How Long do Dogs Live For?
No one wants to face the reality of their dog’s demise. Hopefully you’re reading this as someone who’s just interested in getting a dog and you don’t actually have one. At least then you don’t have to face the reality we dog owners do. Not yet, anyway.
The Average Lifespan of a Dog
There is no such thing as a dog life expectancy test, per se. The average life of a dog isn’t all that easy to quantify, given that many are born with hereditary conditions, and some just naturally live longer than others. Generally, they live between 10 and 13 years. The oldest dog ever, Bluey the Australian Cattle dog, lived for more than 29 years if that does anything for reference. Maybe you’ll bag a Bluey. Who knows?
The average lifespan of a dog should be treated as nothing more. Some are just born with a better chance than others. Let’s be honest: it’s unlikely that any of us get a pup that lives as long as Bluey, and not everyone wants to get an Australian Cattle dog to take that chance. Some of us want the more purse-sized Chihuahua, or the pug with its squished face and debilitating breathing problems. Those guys got a raw evolutionary deal, didn’t they?
What Affects Dog Life Expectancy?
I imagine if you don’t have a dog you probably already have a breed in mind. If you’re buying rather than fostering, that is. Not every breed bears the best qualities for a long life, and that’s something that should be considered, along with the reasons for buying the dog in the first place. Choosing a Miniature Dachshund, for example, a breed with known eye and urinary problems, should be done with those problems in mind, and dog insurance should be purchased before any issues might arise.
These are some of the most determining factors to a dog’s longevity that a buyer should look out for:
Mix-Breeding vs Pure-Breeding: Strangely enough, cross-bred dogs tend to live longer than their unblended brethren. Smaller gene pools means that pure-bred dogs are more prone to diseases, whereas this is less likely with a mixed mutt. That isn’t to say a mixed breed is always the right choice, though.
Evolution: Dogs look a lot different to what they did 100 years ago. Since humans took a commercial investment in their selective breeding, a vast number of popular pooches have falsely adapted to forced conditions, forgoing a lot of their original, natural features for those that old-timey people apparently thought we’d desire. Flattened faces, docked tails and elongated bodies, apparently. Some of these traits can seriously reduce life expectancy.
Size: One of the most crucial factors to dog life expectancy is size. It’s undeniable that shorter dogs live longer, given that around 40-percent of them live for 10 years or more. It’s assumed that it’s due to their internal functions not having to work as hard. Whatever’s at play it’s a proven formula: I write this as my friend’s Jack Russel, Milo, still lazes around at 16 years old. Honest.
Popularity Rank (2017)
13 Years (possibly up to 20 years)
German Shorthaired Pointer
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Bernese Mountain Dogs