I thought small dogs lived longer than large dogs, then I stumbled on this answer about heart beats and longevity.

In the following table:

enter image description here

Large dogs are said to live longer than small dogs. Which is contrary to some beliefs, like in this article.

So who is right?

  • 2
    Note that the weight listed for "large dogs" is 8kg (17.6 lbs), which most people would still call small, or medium at best. The only major breed that is regularly 2kg ("small") is Chihuahua, I believe.
    – Is Begot
    Jan 15, 2015 at 19:28
  • yeah as geobits points out, this is a really bad chart were dogs are concerned, because anything bigger then a corgi seems to be considered a large dog here, so depending on what other people view to be small vs large its hard to tell by this. though i believe dogs like golden retrievers, labs, German shepherds all have around a 15-17 year life expectancy.
    – Himarm
    Jan 15, 2015 at 19:32
  • 3
    It's not much better for horses. 1200kg is far more than the average horse's weight. Even large draft horses very seldomly top 1000kg.
    – Is Begot
    Jan 15, 2015 at 19:48
  • The heart rate for a large whale looks too high.
    – ChrisW
    Jan 15, 2015 at 21:08
  • Same goes for humans. They use 90kg as the average weight, but this seems unlikely in most of the world...
    – Bakuriu
    Jan 16, 2015 at 7:06

1 Answer 1


Yes, small dog breeds tend to live longer than larger breeds.

smaller dogs had longer lifespans.

A negative correlation was observed between height and longevity (r = −0.603, p < 0.05), and between weight and longevity (r = −0.679, p < 0.05). Weight was the significant predictor of life span (p < 0.001), revealing that breeds smaller by weight generally live longer than heavier breeds.

In most animal taxa, longevity increases with body size across species, as predicted by the oxidative stress theory of aging. In contrast, in within-species comparisons of mammals and especially domestic dogs (e.g. Patronek et al., '97; Michell, '99; Egenvall et al., 2000; Speakman et al., 2003), longevity decreases with body size.

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