Explainer: Life in dog years

  • Image: Pomeranian
    Andrew H. Walker  /  Getty Images file

    Despite our undying love, the time we get to spend with our canine companions is far too short. Even the longest-lived breeds can be expected to live a mere 15 to 20 years. Factors such as size — smaller dogs typically live longer than larger dogs — and pedigree — mixed breeds tend to outlast purebreds — play an important role in determining a dog’s longevity. The one thing that all dogs share, however, is that the impact they have on our lives lasts forever.

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  • Longest-lived breeds

  • Chihuahua

    Image: chihuahuas
    Mary Altaffer  /  AP file

    The Chihuahua has become very famous in the last few years due to its minute stature, which makes it the perfect “purse dog” that can be taken anywhere. However, the Chihuahua should not be underestimated just because of its size. This is a highly intelligent and athletic breed.

    The average Chihuahua is between 4 and 6 pounds and stands less than a foot tall, with an average life expectancy of 15 years or more.

  • Toy poodle

    Image: toy poodle
    Seth Wenig  /  AP file

    The toy poodle — a popular house pet — is known for its companionable temperament and extremely high degree of intelligence.

    The toy poodle must be 10 inches or under at shoulders and weighs on average between 6 and 9 pounds. The average life expectancy of the toy poodle 12 to 15 years.

  • Miniature dachshund

    Image: dachshund
    Stephen Morton  /  AP file

    The miniature dachshund is known for its "hot dog"-type look, with its long body and almost absurdly short legs. Despite its comic appearance, the dachshund is a smart and athletic dog — and an excellent house pet.

    The miniature dachshund stands about a foot high at the shoulders and weighs between 11 and 16 pounds, with an average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.

  • Tibetan terrier

    Image: Tibetan Terrier
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    The Tibetan terrier, also known as the Tsang Apso, is valued for its sweet temperament and companionship.

    The average Tibetan terrier stands 15 to 16 inches high at the shoulders and weighs between 18 and 30 pounds. The average life expectancy of a Tibetan terrier is between 12 and 15 years.

  • Pomeranian

    Image: Pomeranian
    Andrew H. Walker  /  Getty Images file

    The Pomeranian is prized for its lively and sociable personality, and unlike many toy breeds, the Pomeranian has a very independent nature.

    The average Pomeranian stands 7 to 12 inches high at the shoulders and weighs between 3 and 7 pounds. The average life expectancy of a Pomeranian is between 12 and 15 years.

  • Shortest-lived breeds

  • Irish wolfhound

    Image: Irish wolfhound
    Chris McGrath  /  Getty Images file

    The Irish wolfhound is the tallest of all breeds. Yet despite a commanding appearance, it has a sweet and gentle disposition.

    The average Irish wolfhound stands 30 to 34 inches high at the shoulders and weighs between 90 and 150 pounds. The average life expectancy of an Irish wolfhound is between 6 and 8 years.

  • English bulldog

    Image: An English bulldog
    Thomas White  /  Reuters file

    The English bulldog, known for its wrinkly coat and comical facial characteristics, is one of the most beloved breeds of all time.

    The average English bulldog stands 12 to 16 inches at the shoulders and weighs between 40 and 50 pounds. Life expectancy of an English bulldog is about 8 years.

  • Great Dane

    Image: Great Dane
    Mike Segar  /  Reuters file

    The Great Dane is famous not only for its gargantuan size but also for its patient and gentle personality.

    The average Great Dane stands 28 to 34 inches high at the shoulders and weighs between 100 and 180 pounds. The average life expectancy of a Great Dane is 10 years.

  • Bernese mountain dog

    Image: Bernese mountain dog
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    The Bernese mountain dog is one of the four Swiss mountain dog breeds. The Bernese mountain dog is a companionable animal and makes an excellent family pet.

    The average Bernese mountain dog stands 23 to 28 inches at the withers and weighs between 65 and 120 pounds. The Bernese mountain dog's average life span about 6 to 8 years.

  • Bullmastiff

    Image: Bullmastiff
    featurepics.com

    The bullmastiff is a strong and powerful dog known for its loyalty and bravery.

    The average bullmastiff stands 24 to 27 inches tall at the shoulders and weighs between 100 and 130 pounds. The average life expectancy of this breed is between 8 and 11 years.

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