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Posts Tagged ‘Dobermans’

A Dog’s Lifespan

Monday, April 14th, 2014

A dog’s lifespan varies widely by the type of breed, and also its size. All dog breeds belong to the same species, evolved from the wolf, yet they age at very different rates and no one understands why there is such a variance. Some dog breeds live to be 16 to 20 years old, whereas breeds like the Irish Wolfhound have a life expectancy of only 6 to 8 years.


If you’re considering adopting an adult dog or a puppy, and you’re concerned about the dog’s lifespan, the best advice is – think small.

Around 40% of small breed dogs live longer than 10 years. In contrast, only 13% of giant breed dogs will live that long. The average 50-pound dog has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years, while a giant breed like the Great Dane is considered senior or elderly at 6 to 8 years of age. Dogs that weigh less than 30 pounds live the longest.

In a study involving more than 700 dogs and 77 different breeds, researchers found that a dog’s weight and size are the chief determining factors in a dog’s lifespan. It’s not unusual for a miniature poodle to live for 16 or 17 years, while a 12-year-old Labrador Retriever is considered an old dog. Giant breeds that weigh more than 100 pounds are considered geriatric when they reach 6 to 7 years of age.

A good rule of thumb is the larger the dog, the fewer years it will live. If you want a dog that will live for a long time you may want to consider adopting a mixed breed rather than a purebred, which on the whole usually have shorter lifespans than most mixed breeds.

When deciding between a male or female dog, remember that females tend to live a little longer than males, mimicking the human condition in this respect.

If you’re considering a purebred dog, it’s a good idea to research the types of ailments and diseases specific to the breed before deciding. Many large-breed dogs like Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers will develop hip dysplasia and the condition can become so serious that the dog will have to be euthanized.

Cancer is a common disease that can significantly shorten a dog’s lifespan, and some breeds like Boxers, Rottweilers, and Golden Retrievers have unusually high rates of cancer. Cancer is the most common cause of death in older dogs and nearly 42% of those dogs die from some form of cancer.

Flat-faced dogs such as Pugs and Shih Tzus, are predisposed to breathing problems that can cause overheating and even death. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are likely to develop a heart condition called mitral valve disease. Cocker Spaniels are susceptible to recurring ear and eye infections.

Being a responsible pet owner means seeing that your dog has the correct type and amount of nourishment, and proper exercise. Very important for a dog’s lifespan is the prevention of obesity which will help your dog live a longer, healthier life.

The American Kennel Club has published a list of the most popular dog breeds and their average life span:

Beagles — 12 to 14 years
Boston terriers — about 15 years
Boxers — 11 to 14 years
Bulldogs — 10 to 12 years
Chihuahuas — 15 years or more
Dachshunds — 12 to 14 years
Doberman Pinschers — 10 to 12 years
German Shepherd dog — 10 to 14 years
German shorthaired pointers — 12 to 15 years
Golden retriever — 10 to 12 years
Labrador retriever — 10 to 14 years
Miniature Schnauzers — 15 years or more
Pomeranians — 13 to 15 years
Poodles — 10 to 15 years
Pugs — 12 to 15 years
Rottweilers — 10 to 12 years
Shetland Sheepdogs — 12 to 14 years
Shih Tzu — 11 to 15 years
Yorkshire terrier — 12 to 15 years

Cropping Dog’s Ears

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Cropping a dog’s ears involves a surgical procedure to remove part of the dog’s ears. This practice is limited to only a few breeds like Boxers, Dobermans, Pit Bulls, and Great Danes. Dog ear cropping surgery has no medical benefits and is usually done only for cosmetic purposes. It is not necessary to a dog’s health.

There are certain breeds like Dobermans that are considered to have a more “standard” look if their ears are cropped.

During ear cropping surgery over 70% of the ear flap is removed. This procedure can be very painful to a dog who is older than 12 weeks. At this young age most dogs won’t experience a high degree of pain while recovering. They still feel the pain, but not to the degree they would if the surgery were performed when they are older. But all dogs, whether young or old, will feel pain after the anesthetic wears off because a dog’s ears contain a profusion of nerve endings.

The average recovery time for this surgery is 12 to 14 days, and the dog will need to be given pain medication for 3 to 4 days after the surgery.

Some dog owners believe that cropping dog’s ears may prevent ear infections. It is an erroneous belief that not having the dog’s ear canal covered by the ear flap allows air to circulate more freely in the ear.

Dogs don’t need ear cropping. There is no proof that ear cropping has any benefits for a dog. There are often complications such as excessive bleeding or infection after the surgery, and too many cases have been recorded where a veterinarian has cut too deeply into the dog’s ear, with the unfortunate result of impairing the dog’s hearing ability.

Many veterinarians refuse to perform surgery for cropping a dog’s ears, and most animal rights advocates consider ear cropping to be an inhumane procedure. A dog is born with ears unique to its breed, and no dog should be forced to undergo ear cropping surgery.

Cropping Dogs Ears

Monday, August 1st, 2011


In England, the Royal College of Veterinarian Surgeons forbids vets to crop any dog’s ears or tails. As a result, England is full of Dobermans, Schnauzers, Boxers, Boston Terriers, and Great Danes proudly wagging their long tails and showing off their intact ears. In addition, the cropping of dogs ears has also been outlawed in most of Europe as well as Newfoundland, New Zealand, and Australia.

Laws to ban the cropping of dogs’ ears have been introduced in California, Vermont, and New York in the past. All have failed even though winning the support of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Kennel Club, and several other pure breed associations. In addition to supporting the passage of various bills, these organizations have worked to delete cropped or trimmed ears for dogs as a breed standard.

The American Veterinary Medical Association issued a position statement that read, “Ear cropping and tail docking in dogs for cosmetic reasons are not medically indicated nor of benefit to the dog. These procedures cause pain and distress to the animal and are accompanied by inherent risks of anesthesia blood loss, and infection.” In spite of all this support, too many of these breeds of dogs are being put under the knife for cosmetic surgeries on their ears and tails.

One of my friends who has been a practicing veterinary surgeon for over 20 years, said he will not perform any surgery involving the cropping of a dog’s ears or the docking of its tail. When he was recently asked by an owner to crop the ears of a newly acquired Doberman, he replied “Why would I submit a perfectly fine animal to having a hefty chunk of his skin and cartilage chopped off, followed by weeks of ridiculous taping and splinting while you try to change your dog into something he was not meant to be.”

Strong words from a veterinarian, perhaps, but he has a commendable point of view. If dogs were the dominant species and mankind was in the role that our pets play, would we want our ears or behinds chopped, sewn up, and bandaged?

The justification owners make for cropping their dog’s ears is to decrease the rate of ear infections and reduce the chances of injury from another dog. If pointed ears really prevented ear infections, why isn’t every Beagle or Cocker Spaniel in this country also having their ears cropped?

Some people believe that Dobermans look more “masterful and perky” with cropped ears, and that the procedure really is no different than women having breast implants. If you agree with that statement, chances are good that you’re a man.

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