Five Dog Breeds With The Longest Life Expectancy

Doxies live long lives.
Doxies live long lives. | Source

Although there are no guarantees when it comes to dogs, the five breeds in this list are more likely to live a long life. Some breeds, like the Irish Wolfhound and English Bulldog, have short lives and pass away much too soon. These five great dog breeds may be with you over 15 or 20 years, and maybe even longer.

Are you ready for a long-lived dog breed?


This little dog was first bred as a hunting dog in Germany and has been living a long life in several countries ever since. He is definitely a hunter, bred to dig badgers and other small animals, but is a popular pet and famous everywhere as the “wiener dog”. The longest lived variety of this dog is the miniature, and like all the long-lived breeds he is small, weighing less than about 12 pounds.

Most people that get a Miniature Dachshund really love their playful personalities, but the breed is also known for an aggressive behavior, especially with strangers. If the dog was larger it would be considered one of the dangerous breeds, but since it is small many of their bites are never reported. Make sure you can deal with the aggression and their unwillingness to be obedience trained. Many of them are difficult to housetrain, too. The dogs are also famous for their shrill bark, and they definitely have the ability to destroy any garden you might plant.

Your Miniature Dachshund can live many years if he does not have serious health problems. About a fourth of them develop back problems and it is usually worse because the dogs are prone to obesity. They are prone to several other health problems (like epilepsy, dental disease, thyroid problems, and conditions of the eye) but none of them are as bad as the back disease.

If you are willing to put up with some of the problems the Miniature Dachshund might have, he will be a loyal and great dog for many years.

An adult Miniature Dachshund.
An adult Miniature Dachshund. | Source
Toy Poodles come in many colors.
Toy Poodles come in many colors. | Source

Toy Poodle

This dog breed is well known for several reasons; one important reason being is that he does not shed, much. He weighs less than about ten pounds, has curly hair, and even people not used to being around dogs know what this little breed looks like, as they are used in circuses and in all sorts of shows where dogs are on display doing tricks. He does really well in obedience classes and will usually pick up any trick you want to teach him.

If your Toy Poodle does not have any health problems, he will most likely live a long time. They are sometimes diagnosed with epilepsy, diabetes, and heart disease. Some of them have allergies and skin problems, others have ear and eye problems.

Do you want an active little dog that will still do okay around the house? As long as you keep him groomed and meet his exercise needs, this is an intelligent breed of dog that can live a long life.

Lhasa Apso´s need to be groomed.
Lhasa Apso´s need to be groomed. | Source

Lhasa Apso

This long-lived breed is one of the cutest. He has long hair and his small body was used to keep the Buddhist monks company in Tibet; now many of these dogs live their long lives in apartments and houses all over the world. They still look prepared for the Tibetan winter, and they still bark at any intruder who dares to invade their “space”, even if it isn´t a monastery.

The Lhasa Apso is usually no more that eighteen pounds but can be quite a bit smaller. They come in several different colors but no matter how the dog looks you can always count on a bark. They are good watch dogs, of course, and guard dogs...well, not so much. They are fairly easy to obedience train.

They have health problems, like some skin and eye diseases. If you can get past them, however, this is one of the longest living breeds and a great companion.

Young Chihuahas may be found anywhere.
Young Chihuahas may be found anywhere. | Source
Older Chihuahuas may hang out in gangs.
Older Chihuahuas may hang out in gangs. | Source


Everybody knows the Chihuahua, even if so many people out there spell this little dog´s name wrong. He is the smallest breed of dog, usually no more than six pounds, and will fiercely defend his territory for many years.

This little breed of dog has several significant health problems. He can have a collapsed trachea and a heart murmur, bad knee caps, epilepsy, and even a soft spot on the skull (although this will get firm as the dog gets older). They are so tiny that they can have bouts of low blood sugar and go into a coma if not taken care of correctly, and unless the teeth are brushed daily will probably develop periodontal disease.

