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?

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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 decade1. The top 25 are included from the AKC list from 2017.

2017 Popularity Rank

Dog Breed

Average Lifespan

1

Labrador Retriever

11 Years

2

German Shepherd

11 Years

3

Golden Retriever

11 Years

4

French Bulldog

8-10 Years

5

Bulldog

8-12 Years

6

Beagle

12-15 Years

7

Poodle

12 Years

8

Rottweiler

9 Years

9

Yorkshire Terrier

13 Years (possibly up to 20 years)

10

German Shorthaired Pointer

12-14 Years

11

Boxer

9-10 Years

12

Siberian Huskie

12-15 Years

13

Dachshund

13-15 Years

14

Great Dane

6-8 Years

15

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

12-15 Years

16

Doberman Pinscher

10-13 Years

17

Australian Shepherd

12-18 Years

18

Miniature Schnauzer

12-14 Years

19

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

9-14 Years

20

Shih Tzu

12-16 Years

21

Boston Terrier

11-15 Years

22

Pomeranian

14 Years

23

Havanese

14-16 Years

24

Shetland Sheepdog

12-13 Years

25

Bernese Mountain Dogs

6-8 Years

Life Expectancy of Dogs Infographic

Source: CanineJournal.com

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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 record2, 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 months3.

How old is your dog and what breed is it?

Sources:  [1] www.akc.org[2] ChihuahuaWardrobe.com, [3] mnn.com 

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories and more. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child. In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly's research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today.

One of Kimberly's favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs, and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

