How Long Australian Shepherds Live. How to Make Australian Shepherds Live Long

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How Long Australian Shepherds Live. Australian Shepherd Life Expectancy

Generally, the lifespan of the Australian Shepherd is from 12 to 15 years.

Moreover, a few years back, British Veterinarinan researchers performed a scientific study to determine the lifespan of the Australian Shepherd. In this study, the scientists collected data on how long 22 pet Australian Shepherds lived.

From the study, it was found that Australian Shepherds have a average lifespan of 9 years. Furthermore, the study found that Australian Shepherds can live for as long as 15 years.

Furthermore, researchers from the University of Georgia conducted a study to find out what are the top causes of death in Australian Shepherds.

According to the study, the top 5 causes of death in Australian Shepherds are:

  1. Neoplastic Disease: Issues involving tumors
  2. Trauma: Issues involving injury
  3. Musculoskeletal Disease: Refers to any problems with bones or muscles
  4. Infectious Disease: Problem caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi.
  5. Urogenital Disease: Problems with the kidneys, urinary tract, and/or reproductive organs

In this article, we will explain each of these diseases and discuss how to prevent the early occurence of each in your Australian Shepherd to make your Australian Shepherd live a longer.

Also, in this article, we will discuss other things you can do to ensure that your Australian Shepherd have a longer than average lifespan.

Do you want to know how old your Australian Shepherd is in human years? Then, check out our Australian Shepherd age to human years calculator

The average lifespan (in green) of the Australian Shepherd compared to the lifespans of other dog breeds (in red)

Lifespan of the Australian Shepherd Compared to Other Dog Breeds

See in the table below how the lifespan of the Australian Shepherd compares to the lifespan of other dog breeds.

Dog Breed Average Lifespan (Years)
Toy Poodle Lifespan 14.60
Lhasa Apso Lifespan 14.30
Hovawart Lifespan 12.90
Dachshund Lifespan 12.60
Collie Lifespan 12.60
Belgian Sheepdog Lifespan 12.50
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Lifespan 12.50
Irish Setter Lifespan 12.00
English Springer Spaniel Lifespan 12.00
Tibetan Mastiff Lifespan 11.90
Portuguese Water Dog Lifespan 11.40
Boston Terrier Lifespan 10.90
Curly-Coated Retriever Lifespan 10.70
Cocker Spaniel Lifespan 10.30
Otterhound Lifespan 10.20
Lowchen Lifespan 10.00
Australian Shepherd Lifespan 9.00
Irish Wolfhound Lifespan 7.04
Grand Bleu de Gascogne Lifespan 4.54
Dogue de Bordeaux Lifespan 3.83
Australian Shepherd Lifespan

Common Causes of Death in Australian Shepherd, and how to Prevent Them.

We will now discuss the common causes of death in Australian Shepherd, according to scientific research. Also we will provide you advice on how to prevent these problems in your Australian Shepherd.

Here are the causes of death, starting from the most common cause

  1. Neoplastic Disease in Australian Shepherds

    Neoplasms, or tumors, can be benign (like a lipoma), or malignant (cancer).

    Neoplastic Disease is responsible for 23.6 percent of all deaths in Australian Shepherds.

    Causes of Neoplastic Disease in Australian Shepherd

    Neoplasms in dogs, just like in people, are caused by either a genetic predisposition (like some breast cancers), an environmental factor (like smoking in humans), or a combination of both.

    How to Prevent Neoplastic Disease in Australian Shepherds

    Just like in humans, there is little you can do to prevent cancers that are caused by genetic factors. You can, however, reduce the environmental risks that are associated with cancer. The `environmental` causes of neoplasia are chemical agents, infectious agents, and physical agents. An example of a chemical agent that could cause cancer in Australian Shepherds (and humans) is asbestos. An example of an infectious agent that could cause cancer in Australian Shepherds is the virus called canine adenovirus. An example of a physical agent that can cause cancer in Australian Shepherds is UV radiation from the sun, just like in humans.

    Another way to prevent neoplasms in Australian Shepherds is to vaccinate them against harmful viruses, such as canine adenovirus (DHPP vaccine at 8 and 12 weeks and then once a year, every year). As in humans, early diagnosis is the key to supporting Australian Shepherds with neoplasms, so talk to your veterinarian if you find any new lumps, bumps, or discoloration on your Australian Shepherd. You should also talk to your veterinarian if your Australian Shepherd`s gums look pale.

