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Longest Living Dog Breeds: Canines for Life’s Long Haul

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Breeds By Meg Marrs 9 min read June 19, 2019 1 Comment

long-living-dogs

We all want our dogs to live long, healthy lives, but unfortunately, some breeds tend to have longer lifespans than others.

As you’ll probably notice from our list below, small breeds tend to live longer lives than big breeds. In fact, many large breeds have unfortunately brief lifespans, so you won’t see Irish Wolfhounds, mastiffs or similar breeds on this list.

Just keep reading to learn about some of the longest-living and healthiest dog breeds in the world.

Or, if you’re in a hurry, just scroll down to the bottom of the page to see our dog life expectancy chart!

1. Maltese

long-lived-breed

Malteses often live very long lives by dog standards. The typical maltese lifespan is usually in the neighborhood of 15 years. In fact, the oldest Malteses may reach 18 years of age or more!

Malteses often suffer dental problems, so be sure to brush your pup’s teeth and give him plenty of dental chews. This will help ensure that he keeps his chompers for his entire life.

2. Beagle

long-lived-dog-breeds

Beagles often reach 12 years of age, and the occasional individual lives for 14 or 15 years. Older beagles often suffer from back problems, so be sure to keep yours at a healthy body weight, get him plenty of exercise, and avoid back-stressing activities.

3. Shih Tzu

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While many Shih Tzus only live about a decade, some live almost twice as long, reaching 18 years of age. Shih Tzus aren’t prone to very many breed-specific ailments, but like all long-lived breeds, you’ll want to take good care of their teeth to ensure they keep them for life.

4. Jack Russell Terrier

long-lived-breeds

You’d think a breed that burns this much energy would have short lives, but Jack Russell Terriers often live for 13 to 16 years.

Jack Russells can suffer from eye and ear problems in their old age, so be sure to work closely with your vet as the birthdays tick by. This will give you the best chance of treating these problems before they get bad.

5. Chihuahua

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The Chihuahua lifespan is usually about 12 to 14 years, but occasional individuals reach the two-decade mark. Chihuahuas suffer from some of the same dental problems other long-lived species do, so be sure to take good care of their teeth.

They can also suffer from collapsed tracheas, so always use leashes carefully, and consider opting for harnesses instead.

6. Lhasa Apso

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Long-haired and long-lived, Lhasa Apsos often live for 13 or 14 years, and a few have exceeded the 20-year mark. These loveable pups often suffer from skin issues, so it is especially important to feed them healthy foods that do not contain a lot of artificial additives.

7. Pomeranian

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Puffy little Pomeranians typically live about 12 to 16 years. Pomeranians aren’t especially susceptible to many illnesses aside from luxating patellas (knee caps that have shifted out of place), so just be sure to feed your Pom a good diet, get him plenty of exercise, and visit your vet regularly.

8. Yorkshire Terriers

dogs-with-long-lives

Yorkies often live for about 14 or 15 years, although some of them live a bit longer. Yorkies often experience digestive problems, so be sure to find a good food your Yorkie tolerates well and stick to it as long as you can.

9. Papillon

long-lived-dogs

Most Papillons float around their owner’s feet for about 13 to 15 years, although some manage to hang on for a year or two longer. Unfortunately, and despite their relatively long lifespans, Papillons are vulnerable to a number of different health problems, so be sure to work closely with your vet as your pup ages.

10. Poodle

long-living-dog-breed

Many poodles live for about 12 to 15 years, but note that toy and miniature varieties usually outlast standard poodles. Neurological problems often afflict poodles as they age, so you’ll need to work closely with your vet to give your pup the longest life possible.

Do Your Part to Ensure Your Dog Lives a Long Time

No matter what breed your pup is, you can do your part to help keep him healthy and give him the best shot at living a long life. Some of the most important strategies and tips include:

Provide your dog with a healthy diet. Your dog’s diet will affect his health in a number of different ways, which can influence his longevity and quality of life. There’s a lot to food selection, but for starters, provide a protein-based food that is made with plenty of healthy carbs and vegetables, and no artificial additives.

  Visit your veterinarian often. Regular veterinary care is one of the best ways to increase your dog’s chances of living a long, healthy life. In addition to providing routine veterinary services, such as vaccinations, your vet will likely spot potential problems long before you will, thereby allowing you to begin treatment earlier.

  Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. Regular, moderate exercise is not only important for your pet’s well-being, it is important for his health too. Exercise can help prevent obesity, reduce the likelihood of arthritic joint problems and ensure good digestive function.

  Support your pup’s emotional well-being. It’s a little hard to scientifically prove that your dog will live longer if he is happy, but look at it the other way around. Assume your dog is going to live for 20 years, and try to make every single day count. Spend as much time as you can snuggling, walking, playing or talking with your pup – it’ll benefit you both.

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Keeping Your Older Canine Comfortable

Most dogs will start to slow down a bit during their senior years, but the “golden years” of long-lived breeds are likely to last longer than they will for breeds who only reach 8 or 9 years of age.

Senior dogs need a little more care than younger dogs do, and it’s often helpful to make a few adjustments to their day-to-day life to keep them smiling and feeling their best. So, if your dog is likely to live well into his teens, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to cater to his needs as he ages.

Some of the things that may help keep your senior dog comfortable and happy include:

Keep Your Dog Mentally Stimulated

As with emotional well-being, mental stimulation is hard to directly correlate with a long lifespan. However, it certainly doesn’t hurt to keep your dog’s brain stimulated, and it is likely to help keep your dog’s noggin’ operating at full speed well into his senior years.

