A recent study discovered that smaller breeds of dogs with longer snouts tend to have longer lifespans.
Some dogs live longer than others, and a study shows that small breeds with long noses tend to have the longest lifespans. On the other hand, dogs with flat faces have a higher chance of dying at a younger age.
After considering size, face shape, and sex, researchers discovered that small, long-nosed female dogs of pure breeds tended to have the longest lifespans with a median of 13.3 years.
Unfortunately, breeds with a flattened facial structure – which has gained popularity in recent times – had an average lifespan of 11.2 years and a 40% higher chance of having a shorter life compared to dogs with medium-length snouts, like spaniels.
Dr. Kirsten McMillan, the lead researcher from the organization Dogs Trust, stated that past studies have recognized gender, facial structure, and body size as influential elements in the longevity of dogs. However, no one had examined how these three factors interact with each other or delved into the possible connection between evolutionary history and lifespan.
In their publication in the journal Scientific Reports, McMillan and his team describe their examination of information collected from 584,734 dogs, both purebred and crossbred. Of this population, 284,734 had passed away. The data was compiled from 18 different organizations, such as adoption and animal welfare groups, breed registries, and pet insurance companies.
After considering all types of dogs, the researchers discovered that the average lifespan for canines was 12.5 years. It was also noted that female dogs tend to live a little longer than male dogs.
In order to further examine the data, the researchers analyzed 155 distinct dog breeds and discovered that larger breeds typically have shorter lifespans compared to smaller breeds. They also found that the shape and size of a breed’s nose can impact their lifespan.
Although miniature dachshunds typically live for 14 years, French bulldogs have a median lifespan of only 9.8 years. This is due to the fact that brachycephalic breeds, such as French bulldogs, are known to experience a wide range of health issues, including respiratory problems and skin conditions. Experts have been aware of this issue for some time.
On the other hand, the Caucasian shepherd, despite its formidable size and appearance, has a surprisingly short lifespan of only 5.4 years.
The research team discovered that purebred dogs tend to have a longer median lifespan of 12.7 years compared to crossbred dogs at 12 years. This contradicts the belief that crossbreeds may be healthier due to their increased genetic diversity.
Unfortunately, they were not able to take into account various types of mixed breeds, resulting in the merging of data for dogs with unknown lineage and data from “designer” breeds like labradoodles. This could potentially complicate the results due to a higher likelihood of inbreeding in these breeds.
Although the team did not possess data on the cause of death for the dogs, they anticipate that the study will inspire further investigation into the potential risk factors that contribute to differences in lifespan. McMillan acknowledged that these variations are most likely influenced by a combination of biological elements, such as physical structure and genetics, as well as external factors like diet, physical activity, and training.
She stated that these findings can aid individuals and organizations such as owners, breeders, policymakers, and welfare groups in making knowledgeable choices to enhance the well-being of companion dogs.
“However, I believe this presents a chance for us to enhance the well-being of our beloved dogs.”
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