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7 Longest Living Large Dog Breeds

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Sadly, a dog’s life is finite and you will have to bid your beloved pet farewell at some point. But large dogs exhibit a wide range of average lifespans; some live for only 6 or 7 years on average, while the longest living large dog breeds routinely reach twice this age.

In an attempt to enjoy their dog for as long as possible, many prospective owners seek out breeds with relatively long lifespans. But this can be difficult for lovers of large dogs, as most of the longest-living breeds are pretty small.

Longest Living Large Dog Breeds

Maltese, Shih Tzus, and Beagles, for example, often reach or exceed 15 years of age. Conversely, the Irish Wolfhound and Bernese Mountain dog lifespan are about 7 years on average.

But that doesn’t mean those who like big or giant canines can’t find a long-lived dog breed for their family. In fact, there are several breeds who grow relatively large and live for a long time.

Longest Living Large Dog Breeds

RankingNameHeightWeightLife spanBreed sizeTemperamentOrigin
1Alaskan Malamute23 to 25 inches75 to 85 pounds10 to 12 yearsLargePlayful, Friendly, Devoted, Affectionate, Dignified, LoyalAlaska
2Standard Poodle24.5 to 32 inches50 to 70 pounds10 to 18 yearsGiantobedient, lively, and loyal family companionsGermany
3Giant Schnauzer23 to 27 inches55 to 80 pounds12 to 15 yearsLargePowerful, Intelligent, Strong Willed, Kind, Loyal, DominantGermany
4Belgian Malinois22 to 24 inches61 to 100 pounds10 to 14 yearsMediumgentle, playful, aloofBelgium
5Chow Chow17 to 20 inches40 to 70 pounds9 to 15 yearsSmallAloof, Independent, Loyal, QuietChina
6Curly Coated Retriever23 to 27 inches60 to 70 pounds10 to 15 yearsLargegentle, friendly, playful, aloof.England
7Mixed Breed DogsVariesVaries12 to 18 yearsLargeLoyal, intelligent, playful, strong, DevotedWorldwide

Large and giant dog breeds usually have shorter lifespans than smaller dogs, but the seven breeds listed below are all rather large and normally live for 10 years or more.

#1. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute Long Living Breed

The Alaskan malamute is a strong dog, who is built like a tank and ready to take on any challenges that face him. The only exception to this is guard-dog work; malamutes regard strangers as friends they’ve yet to meet.

Originally developed to hunt and drag sleds, malamutes require plenty of exercise to prevent the development of destructive behaviors.

Malamutes are perhaps the best example of a longest living large dog breed, as they may reach 100 pounds in weight, and most live for 12 to 15 years.

#2. Standard Poodle

Although few people think of poodles as large dogs, standard poodles occasionally reach 75 pounds and stand up to 22 inches high at the shoulder. Smart, loving and capable, standard poodles have great personalities that often endear them to everyone they meet.

While you must be sure to assert your dominance (in positive, loving ways – it is never necessary to treat a dog harshly) to ensure your poodle understands where he exists in the family pecking order, they are one of the best breeds for first-time owners. Poodles are one of the longest living big dogs on our list, and many reach 14 to 15 years of age.

#3. Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer

Giant schnauzers are 50- to 90-pound bundles of intensity, who require plenty of exercise and stimulation to remain happy. Although they are typically very affectionate with their families, giant schnauzers are wary of strangers, which along with their courageous personalities, makes them excel in guard dog work.

Giant schnauzers don’t live as long as some of the big dogs listed here, but they usually reach 10 to 12 years of age if cared for properly. Although they are intelligent canines, giant schnauzers are sometimes challenging for new dog owners to train, thanks to their independent and bold personalities.

#4. Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois are at the small end of the “large” dog category, but some of the biggest individuals tip the scales at about 80 pounds.

Living for 12 to 14 years on average, Belgian Malinois tend to bond strongly with their families, but they often present training challenges for novice owners thanks to their combination of intensity, sensitivity, and intelligence.

If you want to add a Belgian Malinois to your home, be sure to socialize him at a young age and be prepared to take him with you everywhere – most members of this breed hate being left home alone.

#5. Chow Chow

Chows aren’t gigantic dogs, and some would probably consider them medium-sized, rather than large. But, some reach or exceed 70 pounds in weight, and thanks to their long coats, they look much bigger than they actually are.

