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 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

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

    1. 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. 🙂

  5. 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.

    1. 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

    2. 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 !

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

    1. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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 🙂

    1. 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.

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