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It is commonly noted that large dog breeds do not live as long as their smaller counterparts. Theories about why this is true are far and wide. So far, the most popular theory is that a large breed’s rapid growth leads to a greater likelihood of cell damage and free radical activity. Despite their shorter life spans, large dog breeds remain a popular pet among dog lovers. Here, you will find 6 of the longest living large dog breeds. As all of these dogs have made this list with an average lifespan of 12 plus years, they are ranked alphabetically and not by longest living.
The Longest Living Large Dog Breeds to Consider
1. Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is a good choice for someone looking for one of the longest living large dog breeds. Many members of this beautiful Nordic breed have long lives of 15 years or upwards.
The Alaskan Malamute is the oldest breed of sled dogs. As would be expected in this line of work, they are a high energy breed. The official state dog of Alaska, the breed is more often used for personal sled dogs, as they are not as fast as other, smaller sledding breeds.
With a very high prey drive, they are not usually good around other small animals or children. However, they make excellent indoor pets as long as they are allowed to be very active.
2. American Alsatian
Bred to resemble an extinct breed of wolf, the American Alsatian is an excellent companion and family dog due to it’s loyalty to its owners, and gentleness and playfulness with children. This breed is another of the longest living large dog breeds, living an average of 14 years.
The American Alsatian is much more laid back than other similar breeds (such as a German Shepherd). While it will alert its family to the presence of a stranger, it would much rather hang around the house than go for jogs.
3. Belgian Shepherd
Because of controversy over what is acceptable as far as coat types and colors, there are actually several types of Belgian Shepherds. As a whole, however, the breed is highly intelligent. With training and socialization, they make for excellent family pets.
They are often used as police or search and rescue dogs, due to their herding capabilities. Police will train them to head-butt those they are chasing in the stomach, knocking them off balance which helps in apprehension.
The Belgian Shepherd is described as extremely aware, loyal, playful, and capable of forming extremely tight bonds. Such a breed makes it to the list of the longest living large dog breeds with an average lifespan of 12.5 years. The oldest known Shepherd lived to be just over 18 years!
The Collie is one of the longest living large breed dogs, with an average lifespan of 12 years. Some have been known to live as long as 17 years. This furry canine is also one of the friendliest dog breeds in the world!
A Collie is a very active dog that requires a lot of exercise. They do especially well when given a job. Because Collies are very smart and love a challenge, they do well as show dogs and are formidable opponents in dog sports. They fit into a family life very well when they are able to have an active role in family activities.
Loyal and easy to train, they bond easily with their owners and enjoy interacting with children. They are also fiercely protective of their family members. The breed is easily recognizable thanks to the most famous of all collies, Lassie!
The fastest dog breed in the world is also one of the longest living large dog breeds, clocking in with an average life expectancy of 12 years. The Greyhound dog breed is about as sweet as it is fast, but can also be very shy and reserved. While they can be trained to be well behaved around small children and cats, they love to chase.
Even though this breed can tend to be lazy when indoors, they have a lot of energy and need to be able to run freely or go on long walks daily. Owners must take care to ensure their Greyhound understands who the pack leader is, or else they will not listen. However, they do not respond well to strong discipline. Bred for both show and racing, both varieties of Greyhounds, make excellent pets for someone looking for a large breed dog.
6. Irish Setter
Bred for working as a bird dog, the Irish Setter is a very active, energetic, and excitable dog. One of the longest living large dog breeds with an average age of 13 years. The Irish Setter has a very low to no prey drive, making it an excellent breed to have around small children and other animals such as cats.
However, they can be very destructive and naughty if they are not exercised or interacted with enough. They need to be trained by a consistent and naturally authoritative owner right from the beginning. This is the only way to avoid some negative traits (jumping, digging, chewing, and general misbehavior).
While they can be high strung, they love to play and make excellent hunting companions. Irish Setters are a beautiful breed with a short, chestnut red coat that is easy to keep clean and healthy.
While it is true that large breeds do not live as long as smaller breeds, there are a few that live at least 12 years, and potentially much longer. If you are looking for a large dog to add to your family, but want one of the longest living large dog breeds, this list is a great place to start.
As you can see, even though the list is small, there is much differentiation in temperaments, trainability, and lifestyle needs. Use this list as a springboard for your search for your next best friend.