Dog Breeds in Australia: What Are The Biggest Health Concerns?

Some people know exactly which dog they’re after, others prefer to compare and find a personality that fits perfectly into their family.


One thing that many forget to consider is the health concerns that may come with your chosen dog breed. That’s right, some are more susceptible to common diseases than others. Let’s find out which ones!


great dane joint problems



While any dog can have joint problems, genetic predisposition and body build may determine which breeds are more likely to have them. 

Dog parents should watch for signs of joint pain or immobility throughout their dog’s life, especially as they age, but certain breeds should be kept an extra eye on.

Large breeds of dog such as a Great Dane, Newfoundland, Mastiff, Tibetan Mastiff, Saint Bernards or Maremma dogs are more likely to obtain common issues such as hip dysplasia or arthritis due to their larger structure.

Other breeds of dog that are highly susceptible to joint problems are those that are continuously active or high energy.

Whilst exercise is fantastic for many reasons, breeds that have a high activity level may experience wear and tear on their joints. This could include working dogs such as therapy dogs or guide dogs.

These breeds may include, but aren’t limited to:

German Shepherds, Beagles, Labradors, Rottweilers and Greyhounds.

A few breeds of dog have more particular issues when it comes to their joints.

Dachshunds (sausage dogs) for instance are notorious for back problems. Their spines are long and prone to disc herniations which more often than wanted, can result in IVDD.

Shih Tzu dogs are known for having a luxating patella, otherwise known as “wobbly knee caps”.

Common joint issues for Pug’s include hip and elbow dysplasia as well as patella luxation.

There are many ways to ensure that your dog’s joints are well looked after throughout their lives. Joint supplements for dogs are our favourite way to prolong any unwanted joint diseases as our dog’s age.


puppies with stomach problems



Many diseases are related to a compromised gut. Any dog can experience an upset tummy or symptoms related to one at any time but it’s important to know which ones will upset a breed more than others.

Although the most common cases of pancreatitis appear in dogs that are obese, smaller to medium sized dog breeds such as miniature Schnauzers, Yorkshire Terrier or Cocker Spaniels are considered more at risk - (pancreatitis is when the pancreas becomes inflamed).

Bloating is an issue with dogs that are deep chested. If the issue goes beyond the bloat, it may turn into a life-threatening disease Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV). Deep chested dogs include but may not be limited to:

Great Danes, Irish Setters, German Shepherds, Pointers, Weimaraners, Boxers, Basset Hounds and St Bernards.

Big dog breeds such as Great Danes, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and Border Collies are also more susceptible to gut issues such as colitis, constipation and diarrhoea. This could be to do with their genetics or their ability to uphold their immune systems. Many factors can influence a flare up in any dog’s digestive system. 

Puppies that are still establishing their immune system can easily digest parasites that are likely to cause their gut health to react. It is important to watch what is being consumed by them.

Labrador Retrievers are the vacuum cleaners of the dog world. Their personalities are very much known as the ones curious to what everything tastes like and they typically eat quickly! For this reason, they are more likely to consume something that doesn’t agree with their stomach or cause themselves indigestion and constipation. 

Poodles are a popular dog breed here is Australia, especially cross breed Poodles, (Cavoodles being Sydneys favourite!). IBS is amongst one of the gut issues that are common with the breed.

Maltese dogs are known to have many food allergies that can manifest into GI problems

Probiotics for dogs are a wonderful way to keep their gut health in check. By having a healthy gut, we can help to build a stronger immune system and deter many diseases in doing so!


maltese dog skin issues



We’re no strangers to environmental allergies and seasonal allergies ourselves – and dogs are no different!

Hotspots on dogs (atopic dermatitis) comes from continuous itching and scratching from environmental allergies. Environmental allergies include contact allergies, pollen, inhalation (house dust) or food allergies.

Some breeds are more prone to skin issues than others due to their immune system strength, their genetics, living conditions and their predisposition. For example, short haired dog breeds suffer more than most from skin contact allergies and dog hotspots.

The most common skin contact allergies are grass, weeds and mould but can also include fabric or plastic and even fleas on dogs. Breeds mostly affected by this include Boxers, Bull Terriers, Griffons, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and Labradors.

Cocker Spaniels, Labradors and Golden Retrievers are most affected by inhalant allergies.

Breeds such as Maltese or Pomeranians are commonly known for their hair loss, alopecia and hair thinning problems.

Omega 3-rich foods, fish oil or supplements can help to strengthen the immune system and skin allergen barriers. They are widely known to improve the appearance of skin and coat health in dogs – who doesn’t want to help their dog look and feel good?


pug dog dementia



Cognitive health in dogs experiences a decline when oxygen supplies are limited to the brain. Blocking pathways to the brain means that it is starved or partially starved of the nutrients that it needs for optimal performance. 

A decline in cognitive health may lead to dementia in dogs. 

Smaller breeds of dog, spayed or neutered breeds are more prone to brain concerns. This is because their small frames and breathing problems as a result.

These breeds include small breed dogs such as pugs and french bulldogs.

You'll thank yourself for using techniques proactively when it comes to your dog's brain health. Unfortunately, diseases related to the brain are irreversible. Cognitive support is crucial as early on as possible.


Border collie with anxiety



Anxiety in dogs appears for multiple reasons – it may be from a previous trauma (this is common in pet rescues or dog adoption); it can also be age-related. Training and providing the right environment for your dog can be swaying factors in how they react to many situations.

Keeping a dog mentally stimulated, physically active and loved is a great base for ensuring they lead a happy life.

Some breeds of dog are more susceptible to general anxiety disorders than orders - this is because they are naturally companion dogs and interaction is well within their nature so they’re not fans of being left at home alone.

Breeds like German and Australian Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Vizslas, Border Collies, Shorthair Pointers, Bichon Friese, King Charles Spaniels, Greyhounds, Havanese and many toy breeds fall into this category.

Developing a consistent routine is a great way to keep dog anxiety under control as well as many other coping mechanisms. It is important to recognise the difference between behaviours that are a result of anxiety and those that are learned. Training a dog plays a big part in that.

In the event that your dog is nervous or hyperactive surrounding a particular situation, anxiety supplements are easy to administer and bring back their focus or clarity.

It is always better to be clued up and in the know when it comes to dog health care. That’s why we’re so big on producing quality education!

Any breed of dog can experience health complications at any time and are not limited to all suggestions as above. Many factors can influence if a dog is affected by a disease throughout their lives.


Your dog’s overall vitality is important to us. Common health concerns can be easily overlooked whilst thinking about making our dogs look great with the latest dog collar or dog harness.
Let’s work together to make sure they feel great too!