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10 Dog Breeds That Live The Longest

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When it comes to the heartwarming companionship of dogs, one aspect that many potential pet owners think about is the lifespan of their future furry friend.

Knowing which breeds are associated with longer lifespans can help prepare an individual for the commitment ahead.

Certainly, while longevity in dogs is influenced by care and health factors, genetics also play a crucial role.

Some dog breeds are known to have a longer average lifespan, allowing for years of companionship.

Check out the breeds that live the longest!

1. Chihuahua

The Chihuahua, a breed that hails from Mexico, is renowned for its pint-sized frame and vivacious personality.

Despite their small stature, they tend to have a long lifespan, with many living past 15 years.

It is not unusual for these spirited canines to reach ages of 18 to 20 years, making them one of the dog breeds with the greatest longevity.

These tiny dogs are characterized by their alert and lively nature, often showing a deep affection for their families while remaining cautious around strangers.

Chihuahuas require regular exercise, mental stimulation, and proper training to maintain their well-being.

They’re not only the smallest dog breed in the world but are also recognized for being particularly robust in health.

Exercise Needs: Moderate
Life Expectancy: 14-16 years
Characteristics: Alert, lively, affectionate

These dogs thrive in a loving home environment where they can receive ample attention and care.

If you’re seeking a canine companion that will be by your side for many years, the Chihuahua may certainly fit the bill.

2. Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is known for its vivacious personality and long lifespan. These small dogs are often bursting with energy and display a hearty constitution.

Typically, a Jack Russell Terrier’s life can extend from 13 to 16 years.

Some individuals have even been known to surpass this range, with a noteworthy Jack Russell named Willie reaching the ripe age of 20 years in 2014.

Characteristics that contribute to their longevity include:

  • Size: Smaller breeds tend to live longer than larger ones.
  • Activity Level: Their high energy and playfulness keep them active and healthy.
  • Breeding Purpose: Originally bred for work, they have robust genetics.

Here is a basic profile of the breed:

Height10-15 inches (25-38 cm)
Weight13-17 pounds (5.9-7.7 kg)
TemperamentEnergetic, Fearless, Loyal

Healthcare impacts lifespan too. Proper diet, regular veterinary check-ups, and a loving environment all contribute to a Jack Russell’s vitality.

Additionally, neutered Jack Russells tend to have a slight edge in life expectancy over those that are intact.

Owners should be prepared for a long-term commitment filled with active adventures and plenty of play when welcoming a Jack Russell Terrier into their lives.

3. Toy Poodle

Toy Poodles are renowned for their longevity and often enjoy a lengthy lifespan compared to many other breeds.

A Toy Poodle named Chichi notably reached the age of 24, exemplifying the potential for these diminutive canines to outlive many of their larger counterparts.

Size and Lifespan

  • Average lifespan: Toy Poodles typically live between 12 to 15 years.
  • Factors influencing health: Genetic health and individual care.

Toy Poodles are the smallest variant in the Poodle family, which includes Standard and Miniature sizes as well.

Their lifespan tends to exceed that of larger dogs, in part due to their small size.

Health and Care

  • Routine Veterinary Care: Essential for early detection and management of health issues.
  • Diet: A balanced, nutritious diet is crucial for their well-being.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise keeps them mentally and physically stimulated.

While genetics play a role in their longevity, the overall health of an individual dog can significantly impact its life expectancy.

A combination of genetics and proper care often leads to a robust lifespan.

Their petite frame is a factor in their longevity, as smaller breeds, like Toy Poodles, generally outlast larger dog breeds.

This tendency is not fully understood but is a consistent pattern observed in canine lifespans.

For those considering a Toy Poodle, understanding that these intelligent and lively dogs can be long-term companions with the right care is comforting.

Keeping them healthy with regular check-ups, a nutritious diet, and adequate exercise can help ensure they live a full and happy life.

4. Dachshund

The Dachshund, often known as the wiener dog, is cherished for its elongated body and spirited personality.

