Dog Breeds That are Most Prone to Hip Dysplasia

Great Dane

Hip dysplasia is a serious problem in dogs. For those who are unfamiliar, it is when the ball and socket of the hip don’t fit together for whatever reason, with the result that they will rub together rather than slide in a smooth manner. Over time, that rubbing motion causes a deterioration of the joint, which can culminate in a loss of function altogether. Unsurprisingly, that has a very negative effect on a dog’s quality of life. There isn’t a single cause for hip dysplasia. Instead, there are a number of factors that can increase the chances of a particular dog suffering from said problem.

For example, genetics is an important factor, which is why some dog breeds have a reputation for being likelier to suffer from hip dysplasia. Besides this, both nutrition and exercise can play important roles as well. People might be familiar with dog food that has been specially formulated for large puppies, which is meant to prevent excessive growth so that they won’t experience too much strain on their joints before those have had enough time to develop.

Meanwhile, both too much exercise and too little exercise can be problematic for a dog’s chances of getting hip dysplasia. After all, more exercise means more rubbing, while less exercise means more weight and thus more stress on the joints. Dogs can’t communicate with humans in the same way that humans can communicate with humans.

As such, it can be difficult for dog owners to tell when their dogs are suffering from hip dysplasia. Still, common symptoms include but are not limited to stiffness in the hind legs, a decrease in muscle mass in the hind legs, an increase in muscle mass in the front legs, a reduction in activity, and a clear reluctance to move about. Besides this, it is worthwhile for people to learn about the various methods that can be used to prevent hip dysplasia from their veterinarians because in this as in other things, prevention is much easier than treatment.

German Shepherds

German Shepherds are on the larger side of things. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that they are one of the dog breeds that have a reputation for being prone to hip dysplasia. The popularity of German Shepherds means that the problem is well-known, which in turn, means that breeders have been working on it. However, it remains a very real concern in the present time. Still, this does mean that putting in extra effort looking for a dog from a reputable breeder could save people a lot of grief in the long run.

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers started out as gun dogs. However, they have since managed to make a smooth transition to being household companions, detection dogs, search and rescue dogs, and disability assistance dogs because of their intelligence, their trainability, and their general good nature. Unfortunately, while Golden Retrievers are considered to be medium-large rather than large or even giant, they are nonetheless prone to suffering from hip dysplasia. Reputable breeders make a serious effort to screen for said issue.

Even so, hip and elbow dysplasia affect something like 20 percent of the Golden Retrievers that can be found out there, which is a huge percentage by any reasonable standard. Besides this, these dogs can also suffer from other serious health problems. For example, cancer is the biggest killer, with hemangiosarcoma being the single most common kind of cancer before being followed by lymphosarcoma, mast cell tumor, and osteosarcoma. Other serious health problems can include eye disorders, heart diseases, and skin diseases.

Great Danes

Great Danes are more than capable of living up to their name. After all, the average member of the dog breed weigh between 110 and 180 pounds, which is enough to make them one of the biggest dog breeds that can be found in the entire world. This makes sense because Great Danes were meant to take on bears, boars, and deer, meaning that their great size would have been a great asset in said activities. Unfortunately, this also means that Great Danes have much higher-than-normal chances of getting hip dysplasia. On top of this, they are also prone to suffering from other serious health issues such as congenital heart diseases. All of which have combined to give Great Danes a reputation for being the heartbreak breed because of their short lifespans.


Amusingly, Rottweilers were once called “Rottweiler Butchers’ Dogs” in German because they were used to herd livestock as well as pull carts filled with meat for butchers. Naturally, this means that these dogs fall in a range that extend from medium-sized to large-sized, which in turn, means that they are one of the dog breeds that are prone to suffering from hip dysplasia. On the plus side, Rottweilers tend not to suffer from a lot of other health issues. Something that can come as welcome news for those who are concerned about this.

St. Bernards

St. Bernards aren’t just large dogs. Instead, they are considered to be giant dogs, which is a label that says much about what people should expect when it comes to their size as well as their weight. Once upon a time, St. Bernards were used for rescue work by the Great St. Bernard Hospice. Something that was necessary because said hospice occupies one of the highest mountain passes in Switzerland, meaning that it could be quite dangerous under the wrong conditions. Sadly, these gentle dogs have higher chances of suffering from a number of serious medical problems because of their weight as well as their fast growth. Hip dysplasia is an obvious example. However, they are also prone to suffering from eye disorders, congenital heart disease, epilepsy, eczema, and even bone cancer. People need to take extra care with making sure that a St. Bernard grows up in a proper manner because the dog breed is famous for having a very fast growth rate.

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