Our Top 12 Healthiest Dog Breeds
At some point or another, a dog will need veterinary care in their life. Some breeds are genetically predisposed to certain health conditions and these issues can be passed onto offspring. 76% of vets said they’ve seen an increase in the number of breed-related conditions treated in the last 5 years.
However, there are some breeds that are known to be healthy and are not susceptible to any particular illnesses or genetic disorders. We’ve listed 12 of these healthy dog breeds below. It’s important to choose the right breed for your lifestyle, many of the dogs in this list are high-energy small to medium-sized dogs so they suit an active lifestyle.
Common Health Issues In Dogs
Elbow and Hip Dysplasia - This is caused by a joint deformity, damage to tendons and ligaments, or malformed muscles. Elbow and hip dysplasia are degenerative diseases.
Arthritis - This is the inflammation of joints and is a common issue for older dogs. Arthritis can cause pain and stiffness.
Obesity - Weight issues are becoming more common in dogs and according to the Kennel Club, it affects 30-60% of the dog population. Dogs need a balanced diet and the right amount of exercise to stay healthy.
Patellar Luxation - This is when the kneecap slips in and out of place and prevents the knee from extending as it should.
Gum Disease - This is caused by the bacteria in plaque and tartar that produce acid and damage your dog’s teeth resulting in cavities.
Ear infections - It’s common for ear infections to occur, especially in dogs with ears that fold over, because the ear can become moist and warm making it a perfect place for bacteria to grow.
Healthiest Dog Breeds
Discover our top 12 healthiest dog breeds, complete with their respective dog breed guides.
1. Australian Cattle Dog
Description: Australian Cattle Dogs are powerful, medium-sized dogs with pricked ears, a broad head and long bushy tails. These dogs have dingo ancestry and have a short blue or red speckled coat.
Breed Type: Herding
Personality: Australian Cattle Dogs are high-energy herding dogs that love to be busy, needing lots of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy. Australian Cattle Dogs are protective, loyal, and are known to be robust and long-lived (12-14 years).
Description: Beagles are compact dogs with long floppy ears, short coats and tails that are carried high. Beagles are usually tan, black, and white in colour and their tails have a white tip at the end.
Breed Type: Hound
Personality: Beagles are known for being friendly, cheerful and affectionate. As pack animals, they prefer to be around other dogs and don’t like being left alone. Beagles are healthy hounds that are easy to care for, they typically live 12-14 years.
Description: Chihuahuas are small in size with a long body, rounded head, and large ears and eyes. They are one of the smallest dog breeds in the world.
Breed Type: Toy
Personality: Chihuahuas are tiny dogs that are incredibly hardy and boast big personalities. These dogs love to snuggle, play, and entertain their owners. Chihuahuas are great guard dogs as they will bark at an intruder and don’t trust strangers. Chihuahuas don’t suffer from any major health issues and live for 12-16 years.
Description: Poodles are known for their elegance and their curly hair that can be styled in various ways. There are 3 sizes of poodle: Standard, Miniature, and Toy.
Breed Type: Utility
Personality: Poodles are considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds, they are easy to train and have an excellent temperament. These dogs are brilliant family pets and they have very few health issues and generally live between 12-15 years.
Description: The Basenji is an ancient breed with a graceful appearance. These dogs have a wrinkled forehead, a curled tail, and small pointed ears which makes them look alert at all times.
Breed Type: Hound
Personality: Basenjis are great family dogs for experienced owners, they are intelligent, energetic, and affectionate. Basenji dogs were used for hunting so they have a high prey drive. This breed is naturally healthy and according to the coefficient of inbreeding (COI) is one of the purest and healthiest breeds around today.
6. Australian Shepherd Dog
Description: Australian Shepherd Dogs are eye-catching medium-sized dogs with unique coat markings, piercing eyes that are often blue, brown or amber in colour, and triangular ears. These dogs have medium-length fur that is water-resistant and can be blue merle, red merle, red, or black.
