How can any dog enthusiast resist an adorably flat-faced pup? Quirky wrinkles, cute button noses, and droopy jowls are just a few of the many things that make these smushed face dog breeds so charming.
There are many different doggos with unusual, squishy mugs that are bound to put a smile on your face. From teensy pups to massive drool monsters, there’s a breed for every dog lover on this list.
Before diving into the world of flat-faced pooches, you should know that their short muzzles come with some health concerns. Of course, dog health is a priority for all pet parents, as everyone wants canine buddies to be healthy and have a happy life.
So, let’s get into it and talk about all the things you need to know about Brachycephalic dogs.
- 1 What Are Brachycephalic Dogs?
- 2 19 Smushed Face Dog Breeds
- 2.1 1. French Bulldog
- 2.2 2. Tibetan Spaniel
- 2.3 3. Brussels Griffon
- 2.4 4. Lhasa Apso
- 2.5 5. English Bulldog
- 2.6 6. Chinese Shar Pei
- 2.7 7. Pekingese
- 2.8 8. Boxer
- 2.9 9. Pugs
- 2.10 10. Boston Terriers
- 2.11 11. Shih Tzu
- 2.12 12. Neapolitan Mastiff
- 2.13 13. Dogue de Bordeaux
- 2.14 14. Chow Chow
- 2.15 15. Bull Mastiff
- 2.16 16. Japanese Chin
- 2.17 17. English Toy Spaniel
- 2.18 18. Cane Corso
- 2.19 19. Affenpinscher
- 3 Smushed Face Dog Breeds: Wrapped Up
What Are Brachycephalic Dogs?
Simply put, “Brachycephalic” is the fancy medical term for “flat-faced.” This means that these dogs were bred to have shortened skulls and noses, but the amount of tissue inside is still the same as their ‘long-faced’ counterparts.
Because of this extra tissue in their airways, these pups’ windpipes can get cramped and narrow, making breathing difficult. The umbrella term for the different airway issues this can cause is Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS).
Luckily, most symptoms of BOAS can be treated, so if you’re planning on getting a dog, don’t let the potential health issues of these smushed-faced cuties deter you. Just make sure that you do your research, pay attention to your dog’s health, and take your pup for routine vet check-ups.
19 Smushed Face Dog Breeds
Now that you know the reasons and risks behind these dogs’ unique facial structures, it’s time to melt your heart with these 19 adorable smushed-faced dog breeds.
1. French Bulldog
Image by Alexandr Ivanov on Pixabay
French Bulldogs are one of the most popular companion breeds out there, and with their pointy ears, stubby bodies, and flat faces, it’s not hard to figure out why. Their delightful personalities match their adorable looks — lively, friendly, playful, and affectionate.
Because they’re Brachycephalic dogs, they’re prone to health issues like breathing difficulties and infections around their eyes and noses. You might have to take your Frenchie for frequent vet visits, which can be costly. But keeping your little buddy’s tail wagging and knowing they’re healthy is well worth it.
2. Tibetan Spaniel
Image by Alexandru-Cătălin Stoica on Pexels
The Tibetan Spaniel is a tiny dog with tons of personality. With their quirky underbites, squishy faces, and endless frowns, they may look a bit grouchy, but these pups are affectionate and loving canine companions. They are loyal, alert, intelligent, and love to snuggle.
Their short muzzles make them vulnerable to respiratory problems, which can cause them to overheat if you don’t keep them cool. During spring and summer, they tend to suffer from allergies, but this can easily be treated with some medication from your vet.
3. Brussels Griffon
Image by Mikolaj Niemczewski on Canva
Brussels Griffons might be described as “unconventionally cute” with their scruffy coats, grumpy-looking faces, and mischievous eyes. But their larger-than-life personalities give them an irresistibly charming appeal. These little rascals are lively, curious, and loving towards their families.
In general, Brussels Griffons are a healthy breed, but their flat faces can cause some breathing difficulties. Keep an eye out for excessively loud breathing, coughing, or fainting, as this can indicate more serious respiratory issues that might require treatment.
4. Lhasa Apso
Image by MabelAmber on Pixabay
The Lhasa Apso is an adorable teddy bear dog breed from Tibet with a gentle and affectionate nature. They love nothing more than a snuggle, and let’s face it, it’s close to impossible to resist their puppy eyes when they want attention. You might just end up carrying this little cutie around with you all day long, and your pup will love every second of it.
Although Lhasa Apsos are a healthy breed overall, there are a few issues related to their smushy faces that you’ll need to watch out for. If your pup starts panting excessively for no reason, it can be a sign of a respiratory infection. You’ll need to take them to the vet as soon as possible to prevent any permanent damage.
