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Are Rottweilers Brachycephalic

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Rottweilers are considered brachycephalic dogs, meaning they have short noses and flattened muzzles.
  • Brachycephalic dogs can have anatomical characteristics such as angled upward noses, widened skulls, underbites, compressed nostrils, elongated soft palates, and everted laryngeal saccules.
  • Other brachycephalic dog breeds include Affenpinschers, American Bulldogs, Boxers, Brussels Griffons, Bullmastiffs, Boston Terriers, Cane Corsos, Lhasa Apsos, Pekingese, and Pugs.
  • Common health problems in brachycephalic breeds include respiratory issues, eye problems, ear problems, skin problems, and oral health conditions.
  • Rottweilers are less prone to respiratory issues than other brachycephalic breeds, but they are more susceptible to eye problems, skin problems, and oral health conditions.
A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Zoo and wildlife doctor in veterinary medicine passionate about animal welfare and preventive medicine.
Published on
Saturday 8 October 2022
Last updated on
Friday 14 July 2023
Are Rottweilers Brachycephalic
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Living with Rottweilers is enjoyable as it seems. They are significant when you need a furry friend to guard, protect, and work wherever strength is necessary. These dogs are also well-socialized, active, confident, and intelligent. Nevertheless, their condition and characteristics can be what you must consider when prioritizing health.

Such body structures affect their health. For instance, you may ask, are Rottweilers brachycephalic? Read ahead to know the answer!

Are Rottweilers Considered Brachycephalic Dogs?

Rottweilers, or Rotties, are powerful, loyal, and protective dogs. They are easy to train because they are also intelligent. Moreover, they have high instincts for guarding. Nonetheless, this dog breed belongs to those dogs with short noses, or what people call brachycephalic breeds.  

The term brachycephalic comes from two Greek words; “short” and “head.” If you combine these, it will indicate the descriptions of short-nosed or flat-faced dogs. Similarly, Rottweilers have flattened or squashed muzzles, hence, the term brachycephalic. You can also notice that their bottom jaws extend slightly from the upper ones. So, your furry friend may look like its lower jaw sticks out.

Nonetheless, unlike other shortened nose dog breeds, Rottweilers do not visibly exhibit their condition. At first glance, you can think that they do not have this condition because they look like a usual dog breed. Yet, as you look closer at their faces, you can see that their noses are shorter than other canines. 

As this type of canine, Rottweilers can be susceptible to various health issues, which we will discuss later in this article.

Characteristics of Brachycephalic Dogs

According to research conducted by Ekenstedt et al. on brachycephalic dogs, these breeds can have a shortened muzzle, which can cause their noses to angle upward. Their skulls may also be wider and their heads may appear large or rounded. Due to these changes, their teeth can have an underbite, and the frontal sinuses may be reduced or absent. Furthermore, the nasal conchae, which are structures inside the nose, can become extended or oversized, potentially causing breathing difficulties.

Additionally, flat-faced dogs can have narrowed nostrils, limiting the airflow in their noses. The soft palate, located at the back of the throat, can be too long or elongated, obstructing the trachea and making breathing challenging.

Lastly, in some cases, the laryngeal saccules, which are small structures in the throat, can become everted, further obstructing the dog’s breathing.

Overall, it’s important to understand that brachycephalic dogs can have various anatomical changes that affect their ability to breathe comfortably.

Brachycephalic Breeds Other Than Rottweilers 

Flat-faced dog breeds have become popular as the population of dog owners increases. Aside from being cute and adorable, canines with shorter snouts have powerful jaws. That can give them an advantage in fighting and hunting. There are other dog breeds that are brachycephalic aside from Rottweilers.

If you are still unaware of whether or not your dog has this characteristic, here are a few dog breeds with this condition.


The first smash face dog on our list is the Affenpinscher. It is a medium-boned, square-proportioned, sturdy, and compact breed. You can also consider it a smaller version of a working terrier. Due to its agility and strength, it can catch and dispatch rodents around your place.

Moreover, it possesses a monkey-like facial expression with a long beard, eyebrows, and rough coat. 

American Bulldog

Unfortunately, American Bulldogs and other variants of this breed have one of the most severe effects of this condition. Despite that, they are famous for being calm and suitable for quiet households. Nonetheless, their energy can quickly change because they can become overheated once their playtime gets more intense. 


Talk about an ideal dog breed, and Boxer can come first on your list. This canine is affectionate, playful, and endlessly active. You can also adore its handsome figure once you take care of its diet and body condition. On the other hand, it also has excellent strength and endurance, perfect for vigorous activities and long walks. 

Brussels Griffon

In simple terms, the Brussels Griffon looks like a Pug with cute whiskers. Since the discovery of this dog breed, it has been winning hearts due to its adorable pouting face, loyalty, sweetness, and affection. In addition, it can also be your perfect match if you are looking for a furry friend that you can train without difficulties


The foremost thing you will notice about Bullmastiffs is their different physical appearance. This breed is slightly smaller, with more distinct flat-faced features. In that case, they can also become more prone to unwanted effects of this condition, such as respiratory issues. Nonetheless, Bullmastiffs are fearless but not aggressive and harmful.

