How Long Do Dogs Live?
A Complete Guide to Canine Lifespan
The lifespan of a dog depends on many factors such as breed, age, health status, environment and other factors. Some breeds are known to live much longer than others. There are some breeds which have been bred for their longevity but there are also other reasons why they may not live so long.
Breed Specific Life Expectancy Chart
There are several different breeds of dogs which all have their own specific lifespan. For example, the Golden Retriever has a lifespan of 10 years while the Labrador Retriever lives up to 15 years. These two breeds have very similar characteristics and both are considered “Golden” or “Labrador”.
A Golden Retriever’s lifespan is determined by its size and weight. The average Golden Retriever weighs between 25-30 pounds with males weighing slightly heavier than females. This breed is very active and requires a significant amount of exercise.
These retrievers are often used as hunting dogs and have a lifespan of 10 years.
The Labrador Retriever is slightly larger than the Golden with males weighing between 50-60 pounds and females weighing between 40-50 pounds. Both males and females require a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day. The Labrador’s lifespan is 15 years.
The main difference between the two retrievers is that the Labrador Retriever’s lifespan can be determined by breeding.
Breeding and Lifespan
Breeding plays a large role in how long your dog will live. There are several dogs which have been bred to have longer lifespans than others. While some dogs live for 10-15 years, other breeds can live for more than 20 years.
These breeds have been inbred with other dogs to create longer living canines.
While mixed breeds may have a longer lifespan than purebreds, breeders have noticed that the lifespans of purebreds are much longer than mixed breeds. The main reason for this is breeding. When breeding two purebreds, there are fewer genetic mutations which occur due to inbreeding.
This means that the chances of having a shorter-lived dog are less likely. While some mixed breeds may live longer than a purebred, it is more than likely that they will not.
A mixed breed dog’s lifespan can be anywhere between 10-15 years. The American Kennel Club has developed a list of the top 10 longest living breeds. These breeds have been specifically bred for their longevity and are proven to live longer than most dogs.
Even if your mixed breed is not on this list, it still may live a long time. However, if you are looking for a canine companion which will live a long and happy life, these breeds are a good starting point.
Longest Living Dog Breeds
This large breed of dog has been known to live up to 13 years. The average lifespan of this breed is 10-12 years but there have been cases of them living up to 13 years. These dogs were bred in Germany as herding dogs.
They have been used as guard dogs and police dogs due to their powerful build. Today they make excellent family pets due to their loyalty and protective instincts.
This incredibly large dog has an average lifespan of 7 years. It is a very friendly breed and makes an excellent guard dog. It can weigh up to 200 pounds when fully grown which means it is too large to be aggressive.
This breed’s shorter lifespan is due to several health concerns including hip dysplasia and gastric torsion.
This gentle giant enjoys a lifespan of 10-12 years. It is a very affectionate dog but can be stubborn at times. The Bloodhound has a great sense of smell and has been used for tracking humans and animals alike.
This breed also suffers from gastric torsion which cause early death.
4. Great Dane
This giant breed has an average lifespan of 6-8 years. Despite its enormous size, it is very friendly and intelligent. It is believed this breed originated in Germany and was bred to hunt wolves.
Today it enjoys a comfortable life as a family pet. Great Danes are at higher risk of suffering from bone cancer, gastric torsion, and joint problems.
5. St. Bernard
This breed of dog has a lifespan of only 6-8 years. It is a very friendly dog and was originally bred to help humans in the Swiss Alps. The St.
Bernard is a muscular animal and can weigh up to 160 pounds when full grown. It enjoys spending time with humans and is not typically aggressive towards other dogs or people. Its average lifespan is shorter than most due to several health concerns including gastric dilatation-volvulus and hip dysplasia.
6. Irish Wolfhound
This breed of dog has an average lifespan of only 6-8 years. It is a very friendly dog and has been used for hunting in the past, although it is no longer used for this purpose. The Irish Wolfhound enjoys spending time with humans and gets along well with children.
