Longest-Living Dog Breeds

Longest-Living Dog Breeds

Photo courtesy of Canva

By Stacker

June 29, 2023

It’s long been said that dogs are a human’s best friend. And for good reason: They provide company, unconditional love, safety—and most of all, make us happy.

Pet ownership in the U.S. exploded in the last three decades. As of 2023, 66% of U.S. households own a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association; that’s up from 56% in 1988. The biggest sector of pet owners? Millennials, followed by Gen Xers. And dogs are by far the most popular pet for Americans to own, with nearly 3 in 5 pet owners owning a dog.

Needless to say, there’s a slew of factors that go into choosing a dog breed: the size of your home and city; your family; your allergies; your wallet; and often even your own memories of a previous companion (if you grew up with a golden retriever, for instance, maybe you want the same experience for your children).

But while owning a dog might increase our happiness and, in particular, our life spans (according to a 2017 Swedish study in the Scientific Reports journal), the same doesn’t necessarily hold true the other way around. In addition to regular vet checkups, balanced meals, and daily exercise regimens, there are certain canine characteristics that correlate with longevity in dogs. When selecting a dog breed, it’s important to know which kind of furry companions live longer than others—a crucial question for what kind of home you live in and how much you plan to spend.

Larger dogs generally have shorter life spans than smaller ones. But more specifically than that, some breeds tend to outlast others: Take pugs and Boston terriers, the former of which has increased in popularity fivefold from 2004 to 2017, according to American Kennel Club registrations of pugs. Both are both small, feisty, fun companions for those in tighter quarters or enjoying city life. But would you guess there is an average of two years separating the life spans of their breeds?

While you’ll see plenty of the size-life span correlation in the coming data, a standard breed of one of the most popular show dogs makes the top 10.

To find out the longest-living dog breeds, Stacker examined data from a 2008 study published in the journal Genetics and breed popularity rankings from the American Kennel Club published in 2023. Read on to find out which dogs are known for their longevity, and if your favorite breed made the list.

#41. Standard schnauzer (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 94

A medium-sized dog weighing between 35 and 45 pounds, standard schnauzers are sociable companions, alert watchdogs, good with kids, and protective of loved ones. This breed is known for its arched eyebrows and bristly mustache and whiskers.

#41. Sealyham terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 164

Weighing about 24 pounds, this dog is alert, outgoing, and even has a sense of humor. These companions are recognized by the mass of hair covering their foreheads. The breed is adaptable and can live in the city or country. Sealyham terriers also make good watchdogs due to their alertness.

#41. Pug (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 35

The pug is a small yet muscular breed. These dogs can be happy in the city or country, with kids or older adults, as an only pet, or as part of a group of pets. Their temperament is charming, mischievous, and loving.

#41. Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 81

This medium-sized breed’s trademark is a coat that ranges from golden red to dark copper with white markings. Tollers are strong, agile, and athletic and require owners who like outdoor adventures. These dogs enjoy hunting, hiking, and are great swimmers because of their webbed feet. This dog is also smart, affectionate, and outgoing.

#41. Norwich terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 109

A little over 10 inches tall and about 12 pounds, this breed is among the smallest working terriers bred to hunt small vermin. Happy-go-lucky, fearless, and bossy, Norwiches are energetic enough to play fetch all day but affectionate enough to enjoy hours of lap time with their favorite humans.

#41. Kerry blue terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 146

The Kerry blue terrier is famous for its blue coat. Named after the Irish county of its birth, this one-time farm dog is now an alert, adaptable, and animated watchdog and family companion. Bonus: This breed does not shed, allowing it to be tolerated by many people with pet allergies.

#41. Keeshond (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 90

The keeshond’s temperament is friendly, lively, and outgoing. A medium-sized spitz dog, this breed is famous for its distinctive “spectacles”—shadings and markings around the eyes that look like glasses. This breed started out in Holland and remains a symbol of Dutch patriotism today.

#41. Japanese chin (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 105

The Japanese chin is charming, noble, and loving. The tiny companions are well-suited for living indoors. They have a large head and short muzzle; what’s more, their round, dark eyes convey what appears to be a look of astonishment.

#41. Italian spinone (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 112

A densely coated hunting dog, this breed is sociable, docile, patient, and sometimes stubborn. The spinone is from ancient Italian lineage and is among the field dogs of continental Europe famed for versatility.

