What do you get when you cross a dog with a jowly face? A hilariously cute pup that will make all of your friends say “awww!” Dogs with big jowls can have exaggerated facial expressions – that’s why they easily draw attention. In this article, we’ve listed 10 dog breeds with big jowls we thought you should know.
If you’re asking yourself, “Why does my dog have extra skin?”, the answer is simple – your dog breed likely has large jowls that sag on either side of its mouth.
What are dog jowls?
Jowls are the skin and tissue that fall from a dog’s jawline to around its neck. Some dogs, like bulldogs or pugs, have big jowls due to their body shape and genetics while other dogs may just get them as they age.
Jowls on dogs can vary in size but overall – big ones make for some pretty cuddly dogs. The skin around the mouth in these dogs is often wrinkly and distended, giving them a very unique look – usually adorable chubby cheeks.
What is the function of jowls in dogs?
Some dogs are bred to have big jowls because they make them look intimidating. As you already know, some of the dogs breeds with large jowls are used as guard or attack dogs, e.g. bulldogs and mastiffs.
Most of the time though – these dogs with big jowls just happen to be adorable! Their wrinkly skin around their mouth is often soft like an old teddy bear and their big jowls often make them look like an old man. Funny, huh?
Dogs with Big Jowls (with Pictures)
Dog breeds with a large stretched skin around the mouth, which can vary in size, appear to be adorable or threatening depending on breed.
Here’s a list of dog breeds with big jowls and saggy cheeks:
1. Bloodhound Dog
The Bloodhound is a large breed of the scent hound group of dogs. It was originally bred to hunt wild boar and track people. The Bloodhound is conspicuous with large jowls due to the skin that overlaps on either side of the mouth.
Bloodhounds have long noses, floppy ears, and square-shaped heads with drooping lips. They are often brown or tan in color but also can be black.
A bloodhound’s nose is so good that it can smell 40 times better than humans. “The nose of a bloodhound dog has about 230 million scent receptors, which is 40 times that in the human nose.
2. Chongqing dog
A Chongqing dog is a large-breed animal with an imposing face, which has appeared in China since the 1930s. The breed was named after the city of Chongqing (alternatively spelled as Chungking), where they were first created by crossing Tibetan mastiffs and local hunting dogs.
The Chongqing dog is a good hunter with the dogs originally bred to hunt animals such as deer, boars, water buffalo, rhinos, elephants, tigers, and wolves. Yes, that’s right!
This dog has a big, broad, strong chest and a big flat muzzle with big jowls, making it a fierce hunter. However, some owners of this breed use them as guard dogs.
A Bullmastiff (also often called Newfy) is a type of dog that originated in the late 1800s as an English breed. It has been used in various roles, such as guarding livestock and property, or more commonly as a family pet today.
This dog was also used as a rescue and water dog, which is the reason for the big jowls. The Bullmastiff’s large jowls are said to trap air to assist with breathing while in the water.
A Bullmastiff dog is a mix of the Mastiff, Newfoundland, and English bulldog. The Newfoundlands were used for fishing, that’s why it is said that the Bullmastiff got its big jowls.
4. Neapolitan Mastiff
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a type of dog with a very wrinkled face and large jowls. This dog breed originated in the city of Naples, Italy around the 1940s. They are also known as “Italian Mastiffs” but the name was given to them because they were used by Italian nobility for protection purposes.
What does a Neapolitan mastiff look like?
The Neapolitan Mastiff has a wrinkled and square muzzle, large black nose with wide nostrils, droopy ears that hang down on the sides of their head. They also have enormous jowls made up by loose folds of skin and thick lips. The loose skin makes this one of the dogs with saggy cheeks.
This dog might actually be one of the dogs with the biggest jowls on this list, but we’re not done yet…
5. Basset Hound
Basset Hounds are a type of hound with short legs and long ears. They originated in France and were bred to hunt animals like rabbits, hares, foxes, otters, and badgers in rough terrain or dense underbrush where other dogs could not go.
What do basset hounds look like?
The long ears of a Basset Hound usually hang low; the eyes are droopy and the muzzle is wrinkled. You can almost always imagine that basset hounds are smiling or laughing all the time due to the large jowls and their general demeanor.
Basset Hounds are very friendly dogs, and they usually get along easily. They can be very affectionate, loving and reliable as they love to give kisses and will be your best friend if you provide them food!
While not all of the Basset Hound breed is considered “cute,” their jowls make up for it.
6. Bully Kutta
Bully Kutta dogs are a specific type of dog that originated from Pakistan. They were bred for the sole purpose to guard farmlands and serve as watchdogs.
Bully Kutta dogs are considered to be larger dogs, with males weighing around 100 pounds and females weighing between 60-90 pounds. They have a short coat of fur. The head has large jaws with big jowls, which make it full of wrinkles when viewed from the side.
