30 Healthiest Dog Breeds with Long Lifespans

Ask any dog lover and they'll tell you that the only bad part of owning a pet is that they don't live as long as we do.

We all wish our canine companions would live forever, but unfortunately they age faster than we do.

Below are some of the healthiest dog breeds with the least health problems that live longer than others.

Average lifespan among healthiest dog breeds

Aging in dogs and life expectancy is directly associated with the breed's health because it affects their physical abilities and overall well-being.

There's been a lot of research done in the area of canine life expectancy, particularly on dogs in North America and England (Fleming, et al. 2011; O'Neill, et al. 2013).

Many assumptions have been made as to the reasons for different lifespans and existence of healthiest dog breeds out there but few clear answers.

The largest dog longevity study to date (Michell, 1999) found the average age of death due to natural causes to be 12 years and 8 months. A large number of dogs die of disease or are euthanized (68%), and there's only about 8% of dogs that live more than 15 years.

Many dog deaths are associated with the breed's susceptibility to cancer and other health problems.

Proper vet care, exercise, and quality of food can impact how long a dog will live, but some of the healthiest dog breeds out there are also genetically predisposed to be healthier and have longer lifespan.

The dog's size plays an important factor.

The bigger the dog, the quicker they become geriatric, and thus the shorter the dog's lifespan (Selman, et al. 2013).

Giant breeds become geriatric at 7 years, large breeds at 8 years, medium breeds at 10 years, and small breeds at 11 years.

No studies have been done yet on the healthiest dog breeds among these groups or their average lifespan.

Dog's longevity and breed size

Dog's age and lifespan

The data from the above studies serves as hard evidence that large dog breeds will die quicker of natural causes because they expend more “growth energy” through their life (which causes base damage to their cells).

After senescence starts, these big dogs will get older much quicker than smell breeds (Inoue, et al. 2018).

Other than size, why do some breeds live longer than others?

We know that the larger the dog, the quicker it ages, thus the shorter the lifespan.

However, to this day scientists have no clear answer as to why some breeds in the same size group are healthier and live longer than others.

A few dog DNA studies have tried to answer this question (McAloney, et al. 2014; Dog Aging Project).

In a study analyzing Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase (TERT), an enzyme responsible for aging, they found that homozygous chromosomes may have a negative effect on dogs and thus making their lifespan shorter; however, this is still unclear.

This same study, using data from previous research (Chase, et al. 2009) also propose that canine chromosome 7 (CFA7) and 15 (CFA15) may be responsible for breeds having different life expectancy, but we're yet to see any conclusive evidence.

Can a dog's life expectancy be increased?

Technically, no – we don't have any hard evidence that pet owners' actions can help increase the lifespan of a dog beyond what's in the canine's DNA.

There's some correlation between neutering/spaying and life expectancy in dogs but no clear answer (studies found that fixed females lived longer, while fixed males lived shorter lives).

Generally, dogs will die at the age their DNA has predisposed them to, provided they do not run into any life threatening health problems.

There are some exceptions to the rule where a dog will outlive its breed's average life expectancy, such as the case with some of the world's oldest dogs (March, 1984 article).

Such instances are rare.

That said, many dogs, even the healthiest dog breeds, have shorter lives than they're supposed to, so what owners can do is ensure the maximum life expectancy for the dog.

Studies have found that dog owners can extend lifespan in dogs through proper diet and ability to accurately assess their dogs' body weight.

Ensuring that your dog is not too thin and not overweight and receives a well-balanced diet is likely to bring about the best results in terms of life expectancy, as shown in most recent study (Wallis, et al. 2018):

Dog life expectancy and diet

In short, learn how to assess your dog's shape, size correctly, and body weight using the canine body score condition chart (like this one), and adjust the diet for the dog to receive all required nutrients either through homemade dog food meals or top dog food brands, and provide additional supplements (if needed) such as omega-3s.

Proper daily exercises and mental stimulation should not be ignored either, even for the healthiest dog breeds.

For pet owners looking to adopt, healthiest dog breeds that are least likely to experience health problems are less likely to cost you more in vet care.

However, some of the below-mentioned longest-living dog breeds are high maintenance in other departments such as grooming.

We'll discuss the pros and cons of each breed below.

A quick note, this list is incomplete, and we will continually add to it as time goes on.

Just remember that even the healthiest dog breed could have an accident or come down with a serious illness that will require expensive veterinary care, so don't count it out completely.

