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Top 13 Dog Breeds that Live the Longest

Picture of author Dr. Sara Ochoa in her scrubs with a cute dog

By Dr. Sara Ochoa

Jump to:
Top 13 dog breeds that live the longest
Why smaller dogs live longer
How to help your dog live longer
Where can I find a dog that will live long?

Meet a few cute puppies and you’ll soon be wishing they lived forever.

Yet statistics say that on average, dogs live between ten and thirteen years.

Fortunately, there are exceptions.

In general, large dogs enjoy fewer trips around the sun than their smaller canine counterparts.


However, size isn’t everything when calculating doggy years.

Genetics are proving to make a difference too.


That’s why today we’re sharing the top thirteen dog breeds that live the longest.

We’ll also look at why size can make a difference when calculating potential doggy years.

Plus you’ll discover simple things you can start doing today to help your dog live longer.

I’m glad you are here.

Let’s get started.

Top 13 Dog Breeds that Live the Longest

Here are the top 13 dog breeds proven to live really long dog lives, all in alphabetical order.

13 Top Dog Breeds that Live the Longest infographic1. Australian Cattle Dog

First up is the dashing Australian Cattle Dog.  Also dubbed as “Blue Heeler,” these are among the few large breeds who live unusually long.  On average, the Australian Cattle Dog will live anywhere between 12 – 16 years or beyond.  They are highly energetic and carry a deep will to work.  The result?  These beauties love action and thrive under positive training.  Not to mention, they are smart too.

2. Beagle

Stemming from the French word “Bee gueule” meaning wide throat or loudmouth, the Beagle is a vocal little chap who loves to howl and bark.  In addition, Beagles are smart, gentle, and friendly.  They are medium in size and can live up to twelve years old.  Plus, Snoopy is a Beagle so these pals enjoy a dose of popularity too.

3. Chihuahua

Long torso meets big personality in the charming little Chihuahua.  These gems are tiny in stature, standing a mere five to eight inches tall and weighing anywhere up to six whole pounds.  Chihuahuas typically live anywhere between 15 – 20 years.  They are alert, smart, and deeply devoted to their tribe.  Lots of exercise is a must with these little chaps, along with mental stimulation and good, positive training.  As they age, Chihuahuas are prone to heart and eye problems.

4. Dachshund

Enjoying up to seventeen years and beyond, the Dachshund comes in a variety of sizes, coats, and colors. There are both standard and mini Dachshunds, along with short hair, long hair, and wirehaired varieties. Whichever you choose, you can be certain a well-trained Dachshund will be playful, funny, and loyal. They’ll need good and proper socialization, along with a healthy diet to avoid unwanted obesity. In addition, these pals love to hunt and chase birds in the back yard. They are guaranteed to keep you on your toes and are prone to back issues.

5. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers are among the few medium dog breeds known to live a long life.  They typically enjoy anywhere between 16 – 20 years and weigh between thirteen to seventeen pounds.  The Jack Russell Terrier originated first in England and was bred to work.  They adore the outdoors and are full of energy, so consider positive training a must with these beauties.

6. Maltese

Affectionate and loving are two words that sum up the charming Maltese.  These gems love company and bond deeply with anyone inside their clan.  The Maltese does not like being left alone, so you’ll want to start positive training early with these pals to ease separation anxiety.  To their family’s delight, the Maltese lives an average of 12 – 15 years.

7. Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer dives into life with energy and an eagerness to learn. This breed thrives under positive training and is quick to learn while proving feisty too. Miniature Schnauzers can live between 12 – 15 years. Plus, they excel at dog sports thanks to their exceptional athletic abilities. Miniature Schnauzers are prone to issues with bladder stones and urinary tract infections.

8. Pomeranian

Friendly, sassy, and loyal, the Pomeranian is a force to be reckoned with.  Greeting the world as if they are little guard dogs, Pomeranians are happy to let you know when things appear amiss.  These little chaps live between 12 – 16 years and flaunt a big personality while thriving under good, positive training.  For best results, training should start as early as eight weeks when your puppy first arrives home.

9. Pug

A popular little breed, the Pug lives anywhere from 12 – 15 years. They flaunt a larger than life personality and are in fact an ancient Chinese breed. They’ll greet you with a cute little smooshed face that can cause breathing issues if they get too excited. So simply work to keep them calm and cool (yes please, air conditioning!) and they are likely to stick around for many years.

