This really is a topic of great debate for many – breeders will argue with you that mutt’s are far less healthy than a purebred. After all, they are breeding all the dogs that do not have the conditions you are trying to avoid – how could mutt’s, bred usually on accidental occasion even come close to competing with the health of a purebred?
On the other hand you have owners and even many veterinarians saying that their mutt’s have been healthier and lived longer lives than many purebred dogs they have owned. I myself had a mutt that lived to be fourteen years old – I honestly don’t have a clue what he was a mix of, but he was a beautiful dog and the most loving guy ever!
Unfortunately, there really is no specific scientific testing that states this either as fact or not – it is simply rumor that Mixed Breed dogs are healthier. Many vets would like to point out, however, that with a mix breed it is like a genetic lottery, one litter could live long, full and healthy lives while another litter may suffer from one or more of the conditions we talked about in the other breeds.
No matter which dog you choose, there will always be potential health risks. You should always, always, always have a back-up or emergency vet fund in case your dog gets sick or injured. Almost every dog will have at least one or two emergency visits to the vet in his lifetime, so from the beginning know this is a possibility.
If you are adopting a mix breed from a shelter you will know ahead of time if your dog has special needs – and he can be tested for many genetic diseases before you bring him home. If this is the route you choose, you will likely know if you have a sick dog before you bring him back to your house.
If you are planning to buy a purebred, always make sure that you go to a reputable breeder. Your breeder should be willing to answer any and all questions about your dog’s health, including the history of health defects in the dog’s lines. An honest breeder would tell you if one or 2 dogs had hip dysplasia while the other 10 in the line were perfectly fine.
There is no breed that is the “ultimate healthy dog”. Sadly, genetics doesn’t work that way and even a puppy whose linage shows no sign of genetic defects can be the one where the gene is dominate. On the other hand, it is true that some dogs are just known to be in overall better health for their breed and who live long lives, while other breeds may have a shorter time with you. Of all the breeds though, these seven seem to have the fewest health problems overall.