What Dog Breeds Live the Longest?

Ready to jump into a world filled with dogs who live super long lives? There are some dog breeds that stay by our side for many extra years.

Dec 6, 2023byDiane Ketchen
what dog breeds live the longest

Meet a doggy superstar named Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, who is still happily wagging his tail at the grand age of 31! Bobi’s amazing age got him a spot in the Guinness World Records. Inspired by Bobi, we’re now setting off to explore other dog breeds known for living a long time.

In the sections ahead, we’ll meet different breeds, learn where they come from, and discover why they live so long. So, if you’re dreaming of having a long-lived furry buddy, you’re in the right place!


chihuahua on the beach
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Chihuahuas are tiny dogs with big hearts. They come from Mexico and are known for their alert and lively nature. Even though they are the smallest dog breed in the world, they have a long life, usually living between 14 to 16 years.

These little dogs are full of energy and love being around their families, but they might act a bit shy around strangers. They are also known to be quite brave and will not hesitate to stand up to bigger dogs if they feel threatened. Chihuahuas are generally healthy dogs, avoiding some of the common illnesses dogs get. That’s one of the reasons why they live a long time. However, they can have some health problems like heart disease and knee issues.

Their long life makes them a wonderful companion for many years, sharing many happy moments with their owners. If you’re looking for a small, feisty dog that will be by your side for a good long while, a Chihuahua might be the right choice for you!

Shih Tzus

black and white shih tzu
Image credit: Britannica

Shih Tzus are friendly and gentle dogs originally from China and Tibet. They have a pretty long life, usually living between 10 to 18 years. These dogs are known for their beautiful, flowing coats and sweet, affectionate nature. They love playing with their families and enjoy being lap dogs when playtime is over. Though small, they have a big personality and can light up a room with their cheerful attitude.

They are also known to get along well with other pets and children, making them an excellent choice for families. Shih Tzus are generally healthy, but being brachycephalic, their flat faces can cause breathing problems,especially in hot or humid weather. They might require regular grooming to keep their luxurious coats in good condition

Regular vet check-ups can help keep them healthy for many years. Their long life and loving temperament make them a great choice for those looking for a companion that will stick around for a long time.

Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)

Image credit: Britannica

Yorkshire terriers, fondly known as yorkies, are small-sized dogs with big personalities. Originating from England, they were initially bred for catching rats in mills. They have a lifespan of about 16 to 20 years, which is quite long for a dog. Yorkies are known for their beautiful, silky coats and their lively, intelligent nature.

They are very affectionate towards their families and can be quite adventurous, despite their small size. They have a tendency to bark at strangers, making them good little watchdogs. Although they are small, they carry themselves with an air of importance. Their long lifespan and endearing qualities make them a beloved companion for many.

They do require regular grooming to keep their hair in good shape. With the right care, yorkies can provide many years of companionship, filling their owners’ lives with joy and love.


dachshund dog breed
Image credit: Newsweek

Dachshunds are small but fearless dogs that come from Germany, where they were bred to hunt badgers. Their name even reflects their purpose; “Dach” means badger, and “hund” means dog in German. These loyal companions have an average lifespan of around 12 to 16 years, though some can live longer with proper care. Dachshunds are known for their long backs and short legs, which give them a unique appearance.

However, their long backs can lead to disk problems, so they require regular vet checkups to stay healthy. They are good with children, making them great family pets. Despite their size, dachshunds are known to be brave and can be quite protective, making good little watchdogs.

Their long lifespan, loyalty, and distinctive look make them a favorite among dog lovers. With the right care, including a balanced diet and enough exercise, these little hunters can provide many years of companionship.

Toy Poodles

toy poodle on grass
Image credit: WagWalking

Toy poodles are one of the smartest and most trainable breeds, making them popular pets. They originate from Germany and France, where they were used for hunting and retrieving waterfowl. These small dogs have a lifespan of about 14 to 20 years, given proper care. Toy poodles are known for their intelligence, energy, and playful nature. They enjoy being active and love to play games, go for walks, or even try breed-specific dog sports.

They have a curly, hypoallergenic coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting. Toy Poodles are friendly and get along well with children and other pets, making them great family dogs. They thrive on human companionship and can become very attached to their families.

Their long lifespan, combined with their lively and loving nature, makes them a beloved companion for many years. Their small size and easy-to-train nature also make them a good choice for first-time dog owners. What’s more, older toy poodles can learn new tricks, and senior dogs are trainable.

Other Notable Long-Lived Breeds

male manchester terrier intact
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

There are a few other breeds that are known for their long lifespans. Here are three more breeds that also enjoy a long life:

  • Lhasa Apso: These long-haired, bold dogs are sometimes stubborn but are easy to train overall. They are great for alerting when intruders are present due to their loyal nature. With a good diet, Lhasa Apsos can live between 14 to 20 years.
  • Papillion: Originating from 17th century France, papillions are friendly, affectionate, and love attention. They do have some health issues like dental problems and low blood sugar, but with a high-quality diet and regular vet visits, they can live anywhere between 15 to 17 years.
  • Toy Manchester terrier: These lively, agile, and loyal dogs were once bred to hunt rabbits and kill rats. They are very smart and easy to train but need to stay active to avoid obesity. With a good quality diet and sufficient exercise toy Manchester terriers could live anywhere between 14 and 16 years.

Each of these breeds brings a unique set of characteristics and long-lasting companionship, making them worthy of consideration for those looking to welcome a long-lived dog into their homes.

Which Dog Is Right for You?

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Exploring the world of long-living dog breeds has been a journey full of furry faces and wagging tails. From the lively Chihuahua to the intelligent toy poodle, each breed brings a unique set of traits to the table, all bound by the common thread of longevity. Their extended lifespan offers an opportunity for enduring companionship, making every moment spent together truly precious.

As we’ve seen, with proper care, regular vet check-ups, and a loving home, these breeds can thrive and share many happy years with their families. Whether you’re drawn to the adventurous spirit of the dachshund or the gentle nature of the Shih Tzu, choosing a long-lived breed promises a long-lasting bond full of love, laughter, and countless cuddles.

The joy and companionship that dogs bring into our lives are incomparable, and having a long-lived breed only extends this joyous journey, making the bond between you and your furry friend a long, loving, and memorable one.

Diane Ketchen
byDiane Ketchen

Diana is a freelance writer and an avid dog lover. She and her husband live with six dogs! The one pictured is Hachi, a Chinese Crested Powder Puff. The other dogs are Cooper (Beagle-Golden Retriever Mix), Itzy (Shih Tzu), Koada (Shih Tzu-Yorkie-Poodle Mix), Moki (Chihuahua-Poodle Mix), and JuJu (Bichon Frise).