It is a known (and sad) fact that dogs have a shorter life span than human beings. It is so hard to lose someone you love and you want to be with him/her as long as possible. So it is natural for us to look for the breed of dogs that can live longer. Though most domestic dogs don’t usually live long, some breeds tend to have longer life span compared to the others. Of course, there’s no guarantee that your dog will live into its 20s, as accident or unexpected illness can end the life of any animal.  But picking a dog with a longer lifespan and taking great care of your dog improves your odds of having a loving canie friend for many years.

So which are the longest lived dog breeds? In general, small dogs enjoy longer lives than do their larger counterparts. A recent analysis of veterinary records revealed that dogs under 20 pounds had an average lifespan of 11 years while those over 90 pounds typically lived for only 8 years. Here are the Top ten breeds, and without any doubt, they are all small dogs…


Chihuahuas are one of the longest living breeds, and perhaps because they’re also one of the smallest. With an average lifespan of 15-20 years, these little guys will give you a long time of wonderful adventures. The longest living Chihuahua on record actually passed away in January of this year at 20-years-old. Chihuahuas require little exercise beyond a short daily walk and are extremely devoted to their people.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies live on average 14 to 16 years. Don’t let the look of these feisty terriers fool you. While this popular breed is often pampered today, people used their ancestors to hunt rats.  Little dogs tend to live a lot longer than larger breeds. Big dogs, it seems, just age faster. It may be because they have more growth hormones.


This elegant breed, which has an average life span of 12 to 14 years, has been around for 28 centuries. Ancient Egyptians may have worshipped the dogs, and Greek and Roman philosophers wrote about them. With their long, silky white hair and gentle manner, it’s hard to believe the Maltese, too, once hunted rats. Affectionate and gentle, the Maltese is a lively and fearless breed despite its small size.

Shih Tzu

Almost unknown in the Western world until the 20th century, shih tzus were favorites of royalty in China’s Ming Dynasty. These hardy little charmers usually live 11 to 14 years. They don’t have many health problems other than skin irritations. Be sure to keep your dog well groomed. Though they are generally easy keepers, the Shih Tzu does need regular coat maintenance and grooming.


Beagles are curious, smart, and guaranteed to keep you entertained. This lovable, vocal breed lives about 12 to 14 years. With their great sense of smell, they love to eat, so be careful not to overfeed your beagle. Extra pounds can shorten any dog’s life. A breed that can do well in either the city or country, it requires more exercise than the smaller breeds on this list and does best with access to a yard or fenced in area.


These fluffy little dogs have an average life expectancy of 12-16 years. Pomeranians are known for being friendly but sometimes a bit bossy. These dogs are usually extremely loyal to their families and might take on the role of mini guard dog. These wonderful pups are another favorite among dog owners, and luckily they bring many years of love. Although they can be feisty, consistent training can turn them into great family pets that can live to 16 years or older.


Who can resist lovable “wiener dogs”? Long-haired, wire-haired, or smooth, these playful pups usually live 12 to 14 years. In the Middle Ages, Germans used dachshunds to hunt. Their long, low bodies were perfect for ducking into badger dens. Protect that long back from problems: Keep your dachshund lean, and don’t let him jump off high furniture.

Toy Poodle

Toy Poodles may seem very different from their larger counterparts, but they’re just as smart and easy to train. These little guys generally live longer, with an average lifespan of 12-15 years. The oldest living Toy Poodle was Seamus, who lived to be 20-years-old. The little dogs can easily get underfoot. In fact, accidents are a leading cause of death for poodles. So be on the lookout for your four-legged friend.

Lhasa Apso

An independent dog known for it’s bold personality in spite of its small size, the Lhasa Apso is believed to be an ancient dog breed. They were created to help keep watch over Buddhist temples. Reserved towards strangers and sometimes stubborn, Lhasa Apsos are lovable towards their owners and make loyal companions. With a lifespan of 12 to 14 years, the breed may be prone to patellar luxation and retinal atrophy.

Miniature Schnauzer

This feisty breed has just as much energy and trainability as it’s larger counterpart. Just 12 to 14 inches tall, miniature Schnauzers live an average of 12-15 years, giving you plenty of time to tackle the various dog sports they’re seen competing in! Because the breed tends to live long and love kids, it’s a great pick for family pets. These dogs can be prone to pancreatitis caused by high levels of fat in their blood, so he may need a special diet.

You can also calculate how old your dog is in human year, this article tells how!