Breeds

Which Dog Breeds Live The Longest?

Written by: Elise Remp

March 30, 2022

If we had any say, our dogs would live forever. We want to make their lives as comfortable, rewarding, and happy as possible! While the lifespan of any dog relies on many factors, some dog breeds give us more joy-filled years than others. Most of these pups are petite in size, although there a couple larger-boned breeds that may surprise you!

What Factors Determine A Dog’s Lifespan?

  • Mixed-breed dogs tend to have longer lives than purebred dogs1.
  • Smaller breeds generally live longer, on average, than larger breeds1.
  • Dogs who are spayed or neutered tend to live longer than those who are not1.
  • Research shows that dogs who received a yearly dental cleaning had a 20% decrease in risk for death1. However, at this time, researchers are not certain whether the dental cleanings themselves directly affect lifespan, or that they’re receiving routine veterinary care in general.

Of course, these are not the only things that come into play when it comes to your pup living a long and healthy life. It’s important to speak with your veterinarian about all the ways you can help them live long into their golden years.

This often includes preventative measures like staying up-to-date on vaccines, providing heartworm, flea, and tick protection year-round, and (of course) giving them a loving home where they’re well taken care of.

Why Do Some Dog Breeds Live Longer Than Others?

Although more and more research is being done in this area to pinpoint what exactly causes certain breeds to outlive others, there is still a lot of debate around the topic. Starting in 2021, researchers at Dog Aging Project took on the initiative to study canine health in hopes of finding a more solid answer to these questions.

Volunteer dog parents in the US can even register to be involved in the project! In time, we may discover other contributing factors, and what we can do to extend their lives.

Dachshund

Average Lifespan: 15 years

The infamous wiener dog flaunts stubby legs, a sprightly personality, and a sweet (if mischievous) face. There’s one other reason to consider this low-rider as a candidate for your next best friend: doxies bring joy (and photo ops) for a long time. They live for around 15 years on average1!

Chihuahua

Average Lifespan: 15 years

These small but mighty dogs are a national symbol of Mexico, and for good reason! Their fearlessness, bossy attitude, and clever minds continue to win hearts (and couch territory) everywhere. With the right care and attention, Chihuahuas can easily live up to 15 years on average1.

Chinese Crested

Average Lifespan: 15–17 years

These hairless or semi-hairless pups are pros at commanding attention from everyone in the room. Those mullets are a party in the front AND the back! Considering Chinese crested dogs typically live for around 15–17 years, you’ll both be the star of the show for many years to come.

Shih Tzu

Average Lifespan: 15 years

This adorable “lion dog,” which originated in ancient China, is another small breed that’s notorious for its longevity. Since their days of strolling through royal palaces, they still remain the ultimate companion dog. In fact, the Shih tzu could be your little lap-warmer for more than 15 years1.

Maltese

Average Lifespan: 14.6 years

Their low risk for genetic diseases makes the Maltese a good choice for those looking for a long-term companion. Their typical lifespan is around 14-15 years old1, though with enough pampering, these silky-coated dogs have been known to live years longer.

Yorkshire Terrier

Average Lifespan: 14.6 years

Yorkies seem to emanate joy and liveliness from their tiny bodies, there’s just something about those cute little faces! It’s not wonder these divas live an average of 14 years or more1.

Lhaso Apso

Average Lifespan: 14 years

We’re beginning to cultivate a working theory that those dog breeds which seem to have more uniquely spelled names are the ones that go straight to the top of the longest-lifespan dog breed list. This includes these ruggedly cute (or preppy cute depending on their hairstyle) Lhaso Apso who lives, on average, up to 14 years or more3.

Jack Russell Terrier

Average Lifespan: 14–15 years

The sparky and energetic Jack Russell Terrier happens to be one breed that is rarely associated with severe health risks—one factor that increases the life expectancy of these little cuties. Jack Russells are happy to live (and run, and jump) alongside you for up to 14–15 years3.

Miniature (Toy) Poodle

Average Lifespan: 14 years

The smallest of all poodles, this pint-sized version of one of America’s most popular dogs is also renowned for its supremely long life. Toy poodles play the role of eager companion for 14 years or more, on average2.

Pomeranian

Average Lifespan: 14–16 years

It’s almost a wonder how these tiny balls of floof pack so much personality into their wee bodies! Pomeranians (often nicknamed poms or pom poms) are not only the life of the party anywhere you go, but they’ll be partying with you, on average, for 14–16 years!

Cocker Spaniel 

Average Lifespan: 13–15 years

We know what you’re thinking, “Hey! Wait a second, this isn’t a small breed!” Nope! Cocker spaniels happen to be one of the medium-sized pups that tend to live out long lives with their humans. This breed is full of lively energy, but can also make great lapdogs. Whether you’re looking for an adventure buddy or a snuggle sidekick, cocker spaniels live on average 13–15 years1.

Welsh Springer Spaniel

Average Lifespan: 13–15 years

Welsh springer spaniels do have a few health concerns associated with the breed that dog parents need to keep an eye on. These include a disposition toward hip dysplasia and eye problems like glaucoma. However, this breed still ranks pretty high on the list—they’re known to bring joy for around 13–15 years.

Beagle

Average Lifespan: 14 years

Beagles are amazing scent hounds, and have a nose for good fun. They are a breed with relatively few severe health issues, which keeps them living long into their golden years. Expect the typical beagle to live an average of 14 years1 or more.

Bearded Collie

Average Lifespan: 12–14 years

Bearded collies have great hair days even when they have bad hair days. Regardless of their chosen ‘do, these natural herding dogs live an average of 12–14 years2. Their glorious locks must hold the secrets to their longevity.

Border Collie

Average Lifespan: 13–14 years

Border collies are an insanely intelligent and energetic breed who are ready to take life at full-speed. These pups live for 13–14 years, on average2. In fact, border collies’ vitality might just extend your life by keeping you on your toes all day!

*Disclaimer: border collies do not actually come with a human-life-extending guarantee. Please don’t ask to speak to our manager. He is really just 3 dogs in a trench coat, anyway.*

Australian Shepherd

Average Lifespan: 12–15 years

Australian shepherds are also at the top of the list for medium-sized dog breeds who spend long lives with their humans. This is most likely because they secretly run on Energizer batteries (any Aussie parent can attest to this fact, we assure you). This breed, on average, lives for up to 12–15 years.

Whippet

Average Lifespan: 12–15 years

Whippets are naturally athletic pups who tend to live into their senior years at 12–15 years old. These agile pups known for their wicked-fast racing skills have relatively low risks for severe health conditions, with the exception of heart arrhythmia. Make sure to give your whippet lots of open space to run and “whip it!” as far as their little feet will take them.

Standard Poodle

Average Lifespan: 12–15 years

The poodle that started all the doodles! Take extra care when searching for reputable breeders for these curly-haired dogs, as inbreeding (and subsequent health problems) is a concern. Otherwise, these extremely intelligent pups are known to live for up to 12–15 years!

American Pit Bull Terrier

Average Lifespan: 12–13 years

You may think that American pit bull terriers emit some type of life-prolonging energy from each *whap whap whap* of those thicc tails, but their long lives are actually more likely due to their diverse breeding background. These energetic pups tend to live an average of 12–13 years alongside caring humans1.

Related Article: America’s Dog to Public Enemy #1—A History on Pit Bulls, And Why They’re Making Such A Comeback

Boxer

Average Lifespan: 11–12 years

Considering boxers‘ larger size (they usually weigh in around 55–75 pounds), this breed tends to live an exceptionally long life. On average, boxers live 11–12 years1, but many have been known to live as long as 15 years old. We think boxers just need more time to spread their goofy, derpy, smile-inducing personalities with everyone who loves them.

Featured Image Credit: @winnieduhwienerdog


Sources

1Urfer, Silvan r, et al. “(PDF) Risk Factors Associated with Lifespan in Pet Dogs .” Researchgate.com, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, Mar. 2019, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331762987_Risk_Factors_Associated_with_Lifespan_in_Pet_Dogs_Evaluated_in_Primary_Care_Veterinary_Hospitals. 

2O’Neill, D.G, et al. “Longevity and Mortality of Owned Dogs in England.” Research Online, https://researchonline.rvc.ac.uk/id/eprint/7826/1/7826.pdf. 

3Beuchat, Carol. “Lifespan In Dogs.” The Institute of Canine Biology, https://www.instituteofcaninebiology.org/lifespan.html. 

Written by: Elise Remp

March 30, 2022

INNOVATIVE DOG STUFF, EVERY MONTH.

A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.

INNOVATIVE DOG STUFF, EVERY MONTH.

A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.