  2. Trauma in Australian Shepherds

    These includes cuts, bites, bruises, broken bones, wounds, scratches, and more.

    Trauma is responsible for 17.9 percent of all deaths in Australian Shepherds.

    Causes of Trauma in Australian Shepherd

    One of the most common causes of trauma in Australian Shepherds is getting hit by cats. Another common cause is bites and scratches from fighting or play with other dogs.

    How to Prevent Trauma in Australian Shepherds

    The best way to keep your Australian Shepherd from getting hit by a car is by having them on a fixed leash. Veterinarians do not recommend retractable leashes for dogs. This is because, oftentimes, dogs on retractable leashes will bolt into the road before their owners can lock the leash and get hit by cars, even though they were technically on a leash. Having a normal, fixed leash is also a good way to prevent your Australian Shepherd from bolting on walks and getting into fights with other dogs before you can lock the leash.

    Here is a good fixed leash that can save your Australian Shepherd from traumatic accidents.

  3. Musculoskeletal Disease in Australian Shepherds

    Musculoskeletal diseases are the common problems associated with bones and muscles. These include arthritis, vertebral issues, loss of skeletal muscle mass, hip dysplasia, trauma and breakages, and more.

    Musculoskeletal Disease is responsible for 12.8 percent of all deaths in Australian Shepherds.

    Causes of Musculoskeletal Disease in Australian Shepherd

    The causes of many musculoskeletal issues have to do with age, breed, and weight. Older Australian Shepherds are more prone to musculoskeletal issues, as are large breed dogs, and overweight dogs. Just like people, Australian Shepherds can get arthritis and other joint-related issues as they get older. Large-breed dogs tend to be prone to a condition called hip dysplasia, which essentially means that their hip joints degrade and get very painful. Overweight dogs tend to put more pressure on their joints, which can cause unnecessary wear and tear as well as serious damage to tendons and ligaments.

    How to Prevent Musculoskeletal Disease in Australian Shepherds

    One way that you can help improve your Australian Shepherd`s musculoskeletal health (especially if they are old is by giving your Australian Shepherd joint supplements like this one. You can also help prevent hip dysplasia and slipped discs by not allowing your Australian Shepherd to jump too much, even if they are a puppy. Consider buying young Australian Shepherds a box or stool like this to help them get on the couch or bed, instead of letting them jump all the way from the ground. The most important way that you can keep your Australian Shepherd`s muscles and bones healthy is by not letting them get overweight. You should avoid letting your Australian Shepherd eat table scraps and make sure that they get plenty of exercise. If your Australian Shepherd is overweight and you know that you are strict with their diet and exercise, you should talk to your vet; they might have hypothyroidism, which is very common. If your Australian Shepherd is overweight and you think you should try managing their diet a little more closely, you can start your Australian Shepherd on a weight-management diet like this to help them get back to a healthier body condition.

  4. Infectious Disease in Australian Shepherds

    There are many types of infectious diseases: bacterial, viral, parasitic, and fungal infections. Different diseases have different causes and they affect different parts of the body. For example, E. coli causes an infection in the intestines which can cause diarrhea in humans and dogs, whereas Demodex is a parasite on dog skin.

    Infectious Disease is responsible for 10.5 percent of all deaths in Australian Shepherds.

    Causes of Infectious Disease in Australian Shepherd

    All infectious agents fall into two categories: the ones that invade the body from the outside, and the ones that are living in or on the body that experience an overgrowth. For example, staphylococcus aureus is a normal bacteria found on the skin; however, it can cause skin infections if its growth gets out of hand. Both types of infectious agents can be stopped by the body`s immune response. Internal infectious agents can also be prevented by probiotics.

    How to Prevent Infectious Disease in Australian Shepherds

    If your Australian Shepherd seems like they are not doing well, you should take them to the veterinarian so they can decide if your dog needs antibiotics, fluids, a dewormer, or other therapies. When your Australian Shepherd is well, you can support their immune health through nutrition, probiotics like this and vitamins.

  5. Urogenital Disease in Australian Shepherds

    Urogenital problems most often involve infections and blockages, which various degrees of seriousness.

    Urogenital Disease is responsible for 10.0 percent of all deaths in Australian Shepherds.

