What’s The 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)
Beagle (13.3)
Bearded Collie (12.3)
Bedlington Terrier (14.3)
Bernese Mountain Dog (7.0)
Border Collie (13.0)
Border Terrier (13.8)
Boxer (10.4)
Bull Terrier (12.9)
Bulldog (6.7)
Bullmastiff (8.6)
Cairn Terrier (13.2)
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (10.7)
Chihuahua (13.0)
Chow Chow (13.5)
Cocker Spaniel (12.5)
Corgi (11.3)
Dachshund (12.2)
Dalmatian (13.0)
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)
Greyhound (13.2)
Irish Red and White Setter (12.9)
Irish Setter (11.8)
Irish Wolfhound (6.2)
Jack Russell Terrier (13.6)
Labrador Retriever (12.6)
Lurcher (12.6)
Miniature Dachshund (14.4)
Miniature Poodle (14.8)
Norfolk Terrier (10.0)
Old English Sheepdog (11.8)
Pekingese (13.3)
Random-bred / Mongrel (13.2)
Rhodesian Ridgeback (9.1)
Rottweiler (9.8)
Rough Collie (12.2)
Samoyed (11.0)
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)
Viszla (12.5)
Weimaraner (10.0)
Welsh Springer Spaniel (11.5)
West Highland White Terrier (12.8)
Whippet (14.3)
Wire Fox Terrier (13.0)
Yorkshire Terrier (12.8)

*This list is from the Pets.ca website.

A Few Surprises

Bernese Mountain Dog PuppyThere 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.

Irish Wolfhound PuppyThe 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.

Adorable Bulldog PuppyFinally, the biggest surprise to me was the Bulldog. The Bull Dog was on my list of Top 10 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?

Comments

  1. Andie says

    Just wanted to add that we have enjoyed 11.9 and 12.2 years with our two English bulldog sisters Clara and Sophie. Clara died suddenly in her sleep after a normal active day, and Sophie fought a two year battle with bone cancer. She passed with her Daddy and I by her side in her front yard after a relatively short time of really slowing down. I wouldn’t trade those 12 years or either of them for anything!

  2. clive says

    I have an 8 year old rotty called harley and reading the net he may not have long left I love this dog and am not happy he is getting older it sucks
    !!!!!!

  3. Camellia says

    My Golden Retriever just passed away five days ago, he was about 10, I’d like to say. His previous owner was unsure when we got him, but I’ve had the great blessing of having him for about 7 years now. I miss him incredibly, I’ve never had such a perfect and wonderful dog! It breaks my heart he’s gone. However, I just got two two month German Shepherd – Border Collie mixed puppies, I hope the see a great life span!

    • says

      I am lost and devastated. My Miniature Dachshund, Bandit, passed away yesterday. He was 16. I am certain that he held on for me, as I became a widow just 5 years ago at an early age, after losing my entire family within 4 years. He kept me alive. So many times I just wanted to give up, but I couldn’t leave him. I made him a promise. There is no cure for a broken heart. He’s such a good boy, who offered nothing but unconditional love. I just want to be with my Baby Bandit. I am so sad. Channy

      • Mike says

        Please remember the good times with Bandit. He never would have left if it were up to him. He loved you with all his heart and gave you his all to get you through the roughest times. He desperately hung on to be with you because he loved you. Now his work is finished. Don’t let his sacrifice be in vain. He worked very hard for you to give you his unconditional love. Be at peace and rejoice in his amazing life.

      • Mike says

        Channy, I am very worried about you. I have not stopped thinking about you since I read your post. Please respond so I can know you are ok. Please??

  4. jimmy says

    hi there i have a 5years old shitzu poodle i took him to greece he loves the weather i brush his teeth everyday feed him the best food and walk him twice a day i hope he lives long and to have his puppies.i love him so much his name is caramel.

