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Life Expectancy of Dogs  

There's an urban legend that a human's (homo sapien) year is equivalent to seven dog (Canis lupus familiaris) years, but it is a misconception, different breeds and sizes of dogs have different life spans.

Dogs usually age according to their adult size (often determined by breed): Smaller dogs often live to over 15 years, medium size and larger dogs typically live between 10 to 13 years, and some giant dog breeds such as mastiffs, often only live 7 to 8 years.

Sorted by breed

Breed   Exp.
Afghan Hound 12
Airedale Terrier 11.2
Basset Hound 12.8
Beagle 13.3
Bearded Collie 12.3
Bedlington Terrier 14.3
Bernese Mountain Dog 7
Border Collie 13
Border Terrier 13.8
Boxer 10.4
Bull Terrier 12.9
Bulldog 6.7
Bullmastiff 8.6
Cairn Terrier 13.2
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 10.7
Chihuahua 13
Chow Chow 13.5
Cocker Spaniel 12.5
Dachshund 12.2
Dalmatian 13
Doberman Pinscher 9.8
Breed   Exp.
English Cocker Spaniel 11.8
English Setter 11.2
English Springer Spaniel 13
English Toy Spaniel 10.1
Flat-Coated Retriever 9.5
German Shepherd 10.3
German Shorthaired Pointer 12.3
Golden Retrievers 12
Gordon Setter 11.3
Great Dane 8.4
Greyhound 13.2
Irish Red and White Setter 12.9
Irish Setter 11.8
Irish Wolfhound 6.2
Jack Russell Terrier 13.6
Labrador Retriever 12.6
Lurcher 12.6
Miniature Dachshund 14.4
Miniature Poodle 14.8
Random-bred/Mongrel 13.2
Norfolk Terrier 10
Old English Sheepdog 11.8
Breed   Exp.
Pekingese 13.3
Pomeranian 14.5
Rhodesian Ridgeback 9.1
Rottweiler 9.8
Rough Collie 12.2
Samoyed 11
Scottish Deerhound 9.5
Scottish Terrier 12
Shetland Sheepdog 13.3
Shih Tzu 13.4
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier 13.2
Staffordshire Bull Terrier 14
Standard Poodle 12
Tibetan Terrier 14.3
Toy Poodle 14.4
Vizsla 12.5
Weimaraner 10
Welsh Corgi 11.3
Welsh Springer Spaniel 11.5
West Highland White Terrier 12.8
Wire Fox Terrier 13
Yorkshire Terrier 12.8

Sorted by life expectancy

6 Bulldog, Irish Wolfhound
7 Bernese Mountain Dog
8 Bullmastiff, Great Dane
9 Doberman Pinscher, Flat-Coated Retriever, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rottweiler, Scottish Deerhound
10 Boxer, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, English Toy Spaniel, German Shepherd, Norfolk Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Weimaraner
11 Airedale Terrier, Corgi, English Cocker Spaniel, English Setter, Gordon Setter, Irish Setter, Old English Sheepdog, Samoyed, Welsh Springer Spaniel
12 Afghan Hound, Basset Hound, Bearded Collie, Bull Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, German Shorthaired Pointer, Golden Retrievers, Irish Red and White Setter, Labrador Retriever, Lurcher, Rough Collie, Scottish Terrier, Standard Poodle, Viszla, West Highland White Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier
13 Beagle, Border Collie, Border Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Chihuahua, Chow Chow, Dalmatian, English Springer Spaniel, Greyhound, Jack Russell Terrier, Pekingese, Random-bred/Mongrel, Shetland Sheepdog, Shih Tzu, Wire Fox Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
14 Bedlington Terrier, Miniature Dachshund, Miniature Poodle, Pomeranian, Tibetan Terrier, Toy Poodle, Whippet,
Source: Michell (1999)

A mongrel has an average life expectancy of 13.2 years in the USA and much of Europe.

Apart from breed, or lack thereof, several other factors can influence life expectancy:

Diet - There is some disagreement as to the ideal diet. The oldest dog on record was Bluey, an Australian Cattle Dog, who died at 29 in 1939. In the 2000s, at least two dogs were still living at 27 or 28 years old, but one was fed a purely vegetarian diet and one fed primarily on kangaroo and emu meat.

According to a study by the British Veterinary Association (author AR Michell, the president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons), spaying and neutering also has an effect: "Neutered bitches lived longest, though entire bitches lived longest of dogs dying of natural causes, with neutered males having the shortest lifespan in each category." Neutering reduces or eliminates the risk of some causes of early death, for example pyometra in bitches, and testicular cancer in males, as well as indirect causes of early death such as accident and euthanasia (intact dogs may roam more and be more aggressive), but also raises the risk of death from other conditions (castration favours prostate cancer in males, and neutered males have the highest rate for this condition).

"The mean age at death (all breeds, all causes) was 11 years one month, but in dogs dying of natural causes it was 12 years eight months. Only 8 per cent of dogs lived beyond 15, and 64 per cent of dogs died of disease or were euthanased as a result of disease. Nearly 16 per cent of deaths were attributed to cancer, twice as many as to heart disease. [...] In neutered males the importance of cancer as a cause of death was similar to heart disease. [...] The results also include breed differences in lifespan, susceptibility to cancer, road accidents and behavioural problems as a cause of euthanasia."