The 10 Longest-Living Dog Breeds in the World

Man’s best friend should live forever, right? Or if only we could convert their dog years into people years, we could at least have our lovable pooches around for a long time. A dog’s lifespan is, of course, partially dependent on care and environment. But the breed itself plays a role, too. In general, smaller dogs tend to live longer than larger ones.

Here are the ten longest living breeds:

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10. Maltese
As the name suggests, this breed probably originated on the Mediterranean island of Malta. They are charming, gentle and playful, and have a long, silky white coat. Sprightly and vigorous, they remain lively and playful even as they age, and do well in small apartments and townhouses. Adults generally weigh between 5-8 pounds and stand 7-12 inches.
Average lifespan: 15 years

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9. Australian Shepherd
Despite its name, this breed was developed on the ranches of the western United States. Standing at 20-23 inches, this is a smart, hardworking breed. It has strong herding instincts, endless stamina, and is a loyal, loving, exuberant companion. Weighing up to 65 pounds, Australian Shepherds require daily, vigorous exercise.
Average lifespan: 15 years

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8. Beagle
Friendly and curious, this member of the hound family is an excellent hunting dog. They are loving, easygoing, and make great companions. Originally bred as a hunter, beagles are also used as detection dogs because of their great sense of smell. They have short, easy-to-care-for coats and are quick, energetic, and love exercise. They stand 13-16 inches high, and adults weigh from 18-35 pounds.
Average lifespan: 15 years

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7. Lhasa Apso
This breed has a heavy, straight, dense, hard coat. Bred as an indoor monastery dog for Tibetan monks, they are alert and have a keen sense of hearing. They are smart, confident, and comical, but can be aloof to strangers. From an early age they require socialization with people and other dogs. The name in Tibetan means “bearded lion dog.”
Average lifespan: 15 years

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6. Shih Tzu
Also known as the Chrysanthemum Dog, this breed may have originated in Tibet. They have a soft, long double coat and stand about a foot tall. They are loyal, affectionate, playful, outgoing and alert. The Shih Tzu can be somewhat resistant to training, so it’s important to start from puppyhood. They interact well with children, adults, and other dogs. Requiring little exercise, they are excellent for small apartments or dwellings with minimal yard space.
Average lifespan: 15 years

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5. Toy Poodle
The smallest of the poodles (miniature and standard are larger), Toy Poodles are active, very intelligent, and highly trainable. The owner, however, must be assertive as “pack leader,” otherwise the dog may begin to assert itself and become demanding, sensitive, and nervous. It is a good dog with children, but does better with older children for the aforementioned reason. Toy Poodles are small, about 10 inches tall and 6-9 pounds.
Average lifespan: 16 years

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4. Cockapoo
The Cockapoo is a mixed-breed dog, a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. A “designer dog,” this breed was created to get a breed with the intelligence and low-shedding coat of a poodle and the affectionate disposition of a Cocker Spaniel. However, because it is a mixed-breed dog, the temperament can be unpredictable. They are generally outgoing, affectionate, loyal, and thrive when they have regular exercise. They are somewhat needy and do not do well if there are long periods of isolation. Size and weight varies depending on the animals that are bred.
Average lifespan: 16 years

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3. Jack Russell Terrier
Developed for fox hunting, the Jack Russell Terrier is energetic, fearless, and intelligent. They are best suited for experienced dog owners, as they are affectionate but difficult to train and manage. They have a tremendous amount of energy. They need regular stimulation, and can become moody and destructive if not properly exercised. Because of this, it is best to have a large home or yard where the dog can be active and get the exercise it needs. Jack Russells stand between 10-15 inches and weigh 14-18 pounds.
Average lifespan: 16 years

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2. Chihuahua
The smallest dog recognized by some kennel clubs – not more than six pounds – Chihuahuas come in a variety of sizes and colors. There are two varieties: the long coat and smooth coat. These pooches are alert and saucy, with a bark often much larger than the bite. Easily provoked, they are not particularly well-suited for homes with small children.
Average lifespan: 17 years

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1. New Guinea Singing Dog
The world’s rarest dog, it is named for its distinctive melodious howl. Weighing in at 21-30 pounds, only about 100 live in captivity, and sightings of this dog in the wild are quite rare. They are extraordinarily shy and extremely shrewd.
Average lifespan: 18 years