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Lifespan of Small Dogs
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We have a 13 1/2 year old dog (Rocky), poodle-mix, in great health, weighs 7-8 pounds. The Mrs. is getting worried about how long he might be around. She got him 11.5 years ago from a shelter where he was in rough shape (3#, full grown) and was estimated to be 2 y/o at the time. Since then, he has lived an increasingly pampered life. He gets dog walks during the week, sleeps on a down comforter, gets lots of love, and understands when presents are for him. I take him for 5k runs, we do 10 minute miles including bathroom stops. Per my wife, he is the best and cutest dog in the world.

Yesterday, for instance, we went for a 9-mile hike, which included 1,700 feet of elevation gain. We had to carry him for a few short stretches on the incline b/c it was sunny and he was getting warm (he is probably due for a haircut). After dunking him in a few cold creeks, he went strong the rest of the way, practically dragging my wife at times.

Anyway, just curious about everyone's experience with the lifespan of small, fit dogs. The Mrs. is trying to talk me into getting another dog b/c she doesn't want to be without a dog. Below are the mandatory pictures.








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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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Small dogs can live alot longer then larger dogs. I have a shih tzu that is around 18 years old and my wifes parents have a dotson that is just over 20 years old. so i would expect your dog to live alot longer.

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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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First, Rocky is adorable!!

It's hard to say on life expectancy. All you can do is go see the vet regularly for check-ups and enjoy every day! When dogs get old one of the biggest concerns is cancer so getting regular check-ups could nip it in the bud early and slow down the progression dramatically.

My cattle dog lived to be 16. Old age finally wore her body down. My golden retriever got cancer and died when he was around 12. My parents' cairn terriers usually live to 13-14.

Sounds like Rocky is going strong and loving life. If he loves other dogs, having a new friend can bring him new energy. If he isn't a dog fan, hold off because the stress is very hard on them.

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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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Your dog looks to be in great shape and has a wonderful life. I think if you keep up with the exercise, keep up with a healthy diet he will live many more years. I have a mini schnauzer that is 13 yrs old, great shape, his aunt which a friend owned lived to be 19 yrs old. Enjoy the pup.
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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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Rocky is such a cutie.

Keep in mind dogs don't always show pain the way humans do. They will run themselves to death to please.

I had an 18 y/o Shih Tzu. We out him down because he was in pain in his rear legs. His last night I stayed up all night holding him because he was in such pain he was constantly crying. Holding his rear legs tight was his only relief. He spent the whole night kissing me and crying. It was awful.

I have an 18 y/o rat terrier. She's blind and really can't smell anymore. We have to mix steak in her food so it has a strong odor. (Maybe I should use some Duffy meat, bet that's stinky.).

Their is no way to predict when, just remember to love her and hold her as much as you can. You both win in that situation.
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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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That's a good looking dog there! We had amaltese that my wife had for 16 years, well over half my wife's life at that time. She was healthy but her rear hips and legs began to atrophy so bad that walking became difficult, that was when we knew it was time.

We currently have a pound mutt that we figure is 15 years old. She runs about 25 pounds so still in the small dog range. Abbey (her name) still runs and prance slike she did 13 years ago when we rescued her. But she's blind in the left eye, her right eye is going blind and we strongly suspect her hearing is going now too. None of that slows her down when we wants to boogie.

Enjoy your dog, they bring so much happiness to the world.

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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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We have a mini poodle, about the size of yours that we got from the shelter when he was about 2 yr old. He's 18-19 or so now. His hearing and sight have really gone down hill this last year fast, can't hear much now at all. He's really getting slow now movement-wise, I can see the changes coming very fast. He still has a young mind, his body just doesn't know it's old now. He's always trying to do things and his body is 2 steps behind. :+)

In general, small dogs live much longer than big ones.

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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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Depends on the breed.
Them with flat faces - frenchies, pugs - tend to live short lives because they have lots of nasal issues.

Besides the American Poodle my parents had when I was born, I've never had a dog under 60 lbs. And they all have lived at least a dozen years. That poodle was a big one, probably at least 40 lbs. Lived to be at least 20 - at least 10 years after getting hit by a truck too.
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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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our Italian Greyhound had a stroke just shy of her 16th birthday and we had to put her down. The hard part was it was the same week as our son was born. The mother in law took care of all of it which took a huge load off since we had our son in another city with a decent hospital (wife also had an emergency c section).

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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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My dog is getting old too. 13 years of hunting birds ducks geese and pheasants. He can barely hear, and when runs around too much his hips get stiff. I have always heard, never let an opportunity go by to pet your dog.








