Ageing

No. While the average age that dogs hit ‘senior’ is seven years, is varies from breed to breed. In general, giant breeds tend to age early, and their life expectancy is usually less than 10 years. Large and medium-sized breeds have a life expectancy of 11-14 years. Small dogs can live 15 years or more.

When you understand the changes your dog is going through, it can help you to compassionately and effectively deal with any behaviour problems that may arise. Is he or she affected by extreme heat and cold? Is their movement slower or stiffer? Do you sometimes think they can't hear or see you as well as before? Is their coat less shiny, or is there some hair loss? Do allergies seem more severe, or wounds slower to heal? Then your pal could be feeling their age.

Not looking after themselves as well as they used to, forgetting commands and good habits like toilet training, increased anxiety or aggression, loss of interest in play or exercise, or simply preferring soft furnishings to hard floors! If your dog’s behaviour does change significantly, you should see your vet. Don’t assume that it’s just part of getting old and nothing can be done to help them. The behaviour may be the sign of a treatable medical disorder.