Which 10 Dog Breeds Live The Longest?

There are many factors that determine how long any particular dog lives, including the care the dog receives. Preventative medical care such as heart worm preventative medication, dental cleanings, quality food and regular exercise can all help to ensure your dog has a long and healthy life. 

But the one underlying factor that affects longevity is your dog’s breed. As a rule, smaller dogs live longer on average than larger dogs, so in this list of the ten longest lived dog breeds, they are all on the smaller side. These are ranked from lowest average lifespan to the longest. 

One – Shih Tzu – Average life span: 15 years. These little “lions” were beloved as companions to emperors in the Chinese Ming Dynasty and are just as loved today. 

Two – Maltese – Average life span: 15 years. These little charmers are long lived as they have no serious genetic diseases. Females do tend to live a bit longer than the males. 

Three – Australian Shepherd – Average life span: 15 years. These high energy dynamos will herd anything in sight, including children! Plus, they are one of the larger canines on this list.  


Four – Beagle – Average lifespan: 15 years. A Beagle named Butch who was from Virginia, lived for an unbelievable 27 years. He holds the record for longest lived Beagle. 

Five – Lhaso Apso – Average life span: 15 years. Not to be outdone by the Butch the Beagle, a Lhaso Apso who died in 1939 lived for 29 years. 

Six – Cockapoo – Average life span: 16 years. The Cockapoo is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poolde. Cockers average life spans are from 10 to 14 years so the Cockapoo’s long life apparently comes from their Poodle genes. 

Seven – Toy Poodle – Average life span: 16 years. The Toys have the longest lifespan of all the Poodles, including Poodle mixes. 

Eight – Jack Russell Terrier – Average lifespan: 16 years. These little energy factories never stop moving unless they are sleeping! 

Nine – Chihuahua –  Average life span: 17 years. Like the Maltese, the Chihuahua does not have any serious genetic diseases to shorten their lives. They are the smallest of all the dog breeds. 

New Guinea Singing Dog

Ten – New Guinea Singing Dog – Average life span: 18 years. Most people have never heard of this dog. No surprise, as there are only about 100 of these rare animals in captivity. This primitive breed comes from the wilds of New Guinea and they are known for their singing howl plus their gentleness with humans.

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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