If you decide to buy one of these little dogs for your family you need to be very careful. They are often not good with little kids, and sometimes become attached to just one person in the household. They shiver a lot so may spend most of the day wrapped up in the blankets.

If you can keep him from getting fat, and stay on top of any potential health issues, this dog can be with you for many years.

Beagles are cute when they are puppies.
Beagles are cute when they are puppies. | Source
Beagles are cute whey they become adults.
Beagles are cute whey they become adults. | Source
Beagles are cute even when they get old!
Beagles are cute even when they get old! | Source


The Beagle is actually the largest of the long-lived breeds, with males weighing up to about 25 pounds. This breed is a scent hound, first developed for tracking using its nose, and the dog is still used for that purpose. His success as a family dog is because of his good temper, friendliness with kids, and great size. His long life is usually attributed to his lack of health problems.

Beagles do have some issues. They tend to ignore their owners if they get a good scent, so if taken off-leash they might get carried away and run off. Although they are intelligent, they are difficult to train. When they spend all their time around the house they don´t eat less so are usually overweight. They don´t bark much, but they do howl, and some owners find their vocalization excessive. They are okay as watch dogs but definitely do not work as guard dogs-the Beagle is just too nice and is more likely to make a new friend than bite an invader!

Most people are familiar with this dog since it is such a great pet. If you can put up with the howling, are looking for a good all-around dog that will live a long time and keep you entertained, a Beagle is a great dog breed to have around.

No matter what the breed information tells you, any breed can live for a long time or have a sad and short life. It is up to you to keep your dog as healthy as possible, exercise her frequently, and provide plenty of mental stimulation to keep her interested in life.

Is it time to go out and find a dog breed that lives a long time?

Wouldn´t you like to wake up to this face for the next 16 or 17 years?
Wouldn´t you like to wake up to this face for the next 16 or 17 years? | Source
The best Maltese ever (Café, RIP); no matter how long they live, it is not enough.
The best Maltese ever (Café, RIP); no matter how long they live, it is not enough.

Want to see more articles to keep your dog healthy during her long life? Visit advice to help a sick dog.

You can find information on how to save money on your dogs health care, how to spot health problems early, and of course on ways you can keep your dog healthy and a member of the family for a long time to come.

Click on my avatar at the top of the page and you can look at other articles I have written about dogs. If you have any specific questions contact me through free vet advice and leave a message.

My dog will make sure that I get right back to you!

© 2012 DrMark1961

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Comments 48 comments

grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 months ago from Philippines

It is good to know my dachshund will live longer than I expected. The video of the llasa apso was also lovely. Too bad, it is not really hypoallergenic, as I have rhinitis and allergy to dogs.

Amber B 18 months ago

My mom had a sheltie who lived to 26 years. We had a German Shepard who lived to 17 years. Lasha Apso, shepard, and shepard mix who all lived to 16 years together. Lasha Apso was older by 4 years. It's never enough time no matter how many years. Our bitty pitty is now 2 1/2 years old and we hope we get many many years with her. My wonderful cow. She's my first dog that's mine and wasn't evenintended for me. I got her for my bf but she stuck to me like glue.

Lana Beverly 2 years ago

will a dachshund get a long with a kitten or a 3 month old cat?


Edward J. Palumbo profile image

Edward J. Palumbo 2 years ago from Tualatin, OR

Our 11 year old dachshund was born in our bed, was the least aggressive of his litter, but he won my wife's heart is has been an "affection sponge" since he was born. He's a good indoor dog, not at all fond of rain or cold weather. He enjoys chasing squirrels in the yard, though he has yet to catch one, but chases them enthusiastically. We have another dog and two cats, and he gets along well with all of them.

becky 2 years ago

had one chihuahua lived to 18 and never sick. She definitely was 1 person dog. She just went to sleep one night never woke.

