14 Dog Breeds With the Shortest Lifespan

Dog Breeds with the Shortest Lifespan
Photo by vlaaitje

While most dog breeds have a lifespan between 10 and 15 years, some species can live for as few as five years or as many as 20 years.

The following list includes dog breeds with the shortest lifespan and their average lifespan in brackets next to each breed’s name.

There are many great reasons to have a dog, including companionship and loyalty, but unfortunately, some dog breeds also have shorter lifespans than others.

If you’re looking to bring home a new furry friend, this list can help you find the best dog breed suited to your lifestyle and family members.

1. French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are a popular pet, but they have one of the shortest lifespans. Frenchies usually only live from six to ten years, which is on the shorter end of dog breeds.

Their short lifespan is due to their flat faces, which makes them prone to health issues like brachycephalic airway syndrome and skin fold dermatitis. 

The problem is that their flat faces make it hard for them to regulate their temperature, so they can’t cool themselves off as quickly in hot weather.

Therefore, you should keep your dog out of the heat or frigid temperatures if you want to increase its lifespan.

Another common ailment among French Bulldog puppies is dental problems because their shortened muzzle doesn’t give them enough room for proper teeth growth.

You should brush your dog’s teeth regularly and provide chew toys when possible to prevent this issue.

If you own a French Bulldog, there are some things you need to be aware of: Their flat face means they don’t have much space for teeth, so make sure to clean those pearly whites often!

These dog breeds with the shortest lifespans also don’t do well in extreme conditions (i.e., high and low temperatures).

2. English Bulldog

English bulldogs are dog breeds that have short lifespans. These dog breeds with the shortest lifespans are prone to breathing problems, hip dysplasia, and a variety of other health issues which can lead to early death.

They generally live an average of 6-8 years, but the median age is five. They also tend to have difficulty regulating their body temperature due to their heavy fur coats and short muzzles.

This can cause them to overheat or become too cold sometimes, leading to health problems. If you own an English Bulldog, it is best to be aware of these risks and keep them inside during extreme weather conditions. 

When choosing your dog breed, think about the amount of money, time, and effort you are willing to put into caring for your pet. Dogs require attention, love, and care just like humans do, so choose wisely!

3. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are dog breeds with the shortest lifespans. They usually have a life expectancy of 12 to 20 years, but that’s not set in stone. They may live longer if properly cared for and get all their necessary shots on time.

But even so, dogs are susceptible to many health problems and can experience sudden death due to heart attacks, seizures, or other causes.

Though it’s heartbreaking when they die before you expect them to, some dog breeds with the shortest lifespans manage to make it past those difficult first few months and grow into strong, healthy dogs. 

4. Beagle

Beagles are some of the most popular dogs in the world, and they’re known for their excellent sense of smell.

In addition, beagles have a reputation for being very friendly and pleasant, and they make lovely family pets due to their size and temperament.

Beagle puppies are also considered one of the easiest breeds to train. Beagles have a lifespan of about 12-14 years on average.

However, these dog breeds with the shortest lifespans are prone to specific health problems like hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, deafness, heart disease, allergies, eye issues (particularly cataracts), epilepsy, skin problems (e.g., mange), dental problems (e.g., malocclusion), and more.

Therefore, if necessary, it’s essential to take them to the vet yearly for regular checkups, shots, and flea control medication.

The cost of owning a Beagle is around $857 per year. These little companions require special attention to prevent tooth decay, ear infections, food sensitivities, and obesity.

If you love intelligent dogs but are not high-maintenance, consider adopting a Beagle from your local animal shelter.

5. American Bulldog

The American Bulldog is a large, muscular dog with a short coat in various colors. The breed was created by crossing old English Bulldogs and Terriers.

These dog breeds with the shortest lifespans are sometimes used as an attack dog or guard dog, but they can be gentle and playful with children if it is properly socialized at an early age.

The American Bulldog has a life expectancy of about 8-12 years. A significant cause of death for this breed is cancer. There are no genetic predispositions to any other disease.

They are also prone to orthopedic issues like hip dysplasia, cruciate ligament rupture, and eye problems such as cataracts and retinal dysplasia.

