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

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Pug in old man's arms (caption: Life Expectancy Of Dogs)Larger 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.

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.

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.

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

Spayed Or Neutered

Spaying and neutering a puppy at a relatively young age can positively affect a dog’s lifespan. Most studies recommend before 5 months of age for small breed dogs and 12-15 months for larger breed house dogs.

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

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

Learn How To Calculate Dog Years To Human Years

Canine Genetic Age Testing With EasyDNA

Easy DNA Dog Allergy Test boxWant to find out your pet’s scientific age? EasyDNA makes it easy to find out your dog’s true age with a Canine Genetic Age test that measures a dog’s telomeres’ length at a genetic level.

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

Dog Breed Life Expectancy Chart

Below is a dog life expectancy chart sorted by the most popular registered breeds 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

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 work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

Kimberly's 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.

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