You may have heard about a dog being deep-chested and the pros and cons that come with it, but what exactly is a deep-chested dog?
And which dog breeds are considered to be having a deep chest? Today I will explore these questions in detail so stick around to the end of the article.
What Is A Deep-Chested Dog?
A dog’s chest region starts from below the neck up to the start of the abdomen. From the rear, the chest is supported by the spine, and inside it houses many important organs such as the heart, the lungs, the esophagus, and large blood vessels.
So in other words, it is more or less the same as a human chest but you have to imagine humans as walking 4 limbs rather than two.
A deep-chested dog breed has a larger vertical diameter of their chest i-e from the spine to the front than the width i-e from side to side.
Another way to describe a deep-chested dog is a pooch with the chest curving up to the elbows e.g. when you see a Basset Hound from the sides.
Related: Harnesses for Deep Chested Dogs
How Does Having A Deep Chest Help A Dog?
Having a deeper chest means a lot of room for the heart to pump blood without getting congested. It also means the lungs can expand easily to get in a lot of air for breathing.
In short, a deeper chest ensures that a dog can pump an extra amount of blood throughout the body and can oxygenate it with a bigger lung capacity.
Such dogs tend to be more athletic and can withstand extremes of temperature better due to better blood circulation.
What’s Bloat And Why Does It Affect Dogs With A Deep Chest?
Dog bloat, also known as gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV), is a grave and potentially life-threatening condition that can affect all dogs but particularly affects large and deep-chested breeds.
With a deeper chest and more, in-breathing, the stomach can often fill with gas and become distended. This can lead to rotation or twisting of the stomach on its axis, resulting in blockage of blood supply.
The symptoms of bloat are:
- Abdominal distension
- Breathing difficulty
- Sudden loss of consciousness or collapse
This is a medical emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention.
10 Deep-Chested Dogs
Here’s a list of 10 famous dog breeds that have deep chests.
1. German Shepherd
German shepherds are probably the world’s most famous dog breed and for all the right reasons.
Not only is this breed very athletic but its human-compatibility is phenomenal. They’re kind and affectionate to all the family members, kids, and adults alike, and have a great will to protect them at all costs.
However, they are not so friendly when it comes to their relationship with other dogs.
They’re one of the most trainable dog breeds. That is why you see them in many competitive dog sports and also working with law enforcement agencies etc
Finally, their exercise needs are over the roof, which means they will not sit around idly in the house. You have to keep them physically engaged for their well-being.
Whippets are known for their strong family orientation and their ability to manage their prey drives. They display an abundance of love and affection towards humans, making them exceptional companion dogs.
Despite their energetic nature, Whippets adapt well to living in smaller households or apartments, as long as they receive regular outdoor exercise and engage in various sports.
Another notable trait of Whippets is their trainability. They tend to be cooperative and receptive to their trainers, making the training process relatively smooth. Rather than displaying arrogance, they readily adopt behaviors that they believe will please their owners.
You can learn more about this wonderful breed at the American Kennel Club.
This breed of big and sturdy dogs was once famous for being herd guardians or police dogs but now they have established a niche of family dogs. Don’t go on the looks, Rottweiler’s are very friendly as house dogs.
They also have decent grooming needs and once you familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of their needs, it would be an easy chore for you.
As mentioned, having a history as working dogs, rottweilers are very trainable. Whether it’s a new behavior or getting rid of an old one, they will start following your commands without giving you any trouble.
Their playful and energetic nature also means that you would need to take them out for physical activities otherwise they’ll become moody.
Akita are a royal breed, they were bred to protect the royal families in feudal Japan. This is evident from their strong and masculine presence. However, in modern times, they are frequently being adapted as house dogs to guard families.
One thing to keep in mind is that Akitas are not fond of small kids. So kids need some time to build a rapport with them. You cannot leave your pooch alone with kids unless you are dead sure that a strong bond has been formed between them.
Being guardian breeds, they are well accustomed to being trained for different tasks so they don’t show stubbornness.
Finally, as strong and energetic as they are, so is their likeness for physical activity. You can’t keep them inside for long hours so either leave them open in big backyards or take them out on a stroll.