  5. james says

    We got a wonderful Cocker Spaniel… She will turn 15 this year and is still going strong. She has cataracts that impair her vision some and she seems to have lost her hearing for the most part but she’s active and happy… a great deal of gray in her coat but other than that she’s doing well, for her age.

  6. Colleen says

    I just lost my beloved cocker spaniel Misty at age of 10. She brought sunshine into my life every day that she was here. She played and was her normal happy self right up until the week I lost her.If I can ever bring myself to have another dog, I can’t stress enough with our older dogs to make bloodwork and reg health checks apart of yearly shots. My dog was so very sick hypothyroidsim, anemia, infection etc.( all conditions including epilesy which she had, had as a pup that her breed are at high risk for) and showed no sign that anything was wrong till the end. It breaks my heart to know that a simple blood test months ago and meds might have resulted in such a better outcome. Misty u were with us much too short a time

    R.I.P. my precious girl

    • Chivonne, NC says

      I truly believe in getting blood work every yr it can let you know if something is wrong and you can treat it before it gets out of hand and can make a difference between life and death for your pet. My Vet told me that he wished other pet owners would get blood work done for that exact reason so please keep it in mind. I have two beautiful rescue dogs Sierra 14 yrs old and her sissy Sasha is 9 yrs old. I brush there teeth daily because I was told if you don’t it can cause heart problems and I give them vitamins and fish oil for there skin every day, I want them to have the best life and health I can give them. Anywhere I go you will see them I even let them sleep with me. I love my two girls more than anything. They bring me so much joy and unconditional love and I can’t imagine life without them there my whole world.

  7. maya says

    i had a yorkshire terrier and her name was princess and she lived for about 15 years. And then we got another yorkshire terrier his name is max and he is 1 and a half now.

    • Cathy says

      I have a two pembroke welsh corgis.. one is 17 years old.. going strong.. no arthritis at all and the other will be 15 in June. We have a 16 year old cat also.. so we have a very geriatric pet family!

  8. Dawn Brown says

    I have a Black Lab/Rottie X she is 14yrs and 4 mo, going strong but has to have osteobiflex and baby asprin every day for hae artheritis, she is at least 135+ ges along with every one and every thing, awesome dog, She used to do about 20 tricks and always be on the go, but slower latley due to artheritis, still happy and loveable! I am trying to fid out the oldest dog of her mix? She has eaten everything and anything all her live plus her dog food, which is a generic brand, her food has been always available when she is hungry and she does NOT just gobble it all down! We have had cats live to 21 yrs old. Shadow is our Princess!

  9. Lisa says

    So relieved to hear bulldogs life span only 6.7 years ,mine is disgusting she shits all over the house regardless of how often we walk her, she smells no matter how often we bathe her she humps every kid and friend that comes over, she had cherry eye and constantly has goo in her eye,biggest mistake I ever made was adopting this dog!!

    • MM says

      Why wouldn’t you just give her to someone who would appreciate her instead of happily planning for her death????? I don’t understand you!! And please, don’t get another dog when you finally rid yourself of this one!

    • Chivonne, NC says

      I can’t believe you, your a horrible person. What is wrong with you? You get out what you put into a pet so if this little angel is not up to your standards you have only yourself to blame. And please take the aadvice of the other comment and find it a good home to someone who will love and enjoy your dog and please do the pet population a favor and don’t ever get another animal.

    • Tamara says

      What happened if that was your parents or husband? You don’t deserve to have any animal around you. Let someone who will love her for her. When you get old, I hope you s*** yourself everyday!

  10. Jon says

    We had a beagle a few days ago, she was healthy and everything, died at 2 1/2 years old. I cant believe it. I cant stop thinking about how she loved everybody, even if someone didnt like her. She just died randomly. What a fucking load of shit.

  11. Trista Cloud says

    I just recently had a red english beagle die a couple of days ago. He was only 8 years old. One minute he was playing, barking and having a good time and then the next my dad was giving him cpr and he heard fluid when he was giving cpr. He came back to life walked around for a little bit and he tried to pee but he could not. Then 15 minutes later he passed away. We think he had congestive heart failure and had a heart attack. We are just confused at how sudden it was because there was absolutely no signs that he was ill or sick in any way. Does anyone have an opinion on how this could have just all of a sudden happened.

