What are the healthiest dog breeds in the world? Top 10

Getting yourself a healthy and happy doggo is an incredibly important part of dog adoption, but it depends on a number of factors. What are the healthiest dog breeds in the world, and why?

Getting a healthy and happy dog will be far better for your family.
Getting a healthy and happy dog will be far better for your family.  © Collage: Unsplash/Melissa Keizer/Milli/Jaycee Xie

Not every darling doggo has the privilege of wandering through life free of care and worries. Many are unhappy and unhealthy due to characteristics that they cannot help and biological factors that put them at a disadvantage.

To many prospective dog owners this is a real worry, adding up to expensive health bills and a lot of heartache – so what are the world's healthiest dog breeds, your safest bet for a drama-free doggo?

What makes a healthy dog breed?

A healthy dog breed is not necessarily a long-lived one but simply a dog that's less likely to suffer throughout its life. While something like the pug will live longer than the Australian Shepherd, the latter is less likely to experience difficulty breathing and significant genetic deformities.

The differences between the healthiest dog breeds and the most unhealthy dog breeds are quite simply the characteristics that they inherit at birth. Dogs that are more unhealthy are likely to suffer things like arthritis, trouble breathing, and heart problems. These factors are often triggered by overly invasive breeding that sees dogs develop harmful physical characteristics.

While bigger dogs often live shorter lives than smaller dogs, that doesn't necessarily mean that they are unhealthy. Instead, bigger dogs live shorter lives due to increased strain on their hearts and organs on account of their size. Their deterioration is often much faster, occurring within months, and not linked to pre-existing and genetically influenced health issues (depending on the breed itself, of course).

Choosing a healthy dog breed is important because it maximizes the amount of time you'll get to spend with your wonderful doggo. Pay attention, choose wisely, and avoid unethical dog breeds like the plague.

Top 10 healthiest dog breeds

Choosing which dog breed to go with can often be a complicated and difficult decision to make. Adopting comes with many responsibilities, mostly joyful, but some difficult and limiting. You don't want a dog that's likely to suffer and be unhappy due to inherent characteristics, and that goes double when you've got a family with kids.

Heartache can be difficult to bear, so check out these top 10 healthiest dog breeds and make a decision that'll keep you and your family happy and minimize the suffering in your household.

These fluffy fellows are endlessly cute and pretty sturdy as well.
These fluffy fellows are endlessly cute and pretty sturdy as well.  © Unsplash/Real Estate Partners

10. Portuguese water dog

These gorgeous dogs tend to live quite long lives and are surprisingly healthy for purebred dogs. While some do suffer from a few genetic defects, the impacts of these issues are mainly seen through the quality of their coat and issues with their eyesight rather than things more likely to be fatal or particularly invasive. As a result, the Portuguese water dog is considered a relatively healthy dog breed.

9. Beagle

Beagles are beautiful and incredibly stable doggos.
Beagles are beautiful and incredibly stable doggos.  © Unsplash/Jaspal Kahlon

Beagles were bred for hunting, and they do this incredibly well. They are also happy little hounds more than willing to spend their weekends lounging about with their family and going for long and explorative walks. There are few dogs more "dog-like" than the beagle, with their floppy ears, flippity mouths, and boopable noses. In addition, the beagle suffers from very few health issues, making it quite a long-lived dog for its size.

8. Australian cattle dog

The Australian cattle dog is incredibly tough and energetic.
The Australian cattle dog is incredibly tough and energetic.  © Unsplash/Kenney Badboy

The Australian cattle dog typically lives much longer than other dogs of its breed, about 14 years, making it quite a healthy and strong doggo. While they do carry some hereditary deafness from time to time, other than the standard ailments of aging that afflict most dog breeds, these beautiful and loyal hounds are incredibly strong, happy, and full of life. They make great and incredibly entertaining pets, too, so that helps!

7. Poodle

Poodles are covered in fluff, and unbelievably amusing.
Poodles are covered in fluff, and unbelievably amusing.  © Unsplash/Tuomas Härkönen

Poodles are some of the most famous and well-known doggos on the market right now – and for good reason. These curly-haired dogs are iconic for their massive coats and their even bigger personalities. Luckily, the humble poodle barely suffers from any inherited health problems at all and isn't particularly susceptible to illness either. They make great show dogs, great pets, great family members, and unbelievably great pillows.

6. Shiba Inu

The humble Shiba Inu is one Japan's best dog breeds.
The humble Shiba Inu is one Japan's best dog breeds.  © Unsplash/Minh Pham

While on rare occasions, the Shiba Inu can get some pretty hardcore glaucoma and have been known to get pretty serious patella luxation in their knees, these insane Japanese dogs are some of the cutest and funniest in the world. Ranked among our favorite Japanese dog breeds for a reason, the Shiba Inu is relatively immune to common inherited diseases and is generally pretty healthy all-round.

5. Bichon frise

You can't get much more of a fluff ball than the bichon frise.
You can't get much more of a fluff ball than the bichon frise.  © Unsplash/Matt Briney

Is there anything more innocent and friendly-looking than the humble bichon frise? We very much doubt it, because these fluffy fellows are more than bound to steal the heart of pretty much anyone who stumbles upon them. Luckily for any bichon lovers out there, these smallish dogs are also insanely healthy and ready to play until the sun goes down. They are energetic, thoughtful, always keen to get involved, and not too loud or obnoxious either.

4. Siberian husky

Siberian huskies are incredibly popular and incredibly sweet.
Siberian huskies are incredibly popular and incredibly sweet.  © Unsplash/Ayush Madikunt

One of the most beautiful and elegant creatures to have ever walked this great green globe of ours, the Siberian husky is a dog out for everyone's heart. With absolutely beautiful coats and wide, piercing eyes, these gorgeous creatures are not only elegant but incredibly strong, fit, and healthy, too. Rarely suffering from any inherited or innate long-term illnesses, this is a pretty long-lived dog for its size and one of the greats as well.

3. Havanese

Don't you just adore the Havanese?
Don't you just adore the Havanese?  © Unsplash/Elijah Ekdahl

The Havanese might be a relatively unknown character, but it's one that's well worth your attention. These little dudes are covered in fluffy and soft fur that looks a bit odd when wet but is absolutely glorious when dry and clean. When thinking about small-medium dogs, everyone should look into the Havanese – and if they go with one, they'll find themselves with a healthy and happy doggo that's here to stay.

2. Border collie

There are few dogs smarter and more curious than the border collie.
There are few dogs smarter and more curious than the border collie.  © Unsplash/Pauline Loroy

Considered by many to be one of the smartest dog breeds in the world, the border collie is one of our favorites. These beautiful dogs are covered in soft and luscious hair and always want to be out and about doing things with their beloved owner and friends. Teaching this dog tricks isn't a waste of time either, both because it'll pick up the tricks quickly and because the health of the border collie allows it to live a relatively long and pain-free life.

1. Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds are some of the sweetest and most beautiful dogs in the world.
Australian Shepherds are some of the sweetest and most beautiful dogs in the world.  © Unsplash/Haoward Nguyen

One of the healthiest dogs in the world, the Australian Shepherd is also one of our favorites. Endlessly adorable, especially as a puppy, and completely out of this world in terms of its intelligence and capabilities, these darling doggos are more than certain to keep you coming back for more pets and plays. They like games, exercise, cuddles, and more. What's not to love?

Whether you choose an Australian Shepherd or a beagle, you're set for not only a friendly and happy dog but one that'll stay healthy for longer than many others. With all this in mind, your decision is much easier to make.

Cover photo: Collage: Unsplash/Melissa Keizer/Milli/Jaycee Xie

More on Dog Guide: