Ageless Tails: 10 Longest Living Dog Breeds
The average dog has a lifespan of around 10-13 years - but how about the world's longest living dog breeds? Here are 10 dogs that can live long, happy, healthy years by your side - if you treat them just right.
With all the love and joy they bring to our lives, who wouldn’t want their good boy or good girl to live as long as them? (Or even more!) It’s why you might’ve found yourself looking up the world’s longest living dog breeds – and wondering if one of them might be the perfect fit for you.
So we’ve gathered 10 dogs that score an A+ on the longevity scale – and also why some dogs tend to live longer than others. (Plus the best way to help them live their best life by your side.) Let’s get started!
Table of contents
- What do the world’s longest living dog breeds have in common?
- The top 10 longest living dog breeds – and how to keep them safe
- Small steps you can take to increase your dog’s lifespan
What do the world’s longest living dog breeds have in common?
Dogs live on average between 7-13 years, but some go even further. As of 2023, the oldest dog on the planet was Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro de Alentejo livestock dog from Portugal…who reached a whopping 30 years before he passed away peacefully.
Besides that, here are a couple of other superdogs who’ve lived the equivalent of a 100-200 year old human:
- Bluey, an Austrialian Cattle dog from Australia – who lived till 29 years
- Bramble, a Border Collie from the UK – who lived till 25 years
- Pebbles, a Toy Fox Terrier from the US – who lived till 22 years
- Chanel, a Dachshund from the US – who lived till 21 years
Now you might be wondering: do these dog breeds have something in common?
Well, as it turns out, factors like your dog’s breed, size, and activity levels play a major role in how long they tend to live.
That’s why the world’s longest living dog breeds mostly turn out to be:
- On the smaller side1
- Moderately to highly active
Which, over time, plays a major role in how healthy they tend to be – plus how long they get to live by your side.
Why do smaller dogs tends to live longer than bigger ones?
In general, smaller dogs tend to outlive bigger dogs – living around 12-15 years. (Compared to medium-sized dogs that live between 10-13 years and big dogs who get around 7-10 years.)
Why? Well, one explanation might be that bigger dogs – being, well, simply larger in size – might be more vulnerable to health conditions like malignant tumors and cancers.
- Their bigger size means that their cells divide faster – which increases their risk of a medical problem.
- Common medical conditions might be more difficult to manage in bigger dogs. So they might be euthanized sooner than smaller ones.2
But on the bright side, little steps like staying active and ensuring your dog’s getting enough sleep can go a long way. For example, vets recommend:
- Tracking your dog’s daily activity to catch on to physical health conditions.3 Many of these usually begin with symptoms like lethargy – like parvovirus, or even arthritis.
- Tracking your dog’s sleep to catch on early to mental health conditions – like Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) – which usually begin with symptoms like disturbed sleep.4 (Or a change in your dog’s snoozing habits.)
So even if your buddy isn’t one of the longest living dog breeds, you can still ensure they live a long, happy, healthy life by your side.
But does that mean long living dogs don’t have any health or safety issues? Not necessarily. So here are 10 of them – and what you can do to help them live their best life.
The top 10 longest living dog breeds – and how to keep them safe
Starting off with the longest living small dog breeds is the Papillon – a charming little dog named for their butterfly-shaped ears. They tend to live anywhere between 15-17 years and are highly intelligent, trainable dogs that do excellently with families.
Papillons tend to quite friendly by temperament, but they do need a little time to warm up to strangers. And despite their fluffy coats, they’re actually quite low-maintenance – only needing brushing a few times per week.
💡 Don’t be fooled by their little size – Papillons are a highly active breed! They’re excellent performers at dog agility competitions because of their energy and high trainability. Your Papillon will be happiest burning off that extra energy in a safe, open, off-leash space (like your backyard.)
Just make sure to train your Papillon to stay safe while off-leash. (Because untrained dogs are more likely to run off when let off the leash in unfamiliar areas.)
- The Complete Guide To Off Leash Dog Training
- Unleashing the Fun: Mastering Agility Training for Dogs!
- Why Do Dogs Run Away? 6 Reasons Behind It
Another small dog breed that tends to live quite long are Yorkshire Terriers who tend to average 12-15 years. Despite their small size, Yorkies are packed with a ton of energy and love nothing more than to run and play with their parents.
In fact, Yorkies have even played a role as war dogs! Like Smoky, a Yorkie who served in the Second World War under Corporal William A. Wynne – once even saving his life by warning him of incoming bombshells while on a ship. She went on to earn 8 battle stars, participate in 12 combat missions, and even parachuted 30 feet from a tree!
⚠️ Yorkies might be picky eaters – but with their small size, they’re a bit prone to weight gain over time. In the long run, this can increase their chances of health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
So make sure to keep an eye on your Yorkie to prevent them from escaping home to get fed by a friendly neighbor. (Where they might eat something potentially toxic.)
- What Makes Dogs Fat? Getting An Overweight Dog Back In Shape
- What Can Dogs Not Eat? 15 Foods Poisonous To Dogs
The most distinguished looking of the longest living small dog breeds: Miniature Schnauzers! Much like Yorkies, they also tend to live around 12-15 years – and are laid-back, friendly dogs that go well with families.
Originally from Germany, these little buddies were raised to hunt down smaller animals, including mice and rabbits. It’s why Miniature Schnauzers tend to have a high prey drive – or a hunting instinct. So make sure to:
- Socialize them plenty with your other pets (especially cats!)
- Train your Miniature Schnauzer to come when called – and to get used to walking on a leash
- Not let them off-leash when you’re out on a walk, run, or hike together
(Else your little buddy’s prey drive might end up with them running deep into the woods – too far from safety.)
- The Guide To Leash Training A Puppy Or Dog
- Dog Recall: How To Teach Your Dog To Come When Called
- 7 Essential Tips For Handling The Prey Drive In Dogs
💡Tracking your Miniature Schnauzer’s movements in real-time can be a lifesaver during an emergency – like if they’ve run off too far to hear you calling them to come back.
Which is where it makes sense to invest in a dog GPS tracker. Ideally, one that lets you:
- Follow every step your running dog takes
- With just a glance at your phone
- And over an unlimited range.
Next on our list are the floofiest long living small dogs: Pomeranians! Clocking in at a 12-16 year lifespan, Poms are a lively, playful, energetic breed that love to learn new tricks and be the center of attention.
Just watch out: your little Pom may be a little on the domineering side! Because of their small size, Pomeranians often bark at other dogs and humans. (Trying to show them who’s boss.)
⚠️ Pomeranians might live a long life in dog years – but they’re also vulnerable to medical conditions like joint and skeletal problems, including hip dysplasia.
So make sure to keep an eye out for a drop in your Pom’s everyday activity. It’ll help you to catch on to these mobility-affecting conditions early on – so you can get them to a vet for a checkup before they get worse.
Ever heard of a dog from the Netherlands – whose name also translates to “little captain”? Meet the Schipperke, an active, inquisitive miniature sheepdog breed that’s always on the move! Schipperkes tend to live to around 13-15 years, though some have grown as old as 18-19 years.
Much like Yorkies, Schipperkes have also been heroic war dogs during the Second World War – helping the Belgian Resistance deliver messages between their hideouts.
These high-energy dogs are also highly fond of water, often splashing around and enjoying a dip in ponds and pools. Schipperkes used to be known as “canal boat dogs” – but their primary role as working dogs was to herd livestock around.
💡 This, combined with their inquisitive, mischievous nature is why experts recommend tiring out your Schipperke with daily exercise.5 (Like agility training – or even an obedience class.) Else they’re likely to dig a hole beneath your fence or just jump over it to run away from home and burn off some extra energy!
Luckily, your trusty Tractive GPS doesn’t just help you track your dog in real-time.
Besides being 100% waterproof, your tracker’s built-in motion detector picks up your Schipperke’s movements throughout the day – so you can ensure they’ve gotten enough exercise. (Both keeping them healthy and too tired to run away to cause any mischief.)
- Dog Jumping Fence? How To Handle An Escape Artist Dog
- The Best Small Waterproof GPS Tracker For Dogs & Cats
- 19 Water Dogs – These Dog Breeds Love Water
Jack Russell Terriers
One of the healthiest longest living dog breeds, Jack Russell Terriers are excellent family dogs and love nothing more than to run around open spaces. With proper care, they can live between 13-16 long, happy, active years by your side.
(And yes, they actually are named after Reverend John “Jack” Russell who originally bred, raised, and trained them back in early 19th century UK.)
Jacks Russells tend to be friendly, intelligent, and athletic – but they do tend to get bored easily if they’re not physically or mentally stimulated enough. (They were trained as working dogs meant to hunt and chase down foxes, after all.)
So make sure to:
- Keep yours firmly leashed or harnessed when out walking in the woods
- Double down on your recall training
- Set up a “safe zone” around your home or backyard with your Tractive GPS – and get an instant escape alert if your Jack’s trying to sneak past it.
💡With their high speed, Jack Russells are excellent competitors for dog sports like flyball and canicross. In fact, training your dog for canicross is a great way to stay on top of both your fitness – and also build your bond with your buddy!
