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6 Longest Living Dog Breeds

longest living dog breeds

5 Longest Living Dog Breeds

If it were up to us, our dogs would live forever, that’s for sure. Sadly, that’s not the case, and many a pet owner have had to go through the sorrow of losing their beloved pooch.

But if you’re looking for a dog that will stick with you for the long haul, look no further. Some breeds are simply known for their longevity – anywhere from 10 to 20 years. In this article, we’ll talk about six of the longest living dog breeds you can adopt today.

Why Do Dogs Have Different Lifespans?

The quality of care given to a dog is one of the best predictors of a long, happy canine life, but other factors, specifically the dog’s breed, also come into play.

Some breeds are naturally predisposed to longer lifespans than others due to their genetic makeup.

Most of the time, these are smaller breeds. A study from 2013 revealed that their bodies usually don’t develop as quickly and therefore age more slowly than larger breeds.

Top 6 Longest Living Dog Breeds

Now let’s take a look at the five breeds that are most likely to stick around for a long time, and as an added bonus, tend to stay active and healthy throughout their life.

Toy Poodle

longest living dog brees toy poodle

  • Average Life Expectancy: 10-18 years

Toy Poodles may be small in size, but they have big personalities and are highly intelligent. They’re able to learn both basic and advanced skills quickly through training.

Sadly, Toy Poodles can still suffer from common small-dog health difficulties such as eye problems, dental disease, Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease, and luxating patellas.

If you want to take care of a Toy Poodle, make sure you keep them well exercised and on a proper diet.


Shih Tzu

shih tzu

  • Average Life Expectancy: 10-18 years

With a name that’s derived from the Chinese term for “little lion,” you’d think that Shih Tzus would be ferocious pets. On the contrary, they tend to have sweet and gentle personalities that make them perfect for families with children.

These small-sized dogs are easy to live with, require little activity, and have luxurious hair that requires frequent care. As a brachycephalic breed, however, they’re prone to breathing problems in addition to other issues like tracheal collapse and hip dysplasia.

Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire terrier

  • Average Life Expectancy: 16-20 years

The Yorkshire Terrier, also known as Yorkie, is one of the most recognizable breeds in the world.

Don’t be fooled by the Yorkie’s sweetness. Despite its size, it possesses all of the characteristics of a real terrier: tenacity, feistiness, bravery, and, at times, bossiness.

Yorkies are a fairly healthy breed in general, but like the Shih Tzu, they’re also prone to breathing problems due to their short snouts.


maltese dog

  • Average Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

This iconic dog is best-known for its long-haired version, with its straight, silky hair and big, round eyes. Maltese are friendly and highly affectionate dogs that make great companions for both adults and children alike. They typically weigh less than 7 pounds and move with a fluide and elegant step.

One downside to owning a Maltese is that they require more grooming than other breeds, as their hair is particularly prone to knotting and tangling.

Jack Russell Terrier

jack russell

  • Average Life Expectancy: 13-18 years

Another terrier makes it to the list! The charming Russell Terrier appears to be a soft toy that was brought to life. That said, they actually boast a lot of the same characteristics found in their larger counterparts. These jovial little dogs cram a lot of personality into their small bodies, certainly.

The main health issues that can affect the Jack Russell Terrier include progressive retinal atrophy, Legg-Perthes disease, and von Willebrand’s disease.



  • Average Life Expectancy: 14-20 years

Chihuahuas are regarded as one of the oldest dog breeds and also one of the tiniest. Chihuahuas are commonly associated with being carried around in the purses of renowned movie stars.

According to Guinness World Records, Spike, a Chihuahua mix from Ohio, holds the global record for the longest-living dog, having lived for 23 years and seven days. After two weeks, a much older dog was found. Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, has been living for almost 31 years as of 1 February 2023.


The famous comedian George Carlin once said that life is merely a series of dogs. It’s the unfortunate reality is that dogs have shorter life spans than people.

Luckily, aging dogs can still live out their days with joy and purpose. By understanding what factors contribute to a longer life for your pup, you can help your furry friend stay healthy and happy for a long time — regardless if they’re part of this list of the longest dog breeds or not.

Want to learn more about pet care and fitness? Visit the PetFitness blog for a wealth of knowledge!

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