Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Top 10 Most Over-Bred Dogs

Written by PETA | June 23, 2008

One of the many tragic things about breeders (I’m talking about the bad kind here, not the awesome, rockin’ kind) is that their obsession with generating a manufactured, unnatural series of traits in the animals they manipulate inevitably results (as you might expect) in a whole slew of health problems for the victims (not to mention an untimely death for the homeless animals who won’t be adopted as a result). I’m about to drop some science on you here, so bear with me, but this list, of the top 10 over-bred dog breeds in the U.S., is a stark reminder of the sacrifices that these people think it’s acceptable for animals in their care to make so that they can tell their friends that their dog is the fluffiest, or the shiniest, or whatever the hell it is they talk about when they’re not leaving hateful comments on this blog or writing big checks to help the AKC stifle laws designed to protect animals from abuse. Phew! Sorry for the run-on sentence (and the possibly unforgivable use of the phrase “drop some science”)—I tend to get a bit ranty when I talk about breeders. Here’s the list:

The Top 10 Most Over-Bred Dogs and Their Ailments
(Coincidentally enough, this is also the list of the top 10 most popular breeds, according to the AKC)

1. Labrador Retriever
  • Hip dysplasia—a hip disease that can lead to crippling, lameness, or painful arthritis
  • Progressive retinal atrophy—degeneration of the retina, which can lead to blindness
  • Cataracts
  • Eye abnormalities
  • Bloat—a life-threatening condition in which the stomach becomes overly filled with food, water, and air and may twist, cutting off access to the esophagus and small intestines; can lead to circulatory failure and death within hours
  • Elbow dysplasia—a degenerative elbow disease which can lead to lameness or crippling
2. Yorkshire Terrier
  • Bronchitis
  • Early tooth decay
  • Poor digestion
  • Paralysis in the hindquarters caused by herniated disks and other spine problems
  • Fragile bones can easily be fractured
  • Poor tolerance of anesthetics
  • Abnormal skull formations in Yorkshire terriers measuring less than 8 inches (20cm)
  • Birthing complications
  • “Teacup” Yorkshire terriers often have serious health and behavioral problems
  • Slipped stifle—a condition in which the knee-like joint above the hock in a dog’s hind leg slips; may require surgery
  • Eye infections
  • Gum weaknesses
3. German Shepherd
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Blood disorders
  • Digestive problems
  • Epilepsy
  • Chronic eczema
  • Keratitis—an inflammation of the cornea
  • Dwarfism
  • Flea allergies
  • Bloat
  • Gastric disorders
  • Panosteitis—a painful bone disease that causes periods of sudden pain and lameness
  • Spinal paralysis
  • Eye disease
  • Skin conditions
4. Golden Retriever
  • Heart problems
  • Epilepsy
  • Von Willebrand disease—a blood disorder that can cause prolonged bleeding from simple injuries
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Congenital eye defects
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Skin allergies
5. Beagle
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Demodectic mange—a skin condition that occurs when a dog’s immune system can’t regulate the number of mites living in the skin and mites proliferate, causing hair loss and open, crusty sores
  • Umbilical hernia
  • Epilepsy
  • Eye and eyelid problems
  • Cryptorchidism—absent or undescended testicles, which increases the risk of testicular cancer
  • Dwarfism
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Intervertebral disk disease—slipped or ruptured spinal disks, which can cause pain and paralysis
  • Luxating patella—a condition in which the kneecap moves out of place, can cause limping, difficulty walking and osteoarthritis, and may require surgery to correct
6. Boxer
  • Cardiomyopathy—a heart disease that causes abnormal heat beat, which reduces blood flow to the body and can lead to unconsciousness, collapse, and death
  • Heart problems
  • Subaortic stenosis—a narrowing of the outflow valve beneath the heart’s aortic valve, can lead to heart failure
  • Epilepsy
  • Tumors
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Allergies
  • Deafness (in white boxers)
7. Dachshund
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Urinary stones
  • Spinal disc problems
  • Eye disorders
  • Skin conditions
8. Poodle
  • Cataracts
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Allergies
  • Severe skin disease
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Eye problems, especially runny eyes
  • Ear infections
  • Von Willebrand disease
  • Bloat
  • Addison’s disease—an adrenal gland deficiency which requires lifelong medication and monitoring
9. Shih Tzu
  • Spinal disc disease
  • Respiratory problems
  • Obesity
  • Early tooth loss
  • Eye problems
  • Ear problems
10. Bulldog
  • Cherry Eye
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Entropia
  • Dermatitis
  • Heart Problems
  • Demodectic Mange
  • Gastric Torsion and/or bloat
  • Hip Dysplasia
Posted by Christine Dore

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  • Holly says:

    I’ve had a lot of pets in the family over the years mutts, purebreds, alley cats etc. But I have to say that in the last 20 to 25 years the purebreds I’ve seen have been sicker and sicker with more problems all the time. I doubt that the situation will change much until the clubs that register these animals require that a health check is mandatory before registration and an integral part of the showing of the animals. i.e. if they can’t pass a neutral vets check they can’t show ‘em (for genetic problems as well)

  • cindy Celmer says:

    This cruelty has been going on too long!

