Here are the top four lifespans and the bottom three for UK dog breeds 2014 as per a study titled: Longevity and mortality in Kennel Club registered dog breeds in the UK in 2014. If you want to see 17 more breeds, please click on this link (this takes you to an external website and shows you a chart showing the mean lifespans marked by an indentation in the blue bar).
The study authors state regarding cause of death:
“The most commonly reported causes of death were old age (13.8%), unspecified cancer (8.7%) and heart failure (4.9%); with 5.1% of deaths reported as unknown cause.”
Larger animals live longer normally so why it is the opposite for domestic dog breeds? Remember I am referring to purebred dogs which have been artificially selected as opposed to natural selection which applies much more to mutts (mongrels).
One professor says that large dogs age more rapidly 😎. Well, that’s obvious because they die younger. Another reason is that “large breed puppies have fast metabolisms, growing faster and requiring more energy than smaller breeds” (Undergraduates Josh Winward and Alex Ionescu from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York).
Perhaps another reason is that there has been more selective breeding in the large breeds and selective breeding weakens the immune system and compromises the animal’s robustness (inbreeding depression).
Below are some more articles on dogs: