A New Study on the Life Expectancy of Dogs Challenges Previous Standards

Dogs' only fault is that their lives are too short. If you look up your dog's breed on the American Kennel Club's website or speak with your veterinarian, you can estimate how long your pup might live. However, every individual dog's life expectancy is different. Breed and genetics play a huge factor, but their lifestyle and habits can make a big difference in whether your dog lives 10 years, 15 years, or even longer.

That said, a recent study on the life expectancy of dogs challenges previously held average lifespan standards. The United Kingdom's Royal Veterinary College collected data from more than 30,000 pet dogs who died between January 1, 2016, and July 31, 2020. The data was broken down by sex, Kennel Club breed group, and common dog breeds.

TikTok personality and veterinary surgeon @Ben. the.Vet highlighted the study on social media and dog owners were totally shocked. In his a three-part series, Ben names some of the most popular breeds and what the study estimates their life expectancy might really be.


New study highlights wide disparity in lifespan between dog breeds #learnontiktok #dog #study #lifespan #veterinary #benthevet #EarthDay

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Part one shows the following dog breeds' life expectancies:

  • Jack Russell terrier: 12.7 years.
  • Pug: 7.7 years
  • Cocker spaniel: 11.3 years
  • American bulldog: 7.8 years
  • French bulldog: 4.5 years
  • Springer spaniel: 11.9 years
  • Border collie: 12.1 years
  • English bulldog: 7.4 years

Of course, dog owners were eager to hear about more breeds—so Ben followed up with a second video.


PART 2 with more breeds - new study of over 30,000 dogs highlights variability in lifespan between breeds #learnontiktok #benthevet #dog #mansbestfriend #study #AsItWas

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There, he covers the following breeds:

  • Labrador retriever: 11.77 years
  • Chihuahua: 7.91 years
  • Husky: 9.53 years
  • Crossbred: 12.54 years
  • Yorkshire terrier: 12.54 years
  • Cavalier King Charles spaniel: 10.45 years

Most people think that small dog breeds live much longer than big dogs. However, this study shows many larger dog breeds outliving their tiny counterparts, at least on average. Overall, the difference in lifespan between the two is minimal.


PART 3 - all remaining breeds in study of average dog breed lifespan - 30K dogs in study #learnontiktok #dogs #mansbestfriend #benthevet

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Part three of Ben's series highlights the following dog breeds:

  • Beagle: 9.85 years
  • Boxer: 10,04 years
  • German shepherd: 10.2 years
  • Shih tzu: 11.05 years
  • Staffordshire bull terrier: 11.33 years

Of course, this new study only shows the average lifespan of these companion animals. Dogs can live a shorter or longer life depending on their genetics, lifestyle, and overall health. Many flat-faced breeds suffer from health problems, so it makes sense that French bulldogs may live a shorter life on average. To ensure your dog lives their best (and longest!) life, always give them proper veterinary care, high-quality food, and plenty of exercise. Lots of love always helps, too!

Were you surprised by your dog's average predicted lifespan? Tell us on our Wide Open Pets Instagram!

READ MORE: Head Pressing in Dogs: Knowing the Signs Can Save a Life