14 Healthiest Dog Breeds That Make Excellent Pets

Published January 28, 2021
Beautiful Border Collie dog

Pet parents need to research the healthiest dog breeds before settling on a reputable breeder. There are many factors to consider, including lifespan and breed-specific genetic tests to identify inheritable health issues. Dog lovers need to ensure all the puppies and adults at the breeder's home or the shelter look healthy and well-fed.

Healthiest Dog Breeds

All breeding pairs have specific health assessments and tests. Breeders conduct specific tests as a part of an overall program, so the puppies are healthy. For example, a dog with a history of hip issues receives a special hip evaluation. Some dogs are known as hardy breeds with few genetic health issues. Also, don't forget about mixed breeds! Some crossbreeds and mixes live as long as purebreds.

Border Collie

The border collie is a hardy and healthy dog breed. A breeder performs hip and ophthalmologist evaluations before pups are in the picture. The average lifespan is between 12 and 14 years.

Border collie

Border Terrier

The border terrier is a generally healthy breed, and the average lifespan is between 13 and 14 years. The breed excels at hunting, and reliable breeders screen for health conditions, including hip dysplasia, heart problems, and juvenile cataracts.

border terrier dog


This breed is known to live a long life with few health issues. This lively little dog may be predisposed to heart problems, and a breeder performs cardiac and patella evaluations on parents. The dog's lifespan is over 12 years.

Maltese Dog


Chihuahuas are a lively breed known to live as long as 20 years in some cases. The average lifespan is over 12 years. Reputable breeders screen for heart disease, patella conditions, and ophthalmic diseases.

Chihuahua dog


Greyhounds are robust dogs with an average lifespan of between 11 and 12 years. Known for speed and a slender frame, breeders screen for cardiac and eye issues. Sighthounds no longer racing are popular with pet owners. This canine is the fastest breed of dog.

Greyhound dog

Norwegian Elkhound

The Norwegian elkhound is an active breed, and a reputable breeder screens this dog for hip dysplasia. The elkhound's average lifespan is between 12 and 15 years.

Norwegian Elkhound dog

The Brittany

This breed is exceptionally healthy, and breeders screen for hip dysplasia and eye conditions. The Brittany spaniel's few genetic health issues make this a popular canine. The dog's average lifespan is between 12 and 14 years.

Brittany Spaniel dog


Reputable poodle breeders screen for hip dysplasia and eye disorders. This active dog with a lifespan of over 12 years makes a wonderful companion animal. The poodle comes in three sizes, including the standard, miniature, and toy poodle.

Poodle by the sea


The Havanese breed is generally healthy, with a long lifespan of over 12 years. The breeder screens for patellar luxation, heart murmurs, and eye disorders. A breeder may recommend an annual eye exam.

Havanese puppy running

American Staffordshire Terrier

The Am Staff is a hardy breed with a lifespan of between ten and 16 years. This bold and heavily built dog is tested for hip dysplasia and heart problems but is not predisposed to many health issues.

American Staffordshire Terrier

American Bulldog

A breeder screens the American bulldog for genetic health issues. A reputable breeder screens for hip and joint problems. The breed's average lifespan is up to 16 years old and more versatile than the English variety.

American bulldog

Mixed Breed

What about mixed breeds? Crossbreeds tend to be healthy dogs. Many pet parents hope the pup is healthier than purebreds due to "hybrid vigor." Try a DNA test to determine the parents, which uncovers possible diseases.

Rare Healthy Breeds

Animal lovers may never actually see rare breeds in person. One of the healthier rare breeds is an ancient dog, and the coonhound is seen more frequently in the southern region of the U.S.


Pumis are healthy breeds screened for hip and elbow dysplasia. Pet parents may not see a lot of this breed at the park, yet the dog's lifespan is between 12 and 13 years.

Pumi dog

Treeing Walker Coonhound

This very athletic canine is known for endurance, with an average lifespan between 12 and 13 years. Breeders screen for hip dysplasia and eye disorders. Dog owners need to check the hound's ear frequently for ticks and any odor.

Treeing Walker Coonhound dog

Healthiest Dogs

The healthiest dog breeds typically live a long life, and some companion animals may live over 15 years. The reason is simple. A reputable breeder with an excellent breeding program screens the parents for health conditions. Certain breeds are known as extremely or generally healthy with few genetic health issues.

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14 Healthiest Dog Breeds That Make Excellent Pets