Are Pitbulls Considered Brachycephalic? [2023]

brown and white pitbull dog with blue collar

Are you wondering if pitbulls are considered brachycephalic? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Pitbulls, also known as American Pit Bull Terriers, are a popular breed known for their strength, agility, and loyalty. They are often misunderstood due to their history and reputation, but when it comes to their physical characteristics, pitbulls do not fall under the category of brachycephalic breeds.

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Pitbulls are a breed that often faces misconceptions and stereotypes. One such misconception is that pitbulls are brachycephalic. Brachycephalic breeds are characterized by short, pushed-in faces, which can lead to various health issues. However, pitbulls do not possess these distinct facial features, making them a non-brachycephalic breed. In this article, we will delve into what it means to be brachycephalic, the health problems associated with brachycephalic breeds, and provide tips on how to keep your dog healthy. So, read on to learn more!

What Does Brachycephalic Mean?

Before we dive into the topic, let’s start by understanding what the term “brachycephalic” means. Brachycephalic refers to a skull shape characterized by a broad, short head and a flattened face. This unique skull structure is a result of selective breeding. Some common brachycephalic breeds include the Bulldog, Pug, and Boston Terrier.

Why Should I Care If My Dog’s Brachycephalic?

If you own a brachycephalic breed, it’s essential to be aware of the health problems they are prone to. These breeds often have narrow nostrils, elongated soft palates, and small windpipes, leading to respiratory difficulties. They may also experience eye issues and dental problems. It’s important to understand these potential health issues so that you can provide proper care and seek veterinary assistance when needed.

What Health Problems Affect Brachycephalic Dogs?

Brachycephalic breeds are more susceptible to certain health problems due to their unique skull shape and compromised respiratory system. Some of the common health issues faced by these breeds include:

  1. Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS): This condition is caused by narrowed airways, resulting in breathing difficulties. Symptoms include snorting, snoring, wheezing, and labored breathing.
  2. Heat Intolerance: Brachycephalic breeds have difficulty regulating their body temperature, making them more prone to heatstroke and overheating. It’s crucial to keep them cool during hot weather and avoid strenuous activities.
  3. Eye Problems: The shape of the skull can lead to bulging or protruding eyes, which are more susceptible to injuries, infections, and irritation.
  4. Dental Issues: Brachycephalic breeds often have crowded, misaligned teeth, increasing the risk of dental diseases such as periodontal disease and tooth decay.
  5. Digestive Problems: Due to their shortened muzzles, brachycephalic dogs may struggle with eating and swallowing, leading to gastrointestinal issues like regurgitation and vomiting.

Complications of Living With a Brachycephalic Breed

Living with a brachycephalic breed comes with its own set of challenges. While these breeds have their unique charm, it’s important to be prepared for the potential complications that may arise. Here are a few considerations:


  • Brachycephalic breeds often have friendly and affectionate personalities.
  • They can be great companions and family pets.
  • Many brachycephalic breeds are known for their calm and gentle demeanor.


  • Brachycephalic breeds require special care and attention, especially when it comes to their respiratory health.
  • They may be more prone to certain health issues, requiring regular veterinary check-ups and potential medical interventions.
  • Brachycephalic breeds may not fare well in extreme weather conditions.

How to Keep Your Brachycephalic Breed Healthy

healthy pitbull rolling in the grass

Despite the potential health challenges, you can still ensure that your brachycephalic breed leads a happy and healthy life. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Regular Veterinary Check-ups: Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your dog’s health and detect any potential issues early on.
  2. Weight Management: Maintain a healthy weight for your dog to reduce the strain on their respiratory system and overall health.
  3. Exercise with Caution: While exercise is important, avoid strenuous activities and be mindful of your dog’s breathing during exercise. Keep them hydrated and provide breaks as needed.
  4. Temperature Regulation: Ensure your dog has access to a cool and well-ventilated environment, especially during hot weather. Avoid excessive heat exposure and provide fresh water at all times.
  5. Grooming: Regularly clean your dog’s facial folds and ears to prevent skin infections. Brush their teeth regularly to maintain good dental health.
  6. Specialized Diet: Some brachycephalic breeds may benefit from a specialized diet that promotes dental health and reduces gastrointestinal issues. Consult with your veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations.


Is a pitbull a brachycephalic breed?

No, pitbulls are not considered brachycephalic breeds. They have a more proportional skull shape and do not exhibit the distinctive facial features associated with brachycephalic breeds. However, it’s essential to remember that individual pitbulls may still have unique health considerations, and proper care is crucial for their well-being.

What breeds are brachycephalic?

Some breeds that fall under the brachycephalic category include Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs, and Shih Tzus, among others. These breeds typically possess the distinct facial features and skull structure associated with brachycephaly.

Is an American bully brachycephalic?

While American Bullies share some similarities with brachycephalic breeds, they are not considered a brachycephalic breed. American Bullies have a more defined muzzle than brachycephalic breeds, although individuals within the breed may vary.

Are bull terriers considered brachycephalic?

Bull Terriers, although often confused with brachycephalic breeds, are not considered brachycephalic. They have a unique egg-shaped head, which may give the impression of being brachycephalic. Bull Terriers have a more elongated and narrower head structure compared to brachycephalic breeds.

*[BAOS]: Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome

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