Jack Russell terriers live longer than other breeds in UK, while French bulldogs have shortest life expectancy, study suggests

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Jack Russell terriers live longer than any other pet dogs in the UK, while French bulldogs face the shortest life expectancy, a new study has found.

The overall average life expectancy for pet dogs was 11.2 years, according to the research by the Royal Veterinary College.

Like humans, there was also a difference between the life expectancies of male and female canines, with male dogs living on average four months less.

Jack Russell terriers had the greatest life expectancy at 12.7 years, followed by border collies - 12.1 years.

The analysis is based on a random sample of 30,563 dogs that died between 1 January 2016 and 31 July 2020, from 18 different breeds and crossbreeds.

In comparison, four flat-faced breeds were found to have the shortest life expectancy with French bulldogs expected to live only 4.5 years, followed by English bulldogs at 7.4 years and American bulldogs, 7.8 years.

Researchers say the findings support experts' calls for people to stop and think before buying a dog with a short snout.

The lower life expectancies of flat-faced breeds is related to the increased risk of breathing problems and spinal disease they face, the experts suggest.

Dr Dan O'Neil, associate professor in Companion Animal Epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College, and co-author of the paper, said: "Dogs have helped so many humans get through loneliness and isolation of the COVID pandemic.

"These new VetCompass Life tables enable owners to now estimate how much longer they can benefit from these dogs."

Previously, life expectancy was approximated using only the average age of death of dogs overall or for a particular breed.

But the researchers say using life tables - tools that list the remaining life expectancy and probability of death across a range of age groups in any given population - allows owners to estimate accurately how much longer their pet dog may live.

Dr Justine Shotton, British Veterinary Association president, added that the lower life expectancy of flat-faced breeds may encourage people to consider "health over looks".

In both male and female dogs, neutered dogs were found to have a longer life expectancy than their non-neutered counterparts.

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Here is a full list of the dog breeds included in the study, and their estimated life expectancy:

Jack Russell terrier - 12.72 years
Yorkshire terrier - 12.54 years
Border collie - 12.10 years
Springer spaniel - 11.92 years
Crossbred - 11.82 years
Labrador retriever - 11.77 years
Staffordshire bull terrier - 11.33 years
Cocker spaniel - 11.31 years
Shih-tzu - 11.05 years
Cavalier King Charles spaniel - 10.45 years
German shepherd dog - 10.16 years
Boxer - 10.04 years
Beagle - 9.85 years
Husky - 9.53 years
Chihuahua - 7.91 years
American bulldog - 7.79 years
Pug - 7.65 years
English bulldog - 7.39 years
French bulldog - 4.53 years

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