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] 

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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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.

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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,
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.
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?
My labrador / golden retriever mix died today at 15 and a half , good old age
I had two dogs growing up, one was found on the street, and we believe he was a yellow jab mix with something else, he was a year older then I was and he passed away when I was 9, so he was ten. I also had another dog at that time, and she is a Basset hound and chocolate lab mix, she is very short, chubby, and a dork, she does not exercise very much. She is around 10, both dogs were rescues so we didn’t know what their age exactly was, but we knew it was around there. But anyway, I don’t know around when she would pass, so can anyone help me?
Patricia Nunemaker
I have a 30 pound Jack Russell Terrier mix who is 13 1/2 years old and still going strong. He had a sprained ACL once years ago and that is the only time he has been injured or sick for that matter. Veterinarian told me he will probably live another 2-3 years.
Our family pet Sophie passed away yesterday. She was an 8 year old Mastiff Lab mix and was around 85-90 pounds. She was fine on Tuesday and then started acting mopey on Wednesday, she didn’t eat her food on Thursday and then was dead before noon on Friday. Upon closer inspection of her yard today, it appeared she had not been drinking much water. I saw her Friday morning and she looked ok. We went out to feed her in the afternoon and she was laying under her favorite shade tree and she was gone. We aren’t sure what happened to her.
It sounds like your dog was an outdoor dog… such a shame and very sad she died alone
Juicy’s Mommy.
Poor dog was left alone to long. A family Pet Lives with The Family. Not outside unattended. Dies, Under a tree in the shade? No problem using the word Dead so freely. Not upset at all. Poor Sophie. Needed to see a vet. > last words. We aren’t sure what happened to her….
This person doesn’t seem to care. My dog passed 14 months ago and I’m still overwhelmed. That’s how I ended up here.
I agree with you Juicy’s mom. Dogs are pack animals, not meant to be left outside without their family.
Actually it sounds peaceful under her fav tree, plus some naturally want to be alone at the end. Bless you for loving her.
I have an 11yr old Husky Shepard mix
He was rescued at 6mo to 1yr old. Had him for 10 yrs now. He’s slowing down and gets moody like an old man but I hope to still have a few more yrs with him.
I also have a 4yr old moose (chocolate lab) I’ve seen in groups for lab lovers that their lives are really unpredictable some die young some live the average life expectancy. I know it will hurt to loose either one of them but I am truly blessed to have them with me every day of their beautiful lives
James Reynolds
I have a 4 year old Australian Shepherd pit bull mix.
Someone had thrown her out in my neighborhood when she was about 3 weeks old, not weaned, skin and bones and full of worms.
My wife found her when she saw my neighbors dog picking her up and throwing her around.
I took her to the vet, got rid of her worms and got all of her shots.
She’s now a 45lb spoiled rotten little brat lol!
She has separation anxiety and won’t let me or my wife out of her sight.
She’s our baby.
I was just wondering if anyone knows what the average lifespan of an Australian Shepherd pit bull mix.
If anything happens to her it’s going to kill me and my wife.
You are amazing and it brings me so much joy to hear stories like yours. All animals deserve to be spoiled rotten.
I took in my friend’s dog Rocky, he is Akita and Australian Shepherd mix and he’s 14 years old, 15 in next may!
He’s slow and grumpy and hard of hearing but still pulls the leash like a 2 year old!
He would be about 65lbs, arthritic, has an enlarged lymphoma, benign little tumors on his body (can’t do anything, too old) but other then that healthy and happy and not in pain.
So I’m sure you’ll have many years together with her.
Rocky looked rough when I got him several months ago and I thought I’d give him a few good months of getting pampered (he lived outside before on a chain) and so I walked him, fed him good food and good people food, he plays with my two little dogs and I think he could go for 16 years easily now! Just taking care of your dog can add years 🙂
I have a 10 year old mix-breed. His name is Moose. He is a combo of Labrador and Boarder Collie. He weighs approximately 115 pounds. He is very active and still plays like hes just a pup!
We had a Australian cattle dog. She lived for 18 years. What a great dog and our family had a blast with her, but not a first time dog owners dog.
franklin alexander
i did have a litter dog it was chihuahua he just pastway 21 day ago and he was 16yr and 9mon.old but he wood eat the same thin i did i wood like too say more about hem but it hurt me too know he going away foe good i do miss hem he was my bestfriend and all way will..ty
Juicy’s Mommy
Hi Franklin, I can tell tell by your words you were suffering the loss. I’m very sorry. You had 16 great years with your baby. My little Yorkie passed suddenly at 9 years old. It was sept 17th 2017. I’m still missing her. I hope u are healing. God Bless you!
I have a 13 year old sheltie and we think something is wrong with him. He has gone deaf but now we will take him on walks and he just plops over on his side for awhile then gets up like nothing is wrong. any idea
Have vet check for brain tumor.I had an animal once that did that
Marianne Hicok
I have two mixed breed dogs that are half rat terrier and half Shetie. The girls weighs 16 pounds and the boy weighs 20. They are 12 years old and in overall good health. The boy does have the nail disorder Lupoid Onchondostrohy, and takes medicine for this chronic condition that causes deterioration of his nails but does effect anything else. The reason for my question about life expectancy for these two is that I would like to rescue another dog, likely a senior dog. I understand there is no crystal ball and I pray my babies live another 8 years or so! But if I thought they might only have another couple years I think I would think long and harder about bringing another dog into our family. Not sure if this makes sense to anyone.
I volunteered for a small dog rescue group for a while. Ended up adopting one of my fosters…Nico. Rescue. Had a hard life. Skin and bones when he was rescued. No teeth. Lower jaw gone as the result of decay and neglect, etc. No one wanted him. True age at adoption unknown. (15 or 16?) He was mine for only 3 years. Died a natural old age death. I miss him VERY much. But I will be forever greatful that he was with ME for those last few years. And would do it again in a heartbeat. He was finally loved, and spoiled, and happy. He deserved to know true love and a pac family that accepted him as is, even if it was just for a little while. (He especially got along with my Pit. They were buddies). Worth EVERY short minute. Sure….think long and hard….about giving a senior dog a chance to know love before it’s to late. It’s all about compassion for a species of animal who have given SO MUCH to the human race. Take a risk and give back.
You are a great person! U have inspired me to adopt an older dog too!
Trish Sinis
I am devasted by the loss of all my babies through the years, having had a dog(s) throughout my lifetime. I love to hear someone gave the dog love the last part of his life. God Bless !! Dogs are a gift from God, knowing man would never be as loyal.
Erica — it’s so sad your dog had to suffer so many years but it brings a smile to my face hearing that you did everything to ensure your baby received all the love and care in the world as he should have from day one. Please keep saving lives. Wish there were more people like you.
Juicy’s Mommy
Omg, you brought tears to my eyes. You are an Angel. Senior dogs deserve the same chance as a puppy. I wish I could save them all. I hate what this world does to animals.
Patricia Bock
My Miniature-Pincher is 20 years old this past May 1st 2018. She weighs approximately 20 lbs and is 13 “ y’all. She still patrols our yard and can run short distances, climb the stairs, and jump on the couch on a good day. She is now deaf, has severe cataracts, and has lost some teeth but she always wants to go on walks. Our vet. said she is the healthiest 20 year old he has ever seen.
Her name is Beebee and with us since she was 8 weeks old. Never boarded, she had in home sitters, a large fenced yard, hiked in the mountains and lived in the house.