How Long Do Dogs Live: The Average Lifespan of Popular Dog Breeds

year ago

The dream for those of us who have dogs is that they will live forever, but sadly, this is not the case. The longevity of our furry loved ones depends on many elements and we can estimate their lifespan depending on their ancestry. The average lifespan of dogs has increased from 10.5 years to 11.8 years from 2002 to 2016, something that must make dog owners very happy.

There are things you can do to increase their life expectancy and give them a long, happy life, such as offering a balanced diet for them and making sure they get their exercise. However, the bottom line is that some dogs live less than 10 years, while others can live for up to 20 years. In this article, we’ll discuss what types of dogs have a long average lifespan and why big dogs have shorter lifespan than small ones.


Every owner knows that dogs need lots of attention for it to have a long, happy life. It is necessary for all animals to have some form of physical activity. They should be taken out every day to release energy and move. There are special areas where dogs can run and jump over obstacles, among other things and many people take their pets to classes. In this respect, everything depends on what’s available and your personal preferences.

In addition to the necessary physical activity, it is also necessary to provide your four-legged friend with mental stimulation. Also, it will be useful for them to learn commands and just play. Dogs greatly appreciate attention from their owners and the time they spend with them. And it doesn’t matter if they are small dogs or big ones, since they all need exercise in order to live happily.


In order for your dog to live as long as possible, you have to take care of their health: take them for regular medical checkups and vaccinate them. If your canine friends have chronic diseases, then keep them under control and follow all of your veterinarian’s recommendations. This extra measure will help your dog live long and increase its average lifespan.

Different breeds are predisposed to certain diseases that can make their lifespans smaller. Familiarize yourself with them and read up on the symptoms so that you can go to the doctor immediately if they flare up. Like humans, dogs need to have dental check-ups, as they can develop periodontal disease, which can lead to gum inflammation and tooth loss.


Hygiene is a very important point if you want to your dog to live for a long time. By not following the basic rules, you can cause bacteria to grow on the dishes that your pet eats and drinks on, as well as on other surfaces in your home.

  • Thoroughly wash your pet’s paws and other dirty areas of your pet’s body after a walk. Make sure nothing gets stuck between their paw pads or under the claws.
  • Bathe your dog thoroughly, as often as his breed and coat require.
  • Regularly brush your long and medium-haired pets.
  • Take care of their ears and eyes, and don’t forget to clean them.
  • Control the condition of your four-legged friend’s teeth. You should brush them exclusively with special toothpaste. In this regard, you should follow your vet’s recommendations.
  • Keep your pet’s bowls clean and wash them every day.
  • Wash and disinfect your pet’s toys. The main thing is to use mild detergents that do not cause allergies.
  • Don’t forget to wash your dog’s clothes, towels, and bedding.


It doesn’t matter if you feed your dog with natural food or a special product since the most important thing is to provide them with a healthy and balanced diet. To lead a full life, a dog must receive the necessary proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and microelements. You should consult with your veterinarian and then follow their advice.

Make sure your dog doesn’t overeat, because being overweight can shorten its average lifespan. Provide your pet with constant access to drinking water, as it is indispensable for it to live happily. Not only that, but research shows that feeding dogs from your table is a terrible idea. The stomach and esophagus of people and dogs are completely different and the gastric juices are different too.

The digestive system of dogs simply can’t handle most of the foods we eat. It’s better to not express your love to your dog with your food, but with your attention to its diet.

Bad food choices for dogs

  • Coconuts eaten in moderation won’t seriously harm your dog, but the flesh and the milk of coconuts contain oils that may cause loose stools, stomach upset or diarrhea. Coconut water is high in potassium, so it shouldn’t be given to your pup.
  • A lot of people give bones to their dogs because they think dogs love that treat. Our furry friends may indeed enjoy chewing on them, but the truth is that cooked bones of any kind are extremely dangerous to them. Broken bones’ edges can be very sharp which could cause severe damage to their mouths, tongues, stomachs, and intestines.
  • Macadamia nuts are highly toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, ataxia or weakness, fever, muscle tremors, and depression. Another type of nut you need to be wary of is walnuts. Giving any kind of walnuts to your dog may cause gastric or intestinal upset or even an obstruction.
  • Raw meat (fish included) may be dangerous not only to your dog but to you as well. Raw food may contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella. And despite the benefits a raw meat diet could potentially have, the dangers outweigh them.
  • Many canines are lactose intolerant, so giving them milk or other dairy products may not be a great idea. They don’t pose major threats to our pets’ health, but they can cause loose stools, gas, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
  • If your dog consumes bread dough, that could mimic bloating as the yeast is making the dough rise and it will also release toxic levels of ethanol into your pet’s bloodstream. All that can cause weakness, depression, unsteadiness, hypothermia, seizures, and coma.

