Short-Nosed Dog Breeds: A Comprehensive Guide [2023]

Toshi wearing a knit sweater.

Whether you're a long-time fan of snub-nosed breeds or a curious newcomer, you might find yourself wondering, "What are short-nosed dog breeds?" Short-nosed, or brachycephalic, dogs are characterized by their flattened muzzles and unique facial structures. In our guide, we'll explore the world of brachycephalic dogs, including their health considerations, exercise needs, airline travel, and much more.

Health Considerations

Brachycephalic breeds have certain health considerations due to their unique facial structures. Here are some of the most common health issues to be aware of:

  • Breathing difficulties. Many short-nosed breeds have narrow nostrils and elongated soft palates, which can make breathing more difficult. Some may even develop respiratory distress.
  • Eye problems. Brachycephalic dogs often have protruding eyes that are vulnerable to injury. Some may also develop problems like dry eye or cherry eye.
  • Heat sensitivity. Because of their short snouts, many brachycephalic dogs are prone to overheating. It's important to keep them cool in hot weather.
  • Dental issues. Some short-nosed breeds have crowded teeth or improperly aligned jaws, which can lead to dental problems.

If you're considering adopting a brachycephalic breed, it's important to be aware of these potential health issues and discuss them with your veterinarian.


Despite their unique physical structure, short-nosed dogs still need regular exercise. Here are some tips to help keep your brachycephalic pup active and healthy:

  • Moderate exercise. Because of their breathing difficulties, many short-nosed breeds can't handle intense exercise like running or hiking. Instead, stick to short walks and moderate playtime.
  • Cool weather. Make sure to exercise your brachycephalic dog in cool weather, as they can easily overheat.
  • Swimming. Swimming is a great form of exercise for short-nosed breeds, as it doesn't put pressure on their respiratory system.

Airline Flights

Fluffy cockapoo having the time of his life at the park

If you're planning on traveling with your short-nosed dog, there are some special considerations to keep in mind. Here's what you need to know:

  • Airline restrictions. Many airlines have restrictions on short-nosed breeds due to their increased risk of respiratory problems. Make sure to check with your airline before booking.
  • In-cabin travel. If your dog is small enough to fit in a carrier under the seat, they may be able to travel in the cabin with you. However, make sure to check with your airline and follow their guidelines.
  • Temperature control. It's important to make sure your brachycephalic dog stays cool during the flight. Consider purchasing a carrier with built-in cooling features.

List of Brachycephalic Breeds

If you're curious about which breeds fall into the brachycephalic category, here's a brief list:

  • Bulldog
  • French Bulldog
  • Pug
  • Boxer
  • Boston Terrier
  • Shih Tzu
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Brussels Griffon
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Japanese Chin

You May Also Like

Looking for more information about short-nosed breeds? Check out some of our related articles:

  • How to Help Your Brachycephalic Dog Breathe Easier
  • The Best Cooling Products for Overheated Dogs
  • Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

Looking for a high-quality dog food that meets the unique nutritional needs of short-nosed breeds? We recommend Royal Canin breed-specific dog food formulas. They offer options specially designed for bulldogs, french bulldogs, pugs, and more.


What dog has the shortest nose?

The dog breed with the shortest nose is the Pug, known for its flat, wrinkled, and almost non-existent snout.

What dogs are brachycephalic or short nosed?

Several dog breeds are considered brachycephalic or short-nosed, including the Bulldog, French Bulldog, Pug, Boxer, Boston Terrier, and Shih Tzu.

Why do some dogs have short noses?

Dogs with short noses are the result of selective breeding for certain physical characteristics. These breeds were often bred for specific purposes, such as bull-baiting or ratting.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • Short-nosed dogs are also known as brachycephalic dogs.
  • They may have certain health considerations due to their unique facial structures.
  • Short-nosed dogs still need regular exercise, but they may not be able to handle intense activity.
  • Many airlines have restrictions on short-nosed breeds.
  • Some dog breeds were bred specifically for their short noses.

We hope this guide has helped answer your questions about short-nosed dog breeds. Remember, if you're considering adopting a brachycephalic breed, it's important to be aware of their unique needs and potential health issues. Always consult with your veterinarian to provide the best care for your furry friend.


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