Discover the Dog Breeds That Live the Longest

You love your furry friend like family and want them to be around for as long as possible. But have you ever wondered which breeds tend to have the longest lifespans? As a dog owner, it’s natural to want your pup to live a long and healthy life. In this article, we’ll go over the dog breeds with the highest life expectancies. You might be surprised to see which popular breeds make the list! We’ll look at the typical lifespan for each breed and what makes them genetically inclined to live longer. You’ll learn tips for keeping your doggo happy and healthy no matter their breed or age. Stick around to uncover the top 10 longest living dog breeds so you can make the most of your time together!

Factors That Determine a Dog’s Longevity


Generally speaking, smaller dogs live longer than larger breeds. Tiny breeds like Chihuahuas and Dachshunds often live well into their teens, while giant breeds like Bernese Mountain Dogs and English Mastiffs usually only live 6-10 years. The smaller the dog, the slower they age and the less prone they are to health issues that can shorten their lifespan.


Dogs with long, silky coats tend to live longer than those with thick double coats. Breeds like Maltese, Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos usually live 12-15 years, while Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes average 12 years. Thick coats require more grooming and can lead to skin problems if not properly cared for. Shorter coats are easier to maintain and less prone to issues.


Mixed breed dogs, or “mutts,” often have a longevity advantage over purebreds. Crossbreeding strengthens the gene pool and reduces health issues. Some of the longest living mixed breeds are Poodles crosses, Schnauzer crosses and Spaniel crosses. They frequently live well into their teens. In contrast, some popular purebreds like German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers usually only live 10-12 years due to health issues common to their breed.

By choosing a smaller breed, with a silky coat and mixed breed heritage, you’ll maximise your chances of having a faithful companion for many years to come. While no one can predict exactly how long a dog will live, you can influence your pup’s lifespan by providing high-quality care, proper nutrition, exercise, and routine vet checkups.

The Longest Living Dog Breeds

When it comes to dog breeds that live the longest, some can stick around for well over a decade. Smaller breeds tend to have longer life expectancies, often living 15 years or more. If you want a companion for life, consider one of these breeds known for longevity.

Chihuahuas can live 15-20 years.

These tiny pups tend to be healthy and energetic well into their golden years. Their small size means less stress on their organs and joints, contributing to their longevity.

Dachshunds typically live 15-17 years.

Despite their short legs, dachshunds were originally bred as hunting dogs, so they tend to be lively and playful for life. Their long backs do require extra care, but with exercise and a healthy weight, dachshunds live on the higher end of average for dogs.

Lhasa Apsos usually live 12-15 years.

These furry friends were originally bred as companions to Tibetan monks. Sweet-natured and playful, the Lhasa Apso’s tendency to be an indoor lapdog contributes to its longevity and quality of life into old age.

Shih Tzus commonly live 13-16 years.

Originally bred to be companions to Chinese royalty, the Shih Tzu is a pampered breed. Their longevity is attributed to genetics, but also the fact that many Shih Tzus live indoors, sleep a lot, and receive high quality veterinary care, all of which supports a long and healthy life.

The list goes on to include Beagles, Poodles, Border Collies, Australian Cattle Dogs, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Shetland Sheepdogs, and mixed breed dogs. While any dog can live well into its teens with diligent care and nutrition, these breeds are genetically predisposed to become centenarians in dog years. If you’re looking for a canine companion for the long haul, consider one of these breeds known for longevity.

Small Dogs vs Large Dogs: Who Lives Longer?

When it comes to lifespan, size really does matter for dogs. As a general rule of thumb, smaller dog breeds tend to live longer than larger breeds. This is because larger dogs age more quickly. Think of it like dogs ageing at the same rate, but large breed dogs age faster relative to calendar years.

