Healthcare Economy

The Dog With the Shortest Lifespan

America is a dog-centric country. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that 48 million households have a dog. The American Kennel Club (AKC) reports that the cost to take care of a dog over its lifetime is about $15,000. The relationship between dogs and people goes back many centuries.

The average lifespan of a dog is between 10 and 13 years. Sadly, some breeds don’t normally make it past nine years old. To determine the dog breed that has the shortest life expectancy, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the life expectancy of nearly 300 dog breeds listed by the AKC.

In general, large-size breeds tend to have a shorter life expectancy and small-size breeds tend to live longer. Nearly half of the dogs on the list we considered of breeds with the shortest life expectancy weigh at least 100 pounds, especially the male. Females usually weigh between 10 and 20 pounds less.

Dogs with short lifespans are not only heavy, but they are also usually very tall. Generally measuring at over 25 inches at the shoulder, some can even be taller than their human owner when standing on their hind legs.

To identify the shortest-living dog breed in the United States, 24/7 Tempo reviewed information on each of the 282 dog breeds currently listed by the AKC, the country’s purebred dog registry. A breed’s life expectancy was listed in a range. We only considered dog breeds that are estimated to live up to nine years. Information on popularity, height, weight and breed category also came from the AKC.

The shortest-lived dog breed is the Dogue de Bordeaux. Here are the details:

  • Life expectancy: Five to eight years
  • Popularity: 71st out of 197
  • Height: 23.27 inches (male), 23 to 26 inches (female)
  • Weight: 110 pounds and up (male), 99 pounds and up (female)
  • Temperament: Affectionate, loyal, courageous

Dogue is French for “mastiff,” and this is a big, muscular breed with a massive head. While it is not aggressive, it is not great with other dogs. A Dogue de Bordeaux was featured in the 1989 Tom Hanks movie “Turner and Hooch” but was not recognized by the AKC until 2008.


Click here to see all the dogs with the shortest lifespan.

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