They have a reputation for being one of the longest living dog breeds, with a life expectancy generally ranging between 12 to 16 years.

However, many Dachshunds exceed this average, displaying their hardy nature.

Fascinatingly, a Dachshund named Chanel set a Guinness World Record as the oldest of its breed, living to 21 years old.

Despite their longevity, Dachshunds are prone to age-related health issues, particularly spinal problems.

It’s important to note that obesity can exacerbate these issues, so a healthy diet is crucial.

Here’s a brief profile of the breed:

Average Lifespan12-16 years
Record Age21 years old (Chanel)
Health ConsiderationsProne to spinal issues

Owners are encouraged to maintain regular health check-ups and mitigate risks by keeping the Dachshund at a healthy weight.

Their distinctive physical appearance is not just for show; historically, Dachshunds were bred for hunting, giving them a robust build and an energetic demeanor.

Their enduring appeal lies not only in their comical structure but also in their affectionate and loyal nature, making the Dachshund a long-time favorite among dog enthusiasts.

Maintaining their health can help ensure these vivacious little dogs live out their long potential life span.

To learn about individual long-lived Dachshunds, one can explore notable stories about dogs like Chanel, or perhaps the lengthily impressive Hurricane Ike, who interestingly is acknowledged when searching for the world’s longest Dachshund.

5. Maltese

The Maltese dog is recognized for its long, flowing white coat and gentle, affectionate nature.

It’s known as a breed with one of the longer lifespans among dogs, often living around 15 years.

Some Maltese dogs can even reach up to 20 years, pleasantly accompanying their owners through life.


  • Size: Small
  • Coat: Silky, white
  • Eyes: Dark, expressive

Health & Care

  • Exercise Needs: Moderate; daily walks and playtime.
  • Diet: Balanced, size-appropriate meals.
  • Grooming: Regular brushing to prevent tangles in their fine hair.

While their small size contributes to their longer life expectancy, these petite companions require ample attention when it comes to their care.

Proper diet management and regular vet check-ups play a significant role in their longevity.

One must also consider mental stimulation and affection; the Maltese thrives on love and companionship.

As per information gathered from Country Living, the oldest recorded Maltese lived to an impressive age of 20.

The website The Happy Puppy Site further notes that while 15-18 years is often cited online, research indicates that the average lifespan is closer to 12.5 years.

However, with responsible breeding and care, these dogs often enjoy a full and vibrant life.

6. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzers are a small but sturdy breed with a lifespan that impresses many dog enthusiasts.

They typically live around 12 to 15 years, with instances of some reaching the noteworthy ages of 18 to 20 years.

This breed’s longevity can often be attributed to size, care, and genetics.

Small dog breeds generally tend to outlive larger counterparts, often reaching their late teens or even early 20s in some cases.

Responsible for this extended lifespan are factors such as:

  • Genetics: Certain lines may be predisposed to longer lives.
  • Diet: A well-balanced diet supports overall well-being.
  • Exercise: Regular activity helps maintain health.
  • Safety: Protection from hazards can prevent accidents.

To help ensure a long and healthy life, Miniature Schnauzers require regular veterinary check-ups and a lifestyle that includes adequate play and moderate exercise.

They are known to be active and energetic, which supports their health and vitality.

It’s also worth noting that despite their robust health, they are prone to specific health issues like other breeds.

Awareness and early detection through regular vet visits contribute to their longevity.

To summarize, with proper care, the lifespans of Miniature Schnauzers compare favorably with other small dog breeds, often surpassing the average with a dedicated and informed approach to their health and wellness.

7. Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a breed renowned for its longevity and companionship.

Originating from China, this small, sturdy canine is often recognized by its luxurious coat and warm, affectionate demeanor.

Life Expectancy

Typically, Shih Tzus have a lifespan of 10 to 16 years, with many reaching their early teens.

They are known for keeping their playful spirit well into their older years.

