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Longevity of companion dog breeds: those at risk from early death

McMillan, KM, Bielby, J, Williams, CL, Upjohn, MM, Casey, RA and Christley, RM (2024) Longevity of companion dog breeds: those at risk from early death. Scientific Reports, 14 (1). ISSN 2045-2322

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The companion dog is one of the most phenotypically diverse species. Variability between breeds extends not only to morphology and aspects of behaviour, but also to longevity. Despite this fact, little research has been devoted to assessing variation in life expectancy between breeds or evaluating the potential for phylogenetic characterisation of longevity. Using a dataset of 584,734 unique dogs located within the UK, including 284,734 deceased, we present variation in longevity estimates within the following: parental lineage (purebred = 1 breed, crossbred ≥ 2 breeds), breed (n = 155), body size (large, medium, small), sex (male, female) and cephalic index (brachycephalic, mesocephalic, dolichocephalic). Survival estimates were then partitioned amongst phylogenetic clades: providing evidence that canine evolutionary history (via domestication and associated artificial selection) is associated with breed lifespan. This information provides evidence to inform discussions regarding pedigree health, whilst helping current/prospective owners, breeders, policy makers, funding bodies and welfare organisations improve decision making regarding canine welfare.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2024 10:29
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2024 10:30
DOI or ID number: 10.1038/s41598-023-50458-w
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22506
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