Your Bestie for Years: Dog Breeds With the Longest Lifespans

By Rachel RossLast Updated Dec 14, 2020 3:47:24 PM ET
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We all wish our canine best friends could live forever. Keeping your pup healthy is an excellent way to set it up for many happy years, but the most important factor is the dog's breed. There are plenty of great breeds with longer lifespans than the average dog.

With that being said, here are 30 special dog breeds with the longest life expectancies. If you're looking for one of these dogs to adopt, get ready for many beautiful years of friendship.

35. Labrador Retriever: 10-12 Years

The outgoing Labrador retriever makes a great family pet. In fact, the lovable lab is one of the world’s most popular dog breeds. It’s common for this larger-sized breed to reach 12 years old, so prepare for many years of affection and playtime.

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Labrador retrievers keep their owners busy with all their energy. However, these dogs can experience health issues later in life, such as hip problems and back pain. The breed is prone to weight gain as well, so keep your dog in tip-top shape.  

34. Shetland Sheepdog: 12-14 years

Don't let the size of these small dogs fool you; Shetland sheepdogs actually play several important roles in society. As the name implies, Shetland sheepdogs have been raised to herd livestock for more than a century. These adorable farm dogs come from the Shetland Islands of Scotland.

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Photo Courtesy: Alicepearsons/Wikimedia Commons

Shelties are also great therapy dogs, especially for those suffering from severe illnesses or natural disaster trauma. Their comforting and non-aggressive spirit makes them popular among families with children. With a lifespan between 12 to 14 years, Shelties are here to stay for a long time.

33. Portuguese Podengo: 12-14 Years

This dog breed has a couple of names: Podengo Portugues and Portuguese Warren Hounds. As the name implies, these dogs were first raised in Portugal as hunters. Podengos are super adorable. Even better? They're generally healthy, which gives them an advantage in life expectancy.

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Portuguese Podengos live up to 14 years, making them great long-term companions. They're energetic, intelligent, courageous and alert. They sound like an excellent guard dog too. However, Podengos can become independent and stubborn. Proper training can make this breed easier to get along with.

32. Schipperke: 12-14 Years

What's more curious than a cat? Probably a Schipperke. This breed goes way back to the 16th century in Belgium. Many residents of Belgium call them mini versions of shepherds. Don't let these tiny dogs fool you; Schipperkes were destined to be watchdogs and ferocious rat-catching machines.

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Their jaws, necks and forequarters are strong. In the dog world, their life expectancy is strong too. These babies live for 14 years on average. Even though Schipperkes were bred to be working dogs, they still know how to have fun. Schipperkes are also smart and energetic.

31. Beagle: 12-15 Years

If you love entertainment, take a look at beagles. They’re naturally adventurous and highly intelligent. Is that hard to believe? Well, take a look at "the world's most famous beagle" — Snoopy from Charles M. Schulz's comic strip. The playful and smart dog portrays beagles very well.

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The average beagle lives between 12 and 15 years. Widely known for their great sense of smell, these hunting dogs love to feast, which commonly causes weight gain. Exercising will keep the extra pounds off and keep your dog in tip-top shape. One beagle, named Butch, lived to be 27 years old.

30. Siberian Husky: 12-15 Years

Wolf or dog? Many people confuse Siberian huskies with wolves due to a few visual similarities. However, all domestic dogs are genetically related to wolves. Don't worry; Siberian huskies are far from intimidating. As a matter of fact, they're goofballs.

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According to the ASPCA, the breed interacts with children well. These huskies are also very active. As a result, they need to exercise frequently. It's normal for huskies to mysteriously get out of the fence too. Many owners call them "escape artists."

29. Miniature Schnauzer: 12-15 Years

This tiny breed definitely has time on its side, with an impressive life expectancy between 12 and 14 years. As the name suggests, Miniature Schnauzers generally reach a height of 14 inches tall. Common traits among these dogs include being playful and well-mannered.

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Mini Schnauzers are popular for households with children, but there are a couple of minor bumps in the road. For instance, these Schnauzers aren't quiet. In fact, they enjoy being the center of attention and barking. These dogs are also vulnerable to high fat levels in their blood, which causes pancreatitis.

28. Lhasa Apso: 12-15 Years

Originating from Tibet, Lhasa Apsos once protected Buddhist temples. These small, mop-like dogs are still excellent watchdogs. If you don't like strangers coming to your house, then you have something in common with Lhasa Apsos. They are naturally suspicious of unknown people.

