Larry Slawson received his Master's Degree from UNC Charlotte. He has 15+ years of experience with dogs and various pets.
The 10 Longest Living Dogs in the World
- Australian Cattle Dog
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Shih Tzu
- Rat Terrier
- Toy Poodle
10 Dog Breeds With Long Lifespans
Throughout the world, a number of dog breeds have been recognized for both their overall health and longevity in terms of life expectancy. While the average canine tends to live in the vicinity of 10 to 13 years, several breeds have displayed remarkable resilience in regard to the aging process, living upwards of 20+ years. From the Australian Cattle Dog to the Chihuahua, this article examines the 10 longest living dog breeds in the world. It provides a direct analysis of each dog’s history, physical characteristics, and general lifespan. It is the author’s hope that a better understanding (and appreciation) of these remarkable dog breeds will accompany readers following their completion of this work.
In selecting the world’s longest-living dogs, several criteria were implemented for the extents and purposes of this research. First and foremost, average lifespan of each breed served as the primary indicator of a dog’s longevity (in terms of age). To meet the “top 10” list that follows, only dogs with a lifespan exceeding 10 to 13 years (the average for most canines) were allowed to make the final cut.
Second, each breed’s capacity for living beyond their average lifespan was also taken into consideration. Median lifespan was certainly an important factor for ranking. Alone, however, it doesn’t take into effect each dog’s potential age and longevity (assuming there is an absence of serious health and medical issues). Finally, and critically, world records for each breed’s age was also taken into consideration for the selection (and ranking) process. This final criteria dovetails with the second standard applied for this list, and allows for “age” to be examined in extraordinary circumstances (or outliers to the norm).
While shortcomings certainly exist to these three criteria, the author believes they provide one of the best means for determining the world’s longest-living dogs.
10. Australian Cattle Dog
- Average Weight: 35 to 50 pounds (male and female)
- Average Height: 18 to 20 inches (male); 17 to 19 inches (female)
- Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
As its name implies, the Australian Cattle Dog (ACD or “Cattle Dog” for short) is a breed that originated in Australia during the 1800s. Originally bred from a variety of Dingoes, Scottish Highland Collies, and Dalmatians, the end result was a highly loyal, adaptable, and intelligent breed capable of taking on a wide array of roles for their owner. In modern times, the Australian Cattle Dog continues to be a favorite of ranchers and farmers due to their high energy levels, industrious spirit, and obedience.
What is the Australian Cattle Dog’s Average Lifespan?
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), average life span for the Australian Cattle Dog is an astounding 12 to 16 years, with a median age of approximately 14.5 years. However, these figures represent only the average lifespan, with several Cattle Dogs living several years beyond this. In fact, the current Guinness record for longest-living dog breed is held by an Australian Cattle Dog by the name of “Bluey.” Bluey reportedly lived to be 29 years old before passing away. And while this number is certainly outside the norm for most dogs, several independent studies have shown that the ACD tends to live (on average) 2 to 3 years longer than average dog breeds.
- Average Weight: 16 to 32 pounds (standard); Less than 11 pounds (miniature)
- Average Height: 8 to 9 inches (standard); 5 to 6 inches (miniature)
- Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
The Dachshund is a relatively older breed that was developed in Germany during the 1400s. Originally developed for the purpose of hunting and trailing various animals (such as wild boar, foxes, and badgers), the Dachshund is now a popular choice due to its family-friendly demeanor and watchdog capabilities. This breed comes in two different sizes, which include both standard and miniature. Three separate coat types are also available for the Dachshund, and include: wirehaired, longhaired, or smooth-coat varieties. Personalities for each type vary significantly, with longhairs being naturally calm and quiet, wirehairs being stubborn and mischievous, and smooth-coats possessing a temperament that lies somewhere in between.
What is the Dachshund’s Average Lifespan?
The average life expectancy for the Dachshund is approximately 12 to 16 years, with a median age of nearly 15 years. This gives the Dachshund a 2 to 3-year edge over most dog breeds. In spite of this, however, experts are quick to point out that many Dachshunds are capable of living several years beyond this, with many pets reaching their late teens (17+ years) if nutritional guidelines and regular checkups are followed.
Unfortunately. many Dachshunds are known to suffer from a variety of health concerns (most notably, problems with their backs and joints). As such, keeping your pet healthy beyond their average lifespan can be difficult for this particular breed. In spite of this, some Dachshunds have reached world-record status for their age and longevity. To date, a dog by the name of “Rocky” holds the record for longest-living Dachshund after living for an astounding 25 years.
