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#329055 - 02/05/15 07:54 AM Re: Let's talk about longevity or lack in the GSD [Re: Kayos]
JakodaCD OA Offline

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 1378
Loc: Old Lyme CT
Likes: 27
I've been really lucky with all the dogs I've had I've never had one with bad hips/elbows or any life long issues .
Jake lived until 13, had a series of strokes frown
Kodi 9, spondylosis finally got him frown
Sami 13, severe arthritis, (she was my rescue)
Dodge 13, anaplasmosis side effects

My two aussies just passed last year, Jag 13 tumor on the heart
Jynx, 14 almost 15, dementia, arthritis, just plain old age frown

While they all lived a long life, I would give anything to have had them live longer frown
Ozzie von Kleinen Hain
Jakoda's Kholee
Tranquillo's Kizzy
Danger Danger von Kleinen Hain aka "Masi"
"Angel" Harmonyhill's Hy Jynx aka "Jynx"
"Angel" Jakoda's Jagged Edge aka "Jag"
"Angel" Sami
"Angel" Dodge

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#329061 - 02/05/15 08:48 AM Re: Let's talk about longevity or lack in the GSD [Re: JakodaCD OA]
laevsk Offline

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 344
Loc: Alaska
Likes: 66
My first GSD, Dawson, was a BYB dog. Oversized, had to be put down at 11 due to DM and other problems.

Trick lived to 13 1/2, mix of American (dam - "working" style dog, not show dog) and German (sire - no American in him). She was the absolutely most fantastic dog I've ever had or hope to have.

Tori, who went to live with a friend of mine when she was eight, lived to 14+. She was German and Belgian lines.

Taser is 7 and going strong, nothing much wrong with that dog so far.

I understand the concern with the longevity. I've studied Chow lineage more than GSD, and one of the things that really bothered me was that a number of breeders were producing dogs that lived to only 8 or 9 years old. I couldn't find out the "why" of their deaths, though, so it's unknown as to why they were only living that long. But as a purchaser of puppies, I look at longevity in the line as much as I look at any other potential health problem. If a breeder is producing dogs that typically die at a younger age, then I avoid that breeder. I want my dogs to live as long as they comfortably can, and I don't think that breeders who fail to take longevity as a serious quality in their dogs are doing our dogs a huge disservice.

I'm not sure whether line breeding has any real effect on longevity. I would think it would be more likely that it's choosing dogs for breeding who have a familial history of dogs that have died young from potentially congenital conditions, like cancers or bone/joint issues or even just breaking down young. And if you take two from the same lines, each with a background in early death, and line-breed those two, then you're doubling up on the problem. But if you line-breed two dogs from longer lived lines, you should be doubling up on the better side of things.

Line-breeding works with what it's offered, and properly done can really "set" good traits within a developing breeding line. When I look at Chows, the background on Khana (which I've researched back more than seven generations), I can see how the breeder was pushing together particular lines in order to work through some of the myriad problems the breed has - and in doing so, produced the first dogs to pass all six OFA health tests. Now we're seeing more Chows passing hips, elbows, patellas, thyroid, eyes and cardiac. But Khana's sire was the first, and she was the sixth chow to ever pass all of those tests. It was done with judicious close line-breeding, done twice in her five generation pedigree, along with some careful breeding within the lines but farther out, and an occasional out-breeding to add in something that needed assistance. I'm in awe of breeders who know their dogs so well that they can do this successfully.

I think line-breeding is a tool that can be used well. But to use it, a person needs to understand and know the dogs well - not only the dogs they're using, but all the dogs in those dogs' pedigree. They need to be honest about the health problems the dogs carry (including dying young), and then always breed with those health problems in mind. A new breeder, or one that is breeding casually, should NOT line-breed in my opinion. If you don't know what you're doing, you're likely to end up making the breed worse.

And any breeder who is primarily breeding for looks or drive is not an ideal breeder, also in my opinion. First and foremost, breeders should be focusing on health and temperament, THEN whatever else they want. Without a healthy dog and a solid temperament, what's the point of a pretty ear or a strong drive? It doesn't matter what breed it is - health and temperament should be first on a breeder's list.

Just for the record: I am not nor have ever been a breeder. I considered it with Khana, because of her amazing health record, temperament and intelligent (she is about the most perfect chow you can find), but after really looking into it I decided to leave it up to those who really worked hard to study the lines and bred to produce the best they can. If I HAD bred her, it would have been to a male chosen by the breeder of Khana's sire, because she's the one "in the know", but it just wasn't meant to be. I do want to add what I can to the knowledge base for the breed, which is why I spent the money to have Khana fully heath tested (and all results are published on the OFA and CHIC sites). Having the info on as many Chow lines as possible can only help those who are studying and trying to bring health back into the lines (Chows are notorious for bad elbows, patellas, thyroid and eyes).
Melanie & the girls in Alaska
Khana-Service Dog Extraordinaire (Chow)
Tazer-Monster Puppy, All Grown Up (GSD)
-And always in my heart:
Trick & Dawson (GSDs)-Kylee & Dora (Chows)-Lady (Aussie)
-20+ years of love and laughter, 35+ titles earned

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#329065 - 02/05/15 06:50 PM Re: Let's talk about longevity or lack in the GSD [Re: laevsk]
LJsMom Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 1083
Loc: Rhode Island
Likes: 20
Lady Jane died from Lymphoma just 4 months shy of her 16th birthday. I was never able to track down her breeding information.

