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21 Longest-Living Dog Breeds in the World: History, Pictures, & Info

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By Nicole Cosgrove

different breed of dogs in the grass

What an exciting journey we have embarked on today, delving into the canine world with a focus on those who have mastered the art of longevity. These breeds can keep their tails wagging for an impressive number of years, providing their families with decades of love and memories.

We’ve rounded up the longest-living breeds to help you better determine which one is best suited to your family and lifestyle. Just remember that lifespan is only one component to consider when choosing a pet. With that in mind, let’s begin!

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How Are Dog Lifespans Classified?

The lifespan of our furry friends is influenced by various factors. Breed, size, genetics, diet, and lifestyle all play essential roles. Typically, smaller breeds tend to live longer than their larger counterparts. However, each breed is unique, with its own average lifespan determined by research and statistics.

One might wonder why we are concerned about their lifespans, but this knowledge is critical for potential pet owners who are ready for the commitment, ensuring their four-legged friend will be with them for as long as possible.

The 21 Longest-Living Dog Breeds

1. Chihuahua

chihuahua sitting on wood
Image Credit: McCann Michelle, Shutterstock
Origin: Mexico
Lifespan: 12–20 years
Height: 5–8 inches

Starting with the Chihuahua, the world’s smallest breed. It’s a pack of surprises wrapped in a tiny frame. The Chihuahua’s charm lies in its alertness and vivacity, often overshadowing its petite stature. They’ve been known to form deep bonds with their families, although their aloofness around strangers is notable.

The lifespan of Chihuahuas may be lengthy, but they can be susceptible to conditions like heart disease and patellar luxation. Despite these potential health hurdles, their zest for life remains undiminished, propelling them into the ranks of the longest-living dog breeds.

2. Toy Poodle

brown toy poodle on couch
Image Credit: Servando Juvera, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany, France
Lifespan: 10–18 years
Height: 9.5–11 inches

Although Toy Poodles are the smallest member of the Poodle family, they steal the limelight when it comes to longevity. Compact in size yet enormous in personality and intelligence, they can master basic training and complex tricks with ease.

Their long lifespan is not without its challenges, as they may face typical small-breed health issues that include eye problems, Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease, dental disease, and luxating patellas. However, with proper care, they can enjoy a fulfilling life beyond a decade and sometimes nearing two.

3. Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested dog in the meadows
Image Credit: Veronika Andrews, Pixabay
Origin: China
Lifespan: 13–18 years
Height: 9–13 inches

Among the longest-living dog breeds, Chinese Cresteds are notable for their unique appearance. Their hairless bodies, with tufts of long, silky hair adorning their heads, paws, and tails, make them instantly recognizable.

A variant known as the “powderpuff” features hair all over the body. Despite their impressive longevity bordering on 20 years, Chinese Cresteds may face health issues like eye problems, dental disease, and Leggs-Calvé-Perthes disease.

4. Shih Tzu

white and brown Shih tzu standing on the grass
Image Credit: Radosław Zmudziński, Pixabay
Origin: Tibet, China
Lifespan: 10–18 years
Height: 8–11 inches

The Shih Tzu, an embodiment of affection and gentleness, is a breed that thrives on companionship. Their sprightly demeanor and ever-wagging tail are often counterbalanced by their love for warm laps and snug blankets.

The distinct facial features of Shih Tzus, as endearing as they are, can lead to some health challenges, including breathing complications and proneness to overheating. However, these issues don’t deter them from enjoying life and potentially living up to 18 action-packed years.

5. Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire terrier dog standing on a wooden table
Image Credit: Mr. SUTTIPON YAKHAM, Shutterstock
Origin: Yorkshire, England
Lifespan: 13–16 years
Height: 7–8 inches

Petite yet bold, Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, as they are affectionately known, are always on the go. Their size doesn’t limit their adventurous spirit or their robust voice, making them a constant source of entertainment.

Generally considered a healthy breed, Yorkies are not entirely immune to health concerns. Patellar luxation and tracheal collapse are among the conditions to which they might be prone. However, these feisty terriers are known for their resilience and can enjoy a lengthy life span, often reaching 16 years.

6. Dachshund

two dachshund dogs sitting on a bench outdoor
Image Credit: congerdesign, Pixabay
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 12-16 years
Height: 8-9 inches

Introducing the charming Dachshund, a breed that has earned the affectionate moniker of “wiener dogs” due to their long bodies. Beneath their distinctive shape, you’ll find a robust, muscular dog breed that was originally intended for the tough work of badger hunting.

Despite their strength, they can face a risk of back injuries or develop intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) due to their unique body structure. By taking extra care and ensuring a safe environment, these delightful dogs can continue wagging their tails for up to 16 wonderful years.

7. Miniature Pinscher

Miniature pinscher runs on the lawn
Image Credit: Dulova Olga, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Height: 10-12.5 inches

Welcome to the vivacious world of the Miniature Pinscher, also known as the “Min Pin.” Despite their small stature, these sprightly pups are brimming with an irrepressible spirit that can fill a room.

