How Long Do Dogs Live? Stats and Facts About Dog Lives

If you have a dog, you’re probably wondering how long they typically live. Of course, no dog is the same, and there aren’t any guarantees. 

However, there are some characteristics unique to each breed and size, which can tell you the approximate length of their lifespan. 

So, let’s start.

How Long Do Dogs Live?

The median dog lifespan is 15.4 years, or around 83 in human years, according to a recent study. However, their lifespan depends on many different factors, such as size, breed, neutering status, and similar.

(BioMed Central, 2020)

Interesting Dog Life Statistics

We’ve collected the most interesting statistics to show you how different factors influence a dog’s lifespan. 

The median age of small dogs is 16.4 years.

(BioMed Central, 2020)

Big dogs, on the other hand, live 14.3 years, while medium-sized dogs’ median survival time is 15.9 years. 

Although small dogs live longer, they tend to have a lot more health problems than larger dogs

Chihuahuas are one of the breeds with the longest lifespans — up to 20 years.

(American Kennel Club, PetMD, K9 of Mine)

Although most websites put their average lifespan between the ages of 12 and 16, they can live longer. Other long-living breeds are:

  • Poodle
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Beagle
  • Pug

While most of the listed are not surprising, Pugs, which generally have many health problems, also tend to live quite a long time. 

French Mastiffs live for only 5–8 years.

(American Kennel Club)

This makes the French Mastiff, or Dogue de Bordeaux, one of the breeds with the shortest lifespans. Mastiffs are giant dogs, which means that they age more quickly than other breeds, and they are at a higher risk of getting cancer.

Neutered dogs live 1–2 years longer than intact dogs.

(Oxford Academic, 2018)

Also, among the neutered dogs, females live longer than males. Intact females seem to have the shortest life spans.

Moreover, the same research showed that females are more likely to be neutered than males.

The average lifespan of a police dog is between 10.4 and 12.8 years.

(American Kennel Club, Reader’s Digest, 2021)

German Shepherd — the most used police dog, lives between 7 and 10 years, while Belgian Malinois can live up to 16 years. 

They usually retire when they’re between 7 and 11 years old. However, they are often adopted by the same people they worked with, meaning that their golden years are often spent in a loving home with people they already know and trust.

Stray dogs live around 3 years.

(Down To Earth, 2019)

Harsh living conditions are one of the main reasons for their early death. However, unsurprisingly, some research shows that 63% of stray dog mortality cases are affected by humans

The results come from India, though, so they are not applicable everywhere.

The oldest living dog, Funny, is over 21 years old.

(Guinness World Records, 2021)

Funny is a miniature dachshund from Japan. The title was previously held by another dachshund, 21-year-old Chanel.

She’s not the oldest dog ever, though. Bluey, an Australian cattle-dog, reached the age of 29 years and 5 months before passing away in 1939.

African wild dogs live for 11 years on average.

(National Geographic, 2020)

This number applies only to those living in the wild. Unfortunately, wild dogs are endangered due to diseases and farmers’ fears for their livestock. So, the actual lifespan is much shorter.


With all the numbers listed here, we hope you have a clearer picture of your dog’s potential lifespan. Still, keep in mind that it’s highly dependent on the size, breed, and living conditions of your pet. 


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