The relative human age of a dog at any point in their life can vary drastically from breed to breed.
Charlestown, RI (PRWEB) October 04, 2013
It is common knowledge that one year of a dog’s life is equivalent to seven human years. Although this is a respectable rough estimate, this measurement has proved to be mostly incorrect. The ratio of dog years to human can alter greatly throughout a dog’s life. Royal Flush Havanese shows readers how to accurately measure the age of one’s dog using several different tactics, and why the myth of the seven-to-one ratio is incorrect.
From the time they are born up until they are approximately 21 years old, humans continue to develop and grow. A dog, on the other hand, begins maturing remarkably rapidly from the time it is born up until it is about two years old. Therefore, dogs have a much smaller window of time to develop compared to a human, making the ratio of dog-to-human years greater than seven during this time period. Their growth, like humans, slows with age, at which point the conversion factor decreases.
To make estimating a dog’s age in human years even more challenging, relative maturity can change depending upon the breed of dog. The average lifespan of a breed tends to depend upon how large a dog is. Smaller breeds are genetically inclined to have a longer stage of adulthood and a shorter adolescent period compared to their larger counterparts. In addition, they usually live longer than larger dogs. This means that if you take a small dog, such as a Havanese (with an average lifespan of 13-15 years), and a large dog, such as a Great Dane (average lifespan of only 6-8 years), when they are both one year old, the Havanese would be the more mature, older dog, but if you compared them at five years of age, the Great Dane would be considered older.
Taking all this information into account, the first step to estimate any dog’s age is to determine its size and average lifespan. Very small dogs, which are limited to a few small toy breeds and have an average lifespan of 15+ years, usually age four dog years to every human year after the age of two. At one year, they are 16 in dog years, and at two, they are 24. Every year after that, they become four dog years older. Small dogs with an average lifespan of 13-15 years age at a dog-to-human ratio of 5:1 after age two. At one year, they are 15 in dog years; at two years, they are 21. Medium-sized dogs that live to be 10-13 years age at a 6:1 ratio after two years after turning 13 on their first-year birthday and 20 on their second. Most large breeds, with a lifespan of 9-11 years, age seven dog years to every human year after age 3. After their first year, they are about 11, after the second, 19, and after the third, 27. Lastly, giant breeds with a lifespan of 8-10 years age eight years to every human year after age 3. After their first year, they are nine, after the second, 18, and after the third, 27.
As one can see, the relative human age of a dog at any point in their life can vary drastically from breed to breed. Not all canines will live for their expected lifespan - some will endure much longer and some much shorter. However, no matter the amount of time any dog has here on Earth, the love they demonstrate is immeasurable in any form of years - whether it be dog or human.
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