Bully Kutta dogs are known to be aggressive and dangerous dogs with a bite force of 224psi. Some people use them illegally as fighting dogs because of their size and strength. The bark of the bully kutta is very loud so you might want to consider that when keeping one as a family pet.
7. Saint Bernard
Saint bernard dogs are large-sized, short-haired dogs with characteristic big jowls. Although they are said to be gentle in nature, they were originally bred as rescue dogs to help with snowstorms and search and rescue missions in the Alps mountains of Europe.
St. Bernard dogs sometimes act stubborn or angry when they need more exercise, which means that you might want to consider providing them with enough space or an outdoor dog run. The saint Bernard has ears that stand up and a tail that curls over its body.
8. Tibetan mastiff
The Tibetan mastiff is a guard dog with an intimidating look and big jowls. In fact, it is commonly described as a dog with the head of a lion and the body of a bear.
The Tibetan mastiff is one of the world’s largest dogs, weighing up to 160 pounds. Mastiffs are commonly used as guard dogs due to their size and intimidating nature.
Fun fact: Apart from the big jowls, a Tibetan mastiff is one of the most expensive dogs in the world. A puppy is priced at $2M (2 million U.S dollars)!
Tibetan mastiffs are sometimes said to be illegal in some countries and states due to their dangerous bite force. Lawmakers may see them as able to cause serious damage in case they bite people or other dogs.
Bigger breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog or Saint Bernard tend to have a wider snout than smaller dogs, which can lead to excess skin on their cheeks. That’s why we call them dogs with big jowls or saggy cheeks.
9. Airedale Terrier
The Airedale Terrier, also known as the Waterside Terrier, is a medium-sized terrier. They’re named for their hometown of the English county of Yorkshire: Airsdale(dale).
These dogs appear to have fairly visible jowls. The Airedale has a terrier-like head, with virtually no forehead or stop. They have V-shaped ears that are often tipped over and an erect tail that is docked.
Airedale Terriers are known for their intelligence and loyalty. They were originally used as messenger dogs or carriers, regularly carrying food and ammunition.
On our list, this is one of the small dogs with big jowls compared to the other dog breeds we have discussed above.
The boxer dog is a stocky, medium-sized breed that was originally developed in Germany. You can easily identify the boxer from its long jowls despite its fairly small size. While the jowls of a boxer are bigger than those of a Brittany spaniel, they’re certainly smaller than those of bloodhounds and bullmastiffs.
Boxers are known for their intelligence and loyalty. They were bred to be used as guard dogs or police dogs because they have an excellent sense of smell.
11. Gull Dong
What is a gull dong dog? A gull dong dog is a type of mixed-breed that’s not too common in the United States. The lineage for this mixed breed has been traced back to Asia, where it was developed as an all-purpose hunting and guard dog that had a reputation for its toughness.
Gull Dongs have characteristically floppy lips with a very powerful muzzle. The jowls are visibly big, hanging on either side of the mouth.
12. Brittany Spaniel
What is a Brittany spaniel? The Brittany spaniel is a type of hunting dog that can be traced back to France. In the sixteenth century, Brittanys were used for retrieving games and also served as gundogs in general duty hunts.
The breed became well known during Queen Victoria’s reign when she purchased a number of dogs from Lord Fitzharding with the intention of using them on her hunting missions.
Characteristically, Brittanys are medium-sized dogs that have a sleek body, long legs, and silky coat of fur which can be red speckled with white or liver spotted black and white in color.
Another dog with big jowls is the bulldog. Bulldogs are a popular type of breed that is typically heavy in weight and has short legs, which makes them appear to be very stout. The bulldog’s body shape was originally developed for its work as a hunting companion.
Bulldogs come in different shapes and sizes, but the most common type of bulldog has a square-shaped muzzle with a wide, deep jaw. The breed’s face is also quite wrinkled due to its short skin which causes an excess amount of folds on its face.
Dog Jowls Get Infected
Dog jowls can get infected easily, and it can happen if an infection is in the mouth or throat. Usually, when jowls get infected they’re going to be swollen and appear to be a source of discomfort for your dog.
Common infections of jowls include cellulitis and lip fold dermatitis. Dogs with big jowls are prone to these infections because they have more skin over their teeth so there is a greater surface area for bacteria to form and grow on.
These infections of a dog’s jowls can cause the jowls to become swollen, red, and painful. In severe cases, dogs may scratch irritable skin leading to bleeding. Jowls are also associated with drooling in some breeds especially when there is inflammation or swelling.
We’re not veterinarians here, so see a dog veterinarian as soon as possible if you think your dog’s jowls are infected.