Do Small Dogs Live Longer Than Large Dogs?

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As for a general guideline, it helps to know that dogs are generally considered senior during the last 25% of their life. The following estimates for senior status take a dog's weight into account:

  • For dogs over 80 pounds: approximately 4 to 6 years of age
  • For dogs 51 to 80 pounds: approximately 6 to 8 years of age
  • For dogs 16 to 50 pounds: approximately 7 to 9 years of age
  • For dogs 15 pounds or less: approximately 9 to 11 years of age

How Long Do Small Dogs Live?

Small dogs (those less than 15 pounds) typically have a life span of 11.25 to 15 years. However, some small breed dogs can easily live to be 18 years old.

Do All Small Dogs Outlive Big Dogs?

Of course, no one can really predict how long an individual dog will live. There's always the possibility of unpredictable illness or accident, genetic predisposition to disease that may lurk in your dog's genes, or just sheer bad luck. Generally speaking, however, the larger the breed, the faster they age and the shorter their lifespan is.

How long do some popular dog breed or "big" dogs live?

Here are some general guidelines the lifespan of some popular dog breeds.

  • 7-10 years: Great Dane, Newfoundland, Cavalier King Charles spaniel
  • 9-11 years: St. Bernard, bloodhound, chow chow, boxer
  • 10-13 years: Airedale terrier, Dalmatian, golden retriever, German shepherd

How long do small and medium breed dogs live?

Here are some general guidelines for small and medium breed dogs:

  • 12-15 years: Beagle, bichon frise, collie, Doberman, papillon, Pomeranian
  • 14-16 years: Boston terrier, cairn terrier, cocker spaniel, Welsh corgi, Irish setter, Parson Russell terrier, Maltese terrier, schnauzer, shih tzu, West Highland White terrier, Yorkshire terrier
  • 15-18 years: Dachshund, poodle (miniature and toy), Chihuahua

For more details on life expectancy based on the type of dog, go to Life Span of Common Dog Breeds.  

We hope this gives you more information on why small dogs live longer than large dogs.


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