What are Snub-Nosed Dog Breeds?

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Snub Nosed Dog BreedsDo you find flat-faced breeds cute and find their adorable faces hard to resist? If you’re thinking about adding a furry companion in the form of a flat faced dog to your family, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we discuss snub-nosed dog breeds and what it means to have one in your care; we also share the challenges that may come with these pups.   

What are Brachycephalic Dogs? 

Brachycephalic pets refer to those with flat faces and are becoming highly popular all over the world. Snub nose breeds can be distinguished from other breeds thanks to their broad head and shorter snouts. While they’re certainly cute and adorable, they will need more care and attention compared to dogs with normal-length snouts due to their unique head shape. 

Even so, as long as you’re happy to put in extra effort and time, you’ll be able to take home a wonderful furry friend. Pet parents are responsible for caring for and loving their chosen snub-nosed pets, whether they demand belly rubs or snore loudly at night. These dogs are so full of charm and come with lots of entertainment that will surely fit your lifestyle. 

Flat Faced Breeds

Below are some of the most popular dogs with flat faces that you should consider when looking for a new addition to your family. 

French Bulldog

These snub-nosed dogs are highly popular today thanks to celebrities posting their cute faces all over social media, while their charming personalities have also won hearts. However, their unique look does come with health concerns — these flat-faced dogs may face respiratory issues like difficulty breathing during hot weather and snoring problems. Furthermore, they might also experience eye problems such as cataracts and cherry eyes, while their flat noses may cause overheating and digestion issues.    

Boston Terrier

Some of these dogs may experience issues with their shorter nasal passages as a result of breeders failing to breed them carefully. This may result in skin folds which may cause infections, breathing problems, and eye conditions. Much like with all pets, it’s essential that you understand how to care for your Boston Terrier’s needs.  

Shih Tzu

When you want to add Shih Tzus to your home, it’s vital to learn about potential health issues that they may face. Like any flat-faced dog breed, these cute pups come with flattened noses which could make them prone to problems such as respiratory infections and breathing issues. 

Lhasa Apso

Because of their short muzzles and flat noses, the Lhasa Apso is no exception from the risks associated with other flat-faced canines. While they’re a generally healthy breed, they will still be more vulnerable to some health issues like eye problems, breathing problems, hip dysplasia, and skin allergies. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These dogs, in particular, will come with health issues that pet owners will need to know about. Apart from the breathing problems already mentioned, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel pups are also prone to heart problems like mitral valve disease which can give them a shorter lifespan. These dogs might also experience a neurological condition called syringomyelia, which can cause them pain and discomfort. 

Cane Corso

This breed originates from Italy and has been loved for its impressive stature and more so for its loyalty. Cane Corso dogs will thrive when they have work to do, while their high intelligence and strong work ethics further help them achieve their purpose.  

Japanese Chin

Another flat-faced dog is the Japanese Chin, an ancient breed that goes back centuries. Originally, they were bred to provide Japanese aristocracy with companionship, and today, they are still beloved for their loyal and sweet nature. They make excellent lap dogs and are playful — they’re often compared to cats because of their delicate and elegant movements. 

English Bulldog

These purebred dogs come with their signature wrinkled expressions and underbite; they’re known for their easygoing personality which makes them a great choice for families. Despite looking so grumpy all the time, they can make friends with both people and other dogs quickly. Because of their flat face and facial wrinkles, they may be prone to skin irritation and infections if they aren’t cleaned regularly. 

Dogue de Bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux is also called the French Mastiff, a large dog that hails from Bordeaux, France where they took their name from. They were originally bred for hunting, guarding, and cart pulling — despite their tough appearance, these dogs are very sweet and incredibly loyal, which makes them wonderful companions to families that can live with a 120-pound dog. However, they’re still very big and may not always be aware of their size, so they will benefit from early socialization and positive reinforcement training to help them cultivate good manners. 

