Wendy Culbertson's Irish Setter, Gypsy, lived to the ripe old age of 16.
Thu, 03/07/2024 - 11:37pm

Question of the Week

What’s the oldest dog you’ve ever owned?


Wendy Culbertson

Belleville, Illinois

My oldest Irish Setter was Gypsy: She was 16 years, five months and five days when she passed. She was never sick, and she loved to knock the kitchen trash can over if I left her for too long. She didn't get into anything, just knocked it over to let me know.  I miss her every day.


Diana Smiley

Santa Rosa, California

A 17-year-old Shiba Inu. One of our smartest dogs ever.


Pat Trotter

Carmel, California

BIS Ch. Vin-Melca's Vagabond, Norwegian Elkhound that was number-one dog all breeds in 1970. Bond stayed fit long after his retirement and was exhibited in the Group Winners of the Past Event at Westminster at age 14 in 1981. He lived to be 17 and three months, passing away in 1984. 


Patti Clark

Newtown, Connecticut

An 18-year-old Whippet, “Dot” (Hamrya’s Vanilla Ice). She was unstoppable!   


Jeff Bazell

Bremen, Ohio

Our oldest dog was a Schipperke bitch, a daughter of Ch. Camplaren's Native Son, who won the national well into his teens. Lizzie died two days after her 21st birthday, and was happy and healthy right to the end. Though deaf, she was fully sighted and ran with the Griffons every day.


Julie Lux

Kearney, Missouri

Our 13” Beagle, “Sally Ann,” Ch. Deluxe Sally Forth to Blumoon, lived 17½ years. Her grandmother, “Bert,” who we did not breed or own, lived to 18-plus. Sally’s sister, “Sarah Grace” (Ch. Deluxe Grace & Favor), lived to just over 17. We called them the LOLs: little old ladies. Miss those little girls!

Janet Cupolo

Hellertown, Pennsylvania

I have had two Komondors live past 15 years. Pretty amazing for a big breed. The first, “Zala,” a Hungarian import, was pretty chipper until about 15½. I had a party for her 15th birthday, and she came down from upstairs to greet her guests! She then proceeded to take a nap until the food came out! 

“Willa,” my other old lady, lived just past her 15th birthday, and never missed a meal! She went up and down the stairs almost until the end of her life.

Both these girls took a piece of my heart when they left me. Wasn’t I lucky, though, to have them all that time? I know we all lament the fact that our wonderful dogs don’t live longer.


Bill Shelton

Pomona, California

A Corgi, of course: 17. 


Susan Shephard 

Deltona, Florida

I had a Pekingese, Bug Marie, from a pet store that lived until she was 18.  


Beverly and Martin Cabral

San Diego, California

Parson Russell Terrier, 16 years and 10 months. Born into my hands in our home. Grand champion, multiple specialty and group winner. 



Kathleen M. Quinn

Manlius, New York 

I was blessed with a magnificent and incredibly bonded male solid-liver German Shorthair who lived 19.5 years. Tears of gratitude roll as I write this. Blitz was my shotgun rider, and our cross country/international adventures were epic. He was my therapy through a major challenge. I am convinced he did not leave me until his replacement arrived. At a time when I said no to any new dogs until he was gone, Blitz “chose” a Basenji pup from the moment he saw him, and they were inseparable for the next year. He passed on amazing lessons and social behaviors.

Blitz’s last day was a graceful passing I’ve never before witnessed in 62 years of vet medicine and dogs leaving.  We hiked mountains, rivers, forests, and he did so on his last day. I am eternally thankful to have been his human. Every moment was love, companionship and loyalty. He started as the runt of his litter no one wanted, given away to me and grew into a superb specimen of his breed. He ended as the one I didn’t know how I would live without, so he showed me. 


Barb Dillon

Elyria, Ohio

She is a 16-year-old Belgian Sheepdog named Emmy. Still loving life and going strong! Retired conformation Silver Grand Champion and Preferred Agility champion!


Carl Grotton

Baton Rouge, Lousiana

The oldest dog I have owned was Casey, my Siberian Husky. He lived to 16.


Terry Miller

Novelty, Ohio

Champion Deja Vu Ten and Champion Deja Vu Bridezilla lived almost the exact same lifespans, but not at the same time. They were both 15.3-year-old Briards.


Dora Wagoner

Campbellsville, Kentucky

M&M Dah Lei Dumpling died at the age of 17! He was my third Chinese Shar-Pei and became my hero when he became my protector against a big snake! I will never forget October 2, 1998, while I fed him a juicy steak and held him in my arms, he took his last breath.


Karen Irazabal RN

Talladega, Alabama

The oldest dog I have ever owned was a 17-year-old Chinese Crested. The oldest Afghan Hound to date was just under 15 years old. 


Tonnie Willrich

La Grange, Texas

I breed Norwich Terriers. My oldest dog has lived 17 years and is still alive. 


Kathleen B. Kolbert

Naugatuck, Connecticut

Our Ch. Lord Pickwick Of Oxford was 20 years old when he died. He was the constant companion of my husband, and they would play ball by the hours.

It was so sad because we were not told that Pickwick had died. Barry thought he was picking up a normal dog, and when the assistant came out with a wrapped dog, he was devastated.

Pickwick was a birthday gift to me in 1966. He was my first Yorkshire Terrier, and now, 58 years later, I am still breeding and loving this wonderful breed.


Doug Johnson 

Bloomington, Indiana 

We currently have a very special Ruby English Toy Spaniel, “Rosie,” that is the oldest dogs we have ever had. She is 14½ years old and enjoys long sleeps and guarding her bed! She is a treasure!


