What’s The Life Expectancy Of Your Dog?

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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)
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)
Vizsla (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?

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210 Comments

  1. I have a Pitbull mixed with Chow (PitChow) but it doesn’t say the life expectancy for it and it’s also WAY above a large dog and doesn’t get out much and I don’t know what to do.

  2. Just the other night my English Bulldog passed away. She was in good health and only 5 yrs old. I interacted with her earlier that morning and she seemed fine and normal in every way. I took a nap and when i checked on her she was so quiet that i immediately knew something was wrong, i couldn’t see her in her kennel bc she had her bed bunched up infront of the door. I actually thought somehow someone had stole her so in a panic i opened her kennel and yanked her bed out just to find her lying there stiff and no longer breathing. I had taken her to a vet a few months ago and he said he’s never seen a bulldog as healthy and beautiful as she was. I have no idea what could’ve caused her death, all i can think of is that recently since it has changed to winter she seemed a little congested but not severe like a cold or pneumonia or anything. Idk, it was truly heartbreaking to find my best friend like that and for no apparent reason.

  3. I have a Lab/Chow mix(Crystal) that is going on 16 years old now, she still likes to play occasionally and is waiting at the door when I come home from work, along with my 2 cats. Her sister(Cleo) was a boxer/lab mix and we had them since they were 8 weeks old. Cleo passed a few years ago, but Crystal still socializes and seems to be friends with my female cat. I know she’s starting to have trouble seeing and sometimes she seems to walk sideways, but she still has some spunk in her.

    1. Thank you for telling us about your Crystal. I hope my dogs are happy and healthy at her age. Linus just turned 11 and Stetson will be 9 in a month and both are doing well.

  4. Got a stray Germ8an Shepard for my son in 1985 when he was in 5th grade. He named her Champ. In 8th grade she was hit by a car when she slipped on some ice while he and his buddies were playing ice football in a parking lot. Chose expensive vet bills over the “put her down” choice at a time when we could sorely afford them.
    She rewarded our love and faith in her and contributed daily to the joy and happiness of our family. Much loved she passed away in 2011.
    a force of nature.

  5. My mini Dachshund, Peabody passed away March 20, 2015. She was 15 years old. It was my birthday. After her second birthday I started cooking her food for her. Let me tell you, YOU have to research EVERYTHING to care for your dog, BECAUSE YOUR VET WILL NOT TELL YOU EVEYTHING BELIEVE ME. I cooked for my dog but was not aware I had to give ground eggshells in her home cooked food, my vet knew I cooked her food but did not tell me. The ground eggshell binds the phosphorous in the food which protects the kidneys. The vet never told me I should get blood tests for my dog every year. They found renal failure in Peabody in January of 2014. Then I started to research everything about what I should do to help my dog. I kept her healthy for another year and 2 months. The vet , in my opinion, did not help my dog the way she could have in the end. I RESEARCHED and ended up telling her what I wanted. It was terrible, it is like what are you vets taught in school? I did not put my Peabody to sleep. She passed away on my bed at home. If I would have know about the eggshell and blood tests may be she would still be here. YOU HAVE TO RESEARCH EVERYTHING FOR YOUR SELF AND YOU HAD BETTER DO IT!!!!!!! I AM SO SORRY!!! MARY ANN

    1. So sorry for your loss. I have 3 dogs. My oldest was 13. 4 years old rott/pit mix. I had him every since he was 6 weeks. I told care if him and he just knew he was a human. When I had to be apart from him I call everyday to leave my voice on the answering machine. Once we connected again he urinated all over me!!! We were never apart again. 7 years later another puppy entered into his life and he was not to happy, but he grew to love the new dog. When I had to put my dot down, I lost it. My mind was not with me. He just passed July 02, 2015. My life stopped and everything around me stopped. He is being cremated and he will be with me all the time. I love my babies.

  6. Our beloved Miniature Toy Poodle, Rusty, passed away yesterday at 10 years an 4months of age.He was relatively active up until a week ago, when he became listless, and held his head towards the ceiling all the times.He would eat(Beneful),and drink plenty of water.and at times a table scrap, usually meat, He was also breathing quite rapidly at all times.He was not very active,and his bowe movements were normal,and urinated normally the night before he passed.his shots we up to date,and I am ata loss as to why he died.I expected him to live at least 5-6 more years.Any thoughts? hanks

  7. As I read over these comments, the tears are streaming down my face. So many people with so much pain. This hits especially hard for me as I lost my Teddy (Chow) that was with me 13 years 11 months in November. I had built him a coffin before he passed because of his health and had to be carried outside 6 times a day for 6 months before he passed. During this time, I messed up my rotator cuff in my arm but I didn’t even slow down. I loved him as if he was my son. He was buried in back yard and I ordered a monument and put a fence around his grave. I visit him twice a day now. He was always by my side and I will always be beside his.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    1. 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.

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

    3. 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.

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