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How many years does a dog live?


Black labrador

How many years does a dog live? You may want your dog to live forever, knowing how long dogs live will help you take better care of them through each stage of their lives, making sure you give them the best possible care so that you can spend as much time with them as possible.

How many years does a dog live?

There are many factors that determine the longevity of dogs, including the size, breed, and general health of the animal. These factors can help answer the questions on most dog lovers' minds: How long do dogs live? How can I help my dog ​​live longer?

Do small dog breeds live longer than large dog breeds? 

Scientists have long been puzzled by the tendency of small dog breeds to live longer than large dog breeds . In the rest of the animal kingdom, size appears to be positively correlated with longevity. Elephants and whales are among the largest and longest-lived mammals, with some species of whales living for more than 100 years. However the same cannot be said of dogs.

Small dogs live much longer than their larger counterparts, in many cases up to several years longer. Scientists aren't entirely sure why this happens, though it's been speculated that larger dogs develop age-related diseases earlier than smaller dogs. This may be because large breeds grow from puppies to adults at an accelerated rate, which can increase the likelihood of abnormal cell growth and death from diseases such as cancer.

Regardless of the reasons why some dogs live longer than others, there are similar characteristics among small, medium and large dog breeds that help determine the longevity of each group.

How long do small dog breeds live? 

The average lifespan of small dog breeds is 10 to 15 years, and some breeds live up to 18 years. In general, small dogs live longer than their larger counterparts, while shorter-lived breeds still outpace the average lifespan of most large breeds.

This makes it a good choice for families who want a long-lasting companion. While variability between breeders and statistical evidence makes it difficult to pinpoint an exact age range for any dog ​​breed, here are the lifespans of the longest-lived and shortest-lived small dog breeds.

Life expectancy for certain small dog breeds 

  • Chihuahua (15-17 years old)
  • Chinese Crested (15-17 years old)
  • Fox Terrier (13-15 years old)
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel  (13-15 years old)
  • Pomeranian (14-16 years old)
  • Rat Terrier (13-15 years old)
  • Jack Russell (12-14 years old)
  • Lakeland Terrier (12-14 years old)
  • Manchester Terrier (12-14 years old)
  • Yorkshire Terrier (12-15 years old)

How long do medium dog breeds live?

Medium-sized dog breeds range from smaller companion breeds like the French bulldog to larger, more active working breeds like the border collie and Australian shepherd. The average lifespan of medium sized dog breeds is 10 to 13 years, with some breeds living even longer.

As with small dogs, exact age ranges for medium dog breeds are difficult to determine, but there are general guidelines for how old each breed is.

The average life expectancy of certain dog breeds is medium in size 

  • Australian Shepherd (12-15 years old)
  • Shar Pei (12-14 years old)
  • Cocker Spaniel (13-15 years old)
  • Kanish (12-15 years old)
  • Whippet (12-15 years old)
  • Polly (10-15 years old)
  • Welsh Springer Spaniel (13-15 years old)
  • Bulldog (10-12 years old)
  • Boxer (10-12 years old)
  • Chow Chow (11-13 years old)
  • Curly Rottriever (11-13 years old)
  • French Bulldog (11-13 years old)

How long do large and giant dog breeds live? 

The average life span of large dog breeds is 8 to 12 years. This includes large breed dogs, such as: German Shepherd , Golden Retriever , Labrador Retriever , Rottweiler, and Doberman , in addition to giant breeds such as: Great Dane, St. Bernard, and Mastiff. In general, giant breeds tend to live an average of 8-10 years, while large dog breeds live 10-12 years.

Life expectancy of some large dog breeds: 

  • Great Dane (8-10 years old)
  • Bernese Mountain Dog (7-10 years)
  • Irish Wolfhound (8-10 years)
  • Newfoundland (10-12 years old)
  • Giant Schnauzer (10-12 years old)
  • Bordeaux dog (9-11 years old)
  • Rottweiler (10-12 years old)
  • Saint Bernard (10-12 years old)
  • Scottish Deerhound (10-12 years old)
  • Flat Coated Retriever (10-12 years old)
  • Akita (11-15 years old)
  • Anatolian Shepherd (11-13 years old)
  • Irish Setter (12-14 years old)
  • Belgian Malinois (14-16 years old)

The importance of health checks 

In addition to size, genes often play a role in determining a dog's longevity. Unfortunately, some dogs are predisposed to certain diseases, just like humans. So in order to give your dog the longest and best life possible, it's important to be aware of any health issues your dog's breed may develop.

Common causes of premature death in dogs 

In an ideal world, all dogs would live their happy, healthy lives. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The premature death of dogs under the age of two is most often related to trauma, congenital disease, or infectious causes, but trauma, cancer, and infectious disease can occur at any time in a dog's life.


Cancer is the leading cause of death in large dog breeds across the board. Scientists don't know exactly why large dog breeds tend to develop cancer more than smaller dog breeds.

The extremely high rate of cancer in golden retrievers has led to the largest canine cancer study of its kind. The researchers hope that the study will shed light on why so many golden retrievers develop cancer, as well as how factors that contribute to cancer in dogs can also help us understand cancer in humans.


Trauma can take many forms, including car accidents and violent fights. Puppies and young dogs have a higher rate of trauma-related deaths than adults or larger breeds, and working dogs have a higher rate of trauma-related deaths.

Keeping your dog on a leash outside and around them can help prevent some trauma-related injuries, and it's always a good idea to supervise young puppies around other animals and children.

birth defects 

Congenital and inherited defects cannot always be detected or predicted. However, medical examinations at least every 6 months can help in detecting diseases that can be treated in time.

Infectious diseases 

Infectious diseases are no longer the concern they were before vaccinations , but they still claim a canine victim each year. Keeping your dog up to date on parasite control and vaccinations can help reduce your dog's risk of contracting a fatal infectious disease.


Obese dogs live two years less than dogs of a healthy weight. Obesity stresses the musculoskeletal system, leads to osteoporosis and intervertebral disc disease, and increases the risk of developing diabetes and pancreatitis.

Obesity is also linked to heart and respiratory conditions, such as airway impairment and tracheal collapse. So maintaining a healthy weight for your dog reduces the risk of developing weight-related diseases, improves his quality of life, and gives him the opportunity to live his whole life.

Tips for longevity of dogs 

Predicting a dog's age is tricky. While it is relatively safe to assume that a small dog breed will outlive a giant breed dog, there are many factors beyond our control that affect the longevity of pets . This can be frustrating, but fortunately, there are some things we can do to improve the average lifespan of dogs such as:
  • Feed her a healthy diet, according to her life stage and special circumstances.
  • Help her maintain a healthy weight.
  • Stay up to date on your vaccinations and dewormers.
  • Learn about reproductive diseases and their symptoms.
  • Schedule regular vet checkups and blood tests.
  • Restricting access to toxins and other harmful substances.
Ultimately, the best way to help your dog live his life to the fullest is to schedule regular appointments with the vet. He can help you create a plan for your dog's wellness that includes proper nutrition, preventative care, and exercise, so your dog will stay healthy and active into his golden years.


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