You’ve had your dog since he or she was a puppy. They may have only been a few months old when you brought them home. The two of you have enjoyed many happy years of playing, exploring, relaxing, loving, and living together.

One of the factors you probably kept in mind when you adopted your dog was their lifespan. After all, you don’t want to buy a dog, fall in love with them, and then have them taken away from you too soon. That’s utterly heartbreaking.

There’s plenty of information about purebred dog lifespan, but not so much when it comes to mixed breeds. These mutts have different little parts of various dogs in them, so how can you determine their lifespan? How long do dogs live if they’re a mixed breed? What are the longest living mixed breed dogs?

While it’s more difficult to pinpoint, don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered. We’ve rounded up 10 mixed breed dogs that live the longest. We’re also going to explain dog lifespan, how dog size factors into lifespan, and more.

10. Papijack

As the name suggests, a papijack is part Jack Russell terrier and part Papillion. These are smaller dogs that have moderately long fur, shorter legs and a shorter snout, floppy ears, and a bushy tail. These dogs are often white, brown, and black. Papijacks are quite agile. They also have boundless energy. They can live for up to 16 years with proper care and lots of love.

9. Bostillion

Another smaller breed that’s mixed with Papillion, the “Bost” in Bostillion comes from Boston terriers. These dogs are especially great at jogging and herding. They’re also good at listening, which makes training them quite easy. They don’t have as much energy as the papijack, but they’re no slowpokes, either. You may have these dogs for 15 or 16 years.

8. American Bull-Aussie

Mixing the Australian shepherd and the American bulldog yields the American Bull-Aussie. This short-haired pup is adorable in young age and grows up to be moderately sized. Expect quite a protective streak, making an American Bull-Aussie great for watching your home. They’re also herders, much like the Bostillion above. Make sure you move to warmer climes for this dog, as American Bull-Aussies hate frigid temperatures. In the right conditions, you can have this dog for 16 years.

7. Ratshi Terrier

A bit bushy-looking for sure, the Ratshi Terrier will certainly win over your heart. This smaller dog combines the DNA of a rat terrier with a shih-tzu. A Ratshi Terrier will never get very big, and comes in a variety of coat colors (including white, gray, cream, chocolate, and black). Like most smaller dogs, this mixed breed can enjoy a long life, sometimes up to 18 years old.

6. Ratese

As you may have guessed from the name, a Ratese is part Rat Terrier and part Maltese. The Rat Terrier comes up again and again (as you’ll see) because these dogs are good-spirited, fun, and live for a long time. Unlike the Ratshi Terrier above, the Ratese has shorter fur but the familiar face shape of a Maltese. This dog may be by your side for 18 years.

5. Rat-Cha

The totally adorable Rat-Cha is again part Rat Terrier. The other part comes from the loveable Chihuahua. That makes the Rat-Cha one of the smallest dogs on our list. Still, these pups have a feisty side to them and love making laps around the backyard (or the dog park, they’re not too picky). These canines can also be quite colorful, available in such hues as white, gold, cream, brown, and black.

Chihuahua lifespan: They have quite a lengthy lifespan, too, up to 18 years if they’re well cared for.

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4. Jack Chi

Finally moving away from Rat Terrier mixes, the Jack Chi is a combination of Jack Russell Terrier and Chihuahua. This dog has huge energy. If you thought some of the dogs on this list before were active, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The Jack Chi is compact, cute, and sure to be your best friend on the entire planet. The two of you will enjoy a long-term bond, too, one that lasts for 18 years.

3. Cockapoo

One of the most publicized mixed breeds is the Cockapoo. Honestly, take one look at these fuzzballs. What’s not to love? They’re moppy due to their poodle origins, and they’re sizable thanks to their cocker spaniel background. These great companion dogs will be the envy of the dog park with their healthy coat and precious demeanor. The best part about having a Cockapoo for a pet? They’ll live up to 18 years.

2. Skip-Shtzu

What happens when you combine a schipperke and a shih-tzu? You get the loveable Skip-Shtzu. This dog does resemble a shih-tzu more than a schipperke, but the biggest perks of owning this dog are its less excitable nature and its lovingness. This mixed breed, as you probably guessed, is on the smaller side. That contributes to their impressive lifespan, which is about 18 years.

1. Pug-Coton

You may not have heard of a Coton de Tulear, but they’re a fluffy purebred dog of moderate size. When combined with the sweet pug, you get the Pug-Coton, a dependable, good-natured, reliable four-legged pal. You can even find these in multiple colors like pretty orangey apricot. These brave dogs have the longest lifespan on our list, a very impressive 19 years.