RELATED: 15 Dog Breeds That Have the Longest Lifespan

30 Healthiest Dog Breeds with Long Lifespans

healthiest dog breeds1. Beagle

Life expectancy: 13-15 years

This healthy breed has found its way into the hearts of many. A traditional hunting dog, many people prize the Beagle just for its friendliness.

The Beagle can be found in homes with kids all over the world.

These pups love to bark and howl and will need training to hush it up.

Dogs of this breed live about 15 years.

Shiba Inu is one of the healthiest dog breeds

2. Shiba Inu

Life expectancy: 14-16 years

A mid-size dog, the Shiba Inu originated in Japan.

While these beautiful dogs are very healthy, they do not do well in houses with kids and other pets.

They need a strong master and socialization training early to keep from becoming aggressive.

A clean breed, these canines clean themselves like cats.

Unusual for larger breeds, the Shiba Inu is expected to live about 16 years.

Siberian Husky is one of the healthiest dog breeds

3. Siberian Husky

Life expectancy: 12-14 years

These affectionate fur-babies are friendly and outgoing. The Siberian Husky are of average intelligence but also independent and mischievous.

This combination makes for a dog that needs an experienced trainer.

Dogs in this breed are double coated and prefer a mild to cold climate.

As one of the healthiest dog breeds, Siberian Huskies live to be about 12 years old.

Alaskan Malamute is one of the healthiest dog breeds

 4. Alaskan Malamute

Life expectancy: 13 years

Another breed that prefers the colder temperatures, the Alaskan Malamute is friendly and playful.

If you like dogs that “talk”, then the Malamute is for you.

Just make sure you have a strong, tall enclosure.

These pooches love to roam and climb. While friendly with kids, this breed usually does not like other animals. These pups live about 13 years.

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healthiest dog breeds

5. Bergamasco

Life expectancy: 14 years

If you watch dog shows, you have seen this dread-locked canine. Not only are they healthy, but their matted coat does not need brushing after the first year.

Bergamascos are great with kids along with being one of the healthiest dog breeds.

Popularity has led to unscrupulous breeding that can lead to health problems.

Make sure you get your pup from a reputable breeder. These easy-to-spot dogs live about 14 years.

German Shepherd is one of the healthiest dog breeds

6. German Shepherd

Life expectancy: 10-11 years

Suspicious of strangers, this breed makes a great watch dog. These kid-friendly canines are energetic and great for the active family.

German Shepherds are intelligent working dogs, so they are incredibly easy to train.

This breed tries to assert its authority, so a “pack leader” owner will make this dog the best it can be.

These dogs don’t have a very long life span compared to other dogs on this list, but it can be increased by feeding your German Shepherd the right type of dog food that's appropriate for this breed and providing other needed care.

They only average around 11 years.

Australian Shepherd is one of the healthiest dog breeds

7. Australian Shepherd

Life expectancy: 15 years

These work dogs are easy to train.

They can tackle the more difficult agility and intelligence training.

The Australian Shepherd is friendly and playful.

If you are looking for a larger breed that loves being an active, outdoorsy dog, then this may be the breed for you.

This dog has a long life-span of about 15 years.

Australian Cattle Dog is one of the healthiest dog breeds

8. Australian Cattle Dog

Life expectancy: 13-14 years

This energetic breed is well-known for its intelligence, agility, and stamina. Like the Australian Shepherd, it is friendly and playful.

The Australian Cattle Dog is great for active families on the go – well, only if you intend to take your pup with you.

They are one of the healthiest dog breeds that live to be about 13 years old.

English Foxhound is one of the healthiest dog breeds

9. English Foxhound

Life expectancy: 13 years

Foxhounds love to play.

They do great with kids and other pets.

Like most dogs in the hound breeds, this dog loves to wander and follow his nose.

To avoid a missing pet, always keep your hound dog secure.

Exercise and proper diet will extend this dog's life, as it will with most mammals.

Foxhounds are similar in appearance to Beagles and live to be around 13 years old.

RELATED: 20 Most Friendly Dog Breeds in the World

healthiest dog breeds10. English Springer Spaniel

Life expectancy: 13 years

Energetic and loving, this breed will want to be with family 24/7.

They won’t make a great guard dog as they just want to play with everyone.

This obedient dog is easy to train and would love endless games of Frisbee and water fetch.

This healthy breed can live at least 13 years.

