Special Report

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

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20. Shih Tzu
> Life expectancy: 10-18 years
> Average height: 9-10.5 inches
> Average weight: 9-16 pounds
> Group: Toy

Shih tzus originated in China many centuries ago. Although diminutive in size, they take their name from the Mandarin word for lion. They began appearing in the U.S. after World War II, when veterans brought them back to America, and they were recognized by the AKC in 1969. They have a long flowing coat and a proud bearing.

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19. Miniature Schnauzer
> Life expectancy: 12-15 years
> Average height: 12-14 inches
> Average weight: 11-20 pounds
> Group: Terrier

In the U.S., the miniature schnauzer is treated differently from other schnauzer breeds in that it is not classified as a working dog and is judged as a terrier. It is intelligent and alert, which makes it a good watchdog, and it excels in obedience trials and agility competitions. The miniature’s eyebrows and beard make it easily recognizable.

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18. Doberman Pinscher
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years
> Average height: 26-28 inches (male), 24-26 inches (female)
> Average weight: 75-100 pounds (male), 60-90 pounds (female)
> Group: Working

The Doberman pinscher was first bred in Germany in the mid-1800s by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a tax collector and night watchman. He wanted a dog to protect him in his sometimes dangerous line of work. As well as being one of the smartest breeds, the Doberman ranks high in obedience and trainability. This makes the animal popular with police and military forces around the world.

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17. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
> Life expectancy: 12-15 years
> Average height: 12-13 inches
> Average weight: 13-18 pounds
> Group: Toy

This breed has been popular since the days of King Charles II in the 17th century. It is small for a spaniel and goes through its puppy stage slowly, staying frisky even when older. It also has big eyes and a big heart.

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16. Siberian Husky
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years
> Average height: 21-23.5 inches (male), 20-22 inches (female)
> Average weight: 45-60 pounds (male), 35-50 pounds (female)
> Group: Working

Bred as a sled dog, the Siberian husky is known for its endurance. Huskies have a great work ethic and love to run, preferring that to walking. In fact, the husky is so energetic that it has to be kept leashed or it will run away. In 1925, a relay team of huskies and other sled dogs saved Nome, Alaska, from a diptheria epidemic by running for five days to bring medicine to the town.