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Determing a dog's age

Shamrock
April 17th, 2005, 06:52 PM
When I adopted my dog, his age was guessed ,as a stray.
They put it at 3-4 years, which would have him turning 8 - 9 this year. I use the older age.
My regular vet said that seemed about right. Another one recently said he thought he was more like about eleven, maybe even twelve. I was really taken aback as this assessement.

Over the last couple of years though, he has turned very grey, not just his muzzle.. his whole body,and has developed something of an "older dog" look about his eyes.(energy wise.. still a pup)
Is this indictative of anything... or do some dogs or breeds just grey and age more rapidly than others?
I know that diet and excercise play a key role in this aging process - just as with us, and that the teeth are the only "real" indicator of age.

I wonder if his years were judged a bit on the "light" side at the time I got him.
I'd obviously prefer to think he is younger rather than older..but either way, he's got lots of life left.
I recently heard a sweet little girl say.."mom.. look at the cute little gray poodle".. just had to smile.Well.. he used to be black.;)

raingirl
April 17th, 2005, 06:57 PM
We have the same issue with Odin. They *think* he was around 18 months old when we got him...based on his teeth.

The rescue and fosters thought he was younger because they have had bulldogs all their life...maybe closer to a year.

With bulldogs though age is important, because they usually only live to be about 8 or 9

coppperbelle
April 17th, 2005, 07:26 PM
My golden Belle started getting a white face at about 5 years old. If you look at the picture she is almost completely white on the face but she is 13 years old.

A lot depends on the size and type of breed of dog. A smaller dog with a longer life span will take longer to look "old" while a Great Dane may begin looking "old" much earlier.

Prin
April 17th, 2005, 07:46 PM
It's more about the teeth than the fur. My friend's greyhound mix turned white at 4. My doggies are 4 and 3.5 and they both have the white beard already. I would keep telling people he's nine, that way he'll live longer. ;)

I tell people at our dog park, "If it is really important that you know what age your dog is, cut a leg off and count the rings." They look at me funny for a moment before they realize I am joking. I'M JOKING. Please don't cut your dog. There are no rings in bones. :p (Read my waiver in the fine print. :D )


The above statement of cutting your dog's leg is totally false. Age cannot be determined by this means. No one here endorses this idea and we are not responsible for any injury resulting from misunderstanding that this is a joke. It's just a joke.

db7
April 17th, 2005, 08:06 PM
Skeletal Xrays can be used for age determination very accurately, for humans anyway. Not sure if the base data exists for dogs.

SnowDancer
April 17th, 2005, 11:35 PM
In 1975 we adopted a Beagle from the Ottawa pound. His owner who gave him up said he was 7 - and he looked it, if not older. Friends asked us why we had taken in such an old dog as he wouldn't be with us that long. In 1980 we moved from Ottawa. In 1987 we visited Ottawa and our friends were stupified that the Beagle with us was one and the same - now age 19 and frankly not looking a day over 14. Guess he had the last laugh. So you never can tell - our pup was very happy with us - ate everything - Beagles are little gourmands - never was sick a day the whole 12 years we had him. So you never know.

kandy
April 18th, 2005, 07:01 PM
I think dogs are like people, some of them age well and some don't. We had a black german shepard when I was a teenager that never did go grey - at least not until right before he passed away at 15. I also had a dog that was a stray - a corgi mix I think - that the vet said was only about 2 weeks when I found her and by the vet's reckoning would've only been 9 when she died of heart disease. I really don't know how old she really was, but she turned grey at 5 and still had a puppy look to her eyes up to the day she died. :sad:

Beetlecat
April 18th, 2005, 07:46 PM
My dog is a blue heeler, so has a dark coat with white flecked all thoughout it. On his face he has a black double mask but it stops about midway down his nose, so his nose and chin is black flecked with white.

When he was around 12 weeks old, I was walking him and a little child turned to his mom and said, "That dog's old. He's grey!" It was pretty cute.

LittleLoves
April 19th, 2005, 08:14 AM
My mother's mini doxie Simon started turning grey around the muzzle, and his whiskers when he turned 4.

It's sad to see them age... :(

meb999
April 19th, 2005, 08:57 AM
I tell people at our dog park, "If it is really important that you know what age your dog is, cut a leg off and count the rings." They look at me funny for a moment before they realize I am joking. I'M JOKING. Please don't cut your dog. There are no rings in bones. :p (Read my waiver in the fine print. :D )


The above statement of cutting your dog's leg is totally false. Age cannot be determined by this means. No one here endorses this idea and we are not responsible for any injury resulting from misunderstanding that this is a joke. It's just a joke.

http://pages.prodigy.net/indianahawkeye/newpage12/1.gif

Lea5us
May 4th, 2005, 02:49 AM
I got a German Shepard 2 years ago. The people I got him from told me he was 2 yrs. old at that time. I believe he is most likely older than 4 at this time. He has grayed alot around this mouth and he has a hard time keeping up when we play, but he don't want to quit playing no matter how tired he gets. Can anyone give me a guess at his age???