18 Dog Breeds That Live the Longest

Written By Jill Taylor

Life span is an important factor for dog owners when choosing their furry companion. Knowing which dog breeds are likely to live for a long time can help make this decision, so here are 18 dog breeds that are known for having long lives.


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Good things come in small packages. A chihuahua’s average lifespan is about 14-16 years, but some even live past 20! If you’re considering getting a chihuahua, it’s important to be aware that they’re prone to heart problems and dental issues, so regular vet check-ups and good dental care are crucial.

Jack Russell Terrier

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The energetic Jack Russell terrier usually lives for 13-16 years. But be prepared to have your hands full, as this breed needs a lot of exercise. According to the American Kennel Club, “the majority of Russell terriers are happy, healthy little dogs,” but they can sometimes suffer from eye disorders and joint issues.

Toy Poodle

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Another small dog with a long lifespan is a toy poodle, which typically lives for 14-18 years. This adorable ball of fur is quite high-maintenance, needing regular grooming and lots of mental engagement. It’s also worth noting that they’re vulnerable to genetic disorders like dysplasia and cataracts.


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With a lifespan of 12-16 years, dachshunds are a great option for a long-term companion. However, due to their signature sausage shape (that’s quite the tongue twister), these dogs are at risk of spinal issues. While it’s important they stay active, they should avoid too much jumping or stair climbing.

Lhasa Apso

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The playful Lhasa apso usually lives for about 12-15 years. They’re brilliantly independent, devoted, and cute as a button! It’s common for this breed to have problems with their kidneys and with their eyes, so they need regular health screenings.

Shih Tzu

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With a life expectancy of 10-18 years, “the Shih Tzu is one of the most popular toy breeds,” the Pet Health Network says. They’re known to develop breathing problems and eye diseases, but who can resist their little floppy ears? Just make sure you regularly groom their faces to avoid eye irritation.


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Despite being so small in size, Pomeranians have big personalities! These feisty dogs live for between 12 and 16 years. If you choose this breed, keep in mind that they’re susceptible to dental issues, so it’s important for them to have good dental hygiene and regular physical activity.

Australian Cattle Dog

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If you want a medium-sized dog, the Australian cattle dog usually lives about 12-16 years. These dogs require a job or activity to keep them happy and healthy, but if you’re an energetic person, this breed might be perfect for you! Keep in mind that they can suffer from hip dysplasia and deafness.


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Beagles typically live for 12-15 years and are small to medium in size for a dog. If you’ve never had a dog before and are looking for a long-term furry friend, PDSA points out that this breed is ideal for first-time owners. However, it’s easy for them to become obese and get ear infections, so regular exercise and ear care are crucial.

Miniature Schnauzer

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With a life expectancy of 12-15 years, the miniature schnauzer is an ideal family dog, as they behave well with children and other pets. It’s important that mini schnauzers have a balanced diet because they are vulnerable to urinary stones and pancreatitis.


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The pint-sized Maltese live around 12-15 years, making them another great option for a long-term companion. They’re also great family dogs. However, they do need regular eye cleaning and dental care, as it’s common for them to have problems in these areas.

Yorkshire Terrier

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Also known as a Yorkie (yes, like the chocolate bar), the Yorkshire terrier is another very small dog, which often lives for 13-16 years. Prone to dental issues and tracheal collapse, it’s important to handle these dogs carefully and take them for regular dental check-ups.

Shetland Sheepdog

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Typically having a lifespan of 12-14 years, the Shetland sheepdog is an intelligent animal that is known to be easy to train. If you’re considering this breed, it’s worth noting that they need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, and have a risk of genetic conditions like dysplasia and eye diseases.

Cocker Spaniel

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Another medium-sized breed with a long life expectancy is the cocker spaniel, often living 12-15 years. You’re guaranteed to love their sweet temperament and big, floppy ears! However, they’re prone to ear infections and heart disease, so it’s important to regularly clean their ears and monitor their heart health.


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The pug has a lifespan of 13-15 years, and these little treasures are extremely playful and affectionate. According to the BBC, “in recent years, pugs have increased in popularity.” However, they often have issues with breathing and suffer from joint problems, so it’s key to keep them cool and avoid too much hard exercise.

Bichon Frise

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The Bichon Frise is one of the most cheerful dogs around. Often living for 12-15 years, this dog is guaranteed to be cheering you up for a long time! The Bichon Frise is vulnerable to allergies and dental issues though, so make sure they are groomed often and have regular dental care.

Border Collie

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With a life expectancy of 12-15 years, the border collie is another great family dog. Descending from sheepdogs, this breed is obedient, eager to please, and requires vigorous exercise and mental challenges. However, it’s worth noting that they can suffer from epilepsy and hip dysplasia.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Cavalier King Charles spaniels usually live for 9-14 years and are kind and gentle dogs. They need gentle exercise and regular health checks, as they can develop heart conditions and eye issues. They are happiest when they have constant company, as they get upset when they’re alone. Who else can relate?

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