Life Expectancy Of Dogs – How Long Do Dogs Live?

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.

Dog Years

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 website its approximately 5 years for every 1 human year once your pup hits about 2 years of age.

How Long Dog Dogs Live?

How Long Do Dogs Live
Dublin as a puppy. Hopefully he'll become a guide dog before his 2nd birthday.

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.


  1. Irene says

    In the past we have had two Silky Terriors one lived to be 18 and the other lived 17 years. Both were running around the house until the day they died. Our last dog, a Yorkie developed cancer and had to be euthanized. He was only 12 years old. Now we have a one year old Yorkie who had a rough few months with a liver shunt problem, but with surgery, she is completely well. We hope she lives well beyond her 12.8 year life expectancy!

    • says

      @Irene, WOW! 17 and 18 years old! I hope my guys live that long too and are in good health their entire lives. Thanks for telling us about your pups! I’m sure Yuki will live a nice long life.

  2. says

    My Golden Retriever run ahead at age of 12.8, which I think was too short. Some people say that dogs’ only fault is they don’t live long enough. Sadly, one of the vets in Yorba Linda Regional Animal Hospital told me that Golden Retriever’s life expectancy has been decreasing. They used to be 12 years, but now only 10 – 12 years. He had no explanation!

    • says

      @Monica, that’s sad to hear. As I mentioned my dogs are 5 and 7 years old so I’m getting a little bit worried. Of course, Apache (Golden Retriever) is just a little over 1 years old so I’m not too worried about him. I like what you said about “dogs’ only fault is they don’t live long enough”. Thanks for commenting!

  3. charles brown says

    When my dog runs ahead to dog heaven after around 12.8 years, we simply replace him with another beagle that looks similar.

  4. James masse says

    @Charles brown

    Simply replace him? Ur a heartless prick..

    No dog can NEVER “replace” my best friend Titan.. 7 yr old Golden Retriever. . This dog is my rock. . And I hope ur replaceable beagle pisses on ur toothbrush

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