Longest living dog breeds: Top 10

There are few things more devastating than the loss of your darling doggo. As a result, many try to adopt dog breeds that are known to live longer lives and have healthier bodies.

Not every longer-living dog is as small as the chihuahua or yorkie.
Not every longer-living dog is as small as the chihuahua or yorkie.  © Collage: Unsplash/Matt Walsh, Shayna Douglas, & Isabel Vittrup-Pallier

Upon adoption, a new doggy parent surely wants their pup to live a long and happy life, full of adventure, success, and tasty treats. While you can achieve all of these things even with a dog that lives under a decade, a longer-lived pooch will always be preferable and will stave off the heartache that's bound to come with their passing.

The dog breeds we take a look at in this dog guide are all proven to be some of the most long-lived around. So, without further ado, these are the world's top 10 longest living dog breeds.

Top 10 longest living dog breeds in the world

In general, dogs that are larger and more beefy end up living shorter lives, with more pressure being put on the heart and other internal organs purely on account of their size. This claim is backed up by the fact that the oldest dog in the world was a chihuahua and that the average lifespan of a bigger dog is statistically proven to be shorter.

With that in mind, there are still a few medium to big doggos that live longer lives. We'll take a look at them as well as a selection of other long-lived dogs in the coming list.

Cockapoos are cute little fellows.
Cockapoos are cute little fellows.  © Unsplash/Nick Fewings

10. Cockapoo

On average, the cockapoo lives for between 12 - 15 years, making it a pretty long-living pooch. There's no surprise that these creatures, made up of a cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle, live for so long. This is because their mix is pretty darn perfect if you were trying to breed a dog that'll live for a good long while. As you'll see, both animals in the mix are featured separately on this list.

While any dog faces the risk of potential health issues down the line, the cockapoo generally benefits from a pretty clean bill of health in that area as well. These fluffy fellows don't need to worry about any really serious congenital health issues, and can instead focus on living long and full lives. There are even a few reports of 20-plus-year-old cockapoos!

9. Poodle

Poodles are remarkably sweet, and live longer than you'd think.
Poodles are remarkably sweet, and live longer than you'd think.  © Unsplash/Hans Ole Benonisen

Poodles are one of the more medium-sized dogs to feature on this list, making them relatively unique when compared to some of their contemporaries.

Famous for their luscious locks and voluminous curls, these lean mean barking machines are very unlikely to suffer from any severe issues.

Of course, there's always the risk that when a dog gets sheered as much as many show poodles do, eventually they'll incur a few scratches – but those aren't gonna be life-threatening.

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You can expect your poodle to live between 13 - 16 years before it shuffles across the rainbow bridge.

8. Yorkshire terrier

Beware of the Yorkie – it'll stick around for a long, long time!
Beware of the Yorkie – it'll stick around for a long, long time!  © Unsplash/Shannon Richards

Yorkshire terriers, often lovingly referred to as "Yorkies," live for a very long time when compared to bigger doggos. It's strange because, as you can probably tell from the picture, you'd imagine that a creature so scruffy, unkempt, and rat-like wouldn't live very long at all.

The reality is that if you choose to adopt a Yorkie, you will likely be obliged to look after it for at least 13 - 14 years, or even as many as 17.

Whether that's really what you want out of your dog adoption experience is entirely up to you, but what we will say is no matter how loud Yorkies are or how scruffy they look, they do have hearts of gold and can give a great cuddle when you're feeling down.

7. Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is a medium-sized long-lived dog.
The Shiba Inu is a medium-sized long-lived dog.  © Unsplash/Andre Tan

With a lifespan slightly shorter than your average Yorkie or poodle, the shiba inu is often overlooked.

These medium-sized dogs are particularly special because of their size in comparison to their weight. While nowhere near as small as a dachshund or pug, these creatures generally sit around 20 pounds – far lighter than your average poodle!

As such, their relatively long life expectancy of between 12 - 15 years is not so much of a surprise.

There are few dogs with as much personality as the Shiba Inu and, despite being absolutely wonderful creatures, they are often overlooked by prospective dog owners. Why might that be? Who knows!

6. Pug

Pugs are incredibly cute, incredibly strange, and incredibly long-lived.
Pugs are incredibly cute, incredibly strange, and incredibly long-lived.  © Unsplash/Colin Horn

There's something exceptionally silly about the pug.