    Causes of Urogenital Disease in Australian Shepherd

    Probably, the most important urogenital issue seen in intact female Australian Shepherds is the pyometra. A pyometra is an enlarged, pus-filled uterus caused by a severe bacterial infection. A pyometra is several times larger than a regular uterus and is a life-threatening condition. To treat a pyometra, the Australian Shepherd`s uterus must be removed, which is a difficult and expensive surgery. Another urogenital infection seen in both female and male dogs is urinary tract infections, which are very similar to human UTIs. If left untreated, UTIs can ascend up the urinary tract and infect the kidneys, which can also be life-threatening. If you notice that your Australian Shepherd is urinating much more or less frequently than usual, or if the color or smell of the urine seems different from normal, you should talk to your veterinarian. Another common urogenital issue in male Australian Shepherds is urinary blockages, which (as the name suggests) is when there is something stuck in the urinary tract which prevents the Australian Shepherd from urinating. If you see your Australian Shepherd lifting its leg and trying to urinate but nothing is coming out, you should call your veterinarian. Cancer is also a major urogenital issue in Australian Shepherds, just like it is in humans. Urinary incontinence can also be an issue in both male and female Australian Shepherds, just like in humans.

    How to Prevent Urogenital Disease in Australian Shepherds

    The only way to completely prevent a pyometra is by getting your female Australian Shepherd spayed. Another major benefit to spaying your Australian Shepherd is that it dramatically reduces her risk of breast cancer. A spay is a major surgery and does tend to be a bit more expensive than a neuter, but a pyometra surgery is probably 3-4 times more expensive and dangerous than a regular, routine spay. Neutering your male Australian Shepherd will also dramatically reduce his risk of prostate cancer and urinary blockages, especially as he gets older. If the spay and neuter estimates from your regular veterinarian are a little out of your price range, low-cost high-volume (LCHV) spay and neuter clinics are also an excellent option. If you find that your Australian Shepherd is prone to blockages even though they are sterilized, there are many diets and supplements like this that can help. There are also diets like this and supplements that can help with urinary incontinence, but if these don`t work, your veterinarian can also prescribe prescription medications.

How long Australian Shepherds live

How To Prevent Genetic Problems in Australian Shepherds

Every dog breed has a set of genetic problems to which it is predisposed, and the Australian Shepherd is not an exception.

These disease will reduce your Australian Shepherd`s qualilty of life. Also, these diseases can shorten your Australian Shepherd`s lifespan.

The good news is that these diseases can be prevented in Australian Shepherd offsprings by only breeding Australian Shepherd that have been screened and cleared of genetic defects.

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) is one the organizations that keep records of which disease to which a dog breed is genetically prone.

The OFA provides breeders recommendations on which genetic diseases that breeders should screen their dog parents and puppies for.

If you want a Australian Shepherd puppy that will grow up to be healthy and live long, make sure that your Australian Shepherd breeder screens your puppy or your puppy`s parents for the health problems that the OFA recommends for your puppy`s breed. This will increase the chances that your puppy is free from genetic defects.

If you do not know if your Australian Shepherd has been screened for genetic health problems, then your can use an at-home genetic screening kit like this one to check your Australian Shepherd for genetic health problems at home. This might help you in deciding whether to get your Australian Shepherd a pet health insurance.

The following are the health tests that Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) recommends that breeders should screen Australian Shepherds for:

  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Clear By Parentage
  • Collie Eye Anomaly
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Eye Examination
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Multiple Drug Sensitivity

  • Australian Shepherd Life Expectancy

    How Old is Your Australian Shepherd in Human Years

    The table below shows your human years equivalent age of your Australian Shepherd. This table is based on a dog-to-human age study conducted by researchers from Purdue University.

    Learn more about how old your Australian Shepherd is in human years here.

    In 1997, researchers from Purdue University developed a method for converting a dog`s age to its human age. Their method was based on the 1953 work of the French Veterinarian, A. Lebeau that we discussed above.

    Researchers from Purdue University took Lebeau`s work further by taking into account two important factors to develop a more accurate method for converting a dog`s age into its human equivalent age:

    1. The size of the dog: Smaller dog breeds live longer than larger breed dogs
    2. The lifespan of the dog: Dog breeds that live longer lives will age slower than dog breeds that live shorter lives

    The average lifespan of the Australian Shepherd is 9.0 years.

    Australian Shepherds are medium-sized dogs. Australian Shepherds weigh 40 to 65 pounds.

    The method developed by the Purdue University veterinarian researchers took into account the lifespan and size of Australian Shepherd in converting Australian Shepherd age to human age.

