Deciding to get a dog is a bittersweet choice since we know the joy they bring will not last forever. Dog-lovers wish for their beloved companions to live long, healthy lives. For some breeds, the odds are in greater favor than for others.
For instance, Poodles and Shih Tzus both have life expectancies up to 18 years, which is double that of some breeds. Other dogs, like Dachshunds, need owners who are aware of their strict dietary or exercise needs to ensure their longevity. Read on to discover which dogs are among the healthiest and why.
Poodles Are Typically Low-Risk For Diseases
Regardless of if its a standard poodle or a toy, the American Kennel Club (AKC) reports that this breed can live up to 18 years. All three of their breed sizes have the same lean build and are proportionately comparable; they have the muscular build of a ballerina, and an athletic mindset to match.
The breed is generally very healthy and tends to live a long and prosperous life. They do have a low risk for some diseases and eye disorders, so its recommended to put them through a hip, patella, and ophthalmologist evaluation as a precaution.
An Ear Infection Is The Worst Of It For A Bichon Frise
Bichons have a plush coat that makes them seem almost unreal. AKC notes that they are generally a healthy dog. Typically, they need extra attention given to their teeth and ears to prevent infection, but that’s about it.
They recommend putting your Bichon Frise through the same evaluations you would a poodle: hip, patella, and ophthalmologist. So long as you keep up to date with their hygiene and checkups and purchase from a responsible breeder, you can expect to enjoy your Bichon’s company for 14 to 15 years.
Chihuahuas From A Responsible Breeder Can Live Long
It is generally noted that smaller dogs tend to live longer than large ones, and the Chihuahua is no exception. Weighing in at fewer than six pounds, these little pups generally live 14-16 years. The main concern with Chihuahuas is who their breeder was.
As with all breeds, a responsible breeder should screen for genetic issues, especially since Chihuahuas can be at risk for heart problems if not properly bred. A cardiac exam, along with an ophthalmologist and patella evaluation, should reveal all you need to know to keep your chihuahua well to the fullest extent.
Australian Shepherds Are Well-Balanced And Full Of Stamina
Australian Shepherds are medium-sized beauties with a strong desire to work. Full of energy and determination, these dogs love performing tasks to please their owner. They have a balanced build that isn’t too brawny nor too frail, making them both agile and full of stamina.
AKC notes that Aussies are generally healthy, but do need their ears checked regularly for wax buildup. Being that these dogs love to exert themselves physically, they should receive a hip and elbow evaluation to help ensure that they can comfortably live to their 12 to 15-year life expectancy.
Australian Cattle Dogs Can Live For 16 Years
Australian Cattle Dogs need just as much mental exercise as they do physical. These intelligent dogs are bursting with energy and have enough intelligence to outsmart their owners, so keeping them challenged is a must.
This breed has more tests and evaluations recommended than other breeds we’ve seen, so it is all the more vital that their breeder is a careful one. At the same time, Australian Cattle Dogs can outlive some smaller dogs, having a life expectancy of up to 16 years!
Havanese Are Naturally Adaptable
Havanese are little fluffy balls of joy with adaptability and social skills. This extraverted breed can entertain a crowd with its comical behaviors and a light-hearted attitude. They also take the position of watchdog very seriously, even if they are only 10 pounds.
Though Havanese are prone to multiple conditions, the Havanese Club of America encourages proper breeding by offering awards to those whose dogs can pass health tests. As a result, they generally have happy and long lives, usually between 14 and 16-years long.
Basenjis Are Typically Healthy Dogs
Basenjis may not be the most popular breed, but that’s no fault of their own. These graceful dogs are known for their independence and poise, and they don’t even bark! AKC states that tests can screen the dog for harmful conditions including Fanconi and Progressive retinal atrophy to decrease the odds of this breed inheriting either.
Since breeders have this advantage, Basenjis generally do not fall victim to the ailments of their ancestors and are generally a healthy dog breed. It is recommended they undergo a hip, thyroid, and ophthalmologist evaluation to help ensure 13-14 happy years with these dogs.
Siberian Huskies Live Longer Than You May Think
Siberian Huskies look more brawny than they are thanks to their luscious coat, but they are significantly smaller than their Alaskan Malamute cousin. Weighing in at no more than 60 pounds, these nimble-footed dogs have a life expectancy of up to 14 years.
Their longevity may be partially explained by the strict guidelines set forth by the Siberian Husky Club of America to ensure breeders screen properly. AKC recommends having a vet who is familiar with working dogs and that they receive a hip and ophthalmologist evaluation.
Whippets Are Healthiest When Lean
Whippets are very thin dogs by nature, and as such their weight needs to be watched carefully. Though they may look like they could afford to gain a pound or two, the AKC warns that a Whippet’s hipbones “should not appear sunk into dimples of fat.”
Additionally, you can expect to see 2-4 vertebrae, though they shouldn’t have protruding ribs in adulthood. Their weight constrictions have to do with their body’s thin frame, which can only support a lean build. So long as you maintain your Whippet’s physique, these non-barking dogs can be expected to live as much as 15 years.