These tiny defenseless bulldog-like creatures are remarkably strange and funny, and seem to have a constant look of utter befuddlement on their faces.

It's said that when a pug looks at you, it sees God and, in a way, it makes sense because they wouldn't have a hope of surviving without your otherworldly presence.

Somehow, though, these strange little creatures live for a ridiculously long time. Pugs are some of the longest-living dogs in the world, often racking in between 12 - 15 years before they hand in their papers and head on over to that dog park in the sky.

Can't blame them – being a pug must be downright relaxing.

5. Maltese

Is there anything more adorable than a grumpy Maltese?
Is there anything more adorable than a grumpy Maltese?  © Unsplash/FLOUFFY

Named after the country of their origin, Maltesers are some of the most adorable little balls of fluff out there.

Another example of a miniature doggo living a very long time, the Maltese has been known to live for 13 - 16 years.

Often used as show dogs, and groomed within an inch of their lives, these tiny little dudes have one of the sweetest death stares you'll ever see.

The average Maltese will pass from either natural causes or something unrelated to their breed. They have very few health problems and, if looked after properly, have even been known to survive for more than 16 years.

4. Golden retriever

Golden retrievers are the biggest dogs on this list, and quite possibly the best.
Golden retrievers are the biggest dogs on this list, and quite possibly the best.  © Unsplash/Jack Brind

Golden retrievers are so fluffy, cuddly, and endlessly happy that one can't help but swoon over them and fall further in love.

Honestly, just look into those eyes, take in that smile, and give them as many hugs as you can afford – there's literally nothing to say about them except "Wow!"

It's thus a very good piece of news that, for such a big dog, they actually live for a decent amount of time. While still on the shorter end, your average golden retriever will live between 10 - 13 years.

Most dogs of its size won't even crack the decade mark, so we thought that it would only be fair to give kudos where it's due!

3. Chow Chow

You're in luck if you adopted a chow chow – they live for a long time!
You're in luck if you adopted a chow chow – they live for a long time!  © Unsplash/Dorian Jozefara

Chow chows are famous for their blue tongues and their obsession with food. It's probably why these plump and fluffy darlings are so, well, plump and fluffy.

Endlessly happy, these dogs never seem to lose the smile from their adorable faces!

In fact, they won't lose that smile until they're around 13 - 15 years old.

Generally, while chow chows do have a few minor health setbacks that see some only live to around 8 or 9 years of age, most will have a decently lengthy life with plenty of hugs, cuddles, kisses, meals, and parties to come.

2. Dachshund

These two dachshunds are set to live long and loving lives together.
These two dachshunds are set to live long and loving lives together.  © Unsplash/Kojirou Sasaki

Often referred to as "sausage dogs," dachshunds are happy yet temperamental.

The pups are one of a few strange breeds that just never seem to go out of style no matter how much time passes! This is likely on account of their easy-going nature, adorably small size, and cheerful personalities.

As we discussed in our detailed dachshund overview, these little critters generally live for between 12 - 16 years, though they have been known to live far long and even stretch well into their 20s!

They might have short legs, but they most certainly do not have short lives.

1. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas can be yappy little guys, but they certainly live for a long time.
Chihuahuas can be yappy little guys, but they certainly live for a long time.  © Unsplash/JP Zarruk

Finally, we come to possibly both the loudest and most elderly on our list.

Despite yapping louder than a jet engine, these little dudes seem to just cling to life like it's no big thing.

The oldest dog to ever live was a chihuahua, and it is theorized that they live a long time purely on account of their tiny size putting little-to-no pressure on their weak bodies.

Chihuahuas live for between 12 - 20 years, often breaking that two-decade mark and living double the length of their larger counterparts.

While they are not disposed to any serious life-threatening illnesses, they often have very poor eyesight – which they make up for in loudness.

Long-lived dogs are generally from smaller breeds

While the size of a breed is important in regards to its life expectancy, it must be noted that other aspects such as the breed of a dog, any diseases it may have contracted, traumatic experiences, and the general monetary status of the family into which it was adopted are all important as well.

The reality is that even if you have a big dog, it's worth making sure that you keep it healthy and happy throughout its life with lots and lots of love and care.

Cover photo: Collage: Unsplash/Matt Walsh, Shayna Douglas, & Isabel Vittrup-Pallier

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