10. Shiba Inu

Another rare medium size breed to live an extra few years is the Shiba Inu.  These beauties often live sixteen years or more when properly cared for.  A first impression often yields this breed aloof.  However, lean in closer and you’ll discover a charming friend that values cleanliness and deep loyalty towards loved ones.  The Shiba Inu is a quiet breed and although many of them are exceptionally healthy, some appear prone to allergies.

11. Shih Tzu

Translated “lion” in Chinese, the Shi Tzu was first bred to serve as a companion dog for Chinese royalty.  Today these pals are still excellent companions and thrive on frequent playtime and short daily walks.  They require regular clipping or brushing and are sweet and friendly at heart.  Shih Tzus often live between 10 – 18 years and are entertaining to do life alongside.  In addition, these pals are prone to orthopedic and eye issues.

12. Toy Poodle

The longest living Poodle is the tiniest Poodle of all.  While all sizes of Poodles are likely to enjoy extra doggy years, the Toy Poodle outlives his larger counterparts.  These little champs live between 14 – 18 years and are smart, quick to learn and carry a sweet disposition.  Thanks to their exceptional brains, they require lots of mental and physical exercise to keep them thriving.  Toy Poodles love to live a tad sassy and are prone to both orthopedic problems and eye disorders.

13. Yorkshire Terrier

Affectionately dubbed as “Yorkie”, the Yorkshire Terrier is big personality squeezed inside a small doggy coat.  These pals love lots of attention and thrive on center stage.  They are lively and smart and live between 14 – 17 years.  Thanks to their Terrier genes, these pals carry terrier traits deep inside.  They love to guard and are happy to make their voice known.


Why Smaller Dogs Live Longer

What experts know is that typically, small dogs outlive their larger canine counterparts.

What’s leaving the experts baffled is why.

What is it about those cute little furballs that is promising them more years than the big dog giants?

A study published in The American Naturalist uncovers several potential reasons.

Cornelia Kraus, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Gottingen in Germany, served as the lead researcher.

Based on his research, he believes large dogs actually age at an accelerated pace and that “their lives seem to unwind in fast motion.”

For example, larger dogs succumb to age-related illnesses often earlier than their little lap buddies.

Plus, it’s the larger dog breeds who accelerate quickly from being a puppy into adulthood.

This directly places them at a higher likelihood of developing abnormal cell growth or even death by cancer.

In fact, research has found that for every increase of 4.4 pounds (2 kg) in a dog, life expectancy is reduced by approximately one month.


How to Help Your Dog Live Longer

Saying goodbye to a favorite canine friend is never fun or easy.

And while saying goodbye is unavoidable, there are things you can start doing today to prolong your time together with your fur pal.

What’s more, these tips apply to every dog breed, whether big or small.


1. Cultivate a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy living doesn’t just happen.

It takes intentional choices and hard work.

Yet, when it means more quality time with your doggo, I’m convinced it is worth it.

The first thing to consider when moving toward a healthier lifestyle is the quality of your dog’s food. 

What is on the ingredient list?

It’s good to avoid generic meat byproducts and sugars.

Instead, look for an ingredient list that includes wholesome ingredients.

Here’s a list of exactly what you want to be looking for in high-quality dog food.


In addition to choosing healthy food options, it is important also to avoid letting your dog become obese.  

Obesity among dogs is directly linked to both heart disease as well as debilitating joint problems.

As a result, it becomes extremely important to find and maintain a healthy weight for your canine pal.


 2. Access good veterinarian care

Stay ahead of potential problems by scheduling your dog for a yearly check-up with your local veterinarian.

As a dog ages, increase visits to at least twice each year.

This way, by taking time for wellness exams throughout a dog’s life, you are able to often spot potential problems early before they catapult into larger, life-threatening catastrophes.


3. Get regular exercise.

This can hardly be stressed enough.

Daily exercise is an actual necessity if a dog is to enjoy a long and happy life.

In fact, exercise alone is credited with lowering stress while increasing endorphins in both dogs and humans alike.

Plus, healthy exercise has proven to balance one’s mood and emotions.