In addition, these dogs need daily exercise, grooming, and proper nutrition. Without enough physical activity, they will become bored, which may lead to destructive behaviors.

The American Bulldog‘s lifespan is relatively short compared to other breeds of similar size; however, its life expectancy still falls within the normal range for purebred dogs.

6. German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is an intelligent dog breed. These dog breeds with the shortest lifespans are so intelligent that they can become bored quickly and often need to work to stay active.

Unfortunately, the German Shepherd is also a highly energetic and playful dog, leading to shorter lifespans than other breeds. 

The average lifespan for a German Shepherd is about 10-12 years. This may seem long, but when you compare it to breeds such as Dachshunds which live an average of 13-15 years, or Boxers, who live 12-14 years on average, it seems shorter than it is. 

It’s important to remember that these statistics only show what the general population has experienced, not necessarily your dog.

So if you get a German Shepherd puppy, keep him active throughout his life by giving him plenty of mental stimulation and physical activity.

7. Dachshund

The Dachshund is a small, short-legged dog who loves to burrow. The Dachshund was bred to hunt badgers and other small animals in Germany.

While their high energy and need for exercise might seem like a drawback, they are great for those living in smaller apartments or homes. 

The downside to the breed is that they only have an average lifespan of 12 years due to their size.

In addition, these dog breeds with the shortest lifespans are also prone to certain health conditions, including hip dysplasia, which is more common in species with long backs.

Due to these issues and others, the Dachshund has been ranked as one of the ten most endangered breeds by the American Kennel Club

However, because of its popularity and intelligence, it’s unlikely that this list will be accurate shortly.

With proper care from humans and veterinary assistance when needed, many healthy Dachshunds can grow up to 15 years old!

8. Husky

The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working dog from the Arctic. They are known for their friendly and gentle nature, as well as their ability to pull loads.

They have a thick coat that protects them from cold weather but can also make them prone to overheating. 

This breed typically lives between 12 and 15 years old. This particular husky type is more susceptible to health problems because specific guidelines do not breed them.

One reason they are accessible to health problems is that there aren’t any regulations for breeding huskies.

Because of their gentle nature, they make great dogs for people who have children. However, it’s essential to recognize that they don’t have a long life expectancy and can pass on health problems to their offspring.

Other reasons their lifespan is so short could be their thick coat or how active they are when young. 

These dog breeds with the shortest lifespans often suffer from obesity or bone cancer due to inactivity.

However, if you’re looking for a dog with a shorter life span, a Siberian Husky may be perfect for you!

9. Boxer

Boxers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. These dog breeds with the shortest lifespans are medium-sized breeds, coming in at around 24 inches tall and weighing anywhere from 55 to 80 pounds, depending on their diet.

Boxers were originally bred as all-purpose guard dogs to hunt big game. Their short hair is fine and comes in red, fawn, or brindle.

Boxers have a long lifespan of 10 to 12 years when healthy, but some have been known to live up to 18 years old.

The average lifespan for a boxer who has not been spayed or neutered is six years, shorter than many other breeds.

Due to this difference in life span, you must know what you’re getting into before committing to raising a pet that may only be with you for six years.

One possible solution to these short lifespans is having your boxer fixed or neutered before they reach sexual maturity. Another option is adopting your pup instead of purchasing them from a breeder. 

With over 4 million dogs entering shelters annually, many pups are waiting to be adopted by loving families.

Adopting a dog can help save their life while helping you find a lifelong companion who will give back as much love as they receive.

10. Pug

The Pug is a lovable and playful dog, but they have a shorter lifespan than some other breeds due to their flat faces, making breathing more difficult.

A Pug’s average lifespan is 12-16 years, which means they’re in their golden years by age 8. Even if you’re careful about how much your pug plays and what he eats, it’s still important to take him to the vet for regular checkups.

Some common health issues include hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), gastric torsion (stomach twisting), congestive heart failure, pneumonia, liver disease, cataracts (clouding of the eye lens), and glaucoma.

