The health of a dog is just as important as the health of its human companion. That is why it is so important to know which breeds are more likely to have certain conditions, and what can be done about them. The following article will go over 10 different breeds that research scientists say are the healthiest overall!
What is a Healthy Dog?
A healthy dog will have good muscle tone, be alert and curious, not excessively fearful, or aggressive. Many factors contribute to a dog’s health such as diet, exercise, genetics, vaccinations, and medical care; but for the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on heredity – what breeds carry more of a genetic risk of certain diseases than others?
Here 10 of the healthiest dog breeds:
Labrador Retrievers are the healthiest breed of dog. They have a low risk for heart disease and other ailments that affect many breeds such as hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia.
People love Labs for their easy-going, gentle-natured personalities. Labradors make excellent companions for families with children and people with disabilities because of their nature and social attitude.
Border Collies are the second healthiest breed. They are low risk for cancer and life span is average, but they have a high risk of developing hip dysplasia (a malformation in the ball and socket joint)
Border Collies were bred to herd sheep, so their instinctive need to work makes them excellent workers – and not just as herding dogs. Border Collies are also great at agility, flyball, and other dog sports.
Border Collies need a job to do – or they will find one! They are high exercise needs dogs (great for people who lead active lifestyles) but do not require much grooming.
Boxers are our next healthiest dog breed. Boxers are a high-energy breed with low activity needs, which makes them great for people who lead sedentary lifestyles or have small yards to exercise in.
Boxer dogs need minimal grooming but do require regular brushing and bathing due to their short coat of fur. If they are getting the right amount of physical and mental stimulation, they do not exhibit bad behaviors.
Boxers require little exercise but enough to keep them healthy. A couple of daily walks per day and some indoor play are likely sufficient in terms of exercise.
German Shepherds are intelligent and easy to train. They require regular exercise, as well as mental stimulation through activities such as obedience training or a family visit from the dog walker.
They are a generally healthy breed and have a lifespan of around 12 to 13 years. Just be sure that if you get a purebred German Shepherd that you have proper genetic testing done to ensure the dog is healthy.
The Bulldog is another healthy breed of dog. They have a lifespan of 12 to 13 years and are typically low shedding with minimal grooming requirements. Bulldogs need regular exercise but can often get by on short walks without the requirement for more intensive workouts.
The key to a Bulldog’s health is to keep their weight in the healthy range. It is not uncommon for Bulldog owners to feed them a diet of high-quality food and give them regular exercise.
Some people mistakenly believe that Bulldogs are slow, but they can be quite agile given their short stature. They love being around children and other pets, so these dogs make great family members.
Dachshunds are popular lap dogs with health issues that can occur but are generally exacerbated by conditions like obesity. These dogs were bred to burrow in tight spaces, so they can be prone to breathing issues like collapsing tracheas and eye problems if the air quality is bad.
They are also a type of dog that is at higher risk for skin allergies or other allergic symptoms due to being more sensitive than other breeds. However, it is important to remember that if you take care of your dog and acquire them from a reputable breeder, your dog is more likely to be healthy.
Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Cattle Dogs are a medium-sized working dog who is best known for herding cattle. They also have been seen as great law enforcement dogs, with some police departments training them to sniff out marijuana and other drugs. These canines do not need much grooming but will benefit from proper exercise and mental stimulation or else they could become bored (and destructive).
In terms of health, these rugged pups are very agile and have a lot of stamina. Common health issues are hip dysplasia, cataracts (which usually do not require treatment), patella luxation, allergies, eye problems, and cystinuria.
These hard-working dogs will stay healthy if you exercise them well and provide the appropriate mental stimulation.
Poodles have been popular dogs for centuries. Originally bred in Germany, these intelligent dogs are excellent for obedience training and have a good sense of humor.
Poodles require regular grooming with their signature “poodle cut” as they grow long hair that can become matted if not brushed regularly. These dogs do well living in apartments but need daily walks to stay happy (and healthy). Common ailments for Poodles include:
- Thyroid Issues
- Addison’s Disease
- Hip Dysplasia
Each of these is treatable or preventable with proper care.
The Havanese is a special lap dog from Cuba. These dogs are very affectionate and playful, and though they can be stubborn at times, they make excellent companions for the elderly or children because of their gentle nature.
Havanese tend to overheat in warm climates which means that owners should take care to keep them cool during warmer months. Health issues for the Havanese are few but include:
- Canine Hip Dysplasia
- Eye Problems
- Food Allergies
Lastly, the Chihuahua is a lovely lap dog with a notorious reputation for being yappy. Though they are prone to barking, these dogs make excellent watchdogs and will be happy with a life of leisure if their owners provide them with the proper care they need.
Chihuahuas were bred by Native Americans in Mexico to hunt small game-like rabbits or birds on farms and ranches.
They are generally healthy if they are bred well and fed well. Chihuahuas can live for 15 years if they are in good or average health!