How Long Does A Dog Live?

A dog’s longevity depends on its breed, size, care received during its lifetime and other factors.
How long does a dog live?

When adopting a dog, we inevitably think about its life expectancy. Logically, because we want our best friends to stay with us for many years. 

However, death is part of the life cycle of all animals and we must enjoy every moment with our companion. So today we’ll look  at how to estimate how long a dog lives.

Is it possible to estimate how long a dog lives?

Predicting how long a dog lives is as complex as calculating its approximate age in human years.

To do this, you must consider some variables inherent to your own organism, such as your genetic heritage, lineage, race, and size.

In fact,  the calculation of a dog’s life expectancy also needs to take into account its quality of life.

Therefore, care, the environment, nutrition and preventive medicine that we offer our furry ones increase or decrease their longevity.

Furthermore, as each dog is unique, its organism can have very special characteristics.

Therefore, some dogs may exceed all expectations regarding their longevity.

Probably the clearest example of this was Bluey, an Australian shepherd who lived 26 years.

The estimated life expectancy for your breed is between 13 and 15 years. To this day, this dog holds the world record for the oldest dog in the world on record.

Labrador dog longevity

For all these reasons, it  is impossible to define exactly how long a dog lives.

The average life expectancy of a breed can be estimated, considering its genetic characteristics, its morphology and its metabolism.

When performing this type of calculation, we must always consider that this average can increase or decrease, depending on the living conditions of each animal.

Average Life of Breed Dogs 

In general,  small or medium sized dogs tend to live longer than large or giant dogs.

The life expectancy of a small dog, such as a chihuahua, shih tzu or lhasa apso, is 17 to 20 years. And many can easily surpass that expectation.

For medium dogs like shar-pei, chow chow and australian shepherd, the average longevity is between 13 and 15 years.

In large breed dogs, such as the Rottweiler or Golden Retriever, this life expectancy is between 10 and 13 years.

For  giant dogs, such as Newfoundland or São Bernardo, longevity is between 8 and 11 years.

Is it true that crossbred dogs live longer?

There is a widespread belief that crossbred dogs are healthier and live longer than purebred dogs.

In fact,  most crossbred dogs show remarkable physical strength and can live long years with their families.

The ‘pure’ dogs have gone through numerous selective breeding during the process of breeding and standardizing their breed.

The main objective was (and still is) to reinforce or exacerbate certain physical attributes and instinctual abilities.

mixed breed dog

In breeding processes, individuals are becoming more and more ‘perfect’, in accordance with the standards established by ancient canine societies.

Unfortunately, many breeders resort to inbreeding (between genetically related individuals) to improve the “purity” of the strain.

Selective crosses, incidence on longevity

In practice,  this high inbreeding has unfortunate consequences for the health of the offspring, such as:

  • Malformations
  • Weakening of the immune system
  • Fertility Problems
  • Degenerative pathologies
  • Learning difficulties

These are some of the many disorders associated with inbreeding in dogs.

In turn, the mixed breed dogs were not induced to inbreeding or selective breeding; therefore, they enjoy a great genetic diversity.

Therefore, they have a low predisposition to develop hereditary and degenerative diseases that severely affect most dog breeds.

So this is one of the main reasons why crossbred dogs tend to live longer than full-bred dogs.

But being healthier and more resilient doesn’t mean they don’t need care to preserve their good health.

Obviously, like any canine breed, crossbred dogs must receive adequate preventive care throughout their lives.

In addition, there is a need to go to the vet every six months, complying with the vaccination and deworming schedule.

Finally, a balanced diet, daily physical activity and adequate mental stimulation will also be crucial to your quality of life.

Furthermore, regardless of the breed or size of your dog, love and dedication will be fundamental to its longevity.

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