Small Breeds

Small breed dogs, like Chihuahuas, Jack Russell Terriers, and Dachshunds, often live 15-20 years or more. Their smaller size means their vital organs don’t have to work as hard, and they are less prone to injuries and joint problems. They also tend to be a bit less rambunctious than bigger dogs, so they avoid life-shortening accidents and injuries. Many small breeds stay playful and energetic well into their senior years.

Medium Breeds

Dogs in the 25-60 lb range, like Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, and Shetland Sheepdogs, typically have a lifespan of 10-15 years. While not quite as long-lived as the little guys, medium breeds can still make great lifelong companions if properly cared for. Their moderate size gives them an advantage over very large breeds.

Large Breeds

Big breeds like Labradors, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Boxers usually only live 6-10 years. Their huge size puts major strain on their organs and joints, causing them to age much more rapidly. Large breed dogs require extra attention to nutrition, exercise, and veterinary care to live a long and healthy life. Sadly, some breeds like Bernese Mountain Dogs and Great Danes often struggle to reach even 6-8 years.

While size is not the only factor that determines a dog’s lifespan, in general you can expect small and medium breed dogs to live significantly longer than large breeds. By choosing a smaller furry friend and providing the best lifelong care, you’ll likely have many more years to share together. Every additional year with a faithful canine companion is a gift, so consider both size and breed carefully when adopting your new best friend.

How to Help Your Dog Live a Long, Healthy Life

To give your canine companion the best shot at a long life, focus on the basics: diet, exercise, and veterinary care. These building blocks will set the foundation for your dog’s longevity and well-being.

Provide a Healthy, Balanced Diet

Feed your dog a diet specifically formulated for their age, size, and activity level. Choose a high-quality dog food that lists a meat like beef, chicken, or fish as the first ingredient. Limit treats, table scraps, and people food which can lead to obesity and other issues. Measure out portions to avoid overfeeding. Keeping your dog at an ideal weight is one of the best ways to support their health and longevity.

Ensure Plenty of Exercise

Exercise provides mental and physical benefits for dogs. Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity per day for most breeds. Walking, jogging, fetch, and swimming are excellent forms of exercise for dogs. Playtime in the backyard also provides stimulation. Lack of exercise can lead to boredom, anxiety, and behaviour issues in dogs. Staying active and at a healthy weight are two of the best things you can do to keep your dog living longer.

Schedule Regular Vet Checkups

Take your dog for routine wellness exams, usually once a year for adult dogs. Your vet will check for any health issues and ensure your dog is up to date on vaccinations, deworming, and flea/tick prevention. Early detection of diseases is key—many conditions are treatable if caught early. Your vet can advise you on when to schedule blood tests, dental cleanings, and other procedures based on your dog’s age and breed. Preventive care and quick treatment of any problems are the best way to maintain your dog’s health and keep them by your side for years to come.

Giving your faithful companion the highest quality of life possible is the greatest gift you can give. Focus on health, happiness, and the simple pleasures you share each and every day. By following these tips, you’ll be enjoying many more years together with your beloved furry family member.

Diet and Nutrition Tips for a Long-Lived Dog

Giving your dog the right diet and nutrition is one of the best ways to help them live longer. Focus on providing high-quality, healthy ingredients and maintaining an ideal weight.

Feed a High-Quality Diet

Look for a diet specifically for senior dogs or a formula for ‘all life stages’. These provide extra nutrients for longevity and health. Key things to consider:

  • The first ingredient should be a named meat like beef, chicken, or fish. Meat-based protein is essential for muscles and organ health.
  • Whole grains or veggies should be next, not fillers. Oats, sweet potatoes and the like provide fibre, vitamins and minerals.
  • Essential fatty acids from fish oil or flaxseed keep skin, coat and joints healthy. Omega-3s are especially important.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin help maintain joint and cartilage health. Mobility is key for quality of life in senior dogs.
  • Limited preservatives, byproducts and artificial additives. All-natural, organic formulas are best when possible.

