Life Expectancy Of Dogs: How Long Will My Dog Live?

This content was reviewed by veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Racine, DVM.

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Larger animals tend to live longer than smaller ones (most of the time). Think about it. Humans live longer than cats, which live longer than a rat, which lives longer than a fly. But why isn’t this true when it comes to animals within their species?

A person who weighs 150 pounds will most likely live longer than a person who weighs 300 pounds. They live longer because of increased health risks for a person who weighs 300 pounds.

When it comes to dogs’ life expectancy, how can you compare a Great Dane to a Chihuahua? Their anatomic builds are completely different, and their lifespans reflect this. Beyond size, is there an average age of a dog based on breed or other factors? Yes. Let’s explore the answers to these questions: “how long do dogs live?” and “what is the dog lifespan by breed?”

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What Determines A Dog’s Lifespan?

Want to know how you can help your pup live a longer, happier life? Below are some factors that help determine a canine’s lifespan.

Care

As the owner, you can impact the care you provide for your dog. A dog with a proper, nutritious diet and exercise can live longer than one without. In addition, taking your furry friend to annual wellness exams at the veterinarian and getting her booster shots can result in a healthy dog with a longer lifespan.

Size

Research shows that larger dogs live for a shorter period of time when compared to smaller ones. For example, an Irish Wolfhound (average 115 pounds) has an average lifespan of seven years, while a Jack Russell Terrier (average of 15 pounds) can live up to 13-16 years.

Inbreeding vs Cross Breeding

Inbreeding can reduce the lifespan of canines. Cross-breed dogs have a longer lifespan in comparison. Inbred dogs have a risk of carrying genes for illnesses that are common to that specific breed. Further, “mutts” who have at least two breeds tend to have the least health problems and live longer than their purebred counterparts.

Not sure of your dog’s breed mix? Order a DNA test kit to find out.

Spayed Or Neutered

Spaying and neutering a puppy at a relatively young age can positively affect a dog’s lifespan. Most studies recommend surgical sterilization before five months of age for small breed dogs and 12-15 months for larger breed house dogs.

Studies suggest that these surgeries can help reduce the risk of some types of cancer in dogs — especially cancers affecting the ovaries, breast, and testicles.

Recent studies show that these benefits may or may not be completely accurate, but there is no question that your life will be easier without a litter of puppies, and this will be less stress on your pup, which could mean a longer life.

Learn How To Calculate Dog Years To Human Years

Canine Genetic Age Testing With A DNA Test

Want to find out your pet’s scientific age? Embark and EasyDNA make it simple to determine your dog’s true age with a Canine Genetic Age test that measures a dog’s telomeres’ length at a genetic level.

It then uses that information to compare your pup with more than 95 types of dogs in their databases to define their breed and biological age details further. Order a kit, send in your sample, and get the results back in two to three weeks. Visit Embark DNA’s Website and EasyDNA’s website to learn more and buy a test.

Dog Breed Life Expectancy Chart

Below is a dog life expectancy chart sorted by the most popular registered breeds in the US. The average dog lifespans that we include in this list are based on the most beloved breeds from the AKC’s most recent list.

2021 Popularity RankDog BreedAverage Lifespan
1Labrador Retriever11 Years
2French Bulldog8-10 Years
3Golden Retriever11 Years
4German Shepherd11 Years
5Poodle12 Years
6Bulldog8-12 Years
7Beagle12-15 Years
8Rottweiler9 Years
9German Shorthaired Pointer12-14 Years
10Dachshund13-15 Years
11Pembroke Welsh Corgi12-15 Years
12Australian Shepherd12-18 Years
13Yorkshire Terrier13 Years (possibly up to 20 years)
14Boxer9-10 Years
15Cavalier King Charles Spaniel9-14 Years
16Doberman Pinscher10-13 Years
17Great Dane6-8 Years
18Miniature Schnauzer12-14 Years
19Siberian Huskie12-15 Years
20Bernese Mountain Dogs6-8 Years
Infographic: Dog life expectancy by breed

10 Dogs With Short Life Expectancies

You’ll notice that most dogs in this chart are larger breeds. As mentioned above, larger dogs tend to have shorter lifespans than smaller ones. Some believe this is because large breeds age more quickly. For example, a Great Dane can gain 100 pounds from its day of birth to its first birthday, whereas a Shih Tzu can weigh up to 15 pounds in its entire lifespan. Below is a table of 10 dogs with short lifespans.

Dog BreedAverage Lifespan
French Mastiff5-8 Years
Great Dane6-8 Years
Bernese Mountain Dog6-8 Years
Irish Wolfhound6-10 Years
Neapolitan Mastiff7-9 Years
Leonberger8-9 Years
Newfoundland8-10 Years
Saint Bernard8-10 Years
Scottish Deerhound8-10 Years
Bloodhound9-11 Years

What Is The Longest Living Dog Breed?

Chihuahuas usually are referred to as the breed with the longest lifespan. They average 15-20 years and are one of the smallest dog breeds. The oldest Chihuahua on record, Megabyte, died at the age of 20 years and 265 days.

The Australian Cattle Dog is known for having one of the longest life expectancies. There are records of Australian Cattle Dogs living past 20 years old. In fact, the longest-living dog recorded is an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey, who lived 29 years and five months.

How Can I Extend My Dog’s Life?

If you could give your dog medication to help keep her in your life longer, would you buy it? That’s precisely what Loyal is working on right now. Loyal is a team of vets, scientists, and dog lovers striving toward reducing underlying causes of aging in dogs and delaying disease by developing a drug.

There are other ways to help keep your dog healthy and help her live a longer life. The best thing you can do is give your dog adequate exercise daily and make sure you’re feeding them a healthy, well-rounded diet. All-natural, fresh dog food is gaining in popularity, and perhaps it’s something you’d like to consider for your pup. We’ve tried and reviewed some of the best dog food delivery services to help you decide if you’d prefer a more traditional kibble or fresh, homemade dog food.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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