Your dog is a part of your family. So it’s no surprise that you want Fido to live as long as possible. Many factors come into play when choosing the appropriate breed of dog for you and your family. What kind of home do you live in? A large, energetic dog breed may not be suitable for an apartment. Does anyone in your family have severe allergies to dogs? Chances are, a dog breed that sheds a lot may not be the right fit.
However, do you also consider which dog breeds live the longest? It’s important to know that some breeds of dogs have a much longer lifespan than others. Typically, small breeds of dogs live longer than large breeds of dogs. Additionally, many purebred dogs suffer from congenital health conditions which can shorten their lifespan compared to a mixed breed or mutt.
Whichever dog breed you choose, it’s important to be aware of what you may potentially be getting into, be it health conditions or joint and bone disorders. The more you know, the better you can prepare.
In this article, we hope to shed light on the longest living dog breeds and what to expect from each.
World's Oldest Dog Ever
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest living dog breed ever was an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey. Bluey resided in Victoria, Australia and lived to be 29 years and 160 days old. If you do the math and the multiply Bluey’s life by seven, he lived roughly 203 human years. Pretty impressive to say the least.
However, just so our readers are aware, this definitely isn’t the average life expectancy for an Australian Cattle Dog. Typically, Australian cattle dogs live 13 to 15 years. Their demeanor is described as loyal, obedient, and protective of their family and property.
Coincidentally, the second oldest dog, named Maggie, also lived in Victoria, Australia which only leads us to believe that they must be doing something right down under. Maggie lived to be just over 29 years old just like Bluey.
How Long Do Dogs Live
Of course, a 29-year-old dog is definitely not the norm. Most dogs, depending on the size and breed, live between 10 to 13 years. Some dogs have a higher probability of living well over 15 years while others have a much shorter lifespan. Additionally, as we previously mentioned, some dog breeds are at a predisposition for developing certain health issues that ultimately shorten in their life. Let’s get into the details of each dog breed.
The first on our list is the beloved Dachshund (or wiener dog if you so choose). The Dachshund was originally bred as a hunting dog in Germany to hunt badgers and other small animals. Dachshunds typically way between 16 and 32 pounds, dependent on whether they are a miniature or standard breed of Dachshund.
Dachshunds are known to be lively, loyal, playful, and a bit stubborn. They are members of the Hound Group of dogs.
The average life span of a Dachshund is typically 12 to 16 years although a Dachshund named Chanel lived to be a spritely 21 years old!
William Shakespeare once said, “And though she be but little, she is fierce.” While Shakespeare was likely not talking about Chihuahuas, the message still applies. Chihuahuas are typically not more than 6 or 7 pounds. They are known to be loyal, spunky, have a lot of personality, and often think they are much bigger than they actually are.
Chihuahuas can also be much smaller than 6 pounds, depending on if it’s a toy Chihuahua. Due to their tiny stature, Chihuahuas may not be ideal if you have small children.
Chihuahuas typically live between 12 and 20 years old. However, we want to note that small breeds of Chihuahua such as the toy Chihuahua tend to have more health issues because of their tiny size. When the dog is only 3 pounds, any sickness that makes them lose weight can quickly become life-threatening.
While toy poodles may seem quite different from standard poodles and even miniature poodles, many dog owners may not realize that they are just as easy to train and just intelligent. What mainly differentiates them is the fact that they are able to live much longer.
Toy poodles are considered to be hypoallergenic dogs which means they don’t shed much, if at all. This makes toy poodles great for anyone with allergies. Toy poodles typically weigh 10 pounds or less and are known to be active, alert, and very smart.
Toy Poodle Lifespan
The average life expectancy of a toy poodle ranges between 15 and 20 years making this little ball of non-shedding fluff a great addition to any home.
When people think of long living, small dog breeds, they often don’t think about the Beagle. The Beagle is a member of the hound group of dogs. Their personality type is typically gentle, curious, friendly, and overall happy. Beagles weigh approximately 20 to 25 pounds and were bred as trackers.