While their resemblance to Doberman Pinschers is unmistakable, these petite dogs have their unique lineage, believed to result from the crossbreeding of Dachshunds and Italian Greyhounds. Though their life journey may include patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, or heart defects, their remarkable zest for life carries them forward, often to the ripe age of 16 years.

8. Papillon

papillon purebreed dog sitting on the grass
Image Credit: Anna Maloverjan, Shutterstock
Origin: France, Belgium, Spain
Lifespan: 14–16 years
Height: 8–11 inches

Aptly named after the French word for butterfly, the Papillon breed showcases feathery ears that mimic the wings of their namesake. Yet, Papillons offer more than just good looks. These small dogs exude energy and have a penchant for pleasing their humans, traits that make them a joy to train.

As with many other breeds, there are certain conditions owners need to keep an eye out for. Regular checks for potential health issues such as dental disease and luxating patellas should be part of a Papillon’s care routine.

9. Pomeranian

pomeranian dog looking up
Image Credit: EugeneEdge, Shutterstock
Origin: Poland, Germany
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Height: 6–7 inches

Bundles of fluff, Pomeranians are vivacious and enthusiastic—even in their senior years. They love learning new tricks and engaging in interactive games with their owners. However, their small size does not exempt them from health problems.

Conditions such as hypoglycemia, collapsing trachea, dental disease, and eye problems are prevalent in the breed. Hence, potential Pomeranian owners should consider investing in pet insurance for comprehensive health coverage. But with proper care and lots of love, your Pommie may live to be 16 years old, possibly longer.

10. Bichon Frise

white bichon frise dog sitting on the grass
Image Credit: Vladimir Nenezic, Shutterstock
Origin: Spain, Belgium
Lifespan: 11–15 years
Height: 9.5–11.5 inches

Next on the list is the Bichon Frise, a small ball of fluff with a bubbly personality. Their hypoallergenic coat makes them ideal companions for allergy sufferers. Bichon Frises are notorious for their playfulness and their love of toys, making them a joy to have around.

Despite their capacity to live up to 15 years of age, this breed may face several health issues., Dental diseases, cataracts, and diabetes mellitus are among the conditions they might encounter, but with proper care and attention, these potential health problems can be managed effectively.

11. Shiba Inu

sesame shiba inu dog lying with pine cones and meadow
Image Credit: creativcontent, Shutterstock
Origin: Japan
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Height: 13.5–16.5 inches

Next up is the ever-popular Shiba Inu. This ancient breed is as famous on the internet as it is in real life. Known for their alertness and intelligence, Shibas make fantastic pets. Known for their “Shiba scream,” this breed’s independent nature often results in endearing strong-willed behavior.

While they are generally a healthy breed, Shibas are often subject to skin and ear allergies, as well as dental disease. Regardless, their potential lifespan is impressively long, ranging from 12 to 16 years.

12. Australian Cattle Dog

Beautiful Australian cattle dog
Image Credit: Best dog photo, Shutterstock
Origin: Australia
Lifespan: 11–15 years
Height: 17–20 inches

Meet the Australian Cattle Dog, a medium-sized bundle of energy hailing from the sunburnt landscapes of Australia. These intelligent creatures, known for their drive to work, can transition from herding livestock to blazing through agility courses without skipping a beat. They’re typically resilient, boasting an impressive lifespan that can stretch to 15 years.

However, as they navigate their golden years, they may encounter health issues such as retinal atrophy or hip dysplasia. With proper care and a heaping dose of love, these tough dogs are likely to keep impressing us with their vitality.

13. Maltese

white maltese in the grass
Image Credit: Piqsels
Origin: Mediterranean Basin
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Height: 7–9 inches

Say hello to the adorable Maltese, a small dog breed radiating charm through their silky white fur. Much like Bichon Frises, they are hypoallergenic dogs that pack a long lifespan. These stylish pups do require daily grooming to keep their beautiful coats in top condition.

Fortunately, their overall health is typically strong, with only occasional concerns such as heart defects, luxating patellas, and liver shunts. With loving attention, these cute canines can look forward to up to 14 years of cuddles and tail-wagging fun.

14. Miniature Schnauzer

Salt and pepper miniature Schnauzer
Image Credit: David Pegzlz, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Height: 12–14 inches

Let’s not forget the endearing Miniature Schnauzer, easily recognizable by its iconic beard. These pups are the tiniest of the Schnauzer family but often outlive their larger relatives. Whether joining you for a brisk walk or cuddling up indoors, they prove to be delightful companions.

Keeping their weight in check helps to fend off health issues like diabetes mellitus and obesity. Potential skin conditions like schnauzer comedone syndrome or pancreatitis may arise, but with attentive care, they can enjoy up to 16 joy-filled years.

15. Affenpinscher

Cute small affenpinscher dog breed on a leash, Germany
Image Credit: Blick, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Height: 9–11.5 inches

Walking down the street, an Affenpinscher would make you pause and appreciate their unique appearance. Displaying flat faces, extended eyebrows, and prominent beards, they bear a striking resemblance to little monkeys.

