The Average Lifespan of a Dog and 5 Benefits of Having One

James Livingood has been a dog sitter for several years. He has written numerous articles and a book about the topic because he loves dogs.

Owning a dog can make your life amazing—though occasionally they can be frustrating. Puppies can be difficult to train, but it's hard not to love them. So how long do dogs live and what are the benefits they provide to their owners? In this article, we'll discuss the lifespan of a dog and five scientific benefits of caring for one.

Factors That Determine Lifespan

The lifespan of a dog depends on certain factors like size, age, and breed:


Throughout the years, there has been popular research and the discovery that larger dogs have a shorter lifespan compared to shorter dogs. A dog with more body mass and size can develop more physical ailments related to exercise compared to a dog with a smaller body mass that is comparatively small in size. For example, a Wolfhound will have an average lifespan of six to seven years and Fox Terrier can live up to 15 to 16 years! That is a huge difference.


This factor is the main part. There is this myth that one human year is equal to seven whopping dog years. That is not scientifically accepted or proven, but it is accepted by many. However, a tough calculation shows a human aged by one year will be equal to a 10 to 15-year-old dog. That is, the dog will be fully matured and have all sexual capabilities, etc.


The lifespan of a mixed dog will be completely different from distinct breeds of dogs as there are two types of breeding: inbreeding and crossbreeding. Dogs that are inbred have shorter lifespans compared to those that are crossbred. Inbred dogs are at risk of sharing genes that can carry inheritable illnesses and conditions. Dogs that are crossbred tend to have healthier and longer lifespans.

Lifespans of Different Dog Breeds

Here is a list of dogs with the maximum ages they can live up to:

  • Pitbull: 10–14 years. This means they are strong and energetic enough to live up to 14 years and 15 if taken care of properly.
  • German Shepherd: 10–12 years. This breed may have an aggressive personality, yet they are extremely loyal and approachable.
  • Golden Retriever: 10–13 years. This is a medium-sized dog breed that is intelligent and affectionate. They are playful yet gentle.
  • Shih Tzu: 11–14 years. This type of breed has a royal personality: they are proud and arrogant. But they are less demanding as compared to other dogs and have a sweet nature.
  • Beagle: 12–14 years. This breed is very loving and curious. They are rarely aggressive or hard to deal with. However, they have deep, loud barks that can be compared to howling.
  • Labrador Retriever: 10–12 years. This breed is a short yet very thick-skinned dog with weather resistance. They are kind and have a good temperament.
  • Pug: 12–15 years. Pugs are charming dogs with a very affectionate personality.
  • Yorkie: 14–16 years. This is a small-sized dog with an energetic personality; they are attention seekers.
  • Great Dane: 7–10 years. These are gigantic dogs with a very kind personality. They have moderate moods and are playful.

5 Scientific Benefits of Having a Dog

Apart from the emotional benefits that bringing a puppy has to offer, there are many scientific benefits of having a dog as well. You don’t just have to own them to reap all the health benefits that they have to offer, you can hang out with them, and they will bring you so many advantages. Here are the top five most influential ones among them.

1. Heart Health

Dogs don’t just feel good to your heart; they are linked to the actual health of the heart as well. If you have a dog, you will have fewer chances of having blood pressure issues, according to research. Research also states that owning a dog has direct impacts on cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels; they tend to get lowered.

This means that your cardiovascular health is going to be positively impacted by the presence of a dog. You will become less likely to have heart attacks, as well. The best part is that studies show that the survival rates of those who have a heart attack is much higher in dog owners than those who don’t own a dog.

2. Resistance Towards Allergies

Pets are known to mostly trigger allergies in people. However, kids that have been living with a pet since childhood become more resistant to allergy issues. They are less likely to have allergy issues when they grow up.

According to a study in the journal Microbiome, pregnant women encountered a bacterial exchange, and their children would turn out to have two bacteria called Oscillospira and Ruminococcus, which lower the risk of allergies. This means they are able to resist allergies better even if the pet is not thereafter, they are born.

