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. 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

    1. 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

  2. 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.

    1. 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

    2. 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

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. I’m sorry for your losses. I recently lost my dachshund, who almost made it to the age of 16. How were you able to stop grieving? How long did it take?

  4. 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.

  5. 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……!

  6. 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.

    1. 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

  7. 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…

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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.

  9. 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.

    1. 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.

  10. 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.

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