What Dog Breeds Are Prone to Cancer?

Choosing a dog to bring into your family is a big decision, and that’s why it should be carefully thought over. One of the first things a person thinks about when getting a new pet is what kind of breed they want. Everyone has different preferences and interests, which is why some breeds may be more favorable than others.

Once you have made your decision, the next step is to research that breed thoroughly. Does this breed tend to be more high-energy or low-energy? What is their average lifespan? Are they good with children?

When composing your initial research, an important consideration that will be worth looking into is which dog breeds are prone to ailments such as cancer. While all dogs are at risk of health issues throughout their life, certain breeds have higher risks over others.

In fact, one study suggests that one out of three dogs die from cancer or cancer-related complications. This fact should not deter you away from getting one of these dogs, but it should be noted so you can properly care for your furry companion.

Bernese Mountain Dogs

Among one of the greatest family favorites, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a gentle and kind breed, making it a great addition for any novice or experienced pet owner. Due to their impressive size, these dogs were once used in laborious work. Bernese Mountain Dogs originated in Switzerland and would work high in the mountains, hence their unique name.

Today this breed is loved by many since they are easily trainable and have a mild temper. Due to their genetic makeup, this breed is widely known for having severe health conditions throughout their life. Common health issues that occur in Bernese Mountain Dogs include hip and elbow dysplasia, joint disease, lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma (blood tumors), and liver complications.


Known for their incredible strength and endurance, Rottweiler are one of the toughest pups out there. This breed demands physical activity daily, and plenty of space to run around.

When it comes to their health, this breed is susceptible to many different cancers including osteosarcoma, lymphoma, bladder cancer, and mast cell tumors.

German Shepherds

German Shepherds are a versatile breed known for their companionship and spirit. Once commonly used as a sheep herders and guard dogs, this breed requires plenty of mental and physical activity. German Shepherds are also impressively intelligent, which has gained the attention of police forces around the country, and is now included in their line of work.

Due to genetic issues, German Shepherds tend to have a higher risk for cancer. Common cancers include Lymphoma, Hemangiosarcoma, Osteosarcoma, Melanoma, and Mast Cell Tumors.

Labrador Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers are also known as America’s favorite dog breed. This gentle canine is charismatic, energetic, and loyal as can be. Best of all, Labs showcase some of the best dog traits that can be found in a pet. They are easily trainable, love a good game of fetch, are family-friendly, and even get along with other animals.

Sadly, this breed is also susceptible to a plethora of health issues. Lymphoma, soft tissue sarcoma, cell carcinoma, and hemangiosarcoma are a few of the most common cancers found in Labrador Retrievers.


At first glance, these dogs appear aggressive and defensive in nature. But once you move past their physical appearance, you will find that these dogs are playful and curious. They are also incredibly loyal to their owners, exhibiting some of the highest trust qualities in any dog.

This is another breed that needs plenty of exercise for a healthy and long life. Unfortunately, Boxers have a shorter lifespan due to complications with brain tumors, hip dysplasia, and boxer cardiomyopathy.

Great Danes

Eye-catching from their tremendous size, the Great Dane breed is a force to be reckoned with. Due to their massive build, these dogs require plenty of space to run and exercise. These gentle giants also need plenty of attention and companionship, making them a great addition to a family with children.

A disadvantage to owning a Great Dane is that they have a shorter lifespan compared to many other breeds. Cancers and health issues that Great Danes suffer from include cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, bloat, heart disease, and osteosarcoma.

Knowing which dogs are more susceptible to developing cancer will help you as a pet owner know exactly how to care for your pet. By doing prior research, you can ensure that you and your furry friend can live a long and happy life together.

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