Chihuahua is one of the healthiest dog breeds

11. Chihuahua

Life expectancy: 15-16 years

Not usually thought of as one of the healthiest dog breeds, these pups are actually extremely healthy.

Any bad reputation it has is due to inbreeding, so make sure you get yours from a reputable breeder.

The Chihuahua is a small, portable dog that makes a terrific lap dog.

These canines have one of the longest life spans in the dog world living to be around 16 years old.

Azawakh is one of the healthiest dog breeds

12. Azawakh

Life expectancy: 11 years

These sleek canines are almost barkless. They also have a mild manner and calm demeanor.

While they don’t like cats and rowdy kids, they are affectionate with their family members.

The Azawakh may seem aloof, but it is actually very attached to its owners and does better as an indoor dog.

Another healthy dog with a lower life span, these dogs live to be about 11 years old.

Greyhound is one of the healthiest dog breeds

13. Greyhound

Life expectancy: 13 years

A graceful breed, the Greyhound is one of the healthiest dogs.

Canines in this breed do not tolerate cold very well. These pups are very affectionate and do well in families with kids, cats, and other dogs.

Highly intelligent and loyal, these dogs are easy to train.

Energetic, these dogs need lots of exercise. Dogs in this breed live to be about 13 years old.

German Pinscher is one of the healthiest dog breeds

14. German Pinscher

Life expectancy: 14 years

This is a breed that has a reputation for being aggressive. While very intimidating, these dogs are not aggressive unless trained to be.

Their alertness and aloofness make them great watchdogs. While they may be one of the healthiest dog breeds, the German

Pinscher also likes to have some alone time.

They do better in homes with older children or no children.

Canines from this breed also live about 14 years.

German Shorthaired Pointer is one of the healthiest dog breeds

15. German Shorthaired Pointer

Life expectancy: 12-13 years

These affectionate dogs have short, easy to care for coats. They also shed very little.

Shorthaired Pointers are friendly and playful.

They have a need to make their owners happy.

This combined with intelligence makes them easy to train. This active breed lives to be about 13 years old.

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healthiest dog breeds

16. Belgian Malinois

Life expectancy: 14 years

If you have adult (or almost) children, and no other pets, do not rule out this breed.

This breed is in the class of work dogs.

If you are active and want a dog that can teach all sorts of tricks and jobs, this is the one for you.

Canines in this group are very intelligent dogs and easy to train.

These pups live to be about 14 years old.

Basenji is one of the healthiest dog breeds

17. Basenji

Life expectancy: 12 years

This breed is an ancient breed has the reputation of being bred by nature.

These little dogs tolerate being alone very well.

Known as the “barkless” dog, they are great for apartment life.

This high-energy pup has short hair that rarely sheds and is easy to maintain.

Basenjis live about 12 years.

Labrador Retriever is one of the healthiest dog breeds

18. Labrador Retriever

Life expectancy: 12-13 years

Along with being one of the healthiest dog breeds, the Labrador Retriever is one of the friendliest dogs you will ever meet.

They are also highly intelligent and love to please.

For this reason, they are easy to train.

These playful pooches are lifetime puppies. They are great in homes that include kids and other dogs.

Labrador Retrievers have an average life span of 13 years.

Poodle is one of the healthiest dog breeds

19. Poodle

Life expectancy: 12 years

This breed is friendly with other pets, strangers, and kids. The intelligence of the poodle makes them very adaptable and easy to train.

These healthy dogs are also healthy for you.

They shed very little and are considered to be hypo-allergenic, have long life-spans especially if you feed your Poodle the right food.

Make sure you are up to the task of grooming yourself, or bringing to a groomer.

Poodles live to be around 12 years old.

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healthiest dog breeds20. Border Collie

Life expectancy: 13 years

Known for their intelligence, these canines are sensitive to their owner’s needs.

These qualities make them great for first time dog owners and inexperienced trainers.

Not only is this breed healthy, but they tolerate temperature changes well too.

Border Collies are ideal for warm or cold climates.

Border Collies have a longer lifespan making it to around 13 years old.

Bichon Frise is one of the healthiest dog breeds

21. Bichon Frise

Life expectancy: 13 years

Dogs in this breed look just like little stuffed animals.

These pups are not known to do well around kids and other pets, but they are loyal and affectionate with their older human masters.

The Bichon Frise is also not a barker; they do not wander. They prefer to stick close to their person.