(Plus, it’ll help you thoroughly tire out and exercise your little Jack – preventing them from running away from home to burn off some extra energy.)
“Your running companion really is like an athlete; hence they needs special care. Losing sight of where he is heading – during a walk, for example – can be dangerous and undermine their Canicross career. You never know what dangers lurk in when he’s out there wandering.
To all who care for their dogs as much as I do, I recommend the Tractive GPS Tracker.
With the usage of such a device on a regular basis, I feel confident of leaving my dog playing alone outside. I know I can always check on him just by opening the Tractive GPS app on my phone.“– Arnaud Sapiot, professional Canicross runner
Easily the most famous dog on the internet, Shiba Inus are a medium-sized long living dog breed that’s native to Japan. They tend to live between 12-15 years.
But don’t be fooled by their chill appearance – Shibas used to be trained as hunting dogs and are excellent companions if you’re fond of running and hiking on mountain trails.
These fluffy dogs are also pretty low-maintenance, being quite independent by temperament. You can safely leave one at home for a couple of hours without having to worry about them getting up to much mischief.
⚠️ At the same time, Shibas tend to be anxiety-prone if they aren’t getting enough exercise – which turns up as problematic behaviors, like excessive barking.
So if you’re exercising your Shiba everyday, tracking their daily activity can actually help you stay motivated to stick to your routine together.
Besides, your Tractive device also helps you compete with other dog parents with a leaderboard – so you can get a picture of how your dog’s doing compared to others.
“With our Activity Benchmarking feature, we want pet parents to get a clear picture of their pets’ peers – and to be able to see how they’re doing in comparison.
It can help you stay motivated and more accountable to your dog’s health and wellbeing over time.”– Sebastian Raab, Product Manager at Tractive & occasional pet-sitter
- Separation Anxiety In Dogs
- Running With Dogs? Tips To Keep It Safe & Sporty
- Hiking With Dogs: Tips For A Stress-Free Adventure
Another floofy long living dog breed, Samoyeds are a medium-sized dog breed originating from Siberia. Originally bred as sled and herding dogs, Sammies tend to live between 12-14 years. They’re friendly, highly active, and need a ton of exercise to stay happy and healthy.
Sammies are commonly referred to as a hypoallergenic dog breed – though they do tend to shed quite a bit. So make sure to stay on top of their grooming, since their thick double coat needs some maintenance.
Your Samoyed will also need a ton of time with you – both playtime and quality time – to not get bored. (Else they might get destructive or start to dig instead.)
💡 Pictured above is Sally, an adventurous Samoyed who travels the Scottish countryside with her mom, Clare – 100% off-leash.
In Clare’s words:
“She requires lots of exercise and off the leash play to burn off all her energy. Luckily, we live in Scotland, with miles of unspoilt beaches, moorland and mountains within easy reach.
However, there’s always that fear, “What if I lose sight of her, how will I call her back?”
That’s where our Tractive GPS has been invaluable. Whenever Sally’s been gone exploring for more than a minute, I can turn on the “LIVE tracking” and see exactly where she is.”– Sally & Clare, Scotland
Excitable, affectionate, and very cuddly – Beagles are another medium-sized long living dog breed that tend to live around 12-15 years. They’re famous for having one of the best senses of smells among all dogs – along with their cousins, Bloodhounds and Basset Hounds.
Beagles are excellent family dogs and get along well with children. They’re quite gentle, temperament-wise – and once they’ve overcome their initial shyness around strangers, they’re quite easy to win over.
However, much like Shiba Inus, Beagles also tend to be prone to separation anxiety – which might turn up as destructive behavior indoors. (Or an escape attempt outdoors.)
So make sure:
- Not to leave yours alone at home for too long unattended
- Ensure your Beagle is microchipped in case they do run away from home
- Watch out for your Beagle’s food-motivated nature. (Which might also mean accepting potentially toxic food – or from a dog thief.)
⚠️ With their small size and agreeable temperaments, Beagles might be vulnerable to a dognapping attempt.
Which, in the case of Kathy the Beagle, ended happily – since her dad was tracking her real-time position via her Tractive device.
After a two hour car chase, the police were able to rescue her from the dog thieves, safe and sound.
- Dognapping: Pet Kidnapping And How To Keep Your Dog Safe From Dog Thieves
- How Far Can Dogs Smell? Dog Sniffing Senses Explained
If you’re looking for the perfect running, jogging, sports, or hiking partner – look no further than the Australian Shepherd. These active, high-energy dogs tend to live between 11-13 years and were bred as herding dogs. (Which explains why they just can’t sit still most of the time.)
