This content was reviewed by veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Racine, DVM.
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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 a 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’s explore the answers to these questions: “how long do dogs live?” and “what is the dog lifespan by breed?”
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.
As the owner, you can impact 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 of 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 tend to have the least health problems and live longer than their purebred counterparts.
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.
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.
Canine Genetic Age Testing With A DNA Test
Want to find out your pet’s scientific age? Embark and EasyDNA make 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 databases to define their breed and biological age details further. Order a kit, send in your sample, and get the results back in two to three weeks. Visit Embark DNA’s Website and EasyDNA’s website to learn more and buy a test.
Below is a dog life expectancy chart sorted by the most popular registered breeds in the US. The average dog lifespans that we include in this list are based on the most beloved breeds from the AKC’s most recent list.
|2021 Popularity Rank||Dog Breed||Average Lifespan|
|1||Labrador Retriever||11 Years|
|2||French Bulldog||8-10 Years|
|3||Golden Retriever||11 Years|
|4||German Shepherd||11 Years|
|9||German Shorthaired Pointer||12-14 Years|
|11||Pembroke Welsh Corgi||12-15 Years|
|12||Australian Shepherd||12-18 Years|
|13||Yorkshire Terrier||13 Years (possibly up to 20 years)|
|15||Cavalier King Charles Spaniel||9-14 Years|
|16||Doberman Pinscher||10-13 Years|
|17||Great Dane||6-8 Years|
|18||Miniature Schnauzer||12-14 Years|
|19||Siberian Huskie||12-15 Years|
|20||Bernese Mountain Dogs||6-8 Years|
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 more quickly. 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|
|Saint Bernard||8-10 Years|
|Scottish Deerhound||8-10 Years|
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 record, 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 months.
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 your dog adequate exercise daily and make sure you’re feeding them 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.Tagged With: Aging, Reviewed By Dr. Racine, DVM