Maintain an Ideal Weight

Extra weight puts stress on the body and shortens lifespan. You should be able to see and feel your dog’s ribs without pressing hard. If not, cut back portions by about 1/4 less each meal. Switch to a weight loss formula and up exercise. Losing even a little weight can make a big difference.

Feed Several Small Meals

Rather than one big meal, offer your senior 2-3 smaller meals spaced through the day. This keeps metabolism steady, prevents tummy upset, and ensures they get all the nutrients they need. Measure out daily portions and stick to a regular schedule.

Keeping your senior dog at a healthy weight, feeding a nutritious diet formulated for their needs and age, and providing multiple smaller meals are the keys to helping your faithful companion live out their golden years for as long as possible by your side. With love and care, you can influence their longevity and quality of life.

Keeping Your Dog Active and Engaged

Keeping your dog physically and mentally active is one of the best ways to extend their lifespan. Dogs that exercise regularly and are engaged in play or training tend to live longer, healthier lives.

Provide Daily Exercise

Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day for your dog. Walks, jogs, trips to the dog park, swimming or playing fetch are all great ways to keep your dog active. Not only does exercise provide physical benefits, but it also stimulates your dog mentally and can help alleviate boredom or anxiety.

Engage Your Dog’s Mind

In addition to physical exercise, engage your dog’s mind with interactive dog toys that dispense treats, puzzle toys that make them work for a reward and training sessions. Teaching your dog new commands and tricks is a great way to challenge them mentally and also strengthen the bond between you.

Play With Your Dog

Set aside time each day to simply play with your dog. Play tug-of-war, fetch, hide and seek or other games your dog enjoys. Puzzle toys that make your dog work to get a treat or toy out are also excellent for mental stimulation. Interactive play is important for your dog’s wellbeing and happiness.

Spend Quality Time Together

In the end, one of the most important things you can do for your dog’s longevity and happiness is simply spending quality time together. Giving your dog your time, attention, affection and bonding with them will enrich their life and keep them engaged. Make the time to groom, walk, play with and lavish attention on your faithful companion. The rewards of a long, happy life together will be well worth it.

Keeping your dog physically and mentally stimulated, spending quality time together and engaging them through play, exercise and training are the keys to helping your dog live a long, happy life by your side. Make these activities a priority in your dog’s daily routine and you’ll have a faithful companion for years to come.

Providing Regular Veterinary Care

If you want your dog to live a long and healthy life, providing routine veterinary care is essential. Taking your dog for regular checkups and vaccinations will help catch any health issues early and monitor how they’re ageing.

Annual Exams

It’s a good idea to schedule a yearly checkup for your dog, especially as they get older. At their annual exam, the vet will do a full physical to check that everything looks normal. They’ll check your dog’s vitals, weight, teeth and gums, organ function, mobility, and look for any concerning lumps or growths. Early detection of diseases common in senior dogs like cancer, kidney disease, or arthritis is critical to successful treatment and management.


Your dog should receive core vaccinations like rabies, parvovirus, distemper, and adenovirus every 1-3 years to maintain immunity, depending on their age and risk factors. The vet may also recommend non-core vaccinations depending on where you live and your dog’s lifestyle. Keeping your dog up-to-date on vaccinations will help prevent dangerous and potentially fatal diseases.

Blood Tests

As dogs age, regular blood testing is important to check organ function and look for any abnormalities. A full senior blood panel can help create a baseline for your vet to monitor changes over time. Thyroid testing may also be recommended for some breeds. Catching changes in bloodwork early on can allow treatment to begin before symptoms start showing.

Dental Care

Don’t forget about your dog’s teeth and gums! Their mouth should be checked at every vet visit, and a professional dental cleaning done under anaesthesia once a year. Dental disease is common in dogs and can be quite painful if left untreated. Keeping your dog’s mouth healthy will add years to their life.

Providing the best medical care you can afford for your dog will help keep them as happy and healthy as possible into their senior years and beyond. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so make the most of wellness visits and follow your vet’s recommendations to give your best friend the longest, highest quality life possible.

