10 Dog Breeds That Can Develop Barrel Chest (List of Barrel Chested Dogs)

10 Dog Breeds That Can Develop Barrel Chest

Having a barrel chest is common among some dogs.

A barrel chest in dogs can be described as having a very round chest that takes the shape or looks like a barrel.

It is known that barrel-chested dogs possess a deep ribcage and a hefty chest.


Why are some dogs barrel-chested?

This is caused by bloating, which occurs in some dogs to give them this chest shape.

This is also scientifically known as the Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV).

Bloat is an immensely serious condition that is most commonly detected in large barrel-chested dogs.

This is because their stomach fills up with air and thereby puts weight on the other organs and their diaphragm.


List of Barrel chested Dogs

Here are 10 examples of barrel-chested dogs:


  • Keeshond
  • Great Dane
  • Doberman
  • Boxer
  • Mastiff
  • Rottweiler
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever 
  • English Bulldog
  • Pug
  • Dachshund


Note: Some of these barrel-chested dogs can also serve as guard dogs, isn’t that beautiful?


1. Keeshond


This lovely medium-sized barrel-chested dog has a two-layer coat of silver and black or gray fur and a plumed curled tail.

Keeshonds love people and they are always ready to be part of all family activities, they do not disappoint people who expect this of their dog.

This breed is not hypoallergenic, their height is about 43 – 46 cm.

They live quite long as their life expectancy is about 13 – 15 years, this breed possesses a lovely temperament: Playful, Bright, Obedient, Nimble-footed, Well-built, and Quick.


2. Great Dane

Great Dane

The Great Dane is one of the best-natured dogs around the world; they are also known as the German Mastiff, this is because it’s a breed of dog from Germany.

This breed is a barrel-chested dog and can look imposing but even as big as they look, Great Danes are sweet and affectionate pets, they love to play with children and are gentle with them.

As sweet as they are, they have a very powerful bark that’ll scare an intruder, the amazing thing about these dogs is that they don’t eat as much food as you’d think because of their size and strength.

They live for about 8 – 10 years.


3. Doberman


This is a barrel-chested dog with powerful jaws and a smooth coat, they are mostly black with tan markings.

This breed is known for its aggressiveness towards strangers or intruders, they are common as guard or police dogs because they are Intelligent, fearless, energetic, obedient, loyal, alert, and confident.

They live up to 10 – 13 years and weigh up to 40–45 kg for males and 32–35 kg for females.

They are very energetic and thus require exercise every day to keep them fit and active.


4. Boxer


Boxers are fighting dogs, they are also barrel-chested and are medium to large.

Just like Doberman, they need plenty of exercise to keep their energy level high.

Boxers are not outdoor dogs, this is because their short noses and short hair make them uncomfortable in hot and cold weather, so they need to be kept as house dogs but not kept away from their families or other dogs.

Keeping them away from people and making them lonely can make them harmful and destructive.

Their life span is 10 to 12 years.


5. English Mastiff

English mastiff

This loving, protective, courageous and calm breed is barrel-chested as well.

They have a short life span (6 to 10 years) and their size also contributes to it, they’re considered the largest breed in the world.

They make a great companion and are protective too.



Learn More:

10 Dog Breeds with Chin Whiskers



6. Rottweiler


The Rottweiler is a breed of domestic dog and can be commonly seen in households, but they are strong and fearless dogs as they always have the instinct of protecting their families and can be savage when performing the defense task.

They can become destructive when early socialization, consistent training, and a regular job to perform are not introduced and imbibed in them.

This breed is not as temperamentally unsound as you might think, when well socialized they are playful, gentle, and loving to their families.

Their lifespan is about 8 to 11 years.


7. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

This breed is 1 foot 9 inches to 2 feet 2 inches tall, they are barrel-chested dogs.

They got their name from their origin of hunting and retrieving ducks in the chilly chop of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, they love water and are sporty too.

They have a sturdy build and a dense coat that helps them in the water when retrieving ducks, their life span is 10 to 12 years and they weigh about 55 to 80 pounds.


8. English Bulldog

English Bulldog

The English Bulldog is a medium-sized dog breed.

It is a muscular dog with a wrinkled face and a very obvious pushed-in nose, this breed is always ready to accept control or instruction and is submissive.

They tend to associate with people and their kinds easily which makes them sociable.

They can overheat if given the opportunity and become oversized.

Their life span is about 8 to 12 years.


9. Pug


Just like the English bulldog, this breed possesses a wrinkly face and nose similar to that of the bulldog.

They have a great sense of humor and like to show off. Pugs are intelligent, loyal, charming, playful, and mischievous.

They can be willful thus making training them a bit difficult.

Their lifespan is 12 to 15 years and weighs about 80 pounds.


10. Dachshund


These barrel-chested dogs are scent hound dogs bred to hunt.

They can hunt badgers and other tunneling animals, rabbits, and foxes.

From researching, I discovered that hunters even use packs of Dachshunds to trail wild boar.

Their ability to be adapted to many different functions or activities makes them excellent family companions, show dogs, and small-game hunters.

They have long muscular bodies on short legs, elongated heads fitting perfectly.

Their lifespan is 12 to 15 years.



These barrel-chested dogs are good as guard dogs for people who want to obtain them and will make a good companion for themselves or their family.

Most of them need day-to-day exercise to keep from being destructive or overweight.


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A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.