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Breed for Longer Life Span

1001 Views 13 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  MaryLouMaloney
This is just a whimsical idea but what if someone started a non profit organization dedicated to extending the lifespan of dogs.
Like.. what if you froze a bunch of sperm from 100 different dogs and then wait and see which dogs live the most years

After they die of old age or whatever, those oldest dogs are the sperm donors you select for the next generation, etc.
After a few hundred years maybe dogs could live to be 25? What do you think.

Pie in the sky.
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I agree with what LeoRose said about how complicated longevity is. That said, there is research being done on it in hopes of finding ways to extend canine lives. I know in Rottweilers there is a project where info is being gathered on individuals who live to 13 and beyond. Any blood tests taken throughout the dog's life are gathered. Dogs are visited by a vet involved in the project after age 13, and when the dog dies, owner willing, there's a necropsy. This isn't just to research genetic factors in longevity but also environmental factors. I'm sure other breeds have similar projects ongoing, and as LeoRose also pointed out, there are breeders of dogs such as Basenjis taking steps to help their breed. There are now tests that can be done for genetic markers for health conditions in a lot of breeds.
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That seems like a double edged sword, because generally dogs physical condition starts deteriorating around 10.
I'm not so sure of this. For starters, some of the small breeds don't start to show negative effects of aging until after 10. Then even for the large breeds, from what I've seen, the age at which they start to show aging effects is different and related to individual lifespan. So a large dog with a lifespan of 9 is going to look and act old at 8, but one that lives to 13 is going to be doing well at 10 and 11.

So I think increasing lifespan from 10 to 20 might cause the prolonged years of increasing disability. It would probably be a bridge too far so to speak. However, increasing lifespan from 10 to12 might not have the same effect.
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