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Q: Life Expectancy in the Canine World?

September 19, 2008 | By Geoff G. | 9 answers | Expired: 2123 days ago

Life Expectancy in the Canine World?

Our little dog Silvy (below) is now close to 10 years of age, and now showing some signs of moving into "retirement",at least physically, but seemingly in pretty good general overall health. Silvy is a Jack Russell/Fox Terrier cross-breed and is probably a pound or so overweight. Her vet. tells us that she is OK weight-wise, favoring this condition rather than her being under-weight. My question is, based on general canine averages, approx. for how much longer can we expect to enjoy Silvy's deeply loyal & genuine friendship?
Secondly, if life-expectancy is breed-dependant, what is the general life-expectancy of the different breeds of dogs within the ZooToo family? Personal experience examples, with images,if possible, please! Thank You All. Geoff.

Readers' Answers (9)
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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Sep 26, 2008

Our Jasmine was a Border Collie and lived to be 16. I've been told that is old for a BC. I believe smaller dogs generally live longer than larger dogs, but of course it depends on the care they get. Jas started to slow down at about 12, but was still active. Once she hit 14 she started to act old. Exercise is the key to keeping them young and healthy. I hope you have many years left with Silvy.

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Debbie
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Sep 20, 2008

I have also heard that the smaller dogs live longer & the larger breeds have shorter life expectancies. I believe alot of it has to do with how much love, attention, & care we give them.

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daryl b.
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Sep 19, 2008

hi doc daryl here. my border collie was 12 when he got hit by a car and in perfect health. clear eyes. not arthritis. no problems at all till that car came along. newfs usually go about 8 but with the right life are living longer these days unfortunitly they are know for heart and hip problems. beau is in this mix of 2 litters

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beverly y.
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Sep 19, 2008

i had a toy poodle lady she lived till she was 18years

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Pat  H.
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Sep 19, 2008

I think, like people, there's no set rule. Over the years, I've had all sizes, different breeds, etc.
My experience has been that they have averaged around 13-14. Not near long enough.
I agree with ethel02....love them as long as you have them.
There were a couple that I've always felt I should have let go sooner. We're just never ready.
My "old man" Koty, is 11 and has heart problems. He is on meds and still active and enjoying life but I see him coughing a little more lately. I sure will never be ready to think about loosing him.
Your baby may be ready to slow down a little and be with you for a loooong time! :)

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Ethel02
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Sep 19, 2008

I've always been told the smaller dogs have a longer life, my oldest is a greyhound and the leader of HER pack another grey & a black Lab, my best buddy is 16 1/2 and at the U of Penn. Vet. Host thought she was around 8 max., just love them as long as you have them.

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Kim H.
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Sep 19, 2008

I am not sure if it the breed type makes a difference in how long they live. I had a cockapoo, Mitsy live till she was 14. She was always in great shape and great health. At the end she started to hunch over and then lost use of her back legs. I grew up with a Schnoodle, Benji was her name and was around 16 when she passed. She had lots of tumors and began coughing up blood. I wish they did not age so quickly. I would think good care and good health will keep them around as long as possible. Benji had a sister that had cancer, so we were sure that was what was going on with her to.

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NewfGirl
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Sep 19, 2008

Hi DrGeoff! I really don't have much experience with smaller dogs - my niece has a 12 year old (they think) Jack Russell who is having trouble (almost blind, moving pretty slowly) but is still happy, still himself, and quite possible older than we think. And my friend's Yorkie had virtually no health issues until he reached his 16th year. I've heard and read that smaller dogs generally have a longer average lifespan than our giants, though.

We had always heard "ten" was the magic number for our big guys, Newfs & Pyrs. When our first Pyr turned 9 we happened to bump into the breeder we rescued him from (he was originally sold as a pup, then returned to the breeder 18 months later - not like he was a puppy mill product or anything). We were concerned that the big 1-0 was coming. He said something interesting: From his experience, if a Pyr reaches his 8th birthday without having some sort of heart problem, murmur, cancer, severe arthritis chances are he'll make it to 12 or more years before normal age-related things start to plague him. He said if something pops up (again the usual large breed issues) around the age of 8 or earlier, chances are the genetics don't have that long of a lifespan in mind, and to "expect around ten years".

Not sure of any actual scientific data, but this kind of fits in with large breed dogs we've known. I can say this - our first Pyr, Seiko, passed just before his 12th birthday and had no real changes in his health until maybe two months earlier. My Newf was diagnosed with a bit of minor arthritis when she was being screened for a possible ACL injury at the age of 4. She would come up lame or stiff once in a while, but no traumatic injuries. Just before she turned 9 she suddenly showed signs of failing health - lethargy, refusal to eat, and was diagnosed with an enlarged heart. We were hoping to get another ten months by treating her with heart meds, but tests also showed liver issues so she was not a candidate for the Rx's, and within a week we had to let her go. I know that's only two dogs, but now the breeder's words make all the sense in the world to me.

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Lynn C.
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Sep 19, 2008

I think a lot of it is luck with a touch of good genes. Your litte ones should be with you for many more years. I had a spanial/beagle (about 35 lbs) mix growing up and he lived a few months past 17. He had cancer. I also had a shepherd/lab mix (about 90 lbs) that was somewhere between 16 and 17 when he passed. His, like many large dogs, back legs gave out. I just hope the two dogs I now have and your two have as much good luck as my beagle and shepherd mix had.

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