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16 Longest Living Dog Breeds With Facts & Pictures

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on July 18, 2024 by Dogster Team

Shih Tzu

16 Longest Living Dog Breeds With Facts & Pictures

Most dog owners want to spend as many happy years as possible with their canines. While some breeds are very long-lived, others may not live even 10 years. Often, this is related to the quality of breeding the breed often experiences. However, in other cases, some breeds may simply have traits that prevent them from living a long time.

For instance, brachycephalic dogs (dogs with squished faces) tend to live much shorter lifespans than dogs with longer snouts.1 Likely, this is because they cannot breathe properly, leading to a higher chance of complications during surgery and a higher rate of certain health issues.

Despite what studies have found in the past, purebred dogs are now starting to live longer than mixed-breed dogs.2 This is likely because “designer dogs” are becoming more popular, and they’re common breeds for puppy mills and backyard breeders to produce.

The breeds that live the longest haven’t changed much over the years despite all the developments we discussed above. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the longest-lived dog breeds.

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How Are the Longest Living Dog Breeds Classified?

Generally, any dog breed that has lived over 14 years regularly can be classified as a long-living dog breed. Typically, dogs that live the longest are smaller. Larger dogs tend to end up with health issues earlier and have shorter lifespans overall. Conversely, small dogs tend to reach adulthood sooner, so it isn’t a matter of slower development—it’s a matter of overall health.

Dogs with longer snouts tend to live longer than those with shorter facts. As we discussed, shorter snouts lead to breathing problems, which can affect a dog’s overall health.

Of course, each dog is an individual. Just because a dog belongs to a breed on this list doesn’t mean that dog will live a long time. Genetics, diet, exercise, and veterinary care all play a role in a dog’s health.

The 16 Longest Living Dog Breeds

1. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog
Image Credit: Best dog photo, Shutterstock
Origin: Australia
Lifespan: 12–17 years
Height: 17–20 inches

You may be wondering which dog has the longest lifespan. Well, despite not being incredibly small, Australian Cattle Dogs have the longest lifespan. The longest-living dog in the world was an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey, who lived until 29. This dog wasn’t an outlier, either. The average age for this breed is 16, which is far higher than average.

These dogs were made to work and are extremely energetic, which likely is why they live so long. For decades, breeders focused heavily on health—not how the breed looked. In the end, this made the breed very long-living.

These dogs also aren’t incredibly prone to serious genetic issues, which is rare for a dog breed. The lack of common health problems has led to the entire breed living longer.

2. Chihuahua

Long haired Chihuahua
Image Credit: Ratchat, Shutterstock
Origin: Mexico
Lifespan: 15–20 years
Height: 6–9 inches

Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breed out there, so it only makes sense that they would live a long time! It isn’t odd for a Chihuahua to live around 15 to 20 years, especially if they are bred well. These dogs aren’t prone to many health problems, either, so many live their later years happily and healthily.

However, Chihuahuas have gotten more popular over the last few years, leading to an increase in poor breeding. Sadly, becoming popular is often not good for a dog breed.

It’s important to choose your breeder carefully. Don’t be fooled by very small dogs, either. Exceptionally small Chihuahuas are more prone to health problems, even if they do fit the “standard.”

3. Yorkshire Terrier

Image Credit: MieczyslawSam, Pixabay
Origin: England
Lifespan: 14–16 years
Height: 8–9 inches

Yorkies are another long-lived breed. They commonly reach the age of 14 to 16—much longer than other breeds out there. They’re another relatively small breed, but they are also very active (a trait you’ll find a lot of on this list). When properly cared for, they can easily live longer than most dogs.

That said, these dogs do require a bit of work. Exercise is vital. Because they are so small, even a pound of excessive body weight can predispose them to health problems. Their longer fur also requires regular grooming.

4. Dachshund

chocolate and cream dachshund
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Height: 8–9 inches

Dachshunds are relatively long-lived, though it depends on the extra line your puppy comes from. These dogs became popular a few decades ago, which led to some poor breeding. Therefore, only the better-bred dogs tend to live past 14 years. Many others hardly make it until 12.

Sadly, these dogs are very prone to intervertebral disc disease, which can cause paralysis, weakness, and pain. Their long back just isn’t supported well by their short legs. Therefore, many do not live through their later years without some sort of back issue. Of course, the severity can vary.

5. Toy Poodle

Cute little curly haired white toy poodle wearing a red collar staring curiously at the camera
Image Credit: michaelheim, Shutterstock
Origin: France
Lifespan: 15–18 years
Height: 10–11 inches

Like Standard Poodles, Toy Poodles tend to be rather healthy. However, like many smaller breeds, Toy Poodles also live a fairly long time. Some even may be past 18 years old, though the average is closer to 16.

These dogs aren’t for everyone, though. They’re very intelligent and athletic, so they require lots of work. They can also be fearful without proper socialization, and they typically aren’t the best choice for families with children (they’re a bit too sensitive for a rambunctious toddler).

6. Maltese

Photo by dole777, Unsplash
Origin: Mediterranean
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 8–9 inches

Maltese are known for their long, silky, white fur. You’ve likely seen these dogs with a full, flowing coat. However, most dog owners get their dogs cut short to lower their grooming needs. Otherwise, they require daily brushing and lots of bathing, too. Professional grooming is required either way unless you learn to clip your dog yourself.

