Top 10 Dog Breeds that Live the Longest

When I was a kid, any pooch that made it to 10 years of age was considered to have lived a good, long life. But back then, health care for our pets consisted of nothing more than their annual rabies vaccines and we fed them food from a can that looked rather suspect… and smelled even worse.

Fast forward a few decades and we sure have learned how to take better care of ourselves and those we love – including the fur-kids. Yes, many of our fuzzy friends now enjoy a healthy, happy life well into their teen years. In fact, according to Guinness World Records, some of the oldest living dogs (all ages verified) include an almost 28-year old Pug who passed away in 2018, a 28-year old Beagle who crossed over in 2003, and a Shiba Inu mix who came really close to celebrating his 27th birthday recently. A number of other dogs have well surpassed the 20-year mark including Border Collies, Schnoodles, a number of Dachshunds and even some run-of-the-mill mutts.

So, what did they all have in common? While research suggests it’s down to the dog’s breed/genetics, diet and size there are other factors that can help keep your little guy looking great and feeling like a pup well into old age. Those include sufficient exercise, mental stimulation and of course, proper pro-active health care.

Of course, there are certain breeds of dog that can be pre-disposed to simply living a longer, healthier life than others. And while we all know that small dogs can age well into their late teens, I bet you didn’t realize that some medium-sized dogs can also remain a longer-term member of your family.

So, let’s take a look at 10 of the longest living breeds and just for the fun of it, let’s include not only the pint-sized variety, but some of the bigger boys too.

Beagle

Surprised? Don’t be. This gentle, sweet-natured boy with the big, woeful eyes is one of the easiest-going family dogs you’ll ever find. While he is known for being rather vocal (of the baying nature), this sturdy little guy is truly loyal to his human pack and loves nothing better than to hang out with his family… and loudly announce to all, each time a stranger nears. So, it may well be his chill, stress-free demeanor that helps him age gracefully. What we do know is that the potential health issues you may encounter with your beagle include epilepsy, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia and glaucoma. That said, in spite of these ailments you can typically expect this 20 to 25-pound fur-kid to live in the 12 to 15-year range. And with great genes and lots of loving care, he could live as long as the 28-year old beagle recognized by Guinness World Records. (photo credit: Grisha Bruer/Shutterstock)


Chihuahua

A feisty little dog with the great big attitude that holds nothing back when it comes to sharing his opinion. Which may be why this 5 to 7-pound mini mutt is known to have a super long lifespan of between 17 and 20 years. It seems he doesn’t supress his nasty, just yaps it all out. Now he is incredibly loyal and loving to his chosen pet parent, but because he doesn’t always make nice with strangers, children or those not part of his immediate family, monitoring may be required around new faces. With any small dog, their size factors big when it comes to lifespan and injuries from falls or mishandling can be lethal. And because of his tiny frame structure, health-related issues that stem from obesity can be equally deadly. If you want your little guy to surpass the oldest Chihuahua on record (22 years), take a pro-active approach to his diet, health as well as activity and always ensure proper handling. (photo credit: Monica Garza 73/Shutterstock)


Shih Tzu

Also known as the lion dog, this little guy with the lofty name and the loving personality was a treasured pet of Chinese nobility during the Ming Dynasty. Today, this confident, fun-loving pooch that weighs in at a mere 9 to 16-pounds, is a great addition to any family. His easy-going nature means he gets along with everyone – from strangers to other dogs and even smaller animals such as cats. And while your little guy may not make it to the ripe old age of 23 (oldest Shih Tzu on record), he won’t be far off because the typical lifespan of this breed is a whopping 12 to 18 years. Although he is a relatively healthy dog, the Shih Tzu’s large eyes and shallow eye sockets can make them prone to serious eye infections and his flatter face can cause respiratory issues so if you want to keep him around for a good, long time, take it easy on the walks during warmer weather. (photo credit: Larissa Chilanti/Shutterstock)


Lhasa Apso

If you’re looking for a great watchdog, look no further. This mighty mini is super alert and ready to turn a mere 15-ish pounds of pooch into a stranger’s biggest nightmare. Seriously, this fun-loving and typically friendly little native of Tibet is highly affectionate and exceptionally loyal to his family – which is likely why he feels such an inherent need to protect them. And you’ll feel safe from danger for many years to come as this furry little sidekick has a life expectancy of between 15 and 18 years – with some even making it past 20. Yes, he can live well beyond the teenage years and may even take on the current record for longest living Lhasa Apso – 29 years! But to keep this strong-willed little guy happy, healthy and comfortable as he ages you need to stay on top of potential health issues including joint problems and progressive retinal atrophy. (photo credit: Lianne McKnight/Shutterstock)


Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Did you know that this dignified though vertically challenged pooch was actually bred to be low to the ground so he could nip at the heels of cattle? No wonder they’ve been around for so long… they’ve developed quick reflexes and learned pretty quickly how to take care of themselves. But these solid little dogs that can weigh between 25 and almost 40 pounds need a little help from their pet parents in order to live a long, happy and healthy life. You see this pooch is a big fan of food and rather prone to packing on the pounds. Throw in a low-slung back and you can understand why his health concerns include joint and back issues. In spite of his stockier build, this medium-sized dog has a lifespan of between 13 and 15 years and if he strives to compete with Queen Elizabeth’s fave Corgi named Kelpie, the magic number is 17. (photo credit: Ilya Barmin/Shutterstock)


Schipperke

This perky little pup with the jet-black coat and fox-like face dates back to medieval Belgium and is not surprisingly known as the Little Black Devil or Little Captain. The latter because of his early work aboard ships where he swiftly dealt with rats and other vermin. He’s not big – weighing between 10 and 16 pounds, but a full ruff around his neck makes him look rather imposing and a piercing bark (that he employs often) give him excellent watchdog capabilities. Naturally this energetic boy has a high prey drive towards animals he doesn’t know but he’s great with kids and a super addition to any family. Pet parents need to keep him busy and stay on top of health issues that could include Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, thyroid issues and luxating patellas. Although this pooch typically lives a good long life of between 15 and 17 years, the oldest on record reached 28, so plan your retirement years accordingly. (photo credit: Vasylenko Ivan)


Dachshund

This curious and charming pooch is a true working dog and the only breed registered as an above-ground and below-ground hunter. Highly agile, this little dog considers himself an integral part of the family and as such, wants to be involved in all activities. He’s playful, loyal and loving to family but cautious around strangers and if the mood strikes him, downright scrappy with other dogs. Weighing between 15 and 30 pounds (under 11 pounds if he’s a mini- wiener), these vertically challenged pups can run into serious joint and back problems if they’re allowed to become obese so choose the right foods for his size and activity level and take it easy on the treats. Now, when it comes to lifespan, you can expect your Doxie to be a part of your life for between 12 and 16 years. And if he’s lucky, loved and well looked after, he might even make it to the record-holding age of 21 years. (photo credit: NORRIE3699/Shutterstock)


Jack Russell Terrier

If a ball of energy had fur, four legs and an affectionate personality it would be a Jack Russell. This high voltage terrier is known for being great with kids, other animals and new faces so is a super addition to any family – though his instinct to chase may meet with disapproval from the family cat. Because of his alert nature and love of barking, he makes a great non-aggressive watchdog. He also brings loads of personality to a smallish 13 to 15 pound frame so needs pet parents that have the time and energy to keep him exercised and mentally challenged. And as it relates to health, be aware that this breed can be prone to joint issues and deafness – often associated with dogs that have white coats . That said, you’ll likely have your busy boy with you for between 13 and 16 years. Note, however that the oldest Jack Russell on record is 25. (photo credit: dezy/Shutterstock)


Toy Poodle

Adored for his super-cute looks and non-shedding properties, this under 10-pound mini-mutt is the total package. Smart, portable, fun-loving and affectionate, he’s a great fit for families with kids of any age and even those with other pets. While standard-sized Poodles are known to live longer than a lot of the larger breeds (typically around 12 to 13 years) you can add a few extra years for the Miniature and Toy varieties. Yes, these little guys can be expected to remain an active part of your family for between 14 and 16 years or even longer as the oldest on record made it to the ripe old age of 24. But living long and living comfortably can be two different things and to ensure your pup remains happy and pain-free into old age, stay on top of medical issues that can include Cushing’s Disease, cataracts and bladder stones. (photo credit: Lim Tiaw Leong/Shutterstock)


Pomeranian

This strong-willed little dog with the inquisitive nature and feisty personality is part of the Spitz family – hence his spry, fox-like appearance. For those who want a super alert pooch with watchdog capabilities (meaning he barks at any sound), this is the one for you. He’s loyal, loving and playful with his pet parent but not always ideal for families with young children as he can be snappish when irked. This confident little dog typically weighs between 3 and 7 pounds and while he experiences few health issues, he can be prone to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), obesity (and the joint problems that can bring) as well as dental issues due to overcrowding of teeth. In spite of these challenges, this pup will rule your family for between 12 and 16 years with some known to have reached the 20-year mark. With lots of love and proper care, your foxy little pup should be able to aspire to the longest living Pomeranian title – which currently stands at 29 years and 5 months. (photo credit: TatyanaPanova/Shutterstock)


Comments