This comes from the Egenvall study on dog longevity, which examined the mortality of 350,000 dogs that were insured by a Swedish dog insurance firm. The study compared relative mortality of various breeds.
Goldens come out pretty well, which surprises me. Here is their mortality curve.
I thought they would have higher tumor mortalities than that.
Here’s how the compare to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a dog that descends from one individual.
Cavaliers have lots of problems. The worst is mitral valve disorder which gives the dogs a continuous severe heart murmur. The dogs are usually diagnosed in middle age (for normal dogs), and if they’re show dogs, they’ve alread been bred.
Another breed with problems, the Irish Wolfhound:
This breed lives on average 7 years, and many die younger. Cancer is a big problem in the Irish Wolfhound.
All graphs and more detailed analysis can be found at terrierman’s blog.
BTW, the Irish Wolfhound should not be confused with the actual breed form Ireland that killed all the wolves in that country. That breed went extinct in the late eighteenth century, when the wolves died off. No wolves meant this breed had no real purpose, so it disappeared. A Scotsman named Captain Graham recreated this breed by crossing the Great Dane (German mastiff, a descendant of the wolfhound and probably very similar to the original wolfhound, which often was described as smooth-haired), the Scottish Deerhound (a rough-haired greyhound often mistaken for the wolfhound), and the borzoi (Russian wolfhound).
BTW, the BBC is airing a documentary about the damage that closed registries, inbreeding, and conformation shows are doing to domestic dogs. It is called ”Pedigree Dogs Exposed.” Clips can been seen here, here, and a debate here. BTW, that’s Mark Evans of Animal Planet’s “Barking Mad” who is acting as the RSPCA spokesperson vet. It’s an excellent show that shows people how to correct behavior problems in animals humanely.
Mark Evans is catching some flak for calling some purebred dogs “mutants.” But that’s what they are. They are exaggerated mutations, which are exaggerated in dogs because of tandem repeats in their DNA sequence.
The BBC may cut its relationship with Crufts. The documentary has caused a great deal of controversy in Great Britain, and my guess is it won’t be long until it causes change here.