Due to its height, this breed is prone to getting bone fractures which can lead to a painful death.
7. Great Pyrenees
This dog has an average lifespan of only 7-10 years. It is a very friendly breed and was bred to guard livestock in the mountains of France. The Great Pyrenees is a large breed of dog and can weigh up to 150 pounds.
It has been prone to several different bone disorders which affect its long term health and cause chronic pain.
8. Irish Setter
This breed of dog has an average lifespan of 10-12 years. It is a friendly breed and loves to play sports such as hunting and flyball. It can weigh up to 70 pounds and is prone to several health problems including bloat and bone cancer.
This breed of dog has an average lifespan of 10-12 years. It is a friendly breed and gets its name from its ability to track human blood. Due to its keen sense of smell, it has also been used to hunt for animals such as Jackals.
It can weigh up to 120 pounds but despite its large size, it is very gentle. This breed suffers from several health concerns that shorten its lifespan including bone cancer and gastric dilaitation-volitlus.
10. Scottish Deerhound
This dog has an average lifespan of only 6-8 years. It is a large breed of dog and can weigh up to 100 pounds. It was bred for hunting purposes and enjoys the outdoors.
Due to its size, this breed is prone to several bone related disorders such as bone cancer and hip dysplasia.
Did you know?
A dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 – 100,000 times greater than that of a human.
Dogs are the only animals other than humans that get cancer.
The average dog’s mouth exerts approximately 150 pounds of pressure per inch of bite force.
It is illegal to put a spotlight on a roofless car in Detroit, Michigan because it may distract search dogs looking for missing people in the river.
Dogs are the first animals to be domesticated by humans.
Follow the link for more amazing facts!
Dogs have 2 times the amount of olfactory cells as humans. Follow the link below for other comparisons of our senses:
Some dogs are able to detect:
Carbon Monoxide (450 times better than humans)
Natural Gas (3 times better than humans)
Ammonia (4 times better than humans)
The bloodhound is a remarkable breed of dog. They can track a scent trail 3 months old that is 1 square mile wide!
Dogs are the fastest creatures on land, reaching speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.
When dogs are happy, they make a wide variety of noises; it is when they are unhappy that they make their infamous “ruff” sound.
Dogs can’t actually see in complete darkness, but their hearing and smell become much more sensitive. In addition to this, they rely on a tiny film of water that covers their eyes that acts like a protective visor.
Sources & references used in this article:
The effects of fear and anxiety on health and lifespan in pet dogs by NA Dreschel – Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 2010 – Elsevier
The dog aging project: translational geroscience in companion animals by M Kaeberlein, KE Creevy, DEL Promislow – Mammalian genome, 2016 – Springer
Behavioural risks in female dogs with minimal lifetime exposure to gonadal hormones by M Starling, A Fawcett, B Wilson, J Serpell, P McGreevy – PloS one, 2019 – journals.plos.org
The Dog Owner’s Manual: Operating Instructions, Troubleshooting Tips and Advice on Lifetime Maintenance by D Brunner, S Stall – 2004 – books.google.com
Body size, energy metabolism and lifespan by JR Speakman – Journal of Experimental Biology, 2005 – jeb.biologists.org
Dogs: A startling new understanding of canine origin, behavior & evolution by SL Gerstenfeld, S Gerstenfeld, JL Schultz – 1999 – Chronicle Books
Classification and behavior of canine mammary epithelial neoplasms based on life-span observations in beagles by R Coppinger, L Coppinger – 2001 – books.google.com
What does it take to become ‘best friends’? Evolutionary changes in canine social competence by SA Benjamin, AC Lee, WJ Saunders – Veterinary pathology, 1999 – journals.sagepub.com
Effect of different glycerol treatments on frozen-thawed dog sperm longevity and acrosomal integrity by Á Miklósi, J Topál – Trends in cognitive sciences, 2013 – Elsevier