There are many wonderful characteristics of the Beagle. Beagles make great dogs for families due to their sturdy size and their overall temperament. With that being said, Beagles are howlers. If you live in an apartment complex where howling is not exactly appreciated, the Beagle may not be the best dog breed for you. Additionally, Beagles are quite stubborn and can be hard to train.
The typical life expectancy for a beagle is between 15 and 20 years. However, we want to note that Beagles are prone to obesity. It is imperative that the Beagle gets an ample amount of exercise so that their weight doesn’t negatively affect their health.
Jack Russell Terrier
Who doesn’t love an adorable terrier breed? The Jack Russell Terrier was originally bred as a fox hunter. The terrier breed is known to be clever, energetic, athletic, and a bit stubborn. Jack Russell Terriers are known to be relatively difficult to train and are likely better suited for an experienced owner. They typically way between 13 and 17 pounds.
Jack Russell Terrier Lifespan
Jack Russell terriers will live approximately 10 to 15 years.
The Lhasa Apso is known to be a great apartment dog. The Lhasa Apso’s personality can vary from dog to dog, from being obedient and lively to mischievous and spunky. Regardless of the varying personalities, the Lhasa Apso is a very easy dog breed it to train. Most Lhasa Apsos weigh in at around 18 pounds.
Lhasa Apso Lifespan
The lovable, long-haired pup has a comparably long lifespan of 12-15 years.
The tiny fluff ball known as the Pomeranian typically weighs in around 3-7 pounds. They are known to be incredibly playful, friendly, and also intelligent. Due to their small size, Pomeranians may not be the best pet for a family with children; however, they do make great pets for adults. Additionally, due to their size, when health issues do arise they tend to be quite serious. Consider a 4 pound Pomeranian: if the pup loses 1 pound, that's a quarter of their entire body weight. Conversely, large breed dogs can afford to lose weight and it not have it affect their health in such a drastic way.
The Pomeranian has a long lifespan typically of 12-16 years. Some Pomeranians live up to 20 years old!
The adorable fluffy Cockapoo is a crossbreed of the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. They are known to be intelligent, easy to train, and have big personalities despite their small stature. Cockapoos generally weigh between 12-24 pounds making them a small breed dog that makes a great pet for a family with children (or of course without).
Cockapoos typically have a life span of 12-15 years.
The Australian Shepherd is one of the larger breeds of dogs that still has a long lifespan. The Australian Shepherd is a member of the herding group. They were once trained to drive livestock. Because it’s in their nature to constantly be moving and active, Australian Shepherds should live with a family who is able to keep them busy. They are known to be smart, affectionate, and protective. The Australian Shepherd ways in between 40 to 65 pounds.
Australian Shepherd Lifespan
The life expectancy of an Australian Shepherd is between 12 and 15 years, although some live up to 18 years.
You’ve likely heard of the Shih Tzu, but did you know that they were bred to be companion dogs? Shih Tzus are known to be Incredibly affectionate, outgoing, and lovable. They are obedient and easy to train. Well Shih Tzu can way up to 16 pounds, they are still a member of the toy group of dogs.
Shih Tzu Lifespan
The average lifespan of the companion pup is between 10 to 16 years.
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Weighing in between 25 and 40 pounds, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is an affectionate and active dog that is suitable for younger kids as well as adults. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is known to be devoted, smart, loyal, and very loving.
Cardigan Welsh Corgi Lifespan
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi usually lives between 12-15 years although some live up to 17 years.
Toy Manchester Terrier
The athletic, spirited Toy Manchester Terrier was once bred to hunt and kill rabbits and rats. For this reason, they love to chase things. Toy Manchester Terriers are known to be great watchdogs and easily trainable. Because of the fact that they were bred to be active, when they aren’t entertained, they can be a bit destructive. For this reason, Toy Manchester Terriers are our best suited with families who can keep them busy.
