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Top 10 Longest Living Dog Breeds – Which Dogs Live the Longest?

longest living dog breeds
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When you have a furry friend you love, you want to spend as much time you can with him. And you want that friendship to last as long as possible.

Dogs, unlike humans, do not live as long. Although, if you consider their “doggy” years, they live longer than us in some cases. With that in mind, which are the longest living dog breeds?

We have to say, one of the greatest tragedies in life is to lose your loyal and sweet puppy companion. Most dogs share a common lifespan, between 10 and 12 years. However, some breeds have a much longer lifespan.

Factors that determine canine longevity

Before we get to the longest living dog breeds, let’s take a look at the factors that determine how long your puppy will live.

It might sound weird and stupid, but size matters. Generally speaking, small dog breeds live longer than large dog breeds.

According to some statistics, between 10 and 15 percent of the large dog breeds live longer than 10 years. To take that into account, more than 40% of the small dogs live 10 years or more. For example, Great Dane, a large dog breed considered the biggest in the canine world, has a life expectancy of 7 to 9 years.

Genetics are the next factor in line that can determine longevity. Dogs can have some hereditary diseases, same as humans. Health is an issue, and some breeds are more prone to certain diseases.

For example, the Rottweiler and German Shepherd are more prone to cancer. The same applies to the Golden Retriever, a beloved puppy. One way to reduce cancer risks is spraying and neutering. That is a debate for a different day, but many experts recommend spraying to prolong your dog’s life.

Gender plays a role too. Statistically, female dogs live longer than male dogs, up to two years. If you take everything into account, female, mixed-breed, a small dog will live the longest.

Last, but not least, dental health is crucial. Dogs do not brush their teeth on a daily basis as we do. However, giving them chew toys and foods to take care of their teeth is essential. Proper dental hygiene will prevent further health complications.

Top 10 Longest Living Dog Breeds



This feisty little fellow has the longest living life span on average. They can live between 15 and 20 years. And that will be 15 to 20 years filled with adventures, as the Chihuahua is one of the more fun and loving dogs to have around.

Yes, the Chihuahua can be a handful, and especially among other people and dogs. But she will love you until the end of her days. And that will be a long time. The only downside of Chihuahuas is that they bark a lot.

As for the longest living example, that is a Chihuahua that lived 20 years.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

This tiny dog breed is a fan favorite for a number of reasons. For starters, the Yorkie is a hypoallergenic breed, meaning he doesn’t shed. That means less time spending vacuum cleaning the home. Yorkshire terriers are small, energetic, and playful dogs.

Not to mention, they are cute and adorable. Get a girl, and you can play with her hairstyle. It is hard not to love a Yorkie. And did you know, they were bred for catching rats? Your home will be free of any invaders!

As for lifespan, they can live between 17 and 20 years.



Some people love the Pomeranian, others do not. There is no middle ground with this designer dog. The breed became famous thanks to Boo, who was dubbed the most beautiful dog in the world.

Pomeranians are apartment dogs, they do not require walking and exercise, and would rather sit in your lap for the whole day.

This fluffy dog can live between 12 and 16 years.

Just remember, what they do not require in exercise, they make up in grooming. Constant brushing, trimming, and more is to be expected.



One of the oldest dachshunds ever lived for 21 years. He was named Charlie, and he is a great example of the long lifespan of the breed.

Known as the sausage or wiener dog, this hound type breed is quite energetic, and will keep your hands full. The dachshund comes in smooth-haired, long-haired, and wire-haired versions.

Being that he is a hunting dog, you can expect quite barking. They also vary of strangers, and do not work well with other people.

Toy Poodle

Toy Poodle

The poodle is widely considered one of the best dog breeds. For starters, the Poodle is second on the list of most intelligent dog breeds. Add in the fact that they do not shed, and you have an ideal dog. Not to mention, the Poodle is quite playful.

The lifespan of the toy poodle goes between 12 and 15 years. Seamus, who is the oldest living Toy Poodle, lived for 20 years. The Standard Breed, who is a larger breed, lives shorter life.

The Poodle is smart and easy to train, and will love spending time with you. Definitely a dog you want to carry around.

With all the benefits of owning a Poodle, it is no surprise the American Kennel Club ranks him in the top 5 of most popular dog breeds.



These fluffy dogs have become quite popular in the past few years. They belong in the toy group of dogs. The name derives from the Mediterranean island nation of Malta. As a toy group, the Maltese weigh between 6 and 10 pounds, and he is easy to carry around. You can even travel on an airplane with a Maltese.

