5 Dog Breeds Will Live the Longest According to 2024 Study

While all dogs bring joy and love to our lives, some breeds have a reputation for exceptional longevity. 

A groundbreaking study1 published in February 2024 in the journal Scientific Reports sheds new light on which dogs are likely to stick around the longest.

The researchers analyzed lifespan data on over 580,000 dogs from 155 breeds in the UK. They found that small, long-nosed breeds like miniature dachshunds, whippets, and Tibetan spaniels tend to have the greatest longevity. On the flip side, large, flat-faced breeds like English bulldogs and mastiffs had the shortest lifespans on average.

If you’re hoping to find a furry friend that will be with you through thick and thin, these five longest living dog breeds are a great place to start your search.

1. Lancashire Heeler

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Topping the list of longest living dog breeds is the Lancashire heeler, with a median life expectancy of 15.4 years. These small, energetic dogs were originally bred in England to herd cattle and drive livestock to market. Today, they make lively, loving companions.

2. Tibetan Spaniel

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The Tibetan spaniel, with a median lifespan of 15.2 years, is a small, affectionate breed that originated in the monasteries of Tibet. These dogs were highly prized by monks for their companionship and their ability to sound the alarm if intruders approached.

Tibetan spaniels are generally hardy dogs, but they can be prone to certain eye problems and luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps). Keeping them at a healthy weight and providing regular exercise can help prevent joint issues. 

3. Bolognese

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The Bolognese, a small, fluffy white dog from Italy, has a median lifespan of 14.9 years. These gentle, affectionate dogs were once the beloved companions of nobility and aristocrats. Today, they make wonderful pets for families with older children or for seniors looking for a devoted friend.

Bolognese dogs are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. These include hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, and eye problems. Regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy lifestyle can help catch and prevent potential issues.

4. Shiba Inu

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Don’t let their foxy faces fool you – Shiba Inus are one tough breed. Originating in Japan over 300 years ago, Shibas were bred for stamina and agility. It’s no surprise they ranked among the longest-living dogs at 14.6 years median lifespan. 

Independent and spirited, Shibas need secure yards to stay safe and satisfy their prey drive.

5. Papillon

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Rounding out the top 5 is the elegant Papillon, a small spaniel-type breed that lives a median of 14.5 years. Papillons are named for their distinctive butterfly-wing shaped ears.

These friendly, energetic companions make great family pets and excel at dog sports like agility. Papillons are generally healthy, though their large ears require regular cleaning. With their longevity and adorable looks, it’s easy to see why Papillons have been beloved for centuries.

Why Small, Long-Nosed Breeds Live Longer

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You may have noticed that the top 5 longest-living breeds in the 2024 study were all relatively small dogs with longer snouts and muzzles. This isn’t a coincidence – the research found a clear link between body size, head shape, and lifespan in dogs.

In general, smaller dogs live significantly longer than larger breeds. Across all the dogs analyzed, small breeds had a median lifespan of 12.7 years compared to just 11.9 years for large breeds. This size-longevity connection holds true even though the opposite pattern is observed between different mammalian species.

The study authors hypothesize that larger dogs simply age faster from a biological standpoint. Their accelerated growth and development may lead to earlier onset of age-related diseases and shorter overall lifespans.

Respiratory issues stemming from their flattened face structure are a major contributing factor. But other genetic and developmental differences related to head shape likely impact longevity as well.

So while a dog’s size and head shape don’t guarantee a long life, breeds like the Lancashire heeler, Tibetan spaniel, and Papillon clearly have some built-in advantages from an evolutionary perspective. 

Setting the Stage for a Lifetime of Companionship

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When it comes to finding a canine companion for the long haul, these five breeds are stellar choices backed by scientific research. From the spunky Lancashire heeler to the regal Papillon, each of these dogs has genetics on their side for living well into their teens and beyond. 

By starting with a breed known for impressive longevity and providing them with lots of love and good care, you’re setting the stage for many happy years together. 

These long-living breeds prove that the best things in life – including the unwavering love of a loyal pup – are worth the wait.

Sources

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-023-50458-w
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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.