Top 10 unethical dog breeds to avoid

Struggling to breathe, waddling along on arthritic legs, some of the world's most unethical dog breeds live painful and uncomfortable lives. Here's why it's best to avoid them.

There are some adorable, but troubled doggos out there in the world.
There are some adorable, but troubled doggos out there in the world.  © Collage: Unsplash/Hayffield L/Courtney Mihaka/James Tiono

There is no denying that every dog deserves to live and lead a good life, free of pain and suffering, or at least a life that's happy despite the problems.

Every dog breed is shaped by the way that it was bred and the characteristics it has inherited.

If those characteristics cause health problems and discomfort, that may mean it was unethically bred.

This German shepherd-husky mix gets the best of both worlds!
Dogs This German shepherd-husky mix gets the best of both worlds!

TAG24's dog guide picked out the 10 most unethical dog breeds in the world. These dogs have been bred so intensely that they suffer from all kinds of different health issues and physical disabilities, which should make potential owners think twice before they make a choice.

Inhumane and unethical dog breeds: Top 10

Before we begin listing dog breeds that could clearly be considered as disadvantaged or unethical, we want to make one point clear: we are not saying that you should never adopt one of these doggos, just that their continued breeding has some seriously problematic aspects. If you find one at a shelter, then offering it a good and full life is never a bad thing.

So, let's begin – these are the top ten most unethical dog breeds. What are they, why are they so unethical, and what can you do about it?

Dalmations are beautiful dogs, but they face some challenges.
Dalmations are beautiful dogs, but they face some challenges.  © Unsplash/Alora Griffiths

10. Dalmatians

Dalmatians have a propensity for deafness, as well as strong allergies and severe kidney stones. As a result, it is quite likely that your Dalmatian will suffer a fair bit throughout its life. Now, that doesn't mean that your beloved doggo is guaranteed a hellish existence – out of the dogs on this list, the dalmatian is certainly the least affected by severe problems – but it is something that you should be aware of.

9. Cavalier King Charles spaniel

Sure, they're adorable, but Cavalier King Charles spaniels are unethical in multiple ways.
Sure, they're adorable, but Cavalier King Charles spaniels are unethical in multiple ways.  © Unsplash/Tracy Anderson

While Cavalier King Charles spaniels often live long and happy lives, they have a much higher risk of mitral valve disease and, therefore, heart failure.

Because of this, anyone with a Cavalier King Charles spaniel should make sure that it gets regular check-ups at the veterinarian and is well looked after. It should be determined as soon as possible whether it has the disease and, if so, should be given the relevant treatment.

8. Pomeranian

Pomeranians are unbelievably adorable doggos, but they have their problems.
Pomeranians are unbelievably adorable doggos, but they have their problems.  © Unsplash/Alvan Nee

Despite living for between 12 and 16 years, it is quite likely that your Pomeranian will go deaf and blind, and develop serious heart issues.

Among the most common sight issues are ametropia, microphthalmia, and colobomas.

As these things go, the Pomeranian is not a "cruel" breed, but it does have its issues.

7. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are strange and long-lived dogs, but aren't perfect.
Chihuahuas are strange and long-lived dogs, but aren't perfect.  © Unsplash/Alicia Gauthier

The chihuahua is the world's longest living dog breed and, as a result, it might seem a bit odd to put it on a list of unethical breeds.

It is here, though, in part because it has a predisposition to congenital heart disease, but also due to its neurological issues. There is a reason why chihuahuas are famous for having big but annoying personalities – they often suffer from various brain diseases and other health problems.

6. Irish wolfhound

Irish wolfhounds are strange, wacky, and wonderful creatures.
Irish wolfhounds are strange, wacky, and wonderful creatures.  © Unsplash/Stéphane Juban

Irish wolfhounds often don't make it passed six or seven years old, due to dilated cardiomyopathy and bone cancer. On top of that, bloating is a serious problem, causing severe health implications. As a result, the health of the Irish wolfhound makes it an unethical dog to breed – they are basically a time bomb that's bound to explode sooner rather than later.

5. Greyhound

Greyhounds are often made to race, which can be very dangerous for them.
Greyhounds are often made to race, which can be very dangerous for them.  © Unsplash/Dan

While perfectly ethical to adopt as a household pet, where they can live long and healthy lives, all-too-often the greyhound is bred for unsavory reasons.

Greyhound racing is widely considered unethical and cruel and, as a result, a continuing to breed a dog for this purpose is naturally seen as problematic. It's such a shame, because greyhounds are sweet and intelligent creatures.

4. Bichon frise

The Bichon frisé is a strange little dude, and deserves more respect.
The Bichon frisé is a strange little dude, and deserves more respect.  © Unsplash/Matt Briney

These tiny little dudes are predisposed to sight issues such as cataracts, as well as diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, and a variety of allergies.

As a result, the bichon frisé is relatively short-lived among small dogs, Many of its peers live for between 15 and 20 years, as opposed to its measly 10 to 15.

3. Pugs

Pugs are wonderful dogs, but a lot of the time they struggle to breath.
Pugs are wonderful dogs, but a lot of the time they struggle to breath.  © Unsplash/Bruce Galpin

Pugs are famous for their health problems, as they are prone to brachiocephalic airway obstructive syndrome, which causes severe breathing problems on account of their short snouts.

These little dudes often snort and gag, gasping and pulling fluid under their pallet and into their airways. This is a very serious issue and makes it hard for them to exercise and live their lives.

2. French bulldog

Many French bulldogs live difficult and painful lives.
Many French bulldogs live difficult and painful lives.  © Unsplash/Samuel Charron

Due to the impacts of selective breeding on French bulldogs, they suffer from severe and dangerous health problems such as obstructed airways and heart issues.

Affected by the same respiratory problems as the pug (they are very similar dog breeds), the French bulldog also has issues with their back and spine, their reproductive systems, and their ability to self-regulate their body temperature.

1. Bulldogs

Bulldogs suffer a lot, and are an extremely unethical type of dog.
Bulldogs suffer a lot, and are an extremely unethical type of dog.  © Unsplash/Cat Mastro

Bulldogs suffer from the same health implications as the French bulldog: restricted airways, heart problems, and physiological issues that greatly diminish their life chances.

The average bulldog only lives six years, with most deaths coming on account of cardiac arrest, cancer, and respiratory issues. They are severely disadvantaged and often live very difficult lives.

When is dog breeding unethical?

When a dog's characteristics have been adapted and changed through the breeding process up until the point that they cause health issues and physical discomfort, the breed has been unethically bred. This doesn't mean, of course, that the breeders meant to produce a dog that faces a difficult and unhappy life, but it is something that should be considered when adopting.

A pug or bulldog, for example, has been modified to the point that it physically has trouble breathing. This is not good for you as the owner, and it most certainly isn't good for your dog. Even if it is perfectly fine health-wise, that's a dog that won't be able to run too much and will constantly be out of breath.

So have a think about these things when you go to adopt.

Cover photo: Collage: Unsplash/Hayffield L/Courtney Mihaka/James Tiono

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