Go Back   Pet forum for dogs cats and humans - Pets.ca > Discussion Groups - mainly cats and dogs > Breed characteristics and traits

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old April 14th, 2010, 09:46 AM
NEPEANDOGS NEPEANDOGS is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 18
Question "methuselah" breed?

I own two dogs, a Beagle mix and a Shar Pei. Since I've become a dog owner, I've become aware of how short the average dog's lifespan is (compared to humans).

I know there are some breeds that are longer-lived than others, but I believe the longest normal lifespan for a dog is about 13 to 14 years, although there probably are some exceptions.

What I would like to know is, has anyone ever considered creating a dog breed whose defining characteristic is an exceptionally long (for a dog) lifespan?

If it is possible to breed dogs for other characteristics (size, behaviours, temperament, colour, etc.), shouldn't it be possible to create a longer-lived breed through selective breeding?

I hate the thought that my dogs only have one tenth of my time on this earth, and I dread the thought of losing them.

If there was a breed that made it possible to extend that time a dog spends with its owner before going to the "Rainbow Bridge", I think it would be very popular.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old April 14th, 2010, 09:54 AM
hazelrunpack's Avatar
hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
The Pack's Head Servant
Chopper Challenge Champion, Mini KickUps Champion, Bugz Champion, Snakeman Steve Champion, Shape Game Champion, Mumu Champion, Mouse Race Champion
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Just east of the Hazelnut Patch, Wisconsin
Posts: 49,911
Welcome to the board, NEPEANDOGS.

I suspect you're right--a longer-lived dog would be very popular. It might be difficult to achieve such a breed, though--especially since the aging process is so difficult to understand. You could selectively breed long-lived individuals, but how do you know till they die whether they're going to be long-lived? And to date I don't believe there have been many (if any) genes identified that lead to longer lives in dogs. There is some evidence that aging is linked to the physical properties of the chromosomes, not their genetic composition.

So, although I'm sure lots of people have considered such a thing, achieving it might be very difficult. Interesting question, though.

It is so sad that they pass so quickly and so hard to say goodbye when it's time.
__________________
"We are--each of us--dying; it's how we live in the meantime that makes the difference."

"It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived!"

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old April 14th, 2010, 10:42 AM
catlover2's Avatar
catlover2 catlover2 is offline
Catlover2
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: GTA (Greater Toronto Area)
Posts: 1,031
Generally speaking, the smaller the dog, the longer the life span.

Here's a couple of websites about longevity in dogs. Like most stats they seem to vary. On one website the Clumber Spaniel is the longevity winner.

http://www.dogluvers.com/dog-breeds-maximum-life.html

http://users.pullman.com/lostriver/longhome.htm
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old April 14th, 2010, 11:12 AM
NEPEANDOGS NEPEANDOGS is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 18
Interesting

Isn't that interesting! Before I got my current dogs, I was researching the Clumber Spaniel Breed, and considering getting one. According to the "dogluvers" website, the maximum life expectancy for a Clumber Spaniel is 21 years! That being said, I wouldn't trade my dogs - I love them so.

Probably some of what determines a dog's lifespan is individual to that dog as well as environmental influences. My father had an Akita, which apparently is usually not a long-lived breed, that lived to be 13.

I read somewhere that one of the reasons why people love dogs is because they're like children who never grow up. The actress Isabella Rossellini said her dogs are like little clowns that follow her everywhere.

In many ways, they are like children - loving, impulsive, joyful, silly, exasperating. But different also. Furry, for one thing. And children don't chase squirrels (well, most of them don't, anyway.)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old April 14th, 2010, 12:42 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,079
Oh dear. I got Methuselah mixed up with Medusa, she of the snake hair, and I was going to suggest a Komondor or a Puli. Sorry, off topic, but I hope it gives you a laugh.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old April 14th, 2010, 05:31 PM
cassiek's Avatar
cassiek cassiek is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: High River, AB, Canada
Posts: 622
Hmmm, that sure is an interesting question, and I don't think too many people would shy away from the ability to keep our pets for much longer than the typical 10-12 years!!

What a complicated task it would be though... although some of it is obviously genetic, a large influence on how long a biological being lives is based on environment i.e. what they eat, disease, etc.

Interesting topic though!
__________________
My babies: Sassy - Maltese X (9), Furby - Shihtzu X (7), Brynn - Boxer (3), Diesel - Boxer (1)

"Many of the Earth's habitats, animals, plants, insects, and even micro-organisms that we know as rare may not be known at all by future generations. We have the capability, and the responsibility. We must act before it is too late." - Dalai Lama
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old April 15th, 2010, 09:43 AM
NEPEANDOGS NEPEANDOGS is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 18
Where you would start

I guess if you were to attempt such a thing, you would start with a group of female dogs whose parents lived to a longer-than-average age.