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Anita Ross
I have a schnauzer/ jack Russel mix. He is very smart, he is 6 yrs old. He’s very active, loyal, protective, and spontaneous. I love him so much.
Robert wyrick
I have a Shepard mix of Shepard /border collie and is so benign, it’s crazy.. trained by me 3 hand jesturs and 4 sounds and is almost 12. Still walks every day, eats and drink normally.. hope to get 13-14 years
Debbie Reynolds
I have a female mini foxy x chihuahua she’s 15 months old & is very active & very smart , before crossing the road Holley will sit & wait till I say OK , not fussed on meeting new people but we’re working on it , a little picky with her food she eats what we eat , chicken steak ect & sleeps with us love her bits
Keysha
Chihuahua she is 4
Tammie Mack
We have a part Ridgeback, Shepard, pitbul mix we think. She is 15 now and has been the best dog in the world! She is vary arthritic
and full of fatty cysts, but still really pretty , sharp as ever, walks slow still has all her functions, eats well, truly amazing we cherrish everyday with our “girl” SCOUT.
Pat heit
My toy Fox terrier Stuby is 12yrs will be 13 on Nov 30. Still gets around but not like he used likes to sleep and gets annoyed with 2yr old my mix Jack Russell/boxer which is understandable since Jack has a lot of JR tendency.
Jason
Our furbaby (Misty}. A chihuahua/ rat terrier mix is 21years 4months old. She is in pretty good shape. Still gets what we call is the zoomies, LOL. She runs all over the house at high speed, chasing the cats or just by herself every night for 5 to 10 minutes. She is turning pretty gray and is almost blind and deaf. She only has her front teeth left. We love her so much. Her aunt passed at 24years 5months old. Her name was Buttercup.
Debbie Reynolds
Hi Jason is your misty crossed with a mini foxy, how awesome to how a fur baby for that long, I have a 15 month old mini foxy x chihuahua , named Holley & I love her to bits , she loves the car & walks swimming in our pool your lovely Misty sounds a beautiful doggie
andrewhudson
so cute i feel so bad for her
A.Thompson
We have a Labrador/ Shiba dog mix that we adopted as a 9 week old puppy from G.A.I.N (the shelter in Guam) 13 years ago this November. Our boy has started slowing down over the past year or so, but still loves his daily walks and eats just fine. But his pace has slowed and getting up has become hard. Not ready for the day he crosses the “Rainbow Bridge”.
M.Bidwell
I have had my Great Dane for 7 1/2 years now and I think her time is slowing starting to dwindle as she doesn’t want to get up and go outside as much or eat or basically do anything. Shes the first dog I’ve ever owned, this is going to be tough on my granddaughter and myself.
P J Starling
I am a boxer owner, or rather I am owned by boxers. My first lived 10 yrs 5 months. My second 12 yrs 5 months. (He lived 20 months past what I was told to expect after they found an inoperable mass on his spleen.) I have one now that is 12 yrs 7 mos. I was hoping she would make 13, but she was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, so I don’t think that will happen. I also have a 6 yr old, and if the pattern holds true, he will make 13. With each one I learn more about nutrition and supplements.
Len
Why didn’t your dog age chart list theBasenji
Jenna
My Chihauzer (chihuahua schnauzer) I pronounce it Chi-wow-zer :), is going to be 13 this summer and is my forever puppy. She’s still full of life and energy. She has adapted well to my human child over the last 2 years of his life (she actually knew I was going into labor before I did). She did seem a bit depressed when my son first came into the world, but now she loves him and is playful and protective. I actually have to separate them at times because my son will try to sneak her snacks and she love it and him for it!
Leslie Napier-Dabrowski
My dog is a shaggy haired jack Russell terrier, I adobted her when she was 3 years old, when my daughter turned 6 yrs old. My daughter is now 22 yrs old, that makes our Sugar 19 yrs. Old!!! Her eyesight is going, but she still eats well,go to the potty, walks, and because her sense of smell is Great, she can go outside on our 4 acres, and do fine. I do however limit her time to 15 mins:). She does sleep more than she used to.
Esther
My girl who is German Shepard mixed with Husky is 14 1/2 years old. She currently has mobility problems with her hind legs..I know her time is getting closer. I dread the day when she must be put down due to pain or mobility problem. That will certainly be a very sad day for me!!
Chrissy
Hi to all of you dog lovers. My 110lb Great Dane cross English Mastiff is 13years,6mth. Shadow has been the love of my life since a puppy. My gentle giant. I think she is on the downhill slope now though. Is being treated for her arthritis and now a urinary tract infection. She still enjoys her daily walk and has a good appetite. I started her on Sashas Blend daily at 4y.o. Maybe this has helped with her health and longevity. I will miss her greatly when she goes to doggy heaven.
kitty
my dogs are mixed boxer/lab and are 9 and 11
Ceci
My dog is 7 years old. He is about 98lbs. He is a mix Great Dane, pitBull at least that what we believe. I can’t imagine my life with out him. He is such a gentle giant so Caring and loving.
Morgan
My dog is a chihuahua rat terrier mix and is 15 years old! She’s still going strong
Gavyn
My dog is 9 and is a mix poodle and York is how much longer will she be on earth???????
Amy
Hi, I’m rescuing a Shitzu that’s 16 years old. Her owner passed away and she’ll have to go to a shelter where she will likely be put down. How much longer could she live if she’s in good health?
Any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
Amy
Lol
2 years
Tino
Hi all. I’m finally feeling better (feb2019), from seeing this page, and all who loveNcare for their whoppers (pets). My little muscley legs Jonny boy, 14 years old fox terrier (given a loving home since he was 3mths old), was finding it very difficult to be his usual self during december & xmas 2018. He was not his best to celebrate his 15th birthday. Praying for a miracle, I rushed him to the emergency vets at 1.30am. He was not his usual self and just wanted to remain on the bed. Was so sad for me knowing that in that month of december, he lost his appetite for all his favourite treats and dinners, and was breathing odd and lathargic, his skin flacid, yet he always had his ears up to know my whereabouts. I carried him to the car. At the ER, the doctor took details from me about Jonny’s weak ability. A blood test from Jonny, that revealed nothing out of the ordinary, but had a serious heart fluctuation and not ruling out other causes because of his age. Returning to me with my little muscley legs Jonny boy, she said that the cost to fully diagnose would be exorbidant and at his age may pass away during the process. Providing me with the only last option, euthanasia. Giving me time to examine and prepare to give Jonny into god’s hands, for about an hour I comforted Jonny alone and wishing him better in his afterlife, and, thanked him for his love, for making my life worthwhile, and, for all the occasions and over 200,000klm journeys & travel destinations in the car that was undertaken during the later 6 years of his life. The doctor returned for my answer, I was ever so sad and crying, having to advise to give him calmitive/sleeping injection firstly to make Jonny comfortable. He soon went to sleep in my warm arms. When I sensed that he was comfortable and asleep, I then had to give the final and saddest consent. The sad event followed my best human friend passing away 2 days prior. I am now all alone, but need to rethink about rescuing/adopting again as my physical condition is deteriorating, which making me more at loss. My little muscley legs Jonny boy, will never be forgotten, and was laid to final rest at our favourite home/site by the ocean. In Loving Memory xxooxx.
Trish Sinis
Well there goes the tears!! I know the pain of losing a pet, I often could not be friends or remain friends with people who were cruel to their animals. It’s good to know people care.
JoeyMarie
My Bella is 16 years and 4 months. She acts like she’s not a day past puppyhood! Although, some days she groans a bit, usually with the colder weather. We just recently lost her best friend, our Lhasa Apso, Tinker and she has taken is very hard. We’re trying to keep her a bit more active so she starts sleeping through the night again. She started crying at night which she never did before losing Tinker. Breaks my heart to know she is so sad. I just hope she knows just how much she is loved so when it comes to be her time she can go feeling like she had the best life possible. Now I’m crying. Lol.
Tino
Am heart felt with sorrow. I hope you find comfort in knowing that you given them a loving home and a wonderful happy life. xxooxx
Vee
My 1st dog, Tessie, an Australian cattle dog mix, lasted 16 years and 9 months. My current dog Amber, is a medium sized mix, is about to celebrate her 14th birthday.
Julie
My boy is now 18 and 7 months. He is a mixture of some of these older breeds mentioned so can confirm its true.
His mother had 2 Australian Cattle breeds and Corgi. Father is unknown, a scruffy terrier cross.
I suspect there may have been some Chihuahua because his sister was half his size and looked a lot like one.
She and their mother lived to 16 and died from bowel complications which I now make sure my boy doesn’t.
Best combo of food I have found is kangaroo mince & rice with vegetable scraps. Perfect poos every day.
He can’t see but is still very sparky with quick reflexes. And lots of love and the security of being there for them really helps when they are older.
Dissa
My baby was almost 13, she was a Doberman
I now own my brother’s dog who is half chihuahua, he weighs about 30 lbs I think (half chihuahua half larger dog) he’s 5 or 6 now
Gabby
Just put down my 14 year old husky/shepherd mix last week. He lived a long, healthy life. Towards the end of his life he got real slow and struggled with arthritis. It’s been a week and I miss him so much! Seven months ago I had to put down my 9.5 year old golden retriever. He was diagnosed with a mass tumor (chondrosarcoma) the day he turned 8. He went through surgery, chemo, and radiation. He was resilient, never showed signs of disease until his last few days. It has been a painful year for me. I am now left with a 12.5 year old terrier mix. Just today I took him to the vet and he has a lump in his groin area. The vet is concerned it might not be benign. He has follow up appointments next week. Hoping for good news.
Karen
So sorry for your losses. I just lost my cat of 13 1/2 years to cancer. It was so sudden which made it that much harder. I know it will get better for both of us, sending love and healing your way.
Lisa Loves Blue
I am devastated I just loss my fur baby name Blue on Weds I am so heart broken I had Blue sense he was 8 weeks old and he would have been 11 in February the same month I was born. I am at a lost. I cry all the time. Blue has been with me through thick and thin he has traveled 3 states and live there with me. Words can’t explain how I feel. Please say a prayer for me. I miss Him so much. Aww Blue 🙁
Victor Blevins
So sorry, I lost my best friend last year and still not over it. God bless you for giving your best friend a great life.
Doug and Marcia Barry
I am so sorry to hear that, we do know how you feel, no need to find the words, there are none.It has been six months since we lost our little friend and we still cry at times when we talk about him.Oscar lived for 12 years, and passed from congestive heart failure. Loving these little angels is truly a double edged sword.
Mark Johnson
My wife n 2 kids never had a dog in early yrs of our family life. I grew up on a farm w 40 horses and at least 4 dogs n 10 cats so we had alot at moms to look after when visiting often. We moved to a single family home w a big fenced yard fromour first home, a small townhome in north beach md. We rescued rexy. A lab beagle mix at 6 mo old and he is the most lovable and smartest dog we ever experienced. We went on to adopt another, Sebastian a super sweet 4 year old beagle from the local rescue. He needed love as he was kept outside and had filthy teeth dirty infected ears and slightly emaciated. He’s now as fit as a fiddle and loves running howling and sniffing catching moles.
We added patty my sons dog, to the bunch. a super energy 1 year old choco lab jack Russel mix . She can leap onto a 4 ft tall deck.
Unreal having 3 pups.. love every day god gives us to share our love.

