GENERAL BREED INFO

Longest Living Dogs: Top 10 Breeds to Keep You Company for Life

Old dog
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

When you are thinking about bringing home a new puppy one of the thoughts that is sure to cross your mind is how long is he or she going to live. Of course you will want to know this, after all, you will want your furry friend to be with you for as long as possible, right? Some breeds are more prone to diseases than others, which can greatly affect the length and quality of a dog’s life.

This list is a mixture of purebred, cross breed and mixed breed dogs. Some of the mixed and cross breeds actually have the longest life spans and this is most likely due to the fact that mixing the DNA of the breed can “breed out” certain diseases that one of the breeds is prone to. If you are looking into bringing a dog home and you want to make sure you will have plenty of time with your new friend, here are some of the longest living breeds to consider.

Beagles

While Beagles do have a relatively normal lifespan for a dog, many of them are known to live past 13 years of age and upward of even 18 years old. The leading causes of death in Beagles are cancer and trauma. While cancer cannot always be avoided, trauma can be – many times a Beagle gets out of his yard and will be run over by a car while following his nose.

Beagle dog breed

Always have a fenced yard and a supervised Beagle, they will follow their noses wherever they lead them! You can learn more about this breed by reading up on the Beagle.

Scottish Collies

A Scottish Collie will generally live to be 15-16 years old on average. If you are looking for a larger breed that will be in your family for a long time, a collie could be the dog for you. They are one of the longest living large breeds so for those who are hoping for a large dog a collie is a great option.

Scottish Collie puppies

They don’t have too many health issues to worry about with PRA, bloating and epilepsy being the worst genetic issues they suffer from.

Boston Terriers

With an average lifespan of 12-15 years, the Boston Terrier (aka The American Gentleman) is one of those breeds that will stick with you for quite some time to come with proper care.

Boston Terriers dog

Though they are prone to respiratory problems including snoring and overheating due to their “flat” or “smooshed in” face, these dogs can live quite happy and healthy lives if they have the right accommodations such as going for walks in cooler weather.

Pomeranians

Pomeranians generally live for 12-16 years which makes these little fluff balls great for a family pet you will be able to have around for many years.

Pomeranians dogs

These dogs are actually mostly prone to having allergies (contact and food allergies are most common in Pom’s), epilepsy and eye problems among a few other genetic diseases, but none of them are very life threatening. See if this breed is right for you, you should check out this article on the Pomeranian.

Toy Manchester Terriers

A Toy Manchester Terrier is known to live anywhere from 14-16 years and they do not have too many health problems to look out for. Of all of the possible health problems you may encounter with a Toy Manchester the two you should worry about the most are Glaucoma and Von Willebrand’s Disease.

Toy Manchester Terriers

These two illnesses can be genetic so be sure to check health clearances of the parents of your pup – your breeder should be happy to supply this for you!

Jack Chis

The Jack Chi is a cross breed of dog, a mixture of a Jack Russell Terrier (which is further down the list) and the Chihuahua (which I didn’t include, but also has a rather long life expectancy). These dogs generally live between 15-18 years as a happy, hyper, loving and loyal friend.

Jack Chi’s dog

They do not suffer from too many health issues, but you should be aware of any potential health risks in both breeds just as a precaution.

Australian Shepherds

Australian Shepherds are another of the few larger dogs with longer lifespans and they live 15-18 years on average.

Australian Shepard’s

Most of the time these dogs are very healthy and most of the conditions you will need to watch out for are common in many dogs, hip and elbow dysplasia, PRA, Collie Eye Anomaly are a few of these.

All in all, the Aussie is a relatively healthy breed and tend to live very happy, active and long lives. If you’re considering this breed for your home, you should first read up on the Australian Shepherd.

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell has a slightly shorter lifespan than the Jack Chi cross breed often living for 12-15 years. The most common health concerns include patellar luxation, Legg-Valve-Perthes disease and deafness. All of these conditions can be treated in some way – or learned to work around in the case of deafness.

Jack Russell Terrier breed

While your Jack should be rather healthy if any of these conditions do show up, chances are your dog will still lead a happy and otherwise healthy life.

New Guinea Singing dog

This is an interesting breed as it is relatively new, not entirely domesticated and has very few if any known health problems that are caused by genetic defect. They live roughly 14-18+ years, with some of the oldest living dogs preparing to enter their twenties.

