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  #21  
Old 04-29-2013, 10:20 AM
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Just wanted to add, IME dogs with shorter life expectancies arent seniors at 6. From the dogs I have had, their senior period and aging is just a bit faster. Like with my lab mix, he started slowing down a bit around 9 but was still active....now at 13 I would consider him senior. So 4 years of a gradual decline. Giants, again IME, dont do 4 years of decline...so a 10 year old estimate is not a senior at 6. Does that make sense?

I have known plenty of older danes, 9, 10, and up who still act pretty much the same as always. They are still active, still playful, still very much alive.
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  #22  
Old 04-29-2013, 11:19 AM
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Longevity is important to me, but luckily so far I've been attracted to and ended up with breeds that are generally long lived and age well. It's not uncommon for either Cardis or Belgians to be active into the double digits, and live into their mid to upper teens. Keeva has a great granddam that died a few years ago at 18.

I imagine, though, that if a shorter-lived or "heartbreak" breed was The Breed for me, I would deal with it.
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  #23  
Old 04-29-2013, 12:19 PM
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I am not too interested in any breed that is expected to live a less than average life spaN
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  #24  
Old 04-29-2013, 02:59 PM
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You would think that after going through what we did with Mitsu we would want to stick with longer lived breeds of dogs, but no.

I will always have a terrier, our last one lived to 14 and up until the day we PTS she was rearing to go, but I will be venturing into the world of Mastiffs very shortly and their shorter lifespan as in 11 years does not change my mind any with not going with that breed. I choose a breeder that has dogs that live longer and I can only hope that my pup will live at least that long or longer.

But after having Mitsu I see life as Quality not Quantity.
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  #25  
Old 04-29-2013, 03:30 PM
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Yes, it's definitely something I consider. I don't look at the longest lived breeds and say those are the only ones I'll own, but I have a hard time with "heartbreak breeds."
Fortunately most of my favorite dog breeds have above average life expectancies.
Millie is 11 and doing well, but the rottweilers I grew up with were way slowed down and arthritic by 11. One died at 10. I will still own rottweilers, though.
I think when you already truly love a breed or type, it's easier to put into perspective the "quality vs. quantity" thing than it is jumping into owning a breed you haven't had a lot of experience with, knowing you won't have a long time with that dog. I wouldn't list rotties as a heartbreak breed, but I do know health problems crop up more so than with some other breeds. However, I know from experience what it is to love and be loved by a rottweiler, so I think about the quality of life. On the other hand, when I think about owning a Berner or Great Dane, I have a little distance because I've never owned one, so it's easier to panic about quantity of years.
Does that even make sense?
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  #26  
Old 04-29-2013, 03:33 PM
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Nope, but I have ferrets too, so I'm very used to short lifespans.
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  #27  
Old 04-29-2013, 03:36 PM
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Yeah, I guess having rats makes for getting used to quality over quantity too.
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  #28  
Old 04-29-2013, 03:38 PM
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I am probably stepping in it but why is it always presented as quality vs quantity? The ideal is both.
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  #29  
Old 04-29-2013, 03:44 PM
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The ideal could be both but if the quality of a certain animal or breed is better for you (meaning compatibility, personality, etc) then yes, I will pick quality over quantity. For ME, the quality of life I have with giant breeds is more important than their shorter life expectancies (though again, often they are not really that short lived). The joy and fun I have with rats makes their short lives worth it. I could pick a longer lived breed (though they may not live any longer) but the quality would not be the same as they are not my heart breeds.

I also either rescue or pick breeders who are doing all they can to increase longevity. Ivy's lines are pretty long lived for danes and very active until pretty late in life.
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  #30  
Old 04-29-2013, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
I am probably stepping in it but why is it always presented as quality vs quantity? The ideal is both.
Because not everyone's ideal breed has a longer lifespan. Of course the goal within every breed is to have the dog live as long and healthy of a life as possible, but some people aren't going to make sacrifices on other aspects of a dog breed aside from lifespan just to own a dog they'll likely have for 15 years.

It is way, way, way more important to me to own a dog breed that is "perfect" or "nearly perfect" for me for 8 or 10 years, than it is to own a breed that "fits well" but will live to 14 or 16.
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