Hugs

lin
We just lost our 10 year old dog last month. We have been spoiled because all of our dogs have always lived to be 13, 14 or 15. She did have an active life though and was only sick for the last 6 days of her life. We adopted her late in her life when she was 7 years old. The other day we adopted a coon hound from the shelter. October is a Adopt a Dog Shelter month. She is 7 but very active. I realized from now on I want to adopt the older dogs that get passed by at the shelter. Yes, we wont have them in our lives as long as a younger dog, but we will be able to help that many more dogs. EVERY dog deserves a solid, forever home. Our new dog came from a hoarding situation. The shelter gave us records and it showed she had hundreds of ticks on her, had a bad ear infection, bad gums, needed a root canal, and had three missing teeth! Except for the missing teeth, which you cant see unless you really look way in her mouth, you would never know she had been in such bad shape. She had tapeworms too. She is a sweetie, easily trainable and is starting to give out kisses.
Jody Klemz
I have a dachshund he’s 21
Hannah
I have a brown terrier mix, just turned 16 last week.
GR Peterson
I had a Cav. King Charles(Lady Bea),
She lived only 7.5yrs
Due to a heart valve issue.(a common problem in this breed).
It’s been about 2.5yrs. now since She passed…I miss her a lot and am starting to look for another little girl(dog), I live in a 5th…of 6 floors 1Bd apt.(450 sq.ft.)
with a “slow” elevator. Any thoughts on a good easy to house train for me?
Drea
My labrador / golden retriever mix died today at 15 and a half , good old age
Maddy
I had two dogs growing up, one was found on the street, and we believe he was a yellow jab mix with something else, he was a year older then I was and he passed away when I was 9, so he was ten. I also had another dog at that time, and she is a Basset hound and chocolate lab mix, she is very short, chubby, and a dork, she does not exercise very much. She is around 10, both dogs were rescues so we didn’t know what their age exactly was, but we knew it was around there. But anyway, I don’t know around when she would pass, so can anyone help me?
Patricia Nunemaker
I have a 30 pound Jack Russell Terrier mix who is 13 1/2 years old and still going strong. He had a sprained ACL once years ago and that is the only time he has been injured or sick for that matter. Veterinarian told me he will probably live another 2-3 years.
Cat
Our family pet Sophie passed away yesterday. She was an 8 year old Mastiff Lab mix and was around 85-90 pounds. She was fine on Tuesday and then started acting mopey on Wednesday, she didn’t eat her food on Thursday and then was dead before noon on Friday. Upon closer inspection of her yard today, it appeared she had not been drinking much water. I saw her Friday morning and she looked ok. We went out to feed her in the afternoon and she was laying under her favorite shade tree and she was gone. We aren’t sure what happened to her.
Emily
It sounds like your dog was an outdoor dog… such a shame and very sad she died alone
Juicy’s Mommy.
Poor dog was left alone to long. A family Pet Lives with The Family. Not outside unattended. Dies, Under a tree in the shade? No problem using the word Dead so freely. Not upset at all. Poor Sophie. Needed to see a vet. > last words. We aren’t sure what happened to her….
This person doesn’t seem to care. My dog passed 14 months ago and I’m still overwhelmed. That’s how I ended up here.
Karen
I agree with you Juicy’s mom. Dogs are pack animals, not meant to be left outside without their family.
Donna
Actually it sounds peaceful under her fav tree, plus some naturally want to be alone at the end. Bless you for loving her.
Gwen
People are ridiculously judgemental. I’m very sorry that your dog passed away. Thank you for caring for her at your house, rather than leaving her at a shelter or letting her be euthanized. Don’t pay any attention to the negative comments, and enjoy your memories of your pet.
Caroline
Judgemental? Use whatever word you want…but poor Sophie was an OUTSIDE DOG which is just not ok. This from her prior owner: “Upon closer inspection of her yard today”. Huh??? Her yard? OMG. Family members do not live outside. Don’t get a dog if you don’t know how to care for them. Period.
Carley
I have an 11yr old Husky Shepard mix
He was rescued at 6mo to 1yr old. Had him for 10 yrs now. He’s slowing down and gets moody like an old man but I hope to still have a few more yrs with him.
I also have a 4yr old moose (chocolate lab) I’ve seen in groups for lab lovers that their lives are really unpredictable some die young some live the average life expectancy. I know it will hurt to loose either one of them but I am truly blessed to have them with me every day of their beautiful lives
James Reynolds
I have a 4 year old Australian Shepherd pit bull mix.
Someone had thrown her out in my neighborhood when she was about 3 weeks old, not weaned, skin and bones and full of worms.
My wife found her when she saw my neighbors dog picking her up and throwing her around.
I took her to the vet, got rid of her worms and got all of her shots.
She’s now a 45lb spoiled rotten little brat lol!
She has separation anxiety and won’t let me or my wife out of her sight.
She’s our baby.
I was just wondering if anyone knows what the average lifespan of an Australian Shepherd pit bull mix.
If anything happens to her it’s going to kill me and my wife.
Emily
You are amazing and it brings me so much joy to hear stories like yours. All animals deserve to be spoiled rotten.
Rachel
I took in my friend’s dog Rocky, he is Akita and Australian Shepherd mix and he’s 14 years old, 15 in next may!
He’s slow and grumpy and hard of hearing but still pulls the leash like a 2 year old!
He would be about 65lbs, arthritic, has an enlarged lymphoma, benign little tumors on his body (can’t do anything, too old) but other then that healthy and happy and not in pain.
So I’m sure you’ll have many years together with her.
Rocky looked rough when I got him several months ago and I thought I’d give him a few good months of getting pampered (he lived outside before on a chain) and so I walked him, fed him good food and good people food, he plays with my two little dogs and I think he could go for 16 years easily now! Just taking care of your dog can add years 🙂
Jeff
We have a Aussie mix with a little bit of pit bull, she is 12 and rapidly going down hill. Only Soltice is that she has a good home, lots of cookies and slowing down rapidly. Her legs are giving out and soon it will be time to put her down and let her suffering end, only because I love her too much for her to suffer. Told her to wait for me in heaven.