Yet, unlike their primate counterparts, these dogs are best kept away from excessive heat. Their brachycephalic facial structure can cause them to overheat quickly and suffer breathing problems. Careful monitoring of their environment ensures they can live happily and healthily up to their expected 12- to 16-year lifespan.

16. Australian Shepherd

Red Merle Australian Shepherd
Image Credit: Eve Photography, Shutterstock
Origin: United States
Lifespan: 13–15 years
Height: 18–23 inches

A breed that proves size isn’t everything when it comes to lifespan is the Australian Shepherd. These intelligent dogs carry a diligent work ethic and require a home that’s capable of satisfying their thirst for physical and mental stimulation.

Generally robust and athletic, they may confront health issues such as cataracts, hip dysplasia, and epilepsy during their lifetime. Despite these potential hitches, Australian Shepherds can live long, fulfilling lives matching the lifespan of many toy breeds.

17. Parson Russell Terrier

Parson Russell Terrier
Image Credit: Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH, Shutterstock
Origin: England
Lifespan: 13–16 years
Height: 13–14 inches

Also known as the Jack Russell Terrier, these lively, friendly dogs come packed with boundless energy. Inviting a Parson puppy into your home implies a lot of outdoor adventures, from hiking trails to agility courses. If there’s activity to be had, this breed is sure to partake.

Given their active lifestyle, they may develop conditions like arthritis and patellar luxation. But as long as you provide the proper care, these little bundles of energy can sprint through life well into their early teens.

18. Beagle

beagle standing outdoor
Image Credit: Andrey_and_Lesya, Pixabay
Origin: England
Lifespan: 11–14 years
Height: 13–16 inches

With their distinct mix of curiosity and friendliness, Beagles are outdoor enthusiasts. But because their prey drive is so high, they need to be leashed or enclosed in a yard. Due to this, some prospective owners may have a hard time providing sufficient housing.

Beagles are susceptible to ear infections due to their floppy ears; thus, regular checks and cleaning are essential. These considerations aside, a well-cared-for Beagle can enjoy a full, energetic life of up to 14 years.

19. Lhasa Apso

lhasa apso
Image Credit: kshitijprakash, Pixabay
Origin: Tibet
Lifespan: 11–15 years
Height: 10–11 inches

Distinguished by their silky-long fur that reaches the floor, Lhasa Apsos evoke the imagery of adorable living mops. Despite their original purpose as palace and monastery watchdogs in Tibet, these pups have transitioned smoothly to the role of treasured lap dogs.

However, owners should be vigilant of potential eye problems. These range from cataracts to retinal atrophy and are commonly seen in the breed. Health concerns aside, it’s possible that your Lhasa Apso will live to be 15 years old.

20. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog standing on grass
Image Credit: BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock
Origin: United Kingdom
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Height: 12–13 inches

Cavaliers are intelligent, placid dogs that adapt seamlessly to most families. Their pleasant disposition, coupled with their ability to get along well with other pets and children, makes them a preferred breed for many households. This is especially true when you factor in its long lifespan of up to 15 years old.

The exercise needs of this breed are moderate and can easily be met with daily walks. However, certain health conditions are not uncommon in this breed and therefore require routine monitoring. These include hip dysplasia, cataracts, and heart disease, among others.

21. Russell Terrier

jack russell terrier dog on green grass outdoor with owner
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock
Origin: Australia
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Height: 10-12 inches

The Russell Terrier, while bearing a resemblance to the Parson Russell Terrier, is distinct with its smaller stature and shorter legs. However, these traits do not deter them from matching the vivacious energy of their larger relatives.

Similar to the Parson, they are prone to conditions such as patellar luxation and arthritis. As such, it’s important to implement regular visits to the vet so that any health concerns are addressed early on. With appropriate care, these agile dogs can lead active, healthy lives well into their mid-teens.

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Which Breed Is Right for Me?

To make a thoughtful decision about the dog breed that suits you best, it is necessary to weigh a variety of factors. Ask yourself, what is your living situation like? Do you live in an apartment or a house with a yard?

Certain breeds are well-suited to apartment living, while others might need more space to burn off their energy. Think about your lifestyle, too. Do you prefer a quiet evening at home, or are you always on the go? Some breeds are quite content to lounge around and enjoy quiet time, yet others might need more physical activity and mental stimulation.

It’s also very important to consider your family composition. If you have small children or elderly people at home, a breed with a calm and patient disposition might be ideal.

Make sure to take your time and do thorough research before deciding. Consult with reputable breeders and rescuers and consider adopting a dog from a shelter. You might just find your perfect long-lived, four-legged friend waiting there for you.

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Choosing a dog breed based solely on lifespan may not be the most pragmatic approach. It is crucial to consider other factors like breed temperament, care needs, and whether the breed’s characteristics align with your lifestyle.

However, understanding the lifespan of different breeds can contribute to making a well-rounded decision. In the end, regardless of breed and lifespan, every moment spent with your canine companion is a cherished memory.

Featured Image Credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

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