What is the purpose of the dog trait of.....

Amstaffer

New Member
Joined
May 13, 2005
Messages
3,276
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
Milwaukee WI
#1
Many large Molosser type dogs have loose lips like the English Mastiff. I am wondering if there is a reason for this trait or if it was developed for looks by man.

Thanks for any info you have on this you might have.
 

ravennr

ಥ⌣ಥ
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Messages
2,314
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
Oakville, ON
#2
I am convinced it was put there so that people like me can grab it and shake it around whilst making baby noises and kissing their nose.
 
Joined
Dec 20, 2003
Messages
94,266
Likes
2
Points
36
Location
Where the selas blooms
#3
Loose skin serves the purpose of giving a dog the ability to not only turn and grab whatever is grabbing them, plus it deflects a bite from being able to grip on something vital.
 

Amstaffer

New Member
Joined
May 13, 2005
Messages
3,276
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
Milwaukee WI
#4
I knew loose skin in general was for protection but I always wonder why the loose skin around the lips. I suppose if a dog is grabbed in the face it would give them more "wiggle" room.

I also read that in some breeds like the Bloodhound the lip skin waving back and forth stir up scent particles.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
2,365
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
High Ridge, MO
#5
They're there for puppies to hang off of. :)

Personally, I am skeptical of the working function of loose lips. If you look at the APBT, who was bred to have every advantage in battle, they are tight-lipped. A floppy-lipped dog would be at greater risk of fanging himself -- ie, biting his own lip.
 

oriondw

user not active
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
2,039
Likes
1
Points
0
#6
Can you post a picture of the lips? Im looking at my pup and i dont see overly hanging lips.
 

Amstaffer

New Member
Joined
May 13, 2005
Messages
3,276
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
Milwaukee WI
#7
Can you post a picture of the lips? Im looking at my pup and i dont see overly hanging lips.
I don't want to post a picture of someone's dog with out permission but you can look at any English Mastiff (especially males)

Here is a drawing of what I mean.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
179
Likes
0
Points
0
#8
loose skin is there so that i can contort my dogs face into all kinds of wierd positions when we are cuddling on the sofa.
 

Doberluv

Active Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2004
Messages
22,038
Likes
2
Points
38
Location
western Wa
#9
loose skin is there so that i can contort my dogs face into all kinds of wierd positions when we are cuddling on the sofa.
LOL! I love that!

Yes, I read a book once written by a Pit Bull and he described how he hated having to fight dogs with loose skin, how difficult it was to really get a good grip. LOL. It was the cutest book.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
2,365
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
High Ridge, MO
#10
In one of Bruce Fogle's books, there is a photo series of a Bloodhound pup walking up to a Mastiff (or Bullmastiff) adult. In one of the scenes, the pup grabs a big mouthful of the other dog's dewlap and gives it a good tug. Poor Mastiff. :)

I dunno. I look at the English Bulldog, and how he evolved by people setting down on paper the traits they thought would make a good bull-baiter. But they're really just deformities. That's why I'm skeptical of somebody telling me that such-and-such trait benefits a dog in a performance area, without seeing it myself.
 
Joined
Dec 20, 2003
Messages
94,266
Likes
2
Points
36
Location
Where the selas blooms
#11
I knew loose skin in general was for protection but I always wonder why the loose skin around the lips. I suppose if a dog is grabbed in the face it would give them more "wiggle" room.

I also read that in some breeds like the Bloodhound the lip skin waving back and forth stir up scent particles.
I've watched mine use that "wiggle room" in play. They are more than willing to engage jaws, but if one misses and just gets jowls, she pays the price, lol! Kharma is "jowlier' than Shiva, and has a big advantage at this game.

Interestingly, in regard to your second paragraph, Kharma is also the superior tracker of the two.

It's very interesting to be able to observe this kind of stuff first hand :)
 

RD

Are you dead yet?
Joined
Aug 1, 2004
Messages
15,572
Likes
0
Points
0
Age
28
Location
Ohio
#13
I do think in some cases it's a defense thing. Most livestock guardian breeds that I've met do have some "give" to their lips, though they don't droop like that of the mastiff. My border collies, in comparison, have really tight, firm lips and if they were to be grabbed by another animal there, they'd be stuck. Heck, even dogs like a Doberman would be hard pressed to defend themselves against another animal considering their tight skin.
 

anna84

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Messages
605
Likes
0
Points
0
#14
I agree that in defense against another animals teeth loose skin gives a dog room to manuver. Even if the other animal is latched on the dog can twist around in its skin and attack.

RD from what I've read about Dobermans they seem to have been bred to defend their people against human attackers hence the tight skin, cropped ears etc. Theres nothiing on a Dobe for a person to grab onto
 

DanL

Active Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2005
Messages
3,933
Likes
0
Points
36
Age
55
#15
I always thought it was for scent retention. My GSD has hanging lips like that and when he's tracking they spread open when his head is down. Likewise for a blood hound, with all the skin folds and all, it helps keep the scent. Not sure about Mastiffs though, are they commonly used for tracking?

They definitely help in playing with Daisy and her razor teeth, her favorite place to grab is the lip and it gives him room to manuver. Likewise, she's got the same thing going for her.
 
Joined
Dec 20, 2003
Messages
94,266
Likes
2
Points
36
Location
Where the selas blooms
#16
Not many of the Mastiffs are typically used for tracking. The Fila is kind of an anomaly among the Mastiffs for a lot of reasons, lol! But if you look at Kharma and other working Filas of her type, you can see that there were probably Bloodhounds back in the dim, unknown days all those centuries ago when the Fila came to be

 

mrose_s

BusterLove
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Messages
12,169
Likes
0
Points
36
Age
28
Location
QLD, Australia
#17
i also heard that bloodhounds loose skin on the top of their heads was so when they put their head down to track it fell over their eyes, and so with little to no vision, it had to rely more on its nose. therefore becomign a better tracker. cananyone verify that?
 
Top