ashley
I have a 10 year old mix-breed. His name is Moose. He is a combo of Labrador and Boarder Collie. He weighs approximately 115 pounds. He is very active and still plays like hes just a pup!
John
We had a Australian cattle dog. She lived for 18 years. What a great dog and our family had a blast with her, but not a first time dog owners dog.
franklin alexander
i did have a litter dog it was chihuahua he just pastway 21 day ago and he was 16yr and 9mon.old but he wood eat the same thin i did i wood like too say more about hem but it hurt me too know he going away foe good i do miss hem he was my bestfriend and all way will..ty
Juicy’s Mommy
Hi Franklin, I can tell tell by your words you were suffering the loss. I’m very sorry. You had 16 great years with your baby. My little Yorkie passed suddenly at 9 years old. It was sept 17th 2017. I’m still missing her. I hope u are healing. God Bless you!
deb
I have a 13 year old sheltie and we think something is wrong with him. He has gone deaf but now we will take him on walks and he just plops over on his side for awhile then gets up like nothing is wrong. any idea
Karen
Have vet check for brain tumor.I had an animal once that did that
Marianne Hicok
I have two mixed breed dogs that are half rat terrier and half Shetie. The girls weighs 16 pounds and the boy weighs 20. They are 12 years old and in overall good health. The boy does have the nail disorder Lupoid Onchondostrohy, and takes medicine for this chronic condition that causes deterioration of his nails but does effect anything else. The reason for my question about life expectancy for these two is that I would like to rescue another dog, likely a senior dog. I understand there is no crystal ball and I pray my babies live another 8 years or so! But if I thought they might only have another couple years I think I would think long and harder about bringing another dog into our family. Not sure if this makes sense to anyone.
Erica
I volunteered for a small dog rescue group for a while. Ended up adopting one of my fosters…Nico. Rescue. Had a hard life. Skin and bones when he was rescued. No teeth. Lower jaw gone as the result of decay and neglect, etc. No one wanted him. True age at adoption unknown. (15 or 16?) He was mine for only 3 years. Died a natural old age death. I miss him VERY much. But I will be forever greatful that he was with ME for those last few years. And would do it again in a heartbeat. He was finally loved, and spoiled, and happy. He deserved to know true love and a pac family that accepted him as is, even if it was just for a little while. (He especially got along with my Pit. They were buddies). Worth EVERY short minute. Sure….think long and hard….about giving a senior dog a chance to know love before it’s to late. It’s all about compassion for a species of animal who have given SO MUCH to the human race. Take a risk and give back.
Kelly
You are a great person! U have inspired me to adopt an older dog too!
Trish Sinis
I am devasted by the loss of all my babies through the years, having had a dog(s) throughout my lifetime. I love to hear someone gave the dog love the last part of his life. God Bless !! Dogs are a gift from God, knowing man would never be as loyal.
Emily
Erica — it’s so sad your dog had to suffer so many years but it brings a smile to my face hearing that you did everything to ensure your baby received all the love and care in the world as he should have from day one. Please keep saving lives. Wish there were more people like you.
Juicy’s Mommy
Omg, you brought tears to my eyes. You are an Angel. Senior dogs deserve the same chance as a puppy. I wish I could save them all. I hate what this world does to animals.
Patricia Bock
My Miniature-Pincher is 20 years old this past May 1st 2018. She weighs approximately 20 lbs and is 13 “ y’all. She still patrols our yard and can run short distances, climb the stairs, and jump on the couch on a good day. She is now deaf, has severe cataracts, and has lost some teeth but she always wants to go on walks. Our vet. said she is the healthiest 20 year old he has ever seen.
Her name is Beebee and with us since she was 8 weeks old. Never boarded, she had in home sitters, a large fenced yard, hiked in the mountains and lived in the house.
Kennetha Higdon
I have a 10 yr 5 month German Shepard names Bo. We just about lost him last yer to Spotted Rocky Mountain Fever. Thank goodness our Vet. brought him out of it. We was so close to losing him. He is close to his life expectancy. I walk him everyday any where from 2 to 4 miles, Im really hoping this will keep our baby around longer than expected. He is mine and my husbands baby. He is spoiled by both of us. He is some over weight though 140 pds.Starting to get slower on steps. I love him so much, he is a indoor/outdoor dog. So much I can say about him. This is my first post. I could write a letter about him. Ill stop here and post again soon. Thanks for letting me share.
Sisser
I would like to mention on the subject of hybrid health in dogs it depends on the parent breeds I have a German shepherd husky mix both parent breeds are known to get lupus and he has it, if the parent breeds are prone to different problems they have half the chance at twice the problems and if they have the same problems they are just as likely as a purebred, after all they’re not really hybrid they’re the same species. My boy is 14 and I’ve had him since he was 5 he’s always had some inflammation around his spine which causes some rear end weakness and potty problems but other than the lupus he has no health issues
Bill
Just put down our yorkie, Ti Amo (we called her Tia). She was 14 yrs and 3 mos. She developed a mass in her lung and had a congestive heart condition both came on suddenly (2-3 week span). The vet said she may have been able to hang on for may-be a couple of weeks but we didn’t want her to suffer. We also have a little male yorkie Jo Jo 13 yrs 10 mos old. Tia weighed slightly less than 5 lbs Jo slightly more than 5 lbs. We are crushed by the loss of Tia even though we knew she was getting up in age and hope that Jo is with us for at least 2 more yrs (AT LEAST).
sandra
Dogs break your heart when they die. They can be so special. Your pet had good owners and I wish you all well.
Pam
I just lost my precious pug at age 13.5. He diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis five months to dealth and would live longer if i didnt take him to specialist that put him on new medication.
He was coping with diease very well but no cure
My romeo died of aspiration pneumonia. And it was hardest thing to put him done to end his suffer. Romeo was happy and strong pug and not sure where this diease came from. We miss him dearly
