Special Report

The Shortest and Longest Living Dog Breeds in the World

Dog owners will do anything to keep their furry, four-legged friend happy and healthy. Millennials spend over $1,200 per year on their pets, and most are willing to shell out thousands more to take care of their pet if they fall ill. The sad reality is that dogs have much shorter lifespans than people.

According to a study from the U.K., the median lifespan of a dog is 11.3 years. But no two breeds are the same. Some types of dog tend to live well into their teens, while others have a median lifespan of fewer than 10 years. 

24/7 Wall St. reviewed a study published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice to determine the shortest and longest living dog breeds in the world. Breeds for which there was little data and breeds that are not recognized by the America Kennel Club were not considered.

Each breed of dog has different health needs and challenges. Some need specialized diets. Others need lots of exercise. Certain types of dogs, like Bernese Mountain Dogs, are especially prone to cancer, yet in breeds like the dachshund, cancer is relatively rare.

Numerous studies have determined that there is a significant link between the size of a dog and the size of its lifespan — larger dogs have noticeably shorter lifespans than smaller dogs, as they age at a faster rate

Many of the dogs with the shortest lifespans are classified as either “large” or “giant” while lots of the longest living dogs are considered “small” and “toy” breeds. In addition to their longer lives, people may opt to get a smaller dog because they are more convenient to house, cheaper to feed, and many apartments have rental clauses barring dogs over a certain size. These are the most popular tiny dog breeds.

Dog owners must consider the health needs of the pet they plan to adopt — whether that is lots of exercise or special diets. They also must consider their own health. An estimated 15% of the population is allergic to dogs and cats, but there are options for them. No dog is completely hypoallergenic, but there are plenty of breeds that go well with allergy sufferers. These are the best dogs for people with allergies.

Click here to see the longest living dogs.
Click here to see the shortest living dogs.

In order to determine the shortest and longest living dog breeds in the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the study “Methods and mortality results of a health survey of purebred dogs in the UK,” published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice. Breeds for which there was little data or low response rates on surveys sent to owners were not considered. Breeds that are not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club were also not considered. Breed popularity data, as well as height and weight data, comes from the AKC. The height refers to the height of the dog’s shoulder.

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