Dog Breeds with Short Life Expectancies

The Life Expectancies of Dogs!

Bulldog Walking Wtih Owner

Bulldog Walking Wtih Owner


Dog breeds with short life expectancies share some interesting factors such as larger dogs have shorter life spans than small dogs. The larger the dog the shorter it’s life span because their bodies age faster and their body mass. Below is a table that shows the top 30 dog breeds and their life spans.

You may have heard but it’s also a myth that 1 human year equals 7 in dog years, which is totally false.

In this article, we will share some genetic factors, breed-specific health issues and certain environmental factors that can play a role in a dog’s lifespan.

Table of the Top 30 Dog Breed Lifespans

The table below shows a rough estimate of the lifespans of each dog breed that is mentioned.

  Dog Life Expectancy Table  
No. Dog Breed Life Expectancy
1. Dogue de Bordeaux 5 – 7 Years
2. Bulldog 6 – 8 Years
3. Bernese Mountain Dog 6 – 8 Years
4. Irish Wolfhound 6 – 9 Years
5. Mastiff 6 – 10 Years
6. Neapolitan Mastiff 7 – 9 Years
7. Bloodhound 7 – 9 Years
8. Bullmastiff 7 – 10 Years
9. Great Dane 8 – 10 Years
10. Newfoundland 8 – 10 Years
11. Rottweiler 8 – 10 Years
12. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog 8 – 10 Years
13. Chinese Shar-Pei 8 – 10 Years
14. Saint Bernard 8 – 11 Years
15. French Bulldog 8 – 12 Years
16. Shetland Sheepdog 8 – 12 Years
17. Chow Chow 8 – 12 Years
18. Boxer 9 – 10 Years
19. Scottish Deerhound 9 – 11 Years
20. Fila Brasileiros 9 – 11 Years
21. Boerboel 9 – 11 Years
22. Kuvasz 9 – 12 Years
23. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 9 – 12 Years
24. Basset Hound 10 – 12 Years
25. German Shepherd 10 – 12 Years
26. Beagle 10 – 15 Years
27. Shih Tzu 10 – 16 Years
28. Pekingese 12 – 14 Years
29. Pug 12 – 15 Years
30. Dachshund 12 – 16 Years

Note: Please keep in mind that these are approximate average lifespans for these breeds, and individual dogs may live longer or shorter lives. Individual dogs’ lifespans can vary depending on several factors, including genetics, healthcare, and living conditions. With proper care, diet, and regular veterinary check-ups can also have a significant impact on a dog’s life span.

Primary Causes For A Shorter Lifespan

Rottweiler Walking Wtih Owner

Rottweiler Walking Wtih Owner

Now, let’s examine some of the factors that can cause shorter lifespans in dogs.

  • Genetic Factors: Many of the breeds on the list have been selectively bred for specific traits, which can lead to a concentration of genetic disorders and health problems. Inbreeding and a limited gene pool can also contribute to these issues.
  • Breeding: Another factor researchers have studied is the size of the breeding population, and its impact on health and longevity. A National Library of Medicine shared a study dated June 16, 2020, of companion dogs’ states: “did not find significant differences in lifespan between purebred and mixed breed dogs; however, breeds with larger effective population sizes and/or lower inbreeding coefficients had median survival times 3-6 months longer than breeds with smaller effective population sizes or higher inbreeding coefficients, indicating that these measures of genetic diversity may be affecting breed lifespans.”
  • Breed-Specific Health Problems: Different dog breeds are predisposed to specific health issues. For example, brachycephalic breeds like Bulldogs and French Bulldogs are prone to respiratory problems due to their flat faces, while large breeds like Great Danes and Saint Bernard’s can have skeletal and joint issues.
  • Size and Growth Rate: Large and giant breeds tend to have shorter life spans compared to smaller dogs. The reason is their rapid growth during puppyhood can strain their bodies and lead to joint and skeletal problems.
  • Orthopedic Issues: Many large and heavy breeds, such as Newfoundlands, Mastiffs, and Irish Wolfhounds, are susceptible to orthopedic issues like hip dysplasia, which can significantly affect their mobility and quality of life.
  • Cardiovascular Problems: Some breeds, like boxers and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, are prone to heart-related issues, which can lead to a shortened life span.
  • Cancer: Dogs, in general, are susceptible to cancer, but certain breeds, such as Rottweilers and Bernese Mountain Dogs, have higher incidences of certain types of cancer, which can be life-threatening.
  • Dental Health: In the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, Dr. Urfer reported when comparing two dogs with all other factors being equal, that he found annual dental cleanings conducted by a veterinarian reduces the risk of death by almost 20 percent. Dr. Urfer pointed out that there could be a direct association between good dental health and good general health, but it might also be that dog owners who take good care of their dog’s teeth, would also be more likely to provide preventive and veterinary care that contribute to longevity.
  • Obesity: Obesity is a common problem in many of these breeds, and it can exacerbate existing health issues and reduce overall life expectancy. Dog owners can control the amount of food intake they feed their dogs to prevent obesity. New research from the WALTHAM Center for Pet Nutrition and the University of Liverpool revealed overweight and obese dogs are more likely to have shorter lives than those at the ideal body weight, and this is especially true on smaller dogs.
  • Diet and Exercise: Improper diet and lack of exercise can contribute to obesity and other health problems for dogs. Dogs with short life spans may not receive the care and attention they need in terms of diet and physical activity and thus reducing their life expectancy.
  • Environmental Factors: The living environment, exposure to toxins, and the level of veterinary care can also impact a dog’s overall health and life span.

