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Discussion Starter #1
A recent thread has got me thinking (or rethinking) about how I look at my dogs and their age. Tessa will be 9, Della will be 6 and I guess I think of them as older middle aged and young middle aged. Other people think of their 9 years old dogs as senior. My 1st dog, GSD/Elkhound mix lived to 14, my 1st lab also 14, I guess that's been kind of my mind frame plus Tess acts like the 6 year. She jumped into the bed of our Nissan Frontier the other day without any problem, it's easily a 40 inch jump from a standstill. I was wondering what other people think or how their dogs act.
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i remember the thread, and i almost responded to you there. my shepherds have lived to 13.... both in great shape until their last year respectively. Tilden never really turned grey so it caught me off guard when he started slowing down - i essentially “forgot” he was a senior. i haven’t referred to any of them as seniors really until 10. Keystone turns 7 tomorrow and there’s practically no difference from when he was 3. so i agree... for me, both 6 and 9 are still middle aged, 9 being borderline i suppose.
 

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It's appalling, but AKC lists GSD lifespan at 7-10 yrs now! My dogs have always lived longer. I did notice some minor slowing after 10, but 6?, that's still the prime of life in my view, even by the new norm.

I can't help but wonder about the question though. If the consensus was that 9 was senior, what would you do differently?
 

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I can't think of anything I'd do differently. Maybe I should have done a poll on how longevity. I just am expecting (hoping) she'll be with me for quite a while.
 

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Well Lex was still running miles with a bike at 9, Bud was still hurtling fences at 11, Sabi was still working at 10. They passed at 12,14 and 13 respectively. Shadow at 9 is definitely a senior, but a young one if that makes sense. With her issues I am thrilled she has lived this long.
I think that age is just a number and there are other factors to consider. Just like people, we need to consider genetics, health, lifestyle and plain old dumb luck.
Lex had good genetics but crappy luck. Multiple placements, at least two instances of near starvation, several injuries, a caused anxiety issue that led to medication. Ultimately she died of a cardiac issue, non genetic.
Bud had good genetics, a crappy time from 8 weeks to 11 months but a good life otherwise. He was kept intact, kept in shape and well cared for. I don't know what took him down so fast in the end. But 14 is certainly a good life. Genetically speaking both he and Lex died young for those lines with dogs living to 15 or so and bitches commonly exceeding 16.
Sabi with unknown and probably bad genes was overall healthy most of her life, not spayed until 3 and kept fit and active.
Shadow? Who knows. I take every day as a blessing and hope for many more. I think 9 is far too young to be thinking about the end, but no one ever promised tomorrow.
 

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Sorry for previous post, I don't know what I did, or how, to loaded the 3 photos. I'm 'challenged' when it comes to computer technology, (apart from shopping). With the long term meds Nitro has been on, I'm hoping they haven't reduced his life span.
 

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I can't think of anything I'd do differently. Maybe I should have done a poll on how longevity. I just am expecting (hoping) she'll be with me for quite a while.
Still happy and playing? No reason to think otherwise. Enjoy her, she ain't going nowhere soon. Just wondering...

Let her tell you when it's time...she will, and you won't have any doubt...
 

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Lost our last one at 10.5 yrs to cancer. You just never know. Now I'll look at days/months/years past that as a bonus.
 

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My girls are 10. Zoey can still out pace/run our 2 year old male. Not sure how long she will keep this up, but I'm taking everything I can get. We are currently working up our mileage to condition for spring hikes. Our nearby state park offers a fair bit of good, but very rocky terrain for conditioning. Zoey's sister Tuke is oversized and has some arthritis from an old injury to her front middle toes. She broke them earlier in life jumping off our deck. She will still push herself so we have to set limits for her.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Tessa is definitely our most active, that can only help her. My husband brought up getting a puppy this summer. Tess was so good about showing boundaries to Dell, it makes sense and I'm tempted. Their full sister from a different litter should be having pups in April. This would be the closest to them as we could get. I'm leaning that way.
 

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I didn’t consider Carly “old” at 10. She slept a little bit more, and didn’t fling herself on my bed like she used to, but she didn’t seem old at all.
 
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