Health Considerations

To ensure a long and healthy life for a Shih Tzu, regular veterinary check-ups are essential.

Some common health issues they may encounter include:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Eye and Respiratory Disorders

Care Tips

  • Diet: Balanced nutrition specifically tailored for small breeds can contribute to their overall health.
  • Exercise: Although Shih Tzus are not overly active, daily walks and playtime help maintain their health.
  • Grooming: Their coat requires regular brushing to avoid tangles and matting.


Shih Tzus are often described as friendly and outgoing, making them perfect pets for families or individuals seeking a long-term furry friend.

They bond deeply with their owners and are known for their loyalty.

By taking proper care of their health and attending to their social needs, Shih Tzus thrive as companions, often gracing their owners with many years of joy and affection.

8. Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is a small but hardy dog breed famed for its longevity and robust health.

Originating from the harsh, mountainous regions of Tibet, they served as watchdogs in ancient monasteries and palaces.

With a history that spans over a millennium, these dogs have adapted well to various living conditions, contributing to their long lifespan.

Characteristics of this breed include:

  • Life Expectancy: Typically between 12-14 years, though some may live up to 18 years (
  • Health: Generally healthy with some prone to minor health issues.

They have a distinctive, flowing coat which requires regular grooming to maintain.

Despite their shaggy appearance, they are known for their keen alertness and playful temperament (The Smart Canine).

Their confidence and smarts contribute to their reputation as a beloved companion.

In terms of size, Lhasa Apsos are small, making them well-suited to apartment living as long as they get their daily exercise.

Their size is also considered a factor in the longer lifespans enjoyed by smaller dog breeds, when compared to larger ones (PetMD).

The care and attention given to a Lhasa Apso can further enhance their longevity, making them cherished pets who share many years with their owners.

With a combination of proper diet, exercise, and regular veterinary check-ups, these dogs are often a part of the family for a considerable time.

9. Pomeranian

The Pomeranian is a toy dog breed that charms pet owners with its fluffy coat and vivacious personality.

They typically have a lifespan of 12-16 years, positioning them among some of the more long-lived toy breeds.

Weight and Size

  • Adults weigh about 3 to 7 pounds.
  • Height ranges from 6 to 7 inches at the shoulder.

Health Overview

  • Generally a hardy breed.
  • Prone to certain health issues like dental problems and luxating patella.

Care Essentials

  • Exercise: Moderate; daily walks and play sessions.
  • Diet: High-quality dog food suitable for their activity level and size.
  • Grooming: Requires regular brushing due to their thick double coat.

Personality Traits

  • Intelligent and alert.
  • Can be reserved around strangers but are usually very loving towards their families.

Pomeranians, like the individuals discussed in the Pomeranian Life Span Information, thrive with regular veterinary visits and excellent care at home.

With proper attention to their health and well-being, a Pomeranian can live a full and joyful life, often reaching into their mid-teens.

10. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers, affectionately known as Yorkies, hold a reputation for their longevity.

These small-sized but big-hearted dogs are more than just their silky coats and button-like eyes; they’re known for their spirited and affectionate nature.

Here are some aspects that contribute to their lifespan:

  • Average Lifespan: They typically live 13-16 years, but there are reports of Yorkies surpassing this range, showcasing their potential for long lives.

  • Oldest Records: One notable Yorkshire Terrier, named Bonny, was adopted and lived to be around an estimated 28 years old.

  • Health Considerations: While generally healthy, the breed can be prone to heart, dental, and eye problems. Regular check-ups and proper care are imperative for their well-being.

Yorkies require:

  • Exercise: Despite their size, they enjoy a good play session or walk.

  • Mental Stimulation: They’re intelligent dogs that thrive on interactive toys and training.

  • Diet: A well-balanced diet tailored to small breed dogs helps maintain their health.

Caring for a Yorkshire Terrier means providing them with love, companionship, and attention to their health needs, which can help them achieve a long, fulfilling life.

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