    • Trista Cloud says

      Also he was very healthy and very fit, he was not over weight at all. And also during this whole ordeal he did not seem to be in any pain. he went peacefully.

  12. Elizabeth Gregory says

    We have had 3 Irish Wolfhounds, 1 chow chow, 4 German shepherds (2 of them rescues).

    Our first IWH lived to 7 1/2 — He wasn’t a good specimen, cow-hocked, and had hip trouble his whole life. His hips finally gave out and we had to euthanize.

    Our second IWH died at age 2 due to a veterinary anesthetic accident administered during an xray.
    He was from a good kennel and probably would have lived as long as his half brother.

    Our third lived 10 years 11 months, longer than our two male German shepherds. The kennel who bred him no longer is in existence. (It was many years ago). He had to be euthanized because of his hips.

    Our chow lived to 11. She was from a puppy mill. Hips.

    Our first female GSD lived 12 years 1 month. She got degenerative myelopathy.

    Our male German shepherd lived 10 years 9 months. He got lymphoma when he was 10 years 4 months.

    Our second male German shepherd just died April 29, 2012, at age 9 years 9 months (we think). He was a rescue shepherd estimated to be 9 months old when we got him. He suffered from a ruptured spleen on 2/21/12 due to hemangiosarcoma. We operated and he had a good post op course, but died 2 months 8 days later.

    All the dogs had the best food and vet care available. One shepherd had chemotherapy (lymphona),. We did not do chemo for the second shepherd because we decided the quality of life was more important than the few months chemo would give him.

    I am writing this with a broken heart.

    • Chivonne, says

      I’m sorry for your losses but it sounds like you need a new vet. Who accidentally administers anesthetics???

  13. linda martin says

    i had a cocker spanial named pebbles we just put her down 2 weeks ago i had my little sunshine sence she was born she lived to be 15 yrs old i miss her so much <3 <3

  14. Colleen says

    after having lost my cocker spaniel in March at 10 years and being heartbroken, I now have a new black and tan little cockerspaniel Bailey. I still miss my other dog, but when my pup does things that she used to do, I can think of her with happy memories. Puppies are the best way to heal and grieve less

  15. shawn says

    I had a Chow Shepard mix who just died over the weekend. She was 16 years and 3 months old. She was over 70 pounds and lived a long time for being a big dog.

    I devoted a lot of time to this dog in exercising her, feeding fresh food along with good dry food, visit to the vet, and giving her a loving and caring home.

    If a dog is going to live longer beyond the base constitution of the dog and health issues I think you can extend a dogs life.

    While the quality of her life went down over the course of the last year with difficulty in walking and controlling her bladder we saw no reason to put her down. At the same time we did not do anything special to keep extending her with all sorts of extra care the vet wanted to do.

    Until the end she was always alert, loving to the family, and seemed like she did not want to go anywhere.

    Her body finally gave out and she passed away at our home. I am not sure if something could have been done to detect something or to prevent her passing or it just was time.

    I read about life span of dogs, a lot is depending the individual dog and their environment.

    • Chivonne, says

      First off thank you for not putting your dog down some people rush and do it as soon as they get health issues because they don’t want to deal with it. The only wayI would do it is they were suffering and in much pain. How would they like it if it was done to them if they became ill? Second just an FYI, from experience I have found yearly blood work helps to detect if something is going on so you are able to treat the problem before it gets worse and extend their lives.