Lisa
I have a Lowchen ( little lion dog) she is 16 in July. She is on the usual pain killers for her legs but generally speaking she is doing well. She isn’t the most common if breeds and I wondered what was her general life span.
She is very spoilt though I keep her on a low fat diet to keep the weight off her legs. Lol
Carl Williamson
Very informative. My seven-month-old pup is a mixed breed; the dam is a border collie but I am not sure which breed the sire is. She is a pretty small dog and lightening fast. I will do my part to ensure she lives a long life.
kevin
i just lost my dog a week ago he was a 10yrs 3months pitbull he was a joy to be around he gave me some much joy and love really mis him a lot kane i really love you wish i can turn the clock back.
Marie
We have two pug mixes (the oldest is now 17 years, 3 months and the younger is 15 years, 3 months). Both have really started to go downhill over the last year and we don’t believe there’s much time left for either of them. It’s been hard on all of us and we can’t seem to agree on letting nature take it’s course or being pro active.
god
oh my god this is hilarious. your article starts by saying larger breeds live longer, when 80% of that first list has the smaller breeds living longer. and then your second set of stats just drive this fact home by showing nothing but large breeds as having SHORT life expectancies. oh man…
Ben
I just lost my pug, Molly, who was just about a month shy of 15 years old this last Friday. I am broken and don’t know how I can go on. She was all I had.
c Anderson
You will see your beloved dog again.
Ben
Thanks! I guess I would go crazy if I didn’t believe that as well!
Marie Smith
PLEASE adopt ASAP the rescues and animal shelters are loaded with beautiful pets waiting for there NEW forever family and home! My sister (dog lover) recommended this for me after the loss of my beloved pup of 16+ years! It was great advice! I now have three pups which I adopted 2 years apart! They have been a wonderful addition to our home!
kevin
i lost my dog a week ago 10yrs 3months pitbull he was a joy to be around very playful really mis him a lot wish i can change the hands of tine love you kane.
Dee
I am so sorry for your loss. I can totally relate. I lost my pug, Elvis, on 1/22/18 to a sudden respiratory infection. He just turned 8 this past November. I’m having a really difficult time with it because I was certain we’d have another 3-5 years with him. I swear at times I can hear him snore and him loudly cleaning his paws. There are times, out of the blue, that I just burst into tears. It’s rough. He was my baby.
Ben
So sorry about your Elvis! When they are taken so young there is no rhyme or reason for it. I lost my first pug, Bailey at only two years old, of Pug Dog Encephalitis. I was inconsolable. I was able to get Molly only a couple of days later. I was going out of my mind. Getting Molly so soon helped me through that grief. Those almost 15 years went by so fast. It’s been two weeks and I’m still crying everyday. I too, can still sense Molly’s presence at different times of the day. It’s hard to describe, but for split seconds at a time throughout the day I’ll think she’s still here and think of putting fresh water down, or reaching for a treat. I don’t know what I’m gong to do now. I just have to focus on the good times we shared over the years. I hope you’ll be able to do the same. Forums like this seem to help, It’s good to know you are not alone.
Iara
#save the pugs
LLBigwave
I have two American Cocker Spaniels from the same litter. They are 12 and still act like puppies sometimes.
shannon magill
I have a beagle cross with a springer named beauty she’s 9 years old and I love her to bits she’s absolutely amazing
Debbie
I also have a beagle cross with a springer she is also 9 years old
Michael
I also have a beagle, “Shiloh”. She’s just about 14 and has lived with SARD (Sudden Acute Retina Deficiency) for the last 5 years. She’s been completely blind for the last 5 years.
Patty
My Dozer is half boston and half smooth fox terrior. Ive had him since he was 12 weeks old. He is just over 10yrs old now. I’ve noticed how gray his face has become when compared to pictures ive take in the past. He’s a lil’ old man now. I know he wont live forever, but i cant imagine my life without him. Anyone know how long a mix breed like him typically lives? Any tips to keep him healthy and happy and to extend those years? He is neutered and eats a healthy corn free diet. We visit the vet regularly. Any other tips to extend his years are much appreciated. Thanks! ~Patty
Fred & Christine
Our Jack Russell, Patches, just passed away last month at 16 yrs 10 mths. His play and hunting mate, Buttons, lived for 15 yrs. We spared no vet expense as they were our babies. Our family feels broken…
Lee
We had a sheltie border/ collie cross that died when she was 20. We also had a chesapeake bay retriever/ golden lab cross that died when she was 11 (after giving her insuline shots for a year and a half). Growing up we had mixed breed dogs that lived to be 17-19 years old. i think mixed breed is the way to go.
Darlene Lubienski
I have a basset hound named “Mandy” who is about to turn 14 years old next month. She had bloat over the summer and almost died. My vet said she had a 50/50 chance of living through the surgery. She is now thriving and looks great. The surgeon said she never did bloat surgery on a dog that old. Mandy runs around the yard with my new puppy “Winnie” who is a black lab and is 9 months old. I love my dogs to death and treat them like my children.
Adrean Parks
Love your dog till the end and when u go. They will be there to help you find your way. With love to show they missed you more than you know. And never left your side.
Adrean Parks
Awww Im so sorry for everyone who has lost their best friend’s. I have a pugapoo her name is Christal she is 11 as of now and my best friend i love her so much. I am a deaf woman. And she has been my friend since she turned 6 weeks old I cry just thinking of the day I will have to say goodbye. She is so close to me I don’t believe any human has been closer. I feel when she goes my whole life should go with her I don’t know about how other people feel about this topic but I know one look and me and her understand each other. Losing her will be so very hard on me I would rather just faded away from the world like I never existed then feel the pain of losing her. Life isn’t fair and I pray one day when I have to go that she be there for me waiting to be by my side forever.
Mr.
“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 […]”

