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10 Longest Living Dog Breeds

Woman petting Chihuahua
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With over 340 different types of dog breeds recognized worldwide, there is huge variability in the size and appearances of our canine companions. 

The average lifespan of dogs also varies widely by breed. In general, the smaller the dog the longer the lifespan. Larger breeds of dogs tend to die at a younger age because they age more rapidly than smaller breeds [1]. 

If you are looking for a dog that will stick around for a while, keep reading for a list of the longest living dog breeds. 

10 Longest Living Dog Breeds

The average lifespan for dogs across all breeds is 11 years, with some breeds living as short as 6 years to others living to 17 years [2]. Here, we’ll break down the longest living dog breeds based on average lifespan. 

Yorkshire Terrier 

Yorkshire terrier in grass

Average lifespan: 12.8 years 

Also known as Yorkies, these toy breeds only weigh about 7 pounds. They have hair instead of fur that will grow very long unless it is cut, which requires them to be regularly groomed and brushed. Yorkies are pretty healthy overall but most commonly suffer from luxating patellas (knee caps that slide out of place), tracheal collapse, and periodontal (gum) disease. 

Australian Shepherd 

Australian Shepherd dog leaping

Average lifespan: 13 years 

Australian Shepherds, affectionately referred to as Aussies, are medium-sized dogs in the herding group. They are known for their intelligence and excel at agility and other sporting events. Aussies are very high-energy dogs that will require plenty of exercise and environmental stimulation. When purchasing an Aussie from a breeder, care should be taken to find a responsible source as these dogs are prone to epilepsy


Pug on rock

Average lifespan: 13 years 

The adorable wrinkly-faced Pug dog breed makes for a wonderful companion. While they may be happy to lay on the couch all day, pugs are prone to obesity so care should be taken not to overfeed them and to give them moderate amounts of exercise. Pugs are also prone to a variety of health issues. Being in the brachycephalic (snub-nosed) group of dog breeds makes them likely to experience breathing difficulties which can both reduce the quantity and quality of their life. Pugs also commonly experience eye issues, hip dysplasia, and luxating patellas. For this reason, finding an excellent and experienced breeder is a must. 


Chihuahua on bench

Average lifespan: 13 years 

Chihuahuas pack a huge personality into a tiny 6-pound-and-under package. These little guys are very portable so they are ideal pets for those who travel frequently or live in apartments. While Chihuahuas tend to be healthy, their most common genetic issues include heart problems, eye problems, and luxating patellas. 


Beagle in field

Average lifespan: 13.3 years 

Beagles are small-breed dogs that were bred for hunting. They are great family dogs, but being hound dogs, they do tend to have a loud bark that may be off-putting to some. Beagles have a tendency to become overweight and that coupled with a tendency towards intervertebral disc disease can lead to significant back issues. The Beagle’s adorable floppy ears also make it more likely to develop ear infections so regular ear cleaning is recommended. 

Shih Tzu 

Shih Tzu in flower field

Average lifespan: 13.4 years 

The Shih Tzu is a toy breed that was bred as a companion for members of royalty in China and most are happy to lounge the day away on your lap. This long-haired breed requires daily brushing to prevent matted fur. Shih Tzus are prone to eye issues, allergic skin disease, and breathing issues. 

Miniature Schnauzer 

Miniature Schnauzer portrait

Average lifespan: 15 years 

These little terriers are spunky and intelligent dogs. They require regular grooming and ear cleaning. Mini Schnauzers tend to have good health but can develop pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), liver shunts, and bladder stones. 


Smiling Pomeranian dog

Average lifespan: 15 years 

Pomeranians are toy breeds weighing up to 7 pounds. They are defined by their very fluffy coat and have a “big dog” personality. Poms need their coat brushed frequently to prevent matting. Pomeranians are prone to hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels), Alopecia X (balding), luxating patellas, and collapsing tracheas. 

Boston Terrier 

Boston Terrier in grass

Average lifespan: 15 years 

Bostons are sturdy little dogs that are well suited to urban environments. They tend to have a very good demeanor. Boston Terriers should be screened for a variety of health issues prior to breeding including brachycephalic airway syndrome, cataracts, deafness, and skin allergies. 

Miniature/Toy Poodle 

Miniature Poodle in summer

Average lifespan: 16 years 

The small-sized Poodles top most charts for longevity. The toys are teeny tiny and the minis a bit larger. This breed is a favorite dog of groomers as they can rock a variety of dos and fun hair colors. Poodles are known for their high intelligence and trainability. Their health tends to be excellent but they may have issues with hip dysplasia and luxating patellas. 

Longest Living Dog Breeds: Care Tips 

Even if you own one of the above breeds, proper care and nutrition is vital to helping your pup live as long as possible. Here are some tips to follow.

Feed a quality diet. Make sure that you offer your dog a high quality diet that is certified as complete and balanced for her particular life stage. Your veterinarian is your best resource for advising you on the best diet for your dog. 

Keep up on dental care. Small breed dogs are usually the breeds living the longest but also those that have the worst issues with their teeth. To ensure that these breeds live into their teens with a good quality of life, starting dental care, like annual cleanings and brushing teeth, at an early age is strongly recommended. 

Schedule regular vet checks. For dogs entering their senior years frequent veterinary check-ups are key to catching problems like arthritis, heart murmurs, and kidney issues, which commonly arise with old age. If these problems are caught and treated early, your pup can continue to thrive for years to come. 

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