Unhealthiest Dog Breeds

By Ameera Mills. Updated: January 31, 2019
Unhealthiest Dog Breeds

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Have you ever wondered which are the most unhealthy dog breeds? And do you ever wonder why some dog breeds are healthier than others? If you are considering adopting a dog, their general health status needs to be taken into account. When adopting a dog, the breed of dog you decide to adopt is always important. Other than making sure you can offer the dog a comfortable home, you need to make sure you have financially budgeted for possible health problems in your dog. In fact, studies show that mixed breed dogs live a longer life than purebred dog breeds.

For more, here at AnimalWised, we will be uncovering the top 15 dog breeds with the most health problems. This list is based on studies and research done into different dog breeds. Keep reading to discover the unhealthiest dog breeds.

1. Shar pei

Sadly, Shar peis are, by far, one of the breeds of dogs most prone to diseases. Shar pei tend to suffer from many skin diseases. In addition, they are also prone to other canine disorders, such as; entropion, hip dysplasia, cataracts, hypothyroidism or megaesophagus.

Unhealthiest Dog Breeds - 1. Shar pei

2. Rottweiler

Rottweilers are strong and robust dogs. However, these breed characteristics do not exempt them suffering from hereditary diseases. Common Rottweiler health problems, include; subaortic stenosis, elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia and/or cataracts.

Rottweiler dog breeds are also prone to deafness and pancreatitis. If you want to know more about this intelligent and dominant dog breed, take a look at our breed file about Rottweilers.

Unhealthiest Dog Breeds - 2. Rottweiler

3. Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan mastiff is a giant sized dog breed, commonly known for the large wrinkles that cover its face. Like many other large and/or giant dog breeds, Neapolitan Mastiffs have a predisposition to hip dysplasia. Its large physical attributes also influence other health problems, such as; ectropion (lower eyelid droop in dogs), entropion and pyoderma (bacterial skin infection in dogs).

Unhealthiest Dog Breeds - 3. Neapolitan Mastiff

4. English Mastiff

The English mastiff, popularly known as mastiff, is another giant dog breed. Mastiff’s are, like other large dog breeds, prone to; hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, pulmonary stenosis, cataracts and retinal dysplasia.

If you want to know more about this large dog breed, take a look at our article on; differences between English, French and Spanish Mastiffs.

Unhealthiest Dog Breeds - 4. English Mastiff

5. Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is a giant dog breed that, apart from presenting a short life expectancy, is considered one of the most unhealthiest dog breeds. Some of the hereditary pathologies of Irish Wolfhounds includes; dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs (heart disease) , hip dysplasia or portosystemic shunt.

Unhealthiest Dog Breeds - 5. Irish Wolfhound

6. Great Dane

The Great Dane is considered one of the largest dog breeds in the world. Great Danes are probably best-known for being a popular giant-sized canine breed. This incredibly loyal dog breed is unfortunately among the top 15 unhealthiest dog breeds, prone to; dilated cardiomyopathy, Wobbler syndrome, stomach dilation and hip dysplasia.

Great Danes fall under the list of tallest dog breeds and commonly live between 6 to 8 years old. If you are thinking of adopting this dog breed, we suggest taking a look at our Great Dane breed file for more!

Unhealthiest Dog Breeds - 6. Great Dane

7. Boxer

Boxer dogs are certainly very popular dog breeds. Perhaps, due to this popularity, the breeding of boxers has not been carried out responsibly. Boxers have a great predisposition to suffering from several heart problems, as well as skin conditions. If you want to find out more about the common diseases of boxer dogs, take a look at our article on; Life expectancy of Boxer Dogs.

Unhealthiest Dog Breeds - 7. Boxer

8. French bulldog

French bulldogs are another very popular dog breed. French bulldogs are considered friendly dog breeds, but unfortunately, are also listed as one of the unhealthiest dog breeds. These cute dogs tend to suffer from brachycephalic dog syndrome, cleft palates, entropion, canine ulcerative colitis and intervertebral disc disease.

For more, take a look at our; Brachycephalic Dog Breeds List. Where we discuss the characteristics and care of this respiratory dog condition, caused specifically by selective breeding.

Unhealthiest Dog Breeds - 8. French bulldog

9. Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentinos are incredibly impressive dogs. They are known for being a faithful dog breed with a balanced character. This breed though, unfortunately, has a high predisposition to; deafness, skin problems and hip dysplasia.

