Genetics passed down through a dog’s breed play a significant role in our best friends’ health and weight. By understanding the struggles of your dog’s breed, you can make the right decisions to prevent obesity.
If you’ve struggled to maintain your dog’s weight, it may be due to genetics. For example, the Golden Retriever is one of the fattest dog breeds with an obesity rate of over 60%. The reason is due to a gene deletion that causes the beloved Golden Retriever to eat excessively.
Along with the Golden Retriever, here are the 12 fattest dog breeds:
- Labrador Retriever
- Golden Retriever
- Cocker Spaniel
- Lhasa Apso
- Basset Hound
This article details each breed listed and includes their common cause of obesity. With this information, you’ll have a better plan of action for how to manage your dog’s weight and health.
What makes them the fattest dog breeds?
Like people, dogs come in all shapes and sizes. And like people, a dog’s weight is determined by a variety of factors, including:
- Medical conditions
Genetics plays a vital role in a dog’s chance of obesity. Retrievers and herding dogs are active breeds that need more exercise. When active dogs are unable to burn off their excess energy, it can cause depression and lead to obesity.
Some breeds, like Golden Retrievers and Cocker Spaniels, are at a higher risk of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is caused by the thyroid not creating and releasing enough thyroid hormones into the bloodstream, slowing metabolism.
Your dog’s breed is one of the most significant factors impacting their weight. If your dog was born to run or bred to relax, several issues can impact their weight.
The 12 Fattest Dog Breeds
These twelve dog breeds are commonly known for having the most considerable struggle with weight gain and obesity, making them the fattest dog breeds.
Loyal, obedient, and playful, the Labrador is a British breed of retriever gun dog. Bred to help fishermen with their nets and pull small boats to shore, they were also used for hunting and retrieving game. Today they are a popular family dog.
Labrador Retriever average weight
Male: 65-80 lbs
Female: 55-70 lbs
Labrador Retriever lifespan
Why are Labrador Retrievers one of the fattest dog breeds?
The Labrador Retriever made the list of fattest dog breeds due to a deletion mutation of Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) — a gene responsible for regulating appetite. A retriever is prone to over-eating and obesity when its diet is not adequately controlled.
The Beagle is a small to medium-sized breed of hound, similar in appearance to the much larger Foxhound. The Beagle is a scent hound developed primarily for hunting hare.
Beagle average weight
Male: 20-25 lbs
Female: 20-23 lbs
Why are Beagled one of the fattest dog breeds?
The Beagle breed suffers from hypothyroidism which slows its metabolism. Beagles are also a chondrodystrophic breed, making them prone to disk disease types. As a Beagle ages, immobility problems can increase the likelihood of obesity.
The Bulldog, also known as the English Bulldog or British Bulldog, is a medium-sized dog breed. It is a muscular, hefty dog with a wrinkled face and pushed-in nose.
Bulldog average weight
Male: 50 lbs
Female: 40 lbs
Why are Bulldogs one of the fattest dog breeds?
The Bulldog’s short snout and pushed-in nose make it difficult for them to breathe, making exercise difficult. Bulldogs also enjoy lounging around. Because of this, they make great pets for lazy dog owners, but they are prone to obesity.
The Golden Retriever is a large-sized Scottish breed of dog bred as gun dogs to retrieve shot waterfowl such as ducks and upland game birds during hunting and shooting parties. They were named ‘retrievers’ because of their ability to retrieve shot game undamaged.
Golden Retriever average weight
Male: 65-75 lbs
Female: 55-65 lbs
Golden Retriever lifespan
Why are Golden Retrievers one of the fattest dog breeds?
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, almost 63% of golden retrievers are overweight, making them one of the fattest dog breeds. Like the Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever has a deletion mutation of POMC in their genes. This gene regulates appetite, and when diet and amount of food are not adequately controlled, they are prone to over-eating and obesity. Golden Retrievers require a lot of exercise.
The Cocker Spaniel is a breed of gun dog and the smallest member of the American Kennel Club’s Sporting Group. Cockers were bred originally as hunting dogs in England.
Cocker Spaniel average weight
Male: 26-34 lbs
Female: 24-32 lbs
Cocker Spaniel lifespan
Why are Cocker Spaniels one of the fattest dog breeds?
Cocker Spaniels suffer from hypothyroidism, caused by the thyroid not creating and releasing enough thyroid hormone into the bloodstream. The lack of hormones slows down metabolism leading to weight gain. Hypothyroidism is most common in large and mid-size breeds between four and ten years old.
The Pug is a breed of dog with a wrinkly, short-muzzled face and curled tail. The breed has a fine, glossy coat that comes in various colors, most often fawn or black, and a compact square body with well-developed muscles.
Pug average weight
Male: 14-18 lbs
Female: 14-18 lbs
Why are Pugs one of the fattest dog breeds?
Like the Bulldog, the Pug’s short snout and pushed-in nose cause breathing difficulties and make it difficult for them to exercise. Because of this, they are prone to obesity. Furthermore, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals found that 62.0% of Pugs were affected by hip dysplasia, making exercise for pugs even more difficult.
