Breed & Tumor
Are certain breeds more sensitive to develop cancer?

Cancer can be the consequence of different factors. Exposure to chemicals, hormonal and metabolic factors play an important role in cancer development, as well as genetic predisposition.

The dog has been bred since many years for specific desired features. Each dog race possesses a specific pool of genes. When certain genes responsible for the development a certain tumor type within a dog race are passed on again and again, this leads to a higher prevalence of this tumor type within that specific race. As such, it is known that lymphomas appear more often in Golden retrievers, while Boxers are known to develop mast cell tumors and Berner sennen leukemia and malignant histosarcoma.

In this searchable table you can find an overview of which dog races are most sensitive for the development of cancer as well as which tumor type is most frequently seen for this race.

Certain forms of cancer are more prevalent for some races than others. This can be related to their enhanced predisposition to develop these specific types of cancer, but also to the popularity of the race. After all, the more a dog race is prevalent, the more is known about that race and/or the more easily this race appears in statistics.

Terms in the table

  • Mortality rate: represents the percentage of dogs of this race of which the cause of death was cancer. These data are based on a study conducted on pure-bred dogs in the UK. As a relatively small population was examined (15 881 death cases), these data should be interpreted with caution. After all, for popular races, more data were available to draw conclusions from than for less prevalent races. For this reason, you will find left of the percentage ‘all deaths’, the total number of dogs on which this conclusion is based.
  • Median age at death: represents the media nage at which a dog of this race dies from the consequences of cancer.
  • Tumor type: reflects the most prevalent tumor types for this race.