These conditions may be present at birth, so breeders often test for them before breeding. In addition, a healthy diet consisting of high-quality food will help keep your Pug living longer and healthier. 

Make sure he has plenty of fresh water to drink, and you’ll be able to say hello to this little guy for many years!

Pugs love being around people, so one easy way to keep them happy is by playing games like fetch or hide-and-seek.

11. Alaskan Malamutes

Alaskan Malamutes are a breed of large dogs that originate in Alaska. Their thick, white coat and black face recognize these dog breeds with the shortest lifespans.

A Malamute is usually a dog that can be trained to pull sleds and live in colder climates. 

Alaskan Malamutes have an average lifespan of 8-12 years but can live as long as 15-18 years.

One reason is that they are not prone to obesity, so it is more difficult for them to develop health issues associated with being overweight.

Alaskan Malamutes are often used as service animals for people who need help getting around due to disabilities or injuries. 

Though the temperament of these breeds varies between individuals, many like children and other pets well.

However, some do not do well around strangers or other animals and may be aggressive with unfamiliar people.

The Alaskan Malamute is a medium-sized dog with a thick, white coat that helps protect him from freezing temperatures. 

These furry friends make great companions for anyone looking for a four-legged friend to run alongside you on your next adventure.

If you’re looking for a furry friend with a strong work ethic, the Alaskan Malamute might be right up your alley!

12. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small dog weighing about 14 pounds. It has a long, silky coat that needs brushing daily, especially during shedding season.

Cavaliers are known to have an average lifespan of 12-14 years but can live for 15-18 years.

However, the dog’s popularity in recent years has put cavaliers at risk for health problems like respiratory conditions.

While this doesn’t mean that all cavaliers will experience such issues, owners should still be mindful of any potential risks when considering purchasing a puppy or adopting an older dog. 

Occasionally, cavilers are also prone to skin diseases and eye infections. However, thanks to selective breeding practices over the past decade, cavaliers have fewer illnesses than previous generations, which are becoming increasingly more common.

13. Basset Hound

The Basset Hound is a large dog breed with a short lifespan of 12-13 years. These dog breeds with the shortest lifespans are known for their low-slung bodies, long ears, and sagging jowls.

The Basset Hound can weigh up to 50 pounds when fully grown, and they typically have brown, black, or tan coats that are often speckled or spotted. 

They are gentle, loyal dogs who make excellent companions for families with children but need lots of exercise and attention to keep them happy.

Unfortunately, bassets are also very sensitive to heat, so these dogs should not live in hot areas because it can lead to breathing difficulties, skin problems, and lethargy. 

Although this dog does not tolerate cold weather well either due to its short coat and lack of muscle development, it’s best for its assets if you live in a temperate climate where the temperature does not fluctuate too much from day to night.

14. Great Dane

The Great Dane is a dog breed known for its large size. The Great Dane can grow to be more than three feet tall and weigh 150 pounds.

Unfortunately, one of the most common problems for these dog breeds with the shortest lifespans is arthritis in their hips as they age.

Osteoarthritis is a disease where joint cartilage breaks down, causing joint pain and inflammation.

The average lifespan for this breed is six to eight years, but some Great Danes have been known to live up to twelve years or more.

So as the time comes near for your Great Dane’s pasDane’sthere are several things you should consider. 

First, make sure you have an emergency veterinarian nearby to take care of your pet on short notice. It is always better to be prepared.

Second, take a look at your budget and find out what type of funeral arrangements would best suit your needs.

There are many options available: cremation, burial plots, urns—whatever feels suitable for you and your family.


The average lifespan of a dog is 11-13 years, but many breeds have much shorter lifespans than this.

The list of dog breeds with the shortest lifespans includes some you may not expect to be high on the list, such as Affenpinscher and Dachshund.

However, some surprises are also on this list, like Chihuahua and Great Dane. All of these breeds have a common tendency to develop health problems due to genetics or environmental factors that contribute to early death during their lifetime.

In addition, some are smaller breeds, making them more prone to injuries and diseases.

There is an old saying You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, which means when they get older, they are set in their ways, so it becomes difficult for them to learn new things, which makes it hard for them to adjust if something changes.

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