Maintaining a healthy weight and muscle mass is an added bonus too.

And fortunately, the benefits of daily exercise are not confined to just your dog.

By going on walks and getting outside together, your body also benefits in similar ways as your stress slowly melts away.


4. Provide mental stimulation.

Give your dog space to feel bored and you’ll soon discover a depressed and anxious canine in your home.

On the flip side, provide your dog with positive mental stimulation and you’ll be rewarded with lots of happy moments together.

Mental stimulation doesn’t need to look elaborate or extreme.

Instead, think of it as a way to keep your dog busy both when you are together and when he/she is left alone.

It could look as simple as enjoying one-on-one time together or playing fetch in the backyard.

Border Collie playing frisbee - mental stipulation can help your dog live longer

Doggy games are excellent for stirring the mind into action, along with dog sports such as agility and obedience competitions.

Alternatively, you might increase socialization by inviting a friend over or visiting dog parks together.


5. Remember dental hygiene.

Brushing teeth isn’t for humans only.

Your dog also stands to benefit from a mouthful of pearly whites.

For this reason, it’s important to include brushing your dog’s teeth into your daily routine.

Otherwise, when a dog encounters poor oral hygiene, he is more likely to develop plaque or gingivitis.

Elisabeth Geier, an active animal advocate, includes Periodontal disease as a potential threat, describing it as, “a bacterial infection of the mouth that has been linked to heart disease and organ damage in dogs.”

So yes, make sure you’re brushing those whites every single day.

In addition, provide your dog with safe chew toys so he’s not chipping or hurting his teeth.

Grab a bag of healthy dental treats (these gourmet dental treats are a personal fav!), and schedule annual visits to the vet to have those pearly whites checked out.


Where Can I Find a Dog that will Live Long?

While some breeds are prone to living longer than other dogs, every dog is bound to be unique you’ll always find exceptions.

Sometimes small dogs do die young, while big dogs enjoy more years than usual.

However, typically it’s the small dogs who live longer.

So if you are looking to bring home a new puppy that will stay around for a while, browse our current selection of small dogs for sale by clicking right here.



Q. Can a dog live 20 years? 

Typically, no. However, there have been multiple dogs throughout history that have lived longer than 20 years. A healthy diet and daily exercise help to extend a dog’s life.


Q. What dogs live the shortest? 

Dogs with the shortest lifespan include both the Mastiff and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. Both of these stunning dog breeds enjoy an average lifespan of eight years.


Q. Do mixed breed dogs live longer? 

Yes, mixed breed dogs typically live longer. There are always exceptions, however, mixed-breed dogs often have fewer health problems and enjoy longer lifespans than their purebred dog counterparts.


Q. What is the average age for a dog to die?

The average lifespan for dogs is 10-13 years. Although smaller dogs typically live longer (thirteen years or more) while giant dogs may live as few as only 7-8 years.


In Closing

Every dog is unique and every story is different.

While some dog breeds have the genes to live longer, how long every dog lives is often directly connected to how well he or she is treated.

So once you bring your new pal home, remember to grab some high-quality dog food, get outside for exercise, and start having fun together.

Oh, and we’d love to hear: if you already have a dog, how old is he/she today?

As always, thanks for being a part of this dog-loving community.

Cheers to lots of years together with your favorite canine buddy!




AKC (2015).  Why do small dogs live longer?  Retrieved from

Finlay, K. (n.d.).  The 10 dog breeds that live the longest.  Retrieved from

Geier, E. (n.d.).  6 Tips to help your dog live longer.  Retrieved from

Johnstone, G. (2020).  The best dog breeds with long lifespans.  Retrieved from

Top 10 Dog Breeds (n.d.).  PetBacker.  Retrieved from,who%20lived%20for%2029%20years.

Ward, E. (n.d.).  Do small dogs live longer?  Retrieved from

Picture of author Dr. Sara Ochoa in her scrubs with a cute dogSara Ochoa, DVM is an expert veterinarian ready to help you give your dog an amazing life. Stationed in East Texas, Dr. Ochoa specializes in small and/or exotic animals. She’s currently loving life alongside her husband Greg and their three fur babies: Ruby the Schnoodle, Monkey the tortoise, and Oliver James (affectionately dubbed “OJ”) the cat.

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