Studies suggest that the average lifespan of a dog in Europe and North America is 12.8 years. However, there are variables that will affect how long each pooch lives for, as well as how long a specific breed lives on average. But, we cannot stop there since large breeds will have a different collective lifespan from small breeds for varying reasons. Today Purebred Breeders is looking at the average for each, as well as what can influence the length of a dog’s life.
Large breeds live for 7 to 15 years on average with the Bernese Mountain Dog having one of the shortest life expectancies (7-8 years), and the Labrador Retriever having one of the longest (12-15 years). Purebred Breeders must point out that most large breeds live between 10 and 14 years once properly cared for, and some dogs far exceed this span regardless of breed.
Small dogs are usually expected to live for 14 to 18 years, with some breeds having the tendency to live longer than others. These include the Lhasa Apso, miniature and toy Poodle, Chihuahuas, and the miniature Dachshund (16-18 years). Again, Purebred Breeders must stress that these numbers are normally for health dogs.
Why the Difference
Small dogs live longer than larger dogs mainly because the bodies of larger breeds go through much more. Smaller dogs often have better metabolism, age as well as mature differently, and often experience less bone and joint issues since these are often brought on by weight combined with aging. Purebred Breeders has noted that larger dogs can also be prone to more life threatening conditions for a variety of reasons.
What Can Affect Natural Life Expectancy
A dog needs to be properly cared for in order for him or her to have a good quality of life and a long one. Poor medical care, a lack of exercise, excess stress, as well as little to no mental stimulation can all shorten a dog’s life. So too can poor hygiene, unbalanced nutrition, and excess weight. Purebred Breeders would also like to add that some experts suggest spayed and neutered dogs tend to live longer since they roam less, are less susceptible to many kinds of cancer, and females are spared from birth complications.