Even if you have a breed that lives to be very old, it’s possible that your dog could have a few minor health issues in his life. Most of us have had tonsils removed or a broken arm or perhaps a skin growth taken off. These things weren’t life-threatening because we had good medical treatment. We should (knock on wood) go on to live long, healthy lives.
The same is true for these long-lived dog breeds. Even if your dog has a lump removed or some other small health issue, these breeds are mostly healthy. They are known for living very long lives. So, in spite of any minor health problems, you should be able to expect your dog to live a good long time. Of course, there are no guarantees in life, but you have a good chance with these breeds.
If your dog isn’t on this list that doesn’t mean he won’t live a long time. Many individual dogs outlive the average for their breed. A friend had a Labrador that lived to be 20. My aunt always seemed to have dogs that lived to be ancient. Some dogs are determined to live long, healthy, happy lives, no matter what the statistics say.
1Miniature Schnauzer 15 years
The Miniature Schnauzer is considered to be a good choice for people who have allergies to dogs. Developed in the 19th century in Germany, the Miniature Schnauzer is closely related to the Standard Schnauzer and the Giant Schnauzer. Miniature Schnauzers were bred to be small farm dogs that were good at ratting or killing vermin. They make good family guard dogs without being aggressive or biting people. They are friendly, intelligent, and willing to please their owners. They are generally healthy dogs but they can have problems associated with high fat levels. Von Willebrand disease (vWd) is also present in the breed. Despite these possible problems, the breed is very long-lived.
2Pomeranian 15 years
The Pomeranian is a well-known, popular breed. There are several Poms that have become social media darlings such as Boo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4LefBm6J9Y. These little spitz dogs are one of the smallest breeds in the world. A favorite with Queen Victoria, the Pomeranian is friendly, playful, and very lively. Despite their small size, if you keep your Pom fit, feed him a good diet, and take care of his health, there’s every reason to expect your dog to live a long life. Pomeranians can have problems with their teeth (early tooth loss), so it’s important that you take care of your dog’s teeth and have your vet check them regularly. Cushing’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, and luxating patella (slipped knee cap) can also occur.
3Standard Poodle 15 years
The Standard Poodle is the largest of the Poodle varieties. The Standard is often suggested for people who like Poodles and who have children since these dogs can have more patience with children than the Miniature and Toy Poodle do. While most people think of Poodles as show dogs, the Standard Poodle is still used today by some people as a hunting dog. He’s very good in the field since this was his original job. Poodles in general can have various health problems but this breed has been studied extensively. Many of their health issues have genetic tests which breeders use. Poodles are often recommended for people who have allergies to dogs. Most Poodles will need some professional grooming unless you learn to groom your dog yourself.
4Tibetan Spaniels 15 years
Tibetan Spaniels aren’t really spaniels but they do come from Tibet. They are related to the Pekingese, the Shih Tzu, the Pug, and other breeds from the region. Small, intelligent, and sure of themselves, Tibetan Spaniels appear to date back around 2500 years. Like some other breeds, the Tibetan Spaniel was kept in monasteries. Overall, this is a very healthy breed. Some dogs can have problems with progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and portosystemic shunt (a liver problem) but this is rare.
5Bichon Frise 15.5 years
Always popular, this white powder puff dog is smart, cheerful, charming, and easy to train. In addition, their coat is considered to be “hypoallergenic.” While no dog is really hypoallergenic, the Bichon Frise does have a single coat (unlike most dogs which have double coats). Their hair grows into curls so it doesn’t shed much. The dog’s dander is also caught in the curls. Frequent brushing and bathing keeps any dead hair or dander from dropping around the home. The Bichon does usually require professional grooming to look nice.
6Toy Manchester Terrier 15.5 years
The Toy Manchester Terrier was bred down in size from the older, larger Manchester Terrier. There are several similar breeds including the English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan) in England.
7Lhasa Apso 16 years
This breed originated in Tibet where it was used as a guard in Buddhist monasteries. While these little dogs are beautiful with their long, flowing coats, don’t let their good looks fool you. They are quite capable of chasing off an unwelcome visitor and alerting you when there’s an intruder. They can be protective and they are quite independent. This is a very long-lived breed. Sixteen years is average but it’s not unusual to find individuals that live into their 20s. They may have problems with their eyesight as they get older but, as a whole, the breed has few health problems. Lhasas are small and you may think of your dog as a lapdog but these dogs do enjoy time outside.
8Miniature Poodle 16 years
Smaller than the Standard Poodle and slightly larger than the Toy Poodle, the Miniature Poodle has a similar temperament. They are intelligent, easy to train, and they love to be the center of attention. They make a good choice for someone living in an apartment or who likes to keep their dog indoors most of the time. Like other Poodles, the Miniature Poodle is subject to some health issues but there are genetic tests available for many issues affecting Poodles. This is a very long-lived breed. Poodles are considered to be a good choice for people with allergies. They have a single coat that doesn’t shed much but they do usually require professional grooming.
9Toy Poodle 16 years
There are many reasons why Toy Poodles are so popular. You can add longevity to the list. Highly intelligent, easy to train, fun, playful, active, and sociable, all Poodles have their fans, but many people like the Toy Poodle because of their small size. Being so small can make them a good choice for people who live in apartments or who prefer to keep their dog indoors most of the time. Poodles do have their share of health problems but they may also be one of the most extensively studied breeds. Many of their issues have genetic tests available. Some of their issues are extremely minor. If you have a Toy Poodle you can probably expect your dog to have a long lifespan. Poodles are considered to be a good choice for people with allergies. They have a single coat that doesn’t shed much but they do usually require professional grooming.
10Schipperke 17 years
Many people are probably unfamiliar with this little Belgian breed. They are known as barge dogs in Belgium where they originated in the early 16th century. Their small size made them perfect for traveling on boats up and down canals. On the boats they were excellent at killing vermin. This is a very healthy breed. There is one health issue – MPS IIIB affects about 15 percent of the population – but scientists have developed a test for it.
To learn about dogs with the shortest lifespan: click here