You first might be wondering what the word “brachycephalic” means. Simply put, it refers to a condition in which a dog’s skull is shorter and flatter than a normal canid skull is typically shaped. Examples of brachycephalic (brack-ee-say-falick) breeds include Pugs, Bulldogs, Pekingese, Boxers and Mastiffs. These dogs have very short muzzles, wide foreheads and a whole lot of wrinkles on their faces. While many of these breeds are created to be this way on purpose, there are unfortunate disadvantages to having such an unnaturally shaped skull.
#1 – Brachycephalic Respiratory Syndrome
Brachycephalic Syndrome is an upper respiratory disorder that causes difficulty breathing and can be quite severe. While the skull shape of brachycephalic dogs has gotten shorter and wider, the rest of the anatomy has stayed the same size. This means they have disproportionate soft palates, tongues and nasal cartilage. The crowding of all this tissue and the narrower airway openings leads to obstruction. This condition causes significant danger during exercise, heat and stress where the dog cannot catch enough breath and the heart is overcome by too much pressure.