That Look Like Rats
1. Chinese Shar-Pei
This adorable canine has a blue-black tongue and shares this trait with the Chow Chow. Although some people might say they have a face only a mother could love, most dog-lovers recognize the adorableness of this breed. And their wrinkles don’t stop at the face, they cover the entire body! They’re people-dogs rather than dog-dogs and need to be socialized early with both from an early age.
ORIGIN: The Han Dynasty gets the credit for bringing us this scrunchy-faced dog breed more than 2,000 years ago — native to China’s southern provinces. The AKC recognized the breed in 1992.
DISPOSITION: Alert, calm, devoted, independent, intelligent, protective, quiet, confident, stubborn, affectionate
LIFESPAN: 8-12 years
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?: Full-body wrinkles generally affect just the puppies but some adults keep the unique trait for their entire lives.
They’re the dogs with the tightly-curled tails. Their wrinkled brows can be quite emotive and guardians of these cuties can’t say enough about how lovable they are. If they’ve been socialized early, they’re perfect companions for families with kids and other dogs.
ORIGIN: Two thousand years ago, pugs were created to be pets/lapdogs of the royal family by the emperors of China who preferred flat-faced toy dogs. You could only get your hands on them if you received one as a gift.
DISPOSITION: Friendly, adaptable, playful, affectionate, serious
LIFESPAN: 13-15 years
CAN YOU BELIEVE?: Napoleon’s wife and the duke and duchess of Windsor had pet pugs.
A cross between a bulldog and a mastiff, these intelligent dogs can reach a weight of 120 lbs.
ORIGIN: In the mid-to-late 19th century, poachers became a problem for those with wealth who lived on estates and game preserves in England. Their solution was the bullmastiff so…they were bred — 60% mastiff, 40% bulldog — to guard and attack.
DISPOSITION: Protective, devoted, gentle, intelligent, alert, territorial, loyal, possessive, affectionate
LIFE SPAN: 7-10 years
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?: The bullmastiff was long known as the “Gamekeeper’s night dog” due to its sole initial purpose.
If “scrunchy-faced” was in the dictionary, the bulldog’s picture would be beside it. With their big jowls and matter-of-fact expressions, they easily grab the hearts of the people they live with.
ORIGIN: They’re thought to have been bred for the horrendous “sport” of fighting with/against bulls in 13th-century England.
DISPOSITION: Brave, tenacious, calm, friendly, loyal, loving
LIFE SPAN: 8-10 years
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?: Due to his tenaciousness and grittiness, and possibly due to his resolute facial expressions, former British statesman and Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill was nicknamed “The British Bulldog” (especially during WWII).
Rocky the Bulldog is the symbol of the U.S. military’s 3rd Infantry Division and was created by Walt Disney himself in 1965. The bulldog also serves as the mascot for the U.S. Marine Corp.
Mission Statement (US Air Force): With the tenacity of a bulldog we will motivate, train and inspire with dignity and respect.
Besides being the number one dog in scenting abilities, this glorious breed may have the droopiest, wrinkliest, scrunchiest face of them all. These born-to-be family dogs are perfect for families with children.
ORIGIN: The earliest origins of the bloodhound are vague, but the trail is picked up about a thousand years ago in Western Europe. High-ranking members of the pre-Reformation church perfected the breed.
DISPOSITION: Gentle, affectionate, mild-mannered, patient, calm, protective, easygoing, inquisitive, friendly, independent
LIFE SPAN: 10-12 years
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?: Evidence of the trailing of human beings by bloodhounds is admissible in court! (The bloodhound has the highest number of scent-receptors of any dog which is between 250-300 million. Humans have 6 million. Slackers.)
These bundles of furry sprites can be a bit of a handful if not socialized and trained early, but oh the rewards! Their loyalty is off the charts and will watch over their human family as if they were Dobermans.
ORIGIN: Created for the ruling classes of ancient China, they came to America in the late 1890s and were registered by the AKC in 1906.
DISPOSITION: Loyal, alert, independent, envious, brave, affectionate, loving
LIFE SPAN: 12-14 years
CAN YOU BELIEVE?: “…a Pekingese was one of only three dogs to survive the sinking of the Titanic.”
7. Chow Chow
Well of course there’s that blue-black tongue, plus an arguable reputation of being “snobbish,” what you may not know is that they’re as loyal as the day is long.
ORIGIN: Artifacts from China’s Han Dynasty show the existence of Chow Chows making them one of the oldest breeds ever. Introduced in America in the 1890s, the AKC recognized them in 1903.
Since this breed can sometimes be a tad moody, early socialization and training is a necessity for the animal to live its best life.
DISPOSITION: Loyal, serene, adaptable, bright, serious, protective, vocal, stubborn
LIFE SPAN: 8-12 years
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?: Elvis Presley was the guardian of a Chow Chow.
8. Dogue de Bordeaux
This canine is one big scrunchy-face. Although the breed isn’t as familiar as many on this list, we’re certainly fortunate to have them around at all.
ORIGIN: Sometimes called the “French mastiff,” they’re one of the oldest dog breeds in France. Not much is known about how and why they came into existence.
They were first shown at dog shows in Paris in 1863.
DISPOSITION: Gentle, loyal, affectionate, protective, quiet, kid-friendly, affectionate, territorial
LIFE SPAN: 5-8 years
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?: The movie “Turner & Hooch” (1989) gets the credit for putting the breed on the map in the U.S.
9. Basset Hound
ORIGIN: This droopy-faced dog breed, the shorter-legged cousin of the bloodhound, originated in sixth-century France. Coming in second behind the strength of the bloodhound’s smelling capabilities, they were created to drive small prey from dense terrain for hunters.
DISPOSITION: Gentle, sociable, loyal, kid- and dog-friendly, mild-mannered, affectionate, brave, obedient, patient, low-key
LIFE SPAN: 12-13 years
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?: The word “basset” is derived from the French word “bas” which means “low thing” or “dwarf.”
What do scrunchy-faced dogs have in common?
Most of them will snore due to their physical facial, including nasal, characteristics and they especially need to be groomed since dirt can get lost in between skin folds and encourage infection. They’re particularly strong, stout breeds. “Stocky” and “Stout” were descriptions that repeatedly came up for the entire list. “Solid” would be an accurate adjective for this group of cuties. A particularly clap-worthy trait is they all have a high warm-and-fuzzy heart quotient — they’re extremely loving. So if you’re looking for a scrunchy-faced dog breed, keep this list on hand. You’ll be sure to find the squeeziest cheeks available.
1. https://akc.org/dog-breeds/chinese-shar-pei/ — American Kennel Club — “Chinese shar-pei”
1. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/dog-breeds/chinese-shar-pei — VCA — “Chinese shar-pei”
2. https://hillspet.com/dog-care/dog-breeds/pug — Hills Pet — “Pug Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits”
3. https://petmd.com/dog/breeds/c_dg_bullmastiff — PetMD — “Bullmastiff”
4. https://thesprucepets.com/breed-profile-dogue-de-bordeaux-1117962 — The Spruce Pets — “Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff): Dog Breed Profile” by Jenna Stregowski — Updated Aug, 2019
5. https://basset-bhca.org/ — Basset hound Club of America
Vinise Weeks is a hands-on, passionate, and creative writer who loves dogs. She has two fur babies named Miu Miu and Toto that she loves taking care of. In her spare time, she loves helping people and making the word a better place.