  16. Serdar says

    My elder sister gave her Terrier (Sansli) away to my mum as the dog became old. But since my mother was also old the dog was in very poor conditions and was being locked in a room all day. So I took her to my aparment.
    She is now 17 years and 3 moths old. Been with me for the last 2 years. She is doing fine although she can not hear anything or see beyond 10 cms. She enjoys pooping inside my room.
    The bad part is I just moved to a new apartment. There are no dog trails in the city that I live (I live in Turkey). So I walk my dog on the streets. The apartment administration wants my dog out although she never touched the ground within apartment complex. Probably they will start some legal process soon.
    The thing that upsets me is that she was not with me in her puppy years. In fact there were times that my elder sister was even setting her on me! I feel like picking the tab of another person.
    But the good part is nevertheless I think I love this dog and I want to keep it as long as it takes and pay how much ever it costs. I am considering even moving out of this dog hater apartment shithole. I may even be emotionally tied to this dog and I feel like if she passes away I will feel VERY bad.

    My message now is if you are not going to take care of your dog in his/her old years then don’t get one. Love some other’s. Evenually dogs also get old and become less joyful.

  17. Amy p says

    I was surprised to see the staffordshire terrier, aka pitbull, has a life expectancy of ten years. I lost my beloved pet at 17 years old and I have two more that are both 12 and going strong.

  18. Heather says

    Hi I have a boxer that is now 11 years old and we just found out that he has a tomer behind his eye.And we are going to have to have it tackin out to see if it cancer or not. He has lived a long live and i know that he is a old man but he is helthy other than that. So I don’t know if I should put him throught that or not. He is my baby and I am not shure if I should put him down or if I should go the sugery or not.What do you all think I should do for my big baby.Thank you and god bless you for reading this post.

    • Chivonne, says

      My little angel Sierra also got a tumor in her eye. The doctor did a biopsy to confirm then took it out, she was up and moving the next day. They said they couldn’t wait to long or they might lose her eye. Sierra was 12 yrs old then and now 14 and full of life and they were able to save her eye. It’s a continuous decision only you can make but I would do whatever I could no matter the cost for my little girl.

  19. Khul says

    My little fox terrier (think he’s a crossbreed) has been with us for 18years!

    I had no idea that was really really old. Not sure what keeps him going but i’ll try and look after him more now.

  20. Kayjay says

    I’ve had four purebred chows, lost one at 8, two at 12 and one at 15. Have a 10 year old female right now that is totally spry. Our last male had cancer and died of a seizure on the kitchen floor just about a year ago and he was 12.
    Just adoped (10 mos ago) a chow / flat coat mix who was a stray and is supposed to be around 4 -now I am terrified after reading all of the history of cancer with the flat coats. He is a very special dog and definitly has the appearance of a skinny chow with the upright ears and a bit of a split personality since there could not be a more differerence in the two breed’s personality. He shows more of the flat coat personality with the silliness and leaping and chewing -

    • Chivonne, says

      Have yearly blood work done it will help the vet catch it before it gets to far. Hope this helps.

  21. Megan says

    I have an 11 year old dog that is half Chow. Despite the fact that she has been going gray for a few years now (she’s solid black), her problem is apparently that no one ever told her she is old. She has about as much energy as she did when she was three. If she gets loose, forget it, you will never catch her. She can run for hours, two 30 minute walks a day barely take the edge off of her energy. She was aways a “difficult” dog in her youth, and I always told myself as she grew older she would slow down. She had other plans :)

    • Alexandra says

      Megan, it sounds like you are talking about my dear Hank. A lab-chow mix he is 11 years old and still refuses to settle down. Even mentioning the word “walk” gets him running around the kitchen table at top speed. Looks like we are going to enjoy multiple, long walks a day for many more years.

  22. Janice says

    My golden retriever, Cinnamon, lived to 17 1/2 years before I felt it was best for him to be put to sleep. He was such a wonderful dog for me & my son. I currently have a 12 year old black lab female that I pray will live as long & happy life as her best friend!

  23. Michele M says

    We had to set my beloved Desdemonas spirit free on October 25, 2012. She was 17 years, 2 months and 22 days old. My heart is broken but we had to do what was best for her. She could no longer see, barely hear and could not lift herself up anymore. I will miss her till the end of my days.

