The average lifespan of a dog depends on a large number of factors, some of which the owner can control and others of which aren’t quite so controllable. The longest living dog breeds in the world can live, on average, up to 18 years (with some living longer), but it all depends on the breed and the health of your beloved pet.
We all love our pet dogs, but some dog lifespans are inevitably longer than others. If you want to spend as much time as possible with your four-legged friends then it could be wise to choose dog breeds with long lifespans, such as chihuahuas or terriers, that are known to live for several years longer than other types of dogs.
In this article, we explore the best long-living dog breeds that could become part of your family!
What’s the average lifetime of a dog?
A number of different factors determine which dog lives the longest, including the breed, underlying health conditions, and the level of care that a pet receives from its owners. Some dogs live longer than others, and this can be down to pure chance or a healthy lifestyle.
The longest living dog in the world is thought to have been 40 years old when they passed away. Maggie was a Kelpie from Australia, who died in 2016. Another Australian dog (this time a cattle dog) lived to be 29 years as well (passing away in 1939).
The oldest living dog, however, isn’t your average dog. On average, the longest living pets will live for half this time. The average life expectancy is around 12 years old, but this takes into account all dogs and all dog breeds.
The longest living dog breeds list is primarily composed of small- to medium-sized dogs. The longest living large dog breeds never live as long (on average) as much smaller dog breeds. Some dogs (especially larger ones) age faster and are more predisposed to hereditary, degenerative diseases.
But the longest dog lifespan also depends on human factors. You can care for your dog by providing a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, or comforts such as a dog ramp for bed that help your pets to avoid injuries. If well cared for, with regular check-ups at the vet, dogs with the longest lifespan can live up to 18 years of age.
Longest living dog breeds
So what dog lives the longest? Dog breeds that live the longest are well cared for, but dog breeding has a large say in the matter too. Here are the dogs with the longest lifespan:Australian cattle dog
The Australian cattle dog is an unusual entry to the list because, unlike the many other long-living dogs, this breed is what would be described as a large dog. As far as dog life expectancy by breed goes, this is an outlier, but these dogs can live well into their 20s.
The Guinness World Records named Bluey, an Australian cattle dog, as one of the longest-lived dogs in the world (he clocked in at 29 years of age). This breed is very much a working dog, so perhaps it’s the outside air and the endless exercise that can keep this dog so fresh, young, and strong throughout its long lifetime.Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd is a working dog that’s at home on wide-open prairies or in the dusty outback. This is a sheepdog, and like other Australian breeds, it’s incredibly long-lived.
The Australian Shepherd averages 15 years of age, but they have been known to live much longer than this. This breed is a medium-sized dog, and they live considerably longer than other breeds of a similar size and stature to them.Chihuahua
A dog with the longest life expectancy is usually going to be a small dog, so it’s no surprise that the famed chihuahua has made it onto the list.
Chihuahuas are known for their plucky but fiercely loyal nature, and if you’re looking for a long-lived companion that will be by your side for years, then this toy dog could be the perfect four-legged friend.
Chihuahuas have an average lifespan of 18 years, but many have been known to live well past this age too.Jack Russell
The Jack Russell is a distinct breed of terrier that’s well-known for its boundless energy and need for activity. A Jack Russell is at home running through fields, chasing sticks, or better yet, hunting down rabbit holes!
Jack Russells are small- to medium-sized dogs, and they can live for (on average) 16 years. Some live a few years longer than this too. Perhaps it’s all the running around that keeps a Jack Russell so fit and healthy throughout its long lifespan.Maltese
At just 9 inches and 9 pounds in height and weight, your average Maltese is a tiny toy dog that has one of the longest lifespans of any dog.
The Maltese is a fluffy, lifelong companion because these dogs can live well beyond their average span of 15 years.
A Maltese is particularly easy to train and care for, too, although you can choose to spend countless hours grooming their beautiful coats if you so desire.Miniature Schnauzer
The miniature schnauzer is an adorable but rather gruff-looking toy dog that’s renowned for its longevity.
Miniature schnauzers are fluffy, but they were bred to hunt down rats and rabbits, and they aren’t afraid to get their coats dirty.
A miniature schnauzer can live up to 15 years (often more!), and they make a faithful and loyal four-legged companion throughout their long life.Pug
Pugs are known for their wrinkly skin and pug-like facial features, but they also have a surprisingly long lifespan.
We say surprisingly because while the pug’s distinctive features often cause breathing problems as age takes hold, they can live for up to 15 years (with an average of 12 years).
Pugs are smart, bright, and extremely affectionate small dogs that can make a great addition to the family.Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu was the dog of choice in royal courts across Asia for centuries, and these days, they are found as loyal companion dogs all over the world.
Shih Tzus are small, affectionate, easy to look after, and easy to train, making them perfect for the role of a lap dog.
They also have a long lifespan that often reaches 18 years, making them wonderfully long-lived dogs.Toy poodle
The toy poodle is a popular lap dog, as they are highly regarded for their furry poodle coats and their playful nature.
The toy poodle loves a little grooming, but their affectionate nature also makes them easy to care for (as long as you don’t mind brushing their curly coats after a walk!).
These miniature poodles are perfect for families because they can live for up to 15 years, and they get along just fine with children.Yorkshire terrier
The Yorkshire terrier is one of the most popular family dogs in the world because this small dog is not only long-lived, but full of energy.
Yorkshire terriers have beautiful, shiny coats when they are well-groomed, but they are just as much at home running through muddy fields and chasing after sticks.
This small dog is the tiniest of the terriers, standing just 9 inches tall on average. With an average lifespan of 15 years, however, they are one of the longest-lived terriers.
Longest living dog breeds: the final say
Dog breeds that live the longest are often the smaller dogs, rather than the larger dog breeds. But just because you take in a chihuahua doesn’t mean it’s going to live for 18 years. Each dog is different, and they also need the right care, attention, and affection from their owners to realize their full lifespan.
In short, dogs that live the longest are well cared for dogs that have lots of opportunities for exercise, socializing, healthy eating, and medical attention from a vet when they need it most. Why not bookmark our guide to the longest living dogs in the world, and find your family’s perfect four-legged life companion?