The 15 Dog Breeds That Live the Longest

woman hugging toy poodle dog
Getty Images

Just as we intend to live our best life, we want our dog's life to be happy, healthy, and long-lasting, too. And while owners may think it's an old wives' tale that smaller dog breeds have a longer lifespan than those of larger breeds, this is actually a true statement. Diana Hightower, president of Chihuahua Rescue and Transport, spoke to us about dogs and their variating life expectancies. "While the age range is not breed specific, it is true that smaller dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs," she explains. "A larger dog will have a lifespan of between eight to ten years, while smaller breeds (such as Chihuahuas) can generally live as long as 15 to 20 years."

Naturally, just how long your pup lives also depends on their quality of care as well as your lifestyle together. No matter if you love a Toy Poodle or a Great Dane, Hightower reveals that there are changes you can make to extend your dog's lifespan. "Steps that owners can take to extend the life and happiness for their dogs is to provide an overall safe environment for their pets," says Hightower. "This includes maintaining a healthy weight, daily exercise, relaxation, and regular vet checkup. Good quality vet care including yearly exams, vaccinations, dentals, monthly heart worm and flea prevention is critical."

What if you are a first-time dog owner looking for a specific breed that's known to have a long lifespan? In fact, those breeds of dogs do exist. Here, we delve into the dogs with the longest life expectancy.

01 of 15


little Chihuahua sitting on the couch in the room
Glida46 / Getty Images

It's true, the littlest dogs have the biggest personality, and they sometimes have the longest lives, too. The lovable Chihuahua is no exception. This minute breed's life expectancy is quite remarkable: 14 to 16 years, and even reportedly up to 20 years.

02 of 15

Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire terrier
Maxim Fesenko

The Yorkshire Terrier, lovingly referred to as Yorkie, is recognized for their sprightly, affectionate attitude. They are another Toy Group breed that has a long life expectancy: 11 to 15 years.

03 of 15

Australian Cattle Dog

australian cattle dog on bench
Fisher S. / Getty Images

The Australian Cattle Dog is a mid-size dog breed with one of the longest life expectancies. This trusty and intelligent breed of dog has a lifespan between 12 to 15 years.

04 of 15


dachshund dog with red collar
Vsevolod Vlasenko / Getty Images

The Dachshund breed is so revered, that it was the mascot for the 1972 Olympic Summer Games in Munich. Whether you call yours a "wiener dog," "doxie," "sausage dog," "weenie," or "Dashie," he'll be yours for 12 to 16 years. That's quite a while to love this tenacious, outgoing, and playful dog.

05 of 15

Toy Poodle

toy poodle dog on bed
Payless Images / Getty Images

These days, it's hard not to find a dog that has a mix of Poodle in it. Originating from France, the Toy Poodle has a long lifespan of 10 to 18 years. Interestingly, the smaller the size of dog, the longer its lifespan.

06 of 15


pomeranian dog sitting in grass
Pattarawat / Getty Images

We have all gushed over a cute, fluffy Pomeranian at some point in our lives. And while these dogs are small in stature, they make up for it in their confident personalities. As a part of the Toy Group, they have a long lifespan of 12 to 16 years.

07 of 15

Lhasa Apso

lhasa apso dog on sofa
Tony Feder / Getty Images

The Lhasa Apso is a non-sporting dog breed originating in Tibet. Adored for their long hair, the Lhasa Apso has been around for a long-long time. Their Tibetan ancestry dates back thousands of years to when they were bred as an interior sentinel in the Buddhist monasteries. Today, these lovable lap dogs have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

08 of 15

Russell Terrier

jack russell terrier dog with red collar
Teradat Santivivut / Getty Images

Fans of the 1990s sitcom, Frasier, will agree that Jack Russel Terriers are adorable. The Russell Terrier, even in a new decade, are still that way: alert, inquisitive, and sociable. A part of the Terrier Group, this breed has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years.

09 of 15


Papillon dog sitting in grass looking up
Purple Collar Pet Photography / Getty Images

The Papillon—French for "butterfly"—is a joyful and happy little breed with iconic pointed ears that, indeed, resemble a butterfly. This breed lives from 14 to 16 years.

10 of 15

Irish Setter

irish setter dog in wooded area
Tomas Maracek / Getty Images

The sweet-natured Irish Setter, known for its flowing amber-ginger coat has a surprisingly long lifespan for that of a larger breed. A part of the Sporting Group, the Irish Setter can live anywhere from 12 to 15 years.

11 of 15

Chow Chow

Chow Chow dog
GoodLifeStudio / Getty Images

The Chow Chow is a favored breed of Martha's. Chows are magnificent dogs of ancient Chinese descent known for their black tongues and lion-like mane. Chows can live for a decent length of time, too, anywhere from 8 to 12 years for this mid-size breed.

12 of 15


beagle dog in grass
Ryan J. Lane / Getty Images

Anyone who watched the movie Shiloh knows all too well the love and loyalty of a Beagle. The Beagle, a part of the Hound Group, loves to exercise in your companionship. These dogs typically have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.

13 of 15

Shih Tzu

gray and white Shih Tzu puppy
Chaoss / Getty Images

In Chinese, Shih Tzu means, "lion dog." Iconic for its long flowing coat and lovable charm, this dog makes for a great family pet. As a breed, they can live anywhere between 10 to 18 years.

14 of 15


white Maltese dog
Ioannis Tsotras / Getty Images

The average lifespan for the spunky toy breed, Maltese is 15 years. They are smart and gentle dogs. It's also worth noting that it's common for the females to live a year longer than males.

15 of 15


grey hound dog on grassy hill
Unique Photo Arts / Getty Images

The Greyhound, part of the Hound Group are as independent, gentle, and loyal as they are fast. This larger, lithe-bodied breed will live to be anywhere from 10 to 13 years old.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles