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The Nighttime Struggle Flat-Faced Dogs Endure

Dive into the hidden challenges that keep this popular dog breeds tossing and turning all night long.

brachycephalic dog breeds sleep apnea


  • Recent study results deliver more bad news about the health of flat-faced (brachycephalic) dogs, especially French and English bulldogs and pugs — they require more naps during daylight hours because sleep apnea prevents them from sleeping well at night
  • The study also revealed potential problems with learning in flat-faced breeds based on brain wave patterns during sleep; the researchers observed that the dogs may have retained the sleep pattern of puppyhood, similar to newborns who spend more time in REM sleep
  • A 2023 study evaluated sleep-disordered breathing in dogs using a neckband originally designed for human sleep apnea studies; the results showed that flat-faced dogs have significantly more breathing problems during sleep than dogs with longer snouts
  • Other research shows that brachys change the way they sleep to avoid airway obstruction, e.g., they may sit up, raise their chins, or sleep with a toy between their teeth to keep their airways open

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