Six-year-old Tommy stood with his parents in the veterinary office while spending the last few moments with his beloved dog who had been battling cancer. His parents observed him wondering if he understood what was about to happen. His dog passed away peacefully and everyone conversed about how humans usually outlive their pets. Tommy looked up and said ” I know why”. Startled, his parents and the veterinarian looked over at Tommy. Tommy continued “People are born so they can learn how to live a good life- like loving everybody all the time and being nice? Right? Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”
Unfortunately, our four-legged friends often pass before we do and we are rarely ready for such an occasion. Below is a list of dog breeds that live the longest. Remember, in order to live a long and healthy life, dogs depend on you to provide them with healthy food, daily exercise, a warm shelter and plenty of tender loving care.
- Chihuahua Average Lifespan- 18 years
Chihuahuas are named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. They are the smallest dog breed weighing between 4 to 6 pounds. They are not prone to genetic disorders, but are known to suffer from hypoglycemia and have problems with their teeth.
- Jack Russell Terrier Average Lifespan- 16 years
Jack Russell Terriers are strong, sturdy, hardworking dogs originating from England where they were used for fox hunting. They are highly energetic and enjoy being outdoors.
- Toy Poodle Average Lifespan- 16 years
Toy Poodles were favored in England for Truffle hunting but are now a favorite lapdog particularly in France and the United Kingdom. When the Kennel Club was formed in the 1870’s, they were one of the first groups of dogs to be recognized as a breed. They require mental and physical stimulation through games and walks.
- Cockapoo Average Lifespan- 16 years
Cockapoos are a mix between a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. They often suffer from separation anxiety.
- Lagotto Romagnolo Average Lifespan- 16 years
Lagotto Romagnolo, which means lake dog from Romagna, originate from Italy. Traditionally, they were used as gun dogs for water retrieval and are frequently used for hunting truffles. They require a great deal of stimulation or will become destructive out of boredom. However, they are prone to hip dysplasia, juvenile epilepsy and cerebral anomaly.
- Shih Tzu Average Lifespan- 15 years
Shih Tzu, which are also known as the Chrysanthemum Dog are a toy breed thought to be from Tibet. They have been cherished by the Chinese Royals since the Ming Dynasty. The name Shih Tzu which means lion dog comes from the breeders intent to make them look like the lions often depicted in traditional oriental art.
- Lhasa Apso Average Lifespan- 15 years
Lhasa Apso is a non-sporting dog from Tibet. It is a favorite among Tibetan nobility and Buddhist monasteries in the Himalayan Mountains. Their primary purpose was to serve as guard dogs.
- Australian Shepherd Average Lifespan- 15 years
The Australian Shepherd originates from the ranches of western United States where they were prized for their herding ability and intellect. They are very energetic and need daily exercise as well frequent grooming. Most common health issues include vision problems and epilepsy.
- Boykin Spaniel Average Lifespan- 15 years
The Boykin Spaniel is the official state dog of South Carolina. It is an energetic hunting dog ready to work and play all day. It was bred to hunt wild turkeys and ducks. They require daily exercise and regular grooming including coat clipping. Common health concerns include hip dysplasia, eye problems, patella luxation (floating knee cap) and seizures.
- (Scotch/Scottish) Collie Average Lifespan- 15 years
The Scottish Collie or Scotch Collie originates from England, Scotland and Wales where they were bred to herd sheep in and cattle in the Scottish pastures and highlands. They are highly energetic and require regular exercise.
- Pomeranian Average Lifespan- 14 years
The Pomeranian often referred to as Pom or Pom Pom is named after the Pomerania region of Central Europe which is now parts of northern Poland and eastern Germany. It is classified as a toy dog and is of the Spitz variety. It became popular in 1888 when Queen Victoria fell in love with a Pomeranian while visiting Italy and brought it back to England. As of 2013, the Pomeranian is ranked among the twenty most popular dogs in the United States.
- Beagle Average Lifespan- 15 years
The beagle is a small dog which originates from England and is part of the hound group. It was bred for tracking hare, rabbit, deer and other small animals. Their keen sense of smell makes them a popular choice for detection dogs and are used to search for prohibited agricultural imports and foodstuffs that are in quarantine around the world. Beagles have been referred to in popular culture since the Elizabethan times particularly in literature and paintings. In more recent years, they are seen in film, television and comic books such as Peanuts.
- Maltese Average Lifespan- 15 years
The Maltese originates from Central Mediterranean Area and is part of the toy group family. Over the years, it has developed a number of nicknames including Canis Melitaeus, Roman Ladies Dog, Maltese Lion Dog and Cokie. They do not have an undercoat and will shed very little if properly cared for. They are considered hypoallergenic. Daily upkeep of their coat and tear stain removal is required.
- Dachshunds Average Lifespan- 14 years
The Dachshund originates from Germany and was bred to flush out badger and other burrow animals such as rabbits and prairie dogs. It’s name means badger dog. They are considered to be one of the top ten dog breeds in the United States. They are often called wiener or sausage dogs because of their long and narrow body shape. Issues with the spine are common because of their long spinal column and short rib cage and can be made worse by jumping, rough handing, intense exercise and obesity.
- Miniature Schnauzers Average Lifespan- 14 years
The Miniature Schnauzer is a small dog originating from Germany. They were originally bred to be medium sized herding dogs, but as time went by they became smaller and smaller. In 1926, the American Kennel Club recognized it as its own breed. In 2008, they were considered to be the 11th most popular dog breed in the United States.Miniature Schnauzers are typically healthy, but are prone to health problems related to high fat levels. These include hyperlipidemia, pancreatitis, diabetes, bladder stones and eye problems.