10 Best Dog Breeds With Long Lifespans

Toy poodle laying on yellow chair next to gray dog while wearing bandanas

The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

When it comes to the dog breeds with the longest lifespans, it is usually the smallest breeds that survive the longest. Small dogs generally live longer than large breeds, reaching up to 16 years or more, while a medium or large dog's average lifespan is closer to 10 to 13 years. So, if you want many years with a canine, definitely don't opt for a giant breed. They rarely live longer than eight years. Genetics can also play a role in the lifespan of a dog. Here are 10 dog breeds known for living the longest.


As with any animal, a high-quality diet, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and monitoring a dog's routine care can maximize their years.

  • 01 of 10


    senior Chihuahua

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    The chihuahua is one of the longest-lived dog breeds. Many survive past 15 years, with some living as long as 20 years. Even tiny dogs require plenty of exercise, mental stimulation, and training. They are generally healthy, but this breed is still prone to heart and eye problems.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 5 to 8 inches

    Weight: Up to 6 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth or long coat; colors include black, tan, fawn, cream, white, blue, silver, chocolate, and red

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 20 years

  • 02 of 10


    Dachshund on a chair

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

    It's not uncommon to meet a dachshund over 15 years old. A dachshund named Chanel set a Guinness World Record for the oldest living dachshund. She died in 2009 at 21 years old. But dachshunds can have age-related health problems, particularly back issues, which can be exacerbated by obesity.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hounds (AKC)

    Height: 5 to 9 inches

    Weight: Up to 32 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short-haired, wire-haired, or long-haired coat; colors include chocolate, tan, black, red, and more

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

  • 03 of 10

    Toy Poodle

    gray toy poodle outside wearing a coat

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    The sassy, intelligent toy poodle can make a great family pet. But don't underestimate their energy or the amount of mental stimulation they need for their busy minds. It's not uncommon for toy poodles to reach 18 years old. But the breed is prone to orthopedic problems as well as eye disorders.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-Sporting (AKC)

    Height: Up to 10 inches

    Weight: 4 to 6 pounds

    Coat and Color: Curly, dense coat; colors include white, apricot, black, brown, and more

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 18 years

  • 04 of 10

    Jack Russell Terrier

    senior Jack Russell terrier smiling

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    The Jack Russell terrier is another small breed that often lives up to 16 years old. According to Guinness World Records, the oldest Jack Russell was Willie, reaching age 20 in 2014. Jack Russells were bred for working, and they retain that drive and energy.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Terrier (AKC)

    Height: 13 to 14 inches

    Weight: 13 to 17 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth or broken coat; colors include white with black, brown, or tan markings

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 18 years

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Shih Tzu

    Shih Tzu puppy on a blue chair

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

    Friendly and adaptable shih tzus commonly live to 15 years or older. These dogs were bred to be companions and only require short daily walks and playtime. Their long coats need daily brushing or else require regular clipping. The breed is generally healthy but is prone to orthopedic and eye issues.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 9 to 11 inches

    Weight: 9 to 16 pounds

    Coat and Color: Long double coat; colors include black, white, blue, silver, and more

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 16 years

  • 06 of 10


    Maltese lying on pavement

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    The Maltese is typically an exceptionally healthy small breed that can live to 15 years or older. These dogs thrive on company and affection, however, this also means they can be prone to separation anxiety if they are left alone for prolonged periods.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 7 to 9 inches

    Weight: Up to 7 pounds

    Coat and Color: Dark, alert eyes; silky, white coat

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

  • 07 of 10

    Yorkshire Terrier

    senior Yorkshire terrier

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    Yorkshire terriers are a popular and intelligent toy breed, but they aren't total lap dogs. Although they are loyal and affectionate with their families, they have terrier traits, including strong guarding instincts and vocal nature. It is not uncommon for a Yorkie to live to 15 years or older.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 7 to 8 inches

    Weight: 7 pounds

    Coat and Color: Silky coat; colors include black and tan, blue and tan, and more

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 16 years

  • 08 of 10


    senior Pomeranian smiling

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    Pomeranians are known for being friendly but sometimes a bit bossy. These dogs are usually extremely loyal to their families and might take on the role of a mini guard dog. Although they can be feisty, consistent training can turn them into great family pets that can live to 16 years or older.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 6 to 7 inches

    Weight: 3 to 7 pounds

    Coat and Color: Fluffy double coat; colors include black, chocolate, orange, red, and more

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Shiba Inu

    old shiba inu outside

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    For a medium-sized breed, the shiba inu has a long lifespan, reaching 16 years or older. These dogs tend to be very strong-willed and aloof, so they're not for everyone. But they are a clean, quiet, and loyal breed. And they're generally healthy, though some dogs are prone to allergies.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-Sporting (AKC)

    Height: 14 to 17 inches

    Weight: 17 to 23 pounds

    Coat and Color: Thick double coat; curled tail; colors include black and tan, cream, and red

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 16 years

  • 10 of 10

    Australian Cattle Dog

    senior Australian cattle dog

    Carmelka / Getty Images

    The Australian cattle dog (also known as the blue heeler) has a long lifespan compared to other dogs its size. The oldest dog that ever lived was an Australian cattle dog, Bluey, that lived 29 years until 1939. This Australian breed can commonly reach 16 years or older. These dogs are brilliant with a high working drive. They thrive in active homes, participating in dog sports, and other activities.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Herding (AKC)

    Height: 17 to 20 inches

    Weight: 30 to 50 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth double coat; colors include blue and red with black and tan markings

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

Breeds to Avoid

Generally speaking, the larger the dog, the shorter the lifespan. Irish wolfhounds are the tallest dog breed in the world. They are one of the breeds to avoid along with Great Danes and Bernese mountain dogs. Each of these dogs lives on average to about age 7 or 8. Some dogs live longer than others, while some breeds are prone to more health issues, such as cocker spaniels, German shepherds, and bulldogs.

  • How many dog breeds are there?

    The American Kennel Club recognizes 197 breeds, with nearly 100 possible new breeds working toward official recognition.

  • What are the healthiest dog breeds?

    This is a tricky question, as there is no real data on this. However, many veterinarians say that, anecdotally, the top three include beagles, shiba inu, and Siberian huskies.

  • What dog breeds are not good with cats?

    While there are no official statistics on this, The American Kennel Club suggests that basset hounds, beagles, bulldogs, cavalier King Charles spaniels, collies, golden retrievers, labrador retrievers, papillons, and pugs are great companions for your feline family members.