Larger animals tend to live longer than smaller ones. Think of an elephant and a mouse, or a cat and a sparrow. However, dogs are the opposite. Owners of small breed dogs can expect to enjoy several more years with their pets.

In general, the larger the dog the shorter the life expectancy and vice versa. For example, a giant breed like a Great Dane may have a life expectancy of eight years, but a Jack Russell could live to 15 or even older.

The reason behind this phenomenon has been unclear for years although several theories have been hypothesised. Researchers have tried breed specific and size specific calculators, and usually categorise them as small, medium, large or giant, or by expected adult weight, but there is no one size fits all answer.

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