Top 10 Dog Breeds that are Prone to Heart Problems

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It’s no secret that dogs have hearts of gold. How else could they love so unconditionally and be such woofderful companions? Canine hearts do much more than just love. They also allow your pooch to run, swim, and romp around at the dog park. But the sad truth is some doggos have heart problems. There are several types of doggy heart disease. Some develop over a pup’s lifetime and some are congenital, or with them from birth. The good news is modern treatments are often successful in prolonging a diagnosed dog’s life. Keep reading to find out which breeds are prone to heart problems. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Adorable face, long ears, and hairy paws? Must be a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel! These doggos are oh so sweet, and incredibly loyal. But their genetics hide a dark secret. This breed has more occurrences of degenerative mitral valve disease than any other breed. So if you notice labored breathing or excessive coughing, get your pal checked out.


Small yet spunky, Doxies are overflowing with personality. Their long bodies and stubby legs give them an unforgettable appearance that has warmed the hearts of many. But did you know these pawsome critters are susceptible to developing a leaky heart valve? So it’s a good idea to amp up the vet visits as your pal gets older. 

Miniature Poodle

There’s no mistaking the curly coat and round black eyes of a Poodle. Often mistaken for being prissy, these pups are actually quite athletic. So it’s a shame that both the miniature and toy Poodles are prone to developing degenerative mitral valve disease in their middle age. Since early detection is key, don’t skip out on annual vet visits.

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Doberman Pinscher

This powerhouse of a dog is sleek, muscular, and very stoic. Also fearless and loyal, Dobermans are known for being puptastic guard dogs. They are also known to develop dilated cardiomyopathy, or a disease of the heart muscle. Around four years of age, these doggos should receive extra TLC for their heart. 


Who doesn’t love a boxer? Their black eyes, wrinkled foreheads, and square jaws create such serious expressions. On the inside, they have a silly streak and love playing around with their people. Unfurtunately, Boxers are susceptible to arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, a disease that causes fatty cells to grow in the right ventricle muscle. 

Golden Retriever

Pawbably one of the most well known breeds, the Golden Retriever is one happy go lucky pooch. These pups make woofderful family dogs and they are always up for a good time. Since aortic stenosis is a common heart disease in Goldens, make sure your vet checks your furry BFF for a heart murmur at an early age. 


Feisty, fearless, and friendly are words that easily describe this breed. Their scruffy beard and long eyebrows give them unforgettable expressions. Miniature Schnauzers are prone to developing Sick Sinus Syndrome, a condition that affects their heart. The good news is treatment is available, allowing diagnosed pups to lead healthy lives. 

Great Dane

It’s easy to be intimidated by this dog’s size. But the Great Dane is actually a softie with a laid back personality. Always up for making new friends, this breed is a woofderful companion. However, Canine Heart Disease has plagued these pups so much, they have earned the nickname “The Heartbreak Breed.” 

Irish Wolfhound

Another gentle giant, the Irish Wolfhound is an absolute delight to be around. Of course, they do require a lot of space and plenty of exercise. And like other deep chested doggos, these pups are prone to developing dilated cardiomyopathy. So be sure to have their hearts regularly checked, especially as they grow older. 

Labrador Retriever

One of America’s most beloved breeds, the Lab seems like they are always smiling and enjoying life. These pups are incredibly active and athletic, but if they don’t get enough exercise or munch on too many treats, they are likely to become obese. And extra weight is a leading cause of several canine heart conditions.