Top 10 Longest Living Dog Breeds

Dogs have been bred for specific purposes for thousands of years, whether for hunting, herding, protection, or companionship. As a result, certain breeds have developed traits and characteristics that make them particularly suited for their intended role. One such characteristic that some breeds have is their longevity, or the ability to live long and healthy lives.

Here we will explore the longest living dog breeds and what makes them unique in terms of their health and lifespan. We will examine their genetics and lifestyle to better understand why some breeds tend to live longer than others. So if you're a dog lover or are simply curious about what makes these breeds stand out, read on to discover the secrets of the longest living dogs.



Chihuahua Dog Breed

Chihuahuas are a small breed of dog that originated in Mexico. They are known for their small size, big ears, and very lively personalities. When it comes to their longevity, Chihuahuas are generally considered to be one of the longest living dog breeds, with an average lifespan of 14 to 16 years. Although, it isn't unusual for them to live far longer, getting as old as even twenty years old.

There are several factors that can affect a Chihuahua's lifespan, including genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health. Chihuahuas are prone to certain health issues, such as dental problems, heart disease, and patellar luxation (a condition where the kneecap slips out of place), so it's important to take good care of your Chihuahua and provide them with regular veterinary care.

Chihuahuas have a fascinating history that dates back to pre-Columbian times in Mexico. It is believed that the breed's ancestors were the Techichi dogs, a small, ancient breed kept by the Toltec civilization in Mexico more than 1,000 years ago. These dogs were highly valued for their companionship and believed to have religious significance.

When the Aztecs conquered the Toltecs in the 12th century, they adopted the Techichi dogs and began to breed them selectively for smaller size and distinctive physical characteristics. The resulting breed became known as the Chihuahua, named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua, where they were first discovered by European explorers in the mid-19th century.

The Chihuahua quickly gained popularity among the wealthy and eventually spread to the United States, where they became popular in the early 20th century. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904 and has since become one of the most popular toy breeds in the world.

Chihuahuas have also gained notoriety in popular culture, with famous Chihuahuas appearing in movies, TV shows, and even as the mascot for Taco Bell. Despite their small size, Chihuahuas have a big personality and a rich history that makes them a beloved breed by many.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu Dog Breed

Shih Tzus are known for their friendly, outgoing, and affectionate personalities. They are loyal to their families and love to be around people. They often bond closely with their owners and thrive on attention and affection. They are also playful and enjoy games, such as fetch or tug-of-war. Shih Tzus are often described as "lap dogs" because they enjoy cuddling and being close to their owners.

Shih Tzus are an ancient breed believed to have originated in Tibet over 1,000 years ago. They were bred as companion dogs for the wealthy and were often given as gifts to Chinese royalty. The breed was brought to Europe in the 1930s and became popular in the United States in the 1960s.

Shih Tzus are known for their outgoing and affectionate personalities. They are generally friendly with people and other dogs, although they can be reserved or shy with strangers. They tend to be good with children, but as with any breed, early socialization is important to ensure they develop good manners and behavior.

Shih Tzus have an average lifespan of 10 to 18 years, with proper care and nutrition. As with any breed, they are prone to certain health issues, including eye problems like Ocular Proptosis, Cataracts, as well as respiratory issues typically caused by their short, flat faces. They also are prone to hip dysplasia and patellar luxation. Despite these health concerns, Shih Tzus are often able to live long, healthy lives. Regular veterinary checkups and a healthy diet are important to help ensure a long and healthy life for your Shih Tzu.


Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed

Yorkshire Terriers have an average lifespan of 11 to 15 years. Yorkshire Terriers are a popular breed for many reasons. They are small but mighty, and their spunky personalities make them great companions for many different types of people. With proper care and attention, they can be loyal and loving pets for many years.

Yorkshire Terriers are known for their fun-loving and energetic personalities. They are loyal and affectionate to their owners and can be quite protective. They can be stubborn at times, but with consistent training, they can be well-behaved and obedient. Yorkies are also known for being great lap dogs and are often happiest when snuggled up with their owners.

The Yorkshire Terrier, also known as the "Yorkie," originated in England in the 19th century. They were bred to hunt rats and other small rodents in textile mills and factories. Over time, they became popular as a companion dog, especially with women.

Like all breeds, Yorkshire Terriers are prone to certain health issues. Some of the most common health concerns in Yorkies include dental problems, patellar luxation (a dislocated kneecap), and tracheal collapse. They can also develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if they do not eat regularly, so it's important to keep their blood sugar levels stable.

Yorkies are also prone to developing liver shunts, which can be a serious health concern. It's important to buy a Yorkie from a reputable breeder and to keep up with regular veterinary checkups to ensure they stay healthy for a long time.


Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise Dog Breed

Bichon Frise, often lovingly called Bichons, have an average life expectancy of between 14 and 15 years. The Bichon Frise is a small breed of dog that is known for its friendly, affectionate nature and its curly, fluffy white coat. Bichon Frises are playful, outgoing dogs that make great family pets. They are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them relatively easy to train. They also tend to get along well with other animals and are generally friendly toward strangers.

The breed originated in the Mediterranean region and was popular with sailors and traders who used them as companions on long voyages. As the breed became more popular, it began to appear in the courts of Europe, where it was often seen as a symbol of luxury and refinement. The breed was particularly popular with the French court, and it was during this time that it became known as the Bichon Frise (which means "curly lap dog" in French).

At the time of the French Revolution, many of these poor pups lost their place among the aristocracy and were forced to survive on the streets. With their good looks and ingenuity, they very quickly began to thrive again.

Bichon Frises typically weigh between 12 and 18 pounds and stand 9.5 to 11.5 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a compact, sturdy build and a round, fluffy head with dark, expressive eyes and a black nose. Their coat is dense and curly and requires regular grooming in order to prevent matting.

Bichon Frises can be prone to certain health issues. Some common health concerns that Bichon Frises may experience include allergies, dental problems, patellar luxation, eye problems like cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy, and hip dysplasia. In order to help prevent these health concerns, it's important to work with a reputable breeder who screens their dogs for these conditions and to have regular checkups with your veterinarian to ensure these sweet pups live long and healthy lives.

Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu Dog Breed

Shiba Inus have an average life expectancy of between 13 and 16 years. The Shiba Inu is a dog breed that is believed to have originated in the mountainous regions of Japan. It is believed that the breed is one of the oldest in Japan, with archaeological evidence suggesting that the ancestors of the breed existed more than 7,000 years ago.

Originally, Shiba Inus were bred for hunting purposes, specifically for hunting small game, such as birds and rabbits, in the mountainous regions of Japan. They were highly valued for their tenacity, agility, and hunting skills.

They are a small to medium-sized breed, with males typically weighing between 18 to 25 pounds and females weighing between 15 to 20 pounds. They stand about 13 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder. Shiba Inus have a distinctive appearance with a plush, thick fur coat that comes in a variety of colors, including red, black and tan, sesame, and cream. They have pointed ears, a curled tail, and a fox-like face that gives them a cute and endearing look.

This breed is known for its strong and independent personality. They are loyal and affectionate to their owners but can be aloof and reserved towards strangers. They are also intelligent, curious, and independent, which can make them challenging to train.

Shiba Inus require moderate exercise and need plenty of mental stimulation to keep them entertained. They are prone to certain health conditions, such as allergies, hip dysplasia, and eye problems. But with proper care, they can live long, healthy lives.


Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier Dog Breed

Jack Russell Terriers are a breed of small, energetic dogs that were originally bred for hunting foxes in the 19th century. Jack Russell Terriers, also known as Parson Russell Terriers, were originally bred in England in the mid-19th century by a clergyman named Reverend John Russell. He wanted to create a breed of small, fast, and fearless dogs that were well-suited for hunting foxes.

Russell carefully selected dogs that exhibited the traits he was looking for, including courage, intelligence, and a high energy level. Over time, he developed a breed that became known as the Jack Russell Terrier. They are known for their high energy levels, intelligence, and loyalty to their owners.

The average lifespan of a Jack Russell Terrier is around 12-14 years. However, like all dogs, there are a number of factors that can impact their lifespan, such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health care. In addition to these factors, it's also important to be aware of any breed-specific health concerns that may impact the longevity of your Jack Russell Terrier.


Though generally healthy, some common health issues that Jack Russells may be prone to include deafness, cataracts, patellar luxation, Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease, as well as epilepsy, and skin allergies. Deafness can either be present from birth or develop later in life. Patellar luxation is a condition that can cause discomfort and limping. Similarly, Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease which is a disease that causes the hip joint to break down, can cause a significant amount of pain in the hip joint and result in dogs developing a limp. To help prevent or manage these health issues, it's important to provide your Jack Russell Terrier with regular veterinary checkups, a healthy diet, and plenty of exercise. With proper care, Jack Russell Terriers can easily be one of the longest living dog breeds.


Samoyed Dog Breed

The Samoyed is a breed of dog that originated in the Arctic region of Siberia. They were originally bred by the Samoyedic people, who used them for herding reindeer, pulling sleds, and guarding their homes. Samoyeds are known for their thick, fluffy, white coat, which helps to keep them warm in cold weather.

They have a friendly and outgoing personality and are generally good with children and other animals. They are also very intelligent and trainable, although they can be stubborn at times. Samoyeds are known for their friendly, affectionate, and loyal personalities. They are often described as being playful and outgoing. They tend to be very social dogs and enjoy spending time with their families.