The Maltese is another breed that does not shed, making it perfect for people with allergies. Unlike most toy breeds, the Maltese is friendly with children, making him an ideal family dog.

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso has a religious background. The breed was a staple in Buddhist monasteries, serving the role as an alert dog. He alerted monks of any intruders. At first glance, you might not think of the Lhasa Apso as a guard and watch dog.

These beautiful looking dogs have an appearance of royal dogs. Their long coat requires a ton of grooming. Bred as companion dogs, they love spending time with you and your friends. Just do not think of the Lhasa as a dog that will play with other dogs. They prefer their human.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

One of the most energetic breeds you can find. The Jack Russell does not stop. Literally, he is active 24×7. Known for their high level of energy, the exercise is the reason why Jacks live so long. On average, the lifespan of Jack Russell Terriers is between 12 and 16 years.

And that is an accomplishment, given the fact they are prone to diseases. Their joints suffer mostly.

If you love to have a dog that will keep you entertained for the whole day, and will love to spend time playing with you, the JRT is the way to go. Just be careful, they can be bored easily, and if you do not give them attention, they can be destructive.



Considered one of the best breeds for kids. They have docile nature, but active lifestyle. The beagle is another hunting dog, but he is quite friendly with people and other dogs. They have merry and fun-loving nature.

Beagle is the largest dog breed on this list. Notice there are no large dog breeds on the list. That is because larger dogs usually live shorter life.

One of the downsides of the beagle is his hunting and hound instinct. They can be quite stubborn at times, and require patient, but the firm owner.

The main reason why the Beagle is on the list of longest living dog breeds is Butch. He was a beagle that passed away in 2003, at the age of 27 years. On average, the Beagle lives between 12 and 15 years.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a royal dog. Their name translates to little lion, and they were dogs of the Chinese Ming Dynasty. Nowadays, they are beloved for their hypoallergenic nature, playfulness, and cuteness.

You fall in love with the Shih Tzu instantly. Their character is a blend of an attentive and affectionate lap dog, with some dignity and stubbornness. But when they are home, they just want to be part of the family.

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43 Responses

  1. I Love all animals, but, for a pet small dogs. I will have to say Shih Tyu cross Lhasa Apso. Are just b My husband and I had ou beautiful d had our such loved dog 14 weeks short of 17 years .He was the most loveable well behvaved dog., you could ever have. We lost a little beautiful Friend yesterday.he was loved so much and gave us so much love .

    1. We lost our first Lhasa at 141/2 Archie 18 months later our little Lilly she was just 17. Nothing prepared us for the loss. X

    1. I have had many different kinds of dogs but the smallest was a Papillon. She was a show dog and when her career ended at 7 her breeder sold her to me. She was affectionate, playful and the biggest diva I have ever met. They are smart and quick learners. Although she liked children and adults alike, she was always cautious about them. No problem about eating. She was very healthy, surviving a splenectomy at 10. When she was 14 we noticed a growth on her nose but the vet didn’t think it was a problem. Every year it grew bigger and began to bleed. Her eyesight was poor and she suffered a type of dementia. Sadly, at 17, we had to put her down as she was suffering. I’ll never forget Missy and miss her every day.

  2. This is great information for anyone looking for a new dog.
    I always wanted a Great Dane until I discovered how short their lifespan is and then I decided I didn’t need one after all.
    My childhood dog was a Jack Russel mix. He was nearly 18 when he passed. Honestly, doesn’t long how long our pups live, it’s never long enough. I’ve been telling my rescue, Cockapoo, Henry that he’s still a pup and needs to live as long as I do. I hope he understands.

    I’m sharing this article with my dog friends.

    1. I know exactly how u feel. My shihtsu is now 10 and still acts and plays like a pup But I do notice ce she sleeps more and is always hungrier than ever. I pray every day she will give me at least 5 more years as I am going to be 80 this year. I don’t know how I will ever be able to live without her in my bed.