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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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Well, as with anything...it depends. :D In general, small, healthy, dogs live longer and age slower than the large and giant breeds. Were the (very cute) little Rocky there my dog, I'd probably call him "older" but not elderly, geriatric, or maybe not even senior--if he's still as fit as you say he is. Example: our 40 lb. german shepherd/sheltie mix is just about 8, and I wouldn't even call her middle aged. Our (formerly) 90-lb akita cross was a senior...albeit a healthy one...by 8; at 13, he's definitely on the elderly end.

Age is as age does. I mean, Rocky's probably not looking to hit 35, but he certainly looks to have a few more years ahead of him, at least. But, again...you can have two identical breed dogs and one be "old" at 8 and one at 14, so it's kind of all relative. And really, the best lesson I've learned from my dog is to stop worrying about the future and counting down the days. He's here, he's healthy, so enjoy his company. If you want two dogs, get another dog now. If not, wait until later. Don't waste today worrying about what might happen 2 years, 5 years, or heck...8 days from now. Not worth it :-)


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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [JenSw] [ In reply to ]
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JenSw wrote:
First, Rocky is adorable!!

It's hard to say on life expectancy. All you can do is go see the vet regularly for check-ups and enjoy every day! When dogs get old one of the biggest concerns is cancer so getting regular check-ups could nip it in the bud early and slow down the progression dramatically.

My cattle dog lived to be 16. Old age finally wore her body down. My golden retriever got cancer and died when he was around 12. My parents' cairn terriers usually live to 13-14.

Sounds like Rocky is going strong and loving life. If he loves other dogs, having a new friend can bring him new energy. If he isn't a dog fan, hold off because the stress is very hard on them.

^this! Very well said and correct. Just like people you are never guaranteed time. The general rules of thumb do apply, small dogs typically live longer than large dogs, 15-20 is not uncommon. Keep their teeth clean, exercise and love! Great job. I also completely agree with JenSW's sentiment of getting another dog only if your current cutie likes other dogs!

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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks, everyone. We keep him on a good diet, he has unlimited food and only grazes as needed, we upgraded his treats which are pretty gourmet (at least he thinks so). He doesn't get any of our food, except when we drop something on the floor, or when he visits the grandparents. He had some teeth removed a year and a half ago which could have caused him some issues, and subsequent to that, his raging halitosis is no more. His hearing doesn't seem to be as sharp as it used to be, his vision might be starting to deteriorate a little, but I think it's still pretty good. He definitely goes to the vet on an annual basis.

He doesn't show any signs of hip issues, he also gets massaged several times per week (he's a true attention whore). He gets more than enough love (my wife loves him more than a lot of people love their kids), although he always seems to want more. Many of our friends have commented that they would love to have his life.




There are three kinds of people, those who can count, and those who can't.
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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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17 years, 1 month, 17 days. Which was 3.75 years after this was originally brought up. His meals in the last 24 hours consisted of ribeye (twice), cheesy eggs and ice cream. It sucks losing a dog.




There are three kinds of people, those who can count, and those who can't.
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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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When I saw the date of the first post I had an idea what the last post was going to be. Sorry to hear that he has passed. It sounds like he was truly loved and knew it. I'm sure he was a happy dog from the day y'all got him.
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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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Damn that's tough. Sounds like he had a great life.

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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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so sorry he is no longer here. he was a lucky boy.

it will take time. dog's love is unconditional.
we lost 2 dogs in 1 year. so rough.
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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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If you lose your dog it doesn't take long to get another one. So whether you get another dog depends on how many dogs you want to have. I have not experience with how hard it is for a dog to lose its buddy but that might be a consideration.

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Kindness in another's troubles, courage in one's own
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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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I had two Bichon's (brothers) that lived to be a bit over 17 years old. One of them, the smaller, had problems with his teeth which eventual led to infections and a lack of interest in eating much and finally it seemed his whole system was breaking down so we put him down. His brother seemed to be in perfect health up until then but then started having seizures and generally going crazy and was put down within a month. They were both pretty active through at least 15 years, happy to go on walks of a couple miles or more.
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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [r7950] [ In reply to ]
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Re: Lifespan of Small Dogs [Bone Idol] [ In reply to ]
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only 100% true...

"For owners, their daily schedules — even their vacation plans — can revolve around the needs of their pets." - Guilty as charged, especially the vacations.




There are three kinds of people, those who can count, and those who can't.
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