Which Dog Breeds are the Healthiest?
This is an extremely difficult question as all breeds will have their problems and so to advise on the healthiest breeds is almost impossible. Even buying a crossbreed or mongrel does not guarantee a perfectly healthy dog. Smaller dogs do tend to live longer but this still does not mean that they have the least amount of health problems. Checking the medical history of the dog’s parentage and family tree can give you an idea as to its health in the future although, one again, this does not prove to provide certain and clean bills of health.
It has been suggested that older, Spitz breeds of dog have a greater chance of living without the health problems dogs can have. This is because they were bred from wider backgrounds and for work related reasons as opposed to being bred for the way they look. Additionally, dogs which are not bred for shows in areas of poverty can be thought of as more healthy because they will not have undergone so much negative human interference.
Unfortunately, the majority of dogs have now been bred for their aesthetics or for their behavioural traits. Generally, therefore, they are not being bred to produce a new healthy generation although this is slowly changing. Cross breeds and mongrels are generally thought to be healthier as they come from a wider gene pool and are less likely to be inbred. This does not mean, however, that they are all illness free.
Please remember that you should not choose a puppy or dog on health alone. Other factors including whether they suit your lifestyle and if you can cater to their needs should also be taken into account. In addition to this, it is important to have some knowledge on their temperament and the breed’s behavioural background. For example, it doesn’t matter how healthy a dog is if it is of an aggressive nature and you have children.
Nevertheless, below is a list comprising of the top ten dogs, in alphabetical order, less likely to suffer from hereditary problems. It must be noted this list is an opinion and relative to other breeds. It must not be taken as true for every dog in the breed.
Beagles are a relatively healthy dog although without the correct care, can become obese. A beagle is a breed of dog which is used for testing. They can be prone to certain eye problems such as renal atrophy and distichiasis. Long ears can also prove to be problematic and can become infected. However, in comparison with other breeds, beagles are less prone to hereditary diseases.
Another breed to be considered relatively healthy is the Border Collie. As a large breed, the Border Collie can have hip dysplasia. Border Collies were bred, and still used, for herding although they make exceptional pets. They are intelligent dogs and are very athletic. They can often be seen in dog shows where there are agility courses.
English Springer Spaniel
The English Springer Spaniel is thought to be rarely affected by hereditary diseases, although such problems if they do occur tend to be eye related. Having long ears, ear infections can occur but can be easily prevented with adequate ear care. English Springer Spaniels are lovers of exercise and are bred to flush game or as sniffer dogs for the police. However, they do make excellent pets and prove to be very affectionate companion animals.
This breed of dog does not appear to have as many problems as a certain number of dogs and is rarely affected by genetic disorders. They can have platelet disease and if fed, or exercised, incorrectly they can suffer from obesity. The foxhound requires a lot of exercise and can be a loving companion if well trained.
German Shepherd from East German Descent
This breed of dog can thought of as a healthier breed since they were not originally bred for shows. Despite this, they do not live as long as the majority smaller breeds of dogs. The East German Shepherd Dogs no longer exist although its future generation bloodlines are less likely to have inherited hereditary diseases caused by past inbreeding.
One of the healthiest breeds of dogs, the Portuguese Pondengo is a very old breed. This breed of dog may also be called as a Warren Hound and belongs to a group known as Sighthounds. Portuguese Pondengos can live for a very long time and there are three different types, each of which can have smooth or wired haired coats. The three types include the Podengo Grande, Podengo Medio and Podengo Pequeno.
The Shiba Inu is considered one of the healthier breeds although they can be affected with hip dysplasia or patellar luxation. This breed originates from Japan, is double coated, and was bred for hunting. Shiba Inus are very independent but also very clever. They can live on average between twelve to fifteen years.
This yet another breed which can be said to have relatively fewer health concerns when compared with other dog breeds. As with a large number of healthy breeds the Siberian Husky is a part of the Spitz family. Problems which can occur include hip dysplasia and diseases of the eye. They were originally bred as working or sled dogs although they can also make excellent pets and companions due to their generally lovely temperament.
As with almost all dog breeds, these terriers can be prone to health problems. These include eye diseases and Legg-Perthes although more generally, the Lakeland terrier is thought to be a sturdy and hardy breed with many living up to between twelve to sixteen years of age.
This breed of dog is thought to have very little in terms of adverse health issues. Tear staining can occur as a result of a variety of causes but generally, and depending on the causal factor, this can be easily treated and does not appear to be life threatening. Maltese coats are required to be pure white in colour and the dog itself is small. The Maltese is an affectionate companion animal which is very playful and enjoys exercise.