Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How long do dogs live?


Dogs seem to die too young, no matter how long they live.  That's just the way it is.
Dobies usually die at the young age of 9 or 10


On average, their life span is 11 to 12 years, depending on the breed.  (Click here to read about life expectancy by breed.) Contrary to the general principle that big mammals live longer than little ones -for example squirrels die around 6 and elephants about 70 - lifespan in dogs is opposite.  It's not unusual for little dogs to live well into their teens, whereas large dogs live to 11 or 12, and the super giants usually die as early as 5 or 6.  This contradiction is a weird dog phenomenon that scientist are actually studying at Texas A&M University.
Daisy is over 25 years old

The other weird thing is the exceptionally long time a few dogs live.  Regardless of heritage or lifestyle, some pooches live two to almost three times longer than their normal life expectancy. Translating human years to dog years, that would be like people living 140 to 200 years.

Kelpie mix, Sako lived
more than 22 years.
The better question might be, "How long should my dog live?"  Are dogs dying sooner than they used to?
Pusuke, Shiba mix,
26 years and 8 months
Reviewing 17th, 18th and 19th century books at the world's greatest dog library, Chapin-Horowitz Collection, College of William & Mary, I found only one reference to life expectancy, in a book published in 1824: "The natural life span of the dog may be considered as ranging between fourteen and fifteen years." (Canine Pathology, by Delebere P. Blaine, 1824).   If the writer was accurate, that's significantly longer than today's life span.

Bella, a lab mix, more than 29 years 
The oldest dog on record was an Australian Cattle Dog, Bluey, who lived 29 years, 160 days.  

Bluey as a youngster in her 20s
Here are some other record setters:

Chanel, 21 years plus


Max, terrier cross, 26 years and still going

Pip, terrier mix, 24 years plus
Sooty, lab mix, more than 26 years
Check out a comprehensive list on Wikipedia's  world's oldest dogs.

Old dogs are the best dogs. Consider adopting a senior.  I adopted Lolly when she was 9, and every day we were together, for the 5 more years she lived, she made my life better.
Lolly at 14

20 comments:

  1. Old dogs are great dogs. We adopted our Golden, Ben: the Humane Society said he was six -- the vet, after an x-ray, said he was 9. We had him four years, he was a very gentle, friendly dog, friend to all but wouldn't retrieve. The first dog I ever had I could walk without a leash, altho' that changed as he went deaf in his later years. He was ill-groomed and not neutered when we got him (we changed both those), and my deduction to his history was that he probably had more than one owner who really couldn't give him the care and attention he needed. But he retained his sweet, trusting nature. I think the four final years he spent with us in love and comfort were his reward for being such a good dog all his life.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. With Lolly it was the opposite. As we grew to be friends I realized she'd come from a very loving home. She was fed from the table (but not at our house), trained to walk off leash and carry the newspaper. My guess was her owner passed away, the not-dog-lover-kids took her, she got out (she was very good at opening gates), and ended up at the shelter. And we were the lucky ones to find her.

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  2. I see the Border Collies live for 13 years, mine is going on 14 this year, but he has kidney failure and deaf now, but he is still content and not hurting, so we are keeping up the treatment for now. I wonder sometimes if it is the shots and treatments we give them, that shorten their lives?

    Debbie

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    1. Debbie - It could be inoculations, but my guess is that it is inherited disease and environmental pollution.

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  3. And I wouldn't let the life expectancy chart govern one's choice too much. My boxer trumped the chart by at least 5 years. But yes, however long, it's never long enough.

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    1. You are so right when you say it's never long enough. I agreed to have my old friend and companion euthanized last month. Cody was 15 years 8 months old. I miss him profoundly every day and will never get over him not being here with me.

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    2. I just lost maggie who I adopted at the SPCA when she was 2 she gave me seven wonderful years I did not relize that 100 lbs labs are are seniors at 7 ITS hearbreaking but it was worth the memories

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    3. So sorry about your Maggie. I'm sure she made every day you were together a better day.

