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How long do dogs live?

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In a previous post we wrote about the many physical, emotional and social benefits of owning a dog.  These included:

  •     Dogs can boost your mood
  •     Dogs make your more social
  •     Dogs (should) may you exercise more
  •     Dogs can make you feel less stressed / depressed
  •     Dogs make you feel safer and less anxious
  •     Dogs in your home can reduce the incidence of allergies in your kids

 
One further benefit is that having a dog will at some stage lead to it reaching the end of its life and will help your children learn how to deal with loss and grief.  A dog is very much a family member for most dog owners (at least we think it should be) and when they die, the sense of loss can be heart-breaking especially for children who for many will be the first experience of a bereavement they face.  Similarly, for older people whose sole companion might be their dog, this is a very difficult time.

Therefore, along with many other important factors, the life expectancy of different dog breeds should be considered when buying a dog for your family.

Life expectancy of popular dog breeds

 

2013 Popularity Rank

Dog Breed

Average Lifespan

1

Labrador Retriever

11 Years

2

German Shepherd

11 Years

3

Golden Retriever

11 Years

4

Beagle

12-15 Years

5

Bulldog

8-12 Years

6

Yorkshire Terrier

13 Years (possibly up to 20 years)

7

Boxer

9-10 Years

8

Poodle

12 Years

9

Rottweiler

9 Years

10

Dachshund

13-15 Years

11

French Bulldog

8-10 Years

12

Doberman Pinscher

10-13 Years

13

German Shorthaired Pointer

12-14 Years

14

Siberian Huskie

12-15 Years

15

Shih Tzu

12-16 Years

16

Great Dane

6-8 Years

17

Miniature Schnauzer

12-14 Years

18

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

9-14 Years

19

Pomeranian

14 Years

20

Australian Shepherd

12-18 Years

21

Shetland Sheepdog

12-13 Years

22

Chihuahua

17 Years

23

Boston Terrier

11-15 Years

24

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

12-15 Years

25

Havanese

14-16 Years


Reference: Canine Journal

The table above shows the average life expectancy of different breeds.  In general smaller dogs live longer than larger dogs.  For example it is seen that the Chihuahua has the longest life expectancy of circa 17 years, with the Great Dane having a much shorter life expectancy of between 6 and 8 years.

Converting dog years to human years

You are likely aware that a ‘dog year’ is different in length to a ‘human’ year.  The table below shows how this is based on dog weight. So if we look at the Chihuahua’s age of 17 which might weigh circa 6lbs, we can see it’s actual age in dog years is 81

Dog age


Reference PETMD

Other factors effecting life expectancy

Like any animal other environmental factors will also affect life expectancy.  For example:

  • Good Nutrition & Diet
  • Regularly Exercise
  • Not contracting disease
  • Crossbreed dogs have a longer lifestyle span
  • Spayed / Neutered dogs typically live longer


Summary

It is clear, that the length of time a dog lives is determined by many factors.  Selecting the right breed and providing a good lifestyle for your dog will facilitate it living to the age it hopefully should.

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