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Canine Genetic Issues

Looking for a certain breed of dog?

Beige PoodleThere are quite a few to choose from, and all of them require differnt levels of exercise, grooming, socialization, and companionship. The reasons for getting a certain breed should be more than just which is the cutest, the fastest, or the scariest. Before buying a certain breed, you should always do a lot of research on that breed to make sure the dog will fit your lifestyle. A greyhound may be good for a jogger, whereas a Newfoundland would not. A poodle is a great lap dog, but a Jack Russell is not.

If you are thinking of getting a certain breed, there are many resources to help you decide.

First, please call us. Most of our staff have a general knowledge of the breeds to help you get an idea if the breed will fit you or not.

Second, check out the AKC website at This site gives a general description of the breed and its requirements.

Third, try the library and the Internet. You will find a lot of information in both areas.

Fourth, go to a dog show in your area. This is really good if you have decided on a certain breed and are looking for a breeder. Ask around, find out about breeders in your area, and find one you are comfortable with. A good breeder will answer your questions and will have some for you, too. They may find out (and tell you) that this breed is not for you.

Popular Breeds and Genetic Issues

Below we have compiled a list of some of the most popular breeds and some of their genetic issues. These are things to consider asking the breeder about before buying the dog. It also good to think ahead about the financial and emotional effect some of these issues have. For example, Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia, the cost for hip replacement… about $2500 -3500 per hip. An example, in the long run it may be better to pay more for a dog from a breeder that was OFA certified good(related to hip dysplasia), than a puppy that came from a backyard breeder. Please read on….


Akita HD, vWD, knee problems, hypothyroid, lupus
Australian Shepherd glaucoma, seizures
Basset Hound spinal disease, glaucoma, ear infections, seizures
Beagle hypothyroid, glaucoma, seizures, disk disease
Bichon Frise weak knees, Cushing’s, severe allergies, seizures
Border Collie eye problems, deafness
Boston Terrier patellar luxation, heart problems, seizures
Boxer cancer, eye problems, severe allergies, cardiomyopathy, pancreatitis
Cairn Terrier kidney disease, hypothyroid, glaucoma, cataracts
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel heart problems, MVD, cataracts
Chihuahua tracheal collapse,heart problems, glaucoma
Cocker Spaniel severe allergies, Cushing’s, chronic ear infections, seizures
Collie PRA, hypothyroid, allergies, cancer
Corgi (Pembroke) disk disease, bladder stones, knees, PRA
Dachshund disk disease, seizures, diabetes, eye problems
Dalmation deafness, bladder stones, diabetes
Doberman skin cancer, vWD, spinal disease, HD
English Springer Spaniel HD, vWD, seizures, bone cancer
German Shepherd HD, OCD, bloat, pancreatitis
Golden Retriever cancer, HD, OCD, hypothyroid, severe allergies, seizures
Great Dane bloat, bone cancer, deafness, cardiomyopathy
Great Pyrenees HD, ITP, patellar luxation
Jack Russell Legg-Perthes, patellar luxation, eye problems
Labrador Retriever pancreatitis, HD, OCD, diabetes, hypothyroid, epilepsy
Maltese deafness, diabetes, glaucoma, hypothyroid
Miniature Pinscher hypothyroid, eye problems, patellar luxation
Pomeranian weak knees, tracheal collapse, dental problems, endocrine problems
Poodle (Toy) cataracts, dental problems, seizures
Pug Legg-Perthes, entropian, skin infections
Rottweiler bone cancer, HD, OCD, bloat, cardiomyopathy
Scottie vWD, lymphoma, seizures, hypothyroid
Sheltie epilepsy, hypothyroid, cancer
Siberian Husky HD, glaucoma, seizures
Weimaraner HD, vWD, torsion, heart defects, entropian
Westie weak knees, Cushing’s, severe allergies
Yorkie liver shunts, patellas luxation


Abbreviations and definitions:

CERF: Canine Eye Registry Foundation

ENTROPION: eyelids that roll in toward the eye, causing abrasions

HD: hip dysplasia

LEGG-PERTHES: degeneration of the hip joint

OCD: (Osteochondritis dessicans) joint degeneration

PATELLAR LUXATION: knee caps slide back and forth, causing pain K

PRA: (progressive retinal atrophy) retina starts to disintegrate, leading to blindness

TORSION: gastic torsion, stomach twists and causes death

vWD: ( Von Willebrand’s disease) a blood-clotting disease