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Lhasa Apsos aren't afraid to be vocal and affectionate. Plus, cuddle time is their favorite time, so get ready for 15 years of snuggling with these little companions. However, there are occasional exceptions. One super Lhasa Apso lived a whopping 29 years.

27. Corgi: 12-15 Years

Corgis weren't always popular. They became internet sensations in 2015, and people can't stop talking about them now. Also, Queen Elizabeth II is a big fan of the dog breed. In fact, she's owned more than 30 corgis as pets during her reign.

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How could you resist corgis? These internet stars are stubby, cute, loyal and smart. With that being said, training corgis is a piece of cake. They can learn to become impressive guard dogs. It's also not unusual to see corgis follow their owners around.

26. Maltese: 12-15 Years

Maltese dogs have been adaptable companions for almost 28 centuries. According to Country Life in America, evidence shows that ancient Egyptians worshipped these fancy little pups. References to the playful Maltese also appear in ancient Greek and Roman literature.

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One of the breed's most unique features is its long, silky, white hair. When we say "long," we mean hair that will touch the floor. Maltese have long hair, but there's no need to clean up after them because they don't shed. They're also sweet, easygoing, intelligent and very energetic.

25. Bergamasco Sheepdogs: 13-15 Years

Meet the Bergamasco sheepdog. They’re mostly known for rocking dreadlocks, but sometimes, their luscious coats are just shaggy. Regardless of their hair style, these dogs are low-maintenance and very healthy. They’re also known for their strength, which might come from their herding background. 

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Today, Bergamasco sheepdogs are still incredible watch dogs, but they’re also terrific companion dogs. When it comes to strangers, these dogs can be overprotective, but that can be overcome with proper introduction. This smart, patient and devoted breed has an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years. 

24. Pug: 13-15 Years

A pug's signature look includes a wrinkly body, enormous head, curled tail, flat face and huge eyes. These wrinkly sidekicks are known for their health problems, but pugs still have a long life expectancy of 15 years. 

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Pugs are adored worldwide, and they like to be loved in return, too. The dog's popularity may seem new, but they’ve actually been crowd-pleasers for a long time. In ancient China, pugs were originally companions for emperors. Soldiers guarded the dogs while the pets lived in luxury. 

23. Australian Shepherd: 13-15 Years

The Australian Shepherd, also known as the Aussie, has no origins in Australia. What? Aussies were actually bred in the western United States. Their popularity boomed after World War II. It's easy to see why they're a favorite among dog owners.

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Aussies are smarty pants. Their super intelligence means they’re easy to train. Some owners can teach them tricks in just one day. They're also highly energetic. Compared to other breeds on this list, Aussies can grow quite large. If you adopt one, expect your pal to be around for 13 to 15 years.

22. Italian Greyhound: 14-15 years

In the Middle Ages, Italian greyhounds (IGs) were popular among royals, including Frederick the Great, Catherine the Great, Anne of Denmark and Queen Victoria. These elegant dogs also appeared in many famous Renaissance paintings by Giotto, Sassetta and Tiepolo. 

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Today, celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Will Smith are big fans of IGs. These dogs are mischievous yet affectionate, and their agile and athletic nature makes them great for active households. IG owners can expect their dogs to live up to 15 years.

21. Shih Tzu: 10-16 Years

Sweet? Check. Very clever? Check. Long lifespan? Check! This triple threat was originally a royal favorite during China’s Ming Dynasty. Shih Tzus went on to become famous in the Western world in the 20th century. Today, they're all over Instagram.

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However, there's more to the breed than what's seen on social media. Living up to 16 years, these dogs have few health problems besides skin sensitivities. Plus, Shih Tzus were raised to be the ideal companion. They treasure daily walks and playtime.

20. Dachshund: 12-16 Years

Dachshunds, a.k.a. wiener dogs, have low and long bodies, which makes them prone to back problems. Keeping a dachshund in good shape will help protect that back. Dachshunds are known for their signature shape, but their coats come in several varieties, including long-haired, wire-haired and smooth.

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Owners describe their dachshund companions as adorable, loveable, playful and independent. It's common to keep a dachshund for almost 16 years. However, expect some stubbornness and many years of barking if they aren't trained. It takes a while to housebreak them into little angels.

19. Pomeranian: 12-16 Years

Many households enjoy having a friendly yet feisty Pomeranian in the family. This breed is small, but they have mighty attitudes, making them great mini guard dogs. With an average height of 7 inches, Pomeranians often weigh between just 3 and 7 pounds.

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In the dog universe, these fluffy shorties are extremely popular. They pop up in TV shows and commercials and all over social media. The Pomeranian craze is sensible: They’re easy to care for. Plus, they'll stay with you for almost 16 years.

