Statistical analysis regarding the effects of height and weight on life span of the domestic dog

Res Vet Sci. 2007 Apr;82(2):208-14. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2006.06.005. Epub 2006 Aug 21.


This study was undertaken to determine the association between life spans and breed size in the dog, based upon data derived from the pet population. Seventy-seven American Kennel Club breeds were analyzed with data collected for more than 700 dogs. Multiple linear regression analysis was carried out with longevity as the dependent variable and height or weight as the independent variable. A negative correlation was observed between height and longevity (r=-0.603, p<0.05), and between weight and longevity (r=-0.679, p<0.05). Weight was the significant predictor of life span (p<0.001), revealing that breeds smaller by weight generally live longer than heavier breeds. These data form the ground work for investigations of aging utilizing the dog as a model and provide owners with a quantitative method for predicting lifespan of dog breeds, thereby aiding in pet selection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Dogs / growth & development
  • Dogs / physiology*
  • Female
  • Longevity / physiology*
  • Male