Dog Lifespan

Losing a dog is never easy. It’s like losing a member of your family and can hurt just as badly.

Some people are so struck by grief when they lose a beloved dog that they swear off ever letting the love of another furbaby in. It’s totally understandable how a person could feel that way but hopefully, over time after they have had a chance to mourn, they will decide to bless another grateful doggy with a good home and a loving family.

If and when that day comes, when choosing your new best friend you can take a few safeguards against losing them too soon. Granted, it’s always going to be too soon to lose a loved one, including your dog, but when choosing a dog you can look for breeds that live longer than their average counterparts, which is only 10-13 years for most pups.

Here is a list of 12+ dog breeds that have the longest lifespans. If you’re ever looking into adopting a new dog, you can rest assured that these guys will be with you for a good long while!

1. Anatolian Shepherd

Believe it or not, these big ol’ guys can live for quite a while. Unlike most other large dog breeds, the average owner of an Anatolian Shepherd gets to spend around 14 years with their loving canine cuddle buddies.

Beware that they are powerful, though, and are bred to protect flocks of sheep and goats from larger wild animals like bears, wolves, and even cheetahs. In other words, they make for wonderfully loyal and protective family dogs but need to get plenty of regular exercise and socialization.

The breed has been known to develop hip dysplasia later in life, but you can have the parents screened for this if you are buying from a breeder.

2. Vizsla

These medium-sized, golden to rust-colored canines have crazy high levels of energy that keeps them kicking for up to 14 years. The breed is known as Vizsla and in addition to their endless well of energy and curiosity, they are known to be incredibly loyal to their owners.

This has quite literally been bred into the dog, as they were bred to have the curiosity, energy, and focus of a hunting dog, but the loving and playful nature of a family dog. They are often referred to as a “shadow dog” because they demand to be near you at all times, most notably when you’re trying to sleep.

The most praised trait in this dog out of all, though, is just how much they love their people, and how devoted they are to them.

3. Papillons

These adorable big-eared dogs trapped in a small dog’s body are known as Papillon dogs. The name is French for butterfly and was given to them for their noticeably large and pretty ears, but their life-span is what makes them a fantastic choice for a companion.

These tiny guys can live up to 17 years! That is a very long time in the doggy world, and they have loads of love to give for every year they spend with you. Buyer beware, though; these adorable and delicate-looking dogs might appear to be small to you, but they aren’t aware of it!

Papillons (A.K.A. “Yappy-Pappy’s”) are tiny geniuses that think they’re bigger than they are, and have no problems challenging other larger dogs to try and prove they’re alpha. Other than that, they are exceptionally friendly and charming little fellas to owners and strangers alike!

4. Samoyed

These reindeer-herding dogs may have been bred for the harsh climes of Siberia, but it hasn’t kept them from being big balls of fluff and love in the least!

Samoyeds get their name from the tribe who first bred them to aid them in herding, hunting, and winter chores that involve weight-bearing loads. Being that they were bred to herd, they readily get along with other animals, including small dogs or cats, with just a bit of training.

If you think they’re big shedders, you’re right on the money. These poof-balls have double-coats and need to be brushed on the daily, if possible. This small task is more than welcome though when you experience all the love and goof-ball antics they will endeavor just to keep you happy.

They live up to 15 years, and they are known for their enormous smile when they get excited! They really are the perfect family dog.

5. Blue Heelers

Also known as the Australian Cattle Dog, blue heelers are known for their superb cattle herding abilities, though they work equally well with horses, sheep, goats, and other livestock…even chickens!

These handsome and beautifully patterned dogs are recognized for their loyalty to their masters and family as much as they are for their working abilities. In fact, these dogs have specifically been bred to display this characteristic since the 1840s.

You can expect to enjoy their companionship for up to 16 years, so long as you make sure to give them all the mental and physical exercise they need. They are incredibly smart canines and need work or task-oriented play to keep them in the best of health.

6. Poodles

This curly-cued fur-ball of a dog is an international favorite among dog lovers, ranking as the 9th most popular breed to own in the American Kennel Club.

With their crazy hair, playful nature, and remarkable intelligence, it’s no great wonder that they excel in popularity. Perhaps one of the best reasons to adopt one of these lovable canines into your family, though, is their long lifespan.

Poodles can live up to an incredible 18 years, making them one of the longest living dog breeds by far. Just be sure to purchase one from a reputable breeder first, though, as there is a long list of health issues that they *could* develop over time.

There are 3 different types of Poodle, the Toy Poodle, Miniature Poodle, and Standard Poodle, and all have a loving nature and long life-spans. That being said, with a good breeder and proper care after adoption, these dogs can make the best long-term companions.

7. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes are wonderful dogs for people and families who are active in the outdoors. They are pack-oriented and defer to their masters pretty readily.

These dogs are known to far exceed the standard size and weight for their breed and have come to be known as Gentle Giants in dog-lover circles, but still can enjoy a long life of up to 16 years. They are very playful and make fantastic family pets so long as they are socialized, but due to their large size and playfulness, they should be watched closely when playing with small children.

While they make decent watchdogs and will alert you to anyone approaching your area, they take to strangers with relative ease and aren’t the best dogs for protection…unless you take intimidation into account, as their wolf-like appearance can make a great deterrent for any unwelcome company.

8. Puli Dogs

These confidently corded dogs are incredible companion animals, as they were specifically bred to provide some much-needed companionship in the solitary life of shepherds. As such, they make wonderful herding dogs and will protect your flock or livestock from any unwelcome attention, human or otherwise.