#41. German wirehaired pointer (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 59

The German wirehaired pointer is medium-sized and sturdily built. The breed’s most distinguishing characteristic is its weather-resistant, wire-like coat. This dog is a versatile, sturdy gundog who thrives on outdoor activity, but around the house, it’s an eager, affectionate, and amusing family companion.

#41. Fox terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 102

Bred for British fox hunts, this breed is now a master show dog. The typical dog is 16 to 18 pounds, and they make delightful pets for families looking for an upbeat, personable, and friendly companion. The breed has excellent athletic abilities, long life spans, and low shedding.

#41. Field spaniel (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 157

The field spaniel is known for being docile, but vigorous when at play or in the field. Field spaniels are sweet and sensitive, but also independent. They are trustworthy with kids, tolerant of other animals, and responsive to training.

#41. English springer spaniel (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 26

The English springer spaniel is an energetic and smart dog. Sport hunters are known to appreciate this breed, as English springer spaniels make great pets during the week and tough hunting buddies during the weekends. This breed is also polite, good with kids and other animals, and eager to join in any family activity.

#41. Dalmatian (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 49

During its long history, this breed—known for its spots—has accompanied the horse-drawn rigs of nobles, gypsies, and firefighters. Reserved and dignified, Dalmatians can be aloof with strangers, making them dependable watchdogs. However, Dalmatians are bright, loyal, and loving house dogs with their owners. They are also active athletes that pair well with runners and hikers.

#41. Curly-coated retriever (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 156

The curly-coated retriever has waterproof and thorn-resistant fur for work in thick bramble and icy lakes. Similar to Labradors and goldens, this breed is affectionate and gentle. However, they are a bit more independent and less needy. While playful with loved ones, this retriever can be reserved with strangers, making them good watchdogs. These dogs also need lots of time outside to exercise.

#41. Chihuahua (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 34

The Chihuahua is a tiny dog with a huge personality. A national symbol of Mexico, these “purse dogs” stand among the oldest breeds in the Americas. Chihuahuas weigh less than 6 pounds. They are loyal but tend to have a large attitude. Without training, this dog will be in charge. Compact and confident, Chihuahuas are ideal city pets, but they are too small for roughhousing with kids.

#41. Cardigan Welsh corgi (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 62

This breed can weigh anywhere from 25 to 34 pounds, and they were bred to herd cattle. They are trainable, faithful, and attentive guardians with a loud bark. They are also good around kids, agreeable with other pets, and love the outdoors—they thrive on mental stimulation and physical activity.

#41. Border collie (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 30

Border collies are athletic, medium-sized herders. The intelligence, athleticism, and trainability of this breed shine when the dog has a job to perform. Working and keeping busy is the key to this breed’s happiness, but these energetic dogs are happy to settle down for cuddle time when the workday is over. They are sociable among friends but reserved with strangers.

#41. Belgian Tervuren (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 104

The Belgian Tervuren is a bright, medium-sized herding dog. The breed is known to be affectionate and possessive with loved ones. The Belgian Tervuren loves hard work, challenging play, and learning to master tasks.

#41. Australian shepherd (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 12

The Australian shepherd is a lean and tough ranch dog closely associated with the cowboy life. This breed exhibits an irresistible impulse to herd everything: birds, dogs, kids, you name it. This strong work drive can be too much for an inactive pet owner, but it is a great dog for outdoor work or sport. This breed is also remarkably intelligent and capable of tricking unsuspecting novice owners.

#41. American Staffordshire terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 87

The American Staffordshire terrier is a smart, confident, and good-natured companion. A well-socialized and trained Staffordshire is loyal, keenly aware of its surroundings, and lovable around the house. However, this breed does enjoy mental and physical challenges as seen by their popularity as show dogs.

#41. Affenpinscher (tie)

– Average life span: 13 years
– Popularity rank: 148

Loyal, curious, and famously amusing, this toy dog is fearless. Standing less than a foot tall, these sturdy terrierlike dogs are extremely confident. They can be willful and domineering, but they are also loyal, affectionate, and always entertaining.

#39. Greyhound (tie)

– Average life span: 13.2 years
– Popularity rank: 129

The greyhound is gentle, noble, and sweet-tempered. From their narrow, aerodynamic skull to their shock-absorbing pads, greyhounds are perfectly constructed for high-speed pursuit.

