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Apparently Little Dogs Outlive Bigger Dogs

If you look at mammals as a whole, typically the larger the animal, the longer they live. This can be seen with large whales like the killer whale which can live up to 80 years or an elephant which can live to be 70 years old. Dogs, on the other hand, seem to have the opposite be true: the larger the dog, the shorter their life.

Larger dog breeds (like the Great Dane) tend to live a lot less than their smaller counterparts (like a toy poodle). The Great Dane can grow to a size of about 155 pounds, but only has an average life span of 7 years. The toy poodle grows to be about 9 pounds but can live to see 14 years old. That’s quite a difference.

Researcher Cornelia Kraus, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Göttingen in Germany, set out to see if he can find out why this is when it comes to dogs. He and his research team analyzed ages at death in 74 dog breeds, using information from more than 56,000 dogs that visited veterinary teaching hospitals, to see if they could pinpoint why larger dogs lead shorter lives.

The results? Apparently larger dogs were not only larger in size, but they aged far more quickly too. Among dog breeds, every extra increase of 4.4 pounds meant, on average, a loss of 1 month in life expectancy. Their findings were detailed in the April issue of the journal American Naturalist.

I have always wanted a larger dog, but now I don’t know if that’s a good trade off for his or her shorter life. I like my animals to be around for a long time and if I were to ever get a dog, maybe a smaller breed would be better?

Either way, large dogs and small dogs are all equally as cute just look:

  • Do Larger Dogs Live Longer? 1 of 13
    live longer

    Researchers try to find out why larger dogs age faster than smaller ones. 

  • Larger Dogs 2 of 13
    big

    While they seem to age faster and live less years, they are still adorable!

  • Newfoundlander 3 of 13
    01-

     This large dog breed can weight up to 180 pounds and live to be 10-years old on average according to Dogster.

    Photo credit:  _bartb | Flickr AttributionShare Alike

  • Bernese Mountain Dog 4 of 13
    02-

     Bernese Mountain Dogs can weigh up to 110 pounds but only live to be about 8-years old according to DogBreedInfo.

    Photo credit:  Shari F | Flickr Attribution

  • Mastiff 5 of 13
    03-

     On average a Mastiff will weigh about 160 pounds and live to be 10-12 years old according to DogBreedInfo.

    Photo credit:  wildxplorer | Flickr Attribution

  • Great Dane 6 of 13
    04-

    These Great Dane dogs can live to be about 6-8 years old and weigh up to 200 pounds according to BigOldDogs.

    Photo credit: Claudio Gennari | Flickr Attribution

  • Rottweiler 7 of 13
    05-

    Rottweilers can live to be about 10 years old and weigh between 95-110 pounds according to the Rottweiler Club of Canada.

    Photo credit:  El coleccionista de instantes | Flickr AttributionShare Alike

  • Smaller Dogs 8 of 13
    small

    They weigh a lot less, yet seem to live a long longer. 

  • Maltese 9 of 13
    06-

    The cute maltese can live approximately 15 years and weighs on average 5-8 pounds according to DogBreed Info

    Photo credit: wsilver | Flickr Attribution

  • Toy Poodle 10 of 13
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    The toy poodle can weight up to 8 pounds only but can live approximately 15 years according to United Canine Association.

    Photo credit: Dakiny | Flickr Attribution

  • Chihuahua 11 of 13
    08-

    This tiny dog on average weighs not more than 6 pounds and can live to up to 18 years according to American Kennel Club

    Photo credit:  apdk | Flickr Attribution

  • Pug 12 of 13
    09-

     This dog with it's cute large eyes can live to be about 15-years old and weighs only 20 pounds according to DogBreedInfo.

    Photo credit:   | Flickr Attribution

  • Shih Tzu 13 of 13
    10-

     The Shih Tzu breed dog can live to be about 16 years old and weighs on average between 9-16 pounds according to DogBreedInfo.

    Photo credit:  gurdonark | Flickr Attribution

Source: NBCNews/Science

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