Let’s face it—with an average lifespan of only about 10 to 13 years, our beloved best friends don’t live nearly as long as we’d like them to. As a general rule, smaller dog breeds live longer than larger breeds, and some dog breeds live longer than others no matter what their size. With proper care, there’s always hope that your pooch will live a long life well beyond their years. The longest living dog ever was an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey, who lived to the ripe old age of 29. Now that’s a lot of dog years!1
Average lifespan: about 12 to 17 years
Floppy-eared, doe-eyed beagles are often regarded as the perfect family pet. Hey, Snoopy is a beagle, after all. Although their name literally translates to “loudmouth” in French, they are loving, gentle, friendly dogs who are great with children. Thanks to their lifespan, you can expect your boisterous little buddy to be part of the family for a long, long time.
The record holder for the longest living beagle was Butch from Virginia, who was born in 1975 and died in 2003—that’s 28 years! He was often described as being as playful as a puppy, up until the last of his days.2
Average lifespan: about 15 to 20 years The adorable “hot dog” will certainly relish a nice, long life if properly cared for. In fact, a Virginia dachshund named Chanel was a world record-holder for dachshund longevity. She died in August 2009 at the age of 21—that’s over 100 in human years. The pampered pooch wore tinted goggles for her cataracts and hand-knit sweaters to stay warm and was pushed around in a stroller in her later years.3
Average lifespan: about 15 to 20+ years
Easy to love in part because of their slightly goofy appearance, these loyal lapdogs enjoy life spans as long as their shaggy coats. Extraordinarily healthy, they can easily live into their 20s. The oldest ever Lhasa Apso lived a staggering 29 years and passed away in 1939.Fun fact: Lhasa Apsos were bred as indoor watchdogs for the Buddhist monasteries of Tibet, to alert the monks to intruders. This is where they get their zenful yet protective nature.4
Average lifespan:about 15 to 20 years
All poodles and poodle mixes have a long life expectancy, but toy poodles—the littlest of the bunch—have the longest.
Thanks to their high intelligence and energy levels, toy poodles require oodles of mental and physical stimulation their whole life long. This might be a two-decade commitment, so bear this in mind before you let a toy poodle into your heart and home.5
Average lifespan: about 12 to 15+ years
Nicknamed “the cats of the dog world” because of their independent nature, fox-like shiba inus are regarded as a natural treasure in Japan, where they originated in 300 BC. Their name translates to “diminutive dog” in an old Nagano dialect, but their lifespan is far from little.
Recently, a shiba inu mix in Japan named Pusuke broke world records for living to the ripe old age of 26—that’s 125 in human years!6
Jack Russell Terrier
Average lifespan: about 16 years The Energizer Bunnies of the dog world, these tenacious terriers “keep going and going and going”—and apparently, so do their lifespans! You could argue that all this boisterous energy is the secret to keeping Jack Russells young-at-heart well into their twilight years. They get their name from a person in England known as Jack Russell, surprisingly enough, who bred hunting dogs in the 19th century.7
Average lifespan: about 15 years
In general, smaller dogs live longer than larger dogs, but the Aussie—who can stand up to 23 inches tall and can weigh up to 65 lbs.—is a rare exception to the rule. Famed for being excellent herders with high energy levels, Australian shepherds are a mainstay in American cowboy culture for their ability to herd bulls and are commonly found on the rodeo circuit. Here’s a secret: despite their name, they aren’t even Australian. Or American, for that matter. They originally hail from the Basque region of Spain.8
Average lifespan:about 12 to 15+ years
Once known as “Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta,” this affectionate Mediterranean breed dates back to Biblical times. Famous for their show-stopping snow-white hair, Maltese are more than just a pretty face—they’re intelligent, playful, and great with kids. While females generally outlive males by about a year, these long-living dogs should be part of the family for many years to come.9
Average lifespan: about 12 to 15 years
Though loveable pugs have a reputation for having a host of health problems, this ancient Chinese breed has a longer than average lifespan. Considered the perfect house pet for their easy-going adaptability, these incredibly affectionate and loyal companions are happy just about everywhere you put them—country, city, or anywhere in between.
It is true, however, that pugs are pigs and will overeat if given the chance. To give your pug the best shot at the longest life possible, make sure you keep an eye on their waistlines.10
Average lifespan: about 10 to 18 years The miniature but majestic “lion dog” has a lifespan that can vary greatly depending on the pup. While most have an average lifespan of about 10 years, some live as long as double that. Shih Tzus were the pet of choice for the Chinese Ming Dynasty, and their regal breeding means they are perfectly happy lounging around royal palaces all day—or one-room studio apartments. If they can’t tell the difference, why should we? Fun fact: Shih Tzu is actually pronounced sher zer in Chinese.