18. Australian Cattle Dog: 12-16 Years

Meet the Australian Cattle Dog, also known as the Blue Heeler or the Queensland Heeler. This medium-sized breed comes from a family of herders. As a family pet, this breed’s herding past can still be seen today. These dogs continue to be highly energetic.

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As a result, it's best for Australian Cattle Dogs to live in an active household. The breed is also known to be brave, protective, loyal and obedient. Plus, you can expect your pal to be in your life for the long haul. They live, on average, for 12 to 16 years. However, Bluey, one Australian Cattle Dog, lived to the old age of 29 years.

17. Papillon: 13-16 Years

According to the American Kennel Club, a Papillon typically lives for between 14 and 16 years. These tiny dogs belong to the toy group. Known as the "butterfly dog," the Papillon has origins in not one country, but three: France, Belgium and Spain.

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As one of the oldest toy breeds, Papillons were popular among royalty. For instance, Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette were big fans of the breed. It's easy to see why they're so loveable. Papillons are lively, friendly and alert. However, get ready to give these pups a lot of attention — they tend to depend on human companionship.

16. Jack Russell Terrier: 13-16 Years

Originating in England, Jack Russell terriers were bred for fox hunting. Today, they're TV and movie stars (just kidding). However, one of the most famous Jack Russells on TV was Wishbone, who told classic stories on a PBS children's program.

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This small breed is naturally happy, energetic and caring. Plus, the Jack Russell has an average lifespan of 16 years. However, this isn't always the case. The oldest Jack Russell on record was Willie, who passed away at 20 years old in 2014.

15. Yorkshire Terrier: 13-16 Years

If you want to take in a dog that’ll be around for the next 14 years, the Yorkshire terrier might be what you're looking for. Yorkies live for 13 to 16 years. However, they can be a handful without the appropriate housetraining.

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This pampered breed is feisty. Sometimes, they don't respond well to kids, especially when the dogs are being mishandled. These little dogs also tend to be stubborn. But once they master their training, they can be loyal, affectionate and protective companions.

14. Collie: 13-16 Years

TV superstar Lassie showed the amazing qualities of a collie. This breed is great for new dog owners. They're so sensitive and intelligent that they can recognize human emotions. Collies also have no problem with strangers or other dogs.

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For a large dog, a collie has an extraordinary lifespan of 13 to 16 years. Do you have a household with children? No need to worry; collies are easy to train and super playful. However, put grooming at the top of the to-do list. These large canines shed like crazy.

13. Standard Schnauzer: 13-16 Years

Having roots in Germany, the Standard Schnauzer is the breed baby of the Giant Schnauzer and Miniature Schnauzer. This breed was originally called the Wire-haired Pinscher until 1879. Many people recognize Schnauzers for their giant mustaches or bearded snouts.

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The Standard Schnauzer is trainable, smart, fun, lively, devoted and good-natured. Today, owners see many wonderful years with their Schnauzer pals. As medium-sized pups, they often live longer than Miniature Schnauzers. Standard Schnauzers can live between 13 and 16 years. Whoa!

12. Shiba Inu: 13-16 Years

Originally raised for hunting, the Shiba Inu is a breed hailing from Japan. However, don't let its aggressive background fool you; this dog is known to be charming and faithful. As a small-to-medium breed, the Shiba Inu has one heck of a lifespan.

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The Shiba Inu can live up to 16 years. Not only are they popular in Japan, but these dogs are also loved in the West. If you enjoy hiking trails and mountainous terrain, the Shiba Inu is the best companion to keep up with your outdoor adventures.

11. Boykin Spaniel: 14-16 Years

Energetic? Yes. Intelligent? Absolutely. Impressive life expectancy? You better believe it. In the past, the Boykin spaniel assisted in wild turkey and duck hunts in South Carolina. Many dogs have different coat colors, but this special spaniel's coat comes in shades of brown.

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The Boykin spaniel is a medium-sized breed with a naturally amazing personality. They're often described as energetic, intelligent, companionable, friendly and easy to train. Plus, these dogs are in it for the long haul. They often live for as long as 16 years.

10. Pyrenean Shepherd: 15-17 Years

The Pyrenean Shepherd was originally created to be a sheepdog during medieval times in Spain and France. These longtime herders are popular in Europe, but they're uncommon in the U.S. For a medium-small dog breed, this shepherd has a good lifespan behind it.