The Boxer is a medium to large, short-haired dog breed developed in Germany. The coat is smooth and tight-fitting; colors are fawn, brindled, or white, with or without white markings.
Boxer average weight
Male: 65-80 lbs
Female: 60-70 lbs
Why are Boxers one of the fattest dog breeds?
Boxers love to run and need more exercise than many breeds. Exercise in senior years can be more difficult as more than half of boxers are affected by hip dysplasia. Boxers also suffer from hypothyroidism, slowing their metabolism, which may lead to obesity.
The Lhasa Apso is a long-coated Tibetan dog breed. The name “Lhasa” comes from the capital city of Tibet, while “Apso” is a Tibetan word meaning “bearded.” The Lhasa Apso has been used as a watchdog for centuries due to its tendency to bark.
Lhasa Apso average weight
Lhasa Apso lifespan
Why are Lhasa Apsos one of the fattest dog breeds?
Lhasas are prone to obesity because they love to eat and tend to be less active as they age. Exercise is more difficult than other breeds with their short legs, leading Lhasas to be one of the fattest breeds. Furthermore, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals found that 50.0% of Lhasas were affected by hip dysplasia, making exercise even more challenging.
The Dachshund is a short-legged, long-bodied, hound-type dog breed. The standard size dachshund was developed to scent, chase, and flush out badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals, while the miniature dachshund was bred to hunt smaller prey such as rabbits.
Dachshund average weight
Why are Dachshunds one of the fattest dog breeds?
Dachshunds are prone to obesity because they love to eat and tend to become less active as they age. Exercise is more difficult with their short legs than other breeds, leading Dachshunds to be one of the fattest breeds. Furthermore, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals found that 61.0% of Dachshunds were affected by hip dysplasia, making exercise even more demanding.
Named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, the Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog. Chihuahuas come in a wide variety of sizes, head shapes, colors, and coat lengths.
Chihuahua average weight
Why are Chihuahuas one of the fattest dog breeds?
Chihuahuas are prone to obesity because they love to eat and tend to become less active as they age. Exercise is more challenging than other breeds with their short legs, leading Chihuahuas to be one of the fattest breeds. Furthermore, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals found that 50.0% of Chihuahuas were affected by hip dysplasia, making exercise even more difficult.
The Pomeranian is a small, compact, active toy dog of Nordic descent. Pomeranians have two coat types: fluffy and straight. Fluffy Pomeranians have a thick, double coat, while straight-coated Pomeranians have a thinner coat.
Pomeranian average weight
Why are Pomeranians one of the fattest dog breeds?
Pomeranians are prone to obesity because they love to eat and tend to be less active as they age. Exercise is more difficult than other breeds with their short legs, leading Pomeranians to be one of the fattest breeds. Furthermore, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals found that 50.0% of Pomeranians.
The Basset Hound is a short-legged breed of dog of the hound family. The Basset is a scent hound originally bred for hunting rabbits and hare.
Basset Hound average weight
Male: 55-75 lbs
Female: 50-65 lbs
Basset Hound lifespan
Why are Basset Hounds one of the fattest dog breeds?
Basset Hounds are prone to obesity because they love to eat and tend to be less active as they age. With their short legs, exercise is more challenging than other breeds, leading Basset Hounds to be one of the fattest breeds. Furthermore, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals found that 65.0% of Basset Hounds were affected by hip dysplasia, making exercise even more difficult.
Who holds the record for the fattest dog in the world?
Zorba, an Old English Mastiff, has held the record of the fattest dog in the world since 1987. Weighing in at a massive 330 lbs, Zorba wasn’t just the fattest dog in the world, he was one of the largest, standing 37 inches tall and over 8 feet long.
Health issues in overweight dogs.
Obesity in dogs is serious and can lead to a host of health problems, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Respiratory problems
- Kidney disease
Excessive weight for dogs is serious enough to shorten a dog’s life span by up to two and a half years. It’s essential to keep your dog at a healthy weight to ensure they live a long and happy life by your side.
Daily exercise and a healthy diet keep fat dog breeds healthy.
- Feeding twice daily instead of leaving food out all day.
- Take a daily walk.
- Play for at least 15 minutes twice a day.
- Avoid human food and table scraps.
- Transition your dog’s food to low-calorie.
- Make sure your dog is getting the right amount of nutrients.
Building a scheduled routine will keep you on track. Our dogs are happier when they’re active, and your dog will thank you for it.
Which dogs qualify as the fattest dog breeds?
- Golden Retriever
- Basset Hound
Age, activity level, diet, and metabolism are essential for a dog’s weight and general health. But, some breeds are more prone to obesity.
If you’re deciding to raise one of these fattest dog breeds, be willing and able to provide an active lifestyle before choosing.
Our dogs give us unconditional love. In return, we need to keep them safe and healthy.
Do you have one of these 12 fattest dog breeds? What tips do you have for maintaining a healthy weight?