    The researchers used data on the lifespan and weight of 5,608 mixed breed dogs and 17,927 purebred dogs to develop their method for converting the ages of dogs (of different breed sizes and lifespans ) to their equivalent human ages.

    The calculator below lets you convert your Australian Shepherd`s age to its human age based on the Purdue University method. Just enter your Australian Shepherd`s age in the calculator and it will compute your Australian Shepherd`s human age. If you do not know your Australian Shepherd`s exact age, enter an approximate age in the calculator.

    Also, the table below shows how old your Australian Shepherd is in human years based on the method developed by the researchers.

    Note that your Australian Shepherd`s human age changes day by day. Therefore, always check back to use the calculator to find your Australian Shepherd`s up-to-date human age.

    Australian Shepherd Age to Human Age Calculator (Purdue Uni. Method)

    Below is a Australian Shepherd age to human age calculator that is based on the methods developed by researchers from Purdue University.

    The calculator will tell your Australian Shepherd`s human age based on your Australian Shepherd`s dog birthday. Also, the calculator will tell you which day is your Australian Shepherd`s human birthday! Try it out!

    Australian Shepherd Age (Years) Human Age (Years)
    1 14
    2 21
    3 26
    4 32
    5 37
    6 42
    7 46
    8 50
    9 54
    10 58
    11 62
    12 66
    13 71
    14 75
    15 80
    16 85

    How Long Do Australian Shepherds Live in Human Years?

    The average lifespan of the Australian Shepherd is 9.0 years. In human years, the Australian Shepherd lives for 54 years.

    How Old is 1-year-old Australian Shepherd in Human Years?

    A 1-year old Australian Shepherd is 14 years old in human years.

    How old 1 year old Australian Shepherd is in human years.

    How Old is 5-year-old Australian Shepherd in Human Years?

    A 5-year old Australian Shepherd is 37 years old in human years.

    How old 5 year old Australian Shepherd is in human years.

    How Old is 7-year-old Australian Shepherd in Human Years?

    A 7-year old Australian Shepherd is 46 years old in human years.

    How old 7 year old Australian Shepherd is in human years.

    How Old is 8-year-old Australian Shepherd in Human Years?

    A 8-year old Australian Shepherd is 50 years old in human years.

    How old 8 year old Australian Shepherd is in human years.

    More Ways to Make Your Australian Shepherd Live Long

    Here are more things your can do to make sure your Australian Shepherd live a long life:

    • Regular Exercise: Research studies have shown that one of the very effective ways to make a dog live long is to ensure that a dog is in good shape. Adequate exercise will make your Australian Shepherd fit and make it live longer.

    • Good Diet: A poorly-fed, underweight Australian Shepherd does not have a good chance of living a long life. Similarly, an overweight Australian Shepherd will have a shorter lifespan than a Australian Shepherd that is of normal weight. Therefore, it is important that your feed your Australian Shepherd high-quality dog food without overfeeding your Australian Shepherd. Check out our Australian Shepherd feeding guide here. Learn how you can prevent your Australian Shepherd from being overweight here.

    • Proper Hydration: Water is essential for your Australian Shepherd existence. Therefore, you should make sure your Australian Shepherd has access to clean water whenever your Australian Shepherd needs water. However, too much water is bad for your Australian Shepherd. See our Australian Shepherd water drinking guide to learn more on how to properly hydrate your Australian Shepherd.

    • Spaying/Neutering: Sterilizing your Australian Shepherd might prolong its life. Check out this guideline to know when it is the best time to spay/neuter your Australian Shepherd.

    • Routine Vet Care: Regular preventative visits to the vet can help catch diseases early.

    • Vaccinations: Always make sure your Australian Shepherd is up to date on its vaccination.

    • Dental Hygiene: Your Australian Shepherd’s teeth can get infected, and if the infection goes unnoticed, that infection can spread to other parts of the body and become systemic. This could lead to a shortened lifespan. You must have your Australian Shepherd teeth cleaned professionally at your vet’s office a couple of times in its lifetime. Talk with your vet about the best ages to have these cleanings done.

    Conclusion on Australian Shepherd Life Expectancy

    We hope the information we have provided will help your in increasing your Australian Shepherd`s life expectancy.

    Tate Ackerman contributed to this article. Tate is a second-year veterinary student at Kansas State University. Tate is also a concurrent Ph.D. student. She has a lot of experience reading scientific literature and communicating that information to a non-veterinary audience. Tate was a veterinary technician for a companion animal practice before she applied to veterinary school.