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According to the American Kennel Club, these loveable dogs can live into their late teens. Owners will spend many great years with their trainable, watchful and clever Pyrenean Shepherds. This energetic dog will keep its human companion on their feet.

9. Manchester Terrier: 15-17 Years

If your checklist for the perfect pet includes qualities such as devoted, athletic, happy and a bright personality, the Manchester terrier is for you. As the name suggests, the breed comes from the English city. The Manchester terrier was bred to be a fearless rat hunter in the 19th century.

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Being alert is one of the Manchester terrier's notable qualities, making them excellent watchdogs. This smooth-haired terrier is small for its size, but it has a big spirit and personality. These amazing dogs live, on average, for 15 to 17 years.

8. Toy Poodle: 14-18 Years

Poodles come in all shapes and sizes. Also, they generally have long life expectancies — especially toy poodles. These tiny companions can live up to 18 years. When we say tiny, we mean these babies only grow up to 10 inches tall.

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Toy poodles are energetic and social. This curly-haired breed is perfect for families who love being active. Plus, their intelligence makes them easy to train. One issue to be aware of is that toy poodles are susceptible to eye problems. However, these eye troubles aren't deal-breakers.

7. Cockapoo: 14-18 Years

Since the 1950s, dog owners in the U.S. have been cross-breeding Cocker spaniels and poodles. The result? The Cockapoo! This hybrid breed has many awesome qualities that people look for in a dog. For instance, they're very caring and loving.

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Cockapoos are also clever and easy to train, which makes them the ideal indoor pet. They don't shed all over the place and bark their heads off. Owners can expect their outgoing Cockapoos to live for a very long time.

6. Rat Terrier: 15-18 Years

With a background in farming and hunting, the rat terrier commonly lived on family farms in the 1920s and 1930s. The good news is ratties are smart and social, making them very trainable and easy to live with. New pet owners won't have trouble with them.

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Here's some more great news: The rat terrier seeks adventure and affection. They're alert, curious and fearless. Plus, they're loyal, so ratties will grow and stay by your side until the old age of 18 years, according to the American Kennel Club.

5. Mexican Hairless Dog: 13-18 Years

The Xoloitzcuintle has a couple of nicknames, including Xolo and the Mexican hairless dog. It sounds strange, but these dogs are considered sacred. More than 3,000 years ago, Xolos were called the ancient Aztec dog of the gods. Today, Xolos make devoted companions and great watchdogs.

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Xolos are widely recognized for their wrinkles, dental abnormalities and, most of all, their lack of hair. However, if you're "Team No Hair, Don't Care," these pups are perfect for you. This hairless pal could be by your side for around 18 years.

4. Chinese Crested Dog: 13-18 Years

A Chinese crested dog has hair on its head, feet and ears. That's nothing out of the ordinary. However, the rest of its body is hairless, giving it a very unique appearance. If you want a pet that rarely sheds, take a look at these (almost) naked pups. 

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Chinese crested dogs easily adapt to different homes, making them the ideal pet for dog lovers in the city, country or middle of nowhere. They also like to exercise but don't demand too much of it, making them easy pets for busy owners. Want more great news? These loving partners live as long as 18 years.

3. New Guinea Singing Dog: About 18 Years

A singing canine? The New Guinea Singing Dog is a rare breed. As the name implies, they are originally from Papua New Guinea. For almost 50 years, scientists have debated whether they should be classified as domestic dogs, feral dogs or wild dogs.

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Currently, they live in the mountains and forests. However, they're not alone. Some of the native people keep them as pets. Breeding enthusiasts also treat them as their own dogs. These canines are extra-special because of their unique howls.

2. Coton de Tulear: 15-19 Years

The Coton de Tulear resembles a stuffed animal, but it's a real dog breed. This unbelievable canine has an even more unbelievable origin story. According to tales, the Coton came from little white dogs that swam to an isolated island following a shipwreck.

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These cotton ball dogs have truly great personalities. They're described as clever, fun, active, friendly, vocal and easy to train. Doesn't that sound lovely? The good news is this: You can enjoy a Coton's beautiful company for 15 to 19 years.

1. Chihuahua: 12-20 Years

Out of all the dog breeds, Chihuahuas are the smallest when it comes to size. However, they have a lot to brag about. Chihuahuas are one of the longest living dog breeds, with a life expectancy of up to 20 years.

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Photo Courtesy: Tamara Bellis/Unsplash

Many people wonder why Chihuahuas are always shivering, but the dogs have very few health problems. These tiny sidekicks tend to shake in cold weather or in front of someone they don't know. Despite the shaking, Chihuahuas are devoted, energetic and brave.