- Average Weight: 3 to 7 pounds (male and female)
- Average Height: 6 to 7 inches (male and female)
- Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
The Pomeranian is an incredibly small breed of dog believed to have originated in Pomerania (Northwest Poland and Northeast Germany). Originally bred for working purposes, the Pomeranian is now favored for its companionship qualities, devotion, and family-friendly personalities. These dogs are highly inquisitive and energetic, and are renowned for their vivacious attitudes. They are also a highly alert and intelligent breed with a propensity for learning new tricks and commands throughout their lifetime.
What is the Pomeranian’s Average Lifespan?
The average lifespan of a Pomeranian is approximately 12 to 16 years, with many living several years beyond this number. Pomeranians are incredibly healthy breeds with only a few health concerns. As a result, their overall lifespan is approximately 2 to 3 years longer than most dog breeds. On occasion, a few Pomeranians have even managed to achieve world-record status with their long lives. To date, the oldest recorded Pomeranian was a dog by the name of “Coty,” who lived several months beyond his 21st birthday. And while this certainly lies outside the norm for most pets, reaching their late teens is not an uncommon characteristic of the Pomeranian, assuming they remain in good health and proper nutritional guidelines are followed by owners.
- Average Weight: 20 to 30 pounds (male and female)
- Average Height: 13 to 15 inches (male and female)
- Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
The Beagle is a relatively small breed believed to have originated in Ancient Greece as early as 400 B.C. Its name is believed to have derived from the French word beugler, which means to “bellow.” The name is highly appropriate for this breed as it fits their highly unique bark. Beagles are an incredibly sweet and gentle dog renowned for their comical nature and companionship qualities. And while this breed can be extremely stubborn (to a fault), owners will be hard-pressed to find another breed that is as affectionate and devoted to their owners.
What is the Beagle’s Average Lifespan?
The average lifespan for a Beagle is approximately 12 to 15 years, with many living several years beyond this. Generally speaking, the Beagle is an incredibly healthy breed with only a few specific ailments that affect their overall health. As a result, their average lifespan is approximately 2 to 3 years longer than most canines. Nevertheless, some beagles have managed to reach world-record status with their age. The oldest recorded Beagle in history was a dog by the name of “Butch,” who lived to be an astounding 27 years old. And while this feat certainly lies outside the norm for most Beagles, experts are quick to point out that the Beagle’s small size and health provide it with a tremendous advantage in regard to longevity.
6. Jack Russell Terrier
- Average Weight: 14 to 18 pounds (male and female)
- Average Height: 13 to 14 inches (male and female)
- Lifespan: 13 to 16 years
The Jack Russell Terrier (sometimes referred to as the Parson Russell Terrier) is a relatively small breed developed in England during the 1800s. Originally bred for the purpose of hunting and bolting foxes, the Jack Russell Terrier is now favored for their loving and affectionate nature, as well as playful demeanor. Although considered highly stubborn by most dog experts, this breed is exceptionally smart with a capacity for problem-solving and learning new tricks. They are also quite athletic and are renowned for their seemingly tireless energy.
What is the Jack Russell Terrier’s Average Lifespan?
The Jack Russell Terrier has an average lifespan of approximately 13 to 16 years. They are an incredibly healthy breed with relatively few ailments that affect their overall health and longevity. In comparison to other dog breeds, the Jack Russell Terrier generally lives 3 years beyond the average life expectancy of most canines. With proper diet and nutrition, however, it isn’t uncommon for this breed to live into their late teens before passing away. To date, the oldest Jack Russell Terrier on record was a dog by the name of “Lady,” who lived several months past her 23rd birthday.
- Average Weight: 10 to 15 pounds (toy); 15 to 30 pounds (miniature); 30 to 55 pounds (standard)
- Average Height: 10 to 14 inches (toy); 14 to 18 inches (miniature); 18 to 23 inches (standard)
- Lifespan: 13 to 18 years
The Xoloitzcuintli (also known as the “Xolo” or “Mexican Hairless”) is an ancient breed that originated in Latin America during the time of the Aztec Empire. Occasionally confused for the Chinese Crested, the Xoloitzcuintli was originally bred for the purpose of hunting, protection, and companionship during its early history. The breed comes in three sizes, including toy, miniature, and standard. Two varieties are also available, and include the hairless as well as the coated. To this day, the Xoloitzcuintli continues to be favored for its remarkable loyalty and devotion towards owners, as well as its calm and alert demeanor (which make it a favorite for individuals seeking a dog for watchdog purposes).