5. English Bulldog
Image by Sven Lachmann on Pixabay
The English Bulldog definitely deserves a spot on this list with its signature sweet and squishy face. This adorably ugly dog breed is a loveable bundle of wrinkles, droopy cheeks, drool, and personality. Just be warned — Bullies are notoriously noisy breathers and will definitely wake you up with their loud snoring if you share a room.
When it comes to maintaining their squishy faces, you’ll need to regularly check between their floppy folds to see that it’s clean and free of skin infections. You can use Bulldog wrinkle wipes to make sure your cutie stays happy and healthy.
6. Chinese Shar Pei
Image by Thierry Rossier on Pexels
Wrinkles, wrinkles, and more wrinkles – that’s the first thing you’ll notice about the Bear Coat Shar Pei. These regal dogs served as royal watchdogs to the Han Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago. They are devoted guardians who rarely bark unless they sense trouble, and their docile nature makes them fantastic family dogs.
With all those wrinkles, it’s no surprise that their smushed faces come with some health concerns. As with Bulldogs, you’ll need to take special care of their skin folds to keep them bacteria-free. Shar Peis are also quite prone to heatstroke, so be sure not to overexert your pup in warm weather.
Image by Korey Lowdon on Pixabay
Another smushed-face pup that needs no introduction is the adorable Pekingese. Any Pekingese parent will tell you that, despite their sweet looks, these little firecrackers can be pretty feisty and stubborn. But they also won’t miss the opportunity to curl up on your lap for a snuggle.
Their adorable, squishy faces do come at a price, though. Pekingese are highly vulnerable to Hypoplastic Trachea, a condition caused by the trachea, or windpipe, being very narrow due to their small size. This makes breathing and panting challenging and leaves them prone to tracheal infections and choking.
Image by Alan Smith on Pixabay
If a high-energy, adventurous companion is what you’re after, the beloved Boxer might be the right fit for you. These droopy-faced darlings are active working dogs that have held down jobs in police departments and farms and are even used in the military. They require loads of exercise and will gladly join you on a hike or run.
Because of their short snouts, they might experience some breathing difficulties, especially during the summertime. Boxers are particularly vulnerable to heatstroke, so if you notice any excessive panting, lethargy, or vomiting, take your buddy to the vet as soon as possible.
Image by Madhurima Handa on Pixabay
The comical Pug is a breed that steals hearts wherever they go. With their flat, goofy faces and bulging eyes, these sweethearts are undeniably adorable. They’re affectionate and amusing, and you can always count on them to put a smile on your face with their silly antics.
Because of their smushed faces and the occasional breathing problems they cause, these pups do best in milder climates. They’d also much rather lounge on the couch than spend time in the great outdoors. So, if you’re an avid hiker looking for a furry friend to join you on long treks, this breed might not be the best fit for you.
10. Boston Terriers
Image by Joe Christensen on Canva
Boston Terriers are not only super cute and friendly but also one of the smartest small dog breeds. They’re easy to train, quick to pick up new tricks, and will happily join you on adventures to dog-friendly public spaces.
Because of their short, squishy snouts, these pointy-eared cuties are unfortunately prone to stenotic nares – a condition where their nostrils are too narrow to allow healthy airflow. Symptoms include strenuous breathing, gagging, wheezing, and open-mouthed breathing.
If your pup is showing any of these symptoms, they might need a minor surgical procedure to fix the issue.
11. Shih Tzu
Image by Alexas Fotos on Pexels
The sassy little Shih Tzu is a pampered pup that consistently ranks as one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. They were bred over 1,000 years ago as lap dogs for Chinese emperors, and they still enjoy being treated like royalty today.
These smushed-face pups have very narrow airways, so they can have breathing issues that can lead to a shortage in their oxygen supply. This can cause problems with regulating their body temperature, so they’ll quickly overheat if exposed to high temperatures. It’s best to walk them early in the morning or later at night to avoid the heat.
12. Neapolitan Mastiff
Image by DevidDo on Canva
Droopy faces, lots of drool, sunken eyes, and floppy wrinkles are all endearing physical characteristics of the massive Neapolitan Mastiff. These big buddies are formidable and intimidating guard dogs but have a soft side. They are loyal, gentle, affectionate, and extremely protective of their humans.
Their saggy faces, paired with their huge size, can cause some health concerns. They tend to wheeze, snort, and snore a great deal, which isn’t necessarily a health risk unless it leads to choking or airway obstructions. You’ll also need to watch for excessive panting and drooling, as this can indicate respiratory issues that might need medical attention.
