Any person that has ever loved a dog will tell you that dogs don’t live long enough. It’s one of those unfair facts of life. But, some dogs are here to share their love longer than others. Here are our top 10 dog breeds that live the longest.
You won’t find an abundance of big dogs on this list. Our first dog is an exception to the rule that small dogs live longer than big dogs. With a lifespan of 12-15 years, the Hungarian Vizsla is long-lived for a dog of any size, they are also one of the top 10 fastest dog breeds with top speeds of up to 40mph.
A healthy and low-maintenance breed, the Vizsla would seemingly make a great pet. And indeed they are super companions for active families who can provide them with the exercise and attention they crave.
Fun fact: The Vizsla was used in the development of other breeds, most notably the Weimaraner, Wirehaired Vizsla, and German Shorthaired Pointer breeds.
Created in 1950 the fictional Beagle Snoopy of Peanuts fame has been with us for over 70 years.
Real-world Beagles, unfortunately, don’t have that long to spread their love. Like the Vizsla, the Beagle has a relatively long “for a dog” lifespan of 12-15 years. This even-tempered little charmer is generally a healthy breed, but as its caregiver, you will be responsible to make sure it gets enough exercise and curbing its insatiable appetite, as Beagles are prone to obesity and obesity-related health problems.
The Beagle is a great family companion who is amazing with children, making this active small dog a good way to get the kids off the sofa and into the backyard.
I Shih Tzu not, this is a long-lived dog. Puerile humor aside, the Shih Tzu is a long-lived companion at an average of 10-16 years. In fact, the number one cause of death in Shih Tzus is old age and complications due to old age.
The oldest living Shih Tzu was named Smokey from St. Petersburg, Florida, who lived to be 23 years old.
Of course, every long life begins with a healthy diet and plenty of exercises. It’s up to you to make sure your dog gets both.
Lhasa Apso – Dog Breeds That Live The Longest
The Lhasa Apso is often confused with the Shih Tzu. In fact, it is believed that the former was developed from the former. You can find out more about these two breeds here:
The Lhasa Apso has a long history in its country of origin, Tibet. They have existed at least since the year 800 A.D. For centuries, they lived in isolation with Tibetan Buddhists in the Himalayan Mountains where they were companion and guard dogs in Buddhist temples.
With a lifespan of 12-14 years, the Lhasa Apso will be with you for quite some time providing legendary companionship to you and your family.
The Butterfly Dog, the Papillon (which literally means butterfly in French) is a long-lived companion breed, who’s sole purpose in life is to be your friend.
With a lifespan of 13-17 years on average, the Papillon is a generally healthy dog breed and its small size means it can live happily anywhere. Whether you live in a house, an apartment, a converted bus, or even a van, you’ll have a place for your happy little Papillon in every part of your life.
I’ve often considered a 14-inch tall “sheepdog” a bit of a mystery. Like how does a 22-pound dog herd 100+ pound sheep? But, I guess that’s a mystery I can save for another video.
We want to know how long they live. In the case of the Shetland Sheepdog, it’s 12-13 years, with the oldest living to be 20 years old.
Generally, the Sheltie is a healthy dog with only minor concerns being prevalent in the breed.
Scientists are not exactly sure why small dogs live longer than larger ones, but they have theories they are studying. Find out more here:
Yorkshire Terrier – Dog Breeds That Live The Longest
With a lifespan of 13-17 years, the tiny Yorkshire Terrier is approaching the limits of dog lifespans.
Although we consider them adorable little companions today, the Yorkie started off as a tough little ratter and may have been used in hunting as well.
While the lifestyle has changed, the toughness has not and the Yorkshire Terrier remains one of the overall healthiest dog breeds and the majority of health issues known to confront Yorkies are not fatal.
Stay Away from Teacup Dogs
Now, when it comes to so-called teacup Yorkies, you can expect a lifespan of 7-9 years at most and are prone to more severe health issues, mostly due to bad breeding practices. Some are so frail that even missing one meal can mean death.
A general rule in dog health is to avoid extremes. Shy away from breeders that breed for bigger big dogs or smaller small dogs, because they often choose appearance over the dog’s well-being.
Pomeranian – Dog Breeds That Live The Longest
The Pomeranian will live between 12 and 16 years, though some will live even longer. The oldest Pomeranian documented lived to the age of 21 years, 8 months, and 13 days. His name was Coty, who passed away on Valentine’s Day 2016. There are some undocumented claims of Poms living to 24 and 26 years of age.
Overall, the Pomeranian is a sturdy, healthy dog. The most common health issues are luxating patella and tracheal collapse, both of which are quite survivable.
Fun fact – According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest dog of any breed on record is an Australian Cattle Dog that lived until the age of 29 years and 5 months. He lived from 1910 to 1939.
One of the oldest known breeds developed as early as 600 BC, the modern Maltese is quite long-lived itself at 12-15 years. Not quite ancient, but respectable in dog years.
There White Fur is no accident. The dogs were specially bred by Roman emperors to have that white coat we know today. The color white was sacred to the Romans, who wanted their pets to exhibit an air of divinity.
Unfortunately, although they are a generally healthy breed, heart conditions are so common in Maltese that they form the number one cause of death.
Chihuahua – Dog Breeds That Live The Longest
On record, the oldest Chihuahuas known to have existed lived a long happy life to the ripe old age of almost 21. Megabyte (the nerd in me loves that name), this record-setting Chihuahua died on New Year’s Day in 2014. He was 20 years and 265 days old.
And 20 years is not uncommon in the breed. In fact, Chihuahuas are expected to live on average between 12 – 20 years.
Overall, Chihuahuas are a generally healthy breed and have the capacity to outlive most dogs. Despite their physicality, these dogs are resilient went it comes to illness and their most common health issues are most often less than fatal.
What’s their number one cause of death? Cardiovascular disease. 18.5% of Chihuahuas die due to cardiovascular disease. This is most common in senior dogs over the age of 14. Since the heart can only function for a set number of years, dogs that succumb to heart failure are often classified as dying of old age.
*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you).