Breed
All deaths (n)
Mortality rate (%)
Median age at death
Tumor type
Afghan dog 143 30.8 11.92 bone tumor
Airedale terrier 81 39.5 10.75 lower urinary tract carcinoma(tumor of the bladder and/or urethra), prostate tumor, nasal tumor
Akita Inu ? ? ? acanthomatous ameloblastoma
Alaska Malamut 14 35.7 10.71 tracheal and/or laryngeal tumor, sebaceous gland tumor
Australian Cattle Dog ? ? ? mast cell tumor
Australian Shepherd ? ? ? adrenal or pituitary tumor causing Cushing's disease, lung tumor
Barzoi ? ? ? bone tumor
Basset 142 31 11.29 nasal tumor, trichoepithelioma
Basset griffon vendeen 76 32.9 12.04 mast cell tumor
Beagle 241 32.8 12.67 mammary gland tumor, mast cell tumor, lower urinary tract carcinoma(tumor of the bladder and/or urethra), prostate tumor, thyroid tumor, eyelid tumor, perianal gland tumor
Bearded collie 278 19.4 13.5 no increase risk reported
Beauceron ? ? ? mast cell tumor, skin - squamous cell carcinoma
Belgian shepherd 113 23 12.5 gastric carcinoma
Berner Sennen 394 45.7 8 histiocytic sarcoma, leukemia, lymphoma, mast cell tumor, systemic histiocytosis, lung tumor
Border collie 106 23.6 12.25 blood vessel tumor - other, testicle tumor
Border terrier 177 19.2 14 no increase risk reported
Boston terrier ? ? ? brain tumor, mast cell tumor, paraganglioma (tumor of the aorta), mammary gland tumor, adrenal or pituitary tumor causing Cushing's disease
Bouvier de Flandres ? ? ? gastric carcinoma, prostate tumor
Boxer 130 38.5 10.25 glioma (brain tumor), mammary gland tumor, mast cell tumor, paraganglioma (tumor of the aorta), histiocytoma, chondrosarcoma, hamartoma, oral epulis, haemangioendothelioma (blood vessel tumor), lymphoma, bone tumor, adrenal or pituitary tumor causing Cushing's disease, testicle tumor, tumor of the vagina/vulva, lung tumor
Briard 71 38 11.17 lymphoma, skin - squamous cell carcinoma
British bulldog 180 18.3 6.29 glioma (brain tumor), mast cell tumor, lymphoma, paraganglioma (tumor of the aorta), ovarian tumor, perianal gland tumor
Brittany spaniel ? ? ? mammary gland tumor, thyroid tumor
Bull terrier 209 23 10 mast cell tumor, lymphoma, skin - squamous cell carcinoma
Cairn terrier 124 19.4 14 testicle tumor, thyroid tumor
Cavalier King Charles spaniel ? ? ? anal sac adenocarcinoma
Chihuahua ? ? ? mammary gland tumor
Chow Chow ? ? ? gastric carcinoma, melanoma - oral
Cocker spaniel 289 29.4 11.17 mammary gland tumor, mast cell tumor, anal sac adenocarcinoma, perianal gland tumor, acanthomatous ameloblastoma, histiocytoma, plasma cell tumor, lymphoma, melanoma - oral, sebaceous gland tumor
Collie ? ? ? nasal tumor, Sertoli cell tumor (testicle tumor), gastric carcinoma, insulinoma
Collie long-haired ? ? ? gastric carcinoma
Dachshund 245 16.7 10.75 adrenal or pituitary tumor causing Cushing's disease, blood vessel tumor - other, mammary gland tumor, mast cell tumor, melanoma - oral, fibrosarcoma - oral, skin - squamous cell carcinoma
Dalmatian 199 19.1 12.67 blood vessel tumor - other, brain tumor, skin - squamous cell carcinoma
Dandy Dinmont terrier 62 22.6 12.17 no increase risk reported
Danish Dog ? ? ? bone tumor
Deerhound 287 18.8 8.6 no increase risk reported
Dobermann 100 26 10.5 mammary gland tumor, bone tumor, lung tumor
Dobermann Pinscher ? ? ? prostate tumor, lipoma, mammary gland tumor, melanoma - skin, bone tumor, myxoma
English setter 384 32.8 11.58 mammary gland tumor, intestinal adenoma, mast cell tumor, brain tumor
English springer spaniel 90 26.7 12 mammary gland tumor, anal sac adenocarcinoma, mammary gland tumor
Field spaniel 68 29.4 11.63 no increase risk reported
Finnish spitz 42 21.4 11.13 no increase risk reported
Flat-coated retriever 610 50.3 9.83 histiocytic sarcoma, bone tumor
Fox terrier ? ? ? transitional cell carcinoma - bladder
French bulldog 71 38 9 glioma (brain tumor), mast cell tumor
German long-haired pointer ? ? ? thyroid tumor, mammary gland tumor, blood vessel tumor - skin, mast cell tumor, prostate tumor
German pointer ? ? ? mast cell tumor, prostate tumor
German shepherd ? ? ? blood vessel tumor - other, mammary gland tumor, bone tumor, anal sac adenocarcinoma, perianal gland tumor, melanoma - eye, cystadenocarcinoma, chondrosarcoma, seminoma (testicle tumor), thymoma, trichoepithelioma, leiomyoma, blood vessel tumor - skin
German short-haired pointer 159 29.6 12 mammary gland tumor, blood vessel tumor - skin, mast cell tumor, prostate tumor
German Spitz 43 16.3 11.33 no increase risk reported
German wire-haired pointer 41 24.4 10 mammary gland tumor, blood vessel tumor - skin, mast cell tumor, prostate tumor
Golden retriever 927 38.8 12.25 fibrosarcoma - oral, blood vessel tumor - other, histiocytic sarcoma, brain tumor, lymphoma, mast cell tumor, melanoma - oral, bone tumor, thyroid tumor, acanthomatous ameloblastoma, sweat gland tumor, trichoepithelioma, blood vessel tumor - skin, melanoma - skin, melanoma - eye