These dogs have an average lifespan of 12–15, which makes them just longer than average. They aren’t prone to many health problems, either, as long as they are kept at a healthy weight.

7. Shih Tzu

white long coated small Shih Tzu on red textile
Photo by Karsten Winegeart, Unsplash
Origin: China
Lifespan: 10–16 years
Height: 8–10 inches

Shih Tzu has a very long lifespan, living from 10–16 years. Again, this is due to the difference in breeding in certain dogs. This breed is quite popular, so many puppy mills breed them to make some quick cash. However, they can be prone to a range of health issues, including eye and back problems. Even those who do live a long lifespan have a high chance of developing a health problem in their senior years.

These little pooches thrive in apartments and love to cuddle. Their flowing hair can be kept long or cut short, depending on your preferences.

8. Jack Russell Terriers

white and brown short coated Jack Russell Terriers on brown field during daytime
Photo by Valeria Dubych, Unsplash
Origin: England
Lifespan: 13–16 years
Height: 10–14 inches

These dogs are absolutely terriers. They’re hyperactive and need plenty of exercise. They also have a very strong prey drive, so they chase just about everything.

All of this zest for life doesn’t go to waste, though. These dogs often live to 16 years and beyond, especially when taken care of. They aren’t prone to many health issues and are fairly easy to take care of. Training can be a challenge, though. They tend to be very stubborn.

9. Lhasa Apso

white long coat Lhasa Apso small dog sitting on grey concrete floor during daytime
Photo by Gilson Gomes, Unsplash
Origin: Tibet
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 10–11 inches

Lhasa Apsos are another smaller breed that lives for a fairly long time. They have long, flowing hair like many smaller companion breeds. This fur requires tons of grooming, so many owners get it cut short. They were originally bred to be guard dogs at Tibetan monasteries, so they’re alert independent dogs.

That said, they aren’t the longest-lived on this list. They live a maximum of 15 years, but many hardly make it to 12.

10. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer checkered armchair
Photo by Katja Rooke, Unsplash
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Height: 12–14 inches

Miniature Schnauzers are often listed as one of the longest-lived breeds. However, they often live a maximum of 14 years, which is just above average. Many individuals don’t make it to 12, though. These dogs are long-lived, but they aren’t beating any records.

These dogs are best known for their mustaches and eyebrows. They have a very unusual look, which most people either love or hate. They are relatively low-shedding, though.

11. Havanese

Photo by Lindsey Duncan, Unsplash
Origin: Cuba
Lifespan: 14–16 years
Height: 8–11 inches

Havanese are another small breed. They’re very fluffy with long, silky hair. Many people find they make fairly cuddly dogs, which is their major boon. They also have a long lifespan of around 14 to 16 years. They’re relatively low-shedding, which is great for people with sensitivities.

These dogs are relatively healthy and one of the longest-lived. They work well for those who want a small, cuddly companion without the health issues that often come with them.

12. Pomeranian

Photo by FLOUFFY, Unsplash
Origin: Pomerania
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Height: 7–11 inches

Poms are small dogs with thick, fluffy coats. They’re one of the few small spitz breeds, making them distantly related to German Shepherds and Huskies. They’re often a choice for dog owners who like spitz breeds but don’t want a huge dog.

When properly exercised, these dogs can make good apartment companions. They’re relatively healthy and can live up to 16 years, which is much higher than average. Of course, like all breeds, there is quite a bit of variance between individuals.

13. Rat Terrier

Rat Terrier
Photo by Kathy Morales, Unsplash
Origin: United States
Lifespan: 15–18 years
Height: 10–13 inches

Rat terriers are exceptionally energetic dogs. They are also incredibly small. As their name suggests, they were bred to hunt rats (they were not named Rat Terriers because they look like rats, though some people make that argument). Rats were a huge issue during the Industrial Revolution, and these dogs were one of the ways people handled it.

Today, they’re popular as small but energetic companions. They’re one of the longest-lived breeds, too, often reaching 17 and even 18 years of age without a health problem.

14. Beagles

Photo by Milli, Unsplash
Origin: England
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Height: 13–15 inches

Beagles are social, friendly dogs that can make great companions. They were originally bred for their sense of smell and primarily utilized to hunt rabbits. Therefore, they need plenty of exercise (despite being very laid back). They get along with children and other dogs alike, especially when well-socialized.

Typically, beagles live between 10 and 15 years, though many make it past that. They often live healthily into their later years, though some may end up with congestive heart failure.

15. Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher
Photo by Claudio Schwarz, Unsplash
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 14–16 years
Height: 10–12 inches

Miniature Pinschers are small, lively dogs that love to play. They’re full of personality, making them fun dogs to own. They can also be a lot of work, though. Their high exercise and mental stimulation can be hard for many owners to handle.

Many people love them because they don’t shed much and are much different from other small dogs. They can be a good choice for apartment living.

16. Italian Greyhounds

Italian Greyhounds
Photo by Brian Taylor, Unsplash
Origin: Italy
Lifespan: 14–18 years
Height: 13–15 inches

Italian Greyhounds are one of the longest-lived breeds out there. They are sleek, elegant dogs that love companionship. They’re also relatively low-shedding and don’t have high grooming needs. These tiny dogs look and act like sighthounds, but they are exceptionally small.

They can live up to 18 years and even beyond in some cases. However, some only make it to 14 or even younger. There are a lot of variances between individuals.

Featured Image Credit: Edson Torres, Unsplash

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