The average life time for these fluff balls is 13 years.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi is one of the healthiest dog breeds

22. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Life expectancy: 13 years

This sassy dog is also quiet entertaining. If you don’t give him “jobs”, he will often make his own work herding children and other animals.

Corgis are sturdy dogs,  great in all sorts of climates, along with being one of the healthiest dog breeds.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is also easy to train and obedient.

This popular breed lives to be around 13 years old.

Pharaoh Hound is one of the healthiest dog breeds

23. Pharaoh Hound

Life expectancy: 13 years

The Pharaoh Hound is not as well-known as some other breeds, but it is known to be one of the healthiest dog breeds.

Pooches in this ancient breed do well in the extreme heat, but are not made for colder climates.

They are desert dogs and still prefer to live that way.

While intelligent, this breed is very independent and strong-willed making them a little harder to train.

Like many healthy dogs, these dogs tend to live around 13 years.

Rottweiler is one of the healthiest dog breeds

24. Rottweiler

Life expectancy: 10 years

These giants of the dog community are calm and brave.

They are not a hyper, in-your-face breed. Despite their reputation, they are gentle and family friendly unless trained to be otherwise.

Rottweilers are usually recommended for experienced owners because of their size alone.

They usually weigh around 130 pounds. The Rottweiler has an average lifespan of 10 years.

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healthiest dog breeds

27. Shetland Sheepdog

Life expectancy: 13 years

These healthy dogs have long hair and shed easily. But to outweigh that, they are highly intelligent problem solvers.

Shetland Sheepdogs also bark little and are not known to want to break out of fences.

Combine those traits with a reputation of not chewing up everything, and this is a great all around dog.

If you get one of these fur babies, expect him to live about 13 years.

Brittany Spaniel is one of the healthiest dog breeds

26. Brittany Spaniel

Life expectancy: 12 years

These springers are light of foot and muscular.

They are very loving and great around kids and other pets, coming from a working background and one of the best hunting dogs in history.

If that wasn’t enough, they are also intelligent and easy to train.

Their energy levels and playfulness means they need more than just a walk around the block to be physically and mentally healthy.

Brittany lives to be about 12 years old.

Havanese is one of the healthiest dog breeds

27. Havanese

Life expectancy: 13 years

This breed was made to be a lapdog – not a hunting dog, not a work dog. They have their job down pat.

The Havanese is affectionate, inquisitive, entertaining and one of the healthiest dog breeds.

These small pups need very little exercise to be healthy.

You will need to brush this pups silky coat to keep it at its best. These fur-babies live to be about 13 years old.

Whippet is one of the healthiest dog breeds

28. Whippet

Life expectancy: 13 years

Another “barkless” dog, the Whippet is quiet to live around.

These fast, agile dogs are friendly and social.

However, they do need a lot of exercise and do best with the active, outdoor family that loves exercising, going outside for a run and spending active time together with the dog.

These intelligent dogs are easy to train.

They want nothing more than to be surround by happy people.

The average life span of these canines is about 13 years.

Canaan Dog is one of the healthiest dog breeds

29. Canaan Dog

Life expectancy: 13 years

The territorial Canaan is a great breed for a watchdog. They are affectionate with their owners, but they don’t like strangers.

These are calm dogs that do not like being around young kids or other pets.

With almost no shedding, and no need to brush, these pups are easy to maintain.

Pooches in this breed live to be about 13 years old.

Ibizan Hound is one of the healthiest dog breeds

30. Ibizan Hound

Life expectancy: 12 years

These streamlined, racing dogs are great with children.

They also have short, easy to care for coats that keep them healthy in hot weather.

If this is the dog for you, make sure you have a tall, sturdy fence.

Ibizan Hounds love to run and jump and can easily escape most enclosures.

Our final breed of the list lives about 12 years.

Healthiest Dog Breeds – Summary

So there you have it!

Some of the longest living dog breeds are ones that you wouldn't always expect.

And health is on a case by case basis, on average these dogs are generally healthy.

The lifespan of each dog can change depending on lifestyle, diet, and environmental factors.

Let us know which dog was your favorite in our list of the healthiest dog breeds.

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The Healthiest Dog Breeds That Live the Longest

Kristina has graduated with a Master's degree in Psychology over five years ago, and since been researching and writing about animal sciences and dog training. Her main goal is to present the most truthful science-based information to as many pet owners out there as possible.