Next longest lived pet was male Jack Russell. Healthy until 12 and 3 yrs blind and deaf, finally at 15 put down due to extreme pain from arthritis

Silverlight 3 years ago

Six pounds. For a Chihuahua. People always assume that a Chihuahua is a little dog, probely smaller then your shoe. The fact is there are THREE sizes of this dog breed.

Standards - I own three standards. They range from ten to fourteen pounds.

Miniatures - These are the ones you are referring to.

Teacup - Basically, this is the results of the smallest standards being bred together. My sister owns one of these.

vibesites profile image

vibesites 3 years ago from United States

My sister in law has a toy poodle. You're right about it: this breed doesn't shed that much, I just find just very, very little furs on the floor. And she's so alert and always wants to be around people, and very trainable. Her master has said that her toy poodle hasn't been ill yet, especially with the right care (my sis in law always gives her pet vitamins). The dog is strong and hardy. I'd say it's the perfectdog breed for me. Thanks for the very interesting article :)

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 3 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

She sound like a great little dog. Of course, like I mentioned with my Maltese Café, her lifespan will not be enough, no matter how long it is! Tell them to take good care of her, brush her teeth, and hope that she is around 20 years!!!

Dreamhowl profile image

Dreamhowl 3 years ago from United States of America

This hub is packed with information! My parents have a miniature day dachshund and I guess they got lucky - she was easy to house train and isn't aggressive. If anything she loves to play too much and does have a piercing bark. It's good to know that she will live a long life. Voted up and shared!

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 3 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

They are really good with kids and also good with cats. I am not sure if there are any health issues you need to be aware of in India but Beagles here in Brazil, and those in the US and Europe, are all very healthy dogs. Good luck. I hope you find the dog you are searching for.

Moumita pal from India 3 years ago


I am looking for a beagle male puppy and I had a talk with some dog breeder and pet shop in our locality.i have kid at my home so my question is that is this breed frndly to kids? And also like to know what r the factors r imp to choose good healthy beagle puppy?

I will be thankful to u if u ans my questions.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 3 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

Thanks Tony that is pretty impressive for a Pom. But as you mentioned, it is not enough time to care about them!

tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 3 years ago from Yorkshire

inter esting hub, I had a Pomeranium that lived to nearly eighteen years old. However long or short they live we love them beyond reason.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 3 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

That is an interesting question about the Lhasa and Shih Tzu. The Lhasa is one of the few purebreds around, and the Shih Tzu is probably related, but the Shih Tzu is also one of the ancient breeds most closely related to the wolf (if you can believe that!). A lot of theories out there, but who knows.

It sounds like your family takes really good care of her! I hope she stays healthy in all the time you have left with her.

Thanks for stopping by.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi DrMark. The Lhasa Apso looks just like our ShihTzu. They must be related? As you mentioned she has had skin and eye issues. She gets these little fatty lumps or cysts on her skin that we have had removed in the past but they seem to return. In her eyes she has had ingrown eyelashes that required a procedure to freeze them. She sure cost us a bundle when she was younger but she hadn't had any issues over the last few years other than the presence of the little fatty lumps.

Great job with this list.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 3 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

Hi Archa, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Archa Ghodge profile image

Archa Ghodge 3 years ago from India

This is really interesting. I did not know so much about these dog breeds.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Thank you, DrMark.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 3 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

Sorry to hear that, Will. I hope she is recovering.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

My mother-in-law had a stroke Saturday, so we haven't had time to take Lily in.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 3 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

An open fontanelle (soft spot on the skull) in a Chihuahua is really nothing to worry about. Just treat her easy and make sure she doesn´t have any trauma!

Did the rest of Lily´s exam go okay?

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Our chihuahua has a soft spot, and our vet said she might have problems due to that. I'm glad to hear they close up eventually.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 3 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

Hi Brigitte great comment! He sounds like he has that dirty look down to a fine art.

