Is the idea that 1 human year equal to 7 dog years real? Apparently, that is not true.
It is believed that the idea originated in 1268. During that time, a Judgment Day computation declared a 9:1 ratio– meaning dogs live up to 9 years-old while humans live up to 81. But in the 1950s, the ratio became 7:1 since the average human life span decreased and became 70. Dogs, on the other hand, lived until they are 10. Since then, this ratio has become the simplest way people use to calculate dog age.
But experts say that the 1 human year equals 7 dog years have no scientific basis. And if it were true, dogs would not be able to reproduce as soon as they turn 1 – but they do!
Dogs Age Differently According to their Breed and Size
The average life span of dogs is between 8 years and 16 years. Saying that 1 human year is equal to 7 dog years does not make sense since different dog breeds have different life spans and they do mature at different rates.
The idea that 1 human year is equal to 7 dog years was first opposed in 1953 by French scientist Lebeau. He argued that dogs do not mature at the same rate all their lives.According to the late scientist, dogs mature 15 to 20 times quicker than humans during their first year. After that, their growth rate slows down to a ratio of 1:5. And since dogs grow and mature at different rates, it won’t be right use the same scale on everybody.
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Through averaging, Lebaeau found that a 1-year-old dog is like a 15-year-old human. Then the aging rate slows down after that – with an average of 4 dog years in 1 human year.
How Old is Your German Shepherd?
Dogs of different breeds, sizes, and weights mature at different rates. To make it simple, smaller dog breeds age slower compared to larger dog breeds. To compute the real age of dogs, experts classified dog sizes into 4: small, medium, large, and giant.
- Small dogs are dogs weighing 20 pounds or less when fully grown. (ex. Yorkshire Terrier and Chihuahua)
- Medium dogs are dogs weighing 21 to 50 pounds when fully grown. (ex. Shiba Inu and Australian Shepherd)
- Large dogs weighing from 51 to 90 pounds when fully grown. (ex. German Shepherd and Rottweiler)
- Giant dogs are dogs weighing 90 lbs and above. (ex. Mastiff)
See the table below to know how each dog breed size ages!
So, how old is your German Shepherd?