What is the Xoloitzcuintli’s Average Lifespan?
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the average life expectancy of the Xoloitzcuintli is approximately 13 to 18 years. In comparison to other breeds, this means that the Xoloitzcuintli lives nearly 3 to 5 years longer than most canines. According to a recent Australian survey, however, some researchers have found that it is quite normal for the Xolo to reach an astounding 20 years of age before passing on (petidregister.com). This is due, in part, to the dog’s relatively small size (particularly for the toy and miniature sizes), as well as their absence of major health concerns. With “17” being the median age of this breed, the Xoloitzcuintli is easily one of the world’s longest-living dog breeds.
4. Shih Tzu
- Average Weight: 9 to 16 pounds (male and female)
- Average Height: 9 to 10.5 pounds (male and female)
- Lifespan: 10 to 18 years
The Shih Tzu is a small breed that originated in Ancient China as early as 8,000 B.C. Its name, which means “little lion,” is perhaps a misnomer as the Shih Tzu is an incredibly affectionate breed well-known for their companionship and loyalty to owners. Little is known about the dog’s early role or development. Nevertheless, historical records have continued to show time and again that the Shih Tzu likely played a prominent role in Chinese society as they were a favorite for royal families. In the modern era, the Shih Tzu continues to be a popular dog choice for many households and individuals, including the elderly and family-based environments. This is due, in part, to the dog’s incredible adaptability, loving nature, and friendly disposition.
What is the Shih Tzu’s Average Lifespan?
The Shih Tzu has an average lifespan of approximately 10 to 18 years. This large gap is a result of health issues that tend to plague this particular breed. Nevertheless, most Shih Tzus tend to live approximately 14 years in the absence of major health problems, with 18 years being attainable with proper care, diet, and nutrition. In regard to the average lifespan for a canine, this means that the Shih Tzu lives approximately 4 years longer than most breeds. In exceptional cases, some Shih Tzus are known to live several years beyond this. To date, the oldest living Shih Tzu ever recorded was a dog by the name of “Smokey,” who lived to be 23 years old.
3. Rat Terrier
- Average Weight: 10 to 25 pounds (male and female)
- Average Height: 10 to 13 inches (miniature); 13 to 18 inches (standard)
- Lifespan: 12 to 18 years
The Rat Terrier is a small breed that originated in the United States during the early 1900s. Considered a rare breed by modern standards, the Rat Terrier was originally developed for both companionship and ratting (as their name implies). This breed comes in two sizes (miniature and standard), and are renowned for their friendliness, intelligence, and devotion towards owners. They also possess a great deal of energy, and require mental stimulation on a daily basis to prevent boredom (and destructive behaviors).
What is the Rat Terrier’s Average Lifespan?
The Rat Terrier has an average lifespan of approximately 12 to 18 years, with a median age of 15.5. This large gap exists due to the number of health issues that the Rat Terrier is prone to. With proper diet, exercise, and care though, it is not uncommon for this breed to reach the maximum of 18 years. In fact, prior to Bluey (the Australian Cattle Dog who lived an astounding 29 years), a Rat Terrier by the name of “Jake” once held the world record for “oldest living dog.” Jake eventually passed away after living an incredible 21 years. And while this feat certainly lies outside of the normal expectations for a Rat Terrier’s lifespan, the maximum of 18 years continues to be an extremely long life for canines. Given that the average lifespan of a dog is approximately 10 to 13 years, this figure shows that the Rat Terrier tends to live nearly 2 to 5 years longer than most breeds.
2. Toy Poodle
- Average Weight: 4 to 6 pounds (male and female)
- Average Height: Less than 10 inches (male and female)
- Lifespan: 14 to 18 years
The Toy Poodle derives from the traditional Poodle breed, and is believed to have originated in America during the early 1900s. Originally bred as a companion dog for smaller living spaces, it wasn’t long before the Toy Poodle attained international fame due to its intelligence, athleticism, and natural beauty. For these reasons, the dog is often a favorite for dog shows and competitions due to their elegance and natural sense of confidence. Although considered a high-maintenance breed (due to their tremendous grooming requirements), owners will be hard-pressed to find another dog that is as intelligent, affectionate, and fun-loving as the Toy Poodle.
What is the Toy Poodle’s Average Lifespan?