Brussels Griffon

This small, flat-faced pooch is known for its gorgeous and expressive face that makes it resemble the little Ewoks from Star Wars. They love human companionship and are loving and faithful pets but they are delicate dogs that weigh around 8 to 10 pounds, so extra care should be given when playing with them. Because they’re so small, they will need protection from extreme weather conditions — even though they’re so tiny, they carry a lively disposition and you’ll never get bored of their entertaining personalities. 

Chow Chow

Chow Chows are medium-sized dogs with a distinctive appearance, which includes their lion-like mane, dense double coat, and their unique blue-black tongue. They can be suspicious of other animals and new people, so they’ll need early socialization to grow into adjusted adults. These short nosed dogs are known particularly for their aloof but loyal temperament — proper training and exposure to many kinds of situations and people can help these pups become well-mannered and loving companions.  

English Toy Spaniel

Just like any breed of dog, English Toy Spaniels come with various health risks that you need to consider. Among the most common problems that may affect these dogs include joint problems such as hip dysplasia, heart murmurs, as well as respiratory problems. Even so, these easygoing dogs can make excellent companions for those who live in the city and their small size makes them a great fit for apartment life. 

Caring for Brachycephalic Breeds

Providing hugs and kisses to your pooch won’t be enough when it comes to brachycephalic dogs. Even with their big eyes and cute faces, they will need extra attention in terms of their well-being and health. Apart from giving your dog a healthy diet, lots of exercise, and regular check-ups with their vet, it’s vital that you do research on health risks they’re prone to, which include eye problems, temperature regulation, and breathing issues. 

Health Problems with Snub-Nosed Dog Breeds

Pet owners should be properly equipped with proper knowledge of the unique challenges that these types of dogs face daily. These cute pups will usually come with skin folds, compressed airways, and narrow nostrils, and will often develop brachycephalic airway syndrome. Unfortunately, this means that they will also have health issues such as sleep apnea, and skin conditions which may lower their quality of life. 

Heart Problems

Pet owners with brachycephalic dogs such as the breeds listed above will know that their pups will be more vulnerable to heart problems which won’t happen under normal circumstances. This is because they have a body that’s built differently with peculiar features such as a flattened face, and pushed-in noses, which makes it difficult for them to take a breath. During hot weather, their heart has to push even harder to pump oxygen around their bodies which can become dangerous.

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) or simply brachycephalic syndrome refers to a set of abnormalities in the upper airway. This problem in the respiratory system can include abnormalities such as: 

  • Stenotic nares
  • Elongated soft palate
  • Extended nasopharyngeal turbinates 
  • Laryngeal collapse
  • Hypoplastic trachea
  • Everted laryngeal saccules

Dogs with brachycephalic syndrome can be affected by one or more of these irregularities. As a pet parent, it’s up to you to find out more about these symptoms and how you can treat them to ensure that your new best friend stays happy and healthy. By staying informed, you can start to take proactive measures to help your flat-faced pal live a long and happy life. 

Snub-Nosed Dog Breed FAQs

Below are some of the most common questions that people ask when it comes to snub-nosed dog breeds. 

How Do I Get a Healthy Snub-Nosed Dog? 

Because flat-nosed breeds will often come with breathing issues as a result of their anatomical structures, it’s essential that they’re bred responsibly. This can be tricky but the first thing you need to do is look for reputable breeders that have the dog’s well-being and health in mind. A responsible breeder will do their research and take pride in breeding high-quality pups. 

Do Other Animals Come with Flat Faces? 

While dogs are probably the first animals that come to mind when it comes to flattened faces, you might be surprised to find out that others share this unique trait. For instance, Persian cats also have adorable flat faces, along with certain kinds of rabbits like the Lionhead and Flemish Giant. In addition, some types of primates such as gorillas and orangutans also come with flattened faces. 


Dogs with short snouts carry a higher risk for respiratory distress compared to dogs with longer snouts and in severe cases, these breeds of dogs may suffer from long-term conditions. Any dog lover will know that these dogs will have special needs that need to be met. The best way to care for them is to find out more about their condition and how to best deal with them.