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

Several factors can influence the occurrence of cancer, one of which is the dog’s genetic mark-up.

The dog has been bred since many years for specific desired features. Each dog breed possesses a specific pool of genes. When certain genes responsible for the development a certain tumour type within a dog breed are passed on again and again, this leads to a higher prevalence of this tumour type within that specific breed. Hence, it is known that lymphomas appear more often in Golden retrievers than other breeds, while Boxers are known to develop mast cell tumours and Bernese Mountain Dog leukemia and malignant histosarcoma.

In this searchable table you can find an overview of which dog breeds are most sensitive for the development of cancer as well as which tumour type is the most prevalent for this breed.

Terms in the table

  • Mortality rate: represents the percentage of dogs of this breed 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 breeds, more data were available to draw conclusions from than for less prevalent breeds. Therefore, the second column shows ‘all deaths’ to illustrate the total number of dogs on which this conclusion is based.
  • Median age at death: represents the age, at which half of the dogs of this breed has died from the consequences of cancer.
  • Tumour type: reflects the most prevalent tumour types for this breed.

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