If you’re looking for a dog that’s going to be healthy and happy for a long time, you could do far worse than one of the breeds listed below. These dogs all live well beyond the decade mark and have very few genetic illnesses to worry about. Many of the members of this list are small breeds, in part because smaller dogs tend to live longer.


This pint-sized breed offers up the longest-living dogs in the world. One of the major reasons? They’re not predisposed to serious genetic illnesses, unlike, say, large mastiffs.

Chihuahuas are suitable for apartments and are good pets if you live in built-up areas in the city. Keep them warm in winter and implement strict training from the outset: failure to do this can result in them dictating rules in the home.

Average lifespan: About 17 years

Toy poodle

You get four different varieties of Poodle, but the longest-living is the Toy version. Toy Poodles are smart, easy to train, and great around children. In fact, owners often attribute them “human” characteristics, because they seem so good at working out how we feel, and what it is we need.

In short, they’re wonderful all-rounders.

Average lifespan: About 14-15 years

Shih Tzu

As yet another diminutive breed, the Shih Tzu lives for about 15 years and is popular for its good looks. If you’re noise intolerant, a Shih Tzu is a good bet: they don’t bark much or make a lot of noise at all. But thanks to their silky long locks, they do require a good deal of grooming.

Average lifespan: About 15 years


With their distinctive white coats, it’s hard to miss a Maltese – despite their small stature! While the breed’s average lifespan is 15 years, females tend to live a year longer than males. That said, there are very few genetic diseases that can cause complications, so no matter the sex, they’re likely to live a long time.

Average lifespan: About 15 years (though females tend to live a little longer)


Thanks to their sunny disposition and cute looks, we’re big fans of Beagles – and the good news is they live long, healthy lives. These fun-loving animals have an amazing sense of smell and love to be in the open air while sniffing the outdoors. They tend to live to about 12 years-of-age, though there are stories of Beagles reaching 20 – and beyond.

Average lifespan: About 12 years

Stay tuned to our follow-up article, which will detail five more long-living breeds. Again, many of them are small, though there are a couple of surprises in store!

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