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?
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.
After writing about the average life expectancy of your dog I got to thinking: “I wish I had a pet that lived longer then 10-15 years.” That spawned today’s article on the life expectancy of your pet.
I’ve heard many stories about pets that have lived a long time and others about a pet who lived a relatively short life.
Of course, you could go with the old Pet Rock which will last a lifetime…well, unless their eyes fall off then maybe they’re no longer considered a pet rock
Average Life Expectancy of Pets (in years)
golden hamster (3)
Budgerigar (budgie) (10-15)
domestic cat (12-18)
cockatoo (up to 70)
Okay…pop question for everyone…who knows what an anole is and why is it on this list? The anole is a type of lizard and I have no idea why it’s on this list (why not just list it as a lizard?). I grabbed this list from the wiseGEEK website.
I’m not too sure there are many people keeping goats and sheep as pets, but at least it’s a good reference in case you live on a farm.
I also found this interesting fact on the wiseGEEK website:
“For cats, the main differential in life expectancy is whether they’re indoor or outdoor cats. Outdoor cats generally live to be four or five years of age. They are more likely to catch viruses or to suffer some kind of trauma. Indoor cats, on the other hand, can be expected to live 12 to 18 years.”
That will make my mother happy (she has 3 indoor cats), but my sister won’t have the same sentiment (her cat lives outside during most of the day, but comes in at night).
A few other interesting facts about pets:
- Sea Monkeys (Brine Shrimp) can live up to two years!
- Ants in an ant farm can live up to 6 months!
- Koi Fish live 50-70 years and have been known to live over 200 years!
My Favorite Pet Story!
So I have the following short story for those of you who are considering a new pet in particular Koi Fish. It involves a good friend of mine who just finished building his Koi pound. After balancing the chemicals in the water he went off to the store to purchase some Koi fish for his pond. He told me with excitement…”You know a Koi fish can live up to 200 years! That’s like three human life times!” He proceeded to add the fish to the pond and several hours later they began doing the side stroke…then the back stroke. At one point my friend attempted CPR on the fish with no success.
I told my buddy: “That pet store ripped you off!”
He asked: “Why?”
To which I said: “They sold you 200 year old Koi fish!”
Do you have any stories about your pets and how long they’ve lived? Did they live longer then the average life expectancy of pets listed in this post?
If you’re interested in the average life expectancy of different dog breed click on this link: average life expectancy of your dog.
I know it’s kind of a morbid thing to think about, but honestly before you decide on a dog breed it’s probably a good idea to investigate the average life expectancy of the breed.
Just today I was talking to one of my friends about dogs and how long they usually live. I mentioned that usually smaller dog breeds live longer then larger dog breeds. While this is not always the case it seems to be a general rule of thumb. From what I understand the larger body has to work harder and is stressed more than a smaller body.
I decided to do a little online research to find out average life expectancies of different dog breeds.
Average Life Expectancy Of Dogs By Breed (in years)
|Afghan Hound (12.0)
Airedale Terrier (11.2)
Australian Shepherd (12-15)-wikipedia
Basset Hound (12.8)
Bearded Collie (12.3)
Bedlington Terrier (14.3)
Bernese Mountain Dog (7.0)
Border Collie (13.0)
Border Terrier (13.8)
Bull Terrier (12.9)
Cairn Terrier (13.2)
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (10.7)
Chow Chow (13.5)
Cocker Spaniel (12.5)
Doberman Pinscher (9.8)
English Cocker Spaniel (11.8)
English Setter (11.2)
English Springer Spaniel (13.0)
English Toy Spaniel (10.1)
Flat-Coated Retriever (9.5)
German Shepherd (10.3)
German Shorthaired Pointer (12.3)
Golden Retriever (12.0)
Gordon Setter (11.3)
Great Dane (8.4)
Irish Red and White Setter (12.9)
Irish Setter (11.8)
Irish Wolfhound (6.2)
Jack Russell Terrier (13.6)
Labrador Retriever (12.6)
Miniature Dachshund (14.4)
Miniature Poodle (14.8)
Norfolk Terrier (10.0)
Old English Sheepdog (11.8)
Random-bred / Mongrel (13.2)
Rhodesian Ridgeback (9.1)
Rough Collie (12.2)
Scottish Deerhound (9.5)
Scottish Terrier (12.0)
Shetland Sheepdog (13.3)
Shih Tzu (13.4)
Staffordshire Bull Terrier (10.0)
Standard Poodle (12.0)
Tibetan Terrier (14.3)
Toy Poodle (14.4)
Welsh Springer Spaniel (11.5)
West Highland White Terrier (12.8)
Wire Fox Terrier (13.0)
Yorkshire Terrier (12.8)
*This list is from the Pets.ca website.
A Few Surprises
There were three dogs that really stood out on this list. The first one I already knew about and that is the Bernese Mountain Dog. My neighbor just got one and I’ve noticed that the puppies show up on many advertisements in print, on the internet, and on TV. I had heard the average life expectancy for this breed was 6 years…on this list it’s 7 years. Either way this is a short life expectancy for a dog and while on the larger side at 85-110 pounds it’s still not near the size of some of the other breeds on this list.
The second surprise was the life expectancy of the Irish Wolfhound. While you expect a dog that gets to be upwards of 150 pounds to have a shorter life expectancy it’s sad to hear that these guys on average only live to be 6.2 years old. My Aussie mix Linus is already 3 1/2 years old…I couldn’t imagine thinking he was already halfway through his life.
Finally, the biggest surprise to me was the Bulldog. The Bull Dog was on my list of Dogs Good With Children and also on the list of AKC’s Top Dog List. I would consider the Bull Dog a medium size breed at 50 – 55 pounds and you would expect a dog of that size to have a better than average life expectancy. Unfortuantely, according to the list above the Bulldog’s average life expectancy is only 6.7 years.
Life expectancy is something you should definitely consider before choosing a dog breed. As you can see from this list on average the shortest life expectancy is for the Irish Wolfhound at 6.2 years and the longest is the Miniature Dachshund at 14.4 years. That’s a big difference!
Of course any individual dog can definitely live longer or shorter then the numbers on this list.
Have your dogs lived longer or shorter than the numbers on this list? Did your dog surpass his or her average life expectancy?