After checking out that list, you may still have some questions about dog lifespan. Let us explain even more.

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The Average Lifespan of a Dog 

What if you don’t have one of the 10 dogs on the list that live the longest?

Perhaps you have another type of mixed breed dog. You may have even had a purebred.

How many years of unbridled joy, love, and excitement can you expect to share with your dog?

What is the average lifespan of a dog that you have?

Usually, the average dog lifespan depends on their breed. The biggest indicator is the size of your dog. Smaller dogs, in general, tend to have a much longer lifespan than bigger dogs. This isn’t always true, but in most instances, it is. We’ll explain more about this below.

On average, many pet experts agree that your dog will live at least 10 years if he or she is healthy and taken care of. The longer end of this expected lifespan is 13 years.

In general, expect a bigger dog to live at least 10 years, a moderate size dog to live at least 13 years, and smaller dogs to live to be 13 years and older, sometimes almost 20 years (as we’ve seen above!)

Of course, these are all loose guidelines. Some bigger dogs may live to be close to 15 while some smaller dogs may sadly pass on shortly after their 13th birthday. It happens.

While we can’t guarantee your dog will live to be a certain age, there are certain things you can and should do with your dog to stretch their lifespan as long as you can.

  1. Take your dog for a checkup at least annually, if not more often. Yes, vet trips can be expensive, and yes, it may look like your dog is healthy. You never know what’s going on inside your dog, though. They can’t communicate with us verbally in the same way humans do, so dogs may sometimes suffer silently. Your dog’s clean bill of health will give you peace of mind. If your vet discovers something’s wrong, you can start treatment sooner rather than later.
  2. Keep their teeth clean. A great toothpaste is Vets Preferred Advanced Enzymatic Toothpaste! Using this toothpaste helps clean their little chompers with a soft and gentle brush on the dog’s teeth! But remember, to make sure your dog is getting the best mouth care, you can’t neglect their oral health. Vets Prefered Advanced Oral Care helps not only their smelly breath, but can help prevent periodontal disease, gingivitis, and plaque buildup. Your dog may not love getting their teeth cleaned, but it’s a small price to pay for a healthy pet.
  3. Engage your dog’s mind. Much like people, canines can also suffer from mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. To sharpen their mind, create tricks and puzzles and see if they can solve them.
  4. Get your dog out for exercise as often as you can. If you live in colder climates, you don’t always have to go for long walks. Runs around the house and fetching toys are great alternatives. As long as your dog’s blood is pumping and their heart is racing, they’re getting the kind of exercise they need.
  5. Watch their diet. If your dog is eating the wrong kind of food, exercise won’t be able to help much. Your pup will still likely gain weight. Talk to your vet and see what your dog should and shouldn’t be eating, then follow those guidelines. Occasional treats are okay, especially to reward your four-legged friend, but don’t overindulge.

Why Do Small Dogs Live Longer?

So first off, why do small dogs live longer ? We did say we’d address why smaller dogs outlive big dogs, and now’s the time. According to dog resource Caesar’s Way, when it omes to species, smaller animals have a longer lifespan. Compare that to mammals, where the biggest typically survive the longest.

That may be why it makes sense to assume your bigger dog would live longer, but it’s simply not true.

Research confirms this. Germany’s University of Gottigen did a study on dog lifespan according to animal size. Dr. Cornelia Kraus, the lead researcher, studied more than 70 dog breeds and 56,000 animals total.

Kraus reviewed the death date for each dog and calculated how old they were when they died. She found that there’s a one-month drop in lifespan per 4.4 pounds. The more the dog weighs then, the shorter its lifespan. That makes sense why bigger dogs’ lives are often shorter.

Even the slimmest, healthiest big dog is going to weight more than a little dog at normal weight.

That doesn’t mean you should avoid adopting a big dog. You just have to be realistic about its lifespan. By understanding these dogs live shorter lives, you two can maximize your time together and give them the best life possible for as long as it lasts.

If you find you’re the type who has major attachments to your pets and has a hard time letting go (and really, who doesn’t?), you may be better off getting a small dog. These pups will live longer, giving you plenty of time together.

More of the Longest Living Dogs

Remember how we said average dog lifespan was just a guideline and not an absolute? These dogs are here to prove it. We’ve found 15 dogs that each lived to be well over 14 years old and are Guinness World Records-verified. These pups are from all over the world, but many are from the United States.

Do remember these canines are incredibly uncommon, but they’re awe-inspiring nonetheless.