  • justme says:

    Breeders make me sick. All they care about is money flat out.

  • tb says:

    everyone has there own points and views they try to get across no one ever feels exactly the same…. but i feel until you have and own care for and a love an animal rather it be from a shelter or a breeder you truly don’t know what your true feelings are. i lived through this i had a mail minidachshund i adopted from a shelter 4 years ago he was 1 at the time after about a 2 years he started acting different very sick just not that happy loving puppy i brought home for my family to love then we thought he should have a friend so we bought another same breed a female this time from a breeder they loved each other and we loved them well needless to say they are both gone now the male died in sept of ’08 and the female in aug ’09 and guess from what ‘INBREEDING’! how ironic huh? 2 dogs from 2 totally different backgrounds and homes both suffer and pass from the same thing you put 2 and 2 together. this is a problem people why can’t you see this it’s not WHERE we are getting these animals from that they have problems it’s WHO. these animals don’t deserve this nor do the humans who come to love and care for them we all need to open our eyes this is a form of animal abuse just cause someone wants to make a quick buck but these people will eventually see something will be done because of this and they will have their day to pay for what they do i truly beleive that!!!!!

  • anais says:

    Hi! Interesting article! I personally am a boxer lover. It’s weird but the first boxer I had was a present for my dad from a friend of his when I was like 7 years old. She was a beautiful dog. We went to choose the puppy actually I chose the puppy to this big house and the parents were there. They were beautiful and she was the closest dog i’ve had to a purebred. But she was sick all the time. She was always on the hospital with treatment or something. Yes she was well treated she was like a princess for us. Finally we had to euthanized her because she had cancer tumors and it was too painful for her. Then we had another dog but this time we had to buy him therefore it was a “boxer” dog phone taken from a paper on a door. A common puppy looking kind of like a boxer. That dog never visited the vet except for shots and stuff and when we was about to die. It’ weird but maybe with this information it all makes sense. I even thought about the idea of breeding boxers just as a hobby because I love them and I’d want to have them playing at my home all my life but now I’ve searched for this kind of issues I find it actually pretty cruel.

  • Heather Hayes says:

    Hi just a long comment from Northern Ireland. I have had dogs all my life I have bred dogs shown them done obedience and agility rescued them and now help in nay way I can. I applaud the BBCs decision not to show Crufts this year. From my past showing experience I know that a lot of breeders suffer from kennel blindness. We even had a man on once with his Bassets too heavy long in the body legs too short too much skin and all sorts of health problems and he insisted they had not changed from the original. I had to walk away before I actually laughed in his face. If you go back and check out photos of the original dogs they look nothing like our dogs of today and believe me it is not an improvement as the breeders would have us believe. There are more health problems physical and mental problems today than ever before. I love German Shepherds but there are now two distinct types of GSDs and neither are like the original although both sides believe they are. Who decided what colours should be shown and coat types…don’t even go there. The origianl GSD was a long coat bred to guard sheep in cold countries it didn’t matter what colour he was. Now he must have a short coat not be white in colour and his tail has to be a certain length without curl etc etc. Who decided their tails should be cut off. Don’t be fooled by those enthusiasts who say that it helps when they go down holes out hunting easier to grab it seems. Ever tried to grab a Doberman’s stump while he wriggles down a hole in the ground…I think not. Thankfully some sensible people are now saying we should not be chopping their tails off cropping their ears and cutting their coats into fancy designs to show. We need to get back to normal dogs that can actually do what they were bred for. Ever seen a short legged grossly overweight Labrador try to do field work….ugh! Enough said…

  • eve says:

    I love this site wish I had found it ages ago…. I live in the UK and applaud the BBC for withdrawing its sponsership from crufts and hopefully delivering a blow to the KKK Oopps I mean the KC I myself have two pure breed dogs please before anyone shouts at me for not having mutts one was a retirement present and the other a rescue another victim of the show ring. I will not show my dogs and do not believe in showing any animal’ Thanks to that great documentry and the BBC’s stance many non showing members of the public were made aware of the truth behind crufts and the KC. Unfortunaly now crufts is been shown on the internet and the people in countries who could not see it live can now….Lets keep up the pressure and see this freak show bad breeders and other animal shows go the way of cock fighting bear baiting child labour and hopefully soon fox uhunting.

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