Breed Tips

Which Dog Breed Lives the Longest?

Many new pet owners will have the same question: what dogs live the longest? According to PetMD, the smaller the breed, the longer their life expectancy. There are, however, a few medium-sized dogs that are known for their lengthy lifespan. The average lifespan for smaller breeds, especially the toy and terrier ones like Chihuahuas, Pugs, etc. is around 10-15 years with some living for more than 18 years. Medium breeds like the Australian Cattle Dog, Golden Retriever, etc. live for an average of 10-13 years. Large breeds like the Great Dane and English Mastiff live for an average of 8-13 years. Giant ones like Great Pyrenees and Newfoundland have the shortest average lifespan, ranging from 8-10 years. 

Apart from size, the nose length also plays a role in determining the average lifespan of a breed. Breeds with long noses tend to live longer than the ones with flat or short ones. Brachycephalic dogs, the ones with flat noses, are more susceptible to breathing problems and heat intolerance. 

Having said that, here’s a list of the top 10 longest-living dog breeds – 

  • Chihuahua – Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breed in the world, and can live for an average of 14-18 years.

  • Shih Tzu – These Tibetan dogs, despite being brachycephalic, will most of the time celebrate their 18th birthday with you.

  • Yorkshire Terrier – British Yorkies can live for an average of 11-15 years.

  • Bichon Frise – These beautiful cotton balls from the Canary Islands, France, can live up to 14-15 years on average.

  • Shiba Inu – A hunting breed from Japan, it has an average lifespan of 13-16 years. 

  • Australian Cattle Dog – The Blue Heeler or the Red Heeler from Australia lives 12-16 years on average. 

  • Parson Russell Terrier – The Fox Terrier from England has an average lifespan of 12-16 years

  • Toy Poodle – The miniature version of the Poodle, this German dog lives an average span of 14 – 16 years

  • Beagle – The scent hound from England has an average lifespan of 12 – 15 years

  • Dachshund – This German Dog with a long body and short legs lives an average lifespan of 13-14 years.

What Breed of Dog Lives the Shortest Amount of Time? 

Since now we know what dogs live the longest, we should know which dogs have the shortest lifespan. While the smaller breeds live a good 14-18 years of life, some big ones live a very short life as compared to others. These include – 

  • French Mastiff – These giant dogs from Bordeaux, France are considered to be the shortest-living dog breed. It has an average lifespan of 5-8 years.

  • Great Dane – These Gentle Giants from Germany have an average lifespan of 7-9 years

  • Bernese Mountain Dog – This Swiss farm dog is another breed with a short lifespan, living an average of only 7-10 years

  • Irish Wolfhound – This wolf hunter from Ireland, is one of the largest dog breeds in the world and has an average lifespan of 6-8 years

  • Neapolitan Mastiff – This large and powerful Italian breed has an average lifespan of 7-9 years

Can a Dog Live 20 Years?

It would be very rare for a dog to live for 20 years or more. However, there have been some dogs in the past that have crossed this benchmark. Bluey, the Australian Cattle Dog, currently holds the title of the dog that lived the longest. Born on 7th June 1910, Bluey lived for 29 years and 5 months and passed away on 14th November 1939.

In 2023, Bobi, a Rafeiro do Alentejo breed from Portugal was awarded the Guinness World Record of the longest-living dog having lived for 30 years and 267 days. A year later, the record was stripped away due to a lack of evidence of Bobi’s age. To put that into perspective, if the claim were true, it would mean that Bobi lived for 200 human years!

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Factors Impacting a Dog’s Lifespan

As pet parents, it’s natural to wish that our four-legged friends could stay with us throughout our lifetimes. However, each breed comes with its genes and characteristics. While genetic codes do have an impact on the average lifespan of a dog, several other factors also influence how long a dog will live. They include – 

  • Breeding practice – Certain breeds can be predisposed to certain health issues like hip dysplasia, respiratory problems, cancer, and heart conditions. Healthy and responsible breeding can mitigate these health risks; hence increasing the dog’s lifespan.

  • Diet and weight management – Obesity is one of the most common reasons for a shorter dog’s life. Ensuring a well-balanced, good-quality diet can have a huge impact on a dog’s longevity. 

  • Physical and mental health – Just like for us humans, exercise, both physical and mental, plays a vital role in determining the quality and length of life for dogs. 

  • Preventive care – Timely vaccination, routine vet visits, dental care, etc. help in reducing the chances of severe disease and hence an increased lifespan.

  • Love – And lastly, but the most important factor, is the love and bonding between a family and their dog. This plays a huge role in the dog’s longevity. 

Do Dog Insurance Plans Help Increase a Dog’s Lifespan?

Short dogs may live the longest, but they also come with their medical challenges. Patellar Luxation, Intervertebral Disc Disease, Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, Hypoglycemia, and Mitral Valve Disease are some of the most common health problems that small dogs face. 

Large breeds face their challenges. Hip/Elbow Dysplasia, Arthritis, Gastric Dilation-Volvulus, Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Osteosarcoma, Hemangiosarcoma, etc. are just some of the most common health issues that large dogs face.

The treatment costs for these medical conditions can easily run into thousands of dollars. This is when having pet insurance plans can help. With insurance, you can save up to 90% on eligible vet bills and avail the best medical treatments for your four-legged buddies. At Spot Pet, we don’t just help cover accidents and illnesses but also microchipping, behavioral issues, alternate therapies, spaying/neutering, prescription diets, and much more. And at Spot, our plans start at just $10 per month.

Get dog insurance plans or cat insurance plans now to help ensure your pet can get the treatments and preventive measures they need to enjoy a long and healthy life. 


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