A few years back I wrote two articles, the first was about the life expectancy of dogs and the second was about the life expectancy of pets. If you look back at those at the second post about the life expectancy of pets then you’ll see that the average life expectancy of a dog is 12.8 years. Also, now that I look back I put those articles together over 4 years ago! I was training Stetson to be a guide dog at that time!
Now you may be wondering why all the concern with “how long dogs live” and “average life expectancies of dogs“? First of all, Linus recently turned 7 years old and Stetson turned 5. If you go by the old dog to human year calculator of 7 dog years for every 1 human year then Linus is 49 and Stetson is 35! That’s right they’re no longer spring chickens. Second, one of my friends 6 year old Labrador Retriever has not been feeling well and has low platelets and low red blood cells and has been put on serious steroids. I thought way to young to start seeing these kind of problems, but then again I guess you never know.
I decided to dig a little deeper then the original articles on life expectancy of dogs and found a site on some updated information about dog years versus human years. I really like the simplicity of this website. Just a single page, no links, and a catchy domain name. Check out this website on dog years if you have a moment. Here’s a quote from the site:
Generally, a dog of six has aged about as much as a 45-year-old human. At 10, she’s like a human of 65; at 12, a human of 75; and at 15, a human of 90.
So the good news for my boys is they’re “supposedly” not aging as fast now that they are 5 and 7 years old. According to the chart on the DogYears.com website its approximately 5 years for every 1 human year once your pup hits about 2 years of age.
How Long Dog Dogs Live?
I already answered the question and if you were paying attention the answer was the average life expectancy of a dog is 12.8 years. However, many of you already know that this varies by breed. In general small dog breeds live longer than large dog breeds and some breeds are much heartier then others.
So if you want to know how long do dogs live based on breed then check out this article on What’s The Life Expectancy Of A Dog? I listed over 60 dog breeds average life expectancy.
What breeds am I most concerned with? One of my biggest questions would be “How Long Dog Labs Live?” Mainly because the majority of the guide dogs I’ve trained are Labrador Retrievers (Stetson, Derby, Dublin, plus all my fellow puppy raiser’s pups). And of course family and friends dog breeds come to mind. Here’s a list of dog breeds that are near and dear to my heart:
- Australian Shepherd (12-15 years) – Linus is a 7 year old Austrlian Shepherd mix
- Labrador Retriever (12.6 years) – Stetson is a 5 year old black Labrador Retriever
- Golden Retriever (12.0 years) – Apache is a 1 year old Golden Retriever
- Cairn Terrier (13.2) – Ralphie is my parents 7 year old Cairn Terrier Mix
- German Shepherd (10.3) – Georgie is my brothers 5 year old German Shepherd mix
- Yorkshire Terrier (12.8) – Yuki is my gf’s parents 1 year old Yorkie
For the expanded list check out our old post on life expectancy of dogs.
In case you were wondering according to the list the dog breed with the longest life expectancy is the miniature Dachshund at 14.4 years and the breed with the shortest life expectancy is the Irish Wolfhound at 6.2 years. I don’t think I could stand to have my dog live on 6.2 years.
I know these are just averages, but it does give you a ball park figure for your dog. I’ve had to family dogs growing up a Golden Retriever that lived to 10 years of age and a mixed breed that was part border collie I believe that lived with us for about 18 years (he was supposedly 2 years old when we picked him up from the shelter).
I’m hoping that my boys live well beyond their average life expectancy and I’m hoping all those years are healthy and happy for them.
Now that I’ve answered the question how long do dogs live it’s your turn. I’d love to hear about your experience with the average life expectancy of dogs. Tell us about your dogs in the comment section below.