Border Collies Are A Hardy Breed
Border Collies are incredibly agile worker dogs that live to perform. As such, they need a lot of exercise! This also leads to excellent health. AKC recommends a standard hip and ophthalmologist evaluation and ears to be checked for infection.
A Border Collie who is properly cared for should live to be 12 to 15 years of age. Though they love to exert their energy, recovery time is just as important and will bring out their affectionate side.
Beagles Are Sturdy And Happy
The AKC reports that Beagles have spent years as the most popular hound dog in America. Their sweet disposition yet energetic and sturdy build make them wonderful family dogs, and generally as healthy as they are happy.
As with other breeds, their genetic exposure to diseases relies on the breeder taking the necessary precautions. AKC recommends the typical hip and ophthalmologist evaluations along with a MLS DNA Test to ensure that your Beagle is on track to live a solid 15 years.
The Worst Shiba Inus Experience Is Allergies
If you’re someone who is plagued with annoying allergies and want a pet who can likely relate, a Shiba Inu may be the one for you. These gorgeous dogs typically live for 13 to 16 years free of health conditions, with the possible exception of some itching due to allergies.
The best breeders are careful not to pass on those allergen-sensitive genes, but even dogs who have them can live long and happy lives. Compared to other health issues it is a minor nuisance that shouldn’t impact your Shiba’s impressive longevity.
Alaskan Malamute Can Live Long For A Large Dog
As we’ve mentioned before, larger dog breeds tend to have shorter life expectancies than smaller dogs, which is what makes the Alaskan Malamute so impressive. Though males often weigh as much as 85 pounds, healthy ones can live up to 14 years!
While they aren’t the most energetic dogs of all, they are built to work and have incredible endurance, so exercise is vital. They are prone to some diseases making it important that their breeder is responsible. If you notice their hearing has weakened don’t fret; it’s likely just some ear wax buildup.
English Springer Spaniels Are Tougher Than They Look
English Springer Spaniels have a sweet face and lovable energy that makes them a pleasure to be around. But don’t let their looks deceive you; these dogs are natural born hunters with a fair share of energy and a love for hard work.
As such, they need daily exercise to remain healthy and happy, and love working alongside their people. They crave attention and are people-pleasers, so they’ll have a blast playing with you and others. Though the breed can be prone to certain diseases, AKC notes that they tend to be healthy dogs and typically live up to 14 years.
Belgian Malinois Have Longevity And Versatility
As with Alaskan Malamutes, Belgian Malinois are a large breed with a lifespan up to 16 years! Like their German Shepherd doppelgängers, they bond deeply with their human companion, who they love to work alongside.
Their long and lean muscles support the Belgian Malinois’ high energy level, so it isn’t surprising it is recommended they have a hip and elbow evaluation. They need plenty of exercise for both their physical and mental wellbeing, at which point they are likely to live healthy lives.
Bergamascos Are Known For Being Healthy
AKC calls the Bergamasco “robustly healthy” as they aren’t prone to health conditions specifically because of their breed. Though it is advised that they receive a hip and elbow evaluation, they are most often healthy dogs.
Bergamascos have plenty of characteristics to match their dreadlock coat as they are fun-loving and leave aggression as a last resort. Their woven hair, called flocks, actually provide them with a layer of warmth and protection, which may contribute to their 15-year life expectancy.
Azawakhs Generally Live Long, Healthy Lives
Azawakhs look like a larger version of the Whippet in that they have the same long, narrow snout and a built that’s almost too lean for comfort. AKC assures that this breed’s build naturally reveals their bone structure, so owners should rely on professional advice to determine if their Azawakh is at a healthy weight.
Though they are a large breed in terms of height, they only weigh 44 pounds on average, which may help to explain their impressive 15-year life expectancy.
German Pinschers Are One Of Germany’s Oldest Breeds
You may have noticed that the German Pinscher looks similar to a Doberman Pinscher. That’s because the German Pinscher is the progenitor of the well-known Doberman, obvious in its strong build and squarely face.
The sleek, muscular dogs are keenly intelligent and breeders have had centuries to refine their genes. Though they are prone to some diseases, they are generally very healthy and typically live to long as 14-years-old. It is recommended that the breed undergoes a hip and ophthalmologist evaluation and a cardiac exam.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis Are Packed With Strength
AKC calls the Pembroke Welsh Corgi one of the most agreeable of the small house dogs. These strong dogs are small but compact, standing at only a foot tall at the shoulder and packing in about 30 pounds.
Their dense composition may help to explain their 12-13 year life expectancy, which falls a little shy of some of the other dogs on this list. Still, Pembroke Welsh Corgis are generally healthy dogs who only need to receive hip and ophthalmologist evaluations, as is common in many breeds.
The Pharaoh Hound Is Free Of Disorders
With a name like Pharaoh Hound, you would expect this breed to have a kinglike way about them. The noble dogs, full of speed and grace, live up to their name, but are also affectionate and have an endearing trait whereby they blush when excited.