Consider using treat dispensing dog toys to feed your pooch, as they provide a bit more of a challenge than a simple dog bowl or try some puzzle toys to keep your canine’s brain on full power.

Switch to a Dog Food Designed for Seniors

Some senior dogs will remain healthy while eating a regular dog food intended for adults, but most will benefit from a food designed specifically for older dogs. These foods typically feature things like high fiber content and probiotics to help promote proper digestion and elimination habits, and some are fortified with chondroitin, glucosamine and other joint-supporting supplements.

We’ve discussed a few of the best senior dog foods before, so be sure to check out our recommendations if you’re trying to feed an aging pet.

Install Ramps Wherever Necessary

Your pup may have had no trouble jumping up on the couch when he was young, but he may start struggling to do so as he ages. Plus, even if he can launch himself up onto the couch, he may find it painful to jump back down.

Fortunately, there are a number of dog stairs and ramps available, which can make it easy for your pooch to access his favorite piece of furniture and reduce the wear and tear on his joints. Ramps can also be useful for helping your pupper negotiate stairs or climb into the car too.

Hook Your Pet Up with Some Booties

Arthritis, hip dysplasia, and other joint problems are pretty common among older dogs, and these types of problems can make it difficult for your canine to get traction like he did in his younger days.

This is not only a problem for pets who may have to walk across ice or snow in the winter, it can even be a problem for dogs who must traverse slick vinyl, tile or wooden floors. But this is a pretty easy problem to fix: Just get your pooch some non-skid dog booties.

Booties not only help give older dog more confidence and prevent falls, but they’ll also keep your little old buddy’s paws warmer too.

Use Mobility Aids If Need Be

Unfortunately, some older dogs will eventually need help getting around. In such cases, mobility aids can really prove helpful for ensuring your dog still enjoys a high quality of life.

There are a variety of mobility aids available to address different types of mobility issues. They range from slings that allow you to give your pet just a little extra support to full-blown doggie wheelchairs (there are even wheelchairs you can build yourself for very little money).

Give Your Canine a Cozy Place to Sleep

Because they often suffer from the same kinds of aches and pains that older humans do, most senior dogs will benefit greatly from a high-quality dog bed. A memory foam bed is probably the best bet for most aging four-footers, but a heated bed may be a better option for those living in cold climates. There are also plenty of DIY dog beds you can make if you’d rather go that route.

Who Was the Longest Living Dog Ever? Who Holds the Record for Oldest Dog?

The title of longest living dog ever is a bit difficult to determine conclusively, but the oldest dog appears to have been an Australian sheep dog named Maggie. She passed away in early 2016, after living with her family for 30(!) years in Victoria, Australia.

Fortunately for Maggie and her family, she appears to have been happy and healthy for most of this time – she only began to slow down a few days before she passed peacefully in her sleep.

Dog Life Expectancy Chart

Curious how long pit bulls live? Want to know what dog lives the shortest average length of time?

We’re here to help! We researched a variety of different resources to create the dog life expectancy chart below.

It’s a sortable table, so feel free to play around with it a bit.

You can view the breed list in alphabetical order (or reverse alphabetical order if you’re trying to look up whippets or Weimaraners), or you can sort the average life expectancy in ascending or descending order. You can even use the search box on the upper right corner.

We obviously couldn’t include all of the dog breeds, but we picked 50 of the most popular. But we want to help out everyone, so let us know which breeds you’d like to see us include in future article updates (just head on down to the comment section)!

BreedAveragle Life Span
Airedale terrier10 to 12
Akita10 to 12
American Staffordshire terrier11 to 13
Australian shepherd13 to 15
Basset hound10 to 12
Beagle12 to 15
Bernese Mountain dog6 to 8
Boston terrier11 to 15
Boxer10 to 12
Bulldog6 to 9
Bullmastiff8 to 10
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel10 to 14
Chihuahua12 to 14
Chinese crested dog13 to 15
Cocker Spaniel10 to 13
Dachshund12 to 16
Dalmatian10 to 13
Doberman pinscher10 to 13
English mastiff8 to 11
French bulldog10 to 12
German shepherd10 to 13
German shorthaired pointer12 to 14
Giant schnauzer9 to 12
Golden retriever10 to 12
Great Dane8 to 10
Great Pyrenees 10 to 12
Greyhound 9 to 10
Jack Russel terrier13 to 16
Labrador retriever10 to 14
Lhasa Apso13 to 15
Malamute10 to 12
Matese14 to 16
Miniature schnauzer12 to 15
Neapolitan mastiff8 to 10
Newfoundland9 to 10
Papillon13 to 15
Pekingese12 to 13
Pembroke Welsh corgi12 to 15
Pit bull12 to 15
Pomeranian12 to 16
Poodle12 to 15
Pug10 to 13
Rottweiler8 to 10
Saint Bernard8 to 9
Samoyed10 to 13
Shih Tzu10 to 16
Siberian husky12 to 15
Weimaraner10 to 12
Whippet12 to 14
Yorkshire terrier14 to 16

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Have you had a dog that lived an incredibly long life? We’d love for you to share your stories in the comments.

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Written by

Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and Director of Marketing at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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Jenny H

I feel cheated if my dogs do NOT live to 14 🙁 I have never got a German Shepherd past 14, but my Working Kelpie lived to 16 years.
Generally here the longest lived breed is the Mini-Foxie (much like the English Toy Terrier and the US Rat Terrier). They generally live to 17 or 18 years. They have now been standardised as the Tenterfield terrier, and I strongly suspect that with the now limited Stud Book, their health will decline ;-(

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