What types of dogs live the longest

Generally, in nature, small animals and insects live short lives, while large animals live much longer. For example, on average, a housefly lives for one month, a rat lives 2 to 3 years, a horse can live up to 30 years, and an African elephant up to 70 years. In other words, the size of animals and insects correlates with life expectancy. However, in dogs, this is completely opposite.

In most cases, small dogs live longer than large dogs. There is no exact answer to the question of why this happens, although some experts believe that age-related diseases develop earlier in large canines than in small ones.

It should be noted that these are only average values. In the breed description, you should look for more detailed information about this.

In general, mongrels or mutts tend to live longer than purebreds. This is because they have stronger immune systems and are less likely to get sick.

How long do some popular breeds of dogs live?

The average life expectancy of some popular breeds of dogs:

  • Labrador retriever: 11 years
  • German shepherd: 11 years
  • Golden retriever: 11 years
  • French bulldog: 8 to 10 years
  • Bulldog: 8 to 12 years
  • Bloodhound: 12 to 15 years
  • Poodle: 12 years
  • German Shorthaired Pointer: 12 to 14 years
  • Boxer: 9 to 10 years
  • Siberian Husky: 12 to 15 years
  • Great Dane: 6 to 8 years
  • Welsh Pembroke Corgi: 12 to 15 years
  • Doberman Pinscher: 10 to 13 years
  • Australian Shepherd: 12 to 18 years
  • Miniature Schnauzer: 12 to 14 years
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: 9 to 14 years
  • Shih Tzu: 12 to 16 years
  • Boston Terrier: 11 to 15 years
  • Havanese: 14 to 16 years
  • Shetland Sheepdog: 12 to 13 years
  • Bernese Mountain Dog: 6 to 8 years
  • Pug: 12 to 15 years
  • Russian Toy: 10 to 15 years
  • Rottweiler: 8 to 12 years

10 breeds with a short life expectancy

The life expectancy of dog breeds with short life spans (average):

  • French Mastiff: 5 to 8 years
  • Great Dane: 6 to 8 years
  • Bernese Mountain Dog: 6 to 8 years
  • Irish Wolfhound: 6 to 10 years
  • Neapolitan Mastiff: 7 to 9 years
  • Leonberger: 8 to 9 years
  • Newfoundland: 8 to 10 years
  • Saint Bernard: 8 to 10 years
  • Scottish Deerhound: 8 to 10 years
  • Bloodhound: 9 to 11 years

10 breeds with a long life expectancy

  • Maltese: 12 to 15 years
  • Jack Russell: 13 to 16 years
  • Yorkshire Terrier: 16 to 20 years
  • Toy Poodle: 14 to 20 years
  • Cockapoo: 12 to 18 years
  • Scottish Collie: 12 to 16 years
  • Lhasa Apso: 14 to 20 years
  • Pomeranian: 12 to 16 years
  • Dachshund: 14 to 20 years
  • Chihuahua: 14 to 20 years

The average life expectancy is also shown here.

What are the signs that a dog is aging?

Undoubtedly, dogs of all ages require a specific type of care. For example, a young one needs more activity, and an older one may no longer be able to deal with a lot of activity. There are signs that indicate the aging of the pet. By noticing them in time, you can gradually adapt the proper care regimen for your four-legged friend.

  • Eyes. As dogs age, their eyesight worsens and their eyes may become dull.
  • Frequent urination. Often, older dogs have kidney problems that lead to frequent urination.
  • Behavioral changes. The dog’s character may change and perplexity may set in.
  • Experiencing difficulty getting up. Older dogs may have arthritis or hip joint dysplasia, making it difficult for them to stand up.
  • Weight change. As dogs age, their metabolic rate changes, and thyroid problems may also develop. Because of this, dogs often gain or lose weight.
  • Weakness. Older dogs become increasingly lethargic. They often do not want to play and run like they used to.
  • Drowsiness. Older dogs sleep longer and deeper.
  • Fatty lumps. With age, fatty formations called lipomas may appear on the skin. These are benign and painless tumors.

