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Top 15 dog breeds with the longest lifespans

cockapoo with birthday hat cupcake and confetti © Ruth Black - Shutterstock

As dog lovers, we wish we could keep our dogs with us forever. While of course, that isn’t possible, we can opt for dog breeds with longer lifespans, such as the following!

By Justine Seraphin

Updated on the

In the dog world, there’s a huge variety of lifespans. For example, while a Chihuahua could live up to 20 years, a Bernese Mountain Dog will struggle to make it to 7. 

There are many different reasons why a dog’s lifespan may vary. While it’s mostly dependent on genetics, lifestyle plays a huge role too. A good diet, a reasonable amount of exercise, lots of mental stimulation, regular trips to the vet, and plenty of love will do wonders for your dog’s longevity.

As a general rule though, large dogs tend to live much shorter lives (7-10 years on average) than small or medium-sized dogs (13-16 years on average). Experts think this could be due to their incredibly fast growth spurts which put pressure on their joints and organs - not to mention their size and weight as adults, which have the same detrimental effects. 

In short, if you’re looking for a long-living companion who will stay with you for many years to come, don’t pick a large breed of dog. Instead, go for one of the following:

Chihuahua

The Chihuahua©Viiviien - Shutterstock

Average life expectancy: 12 - 20 years

Chihuahuas are, on average, the longest living dogs in the world. Weighing 3 kilos at their heaviest, Chis are really tiny, but they’ve definitely got big dog personalities. They’re fantastic lap dogs who become very attached to their owners.

Learn more about Chihuahuas

Toy Poodle

The Toy Poodle ©dezy - Shutterstock

Average life expectancy: 14 - 18 years

Poodles in general are healthy, long-living dogs (12 - 15 years on average), but due to their size, Toy Poodles in particular are very long-lived. In their younger years, they’ll need lots of exercise and play as they’re very energetic dogs. They are extremely loving towards their owners.

Learn more about Toy Poodles

Border Collie

The Border Collie ©Aneta Jungerova - Shutterstock

Average life expectancy: 10 - 17 years

The Border Collie is a medium-sized dog which is around 50 cm in height and 15 kilos in weight. Border Collies are considered to be the smartest breed of dog in the world, which means you can train them very easily but also, that they’ll go crazy if you don’t give them a job to do. 

Learn more about Border Collies

Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier©Steve Bruckmann - Shutterstock

Average life expectancy: 13 - 16 years

Yorkies are only slightly bigger than Chihuahuas, with males sometimes reaching 20 cm in height. As typical terriers, Yorkies have a lot of spunk and energy. However, they also make terrific lap dogs thanks to their small size and affectionate natures.

Learn more about Yorkshire Terriers

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell ©Sundays Photography - Shutterstock

Average life expectancy: 13 - 16 years

Like most terriers, Jack Russells are very sturdy, healthy dogs. Extremely smart, you can teach them to do just about anything! Careful though, you might not be able to keep up with them if you’re not active enough. Jacks are little rockets!

Learn more about Jack Russells

Pomeranian

The Pomeranian©Liliya Kulianionak - Shutterstock

Average life expectancy: 12 - 16 years

Tiny in size, Poms are basically like very fluffy Chis. From the Spitz family, these dogs tend to be yappy and have no self-awareness when it comes to their size. Like most lap dogs, they love to be with their owners and are very protective of them.

Learn more about Pomeranians

West Highland White Terrier

The West Highland White Terrier©Dora Zett - Shutterstock

Average life expectancy: 12 - 16 years

Another terrier to add to the list! As terriers, Westies can be stubborn, but they’re also very affectionate dogs. While long-living, their white coats can cause skin problems, so make sure you watch out for those. If you do, you’ll have a loving companion with you for years to come!

Dachshund

The Dachshund©kallevalkama - Shutterstock

Average life expectancy: 12 - 16 years

Twice as long as they are high, sausage dogs may be short-legged but they tend to be long-lived! Their long spines can cause health issues though, so make sure they’re not jumping up on high furniture or running up and down the stairs. 

Learn more about Dachshunds

Cockapoo

The Cockapoo©mountaintreks - Shutterstock

Average life expectancy: 13 - 15 years

While Cockapoos are not an official breed, they are one of the most popular designer dogs. A cross between the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle, Cockapoos are a mix of two healthy and long-living dogs! Plus, due to their larger genetic pool, mixed breeds tend to live longer than purebred dogs. 

Learn more about Cockapoos

Maltese

The Maltese ©Evgeniia Shikhaleeva - Shutterstock

Average life expectancy: 12 - 15 years

Much like the Chihuahua and the Yorkshire Terrier, the Maltese is a very small dog, weighing in at 4 kilos at its heaviest. Maltese are extremely loving and affectionate dogs who love nothing more than spending time with their beloved humans.

Learn more about Maltese

Italian Greyhound

The Italian Greyhound ©NASTIA KHITIAEVA - Shutterstock

Average life expectancy: 12 - 15 years

Sighthound breeds in general tend to be very healthy and long-lived, even the larger ones. But being so small, Iggies tend to live particularly long lives. Just take care of those teeth and keep them nice and warm during the winter months. You’ll struggle to find a more loving and loyal companion.

Learn more about Italian Greyhounds

Beagle

The Beagle ©Alexey Androsov - Shutterstock

Average life expectancy: 12 - 15 years

While Beagles are really only suited to country living due to their high energy and loud, loud voices, they make wonderful family companions! These medium-sized dogs are kind and gentle with everyone, including children, whom they love. 

Learn more about Beagles

Pug

The Pug ©Maryna Vechirka - Shutterstock

Average life expectancy: 12 - 15 years

Of all the brachycephalic dog breeds, the Pug may be the longest-living one. That doesn’t mean they are the healthiest of breeds - their flat faces can cause a variety of health issues, including heart problems, dental issues, skin infections, but most of all, serious trouble breathing, which sometimes has to be rectified with surgery.

Learn more about Pugs

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso ©SubertT - Shutterstock

Average life expectancy: 12 - 14 years

Originally bred to guard monasteries, Lhasa Apsos think they are much bigger dogs than they actually are. They’ve got long luscious coats that will need lots of tending to. They make friendly companions who are very loyal towards those they love. 

Learn more about Lhasa Apsos

Springer Spaniel

The Springer Spaniel©rebeccaashworth - Shutterstock

Average life expectancy: 12 - 14 years

Springers tend to reach around 50 cm in height and 20 kilos in weight. Despite being larger than many of the dogs on this list, Springers are well-built physically and are therefore very healthy dogs. They’re active and require lots of exercise, but they’ll repay you with lots of cuddles and kisses.

Learn more about Springer Spaniels

So what do you think? Which breed will you be adopting?

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