Brachycephalic means “shortened head” and refers to the short nose and flat face of dogs like Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Chihuahuas. Other brachycephalic breeds include Chow Chows, Pekingese, Lhasa Apso, Bull Mastiffs, English Toy Spaniels and of course, our beloved Brussels Griffon.
These animals are short-headed, short-muzzled breeds. They are intentionally bred to look this way, with a normal lower jaw but a compressed upper jaw. Due to this altered facial construction, all these dogs have what is called brachycephalic respiratory syndrome to varying degrees.