While there are no guarantees when it comes to the health of any breed, some dogs are simply healthier than others and not as prone to certain health problems, particularly genetic disorders. Below are some of the breeds that are known to have the fewest health problems and are statistically the healthiest of all canine populations.
There’s been a huge amount of research into the field of canine genetics, and how it’s related to health and lifespan in dogs. We’ve investigated these studies, and all findings suggest that there is a direct correlation between a dog’s genes (by breed) and the likelihood of developing a number of diseases, which are then also correlated with the lifespan of a dog.
This breed is well-known for being very active and overall healthy. Australian Shepherds are not as prone to skin, fur, and bone conditions as some other dogs. With good care, these dogs can live up to 15 years.
On the other hand, this breed isn’t completely immune and is still prone to a few health issues, most notably Collie Eye Anomaly, which is a genetic congenital eye condition.
Working breeds (with a few exceptions) are generally considered the healthiest breeds, which is also the case here. All Foxhound breeds are very healthy dogs, just like the English Foxhound, which has an average lifespan of 11 to 13 years.
However, they require regular exercise to keep their health at an optimal level and can sometimes suffer from leukodystrophy, a rare genetic disorder.
Australian Cattle Dog
This is another working dog breed that possesses amazing agility and strength. They are also very intelligent and excel at problem-solving. They can live up to 13 years with proper care and rarely have major health issues.
In fact, the longest living dog in the world was an Australian Cattle Dog called Bluey who lived 29 years and 5 months. They are high-energy dogs that require constant mental and physical stimulation. They are, however, prone to hip dysplasia and deafness, especially in their senior years.
English Springer Spaniel
English Spring Spaniels are known for their health because they rarely suffer from serious genetic diseases that would be related to their breed. However, they are prone to minor eye problems.
The average lifespan of an English Springer Spaniel is around 14 years. They are strong and muscular hunters and high-energy dogs that enjoy long walks, playing fetch, and swimming.
German Shorthaired Pointer
This prolific hunting breed is well-known for their intelligence and prowess in hunting different types of game, but it is also one of the healthiest dog breeds. The average lifespan of these dogs is 12 to 14 years.
They are high-energy and require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. While they are less prone to major health problems, they can often suffer from hip dysplasia or gastric torsion.
Everyone knows and likes a Border Collie, and this is yet another high-energy breed with great health. Their average lifespan is 10 to 14 years and they are extremely active and agile, which is responsible for the lack of major health problems.
The Chihuahua is one of the longest living breeds. In ideal conditions, they can live up to 18 years, which is an undeniable fact of good health. They don’t require much exercise due to their size, unlike most of the healthiest breeds.
Health conditions that often affect Chihuahuas include hypoglycemia and pulmonic stenosis, which is a disorder of the heart valve.
While Siberian huskies can live up to 13 years, which isn’t as impressive a lifespan compared to some other breeds, they have an amazing physical profile and health. Since they were bred as sled dogs, they are used to harsh living conditions, which is the main reason for their great health in regular living conditions.
Their common health problems are mainly ophthalmological and include cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and retinal atrophy.
This small dog breed, famous for its friendly demeanor, has an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years and rarely suffers from serious health problems.
Those that do affect them commonly include elbow dysplasia and deafness. They aren’t high-energy dogs, which means that short walks are enough to meet their exercise needs.
Don’t be fooled by the appearance of this cute breed because it is a very resilient and tough dog breed. While they do have the propensity for getting overweight and are prone to cataracts, they are generally extremely healthy breed.
Their average lifespan is between 12 and 14 years. However, Bichon Frise requires a lot of grooming to decrease the chances of certain infections.
One look at a greyhound and their lean physique tells a lot about their outstanding health. They are one of the fastest breeds, but they are also one of the oldest breeds in the world since their origins date back to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.
These intelligent dogs can live up to 13 years without being seriously ill. However, they are prone to elbow and hip dysplasia, as well as hypothyroidism.
Belgian Shepherd, also known as the Malinois, is one of the most versatile working dogs, which also makes it one of the healthiest dogs in the world with an average lifespan of 12-14 years.
Since they were bred strictly for their performance, they have an exceptionally low predisposition to many degenerative and hereditary diseases but they are prone to hip dysplasia and some ophthalmological issues.
This small but fearless hunting dog is a great athlete and resilient to developing degenerative diseases. Diabetes may be a concern with Finnish Spitz dogs, but a proper diet is usually enough to prevent this.
Hip dysplasia and Shaker syndrome are some of the common health issues of this breed, especially in older age. The Finnish Spitz has an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years.
Basenji is widely considered to be the oldest dog breed in the world, native to Africa. This feat they achieved thanks to their remarkable physical strength and health.
Basenji is also one of the quietest dog breeds and is known as the ‘dog that never barks’ but instead “yodels”. This breed lives up to 14 years. They are prone to progressive retinal atrophy and some kidney problems, like the Falconi syndrome.
There has been much debate over the claim that lovely mutts are generally much healthier than purebred dogs, including the lower rate of hip dysplasia and many heart diseases, as well as being less prone to most skin, brain, blood, kidney, and liver diseases.
While the debate still goes on about the extent to which this is true, some studies have shown that mixed breeds do have better health and are less prone to many genetic diseases.