Brigitte Thompson profile image

Brigitte Thompson 3 years ago from Austin, TX

Great Hub. I have a long hair standard Dachshund, I have grown up with them as a child. They make great pets, but they do have their favorites in the Family... namely my Mom (smile). We've always enjoyed the Dachshunds personalities. They are very expressive, and are able to communicate with body language. My long hair has a very friendly personality, however, he knows how to give "dirty looks" to the point that complete strangers will get a kick out of it and even comment about it.

Jmillis2006 profile image

Jmillis2006 3 years ago from North Carolina

Great hub, I have a cavalier king charles spaniel and a Chihuahua, and you are very right about chihuahua's mine is currently 11 years old with no health problems and very active, but she only likes me and loves sleeping under blankets. Another point worth noting both of these breeds are hard to house train.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 3 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

That sounds like a great breeding program. The American Alsatian is supposedly being developed with longer-lived dogs; maybe you could take your favorite breed and do the same? There is no reason big dogs have to live for such short lives.

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon

The problem is, I'm not fond of little dogs. I wish big dogs lived longer.

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 3 years ago from Hereford, AZ

I think our long hair would have been around longer, but she got a low grade infection and it damaged her too much. She didn't even recognize us when we went in to see her. She was my mom's baby. She weighed all of 8 lbs. and was the deep red of an Irish setter.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 3 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

Fifteen is great for a GSD. Did you see the photo of the guy giving his elderly GSD hydrotherapy?It is a retired therapy dog and the photo was so great that after it appeared on FB it went viral.

My girlfriend in college has a long haied doxie. She had her share of problems, like the six fused discs you explain in your mom´s dog, but she was around a looong time!

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 3 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Good information. I worked for a vet and he told me that large dog breeds do not live as long because they have more strain on their hearts. I grew up with a German Shepherd that lived to be 15 years old. Her last couple of years were arthritic but she was happy and just curled up in her dog house or in the sun when she was achy. She was laying in the sun one day and didn't wake up. Our neighbor was bringing her a bone, and he found her. Small dogs do live the longest though.

I noticed this hub because of the long haired dachshund in the picture. They are not really common and my mom had one when I was growing up. She had to have six discs fused when she was about five, and they told us maybe a couple more years. She was also 15 when she went.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

I do not know of a study on the issue but the giant breeds live short lives--way too short. Thanks for the info on the Coton.

kblover profile image

kblover 4 years ago from USA

It is interesting that it is a lot of smaller dogs on the list. I wonder why bigger dogs have shorter life spans?

Anyway, Cotons are another little dog that has a long life span and are usually easy to take care of and are fun companions (unless you get a sleep-loving one like mine LOL - though when he's up and about, he's silly as heck).

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

I recently lost my 15 year old Maltese, and even that is not a long life. It is really tragic that Rotties die so young. I give my Pit Bull cross all sorts of supplements, but I know...Tearing up here, I don't even want to think that far ahead!

alexadry profile image

alexadry 4 years ago from USA

All the dog breeds I wished lived longer are NOT on the list! I am mostly a "big"-dog lover. I mean, I like some small doggies but I really like to hug a big dog, have a big dog lean into me and have a big dog take the whole couch, lol! I hate how short the life spans of these big fellows are. My rotts have turned 5 in the blink of an eye, and their lifespan is waaaay too short:(

Farmer Rachel profile image

Farmer Rachel 4 years ago from Minnesota

I saw the hub and commented! ACDs are a great choice for lots of reasons.

I had a feeling that "stinky beagle" thing was just a way for my father to convince me not to get another dog ;) And you're welcome about Twitter, happy to follow!

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

I really do not think they smell any worse than any other hunting dog that likes to get out and roll. I do not have one as a house dog but there are plenty of hubbers who do and I am sure they would all disagree with your dad.

Did you see the "low maintenance dog breeds" hub? ACDs are on the list, of course.

Thanks for following me on twitter. I usually just add interesting dog stuff I find here on Hubpages, but when I find other good dog articles on the internet I try to include them.