Toy Poodles have an average life expectancy of approximately 14 to 18 years, with a median age of approximately 14.5 years. This equates to a lifespan that exceeds most breeds by nearly 4 to 5 years. Nevertheless, according to an independent study conducted by the U.K. government, researchers discovered that it wasn’t uncommon for the Toy Poodle to reach their late teens, with one dog making it to 19 years of age during their investigation (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). It was also discovered that in rarer cases, the Toy Poodle was capable of living into its twenties. To date, the oldest recorded Toy Poodle was a dog by the name of “Chichi,” who lived to be 24 years old before passing away.
It remains unclear why this particular breed is capable of such a remarkable lifespan. However, their small size and natural propensity for good health are certainly major contributors.
- Average Weight: Less than 6 pounds (male and female)
- Average Height: 5 to 8 inches (male and female)
- Lifespan: 14 to 18 years
The Chihuahua is considered the smallest dog breed in the world, and is believed to have originated in Central America during ancient times. Renowned for their courageousness, loyalty, and companionship qualities, the Chihuahua is a remarkable dog breed that makes for an excellent addition to a wide variety of homes. Although they are generally described as a “high-maintenance” breed, due to their need for constant attention and affection by owners, few dogs are capable of matching the love and admiration offered by the Chihuahua toward their owners. They are also quite intelligent, adaptive, and make for great watchdogs due to their tendency to bark at strangers (or strange sounds).
What is the Chihuahua’s Average Lifespan?
Chihuahuas are regularly classified as the longest-living dog breed in the world. According to the AKC, average lifespan for the Chihuahua is approximately 14 to 18 years. This, in turn, means that the Chihuahua tends to live approximately 4 to 5 years beyond the average lifespan of dogs in general. And for healthy dogs without medical issues, it is not uncommon for this breed to live in the vicinity of 20+ years. In fact, the oldest recorded Chihuahua on record was a dog by the name of “Megabyte,” who passed away 100 days before his 21st birthday. For these reasons, the Chihuahua is easily the longest-living dog breed in existence today.
In closing, dogs play an important role in our world due to the remarkable companionship and affection they provide for humans. With this in mind, proper care, checkups (by a qualified veterinarian), and nutritional guidelines should always be followed by owners to ensure their dog is provided with a means to live a long and and healthy life. And while unforeseen circumstances don’t always make this goal possible, providing our faithful companions with both love and support will always ensure that they lived a happy and satisfying life on Earth.
- Adams, V.J., K.M. Evans and Sampson J. Wood. "Methods and Mortality Results of a Health Survey of Purebred Dogs in the UK." The Journal of Small Animal Practice. Accessed August 08, 2020.
- Slawson, Larry. “The Australian Cattle Dog: A Guide for Owners.” PetHelpful. 2020.
- Slawson, Larry. “The Chihuahua: A Guide for Owners.” PetHelpful. “The 10 Best Dogs for Children.” PetHelpful. 2020
- Slawson, Larry. “The Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds.” PetHelpful. 2019.
© 2020 Larry Slawson
Larry Slawson (author) from North Carolina on August 11, 2020:
Thank you, Pamela! I was surprised by some of these lifespans as well. Before writing this, I never knew that the Chihuahua was capable of living such a long time.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 11, 2020:
This list of dogs that live longer than the average is very interesting. I didn't know any dog typically lived from 18-20 years. This is a great list, Larry, and a very interesting article.
Larry Slawson (author) from North Carolina on August 11, 2020:
I agree, Eric! I was completely surprised by the lifespan of these dogs. I was also reading that smaller breeds tend to live a lot longer than larger ones.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 11, 2020:
Too hard to pick a favorite --- 20+ years - Wow.
Larry Slawson (author) from North Carolina on August 11, 2020:
Thank you so much, Cheryl! I'm glad you enjoyed :)
Larry Slawson (author) from North Carolina on August 11, 2020:
Thank you, Ankita! So glad you enjoyed!
Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on August 11, 2020:
This is interesting and great to know.
Ankita B on August 11, 2020:
This is an interesting article. Thank you for sharing this. It was a good read.
The small, friendly Shih Tzu was bred specifically to be a companion. They commonly live for 15 years or more, and due to their small size, they need only short walks and little playtime episodes.
If you’re looking for a friendly companion, choose a Shih Tzu. They’re playful and love people, so make a great candidate for a companion to keep you entertained all day for years to come.
When I was a kid, any pooch that made it to 10 years of age was considered to have lived a good, long life. But back then, health care for our pets consisted of nothing more than their annual rabies vaccines and we fed them food from a can that looked rather suspect… and smelled even worse.
