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Why do some dog breeds live longer than others?

Why do some dog breeds live longer than others?
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You don’t want to even think about the day your cherished pooch is no longer by your side and crosses over the rainbow bridge. It’s better to focus on the here and now and give your dog a healthy and happy life. But if you’re wondering where your own pup stands or you’re thinking about getting a specific type of dog, it’s good information to have. The bottom line: Size might matter when it comes to the longest dog life spans. “There is a trend across mammals in general that smaller mammals live longer lives,” says veterinarian Dr Catherine Lenox. “There isn’t a clear reason for this veterinarian it might have something to do with the animal’s metabolism veterinarian but it does seem to be true for dogs as well.” Yet, other factors not relevant to size, such as poor genetics, unforeseen accidents, not getting enough exercise, and sudden illness, impact how long a dog lives, too.

According to Dr Lenox, the following 20 dog breeds will live up to 15 years or even longer. While this is by no means an all-inclusive list and there’s no guarantee that every dog noted here will live for this long, there are things you can do to help your dog live the longest, healthiest life possible. “Be proactive about preventive care, manage medical conditions with your veterinarian as needed, keep your dog in normal body condition (not too heavy and not too thin), and feed a high-quality complete and balanced diet without too many treats,” advises Dr Lenox. Now that we have that squared away, let’s see the cute pups!

 

Bichon

Bichon
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Can you imagine waking up to this adorable face for the next 15 years? Year after year, the infatuation grows when you live with a Bichon. These dogs are curious, peppy, happy, eager to please, and fun to be around – they seem to be on a mission to make everyone they meet smile. “Bichon Frises enjoy being the center of attention,” says veterinarian Dr Callie Harris. With their cheerful attitude and sweet face, we certainly wouldn’t mind the Bichon commanding our attention. You know what else gets our attention? Puppies!

Enjoy these cute photos of wet dogs you can’t help but smile at.

Border Terrier

Border Terrier
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This rugged, rough-and-tumble cutie loves the outdoors and everything in it. With its distinctive “otter head,” this gutsy and fearless woofer lives life to the fullest. “Border Terriers have a surprising ability to jump high and run fast due to the size of their legs, which are longer than most other small terriers,” says Dr. Harris. These pups, who have some of the longest dog life spans and live between 12 and 15 years, get along with other dogs and are well suited for kiddos. They excel at tracking, agility courses, and digging, which may not be such a great thing unless you’re looking for lost treasure in your backyard.

 

 

Chihuahua

Chihuahua
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These tiny puppies pack a lot of sass and stubbornness (or shall we say confidence) in their adorable 2.5-kilo bodies. For pet parents searching for a devoted one-person dog, the Chihuahua will be at your side for around 14 to 16 years. They love excursions on the town in a doggy purse, but just make sure you keep them warm. Because of their small size, they can’t retain body heat – even if they gain a few kilos, which Chihuahuas are prone to do. Another fun fact: They are known for having the biggest brain in the dog world. “There’s been research that shows Chihuahuas have the largest brain-to-body weight ratio of all dog breeds,” says Dr Harris.

Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested
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The Chinese Crested is one of the few breeds often described as “cat-like” because, like cats, they’re fond of sitting in high places. They’re not going to jump up on a counter, but they’ll perch on the back of the sofa or the arm of a chair. Like a lot of cats, they also have longevity going for them and can live up to 18 years. That means you’ll get to pick out a new sweater for them every year, as the Chinese Crested hairless version will be most comfortable in a sweater to keep them warm, notes Dr Harris.

Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulear
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If you’re going to be living with the Coton de Tulear for the next 15 to 19 years, you’d better learn how to pronounce this breed’s name correctly. By the way, it’s pronounced KO-Tone-dih-TOO-lay-ARE – and make sure to say it with a French accent! According to Colleen Demling-Riley, a dog behaviourist for Dogtopia, old lore has it that the Coton de Tulear originated from a group of small white pups that swam ashore after a shipwreck in Madagascar. With that kind of tenacity, it’s no wonder they are the official dog of Madagascar. “These sweet and loyal dogs bond strongly to their families and love going everywhere with them,” says Demling-Riley.

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Dachshund

Dachshund
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Call them hot dog dogs – they don’t mind because Dachshunds are lapping up more love and popularity these days. They come in three varieties and sizes (miniature and standard in smooth, long, and wire coat). Maybe it’s their independence and bold curiosity that keeps them enjoying life for up to 16 years. According to Guinness World Records, one miniature Dachshund named Funny actually lived for a whopping 21 years and 178 days! What doesn’t help a Dachshund’s longevity, however, is their love for eating. “Being just a few kilos overweight can pose a risk for their short legs and long backs,” notes Dr Harris. “Because of that, they are at risk for lower-back injury often referred to as IVDD – intervertebral disk disease.” If you want your dog to have the longest life span possible, make sure to avoid these foods that could give your dog heart disease.

Finnish Spitz

Finnish Spitz
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A true conversationalist, the Finnish Spitz will talk your ear off if you let them. “Not shy to tell the whole world about their opinions, the Finnish Spitz is known to bark at other pups and people and loves to ‘chat’ about how they feel,” says Demling-Riley. In Finland, these dogs are often called “barking bird dogs” for their ability to track and hunt birds. At home, their independence and funny personalities will keep you entertained all day long, says Demling-Riley. And if you relish the lively and fun days of puppyhood, the Finnish is slow to mature – reaching adulthood at about three years. And with a life span of 13 to 15 years, you’ll have someone to keep you company for a long time. Wish you could decipher what your dog is saying?

Check out what it means when your dog sighs.

 

Havanese

Havanese
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Happy, outgoing, and friendly to humans and furry friends alike, “the Havanese is ‘the person’ commanding the room in any party you’ve ever walked into,” says Demling-Riley. If those attributes weren’t enough, these dogs can be the life of the party for up to 16 years. It should come as no surprise that this happy-go-lucky doggo lands at the number 24 spot for most popular AKC breeds. With such a cheerful disposition and affectionate nature, it’s no wonder the Havanese is an ideal therapy dog, too.

Here are the most affectionate dog breeds that love to cuddle.

Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound
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Light on their feet and light as a feather, the Italian Greyhound can live up to 15 years. These dogs might not appear cuddly with their delicate, slender bodies and fine-boned legs, but they actually love to snuggle by you and are quite clingy. Yet, they’re cool with sharing their heart with other family members, dogs, and strangers they meet. As far as sighthounds go, they’re smaller in size than the Greyhound but just as agile and fast, Dr Harris says. Let them run and jump to build strong bones, but be mindful of their activity. “Be careful with these dogs, as they have a tendency to break bones easily,” she adds.

Here are the first 8 things you need to know when training a puppy.

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