Do Small Dogs Live Longer Than Big Dogs?

Owning a dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. In just a short time of having a dog, they become like a member of the family. They are part of your routine and become a part of your heart, as well. However, many people, before getting a dog, want to know what type of dog would be best for their family. You may want to make this decision based on what type of dog will live the longest. Do large or small breed dogs live longer?


In general, smaller breeds of dogs will live longer than larger dog breeds. This is due to many factors including their weight, health issues that are common amongst larger dogs, and some other things, as well. Research shows that the average age of dogs that weigh less than 20 pounds is 11 years, while dogs that are more than 90 pounds live for an average of 8 years. With this being said, the average of a dog's lifespan can vary greatly. It depends on how they are being raised, what they are eating, what breed they are, their risk of health issues, and much more.

Size of the Dog

There are some larger breeds of dogs that don’t get very heavy. They might weigh somewhere between 40 and 50 pounds. As you have read above, research shows that the average life of a dog that's over 90 pounds is around 8 years. This means that a dog that weighs around 45 pounds might live 10 years or even more. Smaller dogs may weigh less, but they may be more prone to health issues, depending on their breed.

Breed of Dog

There is no exact age when a certain dog will live. However, with this being said, there are some larger dog breeds that have a longer life expectancy. These dogs include the American Alsatian, the Alaskan Malamute, the Doberman, and the Anatolian Shepherd. Some of the smaller dog breeds that have a longer life expectancy include Maltese, Beagle, Australian Shepherd, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Cockapoo, Jack Russell Terrier, and Toy Poodle. These are some of the things that you need to know about whether large or small breeds of dogs live the longest.

There really is no exact way to tell. There have been large and small dogs that have lived 15+ years. There are also some large and small breeds that have passed away early on in their life. However, with this knowledge, hopefully, you and your family can make the best decision on which dog breed would be best to bring into your family. No matter which one you choose, in just a short amount of time, you will all fall in love with your new pet and they will become a member of the family.

Why do small dogs live longer?

Generally, smaller dogs live longer than bigger dogs because small animals have faster metabolism. Due to this, larger dogs age faster. The exact reason is still unknown, but a larger breed growing from puppy to an adult at an accelerated rate may lead to higher chances of abnormal cell growth and death from cancer and other diseases.

How long do small breed dogs live?

The average lifespan of a small dog breed is 12 to 14 years. Small dogs like the Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, and the Pomeranian tend to live longer than bigger breeds like the Saint Bernard, Labrador, and the Great Dane.

What is the average lifespan of a dog?

The life expectancy of our canine friends varies from breed to breed. On average, dogs live between 10 and 13 years. Some breeds may live longer and some may live shorter.

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Written by Leo Roux

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