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.


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


Labrador Retriever

11 Years


German Shepherd

11 Years


Golden Retriever

11 Years


French Bulldog

8-10 Years



8-12 Years



12-15 Years



12 Years



9 Years


Yorkshire Terrier

13 Years (possibly up to 20 years)


German Shorthaired Pointer

12-14 Years



9-10 Years


Siberian Huskie

12-15 Years



13-15 Years


Great Dane

6-8 Years


Pembroke Welsh Corgi

12-15 Years


Doberman Pinscher

10-13 Years


Australian Shepherd

12-18 Years


Miniature Schnauzer

12-14 Years


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

9-14 Years


Shih Tzu

12-16 Years


Boston Terrier

11-15 Years



14 Years



14-16 Years


Shetland Sheepdog

12-13 Years


Bernese Mountain Dogs

6-8 Years

Life Expectancy of Dogs Infographic


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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


8-9 Years


8-10 Years

Saint Bernard

8-10 Years

Scottish Deerhound

8-10 Years


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][2], [3] 

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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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”.
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.
Why didn’t your dog age chart list theBasenji
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.
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!!
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.
my dogs are mixed boxer/lab and are 9 and 11
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.
My dog is a chihuahua rat terrier mix and is 15 years old! She’s still going strong
My dog is 9 and is a mix poodle and York is how much longer will she be on earth???????
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,
2 years
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.


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
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?