Fast forward a few decades and we sure have learned how to take better care of ourselves and those we love – including the fur-kids. Yes, many of our fuzzy friends now enjoy a healthy, happy life well into their teen years. In fact, according to Guinness World Records, some of the oldest living dogs (all ages verified) include an almost 28-year old Pug who passed away in 2018, a 28-year old Beagle who crossed over in 2003, and a Shiba Inu mix who came really close to celebrating his 27 th birthday recently. A number of other dogs have well surpassed the 20-year mark including Border Collies, Schnoodles, a number of Dachshunds and even some run-of-the-mill mutts.
So, what did they all have in common? While research suggests it’s down to the dog’s breed/genetics, diet and size there are other factors that can help keep your little guy looking great and feeling like a pup well into old age. Those include sufficient exercise, mental stimulation and of course, proper pro-active health care.
Of course, there are certain breeds of dog that can be pre-disposed to simply living a longer, healthier life than others. And while we all know that small dogs can age well into their late teens, I bet you didn’t realize that some medium-sized dogs can also remain a longer-term member of your family.
So, let’s take a look at 10 of the longest living breeds and just for the fun of it, let’s include not only the pint-sized variety, but some of the bigger boys too.
Surprised? Don’t be. This gentle, sweet-natured boy with the big, woeful eyes is one of the easiest-going family dogs you’ll ever find. While he is known for being rather vocal (of the baying nature), this sturdy little guy is truly loyal to his human pack and loves nothing better than to hang out with his family… and loudly announce to all, each time a stranger nears. So, it may well be his chill, stress-free demeanor that helps him age gracefully. What we do know is that the potential health issues you may encounter with your beagle include epilepsy, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia and glaucoma. That said, in spite of these ailments you can typically expect this 20 to 25-pound fur-kid to live in the 12 to 15-year range. And with great genes and lots of loving care, he could live as long as the 28-year old beagle recognized by Guinness World Records. (photo credit: Grisha Bruer/Shutterstock)
A feisty little dog with the great big attitude that holds nothing back when it comes to sharing his opinion. Which may be why this 5 to 7-pound mini mutt is known to have a super long lifespan of between 17 and 20 years. It seems he doesn’t supress his nasty, just yaps it all out. Now he is incredibly loyal and loving to his chosen pet parent, but because he doesn’t always make nice with strangers, children or those not part of his immediate family, monitoring may be required around new faces. With any small dog, their size factors big when it comes to lifespan and injuries from falls or mishandling can be lethal. And because of his tiny frame structure, health-related issues that stem from obesity can be equally deadly. If you want your little guy to surpass the oldest Chihuahua on record (22 years), take a pro-active approach to his diet, health as well as activity and always ensure proper handling. (photo credit: Monica Garza 73/Shutterstock)
Also known as the lion dog, this little guy with the lofty name and the loving personality was a treasured pet of Chinese nobility during the Ming Dynasty. Today, this confident, fun-loving pooch that weighs in at a mere 9 to 16-pounds, is a great addition to any family. His easy-going nature means he gets along with everyone – from strangers to other dogs and even smaller animals such as cats. And while your little guy may not make it to the ripe old age of 23 (oldest Shih Tzu on record), he won’t be far off because the typical lifespan of this breed is a whopping 12 to 18 years. Although he is a relatively healthy dog, the Shih Tzu’s large eyes and shallow eye sockets can make them prone to serious eye infections and his flatter face can cause respiratory issues so if you want to keep him around for a good, long time, take it easy on the walks during warmer weather. (photo credit: Larissa Chilanti/Shutterstock)
If you’re looking for a great watchdog, look no further. This mighty mini is super alert and ready to turn a mere 15-ish pounds of pooch into a stranger’s biggest nightmare. Seriously, this fun-loving and typically friendly little native of Tibet is highly affectionate and exceptionally loyal to his family – which is likely why he feels such an inherent need to protect them. And you’ll feel safe from danger for many years to come as this furry little sidekick has a life expectancy of between 15 and 18 years – with some even making it past 20. Yes, he can live well beyond the teenage years and may even take on the current record for longest living Lhasa Apso – 29 years! But to keep this strong-willed little guy happy, healthy and comfortable as he ages you need to stay on top of potential health issues including joint problems and progressive retinal atrophy. (photo credit: Lianne McKnight/Shutterstock)
