Snubbull is a pink, bipedal, bulldog-like Pokémon with blue polka dots covering its body. It has loose skin that drapes to cover the lower part of its body, giving it the appearance of a dress. There is a small, blue ruff around its neck. It has a pronounced underbite, but it still has powerful jaws. Additionally, it has two earflaps that are flat, curved, and tipped with black, and a small, shiny black nose. Its feet are beige with three toes and a circular pink paw pad, while its arms are short and stubby.
Snubbull, as seen in the anime, possesses the ability to use their keen sense of smell to track things down. Snubbull tends to sleep half of the day. Snubbull has a cowardly and timid nature, despite its fierce-looking appearance. It is also very playful and affectionate, making it a popular companion among women. According to The Complete Pokémon Pocket Guide, Snubbull is very devoted and loyal. It is not aggressive and tends to prefer to scare away its opponent rather than fight. Snubbull are capable of bonding easily and are often spoiled. However, it is said to be saddening that others run from its frightening appearance. The growls it makes give an uneasy feeling to foes. On occasion, Snubbull gets bullied by other puppy Pokémon. Snubbull wanders around urban areas.
The "Fairy Pokémon" category predates the introduction of the Fairy-type in Generation VI. From this generation onwards, the type and category of these four Pokémon share the same English name. However, this is not true in Japanese, where the type is フェアリータイプ Fairy-type and the category is ようせいポケモン Yōsei Pokémon.
Snubbull is the first Pokémon to evolve on-screen in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series.
Snubbull seems to be based on an English bulldog due to its squat body, flat nose, droopy muzzle, and underbite. Its unusual pink fur and dress-like body may be inspired by pampered pet dogs whose owners dye their fur and dress them up in clothes. Its intimidating appearance is reminiscent of various grotesque mythical creatures such as goblins and orcs, while its category, Egg Group and type may reference the Cù-sìth, a creature in Celtic mythology whose name means dog fairy.
Snubbull may be a combination of snub (short nose; to treat with disdain) and bulldog or bully. It may also involve snuggle.