Temperament and Labrador lifespan
Temperament and Labrador lifespan temperament, including tendency to fearfulness, is influenced by genes. But it is also strongly influenced by environment. One study showed that fear and anxiety has a negative effect on life span in pet dogs. And some dogs are euthanased for aggression or behavior problems. So temperament is also a factor to consider when looking at life span.
Some dogs inherit a number of favorable genes that improve their chances of good health – reduced risk of cancer for example. They then pass these favorable genes on to their puppies.
How Inherited Diseases Affect Labrador Retriever Life Span
While Labradors are relatively healthy, there are diseases in the breed that can influence how long a Labrador will live. It will also affect how healthy each dog will be during that lifetime. For some of these diseases, hip dysplasia for example, and CNM, we have tests that can (and should) be carried out on adult dogs before they are used for breeding.
For other diseases, some cancers for example, we don’t have tests. We just know that in some cases, Labradors may be more susceptible than some other breeds of dog. A 2004 study showed that 31% of Labradors die of cancer. Which is slightly higher than the rate of cancer in dogs overall.
Labrador Lifespan and Inbreeding
Like all pedigree dog breeds, there are certain genetic diseases that have become established within the Labrador breed. This is due to breeding between dogs that are closely related Temperament and Labrador lifespan. The average coefficient of inbreeding for Labradors is 6.5%. This is higher than the level (5%) at which we start to see the adverse effects of inbreeding in dogs. Another factor influencing longevity in dogs is size. This is another area where Labrador are slightly disadvantaged.
How Size Affects Labrador Longevity
Little dogs live longer than big dogs. This is one of the quirks of nature that we don’t entirely understand. Of course, there are many exceptions to the rule. But in general the longevity of dogs is quite strongly linked to body size.
This is the reverse of what we often find when we compare large species of mammal. The elephant for example, with smaller species – such as the mouse. When we look at individuals within a single species, in this case the domestic dog, being larger seems to be a disadvantage.
As a medium to large dog temperament and Labrador lifespan, size is therefore a limiting factor in the lifespan of your Labrador. In short, the average Labrador is probably never going to live as long as the average toy poodle.
Do Purebred Labs Live Longer?
How long do Labradors live if they’re purebred? The outer limits of your dog’s potential life are also limited to a certain extent simply by the fact he is a pedigree dog. A study published in The Veterinary Journal in 2013 showed that mongrels live on average 1.2 years longer than purebred dogs. This doesn’t mean that your Boxador will definitely outlive your neighbor’s pedigree Lab. It’s all about averages.