Top 12 Fattest Dog Breeds—Is Your Dog’s Breed One?

12 fattest dog breeds. An obese Dachshund playing with an orange ball in the sand.

Is your dog prone to weight gain? Genetics passed down through a dog’s breed play a significant role in our best friends’ health and weight. 

If you’ve been struggling to maintain your dog’s weight, it might be due to their genes. Is your dog on the list of 12 fattest dog breeds?

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most commonly overweight dog breeds and tips on how to keep their waistline trim.

Why are some dog breeds are prone to obesity?

Like people, dogs come in all shapes and sizes. And like people, a dog’s weight is determined by a variety of factors, including:

  • Genetics
  • Environment
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Age
  • Medical conditions

Genetics plays a vital role in a dog’s chance of obesity. Retrievers and herding dogs are breeds that demand more exercise. If they don’t receive it, there’s a high risk of weight gain.

Many breeds, like Boxers and Cocker Spaniels, suffer from hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is caused by the thyroid not creating and releasing enough thyroid hormones into the bloodstream, slowing down metabolism.

Your dog’s breed is one of the most significant factors impacting their weight. There are breeds that were born athletes, and Some breeds are more prone to carrying extra weight. While there are many overweight mixed-breed dogs, certain purebreds top the list of fattest dogs.

The 12 Fattest Dog Breeds

These twelve breeds are commonly known as having the most considerable struggle with weight and obesity. (In no particular order)

Labrador Retriever

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.

Average weight:

Male: 65-80 lbs

Female: 55-70 lbs

Life span:

12-14 years

Cause of obesity:

Labrador Retriever has a deletion mutation of Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) in their genes responsible for regulating appetite. A retriever is prone to over-eating and obesity when its diet is not adequately controlled.

Beagle

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.

Average weight:

Male: 20-25 lbs

Female: 20-23 lbs

Life span:

12-15 years

Cause of obesity:

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.

Bulldog

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.

Average weight:

Male: 50 lbs

Female: 40 lbs

Life span:

8-10 years

Cause of obesity:

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.

Golden Retriever

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.

Average weight:

Male: 65-75 lbs

Female: 55-65 lbs

Life span:

12-13 years

Cause of obesity:

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, almost 63% of golden retrievers are overweight. 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.

Cocker Spaniel

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.

Average weight:

Male: 26-34 lbs

Female: 24-32 lbs

Life span:

12-15 years

Cause of obesity:

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.

Pug

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.

Average weight:

Male: 14-18 lbs

Female: 14-18 lbs

Life span:

12-15 years

Cause of obesity:

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 even more difficult.

Boxer

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.

Average weight:

Male: 65-80 lbs

Female: 60-70 lbs

Life span: 11-12 years

Cause of obesity:

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.

Lhasa Apso

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.

Average weight: 12-18 lbs

Life span: 12-15 years

Cause of obesity:

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.

Dachshund

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.

Average weight: 16-32 lbs

Life span: 12-16 years

Cause of obesity:

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.

Chihuahua

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.

Average weight: 4-9 lbs

Life span: 12-20 years

Cause of obesity:

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.

Pomeranian

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.

Average weight: 4.2-7.7 lbs

Life span: 12-16 years

Cause of obesity:

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.

Basset Hound

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.

Average weight:

Male: 55-75 lbs

Female: 50-65 lbs

Life span: 12-14 years

Cause of obesity:

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.

Health issues in overweight dogs.

Obesity in dogs is serious and can lead to a host of health problems, including:

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.

Focus on daily exercise and a healthy diet to keep obesity away.

Diet and exercise are the two most important things you can do to help your dog maintain a healthy weight. Here are some tips for keeping your dog’s weight under control:

  • 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.

Final thoughts.

What dog breeds are most prone to obesity?

  • Golden Retriever
  • Basset Hound
  • Labrador
  • Beagle
  • Chihuahua

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 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?

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