Do Large Dogs Die Young?

Galis, F., Sluijs, I. van der, Van Dooren, T.J.M., Metz, J.A.J., & Nussbaumer, M. (2006). Do Large Dogs Die Young? IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-06-072

[thumbnail of IR-06-072.pdf]

Download (153kB) | Preview


In most animal taxa, longevity increases with body size across species, as predicted by the oxidative stress theory of aging. In contrast, in within-species comparisons of mammals and especially domestic dogs (e.g. Patronek, 97; Michell, 99; Egenvall et al., 2000; Speakman et al, 2003) longevity decreases with body size.

We explore two datasets for dogs and find support for a negative relationship between size and longevity if we consider variation across breeds. Within breeds, however, the relationship is not negative. The negative across-breed relationship is probably the consequence of short lifespans in large breeds. Artificial selection for extremely high growth rates in large breeds appears to have led to developmental diseases that seriously diminish longevity.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Research Programs: Evolution and Ecology (EEP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:38
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:19

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item