Studies show it can help but other studies show that it may not help? What is the conclusion after all?

You can find all kinds of papers showing all kinds of result, but you’ll find a tendency towards a goal.

Rick Osbourne
My little mix breed dog ( terry poodle ) has a heart murmur but at 18 years has a long life. She is weak but still eats and goes out to use the bathroom.
Susan Nunes
Why does this myth that “mixed breed” dogs live longer persist? It is not true at all. It doesn’t even make sense. It needs to be thrown into the garbage can. I truly believe this myth has been promoted by rescue groups and so-called “animal rights” activists (the latter opposes pet ownership as “slavery” so that should tell you what they are really about) as a way to discourage people from contacting breeders and instead go to shelters, where there are a disproportionate number of “mixed breed” dogs.

You see, with a purebred, you educate yourself as to the possible health issues of that breed and prepare accordingly. With a “mix,” you have NO idea what you are getting. Considering many of these dogs are imported from other countries, the chances of getting a dog that will not live long increase.

I have a nephew who has had nothing but mixed breed dogs, and only ONE ever lived to an old age, meaning 13. All of the other dogs have died young. The two purebred dogs I have had lived to be around 14 or older. So no thanks to “mixed breeds.” I will get a purebred.

Lily Young
The reason why purebred dogs generally speaking have shorter life-spans (which they do – this is irrefutable, it’s just statistics) is because, in order to produce a dog with very specific features, or ‘breed standards’, you have to selectively breed. The more generations are selectively bred, the smaller the gene-pool becomes. By doing this you can produce puppies with more desirable features by only choosing parents with those features to increase the chance of them being passed down to the offspring. However, when you create a smaller and smaller gene-pool by inbreeding like this, you inevitably also pass down unwanted features as well, such as the health problems that a huge proportion of purebred dogs will have.
You can’t argue with the fact that the breeding of purebred dogs leads to a smaller gene-pool, and the fact that this leads to health problems and shorter life-spans is just basic genetics unfortunately.
This is why you NEVER see inbreeding and ‘purebred’ animals in the wild – they have evolved to out-breed to broaden the gene-pool. In the rare instances where you see inbreeding in the wild it always has a direct effect on the health and life-expectancy of the individuals of that population, and is never done through choice but rather because they are forced to do so.
For example, lions in Africa are now unable to broaden their gene-pools by mixing with other sub-species of lion as humans have inhabited so many various areas in Africa that different groups of lions are now unable to get to one another to breed as they won’t cross into the humans’ land. This has led to their gene-pool becoming smaller and to them becoming weaker and weaker with shorter lives.
I understand that your nephew’s dogs may have lived shorter lives than your own, but you can’t base a scientific theory on such a small sample size, you would have to look at the lives of hundreds and hundreds of cross-breeds compared to mixed-breeds, which fortunately a lot of people have, and the findings have shown that mixed-breeds are far more likely to live long and healthy lives.
Chris H
Got it in one Lily, genetics won’t allow thorough breeds to live longer and can lead to some defects further down the line.
Marlee Aldukhil
I know what you’re talking about but mixed breeds get a chance to they weren’t asked to be born only that stupid individuals who breed these types of dogs because they’re trying to make money out of whatever kind of dog they can get and pass them as purebred sometimes but I have a mix of dogs I have purebreds and I have mixed dogs and all of them I love I do not breed my dogs and most of them are older dogs so whatever dog you have mix or purebred love them don’t leave them just because they get older and they don’t look like the type of dog you want when it was a puppy.
Trisha
I am home bound and in a wheelchair due to an accident. I lost my pal Dudley a few weeks ago. He was a Bichon Frise and the best thing I could ever have in my life. He had a heart murmur but was doing fine. that morning he would not lift his head and would not eat I called the emergency Squad they said they would be right here but did not come for three and a half hours Dudley passed away in my arms with my hugging him and telling him that I loved him and please not to go. I am in terrible pain. My doctor suggest that I get a new pet because he does not want me to be without the companionship I don’t know what to do. My heart is broken I cannot eat I cannot sleep my thoughts are constantly about Dudley. He was with me since he was 8 weeks old I couldn’t let him go I was holding him kissing him praying for a miracle singing to him like I used to when he was a puppy it was one of the most painful days in my life and I fell two stories through a building and have had 27 operations in the last 7 years. I fought to stay alive because my buddy was waiting for me. I’m now I’m suffering.
Eileen
All dogs are lovely i have just said night night to mybeautiful buddy boy who was seven and three quarters he was rottweiller cross bernese golden retriever, amd real big he went to sleep 21/7/17.we are heartnrokem,how do you get over it
Eileen
Hello
Barbara
I’ve just adopted a very bouncy Rottweiler x .She’s six years old and I know we may not have her for very long but we intend to make every day count for her.
Eric Purkey
My dog that was half Doberman Pincher half Black Lab live to Age 15 died two months ago
Courtney
My dog Puck is a lahasa apso in which I have had since the 3rd grade. We got him when he was 2yrs old and we were only suppose to babysit him for a month or so due to his owner being 9months pregnant. When she came to pick him up she saw how happy and loving we were towards him and that my family had a large backyard in which she lived in an apartment- she decided to let us have him for FREE. He has been the best gift in my life. He is 18yrs old and is a MIRACLE DOG! On Saturday he fell from my apartment balcony 5 stories high and survived! He landed on the mulch. No broken bones, fractures, or anything. Doctor says it’s amazing how he survived especially with his age. He is stiff walking around which is also due to his arthritis but he has an appetite, poops and pees fine and still loves his cuddles and walks. I feel so sad because I know his time is coming soon, especially after the crazy fall. I feel guilty. I love him so much and I can’t imagine life without him. He’s such a warrior dog! I know one day soon I will have to put him down because he is a FIGHTER and will do anything to stay on this world with me. I just don’t want him to wake up in pain everyday. I wish he could talk to let me know what to do. From laying in bed with me while I study vocabulary note cards for my quizzes in 3rd grade all the way up to watching me get ready for work in my own apartment in my 24yrs…he has literally watched me grow up into the woman I am today. Dogs are such an amazing blessing and I thank God for such a great companion. I have now realized that to live in this world you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it
go.
Dorothy
I have an 11 yr. 6 mos. Maltese named Annie. When my mom passed I bought her and named her after my mom, Annie. She has never been sick until this year.She has cushing desease and growths just below her anus. The vet cleaned the growth and stitched her blood vessel as it kept bleeding. Since this was done 3 days ago she cannot poop. The vet thinks the growth has spread and I can’t put her through operations and pain with the other problems she has. She is up in years for her breed. I love her enough to stop her agony. Tomorrow may be the day we part. I am 82 yrs. of age and finding it very difficult to take care of daily chores. This is the hardest decision I may have to make.
Juicy’s Mommy.
Dorothy, I don’t think anyone replied to you. I’m sorry. If you get this message please let us know what happened. This is my first day here. I have had 2 Maltese dogs. 1 still living with my mom. My little dog had Cushings. She was a Yorkie. I lost her at 9 years old. I found this site tonight. I hope you are well. Very sad reading all these stories.
R. Liford
Hey Canine Journal: Ever hear of the Collie? Rough and Smooth? Unbelievable that you left out that breed! Probably too young to remember Lassie — but still……
J Ravi
My German shepherd left us on 10/05/17. He born on 17/03/2004. He was with us for thirteen long years. Age related problems like getup and climbing steps are the major problems. But still managed for some days. Finally left us with a reason of front right leg swelling and after treatment it got cured and back left leg swells a lot. Vet Doctor gave him injection and after half an hour I gave him milk with cerelac and medicine. After half an hour he called me to assist him to move and I helped him to get up and walked the place where he always rest. With in a minute his soul left. We miss him a lot. May his soul rest in peace.
Phoebe
i’m 12 and my dog is a shih tzu x bichon and I think he is starting to get deaf because when I call his name he never hears me even when I am shouting at him, and his fur is starting to turn white.. I love him so much and I don’t want him to die yet. At the moment he is I think 10 and I’m not sure if he is going to suddenly die or if he has a couple more years left.
bobby
you have shih frise! DAMN! DAS KEWL!
Tee
Phoebe, All you can do is love your fur baby as long as he lives, just as he will love you the same length of time. We all get infirm and pass away, but the love never changes. I hope you have years left with your sweet boy, but if you can consult your vet and let them know you are concerned. He or she will probably be able to answer your questions and help you with your worries better than anyone else. If your boy is still getting around, and not in pain, it will help you to know. Your vet can advise you of what to watch for that are signs he is getting ready to go. My first dog I got when I was about 5 and I had him until my senior year of high school. He had been mostly deaf for years before he passed. He had white patches on top of his head and a spot where his back met his tail turned white, too, but he still stayed with me a few years beyond that. I wish you and you baby boy the best.
Petty
I have two beautiful blue pits they are about 18 & 19 years old. They are so stiff to get up , an it’s a bit difficult for them to walk at times. There cute faces are all gray now ,an Ceno’s eyes have become cloudy in color . I’m sure he is having a difficult time hearing us as well . Dollar the 18 yr old seems to be able to see an hear great still. I’m sad to read that they might be enjoying the last moments in there life. My children said we will not replace Ceno or Dollar, when there gone . We agree it would be impossible they were perfect in every way when pups ,teens adults an are still now as old as they are.
bobby
are you sure they are pits? wink wink
Tee
It is sad that you will not replace them when they are gone. I know it is hard to try and love a new fur faced baby, but I believe that as unconditionally loving as pets are, especially dogs, they would choose to have you rescue someone new from a pound who otherwise would have no life, no home, no one to love them. I have tried both ways.

