There are a few health problems in The Boston Terrier which reputable breeders are doing their very best to wipe out. A responsible breeder will always be willing to discuss relevant health issues. Breed Clubs and experienced breeders are useful sources of information on health issues in The Breed.

The Boston Terrier is a brachycephalic dog and as such is more predisposed to suffering from BOAS, (Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome). Dogs with the condition have trouble breathing due to an excess of soft tissue having formed in their airways. The three most common disorders include stenotic nares (pinched or narrow nostrils), everted laryngeal saccules (s0ft tissue masses located between the vocal folds and the lateral wall of the larynx) and elongated soft palate (A soft palate is considered elongated when extending past the top of the epiglottis and/or the tonsillar crypts). When the soft palate is elongated it partially blocks the throat creating breathing and feeding-related issues.  Often, dogs with BOAS also show signs of problems with their gastrointestinal system. These disorders frequently cause symptoms such as snoring, noisy breathing, coughing, nasal congestion and shortness of breath in affected dogs.  Surgery to alter these issues is invasive and expensive. Brachycephalic dogs ARE more prone to breathing issues due to the shortened muzzle.

Many breeders claim to breed longer muzzles because it means they breathe better, but I beg to differ and see this as a marketing ploy, below you’ll find a few things to consider…

These are breed specific traits that we can breed towards or away from like any other breed trait. Yes, it’s true, these things can just crop up out of nowhere, but if you take a dog with a compromised airway and breed it to a long muzzled dog, these problems can still affect the resulting offspring regardless of whether or not you have increased the muzzle length. You just end up with stenotic nares on a longer muzzled dog. However, if you take a short muzzled dog with a good airway, breed it to another with a good airway, and Hey Ho! …We now have a beautiful typey head with a healthy airway.

A longer muzzle doesn’t guarantee a dog free from breathing problems. The quality of the airway, whether the muzzle is long or short is what makes breathing easy or difficult. Airway quality doesn’t automatically come from a longer muzzle unfortunately.

In a nutshell …It’s not the length of muzzle, but the health of the airway that is key to producing healthy puppies!

(Literally means short headed)

These breeds typically have a broad and relatively short skull, with the breadth at least 80% of the length. The cephalic index is the ratio between the width (side to side) and length (front to back) of its cranium (skull). This ratio does NOT concern the muzzle or face, therefore is distinct from the craniofacial ratio, which compares the size of the cranium to the length of the muzzle. These two measures are often confused in descriptions of dog breeds.

What is a brachycephalic dog?

Brachycephalic is a term that describes the short-muzzle and flattened face of many popular dog breeds and is caused by genetics that change the way the bones in the skull grow, resulting in a shorter, wider skull shape.

Brachycephaly occurs across a spectrum, from breeds with almost entirely flat faces (sometimes termed ‘extreme brachycephaly’), such as the Pug and Japanese Chin, through to less exaggerated brachycephalic breeds such as the Boxer and Chihuahua. The term brachycephalic is used to describe a variety of breeds that vary in muzzle length, with muzzle length varying even amongst the same breed.

Which breeds are brachycephalic?

The breeds that come under this category are:

Affenpinscher, Boston Terrier, Bulldog, French Bulldog, Petit Brabançon, Griffon Belge, Griffon Bruxellois, Japanese Chin, Pekingese, Pug, King Charles Spaniel and Shih-Tzu…
This list is incomplete. 
More information can be found at: HERE

An insight into brachycephalic dog health from The Kennel Club

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