Toy Manchester Terrier Lifespan
The typical lifespan of the Toy Manchester Terrier is between 14 and 16 years.
The Scottish Collie is another breed that can be on the larger side (weighing 40-70 pounds) but still have a long lifespan. The Scottish Collie is great with kids and is known to be gentle natured and very friendly.
Scottish Collie Lifespan
The Scottish Collie's lifespan is generally between 12 to 14 years.
Smart as whips and highly social, Miniature Schnauzers make great family members. Miniature Schnauzers are known to be alert, fearless, friendly, and obedient. They typically weigh between 11 and 20 pounds.
Miniature Schnauzer Lifespan
Miniature Schnauzers generally live 12-14 years.
The playful Maltese is another great dog. The Maltese is often bred primarily for companionship due to their loving, easy going temperament. Maltese are also bred as therapy dogs as well as competitors. They typically weigh around 7 to 10 pounds.
The Maltese generally has a lifespan of 12-15 years.
Big Dog Breeds vs Small Dog Breeds
While there are certainly exceptions, you may have noticed a trend that the majority of our list consists of small dog breeds. With larger dogs comes a higher risk of developing several issues including hip dysplasia, joint conditions, heart problems, among several others. There are certain breeds, such as the Siberian Husky, that are more prone to autoimmune diseases. Additionally, the Bulldog is at a much high risk of developing respiratory conditions and the Boxer is more prone to certain cancers including lymphoma and mast cell tumors.
However, this is not to say that all small breed dogs have a 15-year life expectancy. There are breeds of small dogs that have a predisposition for other health problems. For instance, the Yorkie and other small dog breeds are prone to developing blood vessel birth defect called Portosystemic shunt (PSS). Even some dogs that made our list are prone to their own set of health issues. For instance, the Miniature Schnauzer is at a higher risk of developing diabetes. The Beagle has a higher risk of having epilepsy, a brain disorder that causes seizures. Additionally, as we previously mentioned, with toy breeds that weigh only a handful of pounds, health issues can become life-threatening very quickly.
Great Dane Lifespan
One of the largest dog breeds, the Great Dane, generally only lives around 8 years (some only live 6 years). Very few Great Danes will reach the ripe old age of 12. The Great Dane is prone to a condition called “bloat and torsion” which is a stomach condition that requires surgery. They are also prone to other health issues due to their size.
German Shepherd Lifespan
German Shepherds are another popular large dog breed. However, before adopting a German Shepherd pup, a few things should be taken into consideration. German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia as well as certain blood disorders and digestive problems. Unfortunately, the beautiful dogs only lives around 9 or 10 years of age.
Keeping Fido Healthy
Of course, the average lifespans listed above are pending that the dog is in good health. We know that you want your dog to live as long as possible, so what all can you do to ensure that your dog stays healthy and lives their fullest, best life? We have a few tips for you.
Many people might forget just how important diet is. We can heal so many ailments and prevent countless conditions by feeding our dogs a balanced, nutritionally rich food source. Whenever possible we recommend feeding your dog a species appropriate, all natural raw food diet. Raw feeding is a great and efficient way to ensure that your dog is getting all the nutrients that they need.
Longest Living Dog: The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, we know how much your dog means to you. At Honest Paws, we are all pet lovers and dog owners. Of course, you want them to live as long as possible. While we are still crossing our fingers for a magical way to have our dogs outlive us, there are certain things that we can do in order to make their lives as long and enjoyable as we possibly can.
Furthermore, when adopting a dog, consider the information we discussed above. What kind of personality are you looking for? What is your living environment? Knowing as much as you can about the dog breed that you are going to adopt will help you prepare for potential issues that may arise throughout their lifetime. Whichever dog you choose, having a fur baby in your life brings so much joy and we are so excited to be the ones to provide you information while you’re on the journey of becoming a pet parent!