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

Larger animals tend to live longer than smaller ones (most of the time). Think about it. Humans live longer than cats, which live 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. They live longer because of increased health risks for the person who weighs 300 pounds.

When it comes to dogs’ life expectancy, how can you compare a Great Dane to a Chihuahua? Their anatomic builds are completely different, and their lifespans reflect this. Beyond size, is there an average age of a dog based on breed or other factors? Yes. Let us explore this subject further.

Article Overview

What Determines A Dog’s Lifespan?

Quote Form WidgetWant to know how you can help your pup live a longer, happier life? Below are some factors that help determine a canine’s lifespan.


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 her booster shots can result in a healthy dog with a longer lifespan.


Research shows that larger dogs live for a shorter period of time when compared to smaller ones. For example, an Irish Wolfhound (average 115 pounds) has an average lifespan of seven years, while a Jack Russell Terrier (average 15 pounds) 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 surgical sterilization before five months of age for small breed dogs and 12-15 months for larger breed house dogs.

Dog with eye glasses (caption: How To Calculate Dog Years To Human Years)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

EasyDNA logoWant to find out your pet’s scientific age? EasyDNA makes it simple to determine 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 that we include here are from the AKC’s recent list.

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 weigh up to 15 pounds in its entire lifespan. Below is a table of 10 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 usually are 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 five months3.

How Can I Extend My Dog’s Life?

If you could give your dog medication to help keep her in your life longer, would you buy it? That’s precisely what Loyal is working on right now. Loyal is a team of vets, scientists, and dog lovers striving toward reducing underlying causes of aging in dogs and delaying disease by developing a drug.

There are other ways to help keep your dog healthy and help her live a longer life. The best thing you can do is give her adequate exercise daily and make sure you’re feeding her a healthy, well-rounded diet. All-natural, fresh dog food is gaining in popularity, and perhaps it’s something you’d like to consider for your pup. We’ve tried and reviewed some of the best dog food delivery services to help you decide if you’d prefer a more traditional kibble or fresh, homemade dog food.

Sources:  [1] AKC[2] Chihuahua Wardrobe, [3] MNN