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The Race Against Time to Save 'Flat-Faced' Pets

Is it too late to reverse the damage already done to certain brachycephalic, or 'brachy,' breeds? Organizations in both the UK and US are racing to raise awareness and reduce both the popularity and negative impacts in these threatened breeds, some of which are truly suffering.

saving brachycephalic dogs


  • Brachycephalic dog breeds have flat or pushed-in faces that predispose them to serious health conditions, especially brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS)
  • The English Bulldog is the “poster dog” for bad breeding practices that destroy the health of the breed; in addition to BOAS, these dogs suffer from a long list of other health problems unrelated to their short muzzles
  • In the U.K., the Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG) is introducing health testing, including the Respiratory Function Grading Scheme (RFGS) as part of a new strategy to reduce the popularity and negative impacts of brachycephaly in dogs
  • The U.S.-based Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) has joined the international effort and has licensed the RFGS for use in the U.S. and Canada
  • Returning breed standards to healthy standards is the only way to turn this unconscionable situation around; it’s an effort that will require the dedication and cooperation of breeders, veterinarians, and prospective owners of brachycephalic dogs

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