Raised to protect the royal families in feudal Japan, this breed of mighty dogs is well known for its energy and guardian abilities. In the modern era, they have shifted gears and are now kept as house dogs.
More about Akitas here.
Originally bred to be hunting aids, greyhounds are now part of many American families due to their big hearts and family-oriented nature. Not just the family members but Greyhounds are even friendly towards strangers.
Also, these are pretty easy to train because they are akin to pleasing their owners and obeying the commands given to them.
However, they also have an above-average exercise requirement so you will need to take them out for long walks or engage them in sports to keep them satisfied.
6. Golden retriever
Golden retrievers are one of the most family-oriented dog breeds as they love and adore their families. You can leave them with your kids and be worry-free, as they will protect them with their lives. Also, they are very entertaining and will make good company.
Because of their highly understanding personalities, they are very trainable dogs.
Coming to physical activity, Goldies are very active and do not like being laid-back. They have to be engaged in sports regularly to keep mentally and physically sound.
However, you will have to be on your toes when it comes to any reprimand, owing to their sensitive nature.
7. Labrador retriever
This breed is one of my personal favorites. They are one of the friendliest dog breeds in the world. Also, Labradors are always a great choice for first-time dog owners.
Labradors have a sterling reputation for being exceptionally bright, so you need not worry about casting aspersions on their wits.
Just as any other trainable breed, Labs are open to new behaviors and lifestyles and do not resist behavior training. In addition, they don’t possess a strong prey drive, so their owners don’t have to worry about them running around trying to catch prey.
Being low-maintenance means that their grooming is super easy, even for first-time owners who do not have much experience. This quality is going to be such a blessing for you, as it takes away a lot of the pressure that keeps one from ever owning a dog.
If you’re an exercise enthusiast, then a Labrador is a perfect match for you, as they love to spend some time in physical activity daily.
You would find them a little sensitive to loneliness, so be careful in that regard. Don’t leave them alone for long periods, as this can make them very anxious and fidgety.
You can learn more about Labradors by clicking here.
Raised for their strong sense of smell and companionship as hunting aids and police dogs in France. Bloodhounds have found their way into many modern American households due to their affection for humans and their moderately playful nature.
If I had to give them stars for being friendly towards the kids, adults, or even strangers and other dogs, I’d dump the whole bucket on them.
Bloodhounds outshine many other breeds in terms of love and adornment toward their owners. Hence, they prove to be excellent family dogs.
This is also reflected in their being highly adaptable to newer routines and behavior modifications.
Finally, Bloodhounds are full of life and try to keep themselves busy with different chores wherever they are. To keep them healthy both physically and mentally, you must engage them in different sports and fun-time activities.
9. Great Dane
Great Danes may appear imposing when they stare at you with their majestic presence, but in reality, they are one of the friendliest and gentlest dog breeds.
Despite their size, Great Danes are incredibly loving and caring towards all family members, including children. They easily get along well with kids without any issues.
While they do shed a lot, their grooming needs are relatively low. Your time and energy will be primarily spent on building a bond with them rather than extensive grooming.
Great Danes are also highly trainable and quickly adapt to their owner’s requirements and commands.
However, it’s important to note that Great Danes are not well-suited for small living spaces such as apartments or small houses. If you reside in such an environment, this breed may not be the best fit for you.
Study more about this breed at AKC.
Just like most of the deep-chested dog breeds on this list, Dobermans were also bred as guard dogs in the olden times. Today, they occupy homes as either guard dogs or simply family dogs.
They are very obedient and welcoming to their family individuals but not so much to strangers and other dogs. So this makes them a good guardian breed.
A Doberman’s lower prey drive and overall gullibility make them quite the perfect breed for training as well.
Unfortunately for some, they are not as energetic and sporty as they appear. Thus, they have only moderate exercise needs as compared to many other sporty breeds like German Shepherds.
Deep-chested dog breeds are characterized by having a chest with a greater vertical diameter, extending from the spine to the front, compared to its width from side to side.
This allows these breeds to have extra capacity for pumping blood across their bodies and have bigger lung volumes.
Breeds like Akita, Doberman, German Shepherd, Great Dane, etc are all deep-chested.
Have a good day!