Dogs with a flat, wide-shaped head are said to be brachycephalic (‘brachy’ meaning short, and ‘cephalic’, meaning head). The soft tissue in the nose and throat of some brachycephalic dogs may be excessive for the airways, partially obstructing the airway and making it difficult for them to breathe normally (causing heavy panting or noisy breathing). This condition is known as BOAS and is a progressive disorder that can impair a dog’s ability to exercise, play, eat and sleep.

The Kennel Club and University of Cambridge's Respiratory Function Grading Scheme assesses Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Pugs for a breathing problem known as BOAS (brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome). The scheme advises owners if their dog is affected by BOAS and gives guidance to breeders on how to lower the risk of producing affected puppies.


In recent years Brachycephalic breeds have become more popular. Sadly, this can be detrimental largely due to repeated poor breeding of dogs with extremely flat faces. We support responsible breeding, which would see many breeds having fewer medical issues and therefore minimising the need for veterinary intervention.

In all, it is crucial to note that veterinary statistics on French bulldog diseases do not distinguish between French bulldogs bred by responsible breeders with pedigrees and those bred without pedigrees, without a certificate of origin, on dog farms or smuggled. 

The enormous increase in illegally bred French Bulldogs without pedigrees, in colors that are not standard and that bring with them serious health problems, has unfortunately contributed to this breed being considered problematic. 

If veterinarians and dog health organizations in their statistics distinguished pedigree dogs bred from responsible breeders from those that are not, or are crossbreeds, or bred in very suspicious circumstances without pedigrees, then data on the problems of brachycephalic breeds would were significantly different.

Unfortunately, this fact is not respected by many countries, so restrictions are imposed on responsible breeders of French bulldogs, while at the same time allowing the illegal breeding and sale of dogs without pedigrees.

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