A Fresh Look at Faces


The Pug breed standard says that the muzzle is “not upfaced,” while “upface” is the ideal in the Brussels Griffon. The English Toy Spaniel is to have a nose “well laid back,” while the Affenpinscher nose should be “neither turned up nor down.”

What exactly do these terms mean, and how do they influence the breeds when looked at in profile? We decided to look at the AKC breed standards for seven Toy breeds and three Non-Sporting breeds that are considered brachycephlic, and have distinct profiles. Broken down, “brachy” means short, and “cephalic” means head; thus these are breeds that have a short distance from occiput to the end of the muzzle. The Toy breeds include the Affenpinscher, Brussels Griffon, English Toy Spaniel, Japanese Chin, Pekingese, Pug and Shih Tzu, and the Non-Sporting breeds are the Bulldog, French Bulldog and the Boston Terrier. The profile view of each of these breeds is very important and contributes to breed character.

To make accurate comparisons of each of these breeds in profile, we have included descriptions of muzzles, jaws and bites for these 10 breeds from their standards. In consideration for increasing concern for health and for breeders who want to make certain that they breed for characteristics that will not contribute to health concerns — i.e., that their dogs will not have difficulty breathing, for instance — we have also included relevant descriptions for nostrils, from the breed standards where they exist. We have also utilized several drawings that parent clubs have used in their illustrated breed standards, which provide very useful depictions of the profile that is ideal. For breeds where an illustrated standard is not available we have provided an illustration or photo of the breed, in profile where possible. I was not able to get an illustration for the Affenpinscher.

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