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

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Puppies drinking waterLarger animals tend to live longer than smaller ones… most of the time. Think about it. A human lives longer than a cat, which lives 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. This is because of increased health risks for the person who weighs 300 pounds. When it comes to the life expectancy of dogs though, how can you compare a Great Dane to a Chihuahua?  Their anatomic builds are completely different and their lifespans reflect this. But, beyond size, is there an average age of a dog based on breed or other factors? Yes. Let us explore this subject further.

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.

Dog Care

As the owner, you can affect 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 its booster shots can result in a healthy dog with a longer lifespan.

Dog 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 lbs) has an average lifespan of 7 years, while a Jack Russell Terrier (average 15 lbs) 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 and commonly more, tend to have the least health problems and live longer than their purebred counterparts.

Spayed/Neutered

Spaying and neutering a puppy at a young age can positively affect a dog’s lifespan. 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 completely accurate but there is no question that your life will be easier without a litter of puppies in your life and this will also be less stress on your pup, which could mean a longer life.

Dog Breed Life Expectancy Chart

Below is a dog life expectancy chart sorted by the most popular registered breeds from the past decade.

2013 Popularity Rank

Dog Breed

Average Lifespan

1

Labrador Retriever

11 Years

2

German Shepherd

11 Years

3

Golden Retriever

11 Years

4

Beagle

12-15 Years

5

Bulldog

8-12 Years

6

Yorkshire Terrier

13 Years (possibly up to 20 years)

7

Boxer

9-10 Years

8

Poodle

12 Years

9

Rottweiler

9 Years

10

Dachshund

13-15 Years

11

French Bulldog

8-10 Years

12

Doberman Pinscher

10-13 Years

13

German Shorthaired Pointer

12-14 Years

14

Siberian Huskie

12-15 Years

15

Shih Tzu

12-16 Years

16

Great Dane

6-8 Years

17

Miniature Schnauzer

12-14 Years

18

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

9-14 Years

19

Pomeranian

14 Years

20

Australian Shepherd

12-18 Years

21

Shetland Sheepdog

12-13 Years

22

Chihuahua

17 Years

23

Boston Terrier

11-15 Years

24

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

12-15 Years

25

Havanese

14-16 Years

Life Expectancy of Dogs Chart
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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 quicker. For example, a Great Dane can gain 100 pounds from its day of birth to its first birthday, whereas a Shih Tzu can weight up to 15 pounds in its entire lifespan. Below is a table of ten dogs with short lifespans.

Dog Breed

Average Lifespan

French Mastiff

5-8 Years

Great Dane

6-8 Years

Bernese Mountain Dog

6-8 Years

Irish Wolfhound

6-10 Years

Neapolitan Mastiff

7-9 Years

Leonberger

8-9 Years

Newfoundland

8-10 Years

Saint Bernard

8-10 Years

Scottish Deerhound

8-10 Years

Bloodhound

9-11 Years

What Is the Longest Living Dog Breed?

Chihuahuas are normally 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 record1, 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 5 months2.

How old is your dog and what breed is it?

Sources: [1] ChihuahuaWardrobe.com, [2] Mnn.com


About Kimberly Alt
Growing up, Kimberly used to get the sniffles when she was around dogs. Thankfully, she grew out of her allergy and is now able to play and snuggle with dogs as much as she wants! She adopted Sally, a 3 year old hound mix, in 2017 and is loving life as a pet parent.

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53 Comments on "Life Expectancy of Dogs: How Long Will My Dog Live?"

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Jessica Phillips
Jessica Phillips
Abby was diagnosed with a “breast cancer ” tumor after much testing. I am faced with making the decision of lettingervher liver her life out naturally or opting to remove the tumor with the chance she will live a few more tmyeats. They also found a lesion on her liver and cannot say if they are related or not ( I think they are). Her chest x-ray is clear. She has been on antibiotics 2 weeks for a urinary tract infection, which improved briefly but now she has strained frequent urination with little spots of hematuria ( blood in the… Read more »
Dale Lapre
Dale Lapre

Jessica,
No one can make that heart felt decision for you and nothing can make it easy. Sit still with Abby, look her in the eyes and talk to her as you would. Tell her what is going on and listen in your heart and in her eyes. You will know what you will need to do.

Matthew wilson
Matthew wilson

I have a English/ pitbull mix dog her name is daisy. She is 20 year old and doing just fine. Its hard for her to get up steps but she fights the good fight. First dog Iv ever owned. She my best friend.

Heather
Heather

My dog, Candy (a male terrier mix) is now 18 years, 4 months old. I wonder if anyone can tell me his expected life span. He is medium in size. His age is showing now. He is slow moving and not as spry. Seems that his eyesight and hearing is still good though.