  24. Nova Jayy says

    My boxer just passed four days ago, she was thirteen years old. Her six year old pups are boxer/chow/lab/American bulldog. Now that she is gone, I’ve had her since I was two I’m thirteen now, I’m afraid that I will loose my dog (one of her puppies). Can anyone help me? Both of the puppies I kept are six, healthy other than ever so slightly over weight, and one got bee stings, resulting in loosing part of her tongue, the other got a large gash in her side but it’s healed now. They’re on no meds and have no diseases. Can anyone help estimate how long they’ll live? Thanks!

    • says

      I’m sorry to hear about your Boxer passing away. Unfortunately, there’s really no accurate way as far as I know to predict how long your dogs will live. My two dogs are 6 and 8 and I do my best to keep them healthy by taking regular visits to the vets office, feeding them well, and exercising them daily. I hope my dogs will be around for many years to come.

  25. Anne says

    My golden/chow is 14 1/2 and other than arthritis and degenerative disc disease, is doing fine. I give him adequon shots every 3 weeks for his arthritis, and he takes fish oil supplements, Dasaquin (joint health) and Senelife (for dementia). He also gets cold laser therapy for arthritis and gets two walks a day and lots of love. Met vet says he is “well managed” :). We feel so lucky to have had him for so long!

  26. larry says

    This is no joke. When I was a kid we found a 3-4 year old stray mutt (wired hair terrier in part). Probably weighed about 20-30 lbs. We took it in as the family pet at it lived to be 24-25 year old. For many years towards the end it was blind, deaf , and had bladder problems but wasn’t suffering according to the vet. I presently have a 10 lb mutt (Chihuahua, Poodle, Terrier mix) that will be 16 years old this year. Going deaf, a little blind, and has lost most his teeth but is in excellent health otherwise.

    • says

      Hi Larry,

      That’s awesome! I hope my dogs live nice long lives as well. Were you doing anything differently that may have prolonged their lives?

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Colby

    • Chuck McNair says

      I HAD A SILKY TERRIER THAT LIVED TO BE 25! NO JOKE!! I FINALLY HAD TO PUT HER DOWN BECAUSE SHE HAD DEMENTIA AND COULD NOT HOLD HER WATER OR BOWELS. SHE LIVED IN A PLAYPEN THE LAST SIX MONTHS OF HER LIFE. SHE WAS MY VETS OLDEST PATIENT!! HER HEART AND LUNGS WERE STILL GOOD !

      • says

        That’s amazing! My boys are now now 7 and 9 years old. I’m hoping I have many more years with them. If they live till 25 would be like a dream for me.

      • Chivonne, says

        I’m not trying to sound hateful because that’s not who I am but why didn’t you just put her in diapers? I’m sorry you had to put her down and happy she had a long happy life.

  27. Mary says

    We’ve had our dachshund for over 14 years now. He has asthma, arthritis, pododermatitis, sebacious adenomas, and has had a heart murmur since birth. He’s very far sighted now, and completely deaf. We do medicate daily, but none of this seems to bother him a bit. He loves clean blankies and toys, and semi-weekly soapless showers. He loves to play with his toys, and his appetite is better than ever. He has ramps up to couches and so forth (Dad made them) and his back is still strong. We’re planning on 20, and see no reason to chicken out now! Love That Dog!

    • Chivonne, says

      That’s great. Just an FYI my vet said I was bathing my dogs to often (biweekly) that they were itching because I was washing all the oils away from there skin and he.told me they only need a bath once a month. They are indoor dogs but get to go out and play and to my surprise they don’t stink and are happy they don’t get so many baths. :-)

  28. Daphne says

    Our beloved Border Terrier, Winnie, died in December 2012. She was 15 years, 4 months, and 17 days. She had a very active life filled with lots of love and affection. She ate high-protein dog food and relatively healthful table scraps. We miss her everyday.