  3. My little girl was a Shih Tzu/Maltese…..she was the most loyal compionable little girl I have ever had…by far! When she was only few years old, my son, his wife & 18month old daughter came to live with my whilst their new home was being built. My little Tess thought this little girl would be a great playmate until my granddaughter tried to pick her up like a toy. She hurt Tess, but instead of Tess biting her, she growled but shook herself free of my granddaughter & bolted over to me, up on my knee, & with her pleading eyes, asked me to keep that little person away from her. After that, my little Tess stayed on my bed until I got home from work, sneaking out to do her business if my granddaughter was napping…..lol

    She lived until July 2019 when I had to have her put down. I was hospitalised with a serious viral infection & could not find anyone to look after her for me. She was blind from cataracts, 80% deaf & because she could no longer get up & down 5 steps to the backyard anymore, instead of asking to go out, like she always use to, she just started peeing on the carpet. This is why no family member wanted to look after her. She was still a very happy girl & didn’t have any trouble getting around the house, but at the ripe old age of 17 1/2yrs old, she was euthanised.

    That decision has haunted me ever since. Had I not gotten so sick, she would have been with me a lot longer…..maybe even now.

    I would love to get another like her, but because of COVID pushing the prices of small dogs through the roof, I cannot afford one. I paid $350 for Tess & now to get another one, because I am so lonely for another little girl, I would have to pay $5,500 – $6000. I’m on a full aged pension & not lucky enough to have any superannuation to fall back onto, which means another little girl like Tess, is way out of reach for me.

    1. I hear your story hun and it breaks my heart. I had my Shih Tzu for 19 years . Had his father for 15 years. Best dogs ever. I had to put my little CAMINO to sleep in March. Same thing 80 % blind cataracts and started peeing on carpet. I think he lasted longer as I had put him on CBD OIL that my husband makes for him. Was still like a puppy in many ways. I don’t know if I can go through the pain of loosing another. Was just thinking since you would like to get another one , why dont u try rescue Shih Tzu and maybe if you explain your situation to them they might be able to help you adopt one. GOOD LUCK. Hun.

    2. I think it’s ridiculous that greedy people are asking these prices, and as long as some people are stupid enough to pay them, it will, unfortunately, continue.

    3. Think about a rescue dog. All my dogs have been rescued. My Oliver who I have now (got him at 6 weeks) he’s going on 14yrs and still bounces around like a puppy, he is such a little sweetheart!!

    4. Hi Robyn,
      So sorry for your loss. After we loss our Harry, a lab/ retriever mix at 14 1/2 years old, we were not going to get a companion for our Yorkie. I did start looking at rescue puppies at Ohio Fuzzy Pawz’s. A year later we found Gabbie, a rescued mill dog. The shelter made sure the dogs are healthy & fostered to introduce them to people. There is a fee and may be some requirements but they are posted. They thoroughly check out your references. We have had her for 2 years and she has been such a joy. She is a snoodle so a smaller dog under 15 pounds. It has been an extremely rewarding and Gabbie is thriving.
      P.S. we are on a fixed income so I understand.

  4. I’ve only had Bedlington Terriers, 4 to be exact. Each similar in their loving, smart, protective & sensitive to anticipate how their human companion feels. Three were 15-17 when they passed. Countless stories of my sweetest last one. Sadie, who never left my moms side, refused to be walked, or eat for 3 days, when my mom had a stroke. Sadie lived to be a few weeks short of 20 years. Couldn’t see-nor hear, but poked me if she had to go out & I was distracted & NEVER ONCE had an accident in my home even her last day. I miss her each and every day. Now hv a maltipoo who’s adorable, but she’s got big “paws” to fill.

    1. I too lost my dear little fur baby when she was 16 to cancer. I was devastated and fell into a deep depression after 8 months I decided to do something about it, and that’s how I got my Maltipoo the best medicine for depression. He is funny cute lovable and the best companion you could ask for. Smart easy to potty train!

  5. Our third son Is a Coton du Tulear he is much fun unique personality like you would not believe When I first adopted him he was 6weeks old weighs one and a half pounds so small
    Now he is almost 14 years old somedays going on 4 years He goes every were his Dad goes except work
    Our first two sons were first one half Wolf half Shepard So Smart he came to me via the dog shelter had Parvio then fe caught mites then he got a broken from a cow that he annoyed
    Well by the I got this littlest dog healthy he never my side he went every wereI went slept by my bed at nite then when he was fourteen he started acting not normal turned out he had cancer and only weeks to live those three weeks were the hardest and saddest I have ever lived.
    And our third pup was a Shepherd but not taken care properly and it wasn’t a sanctioned came to us sick Full of worms an other problems Then just when We finally get him healthy he succumbs to his stomach tearing off his backbone at fourteen months old .

