Like humans, our furry family members can be susceptible to certain health conditions, such as genetic issues, problems with the skin or coat, allergies, and even heart disease or cancer.
Although there's no guarantee your dog will or won't develop health problems during his or her lifetime, some dog breeds are considered healthier than others. Check out these 12 dog breeds that generally have longer lifespans and aren't as prone to certain health conditions.
Every dog is different, and there's no guarantee that your dog will or will not develop health conditions. Talk to your vet about simple ways to give your dog a long, happy, and healthy life.
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Known for their keen sense of smell and savvy hunting skills, the Beagle is a moderately active, medium-sized dog with an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Health conditions seen in Beagles, like progressive retinal atrophy, are usually associated with older age.
Height: 15 inches from the shoulder or less; two varieties of the Beagle measure 13 inches or less from the shoulder
Weight: 20 to 25 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Sturdy, solid dogs with short, smooth coats, broad heads, and long, floppy ears; come in hound colors, including tri-color (black, brown, and white), red and white, or yellow and white
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A medium-sized, active breed, the Australian Cattle Dog can make a great running or hiking buddy for active families. Although the Australian Cattle Dog has a longer average lifespan of 12 to 16 years, their active, athletic nature can sometimes cause joint or ligament issues. These problems, however, can be managed with surgery and rest.
Height: 17 to 20 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 35 to 50 pounds
Physical Characteristics: A study, muscular working dog that is extremely athletic and powerful; smooth, double layer coats that come in mottled or speckled patterns and pointed ears that stand up
- 03 of 12
Although they're generally considered purse dogs, Chihuahuas aren't just the divas of the dog world—they've got some serious brains, too. In terms of body-to-size ratios, Chihuahuas' brains are bigger than any other dog breeds. Plus, due to their smaller stature, Chihuahuas have an average lifespan of 12 to a whopping 20 years.
Height: 6 to 9 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 2 to 6 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Very small statured with larger, round, apple-shaped heads and pointed ears; short-haired or long-haired, and come in numerous colors and coat patterns
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With the ability to run up to 45 miles per hour, the Greyhound is considered the fastest dog breed in the world. With their athleticism comes a lifespan longer than other large breeds: On average, Greyhounds live between 10 and 13 years. It's important to monitor your Greyhound's eating habits, however—this breed can be susceptible to stomach torsion if they eat too much too quickly.
Height: 27 to 30 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 60 to 80 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Long, narrow, and lean bodied with short, smooth coats that require minimal grooming
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Affectionately referred to as the Doxie or wiener dog, the Dachshund is a small-statured hound with a long body and short legs. The Dachshund can make a loving, kid-friendly family dog and, despite its smaller stature, an effective watchdog. Dachshunds have a longer average lifespan of 12 to 16 years, but it's important to avoid overfeeding your Doxie. They're generally considered healthy, but can be susceptible to weight gain and associated risks, like diabetes.
Height: 8 to 9 inches from the shoulder in standard size and 5 to 6 inches from the shoulder in miniature Dachshunds
Weight: 16 to 32 pounds for standard Dachshunds and up to 11 pounds in miniatures
Physical Characteristics: Long-backed with short legs, long, narrow faces, and long, floppy ears; coats come in three varieties—short and smooth, long-haired, or wire-haired—in numerous colors and patterns
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Poodles have the reputation of being prissy, but these coifed canines are anything but. Not only are Poodles highly intelligent, but they're extremely athletic, too. In fact, Poodles were originally bred as hunting and duck dogs. With an average lifespan of 10 to 18 years, Poodles can live longer than many other large breeds. Like other large breeds, however, Poodles may be susceptible to joint issues as they age.
Height: Over 15 inches from the shoulder
Weight: 45 to 70 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Squarely-built, muscular bodies with longer legs and faces; coats are coarse, curly, and single layered, coming in a variety of colors
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Hailing from Havana, Cuba—and securing the spot as the only dog breed native to Cuba—the Havanese is a small, smart dog that's easy to train and extremely sociable. The typical Havanese has a lifespan of 14 to 16 years and is generally healthy, but some may have a genetic predisposition to hereditary deafness.
Height: 8.5 to 11.5 inches from the shoulder
Weight: 7 to 13 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Small, but sturdy stature with a curled tail and long, silky coat that requires regular grooming
- 08 of 12
Best known for their sled-pulling skills, the Siberian Husky is a powerful, athletic dog with boundless energy—making them ideal hiking, walking, and jogging buddies. In fact, it's recommended that Huskies log between three and five miles of activity every few days. These medium-to-large sized dogs have a lifespan of 12 to 16 years, slightly longer than most large breeds. Like other large breeds, however, Huskies may be susceptible to developing hip or elbow dysplasia.
Height: 20 to 23 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 35 to 60 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Graceful and athletic with physical endurance; dense double coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns, and is self-cleaning; blue, brown, or gold eyes
- 09 of 12
Although German Pinschers closely resemble Dobermans, they're actually more closely related to Schnauzers. These very muscular, active dogs are one of Bavaria's oldest breeds and have the long lifespan to match—they typically live for 12 to 14 years. German Pinschers require extensive exercise every day to stay healthy, but may be susceptible to hip or elbow dysplasia from excessive activity and hereditary issues.
Height: 17 to 20 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 25 to 45 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Very sturdy and muscular with a short, smooth coat that comes in black, brown, fawn, red, and blue shades; may or may not have tan points in their coats
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Mixed breed dogs are the result of breeding different purebreds or different mixed breed dogs together. Mixed breed dogs typically aren't pedigreed or registered, but they can inherit the traits—both good and bad—of their different breed parents. Because mixed breed dogs have an extremely wide gene pool (unlike purebred dogs), it's less common for them to experience hereditary or genetic disorders. Like all breeds, however, mixed breed dogs can develop conditions like canine obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Height: Varies based on parents
Weight: Varies based on parents
Physical Characteristics: Varies based on parents
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Basenjis have a long, varied history. They first appeared in ancient Egypt; then moved to Africa where they were employed as hunting dogs; and finally, to Europe and the United States, where they were kept as companions. On par with their long history, Basenjis have long lifespans—many live for 13 to 14 years. Because Basenjis are sighthounds, they'll chase any prey they see—making them susceptible to injury or even death. It's important to keep your Basenji in an enclosed fence or play area when exercising him or her.
Height: 16 to 17 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 20 to 25 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Small and muscular with a short, smooth coat, curled tail, and wrinkled forehead; coat colors come in brown, white, and fawn
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The name Shih Tzu translated to lion in Chinese—an appropriate name, given the breed's lion-like mane. Shih Tzus are a smaller breed, so they generally live for 10 to 16 years. Because they have flatter faces, however, they could develop Brachycephalic Syndrome, a condition that can cause respiratory issues.
Height: 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 9 to 16 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Small, but solid with long, silky hair that comes in numerous colors