3. More Exercise

This is more of a tendency than a health benefit, which has a positive impact on health. A dog owner has to walk his dog several times a day, especially in bad weather. An average adult is supposed to have at least 30 minutes of walk every day, and according to research, dog owners are more likely to reach that goal.

Taking the dog out for walks every day sets a steady schedule of being able to walk every day; you cant it out of weak willpower as well. You will also need to play with them every day, and this exercise is going to have numerous health benefits.

4. They Can Detect Low Sugar Levels

According to a British Medical Journal, more than a third of dogs that live with people suffering from diabetes are able to detect low blood sugar levels, even before the patients are able to. This causes them to exhibit behavioral changes. Most of the time, dogs manage to nudge the patients into eating what is right for them.

5. They Can Help During Seizures

Dogs are capable of detecting an oncoming seizure. They can warn the owners so that they can get help or call emergency services beforehand.

© 2019 James Livingood

Canine Genetic Age Testing With EasyDNA

Want to find out your pet’s scientific age? EasyDNA makes it simple to determine your dog’s true age with a Canine Genetic Age test that measures a dog’s telomeres’ length at a genetic level.

It then uses that information to compare your pup with more than 95 types of dogs in their database to define their breed and biological age details further. Order a kit, send in your sample, and get results back in two to three weeks. Visit EasyDNA’s website to learn more and buy a test.

  • Height: 8-13 inches
  • Weight: 8-18 lb
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Group: Not Applicable
  • Best Suited For: Families with children, singles and seniors, apartments, houses with/without yards
  • Temperament: Fun-loving, energetic, spunky, playful
  • Comparable Breeds: Poodle, Shih Tzu

Are you ready for some action, Shih-Poo style? If you looking for a dog breed with a name that you will never stop laughing about, then you just found it. The Shih-Poo is a fun-loving and energetic little designer dog. His zest for life is intoxicating. A mix of Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle , he’ll have everyone in the family running around and chasing a ball alongside of him. Although he doesn’t need loads of exercise, he is spunky when he wants to play and will wear his family down long before he ever tuckers out. Shih-Poos will race around the house or run around the yard. It doesn’t matter much to them. They are little balls of energy always looking for the opportunity to explode. This crossbreed is a great companion for families who live in small apartments or have large backyards in the suburbs. He’s quite adaptable to a variety of living situations and will find ways to burn off that energy just about anywhere.

Always a clown, the Shih-Poo seems to have a way of cheering people up and making even the saddest person smile. These pups have a magnetic personality that will pull in people of all ages. Their loyal and sweet nature makes them ideal companions, especially for retirees looking for a four-legged friend to spend their golden years with. Nothing will make you smile in your autumn years quite like having a Shih-Poo bouncing around your home.

While quite intelligent, this Shih Tzu and Poodle mix dog might not be a wise choice for beginner dog owners. They can be stubborn and difficult to housebreak, and unless you had previous experience with dog training, you might find them a handful. Training this fluff balls will tax even the most patience and experienced of professional dog trainers, so new dog owners don’t stand a chance. Also known as Shoodle, Shihpoo, Shih-Doodle, and Shi-Poo, this adorable little hybrid definitely has a lot to offer to his family. Read on to find out more about this popular designer dog breed!

The Shih-Poo is a mix of Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle breeds.

The Life Expectancy of 165 Breeds of Dogs

When I was young, I was an avid reader and scoured the shelves of our small local library to find books about dogs—not just factual, nonfiction books, but novels as well. When it came to novels, I soon learned that if there was a book in the adult section of the library, and it had a picture of a dog on the cover, then you could bet that the book would end with the dog dying.

I was living in an era where the average life expectancy of a dog might be around eight years of age, and reading those books stamped into my head the idea that my pets would only be with me for a short time. Fortunately, we now have much-improved veterinary procedures, and more people are taking care of the nutritional and health status of their dogs so that canine life expectancy is much longer. Still, we all wonder about how long our dogs are going to live.