  6. Great information, thank you..My hubs and I have been married 56 years. in that time, every dog or cat have been rescued!! Usually mixed breads. As God is my witness, they know they have been rescued and given another chance T love and life. Best pets ever!!!. at one point we moved to the high desert in San Bernardino County on 2 acres, all fenced, to keep all of our fur babies safe. We had 7 rescued at that time. They all were our family
    They had all the room to run they needed and a safe environment to be in. They all lived in the house with us. We would never change the joy of having all those fur babies at once for anything!! We felt so blessed!! The biggest was a German Shepard. the smallest was two peek-a-poms. we had a side yard outside the back door where those two went to be outside. They were brother and sister. They all got along so well. Now we are old. The hubs is 81 and on oxygen 24/7. His fue baby is a miniature poodle Yorkie mix. We have had him for Three years. Getting ready for blood work and dental. His owner committed suicide we got him 4 days later. He is the sweetest boy ever. Needs lots of grooming but so worth it. My dog is a Chahwa was. (sp). his name is patches. he sleeps with me, loved to be held. He and Wicket get along great. I have a friend who has a rescue called Sandy’s strays. I have known her for over 20 years. full time school teacher, animal lover extraordinary!!. Awesome lady. Both of our rescues we have now came from her rescue. Patches was found tied to a fence with no shelter, food, or water in the snow. Feb.21 of this year we will have had him 2 years. He was a hard case. Every time we moved our arms he would yelp cower and run. He never wagged his tail for the first year we had him. The way he was broke my heart. All better now! He plays with Wicket, they speed race all over the house and the small yard. (80 by 100 ). Both our fur babies are happy, have regular check ups, patches is also getting ready for blood work and dental. Both are fully vaccinated and chipped. We are so on love with these two boys. They totally own our hearts.
    To all the experienced pet owners and the new ones, please, please, get your pets chipped. Check with your local shelters to see if they have a program for shots and chipping. That’s how we got ours chipped and their shots. It was $40.00 for each fur baby, but well worth it. It seems there have been so many natural disasters. Pets get really scared,and sometimes lost. With a chip they can get back to you. I am grateful that we have a place we can get shots and chips done for a reasonable fee. They also have a vet on staff you can get spay and neuters done reasonable as well. Check with your vet who should have a list of organizations who help pay for spay and neuter. That is very important. a spay for a female puppy Before her first heat prevents mammary tumors when they get older. No age is immune to them. Neuter on a male puppy as soon as their testicles drop prevents testicular cancer as they get older. a gain no age is immune to this as well. But wouldn’t that be a better idea to give your fur baby a fighting chance?? Anyway, God bless all fur babies. If you see anyone neglecting or abusing any animal, call police and your local humane society. Thank you.

  7. My Jaiceebella lived to be 17.5 years a Dashound that my then vet said would die young because she was over white 25 lbs she was a tweene ..

  8. I have had a dog my whole life. in fact my first dog was a pekingese. Tootsie was born the same day as I was and lived until we were 14 years old.. I went into a deep depression. I’m 64 years old and have a 32 year old son who lives with me and helps me with everyday chores. We have talked about getting a new dog. preferably between 6 and 15 pounds and doesn’t shed.

  9. Breeds are only important to those who make them important. Love knows no bounds. I wanted an Aussi because of their looks, never saw one that wasn’t georgious. Read up on their haracteristics and sad that is for me.
    Boy was I wrong.
    You can take everything they write and say and multiply it by a thousand! And I wouldn’t treade any of it away.
    They are the most loving and loyal of dogs. Their most important goals are to get food and love.. no, make that love and food, no food and love, no I’m sure that’s love and food!
    Regardless of the order make sure you have lots of both to give and get because it will be coming back to you in waves.
    I am 76 years old and cannot imagine a day without her. It makes me extremely sad to know that someday she will learn how to go on without me.

  10. I think you forgot about Bichon Frise??
    I have had 4 over the past 30 yrs. All but one, who was from a bad breeder, lived to be 17 yrs or older. They do not shed, are loveable and a real joy!! LOVE that breed!! Grooming is a bit tough, but you can learn!! Ilove all dogs!! Would love to have a Great Pyrenees, but couldn’t stand the short time life!!!

  11. I rescued a Silver Toy Poodle when she was 4 years old. Her human Mama wasn’t good to her. So matted, I got blisters trying to get the mats out before I took her to my groomer. Bless her heart, she thrived at our house. She went everywhere with us. She was a little diva. She died at 17 1/2. Her name was Molly.

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