15 Most Popular Dog Breeds and Their Health Concerns

Key health concerns for different breeds

My dog a Labrador and German Shepherd mix was recently diagnosed with an aggressive cancer (if you are interested in the story read the post). The experience made me realize it would have been good to know what kind of health concerns could affect my dog much earlier. It would have been useful knowledge to help prepare for the future.

With that in mind, in this post I’ve put together a list of the common health concerns for the 15 most popular dog breeds. To determine the most popular dog breeds, I’m relying on the ranking from the American Kennel Club.

How can this help you?

Current dog owners…

If you’re a current dog owner, knowing about the potential health concerns for your dog can help you stay aware and alert for any future ailments. It can really help you better understand your dog and their potential future health issues.  As a pet owner you’re likely to have to deal with a medical emergency at some point which could be fairly costly depending on the issue. So this can also help you prepare your mindset and potentially your economic situation for such an event.

Looking for a dog….

For those looking to add a furry friend to the family, this list may be worth reviewing to help you better understand the potential health implications for the dog you pick. Different dog breeds are predisposed for certain ailments, such as hip dysplasia, cancer and eye issues.

In the list below, I’ve listed the most popular dogs according to the American Kennel Club’s ranking for 2017 and the health issues associated with those breeds.

Black Lab

1. Retrievers (Labrador)

The most popular of all breeds in North America, the Labrador Retriever is a highly affectionate addition to families. Labs are gentle, intelligent, friendly, outgoing, and high-spirited furry companions who have more than enough affection for a family looking for a medium-to-large dog.

Health concerns:
The Labrador Retriever is a largely healthy dog, but it can nevertheless be prone to certain conditions such as Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia; Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Obesity, and bloat – a life-threatening stomach condition.

German Shepherd

2. German Shepherd Dogs

The German Shepherd is a large, agile and strong dog with high intelligence. The breed is a dependable service dog that is loyal, confident and courageous.

Health concerns:
Degenerative myelopathy, elbow, hip dysplasia and bloat, a sudden and life-threatening swelling of the abdomen.

Golden Retriever

3. Retrievers (Golden)

Golden Retrievers tend to be extremely friendly dogs. Don’t let their happy-go-lucky personalities fool you; they are also one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Golden Retrievers work as guide dogs, search dogs, and service dogs because they are both loyal and easy to train.

Health concerns:
Their health concerns include Hip Dysplasia; Elbow Dysplasia; Skin Problems; Heart Problems and  Mast Cell Tumors. Eye conditions such as juvenile cataracts, pigmentary uveitis, and progressive retinal atrophy; and certain heart diseases, including subvalvular aortic stenosis are also potential conditions.

French Bulldog

4. French Bulldogs

The Bulldog is a medium-sized breed of dog that is a muscular, hefty dog with a wrinkled face and distinctive pushed-in nose. Although Bulldogs pack a lot of punch into their powerful frames, they are known for their gentle temperament, low-energy, and friendly companionship.

Health concerns:
Potential health conditions include hip problems, heart issues, skin allergies and breathing problems, over-heating , Arthritis, spin disease, eye issues, joint & ligament Injuries, entropion, ectropion, distichiasis, elbow dysplasia, cherry eye, and patellar luxation.

Bulldog

5. Bulldogs

The Bulldog is a medium-sized breed of dog that is a muscular, hefty dog with a wrinkled face and distinctive pushed-in nose. Although Bulldogs pack a lot of punch into their powerful frames, they are known for their gentle temperament, low-energy, and friendly companionship.

Health concerns:
Potential health conditions include hip problems, heart issues, skin allergies and breathing problems, over-heating , Arthritis, spin disease, eye issues, joint & ligament Injuries, entropion, ectropion, distichiasis, elbow dysplasia, cherry eye, and patellar luxation.

Beagle

6. Beagle

The Beagle is a small hound that is an excellent hunting dog and loyal companion. They are very independent, intelligent and healthy and have a very easy going and fun temperament. Of course – their facial expressions make them very cute.

