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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 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?
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Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.