What Dog Breeds Live the Longest?

A cute white chihuahua laying on a white textile.

Deciding on the most compatible dog breed is an important step for every aspiring dog owner. Aspiring owners consider factors like the following: 

  • How much attention the dog breed usually needs
  • Whether or not the dog breed is known for barking
  • If the dog breed is generally good with kids

While all of the above are important considerations, some might also look at another factor: longevity. Owners who want their pets to be in their lives for as long as possible might gravitate toward breeds with longer-than-average lifespans.

Here is a list of six dog breeds that tend to live the longest. Read on to learn more about each one and determine which is right for you or your family.

1. Chihuahua

As this list will demonstrate, smaller dogs tend to have longer lifespans than bigger dogs. One reason could be that a larger dog's size puts more strain on its physiological processes. With that said, it’s no surprise that the first on our list of dog breeds that live the longest is the chihuahua. Their life expectancy is 14 to 16 years, meaning you'll get plenty of time with your beloved lil' pup. These sassy pups only stand 5 to 8 inches tall and tend to weigh no more than 6 pounds. 

Chihuahuas are generally healthy dogs, but the breed might encounter genetic issues like heart problems, eye disease, loose kneecaps, or idiopathic epilepsy. You can keep your pup healthy by scheduling regular health tests such as cardiac exams, patella evaluations, and ophthalmologist evaluations.

2. Dachshund

Also known as a wiener dog, a dachshund has an average life expectancy of 12 to 16 years. If you get the standard type of this breed, the average height is 8 to 9 inches and the average weight is 16 to 32 pounds. Miniature dachshunds are ideal for owners who want smaller dogs, as they tend to only be 5 to 6 inches tall and weigh 11 pounds or less. Anyone who's owned a dachshund can attest to the breed's curious and spunky personality. These dogs are a little stubborn but are super affectionate with family.

You can ensure the health of your dachshund by maintaining a good diet and providing plenty of opportunities for exercise. These conditions allow your pup to build muscle tone and prevent disc damage to its long back. Other ways to protect your dachshund include monitoring its activities and regularly cleaning its ears.

A picture of two dachshunds, one of the dog breeds that have the longest lifespan

3. Miniature Pinscher

If it receives the proper health care, a miniature pinscher lives for anywhere from 12 to 16 years. It's another smaller dog that weighs in at an average of 8 to 10 pounds and stands 10 to 12.5 inches tall. Its fearless and fun-loving personality is evident in its slightly oval eyes and high-set ears. In addition to a glossy coat, a miniature pinscher has a signature high-stepping "hackney" gait similar to a horse trot.

The small yet sturdy miniature pinscher is a typically healthy breed. Responsible breeders will test for issues such as patellar luxation, thyroid problems, heart defects, and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. You can prioritize your pup's health through regular teeth cleanings, vet checkups, and parasite control treatments.

4. Shiba Inu

Shiba inus are small but muscular dogs with bold personalities. The average life expectancy of a shiba inu is 13 to 16 years. The average male weighs in at 23 pounds and stands between 14.5 and 16.5 inches tall. If you get a female, you can expect a slightly smaller dog that weighs around 17 pounds and be between 13.5 and 15.5 inches tall. 

Their most common health conditions are skin irritation and itching which allergy treatments can help relieve.

A picture of a shiba inu, one of the dog breeds that have the longest lifespan

5. Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian cattle dog is proof that "smaller dogs live longer" isn't always a hard and fast rule. Weighing 35 to 50 pounds and standing 17 to 20 inches tall, this breed has an average life expectancy of 12 and 16 years. True to its name, the Australian cattle dog has an instinct to herd and possesses an impressive work ethic. You can meet their energy needs through regular exercise and mentally stimulating activities. 

Responsible breeders screen Australian cattle dogs for conditions like deafness, hip dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy.

6. Australian Shepherd

The Australian shepherd is further proof that it's not only the tiniest breeds that can have longer-than-average lifespans. This breed weighs an average of 40 to 65 pounds, has an average height of 18 to 23 inches, and typically lives for 12 to 15 years. Like the Australian cattle dog, the Australian shepherd possesses an excellent work ethic and an impulse to lead. 

Australian shepherds tend to be healthy dogs, as responsible breeders screen for issues like hip dysplasia and cataracts. Keep your pup healthy by regularly cleaning ears to remove foreign matter and wax buildup.

Final Thoughts on Dog Breeds that Live the Longest

As this guide has demonstrated, several breeds have longer-than-average lifespans. While your furry friend's breed factors into its life expectancy, you also have the power to keep your pet at peak health for years to come. Preventive care helps keep illnesses at bay and ensures the highest quality of life for your beloved canine companion. 

Consult our veterinarians for your next steps towards complete preventive care.

Sploot Veterinary Care is a trusted provider of primary and urgent care for dogs and cats. We believe that preventive care is the number one investment you can make to protect your pet’s health. To get started with complete preventive care, book an appointment today or reach out to our team for questions!

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