The right diet, adequate exercise, regular vet exams—it isn’t always enough to guarantee a dog’s health. You can do everything right, but some dogs are simply prone to having health troubles.
Dogs already have shorter lifespans than what we’d like, and we do everything we can to keep them around for as long as possible. If you’re considering welcoming a new dog into the family or want to learn more about the dogs you already love, it’s important to learn about breed health. There’s no scientific way to determine which dog breed is the healthiest of them all, but there are some that stand out for having few major health issues. Here’s a list of the top eight.
11. Australian Cattle Dog
Curious, fit, and always on the go, the Australian Cattle Dog is a dog breed with few hereditary health issues. The breed is believed to have been created by combining healthy working Border Collies, Dingoes, and a few other active dog breeds. Their lifestyle is the type that demands a full bill of heath. They were bred in Australia to help ranchers keep track of their large herds of cattle. ACDs usually weigh no more than 50 pounds, but their determination, willingness to work, and athleticism help them handle large livestock with ease.
The few health issues regularly faced by ACDs are typically treatable and non-fatal. Hip and elbow dysplasia can affect dogs with a history of the skeletal condition in their bloodlines. ACD breeders also screen dogs for health conditions including deafness and progressive retinal atrophy. The nature of an ACD’s lifestyle and eagerness to keep moving means they put themselves at risk for things like pulled muscles and minor injuries.
The AKC reports the average lifespan for an Australian Cattle Dog to be between 12 and 16 years old. Most Cattle Dog owners say their dogs continue to be active well into their golden years, and many live years longer than 16. The oldest dog to ever live was, in fact, an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey. Bluey lived to be 29 years and 5 months old and was humanely euthanized in 1939.