13 Longest-Living Dog Breeds To Welcome Into Your Life

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If you want to add some drama into your life with a long-living dog, get a chihuahua. Your entertainment is guaranteed for nearly 20 years. You could also get an even-tempered Yorkshire terrier, who lives just as long. The Maltese, pug, Lhasa Apso, beagle, toy poodle, miniature schnauzer, and dachshund all live for 12–15 years and are playful dogs.

“Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really,” said American author Agnes Sligh Turnbull. We couldn’t agree more. Our four-legged friends have a short life span. And this pain of parting all too soon is one of the main reasons many dog-lovers are scared of bringing a dog into their lives. Small dog breeds seem to outlive their bigger counterparts, so you could bring in some of these longest-living dogs into your life.

1. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are one of the tiniest breeds and happen to be one of the longest-living ones. Their average lifespan is between 15 and 20 years, and the oldest chihuahua on record lived for 20 happy years. They make comical, entertaining, and very loyal pets. They are a breed that’s brimming with personality and are often quirky and eccentric almost like no other breed.

2. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire terriers live for an average of 17–20 years. This breed happens to be a favorite among dog lovers. They are inquisitive creatures, who are physically and mentally quick. They love cuddles, lounging about on soft pillows, and announcing strangers in their high-pitched barks. They are usually even-tempered and get along well with other pets in the household. They need to be handled gently and don’t like being jerked around by small children.

3. Shih Tzu

On an average, Shih Tzus live for up to 16 years. They don’t need much exercise to keep fit and love to run about and play. They love attention, comfort, and cuddling in laps and snuggling into soft pillows, which is why they make for great pets for senior citizens. They are friendly with strangers and other pets.

4. Papillon

With an average lifespan of about 15 years, papillon is known to be one of the brightest and most trainable breeds. They are athletic and spirited and not a great choice if you are looking for a cuddly lapdog. They are extremely inquisitive and active and don’t sit still for very long.

5. Pomeranian

These spirited dogs, on an average, live for 12–16 years. Pomeranians make for great alarm dogs and are keenly alert to approaching strangers. They require early socialization so that they do not become shrill. They are sharp-eyed and like to check out everything happening around them. Most of them are fine with other pets, while some of them can be quite bossy and will chase dogs even bigger than themselves. These tiny dogs are bright and will not take orders from anyone they consider below themselves in the pack order, which is why house rules need to be established right from the beginning.

6. Maltese

The Maltese is a small breed of dogs that originated in the Mediterranean island of Malta. Maltese live for 12–15 years. One of the gentlest of the toy breeds, they are extremely playful and enjoy clever games. These extremely curious beings don’t need much outdoor exercise but thoroughly enjoy dashing around the yard and their regular walks. They need to be leashed or fenced, and fences need to be checked thoroughly for even the slightest breaks that they may wriggle out of.

7. Dachshund

These curious and charming creatures have a lifespan of 12–15 years. The oldest of them, however, lived to be 21 years old! Dachshunds make for great house pets but need their daily walks and tons of companionship. They’re usually good with other pets but can get jealous for attention and possessive about their toys. They make for alert watchdogs and don’t like strangers intruding into their territory.

8. Toy Poodle

Toy poodles live long, with an average lifespan of 12–15 years. The oldest living toy poodle is known to have lived to be 20 years old. They are quite athletic by nature and do extremely well in advanced obedience competitions with breath-taking agility and grace.

9. Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apsos were bred to keep watch over Buddhist temples. They have a lifespan of 12–15 years. Although they may look cuddly like lapdogs, they’re actually quite hardy, tough, and strong-willed. They make for excellent watchdogs with their keen observation and sharp senses. If pushed, Lhasa Apsos are known to bite.

10. Pug

Good-humored and amiable, pugs are an ancient Chinese breed and live for around 12–15 years. With large and expressive eyes and a small wrinkled face, they make for an adorable companion with an odd-sounding bark. Pugs are childlike and love being around people. They are friendly with other animals and hardly ever get into mischief. They can be stubborn at times and like to spend most of their day sleeping.

11. Beagle

Beagles are a handsome, mid-sized, and easy-to-groom breed that is known for a gentle temperament. They live for around 12–15 years and the longest-living beagle, Butch, lived for a whopping 27 years! They are extremely friendly with people as well as other pets. They are, however, quite active and require a great amount of exercise to stay fit and healthy. They are not fit for city apartments or condos and need long and frequent walks and a fenced yard to burn out their excess energy in.

They can’t be left unmonitored for long as they happen to be prone to wanderlust and are expert climbers and diggers. They are also great dumpster divers and need to be kept well away from accessible trash bins. Also, you can’t set your plate down if they’re around!

12. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature schnauzers have a pleasant and playful temperament and live for an average of 12–15 years. Individuals in this breed vary greatly in their personality. They love their walks and need a decent amount of exercise. They love being around family and need people at home during the day to play with them. They make for alert watchdogs and are usually good with other pets in the family.

13. Shetland Sheepdog

With a lifespan of 12–14 years, Shetland sheepdogs are great runners and graceful jumpers. Though they are small, they are active herding dogs and need much more exercise than many other small breeds. These dogs are bright and need plenty of mental stimulation. They cannot just sit around and do nothing. To be happy and well-behaved, they need challenging games and advanced obedience training. They are also known to be the most sensitive of dog breeds.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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