The Average Lifespan of a Dog and 5 Benefits of Having One

Updated on November 11, 2019
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James Livingood has been a dog sitter for several years. He has written numerous articles and a book about the topic because he loves dogs.

Dog Birthday
Dog Birthday | Source

Owning a dog can make your life amazing and frustrating. Puppies can be difficult to train, but it's hard not to love them. So how long do dogs live and what are the benefits they provide to their owners? In this article, we'll discuss the lifespan of a dog and five scientific benefits of caring for one.

The lifespan of a dog depends on certain factors like size, age, and breed:


Throughout the years, there has been popular research and the discovery that larger dogs have a shorter lifespan compared to shorter dogs. A dog with more body mass and size can develop more physical ailments related to exercise compared to a dog with a smaller body mass that is comparatively small in size. For example, a Wolfhound will have an average lifespan of 6–7 years and Fox Terrier can live up to 15–16 years! That is a huge difference.


This factor is the main part. There is this myth that one human year is equal to 7 whooping dog years. That is not scientifically accepted or proven, but it is accepted by many. However, a tough calculation shows a human aged by one year will be equal to a 10 to 15-year-old dog. That is, the dog will be fully matured and have all sexual capabilities, etc.


The lifespan of a mixed dog will be completely different from distinct breeds of dogs as there are two types of breeding: inbreeding and crossbreeding. Dogs that are inbred have shorter lifespans compared to those that are crossbred. Inbred dogs are at risk of sharing genes that can carry inheritable illnesses and conditions. Dogs that are crossbred tend to have healthier and longer lifespans.

Playing puppies
Playing puppies | Source

The Lifespans of Different Breeds

Here is a list of dogs with the maximum ages they can live up to:


Pitbull breeds have an average lifespan of 10–14 years. This means they are strong and energetic enough to live up to 14 years and 15 if taken care of properly.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds may have aggressive personalities, yet they are extremely loyal and approachable. The lifespan of a German Shepherd on average is 10–12 years.

Golden Retriever

This is a medium-sized dog breed that is intelligent and affectionate. They are playful yet gentle. The average lifespan of a Golden Retriever is 10–13 years.

Shih Tzu

This type of breed has a royal personality. These dogs are really proud and arrogant. But they are less demanding as compared to other dogs and have a sweet nature. The average lifespan of a Shih Tzu is 11–14 years.


These are very loving and curious dogs. They are rarely aggressive or hard to deal with. However, they have deep, loud barks that can be compared to howling. The average lifespan of a beagle is 12–14 years.


A Labrador Retriever is a short yet very thick-skinned dog with weather resistance. They are kind and have a good temperament. The average lifespan of a lab is 10–12 years.


Pugs are charming dogs with a very affectionate personality. The average lifespan of a pug is 12–15 years.


The Yorkshire Terrier is a small-sized dog with an energetic personality; they are attention seekers. They have an average lifespan of 14–16 years.

Great Dane

These are gigantic dogs with a very kind personality. They have moderate moods and are playful. The lifespan of the Great Dane is 7–10 years.

Which of these is the best benefit of dog ownership?

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Dog on book
Dog on book | Source

5 Scientific Benefits of Having a Dog

Apart from the emotional benefits that bringing a puppy has to offer, there are many scientific benefits of having a dog as well. You don’t just have to own them to reap all the health benefits that they have to offer, you can hang out with them, and they will bring you so many advantages. Here are the top 5 most influential ones among them.

1. Heart Health

Dogs don’t just feel good to your heart; they are linked to the actual health of the heart as well. If you have a dog, you will have fewer chances of having blood pressure issues, according to research. Research also states that owning a dog has direct impacts on cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels; they tend to get lowered.

This means that your cardiovascular health is going to be positively impacted by the presence of a dog. You will become less likely to have heart attacks, as well. The best part is that studies show that the survival rates of those who have a heart attack is much higher in dog owners than those who don’t own a dog.

2. Resistance Towards Allergies

Pets are known to mostly trigger allergies in people. However, kids that have been living with a pet since childhood become more resistant to allergy issues. They are less likely to have allergy issues when they grow up.

According to a study in the journal Microbiome, pregnant women encountered a bacterial exchange, and their children would turn out to have two bacteria called Oscillospira and Ruminococcus, which lower the risk of allergies. This means they are able to resist allergies better even if the pet is not thereafter, they are born.

3. More Exercise

This is more of a tendency than a health benefit, which has a positive impact on health. A dog owner has to walk his dog several times a day, especially in bad weather. An average adult is supposed to have at least 30 minutes of walk every day, and according to research, dog owners are more likely to reach that goal.

Taking the dog out for walks every day sets a steady schedule of being able to walk every day; you cant it out of weak willpower as well. You will also need to play with them every day, and this exercise is going to have numerous health benefits.

4. They Can Detect Low Sugar Levels

According to a British Medical Journal, more than a third of dogs that live with people suffering from diabetes are able to detect low blood sugar levels, even before the patients are able to. This causes them to exhibit behavioral changes. Most of the time, dogs manage to nudge the patients into eating what is right for them.

5. They Can Help During Seizures

Dogs are capable of detecting an oncoming seizure. They can warn the owners so that they can get help or call emergency services beforehand.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 James Livingood


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