Kryska's Ironwill Steel Train SD (Siberian Husky) 8-6-99
Miss Mila Monster (GSD) 4-14-02

Waiting at the bridge:
Lady Jane Cobb (GSD - age 15)
Sasha (Siberian Husky - age 13)
Niko (Siberian Husky - age 14)
Wooly Bear (Siberian Husky - age 13)

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#329068 - 02/05/15 07:37 PM Re: Let's talk about longevity or lack in the GSD [Re: LJsMom]
Achuyut Offline

Registered: 04/21/13
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Won't say it was my dog. But My Mom's Shepherd lived till 16 and was perfectly healthy. My grandpa had to leave him to a friends farmhouse with other dogs to play for work reasons. My grandpa was out only for three months and when he came back he heard the raja died because he refused to eat or drink over there. This was in 1985. So not sure which line he was from but a typical black and tan and amazing dog.

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#329085 - 02/06/15 08:06 AM Re: Let's talk about longevity or lack in the GSD [Re: Achuyut]
Kayos Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 11662
Loc: McAlester, OK
Likes: 240
One of my co-workers had a GSD named Sahib that lived to 16 1/2. The dog was his mom's actually and this was in the 80's. I would think he might have been American showlines from the description of him. Purchased from a breeder in upstate New York.

PTE,AC,URO3,AG2,UCD Xtra!Xtra! v. TeMar CDX,GN,RE,CGC,TC,HIC, Bh "Havoc" 6/4/07
PAM, URO3, UCD, UACH Tidmores Rising Star Lydia "Mayhem" CD,BN,RE,AX,AJP,OFP,P1J,CA,DN,HT,TKN,TC,CGCA 4/4/12

Lucky, Wolf, Max, Kayos - gone not forgotten. gsdhalo

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#329208 - 02/10/15 02:28 PM Re: Let's talk about longevity or lack in the GSD [Re: Kayos]
Skywalker Offline

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 112
Loc: california
Likes: 3
It seems that dogs themselves, regardless of breed lines just live as long as they do. Healthy food, regular vet visits, love galore, it just happens. Same with people. Thats why every soul is unique. Ive lived and lost many animals. Its love and living well til we all cant.

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#332842 - 06/07/15 02:30 PM Re: Let's talk about longevity or lack in the GSD [Re: Kayos]
H@M Offline
New Member

Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 2
Loc: west jordan utah
Likes: 1
My first german shepherd, a black and tan named Morgan had a stroke on his 13th birthday and had to be put down. I just assumed that after age 8 or so every day was just icing on the cake.

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#332844 - 06/07/15 07:39 PM Re: Let's talk about longevity or lack in the GSD [Re: H@M]
MaxaLisa Offline

Global Moderator

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 19487
Loc: Northern CA
Likes: 256
Max was WGSL, and he was never a well dog. But starting at 4 or 5 weeks old, he was pumped with vaccine after vaccine, so he never really stood a chance. Stupid breeder and vets. He died at 10 1/2 due to hemangiosarcoma, but was very ill for about 8-12 months before that.

Aside from the environmental issues, which I believe ARE crucial, breeding I think is a huge part of longevity. Breed a line that runs low normal or low IgA (not uncommon in the breed), and you breed a dog that is lacking in mucosal defenses. How drugs are processed, and things we are susceptible is also partially genetic.

Max's sire died not too long after Max was sired, from some sort of cancer (I think), though I never learned of the details. He passed on some undesirable faults, from what I could learn. As Max's holistic vet told me after he passed, he was, in general, so deficient, it was bound to happen. I don't know a lot about his genetics, but I know they weren't stellar, and top that off with all those vaccines at such a young age, he really didn't stand a chance, but I kept him going as long as I could.
MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

Health Index
K9 TBD info and Tick List Links

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#333011 - 06/14/15 01:48 PM Re: Let's talk about longevity or lack in the GSD [Re: MaxaLisa]
Codmaster Offline

Registered: 05/14/10
Posts: 1614
Loc: CA
Likes: 50
Sorry about your loss - he sounds like a great dog!

Which vaccines was he pumped full of that you think had such a bad impact on him?

4-5 weeks is kind of young for some of the commonly given vaccines against some of the nasty things that can happen to dogs i.e. rabies for example.

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#333014 - 06/14/15 03:41 PM Re: Let's talk about longevity or lack in the GSD [Re: Codmaster]
MaxaLisa Offline

Global Moderator

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 19487
Loc: Northern CA
Likes: 256
Thanks CM.

They started the puppy series at 4 weeks, and vaxed him weekly - I have the records packed away so don't have the exact ones handy. It's not one vaccine, they just wrecked his immune system when it was maturing, and vaccines at such a young age are useless while they still have maternal antibodies. Poor guy. The one smart thing they did was wait until 6 months for the rabies.

I was fortunate that I had his vaccination schedule when I adopted him at 18 months, so I knew.
MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

Health Index
K9 TBD info and Tick List Links

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