13. Dogue de Bordeaux
Image by Jan Steiner on Pixabay
Hailing from France, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a powerful breed that dates back all the way to the 12th Century. Considering their large size, it’s no surprise that they were initially used as working dogs to pull carts and move heavy objects.
The Dogue de Bordeaux has the largest heads of all dog breeds, and they are covered in droopy wrinkles around their short muzzle. They are unfortunately prone to typical brachycephalic dog health concerns, including breathing obstructions, excessive panting, and bacterial infections.
14. Chow Chow
Image by irisphoto2 on Canva
The majestic Chow Chow is one of the breeds that look like bears and will definitely make you want to cuddle (although they aren’t big snugglers). These fluffy, smushed-faced dogs were initially bred for herding and protecting livestock. But nowadays, they’re popular watchdogs that are a good fit for single-person households.
The Chow Chow’s signature blue-black tongue is eye-catching, but it’s worth noting that it also comes with higher chances of dental issues and infections. Because their thick coat covers their squished faces as well, they’re also at risk of eye infections if you don’t regularly groom and trim their hair.
15. Bull Mastiff
Image by flyrfixr on Canva
Moving on to another giant of the dog world – the stately Bull Mastiff. These massive drool monsters make intimidating guard dogs, but they’re also even-tempered, intelligent, and gentle, making them a great fit for families with children.
Bull Mastiffs are inclined to suffer from Brachycephalic Syndrome, respiratory issues, and heart problems caused by inadequate airflow. You’ll need to take your canine companion for regular vet check-ups to identify and treat potential health issues. To make these routine trips effortless, you’ll need a large dog car seat to keep them safe and stress-free during the journey.
16. Japanese Chin
Image by Koldunova_Anna on Canva
The Japanese Chin is a lovable ball of fur with buggy eyes, a cute button nose, and a protruding underbite that gives it an extra bit of charm. These little darlings date back to the Fourth Century when they were bred as loving and loyal lap dogs for Eastern royalty and emperors.
As with the other flat-faced pooches on this list, the Japanese Chin’s adorable, squishy nose comes with some health concerns you’ll need to watch out for. They are especially susceptible to airway infections and gassiness due to excessive air intake, both of which can luckily be treated easily by your veterinarian.
17. English Toy Spaniel
Image by JZHunt on Canva
With their soulful eyes, button noses, and silky coats, the English Toy Spaniel makes an absolutely charming and calm companion to snuggle with. These small, gentle cuties generally get along with everyone, including other dogs and cats, so they’re a great fit for multi-pet households.
Compared to other small, fluffy dog breeds with smushed faces, English Toy Spaniels are the most likely to be born with a cleft lip or palate. This means that the pup has an unnatural gap in the lip or the roof of its mouth. If it’s just a tiny opening, it’s usually nothing to worry about, but bigger openings might need surgical repair to prevent obstructed air intake and infections.
18. Cane Corso
Image by Tommy on Pixabay
Jiggly jowls, droopy faces, and buckets of drool are all associated with the popular Cane Corso. This powerful Italian breed is happiest when given a job, like herding or tracking. They are known as an aggressive dog breed, but they make excellent family watchdogs if trained and socialized properly as puppies.
Because of the large size and facial structure of its head, the Cane Corso is at risk of common health issues like breathing difficulties, wheezing, and excessive panting. A sudden, noticeable change in your doggo’s breathing pattern could indicate more serious issues that might need veterinary treatment, like lung conditions or heatstroke.
Image by Ekaterina Gorokhova on Canva
Last but not least, the mischievous Affenpinscher — an adorable little pup with a flat, fuzzy face complete with a beard, mustache, and bushy eyebrows. They’re energetic, fearless, and, let’s be honest, outright comical in both appearance and behavior.
Affenpinschers are tough and hardy small dogs, but because of their short noses, they’re vulnerable to respiratory distress and airway obstructions. Vision impairment is also common in this breed, so taking your little monkey terrier for regular checkups is a good idea.
Smushed Face Dog Breeds: Wrapped Up
So there you have it, the world’s cutest and most popular flat-faced dog breeds. Which of these adorable smushed-face pups is your favorite? It may be hard to pick, as they all have their unique appeal.
All types of dog breeds come with their own health risks, but with extra care, your pup will be happy and healthy. Plus, all the love, snuggles, and laughs they will give you in return is well worth the effort.
I covered all of the costs associated with this smushed face dog breeds post. However, it does contain affiliate links. That means if you click through on some of the links in this article and end up making a purchase, I may receive a small commission. It won’t affect the price that you pay. Just wanted to let you know.