What Dog Breed Has the Longest Lifespan?

As the old adage goes, “Dogs are man’s best friend.”

Anytime you select a dog to become part of your family, you often ask yourself the question, what is the lifespan of a particular breed of dog. This is important to understand because the lifespan of a dog is often related to the genetic issues that are inherent with a specific breed of dog. More importantly, because that's your best friend, you want to ensure they are able to stick around for as long as they possibly can. In doing so, you want to make sure you cater to them by understanding genetically what issues are inherited with a specific breed of dog and properly address those needs for your best friend.

What Dog Breed Has the Longest Lifespan?

At the top of our list is the beloved toy dog, the Chihuahua.

The Chihuahua is one of the longest living dog breeds with a life span ranging from 15 years to 20 years. This alert and expressive breed is generally a healthy dog. They are genetically prone to heart and eye problems. Theoretically, smaller breed dogs tend to live longer which is contributed to their slower rate of growth that delays age related diseases. Even though the beloved Chihuahua breed is relatively healthy, they still need plenty of exercise and a healthy diet.

Fun Fact: Not only is the Chihuahua one of the longest living dog breeds, they are also among the top 5 smallest dog breeds.

More Dogs with Long Lifespans

There are other breeds that are prone to longer life spans. Even though some dogs have longer life spans than others, it is still important to take care of our canine companions and provide a healthy quality of life for them. The lifespan of dog can be a determining factor for our selection of dogs. A dog life span can also determine how we care for them. Among some of the longest living breeds include:


With an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years, the Maltese has a longer lifespan than most breeds their small size. Female Maltese tend to live longer than their male partners. Because they have fewer serious genetic diseases, this is a huge contributing factor to their long life span. They tend to have diseases of the pancreas and intestines.


The average lifespan of a beagle ranges from 12 years to 15 years. Their life span is largely contributed to their size. This lovable canine companion is susceptible to serious disease conditions such as cancer. Overall, with regular activity and a healthy lifestyle, beagles can be expected to live longer lives.

Shih Tzu

The average life expectancy of a shih tzu ranges from 10 years to 16 years. Commonly, they are known to have allergies and ear infections but for the most part they are overall healthier in comparison to larger breed dogs. Because of the structure of their faces, Shih Tzus are prone to breathing issues.

Final Thoughts on the Life Expectancy of Dogs

Our dogs are such an integral part of our lives. Before we make the decision to incorporate a canine companion into our families, it is important to understand what dog breed has longest life span. With a little homework, we can search the dog breed that's best for our families and make a decision that will bring joy to our lives and the lives of our canine buddies.

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