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What Are The Healthiest Dog Breeds?


You can’t put a price on love and if you have your heart set on a certain breed, you may have already decided that, for better or worse, you’re in.  If, however, you haven’t decided, it is not a bad idea to do some investigation into the general health of breeds you are considering.  Everyone over the age of 10 or so knows that having a dog means, along with the joy, comes the pain.

  Dog’s lives are much shorter than our own and we have to face that.  But the joy and the unconditional love of a dog makes it all easier to bear.  So if you are open to suggestions, let’s see what tops the list of healthiest dog breeds, to see if one might be just what you are looking for.

The Myth of the Mixed Breed

You may think, or have heard, that mixed breeds (or mutts) have a lesser chance of having health problems that plague some breeds.  The rationale is that by cross-breeding two (or more) types of dogs, you will eliminate the health problems associated with a particular breed.

If you think about it, that seems to be flawed hypothesis.  Why would it be more likely to eliminate breed specific health issues, than it would be to create a “new” breed with the health issues of both breeds?

According to a UC Davis five year study published in 2013, “13 of 24 genetic disorders occurred at same rate in mixed breeds and purebreds” and at least one issue was more prevalent in mixed breeds. http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/07/05/pet-genetic-disorders.aspx

What’s the Healthy Choice?

The Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) is from the “land down under” and is smart, playful and very trainable.  ACDs do very well in agility competitions.  They are great for families or individuals with active lifestyles and do well around children.  This is a medium sized dog with minor health problems and they generally live up to 14 years. 


Beagles are another hearty breed.  They are loyal and affectionate.  They do well with families and are also medium sized dogs.  Beagles get along well with other dogs and cats as well.  They have a lot of energy and love to play.  They have a nosy nose and a distinctive, loud bark/howl, so be mindful of the neighbors.

The beautiful English Springer Spaniel is relatively free of hereditary diseases, but can have eye issues, some of which can lead to blindness.  English Springer Spaniels are well-muscled, medium sized dogs with lots of enthusiasm and a desire to please.  They generally live 12 to 14 years.

The Foxhound is another working breed with a lifespan of 11 to 13 years and they do well in rural settings.  Their short hair requires only minimal grooming and they require only moderate exercise, such as a daily walk.

Borders Collies are herding dogs that require a lot of exercise.  Their energy is boundless; they are very intelligent and do better in families with older children due to their inbred herding instinct.  Border Collies do best when given a job to do.  Average lifespan is 12 to 16 years.

These are only a few of the many healthy, long lived dog breeds.  Research will turn up many other breeds to choose from that will be with you a long time, giving you years and years to enjoy and love your dog, and vice versa.



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