Farmer Rachel profile image

Farmer Rachel 4 years ago from Minnesota

Another good one, DrMark :) I love your hubs because I love dogs, and you've got so much great information. Do you think it's true that beagles stink? Like, naturally smell bad? I wanted to adopt a beagle from the shelter one time and I let my father talk me out of it because he used to raise them for hunting, and he swears that they do not make good house dogs because they stink...

rodney80 profile image

rodney80 4 years ago

She is right? Quite possible. Because , what I can recall, in Britain people took a pack of Beagles for hunting of red jackal. Their bark and searching capacity was used to find out the den of jackals.

People select breed without knowing the breed history, its use and its characteristic instinct therefore later suffers.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

Personal experience, I guess. Thanks for your input.

She was right on about the Beagles being vocal, as I have heard them howl a lot, but not bark much.

rodney80 profile image

rodney80 4 years ago

I oppose Shaddie's comment that lab barks most. Lab is from gun dog group, dog who accompany hunting supposed to not bark much. This habit mostly be seen in guard dog group.

Other factor is how you rare up a breed , from puppyhood if you let your dog to be socialized he does not bark much, my experience says so.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

Hi Justsilvie, I did like Shaddie´s comment though, they do know how to howl!

rodney80 profile image

rodney80 4 years ago

Thanks Dr.

Justsilvie 4 years ago

Well done Article. Beagles are wonderful dogs, full of personality. Both of mine have been and are drama queens, but one never barked and the other rarely does. The 14 year old beagle is living happily in Austria with two other family beagles and Lulu our recently adopted 9 year old is laying behind me snoring like a freight train (I do worry about the snoring and snorting) But she is happy and has a great personality and though overweight she can run pretty fast if she does not want to do something. She was given away because they thought she was getting to old, but I am betting she has a number of happy years ahead of her.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

Hi Shaddie, I agree that Beagles are VERY vocal, but it is that howling/baying. Personally I prefer the "rowr-rowr-rowr" of the Siberian Husky, another breed that doesn't bark much but is very vocal. I was chatting with someone last night that has a beagle/bassett cross. Now there is a vocal dog. Every time she steps out of the apartment the dogs starts baying!!! (like 20 babies crying for no gad dang reason!) Great comment.

Rodney, all of the books and sites you read about these books say the same thing "this breed will live from 14-16 years", etc. Bull. Statistically the Toy Poodle probably lives longest, but I have had seen numerous Chihuahuas over 20 years old. There really aren´t any accurate life expectancys, just a lot of anecdotes. Anecdotally, these five breeds live the longest, but that is my opinion. I am sure there are those out there that would disagree.

The shortest living breed I know of is the Irish Wolfhound. A lot of the giant breeds have short lives.

rodney80 profile image

rodney80 4 years ago

Dr, do you want me to believe that dogs from toy group and small breeds lives long? Throughout the article I have not seen any average life expectancy of these breeds based on which you say these are long lived.

Now want to read what breed lives shortest of

Shaddie profile image

Shaddie 4 years ago from Washington state

Beagles...don't...bark ...much? Have you even met a beagle? I find this statement bizarrely out of place, seeing as how the rest of your information seems fairly well researched. Beagles are by far one of the noisiest breeds of dogs I have ever come across (labs probably being the first). They definitely do bark, and howl, and even insist on performing a combination of these two vocalizations called 'baying' which is worse than the sound of twenty babies crying for no gad dang reason. It fills me with a rage I cannot legally express, and I would never allow anyone to purchase a beagle with the misinformed idea that they are barkless animals.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

Thanks for coming by; I get a lot of good info out of the dog hubs that you publish. I have the Japanese Chin in my hub "Five Great Dog Breeds for Apartments". Please take a look and let me know what you think. (This is all opinion, of course, as is my comment about the Lhasa Apso being the cutest, but I am always interested in hearing from someone else, even when they do not agree!)

toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago

Very well done hub. I have a Japanese Chin. They are not overbred, and have few health problems and a hardy little dog. Thanks for putting this info together, it will be a good source for many people . Rated up, useful, interesting, and awesome.

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