These dogs have a long lifespan of up to 16 years, and one of the very best things about them is that they will continue to be playful, loving, and affectionate well into their old age. They are a blessing to dog-lovers today, as they were very nearly eradicated in World War II in Hungary, their country of origin.

9. Northern Inuit Dog

If you’re in love with the Direwolves on the HBO hit show Game of Thrones, then you will be happy to know that they are actually a domesticated dog breed that you can adopt.

The “Direwolves” are actually played by Northern Inuit Dogs, which were bred in the 1980s by crossing several breeds. These include Samoyed, Alaskan Malamute, German Shephard, Siberian Husky, and even Grey Wolf (less than 15% DNA detected in some bloodlines).

While they are prone to some health issues, such as hip dysplasia, they are relatively few in comparison to other dog breeds, and they are known to enjoy long lives of up to 14 years.

10. Whippet

If you love the look of the Greyhound dog but need a companion that is smaller in size, then the Whippet is your breed. Often referred to as the “poor man’s racehorse” in the 1800s, these agile dogs are unrivaled in their top-speeds and quick-turning capabilities.

Although they can sprint against the best of them and come out on top, they are calm enough and quiet enough to keep in a small home or even an apartment. Due to their incredibly short hair, they tend to be on the hypoallergenic side of dog breeds and emit almost zero odor or shedding.

Don’t be surprised to find these infamous cuddlers snuggled up next to you in bed, as they like to be warm, comfy, and close to their masters. They are pretty even-keel when it comes to companionship, and can be left alone longer than many other breeds as they are decently independent.

You can expect to share the joys of you Whippet for up to 15 years!

11. The Standard Schnauzer

These good old dogs have been around since the late 1300s, and with good reason, too! The Standard Schnauzer displays all the traits one could possibly desire in a companion pet. Originally developed for farm work in Germany, these dogs are superior intellectuals in the canine world, and they have agility and strength to match. In fact, they have often been said to have a human brain, rather than a dog’s.

Since they were developed for outdoor work in such a northerly region, they do well in just about every type of weather, including and especially winter climates, and less than 1% are affected by serious health conditions.

They are family oriented dogs and will remain devoted to and protective of their pack. Known for their health and energetic personalities, they have a reputation for their longevity and can live for up to 15 years or longer.

12. Belgian Malinois

If you are looking for a working dog that can double as a loyal companion and guard dog, then the Belgian Malinois is the furbaby for you.

Bred from several varieties of Shepherd dogs, then stabilized in the late 1800s, the Malinois has become a favorite amongst canine sports enthusiasts, search and rescue teams, and farmers alike.

These dogs are frequently used in police and military detection units for bombs, noxious gases, and illegal drugs. They make fantastic dogs both as family pets and as police dogs, and everything in between.

You can expect a healthy Belgian Malinois to provide you with superior companionship for up to 15 years or longer, and they make for remarkable service dogs for the ill, elderly and disabled.

13. Border Collie

This majestic dog breed has been around since at least the mid-1800s, bred along the Anglo Saxon-Scottish border (hence the name Border-Collie) and has been a faithful companion to farmer and family alike.

Easily considered to be the most intelligent dog breed known to man, Border Collies are expert herders of both other animals and small children. They are gentle enough to be a regular housemate, and they are playful enough that you will never get bored if you have one around.

These beautiful dogs are so versatile that they routinely receive top marks in nearly every category at dog shows. Even though they technically have an average lifespan of about 15 years, many people report their Colly living up to 17 years or more.

Just make sure you lead a lifestyle that allows room for your dog because they are incredibly faithful and will always want to be at your side.

14. Shih-Tzu

These long-haired, enchanting dogs have been around longer than most of their kind. Although frequently mistaken as having its origins in China, the Shih-Tzu dog breed actually originated in Tibet, with actual documentation dating as far back as 1000 years ago.

In addition, there is documentation of dogs fitting their description in China around 1000 B.C., making this breed and its ancestry ancient, indeed.

Their name is Mandarin for “Little Lion”, which suits their personalities to a T. While they are often seen more as dainty and cute (which, of course, they are!) these little guys are actually packing quite a bit of power under that showy fur, and rank high in agility competitions.

They are incredibly affectionate little canines, though, and are completely content to hang out in your lap all day if that’s what’s on the agenda for the most part. They make the best of pals, and their love will strengthen the bond you share for up to 18 wonderfully long years!

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15. Beagles

These fun-loving and extra friendly hounds may have originally been bred for hunting, but they are a family dog through and through. Beagle’s ancestry can be traced back to 400 BC in Greece, but the Beagles we know and love in this era got their beginnings, or became standardized, in the early 1800s.

They got their start in Britain as a hunting hound for hare and continued to be popular in rabbit hunting here in the US until as recently as the mid 20th century.

When they are on the chase for something, nothing will distract them, and they are always on the chase as they have one of the most sensitive sniffers a dog could have and they easily pick up new smell they just have to follow. So, keep a close eye when you’re out on your daily walks.

Aside from that, you can expect these big-time snugglers to crawl right up in your bed with you and sleep next to you all night because they know that they are family and belong right next to you!

These adorable little guys provide the very best companionship a dog owner could ever want, and they will be by your side for up to 15 years or longer.

All of these amazing canines make excellent companions for people who love dogs but hate to watch them go. Each and every one has their own unique sense of personality, just like us humans do. So, when you’re picking your next fur-ever friend, take special time and consideration when making your choice. With the right attention to their known traits and behaviors, you can quite literally end up with the very best friend you will ever have in this world, and you can be guaranteed that they will feel the exact same way.

H/T: Insider

This content was originally published here.

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