15. Sotirakis

Not much is known about Sotirakis, the Greece-born dog who lived to be nearly 21 years old. The pup’s breed was never verified; Sotirakis is simply listed as a stray. Born in 1993, the pup was around until early 2014.

14. Megabyte

The adorably-named Megabyte is an ironic moniker as well, considering it was given to a Chihuahua. Born in the United States, this dog also had quite the lifespan, living for 20 years and 265 days. That’s seriously impressive. Megabyte, like Sotirakis, was born in 1993 and passed in early 2014.

13. Otto

Cheers for mixed breeds! Otto, a combination of a terrier and a dachshund, lived to the ripe old age of 20. He almost celebrated his 21st birthday, as he lived an additional 334 days on top of his already long 20 years. He was born in the United Kingdom in 1989 and passed in early 2010.

12. Chanel

What a luxurious name for a luxurious dog. With staying power almost as good as the brand, Chanel the dachshund grew up in the US. In another case for the longevity of smaller breeds, Chanel lived to be 21 years and 114 days old. The dog was born in 1988 and passed in the summer of 2009.

11. Mister

Mid-sized dogs can sometimes stick around longer than expected. Enter Mister, a shepherd mix born in the US in late 1991. He lived until late 2013, giving him a lifespan of 21 years and 332 days.

10. Kathy T. Dog

Another win for mixed breeds is Kathy T. Dog, who was only registered as a mutt. We’re not sure what breed she was. What we do know is she was from the US and was born in early 1991. She lived an amazing 22 years and 29 days, passing in early 2013. That’s some longevity.

9. Piccolo

Another mutt that lived an astoundingly long time is Piccolo from Italy. As the only entry from Italy on this list, Piccolo’s owners must have taken especially good care of him. Born in late 1987, Piccolo was around until late 2010. That means he spent 23 years and 86 days on this earth.

8. Sugar

Although she was sweet, we’re sure Sugar had a better diet than her name implies. How else did she live for 24 years and 360 days? That’s almost 25 straight years! There’s no information available about what this American-born dog’s breed was, so we can only guess she was on the smaller side.

7. Pusuke

In Japan, the Shiba Inu mix Pusuke stuck it out for 26 years and 248 days. Could you imagine having a dog that lived for nearly 27 years? That’s legendary. Pusuke was born in spring 1985 and was around until late 2011.

6. Buksi

Over in Hungary, there was Buksi. Registered as just a mutt, there’s a lot we don’t know about this extraordinary pup. We can only imagine Buksi was a smaller breed. Born in 1990, Buksi lived until 2016, or 26 amazing years.

5. Adjutant

Long, long ago, way back in 1936, a Labrador Retriever mix named Adjutant was born in the UK. This dog was probably one of the first record-breakers of its kind for the era. Adjutant lived until the ripe old age of 27, with 98 extra days tacked on for good measure.

4. Bramble

Mid-sized Border Collie Bramble also impressed. The dog was born all the way back in 1975, yet stuck around 27 years and 211 days. That was until spring 2003. This UK dog had quite a memorable life, that’s for sure.

3. Taffy

Unfortunately, we don’t know a whole lot about the wonder dog that was Taffy. We do know this pup was from the UK and was a Welsh Collie (there seems to be something about collies and longer lives…), but we don’t know the dog’s birth date or death date. Records do indicate Taffy was around for 27 years and 317 days.

2. Butch

If you thought 27 years was a long time for a dog to live, you haven’t met Butch. His records aren’t entirely clear, but we do know he was born sometime in 1975 and lived until sometime in 2003. That puts him at about 28 years old, give or take. This beagle, born in the US, was truly wondrous.

1. Bluey

Hold onto your hats, because Bluey has one of the longest dog lifespans ever recorded. This Australian cattle dog, appropriately born and raised in Australia, lived from 1910 until late 1939. Do the math for a second…that means Bluey was an amazing 29 years and 160 days old. Yes, Bluey almost lived to be 30!

The Longest Living Dog Breeds:

  1. Chihuahua
    Average Lifespan: 18 years
  2. Toy poodle
    Average lifespan: 16 years
  3. Jack Russell terrier
    Average lifespan: 16 years
  4. Cockapoo
    Average lifespan: 16 years
  5. Lhasa Apso
    Average lifespan: 15 years
  6. Shih Tzu
    Average Lifespan: 15 years
  7. Dachsunds
    Average Lifespan: 15 years
  8. Beagle
    Average Lifespan: 15 years
  9. Maltese
    Average Lifespan: 15 years
  10. Miniature Schnauzer
    Average Lifespan: 15 years