  29. Robb says

    I’m curious about something. Human beings life expectancy has increased over time. According to wikipedia we went from age 43 to age 71 in just a few centuries. Why hasn’t the same been true for dogs & cats? We recently lost our Shih Tzu Rudy, he was only about 11. It just seems unfair that these members of our families have to leave us so prematurely.

    • says

      That’s a good point. I don’t know why. You would think with all of the medical advances that dog’s would be living longer then they did in the past.

      • Russell says

        Humans live longer now because of increased availability of better nutrition- transportation of out of season produce is better now than ever. Plus infant mortality is down from years past which increases the averages tremendously. But since the invention and widespread adoption of commercial dog foods, dog nutrition has never been more lacking. You cannot raise healthy, long lived dogs on grains stored in a bag in the closet. Many breeders of so called short lived breeds have increased their dogs lifespans considerably in the past few decades by feeding a raw, biologically appropriate diet. My last giant breed puppy came from a third generation raw fed line and we are seeing dramatically increased years of good, mobile, healthy lives.
        It is ALWAYS about food.

        • says

          I haven’t gone to a raw diet yet with my dogs, but I am considering it to see if it helps Stetson with his skin allergies. Thanks for sharing!

  30. Deena Dimaio says

    i knew 2 dogs in my life that lived past this i knew a lab named lady who i grew up with to live till 16 years old and i also grew up with a rottie named bou who lived to be 12 i have a new rottie of my own his name is sarge and i rescued him at 1 year and 7 months i hope he has the best life with me i only had him for a day now and i love him to death ! <3

  31. robin says

    i have a full german shepard his name is King, he will turn 26 yrs (human) this year. he was a road resque. but i found original owner and we done the math to figure out how old he is. King is in awesomely great health. Hardly any teeth left but still does great.

  32. Kristy says

    My sister has a Maltese. Does anyone know roughly how long they live? I have 2 mixed poodle and shih-zoo one is 11 and the other is 5. They both are very healthy my older does seem to be loosing some hearing but its a great mix . Very loveable lap dogs.

    • says

      One of my friends has a Maltese and her dog is currently 10 years old. I’m not too sure of the average lifespan, but in general smaller dog’s seem to have a longer life span.

  33. B.B.R says

    My border collie died at 22,
    It might be worth noting that he was country dog, and never confined to a yard.

    • says

      Wow! That’s great! Our family dog was a border collie mix and we’re not positive because he was a rescue, but we think he lived till over 20 years of age also.

  34. Lafleche says

    My roommate has a chichuahua he has had for 9 years. He’s such a softie for that dog the dog is more like a baby than an old man. It’ll be a dark day when the little guy dies…

    • says

      My two dogs are now 6 and 8 years old. I feel the same about my two.

      By the way, I was talking to a friend and after her last dog passed she was so upset she did not ever want to get another dog instead she got a parrot that has a lifespan of 50-100 years.

  35. says

    Hi Colby,
    Thanks for all the great info! I never realized that bulldogs have a life expectancy of 6.7 years! Hopefully, our bulldog Argon will live longer than that. I don’t know, does it make a difference what type of bulldog or are all bulldogs in general have this life expectancy? He is now 4 years old, but in very good shape. He loves to play and run with our other dogs in our backyard, which is pretty large and all fenced in just for them to be able to run.
    One of our other dogs, Pepper, a husky/yellow lab/German shepherd mix has been really worrying me lately. We discovered a fist-sized lump on her belly just this past Monday, so we brought her to the vet and had it removed on Thursday, but the vet said she may get more in the future.
    What I don’t understand is how this tumor grew so quick, that none of us noticed it until now. She did not seem to be bothered or in pain from it at all. She seemed like her normal self…happy and content with everything!
    She is almost 11 years old, but still very active and loves to run with the rest of the dogs even though they are much younger. She also has always been in good health and never had a problem being overweight. We have had her since she was only an 8-week-old pup and I actually want to cry already at the thought of losing her. So, I hope she will be with us for at least another 5 years or more, since she seems to be in good shape and health except for the tumor that was removed on Thursday.

