A large study determines the life expectancy of dogs according to their breed

A British study conducted by the Royal Veterinary College on 30,000 pet dogs determined the life expectancy of 18 different breeds. Jack Russell and Yorkshire are among the longest living.

The study analyzed 18 dog breeds.
The study analyzed 18 dog breeds. © / TERADAT SANTIVIVUT / Ziga Plahutar / Anita Kot / Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy / Alfredas Pliadis / EyeEm / Brighton Dog Photography

Are you buying or adopting a dog? One of the legitimate questions to ask is how many years you want to share with him. For all breeds, the veterinarian will inform you of an average number of life years, however there are large variations depending on the country and genetics. Each of the 344 breeds of domestic dogs listed in the world by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale belongs to a specific country. The “owner” land sets the standard. Like saying it the British study conducted by the Royal Veterinary College can not necessarily be extrapolated to French dogs. In addition, we can read in previous studies that a Golden Retriever lives on average 14.1 years in Japan and only 10.5 years in Denmark. This is due to different genetic types.

The specificity of this study published in Scientific Reports is that it relates to more than 30,000 individuals of 18 different races died between 1 January 2016 and 30 July 2020. “It provides the annual life expectancy for these dog breeds, with previous studies providing information on the average life expectancy.notes Benoit Hedan, veterinarian and CNRS research engineer at the Department of Genetics and Development in Rennes. The data comes from the Vetcompass database, a pet health monitoring system that contains files on 20 million dogs. had only a small third a file that was sufficiently complete for scientific analysis, that is, to mention the sex of the dog, its age, its weight, its status sterilization Because they needed a minimum number of individuals per statistic, the rankings were only able to retain 18 breeds and a group of “crossbreed dogs”..

Nearly 13 years of life expectancy for Jack Russell against less than five for the French bulldog

According to this study, Jack Russell has an average life expectancy at birth of 12.72 years, the 12.54-year-old Yorkshire and the 12.10-year-old Border Collie. The Spaniel and Labrador follow, with more than 11 years of life expectancy, ahead of Staffordshire, Cocker and Shih-Tzu.

At the bottom of the table, a short and massive dog popular with stars: the French bulldog. With an average lifespan of 4.53 years, it will be a treasure for its owners! It shares its low life expectancy with other flat-faced dogs, including the pug. The German Shepherd is placed in the average (10 years) and the crossbreed dogs slightly above (11.82 years).

For Jean-Christophe Vuillerme, veterinarian of the Lyon region, “there are breeds that live longer than others. Smaller breeds tend to live longer. There are also breeds selected with very specific criteria, such as short noses in Bulldogs, which tend to increase the risk of disease and reduce life expectancy.Note that as in humans, females live longer than males. Sterilization increases longevity by more than 10%.

Differences in life expectancy

However, these indicators are not the alpha and omega of a dog’s life! If some breeds suffer from genetic diseases, respiratory problems or skeletal weakness that limits their survival, some individuals within the same breed may have a longer or shorter life. In the cohort examined, a Bulldog turned 11 years old and a Jack Russel turned 19 years old. In the Chihuahua we find the biggest difference (between 1.5 years and 16 years of life). Anyway, this study provides statistical data and gives people who want to buy or adopt a dog the opportunity to get an idea of ​​the years of life to share. Adopting an 8-year-old dog can lead to him quickly losing him or, conversely, being offered a home for just as many more years. “With this new data“says Benoit Hedan, “it is possible for the owner and veterinarian to know the ‘average’ risk of the dog surviving in relation to its age, and this may affect the choice to adopt a dog of such or such a breed or to plan an operation or not”.

The selection of specific genetic criteria for hundreds of years affects longevity“, adds Dr. Vuillerme, though it is induced and involuntary.”Purebred dogs tend to age faster“, he emphasizes and specifies that certain tribes live longer than others. This explains the differences in life expectancy from one country to another.

For dog companions, there is no doubt that this type of table can lead to differentiated prices. Because mortality tables are an essential tool for public health policies in humans. In countries where the health and pension systems are private, they are taken into account to anticipate the cost of old-age insurance or invalidity pensions. But logically, a dog with good health care increases its life expectancy. Cultural differences also lead to an extension of an animal’s lifespan, depending on whether it will be well-fed, vaccinated, will have the right to intensive treatment or not in the event of illness.

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