Did you know that this dignified though vertically challenged pooch was actually bred to be low to the ground so he could nip at the heels of cattle? No wonder they’ve been around for so long… they’ve developed quick reflexes and learned pretty quickly how to take care of themselves. But these solid little dogs that can weigh between 25 and almost 40 pounds need a little help from their pet parents in order to live a long, happy and healthy life. You see this pooch is a big fan of food and rather prone to packing on the pounds. Throw in a low-slung back and you can understand why his health concerns include joint and back issues. In spite of his stockier build, this medium-sized dog has a lifespan of between 13 and 15 years and if he strives to compete with Queen Elizabeth’s fave Corgi named Kelpie, the magic number is 17. (photo credit: Ilya Barmin/Shutterstock)
This perky little pup with the jet-black coat and fox-like face dates back to medieval Belgium and is not surprisingly known as the Little Black Devil or Little Captain. The latter because of his early work aboard ships where he swiftly dealt with rats and other vermin. He’s not big – weighing between 10 and 16 pounds, but a full ruff around his neck makes him look rather imposing and a piercing bark (that he employs often) give him excellent watchdog capabilities. Naturally this energetic boy has a high prey drive towards animals he doesn’t know but he’s great with kids and a super addition to any family. Pet parents need to keep him busy and stay on top of health issues that could include Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, thyroid issues and luxating patellas. Although this pooch typically lives a good long life of between 15 and 17 years, the oldest on record reached 28, so plan your retirement years accordingly. (photo credit: Vasylenko Ivan)
This curious and charming pooch is a true working dog and the only breed registered as an above-ground and below-ground hunter. Highly agile, this little dog considers himself an integral part of the family and as such, wants to be involved in all activities. He’s playful, loyal and loving to family but cautious around strangers and if the mood strikes him, downright scrappy with other dogs. Weighing between 15 and 30 pounds (under 11 pounds if he’s a mini- wiener), these vertically challenged pups can run into serious joint and back problems if they’re allowed to become obese so choose the right foods for his size and activity level and take it easy on the treats. Now, when it comes to lifespan, you can expect your Doxie to be a part of your life for between 12 and 16 years. And if he’s lucky, loved and well looked after, he might even make it to the record-holding age of 21 years. (photo credit: NORRIE3699/Shutterstock)
Jack Russell Terrier
If a ball of energy had fur, four legs and an affectionate personality it would be a Jack Russell. This high voltage terrier is known for being great with kids, other animals and new faces so is a super addition to any family – though his instinct to chase may meet with disapproval from the family cat. Because of his alert nature and love of barking, he makes a great non-aggressive watchdog. He also brings loads of personality to a smallish 13 to 15 pound frame so needs pet parents that have the time and energy to keep him exercised and mentally challenged. And as it relates to health, be aware that this breed can be prone to joint issues and deafness – often associated with dogs that have white coats . That said, you’ll likely have your busy boy with you for between 13 and 16 years. Note, however that the oldest Jack Russell on record is 25. (photo credit: dezy/Shutterstock)
Adored for his super-cute looks and non-shedding properties, this under 10-pound mini-mutt is the total package. Smart, portable, fun-loving and affectionate, he’s a great fit for families with kids of any age and even those with other pets. While standard-sized Poodles are known to live longer than a lot of the larger breeds (typically around 12 to 13 years) you can add a few extra years for the Miniature and Toy varieties. Yes, these little guys can be expected to remain an active part of your family for between 14 and 16 years or even longer as the oldest on record made it to the ripe old age of 24. But living long and living comfortably can be two different things and to ensure your pup remains happy and pain-free into old age, stay on top of medical issues that can include Cushing’s Disease, cataracts and bladder stones. (photo credit: Lim Tiaw Leong/Shutterstock)
This strong-willed little dog with the inquisitive nature and feisty personality is part of the Spitz family – hence his spry, fox-like appearance. For those who want a super alert pooch with watchdog capabilities (meaning he barks at any sound), this is the one for you. He’s loyal, loving and playful with his pet parent but not always ideal for families with young children as he can be snappish when irked. This confident little dog typically weighs between 3 and 7 pounds and while he experiences few health issues, he can be prone to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), obesity (and the joint problems that can bring) as well as dental issues due to overcrowding of teeth. In spite of these challenges, this pup will rule your family for between 12 and 16 years with some known to have reached the 20-year mark. With lots of love and proper care, your foxy little pup should be able to aspire to the longest living Pomeranian title – which currently stands at 29 years and 5 months. (photo credit: TatyanaPanova/Shutterstock)