Dog Lifespan for the Most Popular Dog Breeds

While we don’t like to think about it, all dogs inevitably will cross that rainbow bridge. Raising your pup right and keeping them healthy and happy will, of course, guarantee them the longest lives possible, but knowing what you’re getting yourself into with different types of breeds is very important.

It allows you two things:

  1. You will know what to expect when it comes to the longevity of your dog in your family.
  2. If you have yet to find your furbaby and are interested in a specific breed, this will give you critical information before you start looking.

So, today, we want to give you all the information we can on life spans for some of the most popular dog breeds. Then we will give you some tips and tricks on dos and don'ts for your everyday life.

Dog Life Expectancy for Different Breeds

The lifespan of a dog refers to the typical number of years that they will live. This differs from breed to breed and changes drastically between large and small breeds.

On average, larger breeds will only live half as long as smaller breeds, but that also depends on a lot of demographic factors. Additionally, research shows that mixed breed dogs live an average of 14 years, while purebred dogs live for an average of 10.

Living conditions, lifestyle, and other key points can alter the lifespan of a dog and prolong or shorten that.

We will get to the tips and tricks later. For now, let’s look at the average lifespan of the most popular dog breeds.

French Bulldog

A sweet, snoring pup that is so cute and has gained in popularity ten-fold over the last few years. These dogs are generally expensive to bring home, as most breeders charge a high premium for these pups. They can be rare to find in shelters, so breed-specific rescues might be your best bet. However, this breed can cost a pretty penny in upkeep. Breeds like French bulldogs, pugs, and English bulldogs, are prone to health problems related to their short noses (called “Brachycephalic breeds”).

In addition to being a little more high-maintenance than other small dogs, they also don’t live as long. The average lifespan for a French bulldog is 10-14 years. They may be small, but these dogs are mighty. They’re built similar to larger working breeds, so their bodies work harder than the typical small variety.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are the quintessential family dog, and for a good reason. These are gentle, loving dogs with a lot of energy, and patience, for the younger family members. They also love water; families who like to swim and adventure — this is the pup for you.

They are easy to train! In fact, a golden retriever named Juicy won the 2021 AKC National Obedience Championship.

In regards to their lifespan, you can expect at least 10-12 years with your furry friend. Golden retrievers can live longer: There are documented cases of golden retrievers living up to 18 years. This is uncommon but possible so remember to keep them in the healthiest of shapes. Keep in constant contact with your veterinarian to help your dog feel their best.

If a golden retriever is the dog for you and your family, you better invest in a few of our Patriotic tees, like our all-American dog mom shirts that celebrate the all-American furbaby in your life.

Labrador Retriever

This is another very traditional family dog, very similar to golden retrievers. They’re lovable, kind dogs with happy demeanors and the perfect temperament for a growing family. Labs also love to play and hike, so the more time you have for recreation, the better.

Similar to goldens, you can expect your lab’s lifespan to range from 10-12 years. Again, many labs have lived longer, but this is the most common life expectancy.

If a lab is in your future, now is a good time to check out our Road Trip Collection. These are the perfect tees for all those outdoor adventures your lab was born to go on with you!

German Shepherd

Looking for a brilliant, large dog that will exude loyalty and love for you and your family? Look no further than the German Shepherd dog. This is one of the most intelligent breeds, with a deep desire to protect and please their family. The average lifespan for a German Shepherd ranges pretty wide, with a life expectancy anywhere from 9-13 years.

Why such a wide range in age?

German Shepherds are unfortunately very susceptible to terminal illnesses like cancer, so their seemingly healthy lives can be cut short due to circumstances outside of your control. Females also tend to live longer on average than males, but both can have full lives if they can avoid inherent breed issues. Like many large breeds, like Great Danes and Huskies, Shepherds are prone to hip issues.


You’ll know if a beagle is around; even if you can’t see them, you can hear them. That howl is one of those signature beagle things that are cute but loud. Beagles make a great family dog due to their happy disposition but need a lot of playtime to keep from getting bored and getting into things. They also have a pretty long lifespan, averaging from 12-15 years.

These are one of the smaller breeds so far on the list, so it makes sense that they have a longer life expectancy than the other dogs noted so far. Be ready, beagles, even those considered “senior,” have a lot of energy and tend to have that naughty puppy streak well into older age.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire terriers are a very popular breed of dog and stick around for the long haul. They are generally better for single people or couples without small children, but those families with older kids can see a bond develop pretty well between their teens and pups. These pups also live pretty long lives, with the average life expectancy being 13-16 years.

They may be tiny, but they are mighty. Plenty of videos on the internet show these little firecrackers sticking up for their humans against larger animals and winning! Yorkies get a bad rap for being high maintenance, but they do love a life of leisure and pampering.

If you are in the market to bring home a Yorkie, we definitely suggest our Wild Collection. These tees are the perfect fun and vibrant patterns to match that spunky character in your pup, and finding leashes and sweaters for your Yorkie to match should be pretty easy.

How To Make the Most of Dog Years

Next, we want to bring you a few of those definite dos to keep your dog’s life going for the long haul. While these aren’t guaranteed to add years to your dog’s life, they will go a long way in ensuring you don’t unintentionally shorten it.

Get Those Runs in

Adequate and daily exercise and play will go a long way in keeping your pup active and healthy. A healthy and active pup will keep arthritis and other joint problems at bay and will keep their heart healthy for years. It’s also a great way to keep yourself in shape; keeping yourself going for years and years is just as important!

Certain dogs, like Border Collies and Australian Cattle Dogs, are great pet dogs but also working dogs. Take them to herding sessions at local farms or get them involved in agility.

Lots of Love

A happy dog is a healthier one, and this is a great way to add years to your dog’s lifespan. Love fills our hearts in ways we can’t always understand, but we all need that reassurance to keep content and moving. Dogs will fare better and longer in a home filled with cuddles.

Things To Avoid

While the above points will help keep your pup going, there are also things you can do that will risk shortening your dog’s life.

Avoid these common mistakes to keep your dog healthier, longer:

Avoid Over-Feeding

It’s really easy and common to over-feed your pup, but avoid it whenever possible. Obesity is common in dogs and causes many problems. It will cause your pup to age prematurely and could ensure a shorter life.

Larger dogs, like Bernese Mountain dogs, need to avoid extra weight on their hips. Dogs with long midsections, like Dachshunds, need to avoid weight to protect their spine.

Teeth on Point

Neglecting dental health is also a huge issue for dogs and humans. The nerves in your mouth are connected to vital veins that reach directly to your heart and brain. Damaging these could cause long-term problems.

To prevent this from happening, get your dog proper teeth cleanings on a regular and recurring basis and ask your vet for ways to keep their teeth healthy in between professional cleanings.

Checkups and More Checkups

Never skip an annual checkup, no matter how unnecessary you think it to be. Even if your pup seems healthy, there could be issues under the surface that go unnoticed and untreated. Avoid these issues by getting your dog to the vet at least once a year for their checkups.

Dog Days of Summer All Year Long

We are confident these tips, tricks, and information here will help you make the best choices possible to keep your pup healthy for years to come. It’s never too late to start, either, so even if your pup shows signs of unhealthy habits, you can change them. You’ll be amazed at the differences over time.


Longevity and mortality in Kennel Club registered dog breeds in the UK in 2014 | PMC

11 Ways You're Shortening Your Dog's Life | PetMD

Brachycephalic Breeds and Their Health | Premier Veterinary Hospital

Long-Lived Dog Breeds: Labradors, Poodles, Beagles, and More | WebMD

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