Penny
Penny

I got my blue healer at 9 she is no 14 and plays jumps and runs like she is 5 lately she has had worm issues bit i believe she is free of them now are there any health issues I need to watch for. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
Penny and trixel

Rose
Rose
You should read researchs that prove dogs in Europe live longer be ause they are kept intact! Spay and neuter at a young age of a dog does not allow the dog bines to develop normally. A pure bred dog that has been bred well, with patents that have been health tested to avoid genetic decease can live longer than mutts. There is a money making industry of so called animal right foundation that spread a lot of lies and their administration make a lot of money with good peoples donations.not everybody involved in those organizations j ave the best… Read more »
ThatNYguy
ThatNYguy
I adopted my buddy when he was 4 months old. He’s been healthy his entire life except for an ear infection a long time ago. We went away to Puerto Rico for a vacation and boarded him at the vet. When I picked him up, I noticed a huge mass on his jaw and asked the vet what it was. I was thinking maybe he had an infection while we were away. Turns out it was cancer. It was there for awhile but we never noticed because we saw him everyday and it took a week of not seeing him… Read more »
Canadaustra
Canadaustra

I would have given him the treatment and betted on the 50% in his favour. Would you have declined treatment had it been you?…. I bet you would have opted for treatment. 50% is way better than a terminal prognosis. When your pup stops eating/drinking, when he loses interest in his walks and toys, you will know it’s time. If you ever get another pet, pet insurance is a must. If you can’t afford it or don’t want it, it’s best not to have a pet. Hope your pup stays happy and well.

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. As for your question about euthanizing him, this can be a heated subject so I will lay out the facts as unbiased as I can. Some people believe that nature should run its own course. Let the dog live the life he was intended to live without any human interference. Others believe that the dog shouldn’t suffer, and therefore we should help end his pain. I suggest asking your vet about how your dog may feel at the stage he is in. It sounds like the cancer has spread and if he… Read more »
Killthatwitch
Killthatwitch

How long do husky Rottweiler’s live

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

We found that Rottsky dogs typically live 10-13 years.

John Izzo
John Izzo
My poor baby Gill .. a rat terrier mix is very frail and weak now at 14 and 5 months. I am fearing that she will not make it til 14 and 6months. I am an emotional wreck now. She is my baby and Im so concerned for her I cant even think clearly. She got a recent pad injury ( I think from the vet clipping her nails) and then she was a daycare while I went away for the holidays. I think the pad got infected with dog feces etc.. as the daycare is carefless. I checked her… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

We are so sorry John. Our thoughts are with you and Gilly. Hoping for a full recovery. In the meantime, be sure to give her lots of cuddles.

Kaiel
Kaiel

My dog macy is 13 and is very old and fragile. She’s a beautiful Labrador and dalmatian mix. She is so loyal and loving I fear the day she passes. It will feel just like losing a best friend.

Squeegee
Squeegee
The American Kennel Club and other dog breed clubs grossly exaggerate the lifespan of pure breed dogs in order to promote breeding. The harsh reality is that many breeds of dogs have much shorter lives than the average life span promoted by those organizations. What those clubs promote as the AVERAGE life span is typically the OUTER life span. For example most French bulldogs and English bulldogs and Boxers and Swiss Bernese Mountain dogs are dead by six or eight, some live to 10 or 12 which is the very outer limit but very rare. So THAT is what they… Read more »
Amanda
Amanda
My English Bulldog is almost 12 with some kidney issues that we deal with when they arise. When we got her 4 years ago she was very overweight and had a very unhealthy diet, wasn’t spayed so had an infection, many of her teeth were decaying and she had yeast infections all over her skin and her ears. We honestly were not expecting her to live so long! We got her spayed, switched to an all-natural grain-free food, got her bad teeth fixed/removed, got the skin infection taken care of and now just deal with her ears every once and… Read more »
Gr5ub
Gr5ub

I have had two English Bulldogs one went 12 years and the other almost 10 and was healthy but developed an inoperable cyst on his jowl.

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

We agree with you on adopting pets, thanks for sharing!

Paul Christoffersen
Paul Christoffersen

I have a cocker spaniel that was used as a breeder. I received her at age 5 that was 5 years ago. She seems to have aged must faster than my previous cocker who passed away at 15 years old. I was wondering just how much the breeding has affected her life span.

TOM

My beagle Charlie (aka my son) made it to 18 years and 2 + months. The last couple of years he slowed down. The end is always hard to deal with. I still miss him every single day. RIP Charlie- OLD MAN PUPPY HEAD.

