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.

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


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.

Learn How To Calculate Dog Years To Human Years

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 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.

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.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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September 21, 2020 2:26 pm

Hello! My dog is a LouLou spitz. It’s an uncommon breed and I think she might be a mutt (unless you know of this breed). She looks a lot like a Japanese spitz, but she’s a bit bigger and less fluffy. Any chance you know the average life span? She’s currently 11.

Apiffany Gaither Billings
September 23, 2020 12:57 pm
Reply to  Naye

Hi! We are unfamiliar with that breed and do not want to give you incorrect information. We recommend you speak with your vet for the average life span.

August 22, 2020 12:54 pm

Hello, my name is Travis. I have a rat terrier/schnauzer mix dog. He is 11 currently. I was wondering how long he would be expected to live. This post relating to this email gave me no clarification to my question. Please someone answer me.

Apiffany Gaither Billings
August 24, 2020 9:11 am
Reply to  Travis

The average life expectancy of a schnauzer is 12-15 years. The average life expectancy of a rat terrier is 15-18 years. However, that is not including many factors including illness, accidents, or any genetic factors that may occur. I hope this answers your question.

July 8, 2020 10:27 pm

July 20, 2020, our mixed breed 60 lb dog will be 17 years old! He lives for multiple walks every day, even though his back legs are weak and shaky at times. If we try to tell him he needs a day off, he will pace and pace until we take him with his much younger brothers. Love him so much. We adopted him in 2003 as a pup.

Skylyn Kramp
May 22, 2020 5:08 am

My boy Jack is 3/4 Labrador and 1/4 Flat Coated Retriever. He turned 3 last month. He’s my best friend, I never want to see him take his last breath but everything happens for a reason. Just gotta make sure he continues to have the best possible way, with me by his side the whole time.❤️

May 12, 2020 2:07 am

We have a 15 year old Chow/shepherd mix. His back legs (hips) give him some trouble so he is on an non-steroid anti inflammatory meds no but he seems happy and is active (between his long naps).

April 25, 2020 9:46 pm

My chihuahua just turned five this year. Her birthday is February first. She loves everyone. My pittbull is 8 her birthday is Halloween she will be nine this year.

Janet from California
February 16, 2020 4:02 pm

We have a 16 year old Rat Terrior, Mr. Bean. He is my husband’s therapy dog, and still enjoys car rides and daily short walks. Still has most of his teeth, but his appetite has slowed to one meal daily. We also have a 13 year old Chiuaua, MooMoo. He still has good energy, and is always hungry.

February 10, 2020 12:55 am

Rufus and Tinky were born in December of 2004. They are, what one might call twin Pomeranian runts born numbers 4 and 5 of the litter of 5. My husband died in December of 2014 and ever since then, these two babies of ours have been waiting for my husband to walk through the door. As the years go by they have lost almost all their teeth. I hand feed them every day. They spend the day sitting by the kitchen door waiting for the one that will never be back. People aren’t the only ones who hurt.

January 29, 2020 11:04 pm

I lost my pitbull/american bulldog/mastiff mix, Bruno, at 7:45 Am on September 27th, 2019 from lung cancer. My family rescued him as a 5 week old puppy who was taken from his mom and siblings way too early (he sucked on his blanket and my blankets up until the day he passed) and he quickly became my dog, my companion and my best friend. He was the best boy, always knew what time i was coming home everyday, always gentle with the farm animals (including the little baby chicks!), wonderful with my neighbors cats and the best hunter (he rescued our farm animals by scaring off foxes and coyotes when him and i did perimeter checks!). Every night he would sleep in my bed and right up until the last month and a half, he would hike 3 miles with me everyday. I started giving him massage therapy and we did our range of motion exercises before hiking, but as he started getting older, he could no longer get on my bed and started using his orthopedic dog bed i bought him. Soon he started struggling to breathe, couldnt make our walks and i took him in to do chest xrays to figure out what was wrong. The vet called me and told me he stopped breathing on the table during the xrays and they were able to resuscitate him but with bad news. He had 2 weeks to live and was diagnosed with lung cancer (i was informed that chemo and radiation would not fix it). He made it three weeks and EVERY SINGLE NIGHT until the day i brought him in to be put to sleep, he slept in my bed and we spent as much time together as possible. I loved him so much, he was my life, and the center of my universe. He was so well behaved he was allowed to go into some of my college classes, into stores that didnt generally allow dogs and an apartment complex with strict rules (he never really barked!). I miss you so much old man, i have done so much research when he was alive on how to “make dogs live longer lives” 🙁 i wish i could have spent 80 years with my boy. Bruno, you were the best dog and I wish more than anything that i could bring you back to life

Skylyn Kramp
May 22, 2020 5:12 am
Reply to  Darci

This broke my heart.

Roxanne Ferrian
February 17, 2020 8:59 pm
Reply to  Darci

Emma is a 2 year old Corgi and spaniel mix

January 22, 2020 2:22 pm

My dog will be 16 years old in May and he is very active !

Anita Ross
January 16, 2020 12:09 pm

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
December 20, 2019 7:46 pm

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
November 28, 2019 3:16 am

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

October 28, 2019 9:07 pm

Chihuahua she is 4

Tammie Mack
October 22, 2019 11:18 pm

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
October 1, 2019 11:30 pm

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.

September 20, 2019 6:57 am

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.

February 14, 2020 7:01 pm
Reply to  Jason

My dogs name is Teak he belonged to a builder hence the name you know like the wood. Any way I think he (the dog) is about 18. He has been fixed. Big N in his place. Sorry he never had sex. well what I’m getting at is how long can he go?I think he is a mix golden he cant see too well and dose not hear to well ether. Im buying cooked chickens and pull the meat off the bones. He seems too likes it. He didnt like Blue buffalo even when I mixed cooked chicken liver. I think he got tired of it! Now he sleep a lot and has a hard time getting up. His rear legs dose not seem to have the strength. Love the guy, been the only being that came to me, good or bad. If he goes before me I would like to have him cremated. Im in western NC. dont know were to go for that. Hes the best friend I every had.

August 14, 2020 7:13 am
Reply to  Rich

Our local vets can have the pet cremated, but we found out that the Humane Society will have it done for a lot less cost and we have used them. The vet returns the ashes in a small but nice wooden box, the HS in a metal one, but the ashes are in a plastic bag inside, so you can get your own box and transfer the ashes easily.

December 5, 2019 4:19 pm
Reply to  Jason

so cute i feel so bad for her

Debbie Reynolds
November 28, 2019 3:25 am
Reply to  Jason

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

August 16, 2019 12:32 am

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”.

August 7, 2019 9:07 am

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
July 25, 2019 1:02 am

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.

July 21, 2019 7:22 pm

Why didn’t your dog age chart list theBasenji

June 27, 2019 10:07 pm

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
June 20, 2019 3:37 pm

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.

May 30, 2019 6:16 pm

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!!

May 19, 2019 10:22 pm

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.