These Are the Longest-Living Dog Breeds
Do you love your dog and can’t imagine life without her? Well, based on their life expectancy, certain dog breeds might be in your life for a lot longer than others.
In general, small dogs tend to live longer than larger breeds, according to the American Kennel Club. The average lifespan for a small dog is 10 to 15 years, versus 10 to 13 years for a medium breed and eight to 12 years for a large breed.
The oldest dog on record was an Australian cattle dog (see No. 10 on our list) named Bluey, who lived to the ripe old age of 29 years and 5 months. More recently, an owner claimed his Australian kelpie Maggie lived past 30 years, but he didn’t have the paperwork for the dog to verify her age.
Although you probably won’t have a dog who pushes 30, here are 15 dog breeds that have a decent shot at a good, long life, according to AKC lifespan estimates.
15. Bichon Frise: 14 to 15 years
These happy little puffs of fur will be a cheerful face in your life for a long time. Bichons are the perfect combination of playful and cuddly, they’re good with kids and other dogs, and they’re not big barkers. Plus, they’re low-shedders, meaning they might work for people with allergies. They’re a generally healthy breed, according to the AKC, though they most commonly develop tooth problems and allergies.
Next: Italian greyhound
14. Italian greyhound: 14 to 15 years
After a good, long walk, the Italian greyhound will happily hang on your couch with you. This breed is somewhat active, alert, and very affectionate. Their small bodies are rather delicate, so the AKC recommends the breed only for older children. They’re also generally healthy for most of their long lives, but they can develop issues, including hip dysplasia and autoimmune thyroiditis. Plus, a sweater in cold weather is a necessity for this breed, not just a fashion statement.
13. Pomeranian: 12 to 16 years
A Pomeranian packs a lot into a tiny package. This breed is a fearless extrovert who will make an entertaining companion for its long life. Pomeranians love to play and explore, but they’re also happy sitting in your lap, according to the AKC. They are prone to knee problems, so you should discourage them from jumping off anything too high — even a couch.
Next: Miniature pinscher
12. Miniature pinscher: 12 to 16 years
A miniature pinscher is a big dog in a little dog’s body, according to the AKC. These dogs are bold, confident, and athletic, and they like to make their voices heard. They don’t take much in the grooming department, but training is a little difficult due to their independent streak. On the plus side, they’re a generally healthy breed, but they are most commonly prone to knee and hip problems.
Next: Norfolk terrier
11. Norfolk terrier: 12 to 16 years
The Norfolk terrier might be small, but he’s actually a hardy little working dog who the AKC characterizes as a “perfect demon in the field.” They’re very active and social but also trainable and relatively low-maintenance. The majority of these dogs live long, healthy lives, but their most common ailments include heart, eye, and knee issues.
Next: Australian cattle dog
10. Australian cattle dog: 12 to 16 years
The Australian cattle dog is one of the few larger breeds that have a long, healthy lifespan. This breed probably has its active nature to thank for its longevity. Bred for herding cattle (if that wasn’t obvious), cattle dogs want to be on the move all day and need a job to keep them happy. They’re smart and alert, though they are sometimes prone to deafness and blindness, according to the AKC.
9. Papillon: 14 to 16 years
A papillon is a curious little ball of energy. They make excellent pets, according to the AKC, as they’re friendly and alert but not shy or aggressive. They’re also good with kids and eager to please their owners. Most papillons live healthy lives. But like many other breeds, they’re prone to eye, heart, and knee issues.
8. Havanese: 14 to 16 years
A Havanese always looks happy. This breed is eager to please and make you laugh, according to the AKC. They don’t shed much, but they do require regular grooming. Like many other breeds, they might develop hip, knee, and eye issues, as well as congenital deafness.
Next: Border collie
7. Border collie: 10 to 17 years
The border collie is the last medium-sized dog on our list. And just like the Australian cattle dog, their active lifestyle probably plays a role in their longevity. These dogs need an outlet to show off their athleticism and high intelligence. According to the AKC, the majority of border collies are healthy for most of their lives and aren’t prone to any specific health challenges.
Next: Manchester terrier
6. Manchester terrier: 15 to 17 years
According to the AKC, Manchester terriers “can motor, running with good reach in front and propulsive rear drive powered by a muscular caboose.” These little powerhouses are lively and loyal, as well as trainable and low-maintenance in the grooming department. They’re mostly healthy, but some might develop eye problems, thyroid problems, and a genetic bleeding disorder.
Next: Toy poodle
5. Toy poodle: 10 to 18 years
Poodles come in toy, miniature, and standard, but it’s the toy that typically lives the longest. These dogs are the whole package, with beauty, brains, and athleticism, according to the AKC. Plus, they’re good with kids and eager to please their owners. And they’re low-shedders, though they do require a fair bit of grooming to maintain their beauty. They are prone to some health issues, including hip dysplasia and eye disease.
Next: Rat terrier
4. Rat terrier: 12 to 18 years
Don’t let their size fool you. Rat terriers are fearless little bundles of energy who are always ready for anything. Their zest for life could be why this breed outlives many other dogs. Besides being highly energetic, the AKC characterizes this dog as friendly and eager to please. Most of these dogs are healthy, but some might develop hip and knee issues, as well as heart and eye diseases.
Next: Chinese crested
3. Chinese crested: 13 to 18 years
You can have a Chinese crested for almost two decades and barely ever have to vacuum any of his hair (unless you own a powderpuff, which does actually have a full coat of fur). According to the AKC, “They are funny little dogs that like to please their owners and, upon finding something that amuses you, are likely to do it again to get your attention.” This breed might inherit eye and heart issues, and the hairless ones must have their skin protected from the sun and cold. By the end of this dog’s long life, you’ll probably have a sizable wardrobe of canine sweaters.
2. Coton de Tulear: 15 to 19 years
Luckily, your coton will live a long time because you’ll never get your fill of petting its cotton-like coat (hence the name). According to the AKC, this breed’s “favorite sports include clowning, cavorting, and following an adored human around the house.” Like many of the breeds on this list, they might develop hip, knee, and eye issues, but most live long, healthy lives.
1. Chihuahua: 12 to 20 years
“Inside each little Chihuahua is a miniature king or queen ready to rule their realms,” according to the AKC. And long live the queen, indeed. These little charmers live longer than most other dogs, and they don’t need much in terms of grooming or exercise to keep them happy. Chihuahuas are a pretty healthy breed, but like many other dogs, they have their share of knee, heart, and eye issues.