Brachycephalic Dog Breeds: What Does it Mean? [2023]

Are you a fan of snub nose dogs? Well, you're in the right place! At Snubby Puppy™, we love all things related to brachycephalic dog breeds. But what exactly does "brachycephalic" mean? In this article, we'll delve into the meaning of this term and explore everything you need to know about these adorable pups. So grab a cup of tea, sit back, and let's dive in!

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Brachycephalic is a term used to describe dogs with short, broad skulls and flat faces. This distinctive look gives these breeds a unique appearance and endearing charm. However, it's important to understand that these adorable faces come with some specific health considerations. In this article, we'll take a close look at the characteristics and potential health problems that brachycephalic dogs may face.

What are Brachycephalic Dog Breeds?

Brachycephalic dog breeds have a skull shape that is shorter and wider compared to other canines. This skull structure leads to a compressed facial structure, resulting in those adorable squished faces. Some notable brachycephalic breeds include the English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Pug, Boston Terrier, and more. These breeds are beloved for their charming looks and affectionate personalities.

The Characteristics of Brachycephalic Dogs

Brachycephalic dogs possess a range of unique characteristics that make them stand out from other breeds. Here are some key features:

  1. Flat Face: The most obvious characteristic of these breeds is their flat face, which contributes to their unique appearance. The muzzle tends to be shorter and broader than other dogs.

  2. Bulging Eyes: Brachycephalic dogs often have prominent, bulging eyes. While this adds to their adorable appeal, it can also make them more prone to eye injuries and irritations.

  3. Wrinkled Skin: Many brachycephalic breeds have excess skin that forms wrinkles, giving them a wrinkled and expressive face.

  4. Shortened Airway: Due to the shorter skull structure, the airways in these dogs are often compromised. This can result in breathing difficulties and other respiratory issues.

  5. Dental Problems: The unique mouth structure of brachycephalic breeds can cause dental issues, including overcrowding and misalignment of teeth.

Potential Health Problems

While brachycephalic breeds are undeniably adorable, their distinctive traits can also lead to a range of health issues. It's crucial for potential owners to be aware of these risks before bringing one of these pups home. Some common health problems in brachycephalic dogs include:

  • Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (BAS): This syndrome refers to a combination of respiratory issues caused by the shortened airway in brachycephalic dogs. It can lead to snoring, difficulty breathing, and even heat intolerance.

  • Eye Problems: The bulging eyes of brachycephalic breeds make them more prone to eye injuries, dryness, and infections.

  • Dental and Gum Disease: The unique mouth structure of these dogs can result in dental problems such as periodontal disease and tooth decay.

  • Heat Intolerance: Brachycephalic dogs have a harder time regulating their body temperature due to their compromised airways. They are more susceptible to heatstroke and require extra care in hot weather.

  • Exercise Limitations: These breeds often have limited exercise tolerance due to their compromised respiratory systems.

It's important to note that not all brachycephalic dogs will experience these health issues to the same extent. However, potential owners should be prepared for the possibility and provide the necessary care and attention to ensure their pet's well-being.

Brachycephalic breeds have won the hearts of dog lovers worldwide. Let's take a closer look at some of the most popular ones:

English BulldogWith their adorable wrinkled face and gentle temperament, English Bulldogs are a favorite among families.– Stocky build
– Loose skin
– Sweet and affectionate nature
French BulldogFrench Bulldogs are known for their charming personality, bat-like ears, and compact size.– Bat-like ears
– Compact and muscular build
– Playful and adaptable
PugPugs are often adored for their charming looks, delightful personality, and constant desire for human companionship.– Large, expressive eyes
– Wrinkled face and curled tail
– Friendly and sociable
Boston TerrierBoston Terriers are beloved for their friendly nature, tuxedo-like markings, and cleverness.– Tuxedo-like markings
– Compact and muscular build
– Intelligent and trainable
Shih TzuShih Tzus are known for their long, flowing coats and friendly demeanor. They make wonderful companions and lap dogs.– Long, flowing coats
– Adorable facial expression
– Gentle and affectionate

Addressing Concerns: Brachycephalic Pitbulls

One common question that arises is whether Pitbulls are considered brachycephalic dogs. While the American Pit Bull Terrier is not classified as a brachycephalic breed, some mixed breeds or individuals with certain genetic variations may exhibit brachycephalic traits. If you have concerns about a specific dog, consult with a veterinarian who will be able to assess their breed characteristics.

Factors Contributing to Brachycephalic Traits

The brachycephalic traits in these breeds are primarily the result of selective breeding. Breeding for specific physical characteristics, such as a flat face, can lead to exaggerated features in some individuals. It's important to note that responsible breeding practices focus on maintaining the overall health and well-being of the breed.


What problems do brachycephalic dogs have?

Brachycephalic dogs can experience a range of health problems, including brachycephalic airway syndrome (BAS), eye problems, dental and gum disease, heat intolerance, and exercise limitations.

What breeds suffer from brachycephalic?

Some common brachycephalic breeds include the English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Pug, Boston Terrier, Shih Tzu, and more.

Is a pitbull a brachycephalic dog?

The American Pit Bull Terrier is not classified as a brachycephalic breed. However, some mixed breeds or individuals with certain genetic variations may exhibit brachycephalic traits.

What causes brachycephalic in dogs?

The brachycephalic traits in dogs are primarily caused by selective breeding for specific physical characteristics, such as a flat face and shortened skull.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • Keep your brachycephalic dog's environment cool: These dogs are more prone to heatstroke, so ensure they have access to shade, water, and a comfortable indoor temperature.

  • Regular dental care is essential: Due to their unique mouth structure, brachycephalic dogs often require more attention to their dental health. Regular brushing and professional cleanings are vital.

  • Monitor breathing and exercise levels: Brachycephalic dogs may have restrictions on exercise due to their compromised respiratory systems. It's important to be mindful of their breathing and avoid excessive exertion.

  • Take extra care during hot weather: Brachycephalic dogs are more susceptible to heatstroke. Limit outdoor activities during the hottest hours of the day and watch for signs of distress.


Well… I just gave the flower to my dog and he did it.
A good boy and a great model.

  1. Brachycephalic Airway Surgery. College of Veterinary Medicine – University of Florida. Retrieved from
  2. Facióle-Valencia, G. Effects of Brachycephaly and Airway Obstruction in Dogs. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice. Volume 49, Issue 4, July 2019, Pages 685-697. doi:
  3. Crozier, S. Why brachycephalic dogs are at a high risk of heatstroke. Veterinary Record. 2017; 181(25): 646. doi:

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