Diane C. Stille

Hudson, Colorado

The oldest dog I personally owned was Ch. Elante Evening News, “Tori.” (There were no Grand Champions back then.)

Tori lived to be 17½ years old, and was generally still very healthy, but was starting to lose the use of her back end.

She was what I still consider one of the best dogs I bred, and once I figured out what made her tick in the ring, she was an amazing show dog.  Tori had two litters, her first being a singleton male who finished with multiple specialty wins and was the first owner-handled male Bedlington Terrier to obtain a Grand Championship. In her second litter of eight, multiple puppies finished their championships.

Thanks for taking me on a trip down memory lane this afternoon!


Jan Leonard

Denver, Colorado

The dog I owned that lived the longest was a Tibetan Terrier, Ch. Rgyalba Gyi Suns Gambit. Reggie lived to just past his 18th birthday. He was a wonderful companion and fun show dog. He garnered 83 Best of Breeds and several group placements in limited shows, but one day he said enough with the brushing when he started to whimper, so I picked up the clippers and a five blade and retired him. The goal of 100 BOBs was not his!


Linda Tilka

Madeira Beach, Florida

My Standard Poodle Ch. Piccadilly's Aston Martin was a little over 16.


Lesley Hiltz

Brush Prairie, Washington

A Beagle that I bred, Aust/Am Ch. Torbay Henrietta, was born in Australia, where she was a successful show dog and producer. She moved to the U.S. with me and became a champion at 10 years of age in the U.S. Then my husband and I moved back to Australia for a few years, and she came with us. When we came back to the U.S., she made the return flight: She lived a great life and died at 19½ years of age. She was in perfect health until the day she died. As an aside, her son lived to 18 years. 


Heather Peters

Redwater, Alberta Canada

We just lost the oldest dog I have ever owned: “Abby” — Can Ch. Onyxgold's Dancing Queen. Fifteen years, one and a half months old. Purebred Rottweiler. 


Len Reppond

San Leandro, California

I’ve had two Maltese that lived to be over 19 years old. I think the key to a long life is a combination of genetics, good nutrition, exercise, cleanliness, a stable and loving environment combined with regular veterinary care.  


Eric Liebes

Peyton, Colorado

My wonderful Puli “Gonzo,” Ch. Wallbanger Mr Go For It Gonzo, made it to 17-plus. He always slept on the floor next to my side of the bed. I was stepping over him years later. 


Barbara Burns

Freeport, Illinois

My Dachshund, Ch. Rose Farms Dover, “ML,” died at the ripe old age of 18. He was bred by the great Dachshund breeder Dee Hutchinson and was one of my favorite dogs. My husband and I miss him still.  He was born in 2000 and died in 2018. 


Janet York

New York, New York

Paddington was my oldest Cavalier, and he came from England from a breeder with long-living Cavaliers. He was 17, and though a bit gray in his ears, he looked and acted like a young dog until the day he passed. There was nothing he couldn’t do, from conformation to agility and obedience. Rally was not offered in the ’90s.


Mary and Scott Olund

St. Helena, California

The oldest dog we've ever owned was Standard Poodle Ch. Cabernet's Caught in the Act. She lived to be 17 years old. In perfect health her entire life until her kidneys gave out. 


Pat Rock

Providence Forge, Virginia

Hollybriar Crystal Pistol, Lakeland Terrier. Lived to 18 years, four months.


Pam Coblyn

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

My Border Collie Fenway (Tartan Bay Green Monster) is currently 16½ years old and continues to enjoy life to the max. 

Despite his age, Fen has hardly any gray fur! He still sees and hears, enjoys long walks, and playing with his Nina Otteson puzzles.

Fenway is an AKC conformation champion with titles in seven different AKC venues. He ran his retirement run at the Westminster National Championships and then sired his first litter of puppies (all AKC champions and grand champions) at 11½!

I’ve kept Fenway busy, engaged and active all his life because he loves being my partner. Training and going to classes kept him joyful and appropriately active. After agility, he earned his UD and then began Scentwork — which I highly recommend for senior dogs. At his first trial, Fen was High in Trial! Covid interrupted his promising Nosework future, but now we just do it for fun in the yard.
I think living with an extreme senior is all about adapting what your dog knows and enjoys doing so that they keep mentally fit. Food — a raw diet — and supplements have always been important since Fenway was a wee pup. And teeth brushing — it’s as important for dogs as humans!

Fenway sees his vet regularly and is treated like a rock star. Everyone in the office comes to see him and marvel at how beautiful he still.

Finally, I want to thank his breeder at Tartan Bay Border Collies and the wonderful dog community across the nation who have mentored me and shared their knowledge about nutrition and care. Fenway is living proof that good genes, a lot of luck, commitment and vigilance can help senior dogs thrive.

The photo was taken on Fenway’s 16th birthday!

Long live long-lived seniors!


Rhonda Pacchioli

Easton, Pennsylvania

My oldest living dog so far was Ch. Apacchi Dance on Air … aka “Ramona,” a Standard Poodle I bred that lived to be 17.1 years.


Susan Giles

Manakin-Sabot, Virginia

Lhasa Apso: 18½ years. Lhasas really are the healthiest breed.


Mike Macbeth

Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada

The oldest Dandie Dinmont I ever bred lived to be 18.  However, the oldest one I lived with personally almost reached 16.  We had a party for his 15th birthday and invited all his offspring and their subsequent offspring.  A photo of six generations of Dandies — he and his direct descendants — ended up in Ripley’s Believe it Or Not. 


Ricky Adams

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Clumber Spaniel 15 years 10 months named Bisque.


Cheryl J. Vencel

Terre Haute, Indiana

I had a Chihuahua live to 17.5 years of age. Still missing her.



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