Special Report

The Dogs With the Shortest Lifespan

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14. Flat-coated retriever
> Life expectancy: 8-10 years
> Popularity: 102 out of 197
> Height: 23-24.5 inches (male), 22-23.5 inches (female)
> Weight: 60-70 pounds
> Temperament: Cheerful, Optimistic, Good-Humored

The flat-coated retriever is one of six retriever breeds recognized by the AKC. It was first bred in Britain in the mid-19th century and was known as the “gamekeeper’s dog” because of its widespread use on estates. It is not just distinguished by its lustrous coat, but by its long head, which is unique among retrievers.

13. Saint Bernard
> Life expectancy: 8-10 years
> Popularity: 52 out of 197
> Height: 28-30 inches (males), 26-28 inches (female)
> Weight: 140-180 pounds (male), 120-140 pounds (female)
> Temperament: Playful, Charming, Inquisitive

The Saint Bernard is a world-famous gentle giant that could act as a “nanny dog” for children. Named after a monk who aided pilgrims crossing the Alps on their way to Rome, the Saint Bernard is also famous as a rescue dog.

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12. Bulldog
> Life expectancy: 8-10 years
> Popularity: 5 out of 197
> Height: 14-15 inches
> Weight: 50 pounds (male), 40 pounds (female)
> Temperament: Friendly, Courageous, Calm

The bulldog has long been associated with British culture (note the resemblance to Winston Churchill!), but it’s also one of the most popular breeds in America. Its name belies a friendly personality and gentle disposition.

11. Scottish deerhound
> Life expectancy: 8-11 years
> Popularity: 166 out of 197
> Height: 30-32 inches (male), 28 inches & up (female)
> Weight: 85-110 pounds (male), 75-95 pounds (female)
> Temperament: Gentle, Dignified, Polite

At one point in time, only nobles and dignitaries owned this ancient and elegant breed. The Scottish deerhound is one of the largest breeds, even among relatively short-living dogs.

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10. Greater Swiss mountain dog
> Life expectancy: 8-11 years
> Popularity: 76 out of 197
> Height: 25.5-28.5 inches (male), 23.5-27 inches (female)
> Weight: 115-140 pounds (male), 85-110 pounds (female)
> Temperament: Faithful, Family-Oriented, Dependable

The greater Swiss mountain dog is descended from war dogs brought across the Alps by Julius Caesar’s armies, but was only fully recognized by the AKC in 1995. It is a large, powerful working dog. It needs regular exercise but does not cope well with hot weather.

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