19 Dogs That Sadly Don’t Live Long

Written By Jill Taylor

You mostly get to spend an average of 13 years with a man’s best friends. However, believe it or not, there are breeds that cut this time in half. So that you know how long of a companionship you’re getting, we’ve compiled 19 dog breeds with the shortest lifespans in the world.

Bernese Mountain Dog

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Bernese Mountain Dogs are susceptible to genetic issues like cancer and hip dysplasia, and because of this, these dogs live for only six to eight years. Bernese Mountain Dogs also have a higher incidence of fatalities at younger ages when compared to other dog breeds.


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Short-nosed dog breeds are known to develop more health complications than their longer-nosed counterparts. And the Bulldog isn’t exempt from this. Bulldogs commonly suffer from respiratory, joint, and skin problems, and because of these, you typically see them only live for between eight and ten years.

Great Dane

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The AKC says a Great Dane is lucky if it gets to live for 12 years, as most live for eight to ten years and some for as little as six years. The huge size of these dogs, which is their most distinctive feature, threatens them the most, as it puts too much strain on their heart and joints.


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With a plethora of problems like bloating, digestive issues, joint issues, and heart diseases, it’s no surprise that the Newfoundland lives for only between eight and ten years. However, while most of these dogs succumb to cancer, proper nutritional diets and regular exercise can keep yours alive for 15 years.


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Like the Great Dane, the Mastiff’s large size increases its risk of developing joint and cardiac problems. But these aren’t the worst complications to bother these gentle giants. An NLM study shares that almost half (47%) of Mastiffs die from cancer—at an average age of between six and ten years.


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The Rottweiler is another breed that’s genetically disadvantaged when compared to other dogs. Cancer is the most prominent of the health issues affecting Rottweilers, as it’s responsible for about 45% of deaths. And with other problems like hip dysplasia, this dog only lives for an average of eight years.

Irish Wolfhound

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Irish Wolfhounds are the tallest dogs you’ll come across. But, sadly, they live for only between six and ten years, and many even pass away before they hit the age of five! The size of these dogs is their most fatal feature, as they suffer an increased risk of developing heart issues and bone cancers.


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Boxers are susceptible to degenerative diseases (including cancer and myelopathy), canine dysplasia, bloating, seizures, and hearing loss. And, suffering as many health complications as this, you would see them only live for ten to 12 years. The lucky ones get to live for up to 13 years.

French Bulldog

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With the French Bulldogs, you have a breed that lives for between ten and 12 years—just like Boxers. A Forbes post tells us that brain disorders like intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) and tumors are the leading causes of death for Frenchies, while they’re also prone to cancers and respiratory complications.


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The Bullmastiff is another short-nosed large dog on our list that commonly succumbs to cancer, respiratory problems, joint issues, and heart-related complications. Because of these, you’ll only see most Bullmastiffs live for between eight and ten years, even with properly balanced diets and exercise.

Basset Hound

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Most Basset Hounds die of old age, and by “old age,” we mean between the ages of ten and 12. However, they’re also commonly associated with fatal health problems like gastric torsion and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). Thankfully, it’s one of the few breeds on our list whose lifespans can be extended through proper care—up to 17 years!

Shar Pei

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From hip and elbow dysplasia to cataracts, fever, skin fold infections, and immune system issues, the Shar Pei is also inflicted with health complications of its own. This dog only lives for between eight and 12 years, and excellent care only lets you squeeze out an extra couple of years from them on average.

Dogue de Bordeaux

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According to the AKC, the life expectancy of a Dogue de Bordeaux is only five to eight years, and this is due to features like its short nose, deep chest, and huge body. The common health issues you should expect with one include heart, muscle, and bone problems, as well as bloating and heatstroke.


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The Bloodhound usually lives for between ten and 12 years, and it’s another dog on our list that suffers from its large size. Although these dogs are active and remain healthy for most of their lives, they are also commonly associated with health issues like hip and elbow dysplasia and bloating.

Saint Bernard

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Saint Bernards live for an average of eight years, while the lucky ones offer companionship for only ten years. These dogs are known to pass away from heart problems. And the most common of these is dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)—a condition that causes their hearts to be so thin and weak that they can’t effectively pump blood anymore.


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Weimaraners are susceptible to cardiac conditions, hip dysplasia, genetic conditions like gastric torsion, and thyroid disease. And the joint effect of these problems causes them to live for an average of ten to 13 years. You’ll need a minimum of two hours per day for exercise to keep these dogs in their best condition.

Chow Chow

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Despite their comparably smaller size, Chow Chows suffer the same fate as many other larger dogs on our list. The PDSA reports that they have an average lifespan of under ten years. However, with proper care, you can keep yours as a companion for up to 15 years.


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The calm, affectionate, and friendly Leonberger sadly only lives for between eight and nine years. And cancer—particularly bone and blood cancer—is the leading cause of death for this breed. However, while some may barely even live for seven years, we also have some that get to live for up to 15 years, thankfully.

Scottish Deerhound

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As a giant breed, the Scottish Deerhound is also known to have a short life, typically spanning an average of between eight and 11 years. Although many of the ailments you’ll come across with this breed are treatable, it’s also susceptible to fatal cancers, heart disease, and bone problems.

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