I spent 6 years without any fur baby after my first dog passed when I was 18. I could not face getting another dog. I thought it was betraying his love. Finally, after those years, I adopted a cat from a friend who was moving and could not take him overseas to the military base. When this rescued cat that I spent 14 years loving, passed of cancer at 19 years old, a mere four months before I lost my beloved husband unexpectedly, I thought I was done forever with loving those who could pass before me Five years later, I found one of my current babies after he was dumped in my work parking lot. He is my 3 1/2 legged, cross-eyed Myrddin kitty. He needed a home and my three young sons and I had one to share. He has been with us for over 14 years now, his wife, Morrigan, joined us barely a year later. Their son, Herne, we lost to disease two months ago, we had him for barely 12 years. My dad’s dog, Flo’go, whom I inherited in 2010, is now nearing her end. Our last baby is a dog who found our home one night at almost 2 a.m. while I was outside with Flo’go enjoying the stars. After weeks of lost and found posters and online postings at the city website, no one ever claimed him, so we named him Stolichnaya, Stoli for short as he is a hard licker. He joined the family in 2012.

Each time we add a beloved furry family member, as a rescue, we bond as we love on them and share stories with them, of the ones who came before them. It does not lessen the impact of the love we had for the others. I will always remember and cherish my first ever love Brownie, I got as a young child, and my Siamese Snowshoe, Sinatra whom the boys crawled after but rarely caught as babies and toddlers during his last three years with us. However, we know how many animals never find a home from the shelters, so we bring another home. We grieve and we move on.

Over the years, we lost a beloved black lab mix, Irish, and a beautiful fluffy brown mutt-girl Cookie to heart disease, but we keep opening up and taking fur babies in because if we do not rescue them, give them homes and love them, who will?

