Longest Living Dog Breeds: Ultimate Guide to the Longest Living Dogs

As a dog owner, you likely wish your dog could stay with you forever. There are few things more heartbreaking than losing a pet. If you’re considering bringing a new dog into your family, you may be curious which breeds tend to live the longest.

On average, dogs will live 8-15 years. Different dog breeds tend to mature and age at different rates based on a variety of factors, including genetics and size. Of course, the unexpected can always happen and a dog may have a shorter life than expected due to accident or illness.  At the same time, dogs can live even longer than the average estimate, although this is rare. The Guinness World Record holder for the oldest dog ever is Bluey, an Australian Cattle Dog who lived to be 29 years and 5 days old in 1939. 

 

What are the longest living dog breeds?

Chihuahua

Average Life Expectancy: 14-18 years

Chihuahuas are the smallest recognized dog breed, but also one of the longest-living! This breed has roots in Central America and tends to do best in warm climates.

Click to review our Chihuahua Breed Guide.

 

Poodle

Average Life Expectancy: 14-16 years

Toy poodles have a longer life expectancy than larger poodles, which typically live 11-13 years.

Click to review our Poodle Breed Guide.

 

Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)

Average Life Expectancy: 14-16 years

The average life expectancy of Yorkies is 14 to 16 years.

Click to review our Yorkshire Terrier Breed Guide.

 

Beagle

Average Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Beagles especially love to eat, so it’s important to manage their weight well. In any breed, extra weight tends to shorten life span.

Click to review our Beagle Breed Guide.

 

Maltese

Average Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Fun fact: The Maltese has been around for 28 centuries! The breed can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks.

 

Pug

Average Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Pugs have a tendency to gain weight quickly, so they require extra diligence when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.

Click to review our Pug Breed Guide.

 

Boston Terrier

Average Life Expectancy: 14 years

The Boston Terrier’s distinctive eyes need extra care, as they stick out from the face and can be prone to injury or harm from the environment.

Click to review our Boston Terrier Breed Guide.

 

Dachsund

Average Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

With their distinctive long back, Dachsunds can be more at risk for back problems, so it is important to manage their weight well.

Click to review our Dachsund Breed Guide.

 

Miniature Schnauzer

Average Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

These small dogs are very muscular! Miniature Schnauzers are prone to pancreatitis, though, so it’s important to monitor their health (as it is with all breeds, of course), and a modified diet may be needed if this condition develops.

 

Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)

Average Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

Shelties can be prone to an eye condition known as collie eye, which can lead to blindness, and a blood clotting disorder known as Von Willebrand’s.

 

Shih Tzu

Average Life Expectancy: 11-14 years

Like Boston Terriers, Shih tzus can be prone to eye problems. They are also more susceptible to skin conditions, so it’s important to keep them well-groomed.

Click to review our Shih Tzu Breed Guide.

 

Labrador Retriever

Average Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Labs are one of few larger breeds with a long life expectancy. These energetic dogs are the most popular breed in America!

Click to review our Labrador Retriever Breed Guide.

 

Which dog breeds have the shortest life span?

Giant dog breeds tend to have the shortest average life expectancy among dogs. For example, the French Mastiff has an average lifespan of 5-8 years, and Great Danes are expected to live 6-8 years.

 

Is it true that mixed-breed dogs live longer than purebred?

On average, yes. According to Fetch by WebMD, mixed-breed dogs average lifespan is about 14 years, and purebred dogs average about 10 years. (4)

The exact reason for this difference is hard to determine. Some believe that dogs bred under certain standards, as purebred dogs are, tend to pass various health problems down through genetics.

 

Why do small dogs live longer than large dogs?

Cornelia Kraus, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Gottingen in Germany, determined that large dogs seem to age at an accelerated pace as compared to small dogs. (2) This pace seems to promote the quick development of abnormal cells, which can advance cancer and other illnesses very quickly.

 

How can I prolong my dog’s life?

While genetics certainly play a large role in lifespan, maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your dog is essential to helping him live as long as possible.

Food habits are especially important, as dogs who are overweight tend to be much more at risk for health problems. Work closely with your vet to determine the best food for your dog and the right amount for a healthy weight.

Preventative care is essential as well. Health problems that are caught early are generally much more treatable than those that have been left without treatment for an extended period of time. Be sure to take your dog to the veterinarian at least once a year, more often if your vet suggests.

Some other important health factors that can prolong your dog’s life include:

  • Dental Health: Poor dental care can promote the growth of bacteria, which can enter your dog’s bloodstream. Establish and maintain a dental care routine for your dog.
  • Exercise: Promotes heart health and immunity.
  • Spaying/Neutering: This procedure can prevent several health conditions and can add 1-3 years to a dog’s life.

 

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References

  1. Alt, K. (2018). Life Expectancy of Dogs: How Long Will My Dog Live? Retrieved from https://www.caninejournal.com/life-expectancy-of-dogs/
  2. American Kennel Club. (2015). Why Do Small Dogs Live Longer? Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/why-do-small-dogs-live-longer/
  3. Einleger, A. (2019). Lifespan of a Dog:  A Dog Years Chart by Breed. Retrieved from https://www.petcarerx.com/article/lifespan-of-a-dog-a-dog-years-chart-by-breed/1223
  4. Fetch by WebMD. (2020). Long-Living Dog Breeds. Retrieved from https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/ss/slideshow-long-living-dog-breeds
  5. Guinness Book of World Records. Oldest dog ever. Retrieved from https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/oldest-dog?fb_comment_id=776837545721807_876373145768246
  6. Wikipedia. Aging in Dogs. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aging_in_dogs