Ever wondered how old your dog is in DOG YEARS?
As always our insight here offers valuable pointers for all dog breeds and mixes, see below.
So now HERE we have:
- Dog Years?!
- Dog Years Calculator
- Dog Years vs Dog Lifespan
- Better Dog Age Calculator
- Feeling Old vs Being Considered Old vs Life Expectancy
- Actual Factors Determining Dog Age
- Best Dog Years Calculator
Follow along to gauge German Shepherd Age - and really, ANY DOG AGE.
What's your dog's age in Dog Years?
NOT how old we people think the dog is, aka that pub gospel "One human year equals 7 dog years...", but rather how old the DOG FEELS?
All this is regardless of dog breed or mix. Don't let "blogs" tell you "dog years depend on breed", they do not: Dog lifespan depends a bit on breed, and so that has its own page at The Cynology Hub MyGermanShepherd.Org.
Because German Shepherd AGE and really any DOG AGE is about the number of DOG YEARS at this point in time.
You see the difference?
Dog Years Calculator
As a child you too probably learned that one human year is seven dog years, right?
Oh well, as children we've been presented with a lot of myths, haven't we?
Myth because the basis for that "pub gospel" dog age calculation goes like so:
- "on average dogs reach about 10ys of age..." (today!)
- "on average people reach about 70ys of age..." (back at the time!)
- "so, let's say 1 dog year equals 7 human years..."
To offer some variety to that old "pub talk myth" every dog years calculator I found online then simply multiplies the result by a factor derived from the size of the dog breed.
Example: the dog age calculator on that "pet poisoning site" pedigree.com.
Because, yes, size matters for dog age: how old a dog feels depends on factors including dog size. BUT: size is just one of many many factors! And size is a small one, excuse the pun.
And more importantly, did you notice?
They all confuse DOG AGE with Dog Lifespan!
Dog Years vs Dog Lifespan
But MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG is The Cynology Hub, not one of those pet-"food"-industry-sponsored-"blogs" that sadly today dominate Google & Co!
So further below WE HERE will even reveal the actual factors determining dog age, and so, dog years.
But before we can get into the meat we have to prepare the meal, so to say: You need some background info.
Better Dog Age Calculator
In the 1950ies a French veterinarian, Monsieur LeBeau, came up with a slightly more sensible answer than the "pub gospel" at the top that we all learned as children, just not in the pub.
As veterinarian, LeBeau's dog age calculation considers sexual productivity and biological life stages.
Since dogs are dogs not people, Monsieur LeBeau's dog age calculation no longer uses a proportionate scale: proportionate to human years, like 1 equals 7.
His proposed dog age calculation is slightly better, preciser:
- Up to 12 months of age, each month is equivalent to 1.25 human years. So, a four month old German Shepherd puppy is about as mature as a 5 year old child, and a 12 month-old adolescent dog is as mature as a 15 year old teenager.
- Between 12 months of age and 24 months of age, each month is equivalent to 0.75 human years. So, an 18 month old German Shepherd dog is about as mature as a 20 year old adult, and a 24 month-old GSD is as mature as a 24 year old adult.
- From 24 months of age, it is assumed that it is acceptable to use a proportionate relationship. Now each dog year translates to four human years. So, a 9 year old dog is assumed to feel as old as a 52 year old person, and a 12 year old German Shepherd would feel like a 64 year old person...
Phew, did you notice though?
LeBeau's dog-age calculation results in dog deaths at a younger age than with the "one human year is seven dog years" myth!
- a dog that reaches 15 years of age is just 76 human years old as per LeBeau
- but 105 years old according to the simple "one human year is seven dog years" shortcut.
Also, as today the majority of German Shepherds die before age 11, according to LeBeau's slightly more detailed dog age calculator GSDs today live shorter lives than a dog owner who dies before age 60! Ie way before retirement age!
This insight directly leads us to:
Feeling Old vs Being Considered Old vs Life Expectancy
- Like everyone else, LeBeau too made the mistake to confuse current dog age with expected dog lifespan
- Yet LeBeau was the first to consider biological life stages, a major breakthrough for assessing dog years and thus dog age!
- On the contrary, LeBeau ignored the impact of "size, weight, and breed" - those minor factors that today's veterinarian bloggers solely focus on, wrongly.
- More importantly though, like everyone else LeBeau missed the key factors that determine dog years and dog age!
You see again: The Cynology Hub MyGermanShepherd.Org brings brains to all things dog.
So much needed! Because so much CRAP gets sold and published!
And THAT, my dear reader, is only guaranteed when you subscribe to the wealth of life-saving insights on MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG!
All the affiliate crap I encounter when googling is proof of that.
Actual Factors Determining Dog Age
Certainly NOT "primarily size, weight, and breed" as "aging expert" David J. Waters and others want to make us believe.
Best Dog Years Calculator
So now you may wonder, is there any way to apply years to the factors that determine Dog Age in general, or German Shepherd Age in particular?
- Can we apply a number of years to how much pain or discomfort a dog feels? Do you even notice if your dog is in pain, and how much, compared to the prior year?
- Can we apply a number of years to the dog feeling less enthusiastic, less playful, or outright a lot more lonely or bored, compared to the prior year?
- We can certainly apply a number of years to the degree of freedom that the average dog experiences:
- It may even be feasible to apply a number of years to how many more new places the dog gets to explore, versus how beaten the track around the blocks is...
- Easiest is to apply a number of years to the size and weight of the dog in order to gauge the likelihood of experienced pain or discomfort resulting from joint problems
- And for me, it is possible to gauge German Shepherd Age from looking at the dog, reading its eyes, and seeing the dog walk.
But none of that is anywhere near "accurate", that's clear. This is why the best dog age calculator is in your mind now that you know all the factors that need consideration!
So, what's your dog's story?
What do you think how old YOUR dog is? How old does your dog FEEL based on your observation of pain, the degree of boredom, the number of new adventures or familiar smells, etc?
Share your story here. Add a photo of your dog too.
And if you keep the dog's age a secret, others can even take a guess of your dog's age. Now that would be exciting!
For example, can you guess how old THIS dog on the photo there is?
And do you have a hunch how many dog years he FEELS?
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