    • says

      Hi Sherry,

      Regarding your question on Bulldogs I’m not really sure.

      I found a small tumor on Stetson, my black Lab a few months ago and it really freaked me out. My vet said it was benign and also said it did not have to be removed. Stetson is only 6 and just like you I’m hoping he lives a nice long life.

      I hope the best for Pepper and I’m glad she is out and about playing with the rest of the dogs.

      Take care,
      Colby

  36. says

    My cousin had a manchester terrier/ chihuahua mix live to 22 years old. Her name was Skee, and at 15 she had a gray muzzle, and feet. At 18, the gray fur was dominating the cinnamon brown color that she had been. And, at age 22, she was completely white, and I mean glowing white. Skee was an active, amusing & lovable dog, who died peacefully in her sleep at the end of her 22nd yr. She appeared healthy and happy to the end, and the vet said that her heart just stopped beating while she slept. What a way to go……!

  37. Tonya says

    We lost both our babies last year. The first was a pure bred Siberian Husky, Ozzy. He was diagnosed with diabetes in April of 2012 and had a seizure in the middle of the night a month later. The vet said we should euthanize for his sake. I waited two days after the seizure to see if he would bounce back but instead he was vomiting and bowel moving with no control, he could not stand up and could not even move his head out of it. I diligently washed him and fed him ice chips as I cried at his side for the whole two days. It was the hardest choice I had to make but I loved him enough that I let him go. He was only 7.

    Our other baby passed away December 10th of 2012. She was a Pit bull terrier cross and the most loving being you could meet. Thunder was 4 months short of her 18th birthday . She had some issues with her bladder for about a year prior but nothing a good mop and some cleaner couldn’t clean up.

    Losing our two babies was so hard on us and we still feel it daily. We are just now looking at adding to our family again with a new 4 legged child. I wanted to thank you for the information on this page because one of the things we are trying to consider is life spans. The longer the better! I won’t argue that food and exercise are important but when people ask me how Thunder lived such a long life I tell them it was love. Everything and everyone flourishes with love in their life and I truly believe that it added some years to our time together. My heart goes out to all of you who have loved and lost a 4 legged family member.

  38. says

    I wrote in January of 2013 that our beloved Doxie was over 14. Sadly, he passed in March of the same year. My husband passed in April of the same year and I’m in chemo for my own cancer now. My only hope is that I can be a Doggie Mama again next year. I would very much like to start a new family with 2 dogs who need to be together. Not pups mind you. My energy for that is far past over. But many people have needs that , because of death or age, cannot include their families. I’d like to make them part of my own family again, if I survive this incredible challenge in my own life. If not? I’d like to hope there are many people out there who would take over and give these sweeties a forever home.

    • says

      I’m so sorry to hear about your losses this past year. I hope everything works out for you and you are able to start your new family with 2 dogs.

  39. Mike says

    I am a 100% disabled combat veteran. I have a little Pomeranian, Bear, who is my best buddy ever. He and I make quite the pair, I am 6’5″ and about 300lbs and he is just really little. I suuffer from TBI, trauma induced demenia, PTSD and a whole list of other medical conditions from combat. Bear has no official training but he senses my moods and when I start to get really upset or things start to feel as though I can’t control them, he crawls up onto my chest and very gently places his paw on my cheek and just stares into my face until I calm down. I don’t care what anyone says, he knows what he is doing and when I feel better and I say to him that I am ok now, he jumps back down and starts playing with his toys again.

    He is 4 now and I am so reliant on him that I am terrified on how long he will live. I noticed that his breed was not listed on the list above. I already know I am messed up in the head and being this attached to a dog is not healthy but no human has ever given this old vet the unconditional love and support he has. I am not sure if it is just his breed or if every breed will give the way Bear has if just given the chance. Whatever time God grants me with Bear will be time I shall cherish till my dying day for there is no doubt he made those days bearable and live able for me. Just the thought of loosing him, though, brings tears to my eyes and a sorrow that I pray is years away.