The chair of the Pharaoh Hound Club of America assures that the Pharaoh Hound “is not plagued with any significant disorders.” Screenings and evaluations are still recommended to help ensure these dogs live up to their 14-year life expectancy.
Shetland Sheepdogs Are Healthy With Proper Testing
Shetland Sheepdogs, fondly called Shelties, look strikingly similar to their Collie cousin. The 15-25 pound dogs are almost a miniature version of the Collie and have the same striking, long fur and obedient but intelligent nature.
Shelties are sensitive, bright watchdogs who enjoy staying active but only need moderate exercise. The American Shetland Sheepdog Association has set forth minimum health testing recommendations to help ensure that Shelties are bred to live long. Shelties are generally healthy and have a life expectancy of up to 14 years.
The Brittany Has Few Genetic Health Issues
Brittany Dogs, also sometimes called Brittany Spaniels, are bursting with energy and will entertain whatever physical activities you can give them. These athletic family dogs have few genetic health issues, according to AKC.
It is recommended that breeders give Brittanys a hip and ophthalmologist evaluation, which is standard for most active dog breeds. Other than ear and teeth cleanings, these dogs are low maintenance so long as you can keep up with them. Their life expectancy is 12 to 14 years.
Canaan Dogs Have Committed Breeders
Canaan Dogs are one of the oldest breeds and the national dog of Israel. While they seem to always be on the alert, they only need moderate exercise to stay fit and love training with their owners.
AKC prides Canaan breeders for being a small group of committed professionals. This determination combined with the breed’s many years of refinement has resulted in Canaans being generally healthy dogs. Even more impressive, the 45-pound dogs are expected to live up to 15 years.
Ibizan Hounds Are From Ancient Times
Ibizan Hounds have the grace and innocence of a deer caught in headlights, but were bred in Ancient Egypt as rabbit hunters. Known for their unmatchable sprinting and leaping ability, these dogs have plenty of energy they need to expel.
That being said, they are also polite and even-tempered but would do best in an open environment where they can work out their long limbs. AKC says that while they are prone to some conditions, they are generally healthy dogs who you can expect to live up to 14 years.
Shih Tzus Can Live For Nearly Two Decades!
The Shih Tzu typically maxes out at 11 inches to the shoulder and 16 pounds and can become buried in their long locks. Not tremendously active, the Shih Tzu’s number one dog activity is looking cute. Daily walks and playing around with their owner is enough for these little pups.
Active owners will want to leave their Shih Tzu at home as they are not heat tolerant nor are they good swimmers. As long as you don’t push these pups to be more active than they are, you can expect to spend 18 years with these playful snuggle buddies.
Cairn Terriers Are Adaptable Little Companions
Cairn Terriers may be tiny– standing a maximum of 10 inches tall and weighing in at around 14 pounds– but they are fearless. These adaptable companions will topple you on the lawn or snuggle on the couch, and they require only moderate exercise.
Whether you live in an urban area or farmland, these little companions will be content with the right amount of attention. They are generally healthy dogs who you can expect to live up to 15 years.
Dachshunds Prosper On A Strict Diet
Dachshunds stand at a mere 5-9 inches, depending on if they are standard or miniature. However, a standard can rack up as many as 32 pounds thanks to its long and stocky body. Their legs are so small that a couple of daily walks can provide the moderate exercise they need.
This modest exercise requirement is vital to ensure their muscles can support their thick back. For the same reason, a healthy diet and moderation is imperative so they don’t become overweight. Owners who stay on top of their health routine can expect to spend 16 years with these spunky pals.
Schnauzers Are Research-Approved
Schnauzers come in three sizes, but the standard size has up to a 16-year life expectancy, as opposed to the 15-year expectancy of both the miniature and the giant. The medium-sized Schnauzers are also the only ones included in a survey performed every five years by the Standard Schnauzer Club of America.
Their findings have shown that the Standard Schnauzer is not plagued by the health concerns many other breeds experience. AKC also reports that a new DNA test has helped breeders prevent cardiomyopathy in these dogs.
Pomeranians Thrive With Proper Protection
Pomeranians appear to have the body of a Chihuahua with a coat that’s as fluffy as a Sheltie’s. They grow to be about half a foot tall to the shoulder and no more than seven pounds. These little fluffballs can be easily mistaken for squirrels and rabbits.
That’s why keeping them protected from predatory birds is so imperative, especially since these tiny dogs can manage to squeeze under fences and get loose. Aside from the need to stay in your sight, Poms are typically healthy dogs who you can expect to live for up to 16 years.
English Foxhounds Have Plenty Of Lung Power
English Foxhounds are lesser known for being family pets than noble hunters. Committed to training, these animals have a sturdy, long physique and plenty of lung power to fuel their endurance.
Though they aren’t bursting with as much energy as some breeds, they do require a hefty amount of exercise to remain calm indoors and don’t enjoy confined spaces. They are prone to some health complications that owners should be aware of but are generally healthy dogs who are expected to live up to 13 years.