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  4. We have a dog we adopted at age 7 who looks a lot like Lolly. He will turn 13 in just of couple of months and he is doing well. Unfortunately, he had a very rough year of neglect the year prior to us getting him and I think that has taken somewhat of a toll on his joints. But he is an absolute love and I wouldn't have traded him for a pup for nothing. Our other dog is an Old English Sheepdog that we adopted this last spring at the age of 5. Give me the older dogs and I'll love them however long they are here.

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  5. What a lovely post, to see all those wonderful old dogs, how special they are and so dignified with their thinning coats, cataracts, missing teeth, frosted (grey) whiskers, still full of love, devotion and absolute cuteness!!!!
    Both my Schipperkes are 11 this year, and although this breed was not featured on the list, I did look it up, and they have a life expectancy of 13-15 years. I don't even want to think of life without them.......

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  6. I also wonder about the dog food. While table scraps aren't good, it seems so many dog foods are mostly corn. And lack of exercise with so many kids being more interested in video games and such. And parents afraid to let the kids wander about the neighborhood with the dogs unsupervised.

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  7. We rehomed Eddie a terrier cross some 14 years ago. The only history he came with was he was called Rocky, his owner had died and he barks a lot. We brought him home from leigh dogs home and after a couple of weeks he was one of the family. What a fantastic little dog he turned out to be. Yes he did bark but he was very faithful and loving. I, m guessing Eddie could be 17 or 18. He has slowed considerably and now just goes for a very short walk, but he still enjoys our company. He will be sorely missed but being optimistic he could be with us for a good while.

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    1. Maybe he's got a few more years. Think positive. Old dogs have a lot to teach us.

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  8. We have a 17 year old Jack Russell. He is a little stiffer than he used to be and his vision and hearing are deteriorating but he has never had any major health problems. I'm hoping he'll make it to 20!

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  9. I have a mixed Shi Tzu called Daisy. I got her from a lady who was going into a retirement home. Daisy was five then. I was told she wouldn't live very long as she had a choking problem. I discontinued the Prednisone she was on and over the years her spasms ceased. She is now over eighteen. I doubt she hears or sees very well and she rarely makes it to her doggy pad. I have to redirect her sometimes as she tends to walk in circles. However, she still eats pretty well although it is special food

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  10. Well I have a Greek dog lol. I honestly and neither has any vet or groomer know what kind of dog this is. He is a mutt type of terrier mix. He is so hairy long thick hair we get him shaved off leaving the tail ears and a fluff on top of his head like a snouzer cut. We were stationed in Greece at the time so we just call him our Greek dog named Boomhaur. He is almost 12 years young but I can tell he is getting old. He isn't hyper playful acting anymore doesn't run and isn't eating much anymore. I think I'm losing him and it breaks my heart. All he wants to do lately is kinda be alone head down and sleep. He will still way that tail tho and come up to me only and let me rub on his head and ears. He doesn't act like he is in any pain. Drinks a ton of water and takes 2 minutes or more long pee. I really think death is near. I pray not BC he is such a good loyal dog and this family of 4 kids mommy and dad and 2 of his other dog brother and sister will miss him to the moon and back. I hate to put him down but I don't want him in misery.

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    1. My beloved Boomhaur passed away peacefully in my arms . RIP best dog in the world. ❤

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    2. I am so sorry to hear the you lost Boomhaur. Sounds like he had a great life.

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  11. As sad as it may seem we have to accept that our beloved pets won't be with us forever, So we must make each day with them counts. Some dog owners are lucky enough that their dogs exceed the life expectation that was set for them, Especially if the dog is healthy it is more probable that it will exceed its life expectancy. That's why I make sure that my 3 dogs are always in tip-top shape, They never miss a vet appointment and I always make sure they have a regular exercise, I don't want to say goodbye to any of them soon.

    - Carl Williams

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  12. What a great read about how long dogs live! Thanks for informing the public about that!
    Emotional Pet Support also has a little article to help us find out how long dogs live for is anyone is interested: https://www.emotionalpetsupport.com/2017/03/long-will-dog-live/

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