#39. Cairn terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 13.2 years
– Popularity rank: 70

Cairn terriers were originally bred to fearlessly root out foxes and other small prey in the rocky Scottish countryside. Small, shaggy, and alert, this breed likes having a place where they can explore and dig. Cairns are small enough for a lap snuggle and sturdy enough for a good run on the lawn. They do best with a fair bit of close family contact.

#36. Shetland sheepdog (tie)

– Average life span: 13.3 years
– Popularity rank: 27

The Shetland sheepdog is intelligent, quick, and an obedient herder from Scotland’s remote and rugged Shetland Islands. This dog is small, active, and agile. They are also world-class competitors in obedience, agility, and herding trials. At home, they are sensitive and affectionate family dogs, and they are highly in tune with the mood of the household. They also bark a lot and tend to be reserved toward strangers.

#36. Pekingese (tie)

– Average life span: 13.3 years
– Popularity rank: 96

The Pekingese is one of several breeds created for the ruling classes of ancient China. These are sophisticated, loyal, compact, stocky toy dogs that weigh up to 14 pounds. The coat is longest at the neck and shoulders, giving the breed its famous lion’s mane. They are also charming, confident companions who develop a tight bond with their favorite human. They make good watchdogs and will tolerate kids, but won’t stand for much roughhousing.

#36. Beagle (tie)

– Average life span: 13.3 years
– Popularity rank: 8

Beagles were bred to hunt in packs, so they enjoy company and are generally easygoing. They are loving, happy, and companionable, making them excellent family dogs. The oldest known beagle was named Butch, who lived in Virginia and died at the age of 27 in 2009.

#35. Shih Tzu

– Average life span: 13.4 years
– Popularity rank: 20

The Shih Tzu is known to be especially affectionate with children. As a small dog bred to spend most of its day inside royal palaces, the Shih Tzu makes a great pet for apartment-dwellers.

#25. Soft-coated Wheaten terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 13.5 years
– Popularity rank: 66

The soft-coated Wheaten terrier is an enthusiastic Irish farm dog. It is happy, friendly, deeply devoted, and stubborn. The unique Wheaten coat doesn’t shed much, but the fur needs diligent care to avoid matting.

#25. Papillon (tie)

– Average life span: 13.5 years
– Popularity rank: 51

The Papillon is a toy dog that measures just 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder. Papillons are happy, alert, and friendly dogs known for their large, wing-shaped ears. These tiny dogs thrive in warm or cool climates, are happy in the city or country, and are eager to join in on the family fun.

#25. Maltese (tie)

– Average life span: 13.5 years
– Popularity rank: 38

Famous for their floor-length coat, these dogs are playful, charming, and adaptable toy companions that weigh less than 7 pounds. Despite their aristocratic bearing, Maltese dogs are hardy and adaptable pets that make great watchdogs. This breed is low-shedding, long-lived, and happy to make new friends of all ages. Females of this breed tend to live one year longer than their male counterparts, but all Maltese pups are expected to have long life spans since they don’t suffer from many serious genetic diseases.

#25. Lakeland terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 13.5 years
– Popularity rank: 143

The Lakeland terrier, named for the Lake District of its native England, was once a farmer’s dog bred to work in packs on sheep-stealing foxes. They weigh about 17 pounds, and their coats are hard, wiry, and low-shedding. This breed is friendly, confident, and not overly aggressive.

#25. Shiba Inu (tie)

– Average life span: 13.5 years
– Popularity rank: 43

An ancient Japanese breed, the Shiba Inu is a small but muscled dog. This spirited, good-natured breed was once employed as a hunter. The Shiba Inu is now the most popular pet dog in Japan and can live in the city or country. They are alert, agile, and excellent watchdogs.

#25. Glen of Imaal terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 13.5 years
– Popularity rank: 169

The Glen of Imaal terrier, named after one of Ireland’s most remote locales, is bold, brave, and gentler than most terriers. Glens are scruffy, sturdy, low-slung terriers standing no more than 14 inches at the shoulder. This breed is a no-fuss dog built for hard work.

#25. Chow chow (tie)

– Average life span: 13.5 years
– Popularity rank: 92

Chow chows are powerful, compactly built dogs. They also housebreak easily and have little odor. Well-socialized chow chows are refined and dignified. This breed is typically aloof with strangers and eternally loyal to their loved ones. Serene and adaptable, with no special exercise needs, chow chows happily take to city life.