New Guinea Singing Dogs

This may not be the easiest dog to get a hold of as a pet and definitely not for the inexperienced dog owner, but if you are up for a bit of a challenge with a semi-wild dog, then this could be a great alternative to a husky-wolf hybrid.

Corgi’s (Pembroke & Cardigan)

Both the Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgi’s are known for living on average 13-15 years. Neither breed is really known for outliving the other by enough of a difference to say it is a better choice.

Pembroke vs Cardigan

With a corgi the health challenges are generally those related to genetics and old age including eye conditions and hip dysplasia in old age but in general these are very healthy dogs that can live quite a long and full life.

How you can help your dog live longer

The dog breeds on this list are not the only dogs that live past 10-12 years of age. Others include Chihuahuas, Pugs, Australian Cattle Dog, Dachshunds, Poodles, Maltese and many more. The breed of your dog will not necessarily determine how long your dog will live, so don’t go off and choose a dog solely off of their expected lifespan and how adorable the dog is!

There are many other factors to consider and one of the most important is the dog’s current health and that of the dog’s parents. If you are getting a rescue dog there is a hit-or-miss chance that anyone will have a clue what your dog’s parents health was like, but a vet should have fully checked over the dog prior to it being placed up for adoption.

You should always ask for a complete medical history of the dog you are planning to rescue, this way if they have any special needs you know from the get-go. This can prevent the possibility of you having to bring the dog back if you are unable to afford special treatments.

Long lving dog

If you are bringing your dog home from a breeder, you should not only be given a full certificate of health for your puppy, but your breeder should also be able to tell you the history of other dogs in their lines. They should be perfectly willing to tell you if any of their dogs suffer from minor or major health issues and explain to you how this could potentially affect your dog over the course of his or her life.

Making sure that your dog has routine check-up’s, that their shots are up-to-date and that they are on a heart worm preventative medication are all ways you can help to increase the lifespan of your dog. All too many times a dog will end up sick or injured when there was a way to prevent it. Your dog is like a small child, they cannot do it all themselves, they need you to put in some effort to make sure they stay happy and healthy throughout their lives.

Obesity is also becoming a problem among dogs (and cats) as it has among humans in the last few decades. People not only over-feed themselves, but now they are over-feeding their dogs as well. Many dog breeds will sit there and eat, and eat, and eat until they literally cannot eat anymore. This is very unhealthy and will lead to obesity, which leads to joint problems as well as many other health issues.

Being sure to feed your dog a proper diet, taking him or her for the recommended number of walks and giving them enough exercise for their breed specific needs are all things that you as the owner can do to keep your dog healthy and around for many years to come!

About the author
Wyatt Robinson
Wyatt Robinson

Wyatt Robinson had a great 25-years career as a veterinarian in United Kingdom. He used to be a member of British Veterinary Association and worked in 3 pet hospitals in London and Manchester. He is shining when he sees his pets healthy and full of energy and it is his duty to help other dog owners to keep their best friends full of life.

  • Melinda Green

    Malamutes are dogs who are known to live longer as well! And we’ve had mutts who lived quite long lives so that’s also something to note. Ultimately it’s the health of the dog that dictates whether they will love a long and fulfilling life or not. So take care of the pooches!

    • Wyatt Robinson

      Malamutes, considering that they are large breeds, do live long and healthy lives. They only got very few health problems, and they are terrific mixed-purpose dog. Jut make sure you fulfill its physical and mental stimulation requirements and everything will work well.

  • Betty Roster

    Beagles are really something. When my sister adopted a 2 year old Beagle from her friend who’s going overseas for good, she never thought the dog will be her “shadow”. She follows her everywhere now! What can she do to modify this kind of behavior? Will this be just a phase, her following my sister around? Will this stop in the near future?

    • Wyatt Robinson

      Beagles are clingy fur babies, that’s why they make terrible watch dogs. Very adorable, cuddly, and loyal, Beagles will keep you company for many years.

  • Red Smith

    Are there dogs that have been bred for longevity and good health? What are these breeds and how long are they expected to live? With the high cost of animal health care, getting dogs that are strong and sturdy makes a lot of sense in today’s economy.

    • Wyatt Robinson

      In general, toy dogs and other smaller non-sporting dog breeds live longer and only got very few hereditary issues because their genetics are purer than most dogs.

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