How long do Dachshunds live? - VetCompass data

A paper published by the VetCompass team discusses the annual life expectancy and mortality for companion dogs in the UK.

This study utilised VetCompass data to develop life tables for the UK companion dog population and broken down by sex, Kennel Club breed group, and common breeds. Among 30,563 dogs that died between 1st January 2016 and 31st July 2020, life expectancy at age 0 was 11.23 [95% confidence interval (CI): 11.19–11.27] years. Female dogs (11.41 years; 95% CI: 11.35–11.47) had a greater life expectancy than males (11.07 years; 95% CI: 11.01–11.13) at age 0. Life tables varied widely between breeds. Jack Russell Terrier (12.72 years; 95% CI: 12.53–12.90) and French Bulldog (4.53 years; 95% CI: 4.14–5.01) had the longest and shortest life expectancy at age 0, respectively.

There was no analysis of data for Dachshunds in the published paper but the raw data provided by the researchers includes lifespan data for 76 Standard Dachshunds and 103 Miniatures. On average (Mean) Standards lived to 11.2 years and Miniatures to 10.2 years. Median age of death was 12.3 and 10.5 respectively. This is interesting because we would usually expect Minis to live longer than Standards. There is a possible explanation when we look at the age of death histograms in more detail.

The histogram for the Miniatures shows evidence of a bimodal distribution - there is a cluster of deaths between 5 and 8, and a further cluster around 14-15. The lower age cluster is almost certainly caused by dogs being euthanised for back disease (IVDD) and the higher age cluster is more likely death associated with conditions of older age. We have seen this sort of age of death profile in our own survey data of Miniature Dachshunds.

In comparison, the histogram for the Standards shows fewer dogs dying at a younger age. This also reflects our survey data that suggest the Long and Wire varieties have a significnatly lower risk of IVDD than any of the Miniatures. The Standard Smooths also have a high risk of IVDD but there are fewer of them registered so they are less likely to show up in this set of VetCompass data.

Read more about our Longevity data from our 2018 survey and from other surveys.