    • says

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. Bear sounds like a very special dog. I hope he has a long and healthy life.

      Take care,
      Colby

    • Jackie says

      Hello Mike,
      Thank you for that beautiful story about Bear. I am sure that he will share a long and healthy life with you.

      Good luck!
      Jackie

  40. Jacob says

    My Dog freeway is a Corgi Terrier and he is like 14 or 15 now and we rescued him while my family was diving to Universal Studios at the time i was abou 8 now at age 19 I see a couple warning signs he is more tired then usual and at times when he is sleeping he actually seems like he is not even there if you know what i mean but when he has enough energy or really needs to go out for a walk he seems really excited and like a normal pup he runs around in a circle but only if he wants to my other dog a Chihuahua i dont know exactly how old she is but she is at least a couple years younger then my other dog and when i come home from vacation she is all over me givin me a lot of affection towards me guess she missed me lol so in all my dogs are old but still going strong

    • Colleen says

      Jacob, your dog not seeming to be there when sleeping and more tired then usual, sounds just like what was going on with my parents dog, who is sadly no longer with us. it was her thyroid not working, get the vet to check with blood work, if caught early it could give u a few more years with the puppy

  41. Joan says

    I have a Lab Chow Pit mix. A beautiful sweet dog, about 65 pounds that I adopted from the ASPCA at 2 years. He was malnourished and had kennel cough and behavior problems when we got him, but he grew up to be a healthy, loving member of our family. He is now 14 years and still seems strong and healthy except for arthritis in this knees and legs. I believe the key to his health has been good food (Wellness and Merrick — more expensive but worth it). A mix of healthy people food — some chicken/turkey mixed with brown rice, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, apples, pears on occasion or mixed with his hard food. And lots of exercise and play. And of course, a safe home that makes him feel safe and stress-free. Some friends say that we treat him like a person, but for us, he is a good friend and member of our family and we treat him accordingly. I hope that we have him at least a few more years. He’s a joy in every way.

    • says

      Thank you for adopting! We rescued Linus from the animal shelter 9 years ago and hope that we have him for many more years. I hope your guy is with you for many more years as well.

    • Chivonne, says

      Have yearly blood work done it will help the vet catch it before it gets to far. Hope this helps.

    • Chivonne, says

      I also adopted two dogs from the ASPCA. Great organization, anyway my first Sierra I got when she was one and a half yrs old and 19 lbs she had been beaten kicked and when her owners moved she was left in a fenced in area during a ice storm with no food or water and the ASPCA stepped in and took care of her before I was blessed with her. She made everyone fall in love with her so much that when I adopted her they would only do it if I signed a paper stating that they could come to my house in a week to see how she was adapting to her surroundings and of course I understood and allowed it. My second one Sasha I got her at 9 mo. They are both the light of my life, I love them with my whole heart, I would do amything for my little ones, I can’t imagine my life without them, they give so much of themselves with unconditional love.
      I wish there were more organizations like the ASPCA. They will not put down any animal they will keep them until a family adopts them and for that I am grateful. They are non profit and depend on contributions so animal lovers please open your heart and donate even if it’s only $5 a month any amount will be put to good use and they put something like 85% back into the animals and the rest is for advertisement. Which is better then any other organization I have contacted. Not that I am saying not to donate to others I just have had such wonderful experiences with them. Sierra is now 14 yrs old and Sasha is 9 and going strong with no health problems.

  42. Lauren Jordan says

    My dog, Tara, is a German Shepherd/Australian Kelpie mix. She is almost 13. She has cataracts, arthritis, I think she is going deaf….and in the last year has become incontinent. There was a time she could leap into my car through a window only half open, now she struggles to climb through the open door. I worry every day, when I come home from work that I will find her gone.

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