Do large dogs die young?

Galis, F., Sluijs, I. van der, Van Dooren, T.J.M., Metz, J.A.J., & Nussbaumer, M. (2007). Do large dogs die young? Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 308B (2) 119-126. 10.1002/jez.b.21116.

Full text not available from this repository.


In most animal taxa, longevity increases with body size across species, as predicted by the oxidative stress theory of aging. In contrast, n within-species comparisons of mammals and especially domestic dogs 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 and is slightly, but significantly, positive in the larger of the two datasets. The negative across-breed relationship is probably the consequence of short life spans 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: Article
Research Programs: Evolution and Ecology (EEP)
Bibliographic Reference: Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution; 308B(2):119-126 (15 March 2007) (Published online 20 June 2006)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:39
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:19

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item