Then you would have to find male dogs with the same evidence of exceptional longevity in both parents.

Then you would have to see if any of the offspring of these dogs showed evidence of inheriting a tendency to an unusually long lifespan. If some of their puppies lived to a longer-than-average age, then I think that would show that there is some genetic component to lifespan.

I don't know very much about breeding dogs, or how certain characteristics are selected or encouraged. I'm not sure if the dogs would even have to be the same breed, or whether that would matter as long as they showed a tendency to longer than average lifespan in their family tree. (One of the websites referred to in a reply to my first post, dedicated to longevity research in dogs, mentioned that some data from dog longevity studies seems to suggest that advances in veterinary medicine are not resulting in substantially increased lifespans for purebred dogs, and that this possibly means that these advances are only offsetting an overall trend towards declining purebred dog health.)

I guess it would take several generations to discover if it is possible to breed dogs for exceptional longevity. Seeing if puppies lived longer than average, accounting for environmental factors, etc. It sure would be interesting, though, and worthwhile, if you could make some progress towards increasing the number of years that our companions remain at our side.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old April 15th, 2010, 10:04 AM
hazelrunpack's Avatar
hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
The Pack's Head Servant
Chopper Challenge Champion, Mini KickUps Champion, Bugz Champion, Snakeman Steve Champion, Shape Game Champion, Mumu Champion, Mouse Race Champion
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Just east of the Hazelnut Patch, Wisconsin
Posts: 49,911
Developing the breed in this case would be terribly difficult--you'd have to wait till the parents reached a certain age before knowing if they'll be long-lived and by then their offspring might be too old to breed. So to do it, you'd have to do extraneous matings, keep all the offspring and breed every year, then cull the ones whose parents didn't make the grade The cost, in both dollars and canine lives wasted, would be extremely prohibitive and you'd need to use draconian methods.

It's sort of a catch 22--you don't know if the costs would be worth it until you get results, but you can't see any results until you've incurred the costs.
__________________
"We are--each of us--dying; it's how we live in the meantime that makes the difference."

"It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived!"

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old April 15th, 2010, 10:48 PM
satchelp's Avatar
satchelp satchelp is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 231
Although breeding for longevity is an interesting concept, that sort of selective breeding would likely result in more problems in other areas as the gene pool would get much narrower over time, making the bad genes more prominent as well. So you might, for example, end up with a group of dogs that might normally live longer, but may have lousy orthopedics, such as in a breed where some of the known issues were things like hip dysplasia and may have to be euthanized earlier than their target age because of unmanageable pain. That would likely offset any progress that would be made in the longevity department. If purebred, you may run into problems with conformation as well.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old April 15th, 2010, 11:04 PM
14+kitties's Avatar
14+kitties 14+kitties is offline
150% PRO S/N
Starcastle Champion, V:force Champion, UFO Shoot Out Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, Mission To Mars Champion, Disc Dash Champion, Crazy Closet Champion, Railway Line Champion, Penguin Pass Champion
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: MYOB
Posts: 15,408
How's that story go? The one where the little girl asks her daddy why dogs don't live very long? Why they can't stay longer with them? Her father asks her what she thinks the answer is and she says - "I think that we live a lot longer than dogs because we have a lot to learn. Dogs already know the answers so they can go to Heaven sooner." Or something like that..........

Problem with wanting a dog that lives for a long time is that no one would want the same breed of dog. Then you would have to start fooling around with the genetics of all dogs. While it is an interesting theory why can't we be happy loving our pets for as long as we are graced with their wonderful presence and leave it at that? The mere thought of the number of dogs that would be culled for our own selfish reasons is mind boggling.
__________________
Assumptions do nothing but make an ass out of u and me.