Gordon setter 157 29.3 11.08 no increase risk reported
Great Münsterländer 69 24.6 11.33 no increase risk reported
Greyhound ? ? ? bone tumor, blood vessel tumor - skin
Hovawart ? ? ? bone tumor, intestinal adenocarcinoma
Hungarian wirehaired vizsla 15 46.7 9.83 blood vessel tumor - other, lymphoma, mast cell tumor, melanoma - skin, blood vessel tumor - skin
Irish setter 451 27.3 12 bone tumor, insulinoma, melanoma - oral, lung tumor
Irish red and white setter 179 30.2 11.42 no increase risk reported
Irish water spaniel 95 55.8 9.33 no increase risk reported
Irish Wolfhound ? ? ? bone tumor
Italian Greyhound ? ? ? blood vessel tumor - skin
Italian spinone 47 44.7 9 no increase risk reported
Labrador retriever 574 31.2 12.25 fibrosarcoma - oral, blood vessel tumor - other, mast cell tumor, histiocytic sarcoma, tongue tumor, lipoma, melanoma - oral, bone tumor, skin - squamous cell carcinoma, thymoma, blood vessel tumor - skin, melanoma - skin, melanoma - eye, melanoma - nail bed, lymphoma
Lancashire heeler 30 26.7 11.75 no increase risk reported
Leonberger 47 44.7 7.08 bone tumor, mammary gland tumor
Lhasa Apso 84 17.9 14.33 sebaceous gland tumor
Maltese dog ? ? ? mammary gland tumor, testicle tumor
Manchester terrier 32 21.9 12.83 no increase risk reported
Mastiff 96 37.5 7.46 lymphoma, bone tumor
Miniature poodle ? ? ? mammary gland tumor
Miniature schnauzer 214 21.5 12.08 melanoma - skin, histiocytic sarcoma, meningioma
Newfoundlander 269 27.1 9.67 bone tumor
Norwegian elkhound 71 32.4 13.17 prostate tumor, seminoma (testicle tumor), gastric carcinoma, keratoacanthoma
Norwegian lundehund ? ? ? gastric carcinoma
Norwich terrier 56 21.4 13.38 no increase risk reported
Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever 9 33.3 8 lymphoma, bone tumor
Old English Sheepdog ? ? ? oral tumor, thyroid tumor, brain tumor
Papillon ? ? ? mammary gland tumor
Parson Russell Terrier ? ? ? mast cell tumor
Pointer 145 20.7 12.42 mammary gland tumor, blood vessel tumor - skin, mast cell tumor, prostate tumor
Pug ? ? ? mast cell tumor, skin - squamous cell carcinoma
Puli ? ? ? mammary gland tumor
Giant Schnauzer 39 41 10 mast cell tumor, skin - squamous cell carcinoma, blood vessel tumor - skin, bone tumor
Rhodesian ridgeback 183 30.6 11 mast cell tumor
Rottweiler 137 45.3 8.92 histiocytic sarcoma, lymphoma, bone tumor, histiocytoma, fibrosarcoma - oral, mast cell tumor, skin - squamous cell carcinoma, fibrosarcoma - skin, fibrosarcoma - bone, melanoma - oral, melanoma - skin, melanoma - eye, melanoma - nail bed
Saluki 132 35.6 12 blood vessel tumor - other, mammary gland tumor, blood vessel tumor - skin
Samoyeed 223 26.5 12.5 skin - squamous cell carcinoma
Scottish ? ? ? prostate tumor, transitional cell carcinoma - bladder, mast cell tumor, melanoma - oral, lymphoma, brain tumor, melanoma - skin
Scottish Deerhound ? ? ? bone tumor
Shar pei ? ? ? mast cell tumor, histiocytoma, histiocytic sarcoma, melanoma - oral
Shetland sheepdog 365 22.3 12.5 nasal tumor, prostate tumor, Sertoli cell tumor (testicle tumor), transitional cell carcinoma - bladder, thyroid tumor, oral epulis
Shiba Inu ? ? ? oral epulis
Shih tzu 83 14.5 13.17 mast cell tumor, oral epulis
Siberian Husky 129 31.8 12.58 thyroid tumor, fibrosarcoma - skin, eyelid tumor
Sint-Bernard ? ? ? bone tumor, blood vessel tumor - skin, lymphoma
Soft coated wheaten terrier 111 26.1 12.5 mammary gland tumor
Staffordshire bull terrier 117 44.4 12.75 mast cell tumor, histiocytoma, lymphoma, gastric carcinoma, mammary gland tumor
Standard poodle 118 29.7 12 mammary gland tumor, skin - squamous cell carcinoma, gastric carcinoma, vertebral tumor, melanoma - oral
Sussex spaniel 42 19 11.13 no increase risk reported
Tibetan spaniel 125 23.2 14.42 mast cell tumor
Tibetan terrier 95 31.6 12.17 no increase risk reported
Weimaraner 242 24 11.13 mast cell tumor
Welsh corgi cardigan 53 28.3 12.17 no increase risk reported
Welsh corgi Pembroke 116 28.4 12.21 histiocytic sarcoma, lymphoma
Welsh springer spaniel 157 26.8 12.58 mammary gland tumor, anal sac adenocarcinoma, blood vessel tumor - skin
Welsh terrier 23 43.5 12.67 mammary gland tumor
West Highland White terrier ? ? ? transitional cell carcinoma - bladder, histiocytoma
Wetterhoun ? ? ? histiocytoma, blood vessel tumor - other, blood vessel tumor - skin
Wolfspitz 104 31.7 12.21 thyroid tumor
Yorkshire terrier ? ? ? mammary gland tumor
References
  1. Dobson JM. Breed-Predispositions to Cancer in Pedigree Dogs. ISRN Veterinary Science Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 941275, 23 pages http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/941275.
  2. ​Gough A. Breed predispositions to disease in Dogs and Cats. Wiley Blackwell third edition 2018.