Breed Type: Pastoral
Personality: Australian Shepherd Dogs are intelligent with a strong herding and guarding instinct, they have a huge amount of stamina and are well suited to life with active families. This breed is loyal, attentive, and fun-loving. Australian Shepherd Dogs need lots of exercise and live for 10-12 years.
Description: Streamlined and athletic, Greyhounds are graceful dogs with narrow waists, narrow heads, and rose-shaped ears. These dogs have a broad chest and have very fine, short coats.
Breed Type: Hound
Personality: Greyhounds are friendly, quiet, and affectionate dogs. They seem to have a natural affinity with children and make excellent family pets. Despite their athletic appearance, Greyhounds don’t need a huge amount of exercise. Although very healthy, Greyhounds tend to be more prone to injury than most breeds but will live for 9-11 years.
8. Border Collie
Description: Border Collies are medium in size with a recognisable black and white or tricolour coat. These dogs have broad heads, long tails and either long or short, smooth fur.
Breed Type: Herding
Personality: Border Collies are the most intelligent dog in the world, they are easy to train, loyal, and obedient. This is why they make such excellent working dogs and are often used to herd sheep. Collies need lots of exercise and enjoy interactive games, they live for 10-14 years and are known to be a healthy, robust breed.
9. Labrador Retriever
Description: The Labrador is a large dog that has a thick, water-resistant coat, webbed feet, and pendant-shaped ears that hang close to the head. Labs are soft-mouthed meaning they can hold the game they retrieve gently to prevent causing damage.
Breed Type: Gundog
Personality: Labrador Retrievers are gentle, friendly, and outgoing. They are easy to train and are popular family pets but they do need lots of exercise and play each day. Labs live 10-12 years and are very healthy dogs, although they can put on the extra weight and become obese if allowed to overeat.
Description: Cute, cuddly, and delicate-looking, Havanese have long, silky hair and small folded ears. These dogs carry their tail high and over their back.
Breed Type: Toy
Personality: Havanese are tiny dogs that are playful, affectionate, and spirited. They are fantastic companions for people of all ages and Havanese are happiest when they are the centre of attention. These loyal dogs live for up to 16 years and are known to be extremely healthy.
11. Siberian Husky
Description: The Siberian Husky has a wolf-like appearance with a thick coat, striking eyes, and rounded upright ears.
Breed Type: Working
Personality: Siberian Huskies are affectionate dogs and wonderful companions when in experienced hands. These dogs can be stubborn and independent, they also have a lot of energy. The Siberian Husky has a lifespan of 12-15 years and is a very healthy dog breed.
12. German Pointer
Description: The German Pointer is a noble-looking dog, they are powerful, athletic and well-proportioned. These dogs have large ears that hang down, a long muzzle, and a short, sleek coat.
Breed Type: Gundog
Personality: German Pointers are intelligent dogs with lots of energy. They are happiest when they are busy and they love a good game of fetch or tug of war. German Pointers are great family dogs with active, and experienced owners. They can live for 12-14 years and tend to be healthy throughout their lives.
Mixed Breeds Vs Purebred Health
Generally, it is less common for mixed-breed dogs to be prone to specific genetic disorders because they have a much wider gene pool than purebred dogs. One study has shown that the incidence of 10 genetic disorders was significantly greater in purebred dogs, the incidence of 1 disorder was greater in mixed breeds, and there was no difference found for the rest of the 13 other disorders.
However, it’s not that clear-cut as some disorders are prevalent in purebred dogs but mixed-breed dogs can experience just as many health problems. Reliable genetic tests and screening can help reduce instances of certain disorders.
Whether you choose a mixed breed or purebred dog, it is important to choose a responsible breeder. Responsible breeders will test their dogs for diseases before breeding to ensure puppies won’t carry any problematic genes.
Ready To Welcome A Dog Into The Family?
If you’ve found the right breed for your family and lifestyle, use Puppies to find a healthy puppy from a responsible breeder. As mentioned, choosing a responsible breeder is extremely important as they will take steps to ensure health issues are not passed down to the puppies.