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

We are so sorry for your loss. Sounds like the two of you were best friends. Our thoughts are with you.

abrowneyedbutterfly
abrowneyedbutterfly

My girl Flossie, is a Boston/Chihuahua mix. She is almost 9 years old and still going strong.

Lyn Boswell
Lyn Boswell

We had an English springer spaniel who we had to euthanize at the age of 16 yrs 5 months he kept great health up until two days before. We also had a fox terrier who died in his sleep at the age of 19 yrs 1 month.

We say the secret is fresh water everyday and no over feeding.

Alyssa
Alyssa

This article made me feel a bit better about my dog. He’s a Labrador/Bassett Hound mix and he’s 9 years old. I’ve had him since I was a kid and started worrying about his age recently, but he’s healthy, has a good diet, and acts like a puppy. He also has the biggest attitude I’ve ever seen in an animal!

Lindsey
Lindsey

I’ve an 18 years young black Yorkshire terrier (very rare). She’s pretty amazing but lately I’ve noticed she’s sleeping a lot and her stools have become goo like. She’s a healthy weight and loves to pick at nuts and chicken. Just wondering is this the beginning of the end for her? I need to get her wellness tests done in Aug, but just wondered if anyone is in the same situation? She’s always been a house dog and I’ve given her the best!

Angelique Terrell
Angelique Terrell
I have had a mix breed Australian Shepherd /husky mix for the last 7 years he was a shelter dog that was guessed to be 1.5 years old when we got him. We took him to a new vet that read the wrong chart and guessed him to be 2-3 years old. My autistic son depends on the dog for a “safe place”. My dog is very social and has a cat that he seems to think is his responsibility. I am buying a huge new house and was considering a second dog in hopes that when he passes away… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

Hi Angelique, that’s a very common train of thought and one that we definitely think is okay as long as you’re comfortable with having two dogs for a while. I think your current dog would also enjoy having another friend to hang out with at home. And as you mentioned, hopefully your son will have time to bond with the second dog so he isn’t left in as much of a panic when he is gone. So we say go for it!

Denae Davis
Denae Davis
My first dog was a chow/Akita who lived to be 19 1/2. He was blind, deaf, and ran like Frankenstein, but was very healthy until the last week of his life when his health started to fail. My second dog was a sheltie/dalmatian who died pretty suddenly shortly after turning 10. He was fine running around the house all excited at the beginning of the week, then Wednesday he was fine in the morning, looked a little down in the afternoon. Threw up a couple times over night. I took him to the vet that Thursday and they said he… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

I’m so sorry for your losses. Life can change quickly and unexpectedly. Hopefully since your second dog went from fine to passing away he didn’t suffer for too long. If you don’t mind me asking, what were some of your favorite things to do with your first and second dogs? Sometimes it helps to reminisce about the fun times with loved ones after they have passed.

Kate
Kate

Our dog Lab/German Shepherd died at 13/14yrs old. He was happy in the morning and gone by dinner time. He just laid down and fell asleep and was gone.

Denae Davis
Denae Davis
I was a kid when we had the first dog. He passed when I was 10, but I apparently loved to play blocks and vet with him. I have a couple pictures of him laying with blocks all around and a few on top of him. When I got a little older I liked going on walks. He was super careful and wouldn’t pull me at all. My second dog was my baby. I was his person. He had some separation anxiety so he would follow me everywhere. Even if I was just going into another room for a second.… Read more »
Roger Smith
Roger Smith

I have a wonderful dog, a Staffordshire labrador cross, sweet natured and healthy. The RSPCA think she was 6 when I got her 7 years ago. Over the last 2 years her walks have become an effort and she struggles over short distances, although in her mind she thinks she’s a puppy as she gets really excited when I fetch her lead. I know it will be very difficult for me when I have to say goodbye but I appreciate every day I have with her.

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

Thank you for sharing such a sweet story with us. It sounds like she brings such joy to your life as I’m sure you bring to her’s as well. Dogs are such amazing beings and we’re so fortunate when we can build such strong relationships with them. I hope you have many more years with her and give her an extra belly rub from us here at Canine Journal! 🙂

Heather
Heather
Our Jada Pup just turned 14 this last Dec/Jan (we aren’t certain of her exact birthday but adopted her as a puppy). She is a ‘terrier mix’ ,weighs approx 45lbs, and is truly the best friend a gal (or guy) could have. She’s grown up with our 20 yr old on, helped us welcome our 11 yr old daughter home at birth, and played ‘mother hen’ to our 3 year old cat when we brought him home as a kitten. She’s definitely starting to slow down a bit in her older years but she still gets spurts of puppy energy… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

What a sweet comment. Thank you so much for sharing with us. She sounds wonderful and I hope she is around for many more years. Your family has a very special bond with her. I’m sure you’ve made her very happy as well!

