The Best Dog Breeds With Long Lifespans

senior dog in a field

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One of the toughest factors about owning dogs is having to say goodbye, and the average lifespan of a dog is around 10 to 13 years. As with any animal, a high-quality diet, plenty of exercise, and excellent health care can maximize their years. But genetics also can play a role. Here are 10 dog breeds known for their longevity.


Small dogs generally live longer than large breeds. So if you want many years with a canine, don't opt for a giant breed. They rarely live longer than eight years.

  • 01 of 10


    senior Chihuahua

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    Chihuahuas are one of the longest living dog breeds. Many live past 15 years old, with some living as long as 20 years. Despite their tiny size, they still require plenty of exercise, mental stimulation, and training. They are generally healthy, but the breed is prone to heart and eye problems.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 5 to 8 inches

    Weight: Up to 6 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Alert expression; smooth or long coat; colors include black, tan, and more

  • 02 of 10


    A Dachshund on a chair

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    It's not uncommon to meet a Dachshund over 15 years old. In fact, a Dachshund named Chanel set a Guinness World Record for oldest living dog. She died in 2011 at 21 years old. But Dachshunds can have age-related health problems, particularly back issues, which can be exacerbated by obesity.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 5 to 9 inches

    Weight: Up to 32 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Low, long body; smooth, wire-haired, or long-haired coat; colors include chocolate, tan, black, red, and more

  • 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

    Height: Up to 10 inches

    Weight: 4 to 6 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Curly, dense coat; colors include white, apricot, black, brown, and more

  • 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. Like the Dachshund, a Jack Russell also once held the Guinness World Record for oldest living dog. Willie reached 20 years old before dying in 2014. Jack Russells were bred for working, and they retain that drive and energy.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 13 to 14 inches

    Weight: 13 to 17 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Smooth or broken coat; colors include white with black, brown, or tan markings

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Shih Tzu

    A Shih Tzu puppy on a blue chair

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    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. But unless they are regularly clipped, their long coats need daily brushing. The breed is generally healthy but is prone to orthopedic and eye issues.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 9 to 11 inches

    Weight: 9 to 16 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Long double coat; colors include black, blue, silver, and more

  • 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. But behavioral training can help them adjust.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 7 to 9 inches

    Weight: Up to 7 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Dark, alert eyes; silky, white coat

  • 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 a vocal nature. It is not uncommon for a Yorkie to live to 15 years or older.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 7 to 8 inches

    Weight: 7 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Compact body; silky coat; colors include black and tan, blue and tan, and more

  • 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 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

    Height: 6 to 7 inches

    Weight: 3 to 7 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Short-backed body; fluffy double coat; colors include black, chocolate, orange, red, and more

    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

    Height: 14 to 17 inches

    Weight: 17 to 23 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Curled tail; thick double coat; colors include black and tan, cream, and red

  • 10 of 10

    Australian Cattle Dog

    senior Australian cattle dog

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    The Australian cattle dog (also known as the blue heeler) has a long lifespan compared to other dogs its size. It commonly can reach 16 years or older. These dogs are extremely intelligent with a high working drive, so they thrive in active homes that will involve them in dog sports and other activities.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 17 to 20 inches

    Weight: 30 to 50 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Strong build; smooth double coat; colors include blue and red with black and tan markings