Dog Years; How Old is Your Dog

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Dog Years

I’ve always found the average computation for “dog years” to be inaccurate. Of course it doesn’t exactly matter. But I happen to need to go do chores so perhaps I’ll delay myself in the name of accuracy 😉


First we need an average age of death for the American Cockapoo. Since there is no breed club (no actual breed club apart from false advertising platforms for mill breeders and unintelligent backyard-breeders), there isn’t any good statistical data for the longevity of the average Cockapoo dog. We know the average lifespan for an American cocker spaniel is between 10-14 years and for a miniature poodle it is 12-15 years. There are many that live longer, even to 18 years.


To be fair we’ll choose an average age, and that will hopefully compensate for the fact that the majority of North American Cockapoos are bred by mills and backyard breeders (making them much more likely to host a myriad of defects and diseases that can terminate their lives prematurely). So the average age (mathematically) for a Cocker is 12 and the average age (mathematically) for a mini poodle is 13.5. The average of those two ages (for our Cockapoo age) is 12.75. To make life easier we’ll round up to 13 (and plus the Cockapoo does have a reputation, however earned, for being a long-lived breed).


Next I went on a quest to discover the average age of death for an American, which does depend on sex. Men don’t live as long as women (because they can’t live without us, so God lets them go first? Or do they go first because being married shortens the man’s lifespan?) We’ll average these two ages. According to research data Americans don’t live very long when compared to other first world countries. Despite the fact that Americans have access to the best healthcare specialists in the world and a great healthcare system (apart from all the BS that insurance brings into it and separate from the destruction ObamaCare is going to impart). So healthcare is not a reason for Americans’ early demise.


I’d guess our obesity rates and general nutritional health are the cause. Americans eat large quantities of processed foods and GMO foods. I hate to point the finger at Mac n Cheese and corn, but I will anyway. Did you know that WalMart sells fresh GMO corn to consumers in the produce aisle without any label? So far they are the only place to sell fresh GMO produce. I steer clear of WalMart as much as possible anyway, because they treat (and pay) their employees like garbage, despite their massive yearly profits. But I digress.


Men, on average, live to be 78 years old and women live to be 80.

The (mathematical) average of these two ages is 79.


Ok, we have our two averages. A 13 year old Cockapoo is like a 79 year old person. I don’t know why it is called “dog years”, shouldn’t it be called “people years”? We are making the dog’s years (1-13) into years that match the human’s lifespan. But again, I digress.


I think it is only fair to consider the fact that a dog is sexually mature at 1 year of age, though is best bred around 1.5-2 years of age. When we convert “dog years” with the whole number (0-79 and 0-13) we arrive at the conclusion that a 1 year old dog whelping puppies is the same as a 6 year old human delivering a baby (which is usually quite impossible). A one year old dog is more like an 18 year old girl. She can have puppies, but it can be better to wait until she is older and more physically mature and emotionally mature. Many one year old dogs make excellent mothers just like there are many 18 year old girls that make excellent mothers. But the incidence of “high-risk” pregnancies and poor mothering abilities is much higher in this age group.


So in “dog years” your one year old dog is 18 years old. We can break in down into months and make life easier on all of us to determine the “dog year” age of a puppy (between birth and one year of age). 12 months compared to 18 years.


Puppy Age (in months)                    “Dog Years” Age (in years)

Newborn                                                       Newborn

1                                                                             1.5

2                                                                             3

3                                                                             4.5

4                                                                             6

5                                                                             7.5

6                                                                             9

7                                                                             10.5

8                                                                             12

9                                                                             13.5

10                                                                          15

11                                                                          16.5

12                                                                          18


Now for the rest of the time; we subtract 18 from our human years of 79 to compensate for our differences. So each year will give a dog an extra 5.09 years in “dog years”. I will post another handy-dandy chart to make life easier for you.


Dog age (in years)                           “Dog years” age (in years)


1                                                                             18

2                                                                             23

3                                                                             28

4                                                                             33

5                                                                             38

6                                                                             43

7                                                                             49

8                                                                             54

9                                                                             59

10                                                                          64

11                                                                          69

12                                                                          74

13                                                                          79



My dog Rusty is almost 6 years old, so he is 43 in “dog years”;

my lovely Mama Rosie is 3, so she is 28 in “dog years”;

my little ladies Autumn and Fern are 1.5 years old, so they are 21.5 years old.

And I just sent home a litter of puppy toddlers at age 3 in “dog years” with their new, loving families. (This is dated 11/15/13)


So how old is your dog?

Post your dog’s name and “dog years” age in the comment section below if you’d like to share

4 thoughts on “Dog Years; How Old is Your Dog

    • I disagree and I’ll tell you why: First, the weight charts give Cockapoos an average lifespan of 16 years and that is not accurate. Second the by-weight charts are based off a study that saw that there was a close correlation between dog size in weight and the dog’s longevity. I don’t find the study to be correctly applied in this weight-based method.

      Extremes in breeding also ruins the life expectancy by weight chart. For example the English bulldog is bred to extremes. The average weight of a bulldog is between 50-55 pounds and according to the “weight” method you’d expect the dog to live to 12-13 years of age. This is not so. English bulldogs live to about 6 years of age on average due to health problems that generally kill the dog before he reaches “old age” and when they do die from “old age” they are usually around 11 max. So you can see that in the case of extremes in breeding the weight calculation method is highly inaccurate.

      Why else is weight not an accurate measurement?

      If I own a dog that is severely overweight his lifespan would be significantly shorter than what is listed due to his poor health.

      Furthermore are we talking about purebred dogs? Crossbred dogs? The “All American” dog? Breeding affects life-span tremendously. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, for example, weighs in around 15 pounds however this dog consistently lives several years less than the average golden retriever, who weighs between 55-75 pounds.

      Anyway my point is that I feel that this age chart is much more accurate IF your dog happens to have the average lifespan listed on this chart.

      In general when looking at any age chart you’ll have to consider your specific breed of dog. Dogs that are closer to the wild-type average in terms of physical structures, proportion and size are dogs that are likely to be the healthiest and live the longest. If you own a breed that is a major outlier (like a Great Dane) then you’ll have to take that into consideration, or a breed that is bred from such a limited gene pool that the breed has serious issues, like Cavaliers, or a breed that has extremely unnatural and extreme physical characteristics from selective breeding. Many purebred dogs are plagued by cancers and other conditions that shorten their average lifespan as a group. On average mixed-breed and crossbred dogs live longer than purebred dogs as well, weighty or not. And even then my chart is assuming all dogs using the scale are of healthy weight and eat a nutritious, carnivorous diets. 🙂

      Maybe the most accurate “general” chart would simply chart dogs based on “average” (your standard dog or mixed breed that is between 15 pounds and 70 pounds with standard, non-exaggerated features) and have a separate chart for those that have breed-related diseases and extremely exaggerated features or overall size or happen to live on-average longer than other breeds.

      The two longest living dogs on record are both Australian cattle dogs… not light-weight dogs by any means. Just as an afterthought.

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