Boston Terriers

Another dog breed that allows you to train without difficulties is the Boston Terrier. It is an intelligent canine that can learn different tricks quickly. Unfortunately, it can be more susceptible to this condition and its side effects, including eye problems. Thus, regularly monitoring its well-being is necessary to prevent unwanted consequences.

Cane Corso

Dog owners have also known Cane Corso from a history going back to Roman times. This dog breed is a Mastiff type, which boasts loyalty and protective nature. Nevertheless, if you plan to adopt this breed, you must know that you will need to train it early to get along with its attitude without difficulties. Also, its most common health concern is bloating like other wide-chested dogs. 

Lhasa Apso

Here comes another ancient breed from 800 BC: the Lhasa Apso. This dog breed is suitable for being a watchdog despite being a highly affectionate furry friend to its close family. It is shy and reluctant to stay around strangers but gets friendly once it becomes used to one’s presence. Moreover, dealing with flat-faced conditions in Lhasa Apso is luckily not worrisome or severe


A royal favorite, you ask? Pekingese has been one from its history in 200 BC. Its popularity also soared high in 800 AD, when its breed reached Europe and other nearby countries due to its gentle and affectionate characteristics. Pekingese dogs are not susceptible or vulnerable to shortened head issues.


If you think of dogs with flat faces, the dog breed you can most likely recall first is the Pug. While this canine was famous even since the time of the Chinese emperors, dog owners also prefer them due to their delightfulness, affection, and loving attitude. Furthermore, you can also laugh at its adorable facial expressions and mannerisms!

Common Health Problems of Brachycephalic Breeds

O’Neill et al.‘s research about the health status of brachycephalic dogs showed that brachycephalic dog breeds are less healthy than those that do not have this condition. Since these dogs are susceptible to health issues, they also need thorough care and monitoring.

To help you distinguish these problems, here are the most common conflicts with your short-nosed dog.

Respiratory Issues

Based on Oechtering et al.‘s research on the structural characteristics of brachycephalic dogs, the extreme shortening of the skull and nasal cavity can lead to an abnormal configuration in the conchae. Consequently, these canines can have obstructed airways or nasal passages. This phenomenon can cause them to suffer from breathing problems. 

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) is also a common health issue in dogs with this condition. These canines have narrow nostrils, shorter muzzles, and deformed windpipes. These things can aggravate the difficulty in inhaling oxygen. Also, since dogs regulate temperature through panting and BOAS hinders breathing, these canines can suffer from overheating.

Nevertheless, respiratory problems are not the most common disease for Rottweilers. They are less prone to this health issue than other brachycephalic breeds.

Eye Problems 

Dogs with pushed-in faces have overly flat skulls, and their eyes do not fit into the sockets. In severe cases, canine breeds can also be at high risk of popping their eyes out due to the extreme effects of this condition. Similarly, they can also develop eye ulcers, causing eye loss if left untreated for a long time.

In addition, brachycephalic dog breeds cannot close their eyes properly. They can also suffer from the effects of their eyelids turning inwards or outwards. As a result, they can have dryness or irritation in the cornea due to the constant contact with their eyelashes.

If you have a Rottweiler, you can also expect it will likely develop conjunctivitis, entropion, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), eyelid deformities, cataracts, and other eye and vision problems. These issues are the most common health problems with their breed.

Ear Problems

Short-faced dogs, especially Rottweilers, have skin folds near their ears or narrowed ear canals. In these cases, yeast infections can exist with bacteria and other microscopic organisms that can live in your dog. Moreover, these body parts can also become sore and uncomfortable for canines. 

If your furry friend suffers such ear problems, you must avoid grains to prevent itchiness, sore skin, and sensitivities.

Skin Problems

Like the previous health issue, smooshed face dogs can have skin infections and irritations. Canines with skin folds and excessive wrinkles are susceptible to yeast and bacteria from moisture retention. Then, the bacteria can feed on the dog’s secretions trapped in the skin.

Microscopic organisms can also create substances that cause itchiness and more severe effects. So, this consequence can worsen in the long run if you do not clean your furry friend regularly. Also, you must note that these allergies and infections can occur more in Rottweiler breeds.

Oral Health Conditions

Lastly, smash face dogs have the same number of teeth as other breeds. However, they have less space in their mouths. As a result, they can have an increased risk of dental issues. 

Aside from that, these dogs can also possess short muzzles, where their teeth are on top of one another. This condition can lead to plaque or tartar buildup, causing other oral health problems, such as decay or gum diseases. Unfortunately, Rottweilers can suffer from these more than other brachycephalic breeds.

Brachycephalic dogs, like Rottweilers, can be vulnerable to various health issues. You can find them challenging to deal with, but taking notes on the necessary information about their condition and characteristics can help you handle your furry friend’s well-being. For instance, your Rottweiler can still live as much as those other breeds once you have learned how to take care of it.

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