Samoyeds are also intelligent and independent, which can sometimes make them stubborn or difficult to train. However, with patience and consistent training, they can learn a variety of commands and tricks.

Like all breeds of dogs, Samoyeds may be prone to certain health conditions. These can include hip dysplasia, a common orthopedic condition that can lead to pain and lameness. Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is another common condition that affects Samoyeds, causing gradual vision loss and eventual blindness. Hypothyroidism, diabetes, and Von Willebrand's Disease are other health concerns that can affect the breed. Despite some of the health concerns they may face, Samoyeds are actually quite a healthy breed of dog, especially considering their larger size, and can live for as long as 12 to 14 years.


Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois Dog Breed

Belgian Malinois is a breed of dog that originated in Belgium, specifically in the city of Malines. They are medium-sized dogs that typically weigh between 40 and 80 pounds and stand around 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder. They are known for their athleticism, intelligence, and loyalty. The average life expectancy for Belgian Malinois is around 12-14 years.


However, as with all breeds, this can vary depending on various factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall healthcare. Proper care and attention can help ensure a long and healthy life for your Belgian Malinois.


Belgian Malinois were originally bred for herding and guarding livestock, but they have also been used as police and military dogs due to their keen sense of smell and ability to work long hours. They are highly trainable and excel in obedience, agility, tracking, and protection work.

Belgian Malinois are generally a healthy breed, but they can be prone to several health conditions. Some of the common health concerns that affect Belgian Malinois include hip dysplasia, a genetic condition that can result in pain and difficulty walking, and elbow dysplasia, which can also result in similar difficulties. They also can experience progressive retinal atrophy, a condition of the eyes that can lead to blindness.

Other conditions include epilepsy, allergies, and bloat. Bloat is a severe and potentially life-threatening condition, sometimes also referred to as Gastric dilatation volvulus, that occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself, cutting off blood flow.

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd Dog Breed

Surprisingly, the Australian Shepherd is a herding breed that originated in the Western United States, not in Australia, as its name may suggest. These dogs are highly intelligent, active, and versatile, making them excellent working dogs and companions.


Australian Shepherds are medium-sized dogs, typically weighing between 40 to 65 pounds, with a height of 18 to 23 inches at the shoulder. They have a thick double coat, which can be black, blue merle, red, and red merle, with white and tan markings. As a herding breed, Australian Shepherds are known for their high energy levels and drive to work. They are intelligent and trainable, making them excellent obedience, agility, and search and rescue dogs. They are also loyal and affectionate with their owners, making them great family pets.

Australian Shepherds are a relatively healthy breed and can live anywhere from 12 to 15 years on average. However, Australian Shepherds can still be prone to several health conditions, as is the case with all breeds. Some of the most common health concerns in Australian Shepherds include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), epilepsy, collie eye anomaly (CEA), cancer, and allergies.

CEA is a genetic disorder that can cause developmental abnormalities in the eye, leading to vision problems. Australian Shepherds may also be prone to certain types of cancer, such as hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma. It's important to note that not all Australian Shepherds will develop these health conditions, and proper care and management can help prevent or manage many of these health issues.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog Breed

On average, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels live for around 12 to 15 years. However, with proper care, some Cavaliers can live into their late teens. To help ensure a long and healthy life for your Cavalier, it's important to provide them with a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and regular veterinary checkups.

It's also important to be aware of the breed's susceptibility to certain health issues, such as mitral valve heart disease, one of the most common heart diseases in dogs, and syringomyelia, a neurological disorder within the spinal cord, and to seek veterinary care promptly if any health concerns arise.

These dogs are known for being affectionate and loving companions. They are highly social and enjoy spending time with their owners and other dogs. Cavaliers are also intelligent and trainable, which makes them great candidates for obedience training and other activities like agility and therapy work.

Cavaliers typically weigh between 13 and 18 pounds and stand about 12 to 13 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a distinctive, silky coat that can be black and tan, ruby, chestnut and white, or tricolor (black, white, and tan). They have long, floppy ears and big, expressive eyes that give them a sweet and gentle appearance.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small breed of dog that originated in the United Kingdom. They are named after King Charles II, who was a famous admirer of the breed. In fact, some said that he was more interested in his dogs than in ruling over Great Britain! Cavaliers are known for their affectionate and friendly nature, which makes them popular as family pets all over the world.


In conclusion, the world's longest living dog breeds have proven to be a source of joy and companionship for their owners for many years. These breeds have defied the odds and demonstrated exceptional health and longevity, making them an excellent choice for those looking for a long-term companion.

However, it's important to remember that each dog is unique and may have different health needs, regardless of their breed. Proper care, regular vet checkups, and a healthy lifestyle are key to ensuring a long and happy life for any dog breed.

Top 10 Longest Living Dog Breeds