#25. Brussels griffon (tie)

– Average life span: 13.5 years
– Popularity rank: 97

The Brussels griffon is a sensitive companion for discerning adults. These dogs, weighing no more than 12 pounds, are smart, devoted, easily trainable, and comically self-important. Although playful and energetic, their small size and sensitive nature make them a poor choice for households with roughhousing kids. They have a low threshold for loneliness and will stick close to their special human, providing their owners with years of love and laughter.

#25. Australian cattle dog (tie)

– Average life span: 13.5 years
– Popularity rank: 48

The compact but muscular breed is related to Australia’s famous wild dog: the dingo. These resilient herders are intelligent enough to routinely outsmart their owners. However, they are loyal, alert, and wary of strangers. If this dog isn’t challenged, it can get bored and become mischievous. Owners of Australian cattle dogs should participate in sports or other activities to keep their dogs mentally and physically fit.

#25. American Eskimo dog (tie)

– Average life span: 13.5 years
– Popularity rank: 123

The American Eskimo dog is alert, friendly, and conservative when making new friends. They are social animals and can develop problem behaviors when left neglected or untrained. However, this dog loves being part of the family, is very trainable, and gets along with kids.

#24. Jack Russell terrier

– Average life span: 13.6 years
– Popularity rank: 73

Developed in England about 200 years ago to hunt foxes, the Jack Russell terrier—also known as the Parson Russell terrier—is a lively, independent, and clever small dog that’s also charming and affectionate. However, this breed is hard to train and manage and should be kept by experienced dog owners only.

#23. Border terrier

– Average life span: 13.8 years
– Popularity rank: 95

These plucky, happy, and affectionate dogs need lots of exercise and are popular pets in both the city and the country. This dog loves exploring the outdoors and makes a good childhood playmate. They tend to get along with other dogs, but their hunting instincts are triggered when they see cats or squirrels.

#20. Pointer (tie)

– Average life span: 14 years
– Popularity rank: 107

The breed’s name is its job description: Pointers point game birds, and they have been pointing for centuries. The loyal, hardworking, even-tempered, and high-energy pointer makes an excellent runner’s companion.

#20. Irish terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 14 years
– Popularity rank: 131

The Irish terrier, or “daredevil” of the Emerald Isle, is known for its fiery red coat with a temperament to match. This bold, dashing, and courageous terrier of medium size is courageous at work and gentle at home.

#20. Toy fox terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 14 years
– Popularity rank: 108

Toy fox terriers began as barnyard ratters. Today, they are captivating companions with big personalities. This breed, which possesses the lovability of a lapdog and the tenacity of a terrier, is naturally well-groomed, proud, animated, and alert.

#17. Whippet (tie)

– Average life span: 14.3 years
– Popularity rank: 54

Between bursts of intense pursuit, whippets love to stretch out and relax for hours. This breed also enjoys the role of a loving companion. Whippets like a fenced yard to run in, but they can also live comfortably in cozy apartments—as long as they are exercised properly. Another plus for city dwellers: Whippets rarely bark and are low-maintenance dogs.

#17. Tibetan terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 14.3 years
– Popularity rank: 106

The Tibetan terrier is an ancient watchdog and companion long associated with Buddhist monasteries. This small- to medium-sized dog possesses unique “snowshoe” feet and weighs between 20 and 24 pounds. This breed is affectionate, sensitive, and clever.

#17. Bedlington terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 14.3 years
– Popularity rank: 152

Bedlington terriers, named for the English mining shire where they were first bred, are genial housemates, alert watchdogs, and versatile athletes. They love to be the center of attention and are known to be protective of loved ones. This dog is perfect for an active family looking for a nonshedding, lively, and loyal companion.

#16. Havanese

– Average life span: 14.5 years
– Popularity rank: 25

Havanese, the only dog breed native to Cuba, is cheerful and of small stature. Their sturdy bodies, adaptable nature, and social skills make this breed an ideal city dog. However, this breed can be content anywhere. Havanese are also excellent watchdogs and take this job seriously, but they usually keep their barking to a minimum.

#7. Tibetan spaniel (tie)

– Average life span: 15 years
– Popularity rank: 127

The Tibetan spaniel was bred ages ago for sentinel work on the walls of Tibetan monasteries. Known for their flat, silky coat and the “lion’s mane” around their neck, this dog forms a tight, worshipful bond with their humans. Its temperament is playful, bright, and confident.

