Chapter 3

What are the longest-living dog breeds?

If you’re thinking about adopting a dog, but you would like to get a companion that would stay with you for long years, you might want to choose one of the longest-living breeds.

A running Chihuahua

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Factors influencing the dog’s longevity

A dachshund relaxing in a dog spa

Size and genetics

In general, the smallest the dogs, the longer their lifespan. The majority of the longest-living dogs are small breeds, and they can live up to 16 years or even more. In comparison, a medium dog’s average age is between 10 and 13 years, while giant dog breeds are usually not living more than 8 years. Apart from the size, genetics play a huge role in the dog’s lifespan, making some breeds live much longer than others.


Genetics and general breed’s predisposition to live long is one thing, but a good and healthy lifestyle is also a crucial ingredient to longevity. Make sure to provide your dog with a high-quality diet, the proper amount of physical and mental stimulation adjusted to the dog’s needs, and never neglect visit to the veterinary for regular check-ups and in case of health problems. By ensuring healthy living conditions for your dog, you can maximise their lifespan.

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The list of 12 dog breeds with the longest lifespan

A sleeping Beagle


At the very top of the list of the longest-living dog breeds, this curious and bright dog from the Toy Group can live even more than 20 years, although the average life expectancy of the breed is around 16 years. Chihuahuas are not prone to serious genetic illnesses, but they may suffer from some heart and eye conditions. Despite their tiny size, they need a lot of both mental and physical stimulation as well as training, necessary to avoid some behavioural problems and to socialise the dog. Chihuahuas are also very loyal companions.

Yorkshire Terrier

Also known as Yorkies, this breed is popular and intelligent, but not completely a lap dog like some other members of the Toy Group. This is due to the terrier traits that include strong guarding instincts. Their playful personality is one side, but they are also highly trainable, and can live up to 16 years.


Often referred to as wiener dog, doxie, sausage dog, weenie or dashie, this breed is the longest living one from the Hound Group. Even though the Dachshund can often reach the age of 15 years old, they may suffer from some health conditions, especially back problems, which are even more severe if accompanied by obesity. The oldest living dachshund, Chanel, died in 2009 at the age of 21 years old. If it comes to their personality, Dachshunds are a very playful and devoted breed.

Toy Poodle

This small version of a Poodle is as intelligent and energetic as their big cousin. They are perfect for families, but they need a lot of mental and physical stimulation. Sometimes reaching an impressive age of 18 years old, Toy Poodles are prone to some orthopaedic and eye problems.


This small breed will not only be in your life for long years, but it will also be a very affectionate lap dog that might suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long. Apart from their snuggling nature, the Maltese is also playful and easily trainable. Interestingly, female Maltese tend to live one year longer than males, but the average lifespan of the breed is 15 years.

Jack Russel Terrier

Originally bred as a working dog, the Jack Russel Terrier still has the energy and concentration that they needed in the past. For this reason, this breed needs a lot of exercise and an owner that will keep up with the dog’s fast life pace. Because of their independence that sometimes makes them difficult to train, Jack Russel Terriers are recommended for experienced dog owners. The longest living representative of the breed and the holder of a Guinness World Record, Willie, was 20 years old, but the breed lives up to 18 years on average.

Shih Tzu

Believed to have originated from an ancient dog that accompanied Chinese royalty for centuries, Shih Tzu in Chinese means “lion.” And as the name suggests, these dogs boast with amazing coat that needs a regular grooming maintenance. Shih Tzu dogs are lively, friendly, and easy to live with, and their average lifespan reaches up to 16 years.


Pomeranians are known to be very friendly, but they also have a slightly bossy and even feisty side to them. They are playful, easy to train, and outgoing, which makes them great dogs for people with no previous experience. Although they’re lap dogs, they also have some energy to run around the house. Usually, Pomeranians live 12 to 16 years.

Australian Cattle Dog

Also known as The Blue Healer, this medium-sized dog has an impressively long lifespan for their size. The longest-living dog ever was an Australian Cattle Dog, Bluey, who reached the age of 29 years. On average, the breed lives up to 16 years.

Llhasa Apso

Originally bred to guard palaces and Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, this breed is one of the most adorable ones with their long soft hair. Apart from their cuteness, Llhasa Apso dogs are also confident, loyal, and playful, but they are also rather suspicious of strangers, which makes them great watch dogs. They live on average up to 15 years, however, the oldest known representative of the breed died in 1939 at the astonishing age of 29 years.


This hybrid breed takes the best traits from their parent breeds, Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. Cockapoos are intelligent and easy to train, and they make good family pets thanks to their affectionate nature. They are also loyal and friendly, and they make good therapy dogs. The average lifespan of a Cockapoo oscillates between 12 and 18 years.


Loved by kids, gentle and adorable, Beagle has a lot of energy to play with children the whole day. They will definitely thrive in an active family environment. The oldest Beagle named Butch lived for 27 years, but on average the breed lives up to 15 years.


If you’re dreaming about a dog that will become your partner in life for long years, choosing one of the breeds from our list might be just the perfect option. However, remember that being a dog owner is a huge responsibility, and once you adopt a puppy you should be ready for all that comes with it, like visits to the vet, and making sure they have a healthy lifestyle.

Continue reading our guide

This article is a part of a complete guide on the subject. Do not miss the next chapters.

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