Jack Russell terriers have the longest life expectancy of pet dogs in the UK, a new study suggests.

According to the research, Jack Russell terriers had the greatest life expectancy at 12.7 years, followed by border collies (12.1 years) and springer spaniels (11.92 years).

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, pugs at 7.7 years and American bulldogs 7.8 years.

The overall average life expectancy for pet dogs was 11.2 years.

As in the human population, there was also a difference between the life expectancies of male and females, with male dogs living on average four months shorter (11.1 years).

Bournemouth Echo: English Bulldogs only had an average lifespan of 7.4 years (PA)English Bulldogs only had an average lifespan of 7.4 years (PA)

Researchers say the findings support experts’ warnings that people should stop and think before buying a flat-faced dog – those with short snouts.

The lower life expectancies of flat-faced breeds are heavily associated with the animals suffering from a number of conditions including breathing problems and spinal disease, the experts suggest.

Dr Dan O’Neill, associate professor in Companion Animal Epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College, and co-author of the paper, said: “Dogs have helped many humans to get through the loneliness and isolation of the Covid pandemic.

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

“The short life expectancies for flat-faced breeds such as French bulldogs shown by the VetCompass Life tables supports the UK Brachycephalic Working Group’s call for all owners to ‘stop and think before buying a flat-faced dog’.”

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

Other key findings were that among the Kennel Club breed groups, terrier had the longest life expectancy at age 0 at 12.0 years, followed by gundog (11.7 years), pastoral (11.2 years), hound (10.7 years), toy (10.7 years), and utility (10.1 years).

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