Meet the Longest Living Dog Breeds

senior dog in field
Maria Kallin / Getty Images

One of the toughest things about owning a dog is that they just don't live long enough.

If you are buying a dog, make sure that you seek out a reputable breeder. They will have performed health tests on prospective parents to help reduce the chance of your puppy inheriting certain conditions.

Don't overlook adopting a Mutt from your local shelter. Adoption can be hugely rewarding. Not only will you be offering a home to a deserving dog, but mixed breed dogs have been shown to live longer, on average, than pure breeds.

Make sure that you choose a high-quality diet and give your pooch plenty of exercise. Studies have shown that obesity in dogs can drastically reduce their life expectancy.

Neutering or spaying your pet ensures they cannot contribute to the dog overpopulation problem. It has also been evidenced that, generally, neutered dogs live longer than those that have not.

The size of your dog can make a big difference in their longevity too. Small dogs consistently live longer than bigger breeds. If you want to get the maximum number of years with your beloved canine, then don't opt for a giant breed. They rarely live longer than eight years.

Below are some of the breeds that are known for their longevity.

  • 01 of 10


    An elderly Chihuahua

    Fran Polito / Getty Images

    The tiny Chihuahua may appear delicate, even frail, but they are, arguably, the breed that has the longest average lifespan. You will frequently find Chis that live to be over 15 years old, with some even living as long as 20 years. A Chihuahua named Megabyte passed away in 2014 at the grand old age of 20 years and 265 days.

    Because of their size and popularity though, the Chihuahua is not without its health problems. Also, despite their size, they still require plenty of exercise, stimulation and training to avoid problem behaviors developing. They can be very spunky little characters!

  • 02 of 10


    An Elderly Dachshund

    kacoates / Getty Images

    It is not uncommon to meet a Doxie that is over 15 years old. A Dachshund called Chanel features in the Guinness World Record for being the oldest living dog. She passed away in 2011 at the age of 21.

    Despite their endurance, Doxies can have age-related health problems, particularly back issues. You must help your Dachshund maintain a healthy weight; obesity can increase the chances of them developing painful spinal problems.

  • 03 of 10

    Toy Poodle

    Elderly Toy Poodle

    NameinFame / Getty Images


    The sassy and super intelligent Toy Poodle can make a great family pet. Don't underestimate the amount of energy they have, though, and the amount of stimulation they will need to keep their busy minds active.

    It is not uncommon to see them reach the grand old age of 18.

    A Toy Poodle called Lady that passed away in 1937 was thought to have lived to 28 years old!

  • 04 of 10

    Jack Russell Terrier

    Elderly Jack Russell Terrier

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    The JRT is another toy breed that it is not uncommon to see living up to 16 years of age.

    A JRT also features in the Guinness World Records as the Oldest Dog living at the time. Willie reached 20 years old before passing away in 2014.

    This breed is not a lapdog though. They were bred for working, and they retain the working drive, courage and energy to this day.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Shih Tzu

    Elderly Shih Tzu

    Brent Mooers / Getty Images

    Another small dog that is commonly seen living to over 15 years old, the Shih Tzu's friendly temperament and adaptability make them a popular breed.

    Unless they are regularly clipped down, their coat does need a lot of maintenance, so you should be prepared for regular grooming sessions.

    Smokey, the Shih Tzu, famously lived to reach the staggering age of 28 before passing away in 2014.

  • 06 of 10


    Elderly Maltese

    buchsammy / Getty Images


    The Maltese is regarded as generally being an exceptionally healthy small breed. This means that they regularly exceed 15 years of age.

    They are a breed that thrives on company and affection. This means they can be prone to separation anxiety issues if they are left for prolonged periods, or are not properly introduced to 'alone time'.

  • 07 of 10

    Yorkshire Terrier

    Elderly Yorkshire Terrier

    Cindy Biell / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Yorkies are a popular and intelligent toy breed, but they should not be deemed as a lap dog. They have terrier traits too, and although they are loyal and affectionate with their families, they also have strong guarding instincts. As a result, they can be vocal and prone to guarding.

    It is not uncommon to hear about a Yorkie living to be between 16 and 18 years of age.

  • 08 of 10


    Elderly Pomeranian

    Supparsorn / Getty Images

    Pomeranians are known for being friendly, but sometimes a touch bossy. The Pom, like the Yorkie, is usually extremely loyal to their family and known to be a bit of a mini guard dog too. While they can be feisty, with the right training, this intelligent breed can make a great family pet.

    The oldest recorded Pom reached 21 years of age, and it is not uncommon for them to live beyond 15 years.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Shiba Inu

    Elderly Shiba Inu

    Terje Håheim / Getty Images

    Pusuke, a Shiba Inu Mix, passed away in 2011 at the impressive age of 26. For a medium-sized breed, the Shina Inu has a long life span, and they can often live up to 15 years old.

    While this breed is not for everyone, they are very strong-willed and can be aloof; they are growing in popularity outside of their country of origin, Japan. They are a clean, quiet, adaptable, healthy and loyal breed.

  • 10 of 10

    Australian Cattle Dog

    Elderly Australian Cattle Dog

    Carmelka / Getty Images

    The Australian Cattle Dog (also known as the Blue Heeler), is not known for having the same longevity as some of the smaller breeds on this list. They are, however, regularly seen living up to 15 years old, and sometimes even beyond. Their lifespan is generally longer than many of their similar sized counterparts.

    The oldest recorded dog on record is an Australian Cattle Dog. Bluey passed away in 1939 at the remarkable age of 29 years old!

    The ACD is not usually regarded as the best dog for novice owners. They are extremely intelligent with a high working drive and thrive in active homes that will enjoy taking part in competitive dog sports.

Breeding lines, diet and lifestyle all play a large part in the longevity of your dog. If you want to have a dog that shares as many years as possible with you, then opting for a smaller dog could also increase the chances of this happening.

Small does not necessarily mean you will have an easy lapdog, though. Often smaller breeds are extremely intelligent and sassy, and they should get appropriate exercise, training and stimulation. This will help to keep them happy and healthy and prevent problem behaviors from developing.