The Most Long-lived Dog Breeds

Dogs are never with us for long enough. If we had it our way, they’d be lifelong companions. But there are some breeds that tend to stick around a bit longer than the rest. In fact, in dog years they may pass up your age pretty quickly. There are also plenty of mixed-breed dogs that have lots of years of life to share with us, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have one of the breeds on this list in the mix. Here are some of the dog breeds that live the longest.

Australian Kelpie

Australian Kelpie Amidst Plants

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The current record for the oldest dog in the world belongs to Maggie, an Australian Kelpie who lived to the ripe old age of 30, and that’s human years. Unfortunately her record is unofficial since her owner lost her documentation. But the record that she beat also belonged to an Australian Kelpie named Bluey, who lived to the age of 29. Both Maggie and Bluey were farm dogs from Victoria, Australia, so maybe it’s the breed, or maybe it’s something in the water.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier going walkies

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The average lifespan for a Yorkshire Terrier is 12 to 15 years. My 11-year-old Yorkie still has the energy of a puppy, so I think he’ll have that beat. Yorkies tend to run into some health problems, especially with their teeth and gums. They also tend to get the chills pretty easily. But even with those troubles, they tend to live good, long lives.

Dachshund

Older and distinguished mini daxie puppy dog sitting on hardwood floor in modern living room. Wrinkled brown fur matching colors of leather.

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Their stumpy legs might not get them anywhere fast, but Dachshunds have plenty of time to get where they’re going thanks to their longevity. They average about 12 to 15 years, but my 16-year-old Wiener Dog is still in pretty good health, although he’s a lot more blind than he used to be. They are also prone to gum and teeth issues, but with care, they have a good chance of outliving expectations.

Shih Tzu

Shih tzu dog standing in grass facing wind.

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You wouldn’t think that a short-nosed dog that often snores and spends its days as a couch potato would have a long life, but Shih Tzus have a great life expectancy of 10 to 16 years. They love sitting on laps and getting pets, and they have plenty of years of lap warming ahead of them. Perhaps it’s their sheer stubbornness that keeps them going, or maybe it’s their love for their human companions.

Maltese

Little Maltese dog relaxing on sofa.

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The Maltese is prone to chills if they get too cold and sunburns if they’re out in the sun too much, but if they’re kept in weather that’s just right, they’ll easily reach their average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. It could have something to do with their picky eating habits. It seems like a good diet might be the key to the fountain of youth after all.

Beagle

Beagle dog looking up

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If there’s a breed that loves to play hard, it’s the Beagle. All that fun and exercise surely helps these pups reach their 10 to 15 year life expectancy. If their energy doesn’t have somewhere to go, they may try to dig or escape. But if you can give them the attention they need and keep an eye on them, they’ll repay you with many years of love.

Chihuahua

Curious Dog on Covered Path

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The Chihuahua‘s life expectancy is a whopping 10 to 18 years. They’ll be more than happy to spend all of that time with their favorite humans. Chihuahuas tend to be smart little explorers, so don’t let them sneak out. And avoid letting them near children that are too young, as they’re tiny pups that can get injured if play gets too rough. 

Lhasa Apso

Very cute dog with playful eyes wait for the next throw of the ball. Picture taken with a Canon T2i and a Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens.

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The Lhasa Apso hails from the monasteries of Tibet. Maybe they learned the secrets of longevity from the monks there, because they have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. Some are even known to live 17 to 20 years if they have good care. They’ll especially need regular teeth cleanings and visits to the doggy dentist.

Pomeranian

Portrait of pomeranian dog on street

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The main concern for Pomeranians is that they’re too cute for their own good. It makes them a target for dognappers, and their tiny size sometimes makes them prey for wild animals. They also tend to pick fights with dogs that are much bigger than themselves. But if you’re responsible and keep them from danger, they live long, healthy lives. Usually they live to be about 12 to 16 years old. 

Jack Russell Terrier

A 12 years old Dwarf Jack Russell Terrier walking on 2 legs on the yellow sand!

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Laughter is the best medicine, and the Jack Russell Terrier‘s sense of humor may be responsible for his life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. In fact, if you don’t keep these pups entertained, they’ll make their own fun with practical jokes like chewing up all the toilet paper or destroying the house plants. If you find that kind of thing funny, maybe the Jack Russell Terrier will help you live a longer life by keeping you laughing, too.

Did your dog’s breed make the list? What other breeds should we add? Let us know in the comments below!