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Old 04-28-2013, 03:37 PM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Default Longevity

Along the same theme as my other thread...

Is longevity a key concern for you when choosing breeds?

It is something that is really important to me and many breeds that I would consider owning have what is generally considered to be long life spans or at least not overly short life spans at any rate.

I love this about Schipperkes, Mini Foxies, poodles etc.

A lot of the 'bigger' breeds I love have an average of about 12-14 - staffords, labs, brittanys, standard poodles, whippets.

I love Cavs - but the health problems and short life span are deal breakers unfortunately.

Of course quality of life and health are big factors in that as well.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:42 PM
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Yes, it is one of my key concerns.

I do realize you never know- trust me, we've lost 3 pups way too young. But I want to do what I can to stack the deck in my favor.

I love that Summer is 9 and vibrant and active. Even compared to my shelties at 9, it's amazing how big a difference there is. I wonder how much is keeping her on good food and active and how much is just genetics and luck. I hope all my dogs are as healthy and sound as Summer is at her age. Her mom and grandma both made it to 16 and were very active up until 14/15.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
Yes, it is one of my key concerns.

I do realize you never know- trust me, we've lost 3 pups way too young. But I want to do what I can to stack the deck in my favor.


I love that Summer is 9 and vibrant and active. Even compared to my shelties at 9, it's amazing how big a difference there is. I wonder how much is keeping her on good food and active and how much is just genetics and luck. I hope all my dogs are as healthy and sound as Summer is at her age. Her mom and grandma both made it to 16 and were very active up until 14/15.
Yep, this is my thinking as well.

I love that Grace (Stafford) is still going strong at 12. I feel that she has a lot of life in her yet. She is slowing down granted, but just in that she is sleeping a bit more. She still enjoys fetching, tugging, going for long walks, playing.

I just think it would be very hard to have a dog that aged prematurely.

It sounds like Summer has some really good genes behind her.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:58 PM
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No, it's not...but I've also never had a dog that passed on young, and have always had breeds with high life expectancies. Maybe after trying it, it would be too hard to keep doing, IDK.

I'm really interested in owning a few lower-expectancy breeds, particularly Bernese Mountain Dogs and Ridgebacks. I think if a breed is a really great match, getting to live with one for 10 years or even 8 years is going to be worth the sadness of losing them younger.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:03 PM
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Yes. Though I ended up in Flatcoats anyway. Mira and I have frequent chats about how she WILL channel her great-/grandparents and live into her teens like them.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:08 PM
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Probably but it's never been an active issue.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:10 PM
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Yes and no. I'm concerned with it, but I don't think it'll stop me from "eventually" getting certain breeds. One of my favorite breeds and one I've wanted for a very long time now is considered old at 6, and it is the health and subsequent longevity or lack thereof that has made me balk so far when I've had the opportunity to get a puppy I've liked.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:19 PM
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To me there is an ethical dilemma with the 'heartbreak breeds'. I know the proponents say quality over quantity but I want both. I want my dogs to live long, healthy lives. I could not in good conscience get a dog that is only expected to live 5-6 years. At 5-6 years old a dog should be at it's peak, not 'old for the breed'.

In some of the breeds maybe with the right lines that are known for longevity with great breeders but even then...

Quote:
I just think it would be very hard to have a dog that aged prematurely.
Nikki was old acting at 8. she ended up living to 12 but she was old acting from 8 onwards. She had health problems- CHF, arthritis, etc. It's just such a contrast compared to Summer at 8.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
To me there is an ethical dilemma with the 'heartbreak breeds'. I know the proponents say quality over quantity but I want both. I want my dogs to live long, healthy lives. I could not in good conscience get a dog that is only expected to live 5-6 years. At 5-6 years old a dog should be at it's peak, not 'old for the breed'.

In some of the breeds maybe with the right lines that are known for longevity with great breeders but even then...



Nikki was old acting at 8. she ended up living to 12 but she was old acting from 8 onwards. She had health problems- CHF, arthritis, etc. It's just such a contrast compared to Summer at 8.
For what's it's worth, there are two different kinds of short lifespans. There are breeds who are truly aged seniors with all the effects of old age early (say, Irish Wolfhounds, or even a dog like you Nikki who lived a long time but was "old" early) and there are breeds who tend to die young (like FCRs, with the 8-9 year life expectancy) but who are still acting very young. In the FCRs that live longer than average, they are often still working and loving their work when they are 10, 11, 12... The dog to which Mira is being bred still moved and acted like a 5-6 year old when he was 12. His son, who is currently 11, still bounds and retrieves and is pretty much in love with being alive. He was jumping head-high for his football when I visited last summer. A much-loved 11 year old (unrelated dog) placed top 40 at AKC nationals last year in the regular 20" class. Hunting dogs that age are fairly often still going out and hunting, even if they aren't working quite as long and hard as they did when they were younger (often because their people put a limit on how long they are allowed to work because the dogs don't know when to quit).

I'm not saying one is more tragic than the other, but in addition to dying earlier/later, there is also aging earlier/later, and the two don't necessarily coincide.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:38 PM
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I might also have a different opinion if I planned on buying breeder dogs instead of rescuing. The ethical dilemma isn't such a concern when it's unlikely you'll ever purchase a breeder pup.
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