We can stick our heads in the sand for only so long before it starts choking us. Face it folks. The pet population is bad ALL OVER THE WORLD!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old April 20th, 2010, 03:43 PM
Dog Dancer's Avatar
Dog Dancer Dog Dancer is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 6,567
Did anybody else read the article about the fellow studying long-living rotties and their links to cancer? The article stated that the average rottie lives to about 8 or 9 and, as we know, many are prone to cancers. He was studying a bunch who had lived to be 13 - 15 years of age to see if they had any clues as to why they avoided the cancer and lived longer. So far it seems that those that lived longest (of the females) had their ovaries past the age of 4 years. It was interesting, but he hasn't put all the results and studies together yet. Please do not infer this to mean that I support not spaying your rotties! I am with 14+ though in that I will love my girls for however long I am blessed to share my life with them, and then I will mourn their passing with all my heart and wish I had had another ten years.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old April 20th, 2010, 09:05 PM
Goldfields's Avatar
Goldfields Goldfields is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,282
Both my cattle dogs and shelties have the same maximum age, 15 years, though I could hope I have a sheltie like my sister's first one, it died at 17, or a cattle dog like Perkin's brother, who sadly just recently died at age 16.
That can't be right about 2 years for Curly coated retrievers, surely? I know someone here who shows them and no mention of them not living long.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old April 20th, 2010, 09:09 PM
hazelrunpack's Avatar
hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
The Pack's Head Servant
Chopper Challenge Champion, Mini KickUps Champion, Bugz Champion, Snakeman Steve Champion, Shape Game Champion, Mumu Champion, Mouse Race Champion
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Just east of the Hazelnut Patch, Wisconsin
Posts: 49,911
That must be a typo, Goldfields...notice it lists a min life span of 8 years... I'm bettin' that should have been 12, not 2, years for the max.
__________________
"We are--each of us--dying; it's how we live in the meantime that makes the difference."

"It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived!"

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old June 5th, 2010, 11:34 PM
MIA's Avatar
MIA MIA is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 517
Get a MinPin, mine just pasted shy of his 19th birthday! My friends passed at 23.... My other friend just lost hers at 20. They seem to be long living and very hearty!!!
__________________
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
www.nopuppymillscanada.ca
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old June 6th, 2010, 08:25 AM
erykah1310's Avatar
erykah1310 erykah1310 is offline
Blue eyed funny farm
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 5,595
Longevity isnt really something you could definately breed towards though.
Many things factor in when we are thinking of our pets life spans (even our own)
Its like nature vs nurture, even if breeders did select from lineage that had long life spans and someone purchased a pup who potentially had a longer life span than most, too many environmental factors could come in to play to reduce that span.
Diet, excercise, general housekeeping, smoking or not ect.
Everything we do to our pets in some way affects them.
Kita for example is one of the few dogs alive out of her litter right now.
One has passed from bone cancer, one passed quite young due to obesitiy I'm sure and one of her sisters is not doing well right now, she has bad elbows, hips, full of lumps and can't keep weight on.
I know her one sister was always encouraged to be "larger" because her owner figured that since she was part Rottie she needed to look it. But did not take into effect that she was also part Boxer and perhaps just wasn't supposed to.
Kita you would never know is 8 years old other than her slightly greying muzzle. She runs like a pup and has energy to the max.
She also was the only one fed organic raw for half of her life and kept very fit and trim. Also has not had vaccinations for the past 4 or 5 years as they would have been unnecissary.
I do not doubt she will be here atleast another 2 years if not more.
As for Karma, her grandmother was 19 when she passed however her mother passed at 8 ( unusually young for a TM) but she had complications after her spay.
On the topic of the study of the Rotties left intact longer. I completely agree that the hormones produced by intact animals are benificial for their over all health but do not see it as a reason to not spay or neuter.
Kita was also spayed later on in life where as the others were altered at 6 months.
I almost regret gelding my horse last fall, I would much prefer him not hormone driven for training reasons however his development has slowed quite drastically since the gelding. Not sure if its directly related or not.

back on my origional point though... it would be almost impossible to ensure a breed of dog would have a long lifespan unless the breed also came with an instruction manual of do's and don'ts. No one would follow what I do for my dogs to the extent we do it around here, but it has been working great for us
__________________
Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyways. ~John Wayne
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old June 7th, 2010, 09:14 PM
babymomma's Avatar
babymomma babymomma is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,171
^ you pretty much summed everything up Great post!
__________________
Keely - Yorkie
Haley - German Shepherd
Casey - version 2.0 - Black lab
Jasper - White cat

R.I.P Casey #1.
Gone but never ever forgotten.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
breed age methuselah

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Terms of Use

  • All Bulletin Board Posts are for personal/non-commercial use only.
  • Self-promotion and/or promotion in general is prohibited.
  • Debate is healthy but profane and deliberately rude posts will be deleted.
  • Posters not following the rules will be banned at the Admins' discretion.
  • Read the Full Forum Rules

Forum Details

  • Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
    vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise (Reduced on this page: MySQL 0%).
  • All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:54 AM.