#7. Poodle (tie)

– Average life span: 15 years
– Popularity rank: 5

Beneath the curly, hypoallergenic coat is an elegant, athletic companion. Poodles are eager, athletic, and wickedly smart. What’s more, poodles come in standard, miniature, and toy sizes. The standard, with its greater size and strength, is the best all-around athlete of the family, but all poodles can be trained with great success.

#7. Pomeranian (tie)

– Average life span: 15 years
– Popularity rank: 23

The Pomeranian, a favorite of royals and commoners alike, combines a tiny body of no more than 7 pounds and a commanding big-dog demeanor. Alert and intelligent, Pomeranians are easily trained and make fine watchdogs and perky pets for families with children. This breed is active but can be exercised with indoor play and short walks, so they can happily live in cities and suburbs.

#7. Miniature schnauzer (tie)

– Average life span: 15 years
– Popularity rank: 17

The miniature schnauzer, the smallest of the three schnauzer breeds, is a generally healthy, long-lived, and low-shedding companion. This breed is a bright, friendly, and trainable companion small enough to adapt to apartment life but tireless enough to patrol acres of farmland. They get along well with other animals and kids, enjoy vigorous play, and make good watchdogs.

#7. Miniature pinscher (tie)

– Average life span: 15 years
– Popularity rank: 72

This proud, fearless, fun-loving toy breed is a true personality dog known for its high-stepping “hackney” gait. Other characteristic traits include fearless animation, complete self-possession, and a spirited presence.

#7. Manchester terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 15 years
– Popularity rank: 130

The Manchester terrier is named after the English city where it was first bred. These are spirited, bright, and athletic dogs that come in two size varieties: standard (not exceeding 22 pounds) and toy (not exceeding 12 pounds). The smooth, compact, muscular body expresses great power and agility, enabling the Manchester to take down any number of pests.

#7. Italian greyhound (tie)

– Average life span: 15 years
– Popularity rank: 63

The Italian greyhound is an alert, playful, and highly affectionate toy companion. They combine the attentiveness of lapdogs with the complexity of ancient, aristocratic hounds. Bred for centuries to be doting companions and jesters, these high-stepping charmers refuse to be ignored. However, they are quick to bolt after quick-moving prey and require extra care in cold weather.

#7. Boston terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 15 years
– Popularity rank: 24

The Boston terrier is known for its tight tuxedo jacket and sporty, but compact body. The breed’s impeccable manners and bright nature have earned it the nickname “The American Gentleman.” They make good city dogs, as they are sturdy but portable, people-oriented, and relish walks around town.

#7. Australian terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 15 years
– Popularity rank: 136

These tiny dogs are long-living, lovable, easy to train, and prefer to be the only dog in a home. Despite their tiny size, this breed relishes the opportunity to play watchdog.

#5. Toy Manchester terrier (tie)

– Average life span: 15.5 years
– Popularity rank: 130

Toy Manchester terriers have the stature of tiny dogs, but the spirit of much larger hounds. Equally happy snuggling on a couch or chasing small prey, these dogs will entertain their human companions for upwards of two decades.

#5. Bichon frise (tie)

– Average life span: 15.5 years
– Popularity rank: 47

The breed’s distinguishing feature is a white hypoallergenic coat, making them great dogs for people with allergies. Bichons are happy with other dogs, get along with children, and are generally friendly to everyone they meet.

#2. Toy poodle (tie)

– Average life span: 16 years
– Popularity rank: 5

Toy poodles, like all poodles and poodle mixes, have a fairly long expected life span. This breed is eager, athletic, and wickedly smart.

#2. Miniature poodle (tie)

– Average life span: 16 years
– Popularity rank: 5

Beneath the curly, hypoallergenic coat is an elegant athlete and companion. Poodles come in standard, miniature, and toy sizes. The miniature poodle is similar to the toy poodle.

#2. Lhasa apso (tie)

– Average life span: 16 years
– Popularity rank: 86

The Lhasa apso is a 1,000-year-old breed that is loving and outgoing with familiar people and animals but quite shy around strangers. The oldest of this breed on record lived to be 29 years old and passed away in 1939.

#1. Schipperke

– Average life span: 17 years
– Popularity rank: 115

Schipperkes are a curious and resourceful breed. This little black dog is a robust, long-lived companion that doesn’t get any taller than 13 inches.

Data reporting by Lucas Hicks. Story editing by Kelly Glass. Copy editing by Paris Close.

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