Dogs-Life-SpanLarger dogs tend to live longer lives than smaller ones on average. If you think about it, a human lives much longer than a cat, which lives longer than a mouse, which lives longer than a bee. But why isn’t that true when it comes to animals within the same species? Someone who weighs 200 pounds will most likely live longer than a person who weighs say 300 pounds. That is because of increased health risks for the person who weighs more. When it comes to the life expectancy of dogs, how can you compare a Mastiff to a Chihuahua? Their anatomic builds are completely different and their lifespans totally reflect this. Beyond the size, is there an average age of a dog based on breed or other factors? We think so. Lets take a look.

Does Size Determine a Dog’s Lifespan?

Want to know how you can help your pup live a longer, robust life? Below are some helpful hints, that can help determine a canine’s lifespan.

Caring For Your Dog

As the owner, you can affect the care you provide for your dog. A dog with a proper, healthy diet and exercise can live much longer than one without. Taking your furry friend to annual wellness exams at the veterinarian and getting its booster shots can result in a healthy dog with a longer lifespan to.

Dog Size

Research shows that larger dogs live for a shorter period of time when compared to smaller ones. For example, an Irish Wolfhound (average 115 lbs) has an average lifespan of 7 years, while a Jack Russell Terrier (average 15 lbs) can live up to 13-16 years.

Inbreeding vs Cross Breeding

Everyone knows that Inbreeding can reduce the lifespan of canines. Cross breed dogs have a longer lifespan in comparison. Inbred dogs have a risk of carrying genes for illnesses that are common to that specific breed. Further, “mutts” who have at least two breeds and commonly more, tend to have the least health problems and live longer than their purebred dogs.


Spaying and neutering a puppy at a young age can positively affect a dog’s lifespan. Studies show that these surgeries can help reduce the risk of certain  types of cancers in canines. Like cancer affecting the ovaries, breast and testicles. Studies show that these benefits may or may not completely accurate but there is no question that your life will be easier without a litter of puppies in your life and this will also be less stress on your young dog, which could easily mean a longer life.

Dog Breed Life Expectancy By Breed

Dog life expectancy chart sorted by the most popular registered breeds from the past decade.

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

What Is the Longest Living Dog Breed?

Chihuahuas are normally referred to as the breed with the longest lifespan. They average 12-21 years and are one of the smallest dog breeds. The oldest Chihuahua on record, died at the age of 21 years old.

The Australian Cattle Dog is known for having one of the longest life expectancy. There are records of Australian Cattle Dogs living past 20 years old. In fact, the longest living dog recorded is an Australian Cattle Dog named Blue who lived 29 years and 5 months, we believe this to be a world record.