Creating a Low-Stress Environment

Providing a stress-free environment is one of the kindest things you can do for your dog. Chronic stress can take years off a dog’s life, so making their surroundings as peaceful as possible is key.

Limit loud noises like yelling, slamming doors or playing loud music. While you may enjoy upbeat tunes, the volume and sounds can startle your dog and spike their anxiety. Give them their own quiet space where they can relax undisturbed.

Stick to a predictable routine and schedule for feeding, walks, playtime and bedtime. Dogs are creatures of habit and thrive on consistency. Knowing what to expect each day will help keep them feeling secure.

Give your dog plenty of opportunities for exercise and play. Not only does activity benefit their physical health, but it also provides mental stimulation and an outlet to release pent up energy or anxiety. A tired dog is a happy dog.

Spend quality one-on-one time with your dog each day engaging in training, belly rubs or just hanging out together. Bonding with you and receiving affection is very calming for most dogs.

Limit scolding or punishing your dog. Harsh discipline can frighten and confuse them, damaging your bond of trust. Focus instead on positive reinforcement training using treats, praise and play.

Make sure your dog has their own space for sleeping, eating and retreating that is just for them. Having a safe space they associate as their own sanctuary can do wonders for alleviating stress.

Finally, stay calm and patient yourself. Dogs are highly attuned to their owners emotions and will pick up on even subtle signs of stress or frustration from you. Remain as relaxed and composed as possible, and your dog is sure to follow suit.

Creating an environment of comfort, predictability and safety is the kindest gift you can give to help ensure your dog lives a long and happy life by your side. Focusing on the little details that reduce their anxiety and keep them content will have a profound impact on their wellbeing for years to come.

FAQs: Answering Common Questions About Long-Lived Dog Breeds

How long do long-lived dog breeds typically live? The breeds we’ve highlighted in this article, known as long-lived breeds, usually have average lifespans of 12-16 years or more. Some individuals of these breeds have been known to live well into their late teens or even early 20s.

What factors influence a dog’s lifespan? Several things determine how long a dog will live, including:

  • Breed: Some breeds are genetically predisposed to live longer.
  • Size: Generally, smaller dogs live longer than larger breeds.
  • Exercise: Appropriate exercise keeps dogs at a healthy weight and promotes longevity.
  • Diet: A balanced, high-quality diet gives dogs the nutrients they need to live a long, healthy life.
  • Veterinary care: Regular checkups, vaccinations, dental care, and treatment of any illnesses or conditions help dogs live longer.

Are there any health issues I should watch out for in senior dogs? As dogs age, they become more prone to certain health issues like:

  • Cancer: Early detection of cancer through regular vet checkups gives dogs the best chance of successful treatment.
  • Arthritis: You may need to make adjustments to exercise, provide joint supplements, or get prescription medication to keep an arthritic senior dog comfortable.
  • Dental disease: Brush your dog’s teeth regularly, get professional dental cleanings, and watch for signs like bad breath that could indicate tooth decay or infection.
  • Kidney or liver disease: Blood tests during senior wellness exams can check if organs are functioning properly. Dietary changes or medication may help manage disease.
  • Cognitive decline: Watch for signs of dementia and talk to your vet about ways to keep your senior dog mentally and socially engaged.

While no one can predict exactly how long a dog will live, choosing a breed predisposed to longevity, providing the best lifelong care, and closely monitoring your senior dog’s health can help stack the odds in your favour. With love, patience and the help of your vet, many dogs do live well into their golden years.


So there you have it, the dog breeds with the longest lifespans. While genetics play a big role, providing your furry friend with proper nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation and routine vet visits can help give them a long, happy life. No matter what breed you have, cherish every moment with your canine companion. Their unconditional love and silly antics make our lives so much richer. Now go give your dog a big hug! At the end of the day, we can’t ask for more than quality years together. Stay tuned for more tips on keeping your pup healthy and happy!