A while back, I wrote a post presenting some of the newest data about the life expectancy of dogs, and showing that you can make a reasonable prediction as to how much longer your dog can live based upon his present age and his body size. Following the publication of that post, I have received a steady stream of queries from dog owners who wanted to know whether there was data giving the life expectancy of dogs on a breed-by-breed basis.

I had my doubts, mainly because to get a reliable estimate of the longevity of more than 150 breeds of dogs, one would need thousands of cases. Fortunately, Vicki J. Adams, a Canadian veterinary epidemiologist who currently resides in Norfolk in the UK headed a team of researchers who gathered this needed data. Their report was published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice*.

The data was collected by contacting the largest breed-specific clubs in the UK, and ultimately the researchers obtained information based on 15,881 deaths, over a period of 10 years. The overall analysis showed that the median age at death was 11 years and three months, and lifespan did vary significantly by breed. The most common causes of death were cancer (27 percent), "old age" (18 percent) and cardiac conditions (11 percent). It also supported previous research which shows that smaller breeds tend to have a longer lifespan compared with larger breeds.

For your information, I have recast the data from this study into a list that provides the median lifespan in years for each of the 165 dog breeds for which the data sample seemed large enough to provide a stable measure. There is one notable omission of a popular breed, however. The researchers report, "The responses for the German shepherd dog were excluded from further analyses as 1425 questionnaires were sent out to the British Association for German shepherd dogs, but only 18 questionnaires were returned and the breed club did not report how many questionnaires were sent out."