PENNI
I had an puppy-mill rescued Pug that showed all the signs of severe inbreeding. She was blind at birth and went deaf at 5. She had horrible health problems her whole life and constant allergies to foods and bedding, but lived to the ripe old age of 16 and A HALF when we finally decided to euthanize. I always wonder how long she might have gone, but I always felt she had a good, long life.
Ash
I kinda wish I didn’t look at this now at this. my dog is around9-10 and he’s a Catahoula/Irish wolfhound and now I’m slighty worried. But hes been acting the same as he did when he was a puppy so I’m not sure if I should be worried or not.
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 t@ urine). She started in tramadol for pain today. The only think she will eat is home boiled chicken and rice., and Treats to sneak the pills in. Appetite stopped 4-5 days ago. Still drinking water. Do I give her surgery and give her a chance to live longer or do I let her live her life out naturally give her a comfortable death ?
Abby is 11 1/2 , 43.5 pounds border collie lab mix with Doberman (A total guess at her bread). Please advise. I need all the help I can get to make this horrible decision.
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.
Debbie
We have had 2 cats with breasts cancer. One cat we had operated on and the cancer came back within 8 months and with a vengeance. Ask your Vet about Fentanyl Pain Patches for your dog. They helped our one cat so very much. They are expensive but you can use Good Rx for discounts. No one knows what’s best, but if I could do it all over again I would not have operated on our one cat. She was in bad pain and it did not extend her life that much. The Cancer broke through the skin and was so painful. I feel for you. Just love her as much as possible and know that you are doing the best. My thoughts are with you. I just happened upon our post. We have 3 dogs and 18 cats (all rescues). They are part of the family like Abby is to you. Thank you for caring so much for her. I think a lot of the operation decision would depend on the size of the tumor. Cats and dogs may be different.
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
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.
Courtney
Hi Heather,

My dog is 18yrs old too! He’s about 14lbs and is a lahasa apso. I say as long as your dog walks around the house every now and then (not a lot but just enough so they’re not sleeping in one spot all day) and as long as they still have an appetite and can go on walks- I would guess another 1-2yrs. I’m no expert, just an idea.

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
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 interest of the dogs at heart
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 to realize it was there. The vet gave him a 50/50 chance of survival with surgery. We decided not to do surgery so he wouldn’t have to suffer. The vet gave him 6 months to live….

That was 2 years ago, he’s now 12 years old. The cancer has gotten worse, he has limited jaw movement. Just enough to drink and eat. The cancer has started to grow behind his eye, bulging it out. The thing is, he’s acting fine, like nothing is wrong. He gets excited and jumps around when it’s time for his walks, and still plays with my young daughter. The thing is, is this cruelty for not euthanizing him or should I let him live out the rest of his life. How do I know if he’s in pain? Would he actually cry out? And who am I to say “well I guess it’s time you get euthanized” Any suggestions?

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.
Killthatwitch
How long do husky Rottweiler’s live
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 in to the vet and they found the injury …put her on Clavamox and now an injectable antiobiotic as they said she wasnt healing to their expectation after 1 week. She wont eat ..lost 20% of her body weight in the last couple months. Im afraid this vet may be clueless and may lose her to their incompetence. They are doing more bloodwork but Im very concerned. Please pray for Gilly.

Jrp
I feel for you and your dog but I think the hardest decision is to put ur dog down. You love your dog enough to not see it threw this pain. It maybe the best thing for ur dog. I recently had to put mine down after 17 years n i should have done it a cpl years earlier as max was in rough shape but we loved him .
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
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 claim is the average life span.
Do yourself a favor, three million dogs are put down in the U.S. each year and most of them are mixed breeds that live much longer, save a life and save some money and adopt!
Sadie Cornelius (Admin)
We agree with you on adopting pets, thanks for sharing!
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.
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 awhile. Besides her greying fur you would never guess she is 12 and we hope that we can have her as long as possible! 🙂

sarah
I’ve had 4 boxers over the course of my lifetime (so far!) one lived to be 13 and died suddenly, one lost control of his back legs and had a few other health issues but also lived to 13. One boxer died at 9 from cancer and the other is turning 8 in a few days and in perfect health. Just based on my own data, I don’r agree with your above opinion.
Deb
I certainly disagree with the above post. We have lost two boxers, one at 10.1 years and the other at 10.5 , Neither were healthy dogs but thru supplements, meds, and a good diet they had right at 10 years.
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.
abrowneyedbutterfly
My girl Flossie, is a Boston/Chihuahua mix. She is almost 9 years old and still going strong.
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
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
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
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 my son isn’t left in panic. Would you advise for or against this train of thought?
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 had pneumonia. They gave him fluids and antibiotics. The next day he was really weak and I took him to the emergency vet. They gave him oxygen and IV antibiotics, but he went downhill a few hours later and his blood oxygen level was dropping even with being on oxygen. He passed away that night. It’s hard thinking he went from being fine to passing away in such a short amount of time.

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.
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 once in awhile and it’s amazing. We have just now started having issues with stiffness and her back legs will sometimes ‘give’ a little going up the 2 steps coming back in from outdoors. We always say that she chose us that day we adopted her but one things for sure…we definitely have a wonderful and loving pup and hope she’s with us awhile longer. She’s made us very happy 😉
Joe and Angie
I have a 120 pound 4 year old german shepherd with a massive growth near his stomach. I took him to the vet and they said it was his penis. We also have a 4 year old american eskimo that hates her life. She suffers from a low self esteem and poor body image. She eats three times a day. Not dog food though…just worn underwear. I hope they both live to be 15 at least.
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 January.
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
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!
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 son and his tricycle, circling him to protect him. She received puncture wounds that I didn’t see and they became infected. We tried to fight the infection but she was just too old. Lady passed away a hero at approximately 15 and 1/2 years old.
Michelle Schenker (Admin)
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
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 this long since I have read she has about exceeded the life expectancy on the charts I have looked at. I hate to even think about her eventually passing away and I hope she still has a few years ahead of her to live.
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?
Michelle Schenker (Admin)
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.
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
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 either. I’m trying gentle persuasion with that. I figure that he’s had a good life (he’s now 16 years old) and why try and make what’s left miserable by trying to treat this old age condition. It’s hard to take responsibility for this but he seems happy enough. He just sleeps a lot.
Donna
What about Chinese Crested? Wire Hair Fox Terriers?
maddy
hi