Funnily enough, Australian Shepherds aren’t actually native to Australia – but rather the US! They were used to running around herding sheep in 19th century California. With time, they became popular rodeo performers – performing tricks due to their high intelligence and energy.
Despite being highly active, Aussies tend to be vulnerable to health problems like vision difficulties and epilepsy. And because they’re sociable dogs, they hate being left alone and might develop separation anxiety as a result.
💡Australian Shepherds make for excellent running partners – both keeping you healthy and helping you spend some sweaty quality time with your dog. They’re natural runners and enjoy being on the move all day long!
Besides, keeping your Aussie thoroughly exercised doesn’t just keep them healthy over time. They’re number one on the list of runaway dog breeds. In fact, Australian Shepherd owners typically lose this breed about 0.9 times a month!
- The Best Running Dogs For Your Next Jog Outdoors
- Runaway Dog: Which Dog Breeds Are Most Likely To Run Away?
Small steps you can take to increase your dog’s lifespan
Now that we’ve covered some of the longest living dog breeds, you might’ve realized – it’s a combination of factors that keep these dogs happy and healthy for so many years.
And no matter whether your dog is a long living breed or not, there are always a bunch of practical steps you can take to help them live their best life by your side.
Regular vet checkups
Staying on top of your vet visits means taking an active role in your dog’s health and wellbeing. Your vet can help you:
- Check up regularly on your dog’s health – and catch on to potential issues early before they worsen
- Identify what health conditions your dog is vulnerable to
- What preventive steps you can take
Read more: How Often Should I Take My Dog To The Vet?
Besides, while examining your dog, your vet might also take a look at common problem areas where dogs tend to pick up an infection or illness. Including their:
- Fur and skin
💡 For example, regular dental checkups for your dog can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases like gingivitis and periodontal disease.6 Both, if left untreated, can even affect your dog’s internal organs and make them sick.
- Dog Dental Care: How To Get Your Dog The Best Smile Ever
- 5 Easy Dog Grooming Tips You Can Do At Home: The Ultimate Guide For Dog Parents
- How To Trim Dog Nails: A Complete Guide
But even more than your dog’s appearance, it’s changes in their behavior that can hint they might not be doing so well. And when we’re thinking about the longest living dog breeds, it makes sense to…
Get informed on how to best care for senior dogs
It feels like you’ve just blinked – and your little puppy is now a grand-paw! Some long living dog breeds (like Samoyeds) tend to stay active and playful well into their senior dog years.
But others might show changes in their behavior that you might dismiss as “old dog behavior” – but which might actually mean they’re sick instead.
Because much like cats, dogs tend to mask any signs of illness, pain, or discomfort – even if they’re struggling with sickness or injury. Once they’re demanding your attention…it’s usually a cry for help and a sign their condition has worsened.
⚠️ And one of the first signs they might be sick – but which you might miss because you think they’re just growing old? A drop in their daily activity.
Which is why vets recommend tracking your dog’s regular exercise – whether that’s playtime, a walk outdoors, or off-leash play in your backyard.
Once you’re tracking everyday, you can catch on quicker to a dip or a spike in their regular activity. (Which could mean something’s wrong.)
💡Or you could let your trusty Tractive device do all the hard work for you – picking up and logging your dog’s active minutes throughout the day.
Or sending you a Health Alert if your dog’s regular activity seems to have dropped. (So you can get them checked up at a vet early on – and avoid an expensive medical bill down the line.)
Monitor your dog’s sleep
Tracking your dog’s exercise might seem easy enough. But how about their sleep? Turns out, much like us, dogs also need to get a good night’s rest to stay healthy.
And as it turns out, senior dogs are vulnerable to mental health difficulties too. Including conditions like dementia and Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS).
Both of which usually begin with a change in their sleep cycles.
It’s why tracking your dog’s sleep – including how much quality sleep they’ve gotten and how often their sleep was disturbed – can be a lifesaver.
It’s why Tractive pet parents the world over – just like you – are investing in our life-saving technology.
Because when it comes to our furry friends, it’s always worth it going the extra mile – both for their safety and for your peace of mind.
Stay on top of your dog’s wellness
See how they’re doing at a glance with Wellness Score. Set goals. Compare with dogs like yours. Monitor sleep. Detect issues and keep them healthy.
Want to see one of the world’s longest living dogs in action? Here’s Bobi, the former record holder of World’s Oldest Dog – and his life as a free-roaming dog:
And if you’ve liked this post, share it with a friend or a loved one – and let’s help build a safer, kinder world for our furry friends together.