Top 10 Dog Breeds With The Shortest Lifespan


Sadly, larger dogs are prone to health issues at earlier stages in life. The accelerated growth of larger dogs is thought to cause an array of health problems. Although it is unknown to what actually causes the numerous health problems, many link their short life span to breeding practices throughout the century.

Scottish Deerhound: 8-11 years

This gentle giant breed may develop an array of health problems early on in life. Heart disease is common in the Deerhound. The leading cause of death in females is bone cancer. Bloat is also a common health problem with Deerhounds. Bloat affects 10% of all Deerhounds and has a high mortality rate. The Royal Dog of Scotland may be very active in years 1-4 but it’s smart to start monitoring their health more closely from year 5+.

Rottweiler: 8-11 years

Rottweilers need lots of activities and exercise from a early age. The breed can develop numbers major health problems later in life. These health problems can include canine hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, bone cancer, and elbow dysplasia.

Saint Bernard: 8-10 years 

The very fast growth rate and the weight of a St. Bernard can lead to very serious deterioration of their bones. St. Bernard requires a proper diet and plenty of exercise. Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) has been shown to be hereditary in the breed. St. Bernards are also susceptible to epilepsy and seizures, a heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy, and eczema.

Newfoundland: 8-10 years

Named after the Canadian province, the Newfoundland or “Newfie” is an equal companion as it is a worker. Newfie’s suffer from a genetic problem called subvalvular aortic stenosis or SAS. This is a common heart defect affecting the heart valves. Newfoundlands are prone to arthritis and hip dysplasia as well.

Bullmastiff: 7-8 years

Originally developed by 19th-century gamekeepers to guard estates. The Bullmastiff loyalty and adaption to home environments has made it a very popular domesticated breed. This fun loving breed also comes with numerous health related problems. Lymphoma, bloat, hip & elbow dysplasia, and arthritis are common health problems with the breed. 1 in 4 will develop hip dysplasia.

Great Dane: 7-8 years

Holding the Guinness World Records for being the tallest dog, the Great Dane unfortunately comes with an array of health problems that shorten its life.The breed has a very slow metabolism rate,this results in less energy and food consumption . Bloat and hip dysplasia is also very common in Great Danes. This breed is nicknamed by Veterinarians the “heartbreak” breed for its numerous heart related diseases.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog: 6-8 years

The swissie is an all around working dog. The breed is known for and excels in herding cattle, pulling heavy loads, and standing guard. This large breed does come with a few health problems typical in larger breed dogs. Hip dysplasia and bloat is very common.

Mastiff: 6-8 years

This dog breed can weigh up to 225 pounds! The breed dates back to over 5,000 years unfortunately the sheer size of this breed contributes to the short lifespan.

Irish Wolfhound: 6-7 years

Originating from Ireland, the Irish Wolfhound is another big dog whose life is cut short due to its massive size. Dilated cardiomyopathy and bone cancer are the leading cause of death and like all deep-chested dogs, gastric torsion (bloat) is common as well. The breed is affected by hereditary intrahepatic portosystemic shunt also.

Bernese Mountain Dog: 5-7 years

Top 10 Longest Living Dog Breeds

The Bernese Mountain Dog is known for their wonderful temperament, intelligence, affection and loyalty. The reason why the Bernese has such a short lifespan is due to the small gene pool they are bred with. Common health problems associated with the breed include;  hip and elbow dysplasia, gastric dilation, bloat and eye issues such as congenital cataracts. They also have a higher risk of cancers such as osteosarcomas, mast cell tumors and lymphoma as well.

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Kevin Bentley

Hi, I’m Kevin Bentley, a dog lover and enthusiast. Though I started out as a cat person, my wife quickly set me on the true path of dog love. Now I’m full-on obsessed with dogs and everything related to dogs. I’ve purchased every dog accessory you can think of, so I decided to collect my thoughts about them on this site.

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