Breed / Median Life Expectancy in Years

  • Affenpinscher. 11 .42
  • Afghan hound. 11 .92
  • Airedale terrier. 10 .75
  • Akita. 9 .92
  • Alaskan Malamute. 10 .71
  • American cocker spaniel. 10 .33
  • Anatolian/Karabash. 10 .75
  • Australian cattle dog. 11 .67
  • Australian shepherd. 9
  • Australian silky terrier. 14 .25
  • Australian terrier. 12 .08
  • Basenji. 13.54
  • Basset Fauve de Bretagne. 10 .42
  • Basset Griffon Vendeen. 12 .04
  • Basset hound. 11 .29
  • Beagle. 12 .67
  • Bearded collie. 13 .5
  • Bedlington terrier. 13 .38
  • Belgian shepherd. 12 .5
  • Bernese mountain dog. 8
  • Bichon frise. 12 .92
  • Bloodhound. 6 .79
  • Border collie. 12 .25
  • Border terrier. 14
  • Borzoi. 9 .08
  • Boston terrier. 10 .92
  • Bouvier Des Flandres. 11 .33
  • Boxer. 10 .25
  • Briard. 11 .17
  • Brittany. 12 .88
  • Bull terrier. 10
  • Bulldog. 6 .29
  • Bullmastiff. 7 .46
  • Cairn terrier. 14
  • Canaan dog. 14 .63
  • Cavalier King Charles spaniel. 11 .38
  • Cesky terrier. 8 .42
  • Chesapeake Bay retriever. 10 .75
  • Chihuahua. 12 .42
  • Chinese crested. 10 .08
  • Chow Chow. 9 .38
  • Clumber spaniel. 10 .33
  • Cocker spaniel. 11 .17
  • Collie. 12 .67
  • Curly coated retriever. 10 .75
  • Dachshund. 12 .67
  • Dalmatian. 12 .5
  • Dandie Dinmont terrier. 12 .17
  • Deerhound. 8 .67
  • Dobermann. 10 .5
  • Dogue de Bordeaux. 3 .83
  • English setter. 11 .58
  • English springer spaniel. 12
  • English toy terrier. 12
  • Field spaniel. 11 .63
  • Finnish Lapphund. 7 .33
  • Finnish spitz. 11 .13
  • Flat-coated retriever. 9 .83
  • Fox terrier. 13 .13
  • French bulldog. 9
  • German longhaired pointer. 10 .5
  • German pinscher. 11 .38
  • German short haired pointer. 12
  • German spitz. 11 .33
  • German wirehaired pointer. 10
  • Giant schnauzer. 10
  • Glen of Imaal terrier. 10 .42
  • Golden retriever. 12 .25
  • Gordon setter. 11 .08
  • Great Dane. 6 .5
  • Greenland dog. 8 .46
  • Greyhound. 9 .08
  • Griffon Bruxellois. 12
  • Hamiltonstovare. 10 .13
  • Havanese. 10 .25
  • Hovawart. 12 .92
  • Hungarian Puli. 12 .42
  • Hungarian vizsla. 12 .92
  • Hungarian wirehaired vizsla. 9 .83
  • Irish red & white setter. 11 .42
  • Irish setter. 12
  • Irish terrier. 14 .83
  • Irish water spaniel. 9 .33
  • Irish wolfhound. 7 .04
  • Italian greyhound. 13 .5
  • Italian Spinone. 9
  • Japanese Chin. 9 .25
  • Japanese spitz. 12 .29
  • Keeshond. 12 .21
  • Kerry Blue terrier. 11 .5
  • King Charles spaniel. 10 .04
  • Komondor. 9 .13
  • Kooikerhondje. 3 .92
  • Labrador retriever. 12 .25
  • Lakeland terrier. 15 .46
  • Lancashire heeler. 11 .75
  • Large Munsterlander. 11 .33
  • Leonberger. 7 .08
  • Lhasa apso. 14 .33
  • Lowchen. 10
  • Maltese. 12 .25
  • Manchester terrier. 12 .83
  • Maremma sheepdog. 10
  • Mastiff. 6 .83
  • Miniature bull terrier. 6 .08
  • Miniature pinscher. 13
  • Miniature poodle. 13 .92
  • Miniature schnauzer. 12 .08
  • Neopolitan mastiff. 2 .33
  • Newfoundland. 9 .67
  • Norfolk terrier. 11
  • Norwegian buhund. 12 .67
  • Norwegian elkhound. 13 .17
  • Norwich terrier. 13 .38
  • Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever. 8
  • Old English sheepdog. 10 .75
  • Otterhound. 10 .21
  • Papillon/butter fly dog. 13 .08
  • Parson Russell terrier. 13
  • Pekingese. 11 .42
  • Pharoah hound. 11 .83
  • Pointer. 12 .42
  • Polish lowland sheepdog. 9 .58
  • Pomeranian. 9 .67
  • Por tuguese water dog. 11 .42
  • Pug. 11
  • Pyrenean mountain dog. 9 .58
  • Pyrenean sheepdog. 5 .79
  • Rhodesian ridgeback. 11
  • Rottweiler. 8 .92
  • Saluki/gazellehound. 12
  • Samoyed. 12 .5
  • Schipperke. 13
  • Schnauzer (standard). 11 .96
  • Scottishterrier. 10 .25
  • Sealyhamterrier. 12 .25
  • Sharpei. 6 .29
  • Shetland sheepdog. 12 .5
  • Shiba Inu (Japanese). 7
  • Shih-tzu. 13.17
  • Siberian husky. 12 .58
  • Skye terrier. 11
  • Soft coated wheaten terrier. 12 .5
  • St Bernard. 7
  • Staffordshire bull terrier. 12 .75
  • Standard poodle. 12
  • Sussex spaniel. 11 .13
  • Swedish vallhund. 14 .42
  • Tibetan mastiff. 11 .92
  • Tibetan spaniel. 14 .42
  • Tibetan terrier. 12 .17
  • Toy poodle. 14 .63
  • Weimaraner. 11 .13
  • Welsh corgi Cardigan. 16 .5
  • Welsh corgi Pembroke. 12 .21
  • Welsh springer spaniel. 12 .58
  • Welsh terrier. 12 .67
  • West Highland white terrier. 13
  • Whippet. 12 .79
  • Yorkshire terrier. 12 .67

Stanley Coren is the author of many books including The Wisdom of Dogs.

Copyright SC Psychological Enterprises Ltd. May not be reprinted or reposted without permission.

Watch the video: Dog Years Lyrics Maggie Rogers (October 2021).

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