Seven dog years equals one human year. Right! No, it’s a myth!
There is no scientific basis that proves one human year is equal to seven dog years.
If this were true, humans would be capable of having kids at age 7, and many would live to be 150 years old.
Dog breeds age at different rates
In general, a dog’s lifespan ranges from 8 to 16 years. Saying that 1 human year is equivalent to 7 dog years is nonsense because different breeds live longer than others. They also mature at different rates.
Where did the 7-Year myth come from?
It is believed to originate from 1268, when a Judgment Day computation declared a 9:1 ratio– that dogs live to age 9 and humans to 81.
Then in the 1950s, it was accepted that humans lived until 70 while dogs live until they are 10.
It is a nice and simple way to calculate how old their pooches were, and connect with their dog by knowing approximately what stage of life their pooch was in.
Proven wrong by the French
In 1953, French scientist Lebeau established that dogs do not mature at the same rate all their lives.
During their first year, they mature 15-20 times quicker than a human. Then their growth slows right down to a ratio of one to five.
This means that we can’t use a blanket rate since dogs mature at different rates throughout their lives. Also, we can’t always use the same scale.
Lebaeau found out through averaging that the age of a 1 year old is equivalent to that of a 15 year old human, but the rate slows down a lot during the dog’s life. On average, 1 human year is worth 4 dog years.
So how old is your dog?
There is a lot to consider when determining the age of a dog. It is not only different ages which affect the growth and maturity rate of dogs. Different breeds, sizes, and weights mature at different rates.
For example, bigger dogs die younger, and mature more rapidly than small pooches. One year to one dog has a different value to another dog.
There are four breed sizes of dog.
- Small (20 pounds or less) – example – Chihuahua
- Medium (21-50 pounds) – example –Shiba Inu
- Large (51-90 pounds) – example Rottweiler
- Giant (over 90 pounds) – example Mastiff
Each matures at a different speed.
Check out this chart showing that.
Generally, bigger dogs are older and more mature than smaller dogs at age 16. There will also be a 43-year age gap between small breeds and giant breeds at the end of their lives!
Source: Daily Mirror