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Approaches in Poultry, Dairy & Veterinary Sciences

Longevity of Purebred Dog Breeds

Evžen Korec*

Department of Genetics, ZOO Tábor, Czech Republic

*Corresponding author: Evžen Korec, Department of Genetics, ZOO Tábor, Dukelských hrdinů 19, Prague 7, 17000, Czech Republic, Tel: + 420 233 372 021; Email: director@zootabor.eu

Submission: August 31, 2017; Published: November 01, 2017

Volume1 Issue2
November 2017

Abstract

Body mass is a very significant factor for influencing longevity. Generally, large animal species tend to live longer than small species. In domestic dogs, the relationship between body size and lifespan shows opposite trend and increasing bodyweight is negatively correlated with longevity. Crossbred dogs have increased longevity, compared with purebreds. In the Cane Corso Italiano breed, a relationship between longevity and hair colour was found for the first time in mammals.

Understanding longevity and aging across species and individuals is critical for reaching higher ages at death in animals, as well as in humans. By understanding genetics, the age limits of animals and humans can be significantly prolonged. Detection and analysis of genes associated with longevity present a very promising method for prolonging life.

Body mass is a very significant factor for influencing longevity. Generally, large animal species tend to live longer than small species [1,2]. This rule has some exceptions. In domestic dogs, the relationship between body size and lifespan shows the opposite trend, and increasing bodyweight is negatively correlated with longevity [3,4]. A negative correlation has also been observed between height and longevity [5]. The lifespan of most dog breeds has already been described in the past [3,4]. Cane Corso is the last dog breed in which their lifespan was determined [6]. Breed – specific age at death is shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Longevity of Purebred Dog Breeds.

** Breed Weight Group: 1 = toy, 2 = small, 3 = medium, 4 = large, 5 = giant

Crossbred dogs have increased longevity, compared with purebreds, irrespective of bodyweight, based on predicted effects from hybrid vigour. Crossbreds demonstrated a 1.2 year average survival advantage over purebreds [4]. A valuable study of dog breeds compared purebred and crossbred longevity across five bodyweight categories, which demonstrated that age at death for purebred dogs was significantly lower than that of crossbred dogs for each bodyweight group [7]. This finding suggests that hybrid vigour substantially affects longevity in dogs. One possible explanation is that hybrid dogs are less likely to be homozygous for deleterious genes [8]. Only molecular genetic analysis of genes associated with longevity can explain this feature.

Young dogs usually died from gastrointestinal and infections causes, whereas older dogs died of neurological and neoplastic causes [9]. Breed specific proportional mortalities were described as the most common causes of death in 72 breeds. The breeds with the highest proportional mortalities for cancer included, in descending order, Irish water spaniel, Flat-coated retriever, Hungarian wirehaired vizsla, Bernese mountain dog, Rottweiler, Italian spinone, Leonberger, Staffordshire bullterrier, Welsh terrier, and Giant schnauzer [3]. Breeds with a cardiac condition as the highest breed specific proportional mortality, in descending order, included Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Norfolk terrier, Deerhound, Griffon Bruxellois, and the British bulldog [3]. In the Cane Corso Italiano breed, a relationship between longevity and hair colour was found for the first time in mammals [6]. This finding can suggest some relationship between genes associated with longevity and genes responsible for hair colour.

Conclusion

Understanding longevity and aging across species and individuals is critical for reaching higher ages at death in animals, as well as in humans. By understanding genetics, the age limits of animals and humans can be significantly prolonged. Detection and analysis of genes associated with longevity present a very promising method for prolongation life. In the Cane Corso Italiano dog breed a relationship between longevity and hair colour was found for the first time in mammals.

References

  1. Galis F, Van Der Sluijs I, Van Dooren TJM, Metz JAJ, Nussbaumer M (2007) Do large dogs die young? J Exp Zool Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 308(2): 119-126.
  2. Austad SN (2010) Cats, ‘rats’, and bats: the comparative biology of aging in the 21st century. Integr Comp Biol 50(5): 783-792.
  3. Adams VJ, Evans KM, Sampson J, Wood JLN (2010) Methods and mortality results of a health survey of purebred dogs in the UK. J Small Anim Pract 51(10): 512-524.
  4. O’Neill DG, Church DB, McGreevy PD, Thomson PC, Brodbelt DC (2013) Longevity and mortality of owned dogs in England. Vet J 198(3): 638- 643.
  5. Greer KA, Canterberry SC, Murphy KE (2007) Statistical analysis regarding the effects of height and weight on life span of the domestic dog. Res Vet Sci 82(2): 208-214.
  6. Korec E, Chalupa O, Hančl M, Korcová J, Bydžovská M (2017) Longevity of Cane Corso Italiano dog breed and its relationship with hair colour. Open Vet J 7(2): 170-173.
  7. Patronek GJ, Waters DJ, Glickman LT (1997) Comparative longevity of pet dogs and humans: Implications for gerontology research. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 52(3): 171-178.
  8. McGreevy PD, Nicholas FW (1999) Some practical solutions to welfare problems in dog breeding. Anim Welf 8: 329-341.
  9. Fleming JM, Creevy KE, Promislow DEL (2011) Mortality in North American dogs from 1984 to 2004: An investigation into age- size- and breed-related causes of death. J Vet Inter Med 25: 187-198.

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