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10 Dog Breeds Prone to Skin Problems & Conditions: Signs & Care

Written by: Melissa Gunter

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Dogster Team

male hand scratching cavalier king charles spaniel dog

10 Dog Breeds Prone to Skin Problems & Conditions: Signs & Care


Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo


Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Having a dog as part of your life is a privilege. When we take on this fun and loving responsibility we find ourselves wanting the best for our fur babies. When you see your pooch suffering, you instantly want to help. Unfortunately, for many dog breeds out there, dealing with skin issues is par for the course. Many breeds are more susceptible to skin issues such as infections, allergies, and rashes. When we bring a dog into our homes, it’s not uncommon that we don’t do a lot of research. Pet owners may not know the dog they’ve chosen has these tendencies.

While every dog breed has the potential to suffer from food, environmental, and skin allergies along with infections, here’s a look at a few that are more prone than others. This will help you be better prepared if your pooch presents with an issue so you can get them the care they need.


The 10 Dog Breeds Prone to Skin Problems

1. Chinese Shar-Pei

Chinese Shar-pei puppy on the grass
Image Credit: Waldemar Dabrowski, Shutterstock

The Chinese Shar-Pei is a wrinkly wonder of a dog breed that people around the world simply adore. Unfortunately, they also find themselves on our list of dogs that are prone to having skin problems, like many dogs with short coats. The skin of a Shar-Pei folds over on itself. This means small hairs on one side are poking the other. This often causes skin irritation. While this issue is enough in itself, Chinese Shar-Peis can also deal with allergies which can exacerbate this irritation.

2. American Bulldog

brindle american bulldog
Image Credit: Zanna Pesnina, Shutterstock

American Bulldogs are common in almost every neighborhood. These dogs are fiercely loyal and full of energy. They are also prone to allergies. These allergies can present as both environmental or food allergies. Either way, they can be damaging to your Bulldog’s skin. This breed is also susceptible to a genetic condition called ichthyosiform dermatoses. When this condition is present, itchy, redness, and scaliness of the groin, armpit, and belly are possible. Dogs with ichthyosiform dermatoses, or fish scale disease, can also cause yeast, ear, and between-paw infections.

3. Standard Poodle

standard poodle at the beach
Image Credit: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock

Have you ever seen a standard Poodle that looks as though moths have been munching on its fur? If you answered yes to this question, the Poodle most likely has granulomatous sebaceous adenitis. This condition causes hair loss due to its effect on the dog’s oil glands. Secondary infections are also quite likely due to this condition. Unfortunately, there are no treatments for granulomatous sebaceous adenitis that are guaranteed. However, your veterinarian can make suggestions on things that can help.

4. English Bulldog

english bulldog sitting on grass
Image Credit: AndreiTobosaru, Shutterstock

English Bulldogs are easily one of the coolest dog breeds around, but unfortunately, they are also prone to several skin problems. The adorable folds everyone loves can also play host to disease and infection. Bacterial and yeast infections are quite common in this breed if special care and cleaning of the folds aren’t followed. Painful tumors are also quite common in young English Bulldogs. While many of the tumors are benign and go away on their own, it is possible for bigger issues to develop like bleeding, continued growth, pain, and infection.

5. Labrador Retriever

black labrador retriever in the grass
Image Credit: Baevskiy Dmitry, Shutterstock

Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They are also a breed that is prone to allergies, both environmental and food-related. Of course, these allergies can lead to other skin issues. If your Lab is showing signs of an allergy, it’s time to visit your veterinarian to determine what is causing the issue and work out a plan to help your pooch feel better.

6. American Pitbull Terrier

American pitbull terrier
Image Credit: David Robert Perez, Shutterstock

Known as a fierce dog that is extremely loyal, the American Pitbull Terrier also has a weak immune system. This weakened system can lead to different types of skin infections and even mites that affect the hair follicles. To help battle these issues, make sure your American Pitbull Terrier is eating a healthy diet and receives all their required vaccinations.

7. Spaniel

red english cocker spaniel
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

If you have a Spaniel, you’re accustomed to the weighty, floppy ears and jowls. While these attributes are cute and endearing, they are also the perfect places for infections. Yeast infections are common in this breed due to the warm, humid areas under their weighty ears. You’ll also find that lip infections, thanks to bacteria growth in the folds, is another big issue for this breed. Like other breeds, Spaniels are also susceptible to environmental and food allergies with pollen, plastic, sand, and wool being particular issues.

8. Doberman Pinscher

doberman pinscher standing on the grass
Image Credit: OlgaOvcharenko, Shutterstock

Dobermans are known as a breed that will protect their humans at all costs. They are also known for dealing with hypothyroidism. While it may not happen to every dog dealing with this condition, hypothyroidism can cause dry, flaky skin or a thinning coat. Some dogs experiencing this disease are also more likely to get secondary skin infections that require treatment.

9. Bichon Frise

bichon frise on thee grass
Image Credit: Ieva Tvaronavicute, Shutterstock

When discussing skin problems, the Bichon Frise comes to mind thanks to the breed’s issues with insects, especially fleas. All dogs itch when they are bitten by a flea, but for the Bichon Frise, that itch can be unrelenting. It can also cause skin irritation. Your dog’s scratching may also damage the skin which is why protecting your pooch against flea infestation is so important.

10. German Shepherds

black and tan German Shepherd playing with a ball dog toy
Image Credit: Reba Spike, Unsplash

Looking at the powerful German Shepherd can leave many of us to think they are impervious to things. That’s not the case. Even the mighty German Shepherd can have skin problems. Like the Bichon Frise, this breed can become very itchy and red when dealing with fleas. You’ll also find that they are prone to food allergies.


Final Thoughts

While any dog breed can potentially have skin problems, this look at a few of the most notorious can help owners of these breeds be on the lookout. If you notice anything strange about your dog’s skin, whether it be redness, swelling, or flakiness, reach out to your veterinarian. They can help you determine what’s causing the issue and find a suitable treatment to help your pooch feel better quickly.

Featured Image Credit: KatrinaToompere, Shutterstock

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