When bringing home a new dog, it’s important to consider activity level, potential health concerns, breed, size, and lifespan. Dogs can can be incredibly varied on all these traits, and that means their average lifespan can vary as well. Unfortunately, there are some breeds, many of them large dog breeds, that have a relatively short life expectancy.
Despite their short life expectancy, these five dog breeds with short lifespans are wonderful dogs to own, and many pet owners agree.
1. Irish Wolfhound
The tallest breed, standing as high as 38 inches, Irish Wolfhounds appear imposing in stature. However, they are known as quiet and loyal dogs, demonstrating a deep affinity for the company of people. Unfortunately, they rarely live to be more than 10 years old, passing away on average at age 7. These results are courtesy of a study done by the UK Kennel Club. Bone cancer is overwhelmingly the most common cause of death for the breed.
2. Bernese Mountain Dog
Originating from Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain Dog served as an effective farm dog. They were useful companions for herders and dairymen in the Canton of Bern region. Nowadays, they are kept as loving pets that get along with children and adults alike. Their energy level is fairly contained as well. Health-wise, the breed succumbs to cancer frequently. Their age range drifts between 6 and 10 years old, usually living to be 7 or 8.
3. Great Dane
Sometimes known as the Apollo of all breeds, Great Danes are instantly recognizable with their long legs, tall bodies, and lean, short-coated frame. Their age range is between 7 and 10 years. Despite their looming size, they are very friendly and affectionate towards people. Great Danes also get along with other dogs so long as they are socialized from a young age. The most common and serious threats to their health include bloat, hip dysplasia, and various congenital heart diseases.
4. Dogue de Bordeaux /French Mastiff
Like the other large breeds mentioned here, the Dogue de Bordeaux‘s lifespan seldom stretches past 8 years. In fact, according to the Dogue due Bordeaux of America, their average lifespan is between 5 and 6 years. As a breed, they are one of the oldest in France, having been traced back to the 14th century. Standing out with their gigantic heads and distinct red coats, they are obedient, alert and loving dogs.
5. Neapolitan Mastiff
This massive dog breed hails from Italy. With loose, floppy folds of skin covering its body, the Neapolitan Mastiff weighs in at between 160 and 200 pounds. They are fiercely protective of their masters and will not stand down if they believe their owners are in peril. Early and often socialization efforts are key to teaching the dog to accept strangers and other dogs into the home. They are highly attentive and loyal dogs – but they’re not necessarily recommended for new pet owners.