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

This post may contain affiliate links and we’ll be compensated if you make a purchase. This doesn’t affect rankings. Our review process.

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?

Get 3 Free Pet Insurance Quotes

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 2013.

2013 Popularity Rank

Dog Breed

Average Lifespan


Labrador Retriever

11 Years


German Shepherd

11 Years


Golden Retriever

11 Years



12-15 Years



8-12 Years


Yorkshire Terrier

13 Years (possibly up to 20 years)



9-10 Years



12 Years



9 Years



13-15 Years


French Bulldog

8-10 Years


Doberman Pinscher

10-13 Years


German Shorthaired Pointer

12-14 Years


Siberian Huskie

12-15 Years


Shih Tzu

12-16 Years


Great Dane

6-8 Years


Miniature Schnauzer

12-14 Years


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

9-14 Years



14 Years


Australian Shepherd

12-18 Years


Shetland Sheepdog

12-13 Years



17 Years


Boston Terrier

11-15 Years


Pembroke Welsh Corgi

12-15 Years



14-16 Years

Life Expectancy of Dogs Chart
Copy the shortcode below to embed this infographic on your website!

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] 

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 and her husband adopted Sally, a four-year-old hound mix, in early 2017, and she has brought so much joy into their lives. Life as pet parents has been very rewarding.

Leave a Reply

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

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
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).
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
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
c Anderson
You will see your beloved dog again.
Thanks! I guess I would go crazy if I didn’t believe that as well!
#save the pugs
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
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…
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.
“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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
you have shih frise! DAMN! DAS KEWL!
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.
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?

are you sure they are pits? wink wink
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.
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.
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.
Dale Lapre
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
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.
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.
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.

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
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
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?

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
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 is having jaw issues he may be experiencing quite a bit of pain. Discuss with your vet about euthanasia options and if you have a spouse, discuss with them as well. Your dog may not cry out specifically but you may be able to tell in how he moves and how his attitude is.

We know this is not an easy decision to make. I’m sure your dog loves you endlessly and whichever decision you make he will always be your best friend. Thank you for sharing your story with us and please let me know if you have any other questions. I wish you weren’t faced with this decision, but hope you find peace with the route you choose. My thoughts are with you.

IMO, you gave the “just right” answer. I had to choose to put a beloved fur baby to sleep in 1998 when my vet discovered an aggressive cancer that sprang up over a couple of months and there was only a slim chance that surgery would give him more than a few months of pain at best. You are absolutely right that it is a hard decision. One of the hardest most owners will ever face. It can be heartbreaking to have to deal with, but for me, it was better to end his pain than to allow him to continue to suffer.
How long do husky Rottweiler’s live
Kimberly Alt
We found that Rottsky dogs typically live 10-13 years.
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.

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 .
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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! 🙂

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
We agree with you on adopting pets, thanks for sharing!
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.
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
We are so sorry for your loss. Sounds like the two of you were best friends. Our thoughts are with you.
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.

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!
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?
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
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.

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.
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
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. When he was younger I would ride my bike and he would run along beside me. I also liked to play hide and seek. I would put him outside and then my parents would let him in and ask him where I was. He would search the house and when he found me he would get as excited as could be and run around the house and make me chase him. His favorite toy ended up being a squeaky mouse on a string that we originally bought for our cats. He would go nuts for the mouse. If you so much as bumped it he would want to play and could play with it for hours if you let him.

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
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! 🙂
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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. 🙂
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 start we can live long prosperous lives. Mac proved that to me. He’ll always be in my heart forever.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
What about Chinese Crested? Wire Hair Fox Terriers?

Send this to a friend