Taylor
Taylor
My Nina is a little chihuahua and she hates leashes so one day I didn’t put one on her. It was early and in a court so I didn’t think about people. My friend was on the other side of the road and she was crossing the street to come to me and this big truck starts coming by. I jumped in front of the car to stop it and I had to bang on his car for him to stop. Thank god I did that. Nina is healthy and has many more years she will be turning 8 this… Read more »
Coco
Coco

I have a Yorkshire Terrier and she turned 17 on October 16th and she is absolutely amazing. Her health is great and she still has a lot more energy than expected at her age. We’ve had her since 1998 and she’s an active member of our family. I think that’s a pretty long lifespan for any dog. Having her since I was in kindergarten (now an adult), I feel like we have an irreplaceable bond.

Pherber
Pherber

Awesome! My Yorkie, Smalls, turns 10 tomorrow, and I’m panicked about him passing in three to six years. I had a schnauzer-mix that I adopted from the shelter in 1980, and he lived a very healthy life until 1998. He was at least 18 whenever I had to have him euthanized because his arthritis was very bad and I didn’t want him to suffer. I feel like Smalls is such a puppy and has at least six to eight more years left. I hope!

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

Wow, that is so wonderful! 17 years is definitely a long lifespan for any dog. I’m sure your bond is like no other. You have grown up together and shared so many things with one another. What an amazing relationship! Thank you for sharing with us. 🙂

Bruce
Bruce
My dog Mac was a 75lb. eurasier. I only gave him pure filtered water, a raw egg with a little milk mixed together every morning. Organic dog food, lots of love and exercise. He lived for 17.5 years. Since it’s against my spiritual beliefs, I do not believe in modern medicine. He never went to a vet. Never had vaccines and was beautiful, shinny and healthy up to the last few days of his life. If we can practice good diet habits, drink only pure water (tap water is the worst), try and be happy and think positively from the… Read more »
avenne
avenne
We rescued a Rough Collie in 1995. The vet told us she was about two years old. Lady started to slow down in 2005 and would have a tough time with walks. One beautiful day (summer 2008), she came all the way to the end of the park. My little guy on his tricycle was about 10 ft in front of me. Lady about the same behind me and she was so tired. All of a sudden, Lady ran past me as I heard another dog barking ahead of me. Lady put herself between the bulldog that was after my… Read more »
Michelle Schenker
Admin
Michelle Schenker

Wow Avenne! That is an amazing story of the love and loyalty shared by a dog and its family. Thank you for sharing and sending lots of love to Lady the Hero Dog across the Rainbow Bridge! <3

Candice
Candice
I have a female mixed breed border collie with pointer dog (not sure which kind) that has been spayed and she has been determined to be between 12-13 years old. She is 52 lbs, but fit. I’d say she is a medium sized dog, but by the chart is considered large. I can tell she is slowing down in her age and has developed a few black looking lumps around her face and snout so I am not sure what those are, but she has had them for about 2 years now. I feel lucky to have had her for… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

We hope she has a few more years as well Candice. Be sure to appreciate your time with her (sounds like you do) and spoil her every now in then with a trip to a dog park, an extra walk or something else she loves doing. Thanks for sharing about Candice.

Glenda
Glenda

My English bulldog died at age 10 of leukemia. Still have his sister, age 11 years 3 months and their dad died 2 weeks ago at age 12 years 8 months. Very special dogs, well loved

Jim

I just lost my min pin at 17 yrs 7 months. Is this above average as I haven’t seen that breed mentioned in any longevity articles?

Daniel
Daniel

I had a min pin that I wasn’t quite sure how old he was when I first got him. A vet determined he was about 13-14 years old, and I cared for him about 3 years before he passed away from congestive heart failure. He was full of energy all the way up until the heart failure took its toll too.

Andrea Grant
Andrea Grant
Hi Daniel, I have a Jack Russell that has also been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and he’s really not into taking pills. I have been to a couple of vets with divergence in opinion about what medication to put him on. Each has a reasonable argument but my little mate really doesn’t like taking pills. He’s onto me trying to stuff them into his food. I have been trying to find an alternative type of treatment for plaque build up like charcoal maybe. I don’t know what would work but he’s not real keen to have his teeth brushed… Read more »
Michelle Schenker
Admin
Michelle Schenker

Hi Jim,
Sorry for your loss but yes, I would say 17 years for any dog is quite exceptional! You are lucky to have had so many years with your pup.

Donna
Donna

What about Chinese Crested? Wire Hair Fox Terriers?

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