Chows live between 12 and 15 years on average, and they don’t suffer from many health problems. Chows are rather independent canines, who can be challenging to train, but some owners love their low-maintenance personalities.

#6. Curly Coated Retriever

Curly Coated Retriever

If you’d like a lab-type dog that has a relatively long lifespan, the curly-coated retriever may be the breed for you. Although some curly-coated retrievers fail to reach the decade mark, many live for 12 years or more.

Weighing up to 100 pounds (although many remain smaller than this), these curly-haired canines love to run, jump and play, and they require a large yard and lots of exercise to remain healthy and happy. Like most other lab-types, curly-coated retrievers are very affectionate with their families and friendly with strangers.

#7. Mixed Breed Dogs

Thanks to the large gene pool from which they emerge, many mixed breed dogs live very long lives. However, you will never know how long your mixed breed is likely to live unless you know a lot about the parents, which is pretty rare for owners of hybrid breed dogs.

The best strategy for owners seeking a large long-lived mixed breed is to select one that was produced by breeds that have long lifespans. Mixed breed dogs can live for anywhere between 10 and 17 years.

How to Maximize a Large Dog Breed’s Lifespan

No matter what breed of dog you own, you’ll certainly want him to live the longest life possible. You obviously cannot avoid or prevent all medical problems, but you can take several steps that will increase your canine’s chances of living a long, healthy and happy life.

Some of the most important things you can do include:

1. Feed Your Dog an Appropriate Diet

Feed Your Dog an Appropriate Diet

A high-quality, balanced large breed dog food is crucial for keeping your dog healthy for his entire life. Among other things, this will help prevent nutritional deficiencies and keep your dog’s body operating properly.

Just be sure that you feed your dog the correct amount of food, and that you keep his body weight within the range your vet recommends, as obesity can shorten the life of any dog.

2. Work Closely with Your Vet

Regular veterinary care is critical for avoiding diseases before they occur, and it allows you to correct problems early, rather than letting them linger. Be sure that you obtain all of the vaccinations your vet recommends and that you have your dog spayed or neutered.

Additionally, because accidents and traumas can be fatal for even the healthiest dogs, always have your vet’s contact information handy, in case your dog needs emergency care.

3. Obtain Your Dog from a Reliable Breeder

One of the most important ways to ensure your new pet will live a long life is to start with one that descends from healthy breeding stock. Many large breeds are susceptible to congenital conditions which can shorten their lifespan or reduce their quality of life, but reputable breeders take great strides to avoid breeding dogs with these problems.

4. Get Your Dog Plenty of Exercise

Regular exercise is as important for your dog’s health as it is for your own. Exercise can help keep your dog fit, it will help your dog’s heart and lungs remain healthy and it has a number of mood-elevating effects.

It’s a good idea to vary your dog’s exercise regimen regularly to ensure that all of his muscle groups are involved, and it will also help provide mental stimulation too.

We’d love to hear about your experiences with long-lived large dog breeds. Have you ever had a dog that lived for much longer than is common for the breed? What was your secret? Did you employ an unusual exercise program? Did you feed him a special diet?

Tell us all about your longest living large dog breed story in the comments below.

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4 thoughts on “7 Longest Living Large Dog Breeds”

  1. I have a Giant Schnauzer who is 14. He has some weakness in his hind legs but I help him up the stairs at night because he insists on being with me. He seems to have gotten more anxious as he has gotten older. He has always had a lot of exercise as we have a fenced in yard and he loved chasing a ball. Now he only gets up when he has to but still gets up to bark at a stranger at the door. Of course once they are in the house he is ready to make friends. He has never showed aggression other than the barking. The perfect guard dog. He is extremely loyal and way too smart. Lol. I think he will live as long as he can navigate. But he is a proud dog and I don’t think he would want to live helplessly.

  2. I Have a english point 58 pounds 16 years old and still running around.It how you take care of them that prolongs there life.

    • May I receive some advice from you on how you took care of your English Pointer ? Like how many time do you walk him ? What exercise you provide and what food (home-cooked or of which company) you provide him/her ? Am a dog novice and never owned one before. But things have changed and since there are many elders in my home, a trusted well trained companion would be a great help especially when they are alone sometimes. Thanks.


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