It’s important to note that while these factors can influence a dog’s life expectancy, proper care, dental health, responsible breeding practices, and regular veterinary check-ups can help mitigate some of these issues and improve the well-being of these breeds. Being a Responsible pet owner can help in the long-term health and longevity of all dog breeds.

How Can I Make My Dog Live longer?



Thanks to advances in veterinary science and preventive medicine, the life expectancy of our dogs is increasing. As a pet parent you can help your dog live longer and have higher quality lives by:

  • Feeding a healthy diet
  • Helping maintain a healthy weight.
  • Encouraging breed- and age-appropriate physical and mental exercise.
  • Taking our dogs for annual veterinary checkups and vaccinations.
  • Providing preventive dental care.
  • Administering heartworm, flea and tick preventatives.
  • Keeping them safe from accidents.
  • Providing love and affection. 

How Old Is My Dog In Human Years?

It is really important to understand what it means when we say how old your dog is. Dogs and people age at very different rates which can be confusing. When dogs reach a year old, veterinarians estimate they have matured as much as a person who has reached 15 years of age. The second year in a dog’s life equates to about another 9 years for a human. Every succeeding year after that, the aging process varies based on their age and size.

The table below (by the American Kennel Club) provides information on a dog’s age that is based on the size and weight of a dog.

Size of Dog Small                    

20 lbs. or Less


21-50 Lbs.


51-100 Lbs.


100+ Lbs.

1 Year Old 15 Years 15 Years 15 Years 12 Years
2 Years 24 Years 24 Years 24 Years 22 Years
3 Years 28 Years 28 Years 28 Years 31 Years
4 Years 32 Years 32 Years 32 Years 38 Years
5 Years 36 Years 36 Years 36 Years 45 Years
6 Years 40 Years 42 Years 45 Years 49 Years
7 Years 44 Years 47 Years 50 Years 56 Years
8 Years 48 Years 51 Years 55 Years 64 Years
9 Years 52 Years 56 Years 61 Years 71 Years
10 Years 56 Years 60 Years 66 Years 79 Years
11 Years 60 Years 65 Years 72 Years 86 Years
12 Years 64 Years 69 Years 77 Years 93 Years
13 Years 68 Years 74 Years 82 Years 100 Years
14 Years 72 Years 78 Years 88 Years 107 Years
15 Years 76 Years 83 Years 93 Years 114 Years
16 Years 80 Years 87 Years 99 Years 121 Years

This information is provided by the American Kennel Club should be helpful to you giving you the approximate age your dog’s lifespan.


As you can see, the lifespan of a dog depends upon several factors and some of them you control as a pet parent. From the tables above you can determine which of the dog breeds have a longer lifespan and the second table provides aging process of dogs based upon their size and weight.

This is helpful information the presents to dog owners the average lifespans of dogs and the selection of the breed of dog they want to take home.

By implementing just a few of the suggestions for making a dog life longer, you can affect the aging process of your furry friend. You just might find your pet living longer than the ages mentioned in the tables above.

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