It’s Official: World’s Oldest Living Dog is a Chihuahua from Florida!

Written by Cindy Rasmussen
Updated: May 23, 2022
© Amam ka/Shutterstock.com
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The Guinness Book of World Records just named a Chihuahua in Florida the oldest dog in the world. The dog’s name is TobyKeith, a little tan Chihuahua with perky long ears. His owner, Gisela Shore, boasts about how good he looks for his age! Let’s find out all about the world’s oldest living dog.

How old is the oldest living dog?

TobyKieth was 21 years and 66 days old on March 16, 2022 which makes him the oldest living dog. Each morning he wakes up he will tack on another day to the record. TobyKieth’s birthday is January 9, 2001.

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What is TobyKieth’s secret to long life?

His owner says in an article for USA Today that “good genetics, a healthy diet and a loving home” were the secrets to longevity (that could be true for all of us!). His owner said he got him from a shelter when he was just a puppy. An older couple had to give him up when they could not take care of him. His first name was Peanut Butter, but Giesla changed his name to something that suited her more, TobyKieth.

How long do dogs usually live?

blue buffalo small breed
Chihuahua’s have one of the longest life spans of dogs with an average life span of 14-16 years.

©PITAKSUNTI/Shutterstock.com

Most small dogs live 10-15 years with some reaching 18, while most large dogs live closer to 10-12, with giant breeds like Mastiffs living 8-10 years. Small dogs typically live longer than large breeds. Here are the life spans of the top ten most popular dogs from 2020 from the American Kennel Club:

  1. Labrador Retrievers (10-12 years)
  2. French Bulldogs (11-13 years)
  3. German Shepherds (7-10 years)
  4. Golden Retrievers (10-12 years)
  5. Bulldogs (10-12 years)
  6. Poodles (12-15 years)
  7. Beagles (10-15 years)
  8. Rottweilers (10-12 years)
  9. German Shorthaired Pointers (10-12 years)
  10. Dachshund (12-16 years)
Mastiff laying down in grass
Large dogs have a shorter life span than smaller dogs. Mastiffs have a life span of 6-10 years.

©Waldemar Dabrowski/Shutterstock.com

Who is the oldest dog ever?

Oldest Dog: Bluey
The greatest reliable age recorded for a dog is 29 years 5 months for an Australian cattle-dog named Bluey, owned by Les Hall of Rochester, Victoria, Australia.

©Madelein Wolfaardt/Shutterstock.com

Bluey was an Australian Cattle Dog and holds the record for the oldest dog ever. She was 29 years and 5 months old when she passed away in her home of Rochester, Victoria, Australia. Bluey was a working dog that actively worked with sheep and cattle for a good portion of her life. The average lifespan of an Australian Cattle Dog is 12-16 years, so Bluey lived almost twice that!

What other dogs have previously been the oldest living dogs?

The ten oldest dogs ever are:

  1. Bluey, Australian Cattle Dog: Rochester, Victoria, Australia (29 years 5 months)
  2. Butch, Beagle: Virginia, USA (28 years)
  3. Taffy, Welsh Collie: United Kingdom(27 years 211 days)
  4. Snookie, Pug: South Africa (27 years 284 days)
  5. Adjutant, Labrador Retriever: United Kingdom (27 years 98 days)
  6. Buksi, Mutt (looked like a white shepherd cross): Hungary (27 years)
  7. Pusuke, Shiba Inu Mix: Japan (26 years 240 days)
  8. Bramble, Border Collie: United Kingdom (25 years 89 days)
  9. Sugar, Unknown: USA (24 years 360 days)
  10. Piccolo, Mutt: Italy (23 years 86 days)

What dog breeds live the longest?

The dog breeds that live the longest are all small to medium dogs. Chihuahuas do consistently make the top of the list. Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians, Toy Poodles, and Beagles are also breeds that have some of the longest life spans.

Pomeranians are one of the dog breeds that live the longest.

©pattarawat/Shutterstock.com

Why do small dogs live longer than large dogs?

Small dogs live longer than large dogs because large dogs age faster. Researchers have studied the longevity of dogs and consistently find that smaller dogs outlive larger dogs and that giant breeds like the Great Dane and Irish Wolfhound have the shortest life spans. Think about how many years it takes humans to grow to adult size, for some large dogs they experience accelerated growth, reaching adult size in only 1 ½ -2 years. That is a height of 30-32 inches at the shoulder and 140-175lbs!

What can you do to help your dog live longer?

Newfoundland playing tug with owner
Getting your dog outside for walks and playtime are great ways to help your dog live longer.

©Roman Zaiets/Shutterstock.com

One of TobyKieth’s daily routines includes his favorite snack of a slice of turkey, maybe that is the secret? Actually, there are a few things you can do to make sure your dog has a healthy life and lives as long as expected. Making sure your dog has a healthy diet is one of the bet things you can do for your dog. Consult your vet to find out what the best foods for your dog and know that the requirements can change as your dog passes from puppyhood to adult to a senior.

Dogs need exercise, even little dogs, so include your dog in daily walks, runs or time playing in the yard. Be sure to follow the recommended vet appointments and vaccines to keep your dog well. Learn what breed-specific health issues might affect your dog and follow the advice of your vet. Chihuahuas, for example, can develop Pulmonic Stenosis, a common heart condition that makes it more strenuous for the heart to pump blood. Medications of a minimally invasive procedure can help treat this in dogs. One of the best things you can do for your dog is to make sure they maintain a healthy weight. Obese dogs statistically have more health problems and live shorter lives.

What pets live the longest?

Maybe you don’t choose a pet based on how long they live but if you do want a lifelong companion you might want to choose one of these. Some may even outlive you!

If you want a lifelong pet you could choose a tortoise, some can live 100 years or more!

©WL / Creative Commons

  • Tortoise: The giant tortoise has a life span of 100 years! But you better have a lot of room, these tortoises can get to be 4 feet long or more. Smaller tortoises that can be kept as pets are Hermann’s tortoises and Russian tortoise.
  • Parrot: For a chatty friend you can have a parrot as a pet. Can you imagine how much they could learn to say in a life span of 30-50 years. The African grey parrot makes for a good pet.
  • Gecko: Geckos make good pets and can live for 15-20 years. Leopard geckos are one of the geckos that have a longer lifespan. These spotted geckos with the coloration of leopards are 9-11 inches long.
Leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) is a cathemeral, ground-dwelling lizard naturally found in the highlands of Asia and throughout Afghanistan, to parts of northern India.
Leopard Geckos might make good pets but I am not sure they would look as cute in a pink sweater as a chihuahua!

©Milan Zygmunt/Shutterstock.com

If you want to keep up with TobyKeith, the oldest living dog, mark his birthday on the calendar to see if he makes it to 22 years and beyond!

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The Featured Image

Old Chihuahua
© Amam ka/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I'm a Wildlife Conservation Author and Journalist, raising awareness about conservation by teaching others about the amazing animals we share the planet with. I graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris with a degree in Elementary Education and I am a former teacher. When I am not writing I love going to my kids' soccer games, watching movies, taking on DIY projects and running with our giant Labradoodle "Tango".

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