Bonus 1: Most apartment friendly breeds.

  • Bichon frise: Though they are quite active and can even take part in sports competitions, dogs of this breed can have a good time simply lying on a couch.
  • Bulldog: This breed can live in a house or in an apartment of any size, but, of course, the owner should engage in some physical activity with the dog to keep their health in check.
  • Chihuahua: Anyone who has ever had to deal with a chihuahua will say that these dogs are quite smart with a whole lot of personality. It’s easy to travel with them thanks to their small size and they are very social.
  • Maltese: This extremely affectionate breed feels perfectly happy living in an apartment. Still, Maltese dogs require daily walking and active games. Despite their fluffiness, they don’t shed a lot and don’t do well in cold weather.
  • Basset hound: A faithful companion dog, basset hounds make good apartment dogs thanks to their exercise requirements — one walk a day will be enough for them. The rest of the time, basset hounds can be found lying on their dog bed or on a rug in the living room.
  • French bulldog: Seemingly created for living in apartments, French bulldogs have won the hearts of city dwellers. They are small, are not prone to barking a lot, and don’t shed much.
  • Pug: These small dogs are good for living in apartments — they rarely bark and are joyful and fun. They like to snort and one should pay special attention to the folds in their face when giving them a bath.
  • Poodle: Regardless of their size, poodles make good apartment dogs. They communicate well with kids and are considered to be hypoallergenic. However, they should be socialized and trained.

Bonus 2: The most quiet dog breeds.

  • Basenji: short shiny fur that doesn’t shed and a tightly curled tail. They’re known as barkless dogs because their larynx is not the correct shape, and they make tiny unique sounds in a low volume, that sound more like yodeling. They do cat-like self-cleaning by licking.
  • Pug: intelligent, playful, loyal, gets bored quickly, not very mobile, friendly toward other animals, easy-going but can be jealous. They enjoy food.
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback: they are intelligent, affectionate, even-tempered. If they bark, they’re frustrated, excited, bored, or need attention.
  • Golden Retriever: they are calm, gentle toward strangers, playful, fun, intelligent, obedient to their owner. If they bark, they’re intrigued, curious, or need attention.
  • Saint Bernard: they are calm, kind, relaxed, welcoming, friendly, outgoing, affectionate. If they bark, they feel threatened.
  • Great Dane: they are friendly, loving, known as the gentle giant of the canine world. If they bark, they feel alone, bored, on alert, or their protective instincts kick in.
  • Chinese Shar-Pei: they are calm, independent, loyal. If they bark, they are bored, on alert, or need attention.
  • Bernese mountain dog: they are gentle, affectionate, intelligent, tolerant, attach themselves to one person in particular. If they bark, they feel underexercised.

Bonus 3: How to rescue a dog.

  • Checking your dog’s breathing: Put your hand in front of their nose and try to feel the air. Also, check to see if their chest rises and falls. If a dog is not breathing, then check their mouth for an obstruction and pull their tongue forward.
  • Checking your dog’s pulse: Hold the large pad of their paw to feel their pulse, or check it inside of the hind leg at the place where leg joins the body.
  • If your dog has a pulse, but isn’t breathing then you will need to perform artificial respiration. If it has no pulse, you will need to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • For bigger dogs: The procedure is performed on the widest part of the dog’s ribcage, near their heart, but not directly on it.
  • For small dogs (30lbs (16.6kg) or less): you can position your fingers on one side of their chest and your thumb on the other, around it, or just use your fingers on top.
  • Place your palms one on top of the other, with your elbows straight and start pushing down on your dog’s rib cage. The pushes should be firm and quick, one after another.
  • You only need to compress 1/4 to 1/3 of their chest width.
  • Move to your dog’s abdominal area. Place your palms, one on top of the other.
  • Now you need to push down and squeeze the dog’s belly. This will help blood flow to the heart.
  • Repeat this way: 15 compressions, one artificial respiration, and then one abdominal squeeze.
  • For smaller dogs: Using the whole palm for these dogs will be too much. In this case, just use your thumbs or fingers to press the chest area. Also, you need to perform more compressions — about 17 over a period of 10 seconds.

How old was your dog when you met them? How many years have you been together and how do you celebrate that shared time? Do you prefer big dogs or small dogs and why do you have that preference?


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