While we can attempt to predict the average lifespan of a dog based on breed, every so often a special pooch manages to shatter the odds by living well beyond their intended years. While hardly the norm, the dogs in this list have made a name for themselves as being among the oldest dogs ever on record.
Born on August 9th 1983, this Beagle, Dachshund, Terrier mix made headlines earlier in 2013 by outliving all of his canine compatriots, making it to a whopping 29 years and 282 days of age, surpassing the previous title holder by just under 100 days. However, had old Max made it another few months, he would have been the first dog on record to make it to 30. So close!
The previous record holder, Bella was a Labrador mix who lived to be 29 as well, although she held her title as oldest dog for a brief 5 years until being dethroned by Max. A bone of contention, however, resides in the fact that the actual date of her birth is speculative, as she was adopted from the RSPCA at around three years of age. While the question of her actual birthday may not seem like a big deal, when the dog that surpassed her as oldest dog did so by a matter of days, it can be a point worth making.
While the previous two cases (which happened within 5 years of one another) might make it seem like dogs living into their late 20s is a somewhat common occurrence, the fact that Bluey, a 29-year-old Australian Cattle Dog from 1939, still holds his spot at number three, proves that these long-lived pups are far from the norm.
Thought to be hitting his 29th birthday in January 2014, Minius is currently the oldest living dog on earth. A shelter mutt of unidentified origin, this old boy is closing in on the record, showing little sign of slowing down (although signs of age in dogs can crop up all at once). A small-time celebrity in his home country of Poland, if Minius does make it to the big 30, you can be sure that there will be a couple of kielbasa sausages waiting for him.
The original “oldest dog,” Lady was a Poodle born in 1908, and made it all the way to 1937, making Lady a record-setting 28 years old. While her title wasn’t held long (being unseated by Bluey a mere two years later), Lady set the bar for dogs living to a ripe, old age.
A tiny but wizened Shih Tzu who is still with us, Smokey will be turning a staggering 28 years old in the beginning of 2014 and is looking like a serious contender for the title. Still sitting pretty in the number six spot, Smokey is a resident of St. Petersburg, Florida, where he, much like the other residents of the town, fail to recognize the signs of their age, reveling in his long daily walks and still displaying the vibrant personality of dogs 10 years younger. Perhaps there really is a fountain of youth!
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