Health concerns:
Potential health concerns include intervertebral disk disease, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, luxating patella (a dislocated kneecap), and eye disorders.

Poodle

7. Poodle

Poodles are high energy, smart, and highly trainable dogs. Poodles come in three size varieties: Standards are more than 15 inches tall at the shoulder; Miniatures are 15 inches or under and Toys stand no more than 10 inches. The Standard, with his greater size and strength, is the best all-around athlete of the family.

Health concerns:
Health issues include hip dysplasia and several eye disorders,  Idiopathic epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis, von Willebrand’s disease, and immune-mediated disorders are also seen in the breed. Two orthopedic problems, Legg-Calve-Perthes and luxating patellas, are more likely to occur in Toy and Miniature Poodles than in Standards. The Standard variety are at higher risk for gastric dilatation with volvulus (bloat) and sebaceous adenitis.

Rottweiler

8. Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is a loving, confident and highly protective dog. This powerful working dog is descended from the mastiffs of the Roman legions. The large breed makes an excellent lifelong companion.  They often serve as rescue and police dogs.

Health concerns:
Health conditions include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia,  heart problems, bone cancer; gastric torsion (Bloat) and Von Willebrand’s disease.

Yorkshire Terrier

9. Yorkshire Terriers

This dog breed is confident, curious, highly active, and smart. Like a true terrier, Yorkshire Terriers are often tenacious, feisty, brave, and sometimes bossy. Yorkies as they are known were developed as ratters – they hunted rats and other vermin.

Health concerns:
Common health issues include eye anomalies and a luxating patella (dislocated kneecap).

Pointer

10. Pointers (German Shorthaired)

The Pointer has great traits like being very loyal, hardworking and even-tempered. Pointers are bird dogs – they point to game birds for hunting. They are high energy dogs and make an ideal running companion.

Health concerns:
The potential health issues include hip dysplasia, eye disorders and bloat.

Boxer

11. Boxers

The Boxer is often ranked among America’s most popular dog breeds. They are characterized by loyalty, affection, intelligence and a strong work ethic. They make great family companions with their patience and protective nature.

Health concerns:
Common health concerns include hip dysplasia, bloat, heart conditions such as aortic stenosis and cardiomyopathy, thyroid deficiency, degenerative myelopathy, and certain cancers.

Husky

12. Siberian Huskies

Huskies are friendly, hard-working, and confident. They were developed as sled dogs to work in packs, pulling loads over vast frozen expanses. They enjoy family life and get along with other dogs.

Health concerns:
Potential health concerns include hip dysplasia and juvenile cataracts.

Dachshund

13. Dachshunds

Curious, energetic, charming, and courageous, the Dachshund is comparable to a terrier in the sense that both breeds want to be involved in all the activity. There are standard Dachshunds (the biggest) and miniature Dachshunds and even “Tweener” Dachshunds (a non-official term). The dogs are ideal for city life because of their small size.

Health concerns:
Common health concerns include intervertebral disk disease, dry eye, epilepsy, urinary diseases, heart disease and itchy skin conditions.

Great Dane

14. Great Danes

The Great Dane known for its great size is a German breed of dog. The dog breed is well disposed toward other dogs, other pets, and familiar humans. The gentle giant is a very kind and loving animal and with the proper care and training is great with children.

Health concerns:
The number-one killer of Great Danes is bloat, or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV). Other health concerns include eye and cardiac diseases, hypothyroidism and autoimmune thyroiditis, and hip dysplasia.

Corgis

15. Pembroke Welsh Corgis

The Pembroke is a smart, sensitive dog who responds well to training and enjoys time with the family. With their big ears and keen senses they are very alert and serve as great watchdogs for the household. The dog breed is very loyal, active and affectionate – a great companion.

Health concerns:
The Pembroke is usually a healthy breed. Potential health conditions include elbow and hip dysplasia, eye disorders, cardiac issues, degenerative myelopathy, and von Willebrand’s disease, a bleeding disorder.

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