The Jack Russell is the dog with the longest life expectancy

We can call him Grandpa Jack Russell. A study by the Royal Veterinary College, London, proved that small breeds, “Jack” in mind, live longer. But not those created or modified by man.

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Eleven years and two months. This is the life expectancy of the dog, according to a study by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), University of London, published last spring. Eleven years and two months, based on the age of the deaths of 30,563 dogs, from 18 different breeds and crosses, in the UK, between January 1, 2016 and July 31, 2020. It is the Jack Russell that can, at birth, expect to live the longest (12 years and 7 months)The French Bulldog should make the most of its existence because it does not exceed 4 years and 5 months (see infographic below).

Future owners should stop buying these hypertypical breeds and focus on healthier breeds.

The numbers may vary depending on the country (the same breed can live up to four years in Japan), food, the way the animal is treated, the frequency and quality of its care, etc. But the work of RVC provides four major lessonsor confirmations for dog experts: small dogs are usually older than large oneswomen four months longer than men (11.5 years compared to 11.1 years), sterilization increases life expectancy by 10% and brachycephalic (flat snout) has the shortest speed.

Too small to die?

So size is an important parameter for longevity. A French study, carried out just ten years ago for the Royal Canin brand, thus showed that “the smaller the dog, the longer its life span: a dog under 10 kilos can expect to live up to 12 years, a medium dog from 10 to 25 kilos to 10 years and a large dog from 25 to 45 kilos to 8 years”.

The Royal Veterinary College validates, but focuses on small dog breeds – the French Bulldog, English Bulldog and Pug (all between 30 and 40 centimeters) – destined for a short life. It is the morphology of their head, more than the size of their body, that is the reason. Their crushed, compressed muzzle, and the eyelashes of the flesh at the back of their throat, before the trachea, increase the risks of obstruction of the respiratory tract: by 54 for the Pug and by 19 for the Bulldog. The same goes for chronic skin diseases: 49 times more often in the English Bulldog, 26 times in the French Bulldog and 16 times in the Pug. The explanations, according to another RVC study, published at the beginning of July: the more widespread and deeper desire to have a “cute” dog, so cute, that we doll, wash, perfume the point that weakens it. One of the main causes of skin problems in these dogs that become salon dogs (beauty, etc.) is that excessive “friction, humidity and lack of ventilation in the folds”.

The Bulldog is one of those breeds created from scratch by man to… fight bulls. © Getty Images

“Man-made” varieties

Comment by Dan O’Neill, one of the study’s authors, forwarded Science and Life from September: “For twenty million years, nature has shaped the bodies of dogs in a way that optimizes their health and survival. For two hundred years, we have carried out this long evolution by selecting different dog morphologies, especially for feed our desire for diversity.The allegory of races created or diverted by man. The scientific monthly focuses on Bulldog, “typical example of these “man-made” breeds, made from scratch by people. Originally, these very sporty dogs were intended for bullfighting: their short and wide muzzle allowed them to catch the cows better by the nose and not let them go, while their short legs gave them more that strength. on earth.” But when, in the 19th century, fighting was outlawed, “we made them bed dogs, describes a veterinarian. Because we like their molossoid side, we tried to shorten their skull.. Concretely, “people favor those who have problems with the growth of cartilage, which brings them closer to the desired aesthetics. Generation after generation, the change happened, until the bones of their noses stopped growing. Their skin, on the other hand, continues to grow and begins to wrinkle the face and neck.

Various tests are now possible to detect respiratory, kidney, heart failure, etc., or abnormal development of organs, tissues or cells. But Dan O’Neill is adamant: “Prospective owners should stop buying these hypertyped breeds and in favor of healthier breeds.”

In Washington, the Dog Aging Project, which examines the aging of dogs, published in the spring a study of the habits and health data of more than ten thousand dogs, concluding that those who eat only once a day is better than those who have been fed many times. : “Less cognitive, gastrointestinal, dental, orthopedic, urinary and liver problems.” Good to know for Belgian masters. Who is always more – the imprisonments are not foreign to it – because it is estimated, last year, that almost one household in four (23.6%), in Belgium, has one or more dogs.

© Source: Royal Veterinary College (University of London), 2022 / photos: Getty Images

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