Unhealthiest Dog Breeds - 9. Dogo Argentino

10. Dobermann Pinscher

The Doberman Pinscher is a dog breed that, for generations, has accumulated a lot of false myths. One of the most common dog myths about Dobermans is that they are prone to health problems which promote aggression. The truth is that none of the frequent hereditary diseases in this dog breed cause or generate aggressiveness.

The most common doberman diseases include; dilated cardiomyopathy, Wobbler syndrome, intervertebral disc disease and von Willebrand disease. Dobermans also commonly suffer from; cataracts, deafness and skin problems. Do you want to know more about Common Doberman diseases? Discover them in our article; Common Illnesses In Dobermans.

Unhealthiest Dog Breeds - 10. Dobermann Pinscher

11. Scottish Deerhound

The Scottish hound, also known as Scottish Deerhound, is a giant-sized dog, known commonly for its sociable and gentle nature. Some hereditary diseases that can present themselves in this dog breed include; osteochondrodysplasia (skeletal dysplasia), dilated cardiomyopathy or gastric torsion in dogs.

Unhealthiest Dog Breeds - 11. Scottish Deerhound

12. English Bull Terrier

English bull terriers stand out as one of the dog breeds with the highest morphological changes. In fact, this breeds current appearance has little to do with the initial standard of the breed. One of the most frequent hereditary diseases in English bull terriers is lethal acrodermatitis, which causes a bull terrier ¡to die even before reaching adulthood.

Other common diseases in Bull terriers are; mitral valve dysplasia, deafness, eye diseases and/or demodectic mange. In addition, this is one of the dog breeds that has a higher probability of presenting behavioral problems. For more, take a look at; Common Diseases of Bull Terriers.

Unhealthiest Dog Breeds - 12. English Bull Terrier

13. Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff is a large dog breed that descends from a mix of English bulldog and mastiff. Bullmastiffs are dogs of imposing appearance, that are susceptible to; hip dysplasia, entropion, elbow dysplasia, Wobbler syndrome and ataxia.

Unhealthiest Dog Breeds - 13. Bullmastiff

14. English Bulldog

The English bulldog is a dog that, unfortunately, makes up our list of unhealthiest dog breeds. The continuous exaggeration of this dog breed’s physical attributes has turned it into one of the dog breeds with the most health problems. English Bulldogs are very prone to a number of hereditary diseases.

Apart from presenting brachycephalic dog syndrome. Common diseases in English Bulldogs include; hip dysplasia, Keratoconjunctivitus sicca (Dry eyes in dogs), pulmonary stenosis, ventricular septal defect, deafness, hydrocephalus, hemivertebra and spina bifida.

Unhealthiest Dog Breeds - 14. English Bulldog

15. Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain dog is known as one of the most docile and intelligent dog breeds. They are also considered a social and calm dog breed. They are also currently one of the most popular family dog breeds. Unfortunately, they however have a predisposition to; meningitis, elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, histiocytosis, ataxia, shaking puppy syndrome and progressive retinal atrophy.

Unhealthiest Dog Breeds - 15. Bernese Mountain Dog

Purebred dogs vs. Mutts

It is important to note that there are no breeds of dogs that are 100% healthy which do not get sick. However, we must emphasize that purebred dogs tend to show and suffer more from hereditary health problems than mixed dog breeds.

But why are mutts supposedly healthier than purebred dog breeds? Current dog breeds which have been perfectly standardized, show attributes which are more desirable in dogs, compared to those which are not. This causes some breeders to try harder when exaggerating certain characteristics. These breeders do this as a replacement for actually maintaining the good health of a dog. Here, of course, we are talking only about IRRESPONSIBLE breeders, who breed dogs without the appropriate knowledge or care for animal ethics. Many people also claim that the high concentration of purebred genetic material in purebred dogs, put these dogs at higher risk of inherit diseases. This claim, however, has been forever disputed and there is still no answer which has been 100% proven.

Unhealthiest Dog Breeds - Purebred dogs vs. Mutts

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Unhealthiest Dog Breeds, we recommend you visit our Prevention category.

  • M. Jansson, L. Laikre Recent breeding history of dog breeds in Sweden: modest rates of inbreeding, extensive loss of genetic diversity and lack of correlation between inbreeding and health Wiley Online Library
  • Canine Inherited Disorders Database UPEI

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