Special Report

This Is How Long America’s Most Popular Dog Breeds Normally Live

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25. Cane Corso
> Life expectancy: 9-12 years
> Average height: 25-27.5 inches (male), 23.5-26 inches (female)
> Average weight: Proportionate to height
> Group: Working

Originating in Italy and bred as guard dogs, the AKC describes cane corsos as “peerless protectors.” Notwithstanding their intimidating appearance — they are among the biggest dogs in the world (100 pounds for males) — cane corso are also intelligent, loyal, and docile in the company of their owners.

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24. Havanese
> Life expectancy: 14-16 years
> Average height: 8.5-11.5 inches
> Average weight: 7-13 pounds
> Group: Toy

The Havanese, as its name might suggest, is the national dog of Cuba. It’s small and sociable. A distinguishing feature is its long, silky coat. The Havanese has a long life expectancy of up to 13 years and manages to look like a puppy — even when it has an old man’s beard.

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23. Pomeranian
> Life expectancy: 12-16 years
> Average height: 6-7 inches
> Average weight: 3-7 pounds
> Group: Toy

The Pomeranian is the smallest of the spitz breeds, weighing 3 to 7 pounds. It was made popular by Queen Victoria, who was smitten by its puppy qualities. She had as many as 35 Pomeranians in her kennels and died with one by her side.

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22. Bernese Mountain Dog
> Life expectancy: 7-10 years
> Average height: 25-27.5 inches (male), 23-26 inches (female)
> Average weight: 80-115 pounds (male), 70-95 pounds (female)
> Group: Working

The Bernese mountain dog hails from the Swiss Alps. It was used to herd cattle and haul carts filled with farm produce. The Bernese was the perfect fit for such work because of its muscular build and was known to haul loads weighing more than 1,000 pounds.

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21. Boston Terrier
> Life expectancy: 11-13 years
> Average height: 15-17 inches
> Average weight: 12-25 pounds
> Group: Non-Sporting

Just as Boston is a historic city with a young population, this dog is a relatively old breed with a young heart. Nicknamed “The American Gentleman,” it’s compact and classy. It excels at canine sports and is eager to please and so is popular as a therapy dog.