Kentucky Dog Owners! You Can Tell How Long Your Dog Will Live Just By Looking At Its Face
There's no doubt that dogs are man's proverbial best friend and the loss of a canine companion can be devastating. I have been there and done that several times. It's almost always a shock and it's heartbreaking.
A new study in the UK suggests that you can determine how long a dog will live just by looking at its face. Now, you're probably wondering how that's possible. I won't lie. When I saw a headline about the findings of the study, I wondered the same thing. However, after reviewing the data published in Scientific Reports, it makes a lot of sense.
Researchers with Dog's Trust UK, a rescue organization that was founded back in 1891, studied the life expectancy of 155 breeds of dog. They canvassed data from over a half million dogs. They took an in-depth look at how a dog's breed, size, sex and shape of face can impact how long a dog will live.
Business Insider shared some key findings of the study.
Like with humans, male dogs tend to live shorter lives than their female counterparts. The difference? About four months longer on average. Female dogs average 12.7 years of life expectancy. Male dogs live an average of 12.4 years.
The average life expectancy of all types of dogs is 12.5 years. My miniature schnauzer Mavis lived to be almost 15. My Bichon Frise Dolly passed when she was 12.
My boxer Alexis didn't make it to 7.
Naturally, researchers discovered there are breeds that have longer life expectancies. Other breeds have a much shorter average life span. Purebreeds tend to outlive crossbreeds too. Purebred dogs have a median life expectancy of 12.7 years. Crossbreeds live an average of 12 years.
Now, here's how a dog's facial composition plays into the equation. As I stated in the headline, there may be a way for you to tell how long your dog may live just by looking at it.
Dogs with flat faces and noses (French bulldogs, English bulldogs, pugs, etc) have a markedly shorter lifespan.
In fact, according to the findings of the study, they have a 40% increased risk of early death. Flat-faced breeds are prone to breathing problems and heart issues.
If you have a flat-faced medium-sized dog, your canine companion has a greater chance of dying early. However, if your dog is small and long-nosed (like a miniature dachshund, Italian greyhounds and Papillon), those breeds typically have the longest lifespan.
The breed of dog with the shortest life expectancy is the Caucasian shepherd, which has an average life expectancy of just 5.4 years. Other breeds in the bottom five include the Presa Canario (7.7 years), the Cane Corso (8.1 years), Mastiff (9 years) and the Saint Bernard (9.3 years).
The dog with the longest life expectancy is the Lancashire heeler, which has an average lifespan of 15.4 years.
According to Scientific American, who also took a deep dive into the findings, the researchers insist that their data is only reflective of dogs in the United Kingdom. Without a proper data set from the United States and/or other countries, it's difficult to assess whether these trends would apply to individual breeds around the world. However, it's believed the results, because they are breed-specific, would likely be replicated here in the U.S.
LOOK: Longest-living dog breeds
Gallery Credit: Sophia June