World’s oldest living dog turns 21
I ran across an interesting bit of dog trivia recently. The oldest dog on record was named Blue. He was an Australian Cattle Dog who lived to be 29.5 years old. He was born in Australia and died in 1939. There was really no explanation for Blue’s extraordinarily long life. He seemed to be an ordinary dog in every way, with ordinary parents and siblings. He was simply a very long-lived dog.
This week we’re celebrating the new world’s oldest living dog. Her name is Chanel and she’s a Wirehaired Dachshund cross who lives in New York. Chanel turned 21 years old on May 8 of this week. She celebrated with her owners, Karl and Denise Shaughnessy from Long Island. They like to dress her in little jumpers and “doggles” to protect her eyes from the sunlight.
Chanel is now recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest living dog. The previous record holder was Bella, a 29-year-old Lab cross from Britain. Bella passed away last September from a heart attack.
Chanel was adopted from an animal shelter in Virginia when she was only six weeks old.
Chanel is starting to look a bit frail, is hard of hearing and fighting a battle with cataracts but her physical impairments are small in comparison to her grand age.
She celebrated her birthday with a visit to the New York Dog Hotel and Spa where she was joined by some doggy friends.
Chanel’s vet Phillip Zangara, of the Roosevelt Animal Hospital in Port Jefferson Station, N.Y. said: ‘She’s the oldest dog we have ever seen.
‘She is defying every odd right now. I’m surprised at just about everything about her. She has the body of a six-year-old.’
Chanel has become slightly crotchety with age and has been known to snap a nip at strangers. But Denice says she still has a fairly calm disposition.
‘She doesn’t like to be bothered or have her face washed.
‘And she doesn’t let anybody hold her except me nowadays,’ she said.
Denice has thought about the future for her aged pooch. She hopes she will never have to make a decision to put her down/
‘I absolutely love her so much, and I am really just hoping that when it is time to go, she just goes in her sleep,’ she said.
Small breeds tend to live longer than large breeds of dogs. Toy breeds such as Chihuahuas, Toy Poodles, dogs such as Dachshunds and Whippets are considered to be the longest-lived purebred dogs. They frequently live between 15-17 years.
Giant breeds, such as Irish Wolfhounds, have a much shorter lifespan. They are considered elderly at nine years.
Medium-sized breeds, such as Labradors, English Springer Spaniels, Collies and many others, have a lifespan in between. They usually live between 10-12 years.
There is some confusion about whether purebred or mixed breed dogs live longer. It’s hard to make guesses with mixed breed dogs since only the well-cared for dogs who see a vet regularly are ever counted. But, in general, small, Toy purebreds live longer than mixed breed dogs. Mixed breeds have about the same lifespans as medium-sized purebred dogs. And mixed breed dogs, as a whole, live longer than the giant purebred dogs.
I have to wish a Happy Birthday to my own little Pearly-Pooh today. Pearl is two years old now. I hope she makes it to 21 and beyond, too. So far she’s spent the day snoozing while it rains outside. I’m going to make some dog treats for everybody a little later.
Here are the lifespans of some of the most popular breeds of dogs. Of course, no matter how long we have our dogs it’s never long enough.
American Cocker Spaniel 10 – 12 years
Beagle 11 – 13 years
Bichon Frise 10 – 13 years
Border Collie 12 – 14 years
Boxer 9 – 11 years
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 10 – 12 years
Chihuahua 13 – 15 years
Collie (Rough) 9 – 11 years
Doberman Pinscher 8 – 10 years
English Springer Spaniel 10 – 12 years
German Shepherd 10 – 12 years
Golden Retriever 10 – 13 years
Great Dane 7 – 10 years
Irish Wolfhound 6 – 7 years
Jack Russell Terrier 13 – 15 years
Labrador Retriever 10 – 12 years
Lhasa Apso 12 – 15 years
Maltese 11 – 13 years
Miniature Schnauzer 12 – 14 years
Poodle (Miniature) 12 – 15 years
Poodle (Standard) 10 – 12 years
Poodle (Toy) 12 – 15 years
Pugs 10 – 12 years
Rottweilers 8 – 10 years
Shetland Sheepdog 10 – 12 years
Shih Tzu 10 – 12 years
West Highland White Terrier 10 – 12 years
Yorkshire Terrier 11 – 13 years