Tom Hanks as the human equivalent of a Labrador retriever
December 2, 2019 10:49 PM   Subscribe

My dog Winston, a 1-year-old pit bull mix, is a sleek, muscular beast at the peak of his physical abilities. According to the well-known rule by which we convert one dog year into seven human years, Winston is about the same developmental age as my 6-year-old twins. But in contrast to Winston’s athleticism, the twins are clumsy, cuddly little goofballs with a lot of growing up to do. Now, new research by a team of geneticists and biologists at the University of California, San Diego and elsewhere explains the discrepancy. […] By their calculation, Winston isn’t 7; he’s pushing 30. Wapo | non-Wapo
posted by Johnny Wallflower (5 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
In retrospect, that makes total sense, given that dogs can get pregnant at 6 months old. Would be pretty ridiculous for someone who’s developmentally a toddler (7/2 = 3.5) to be having babies.
posted by mantecol at 11:26 PM on December 2, 2019

I took their list of corresponding ages in Figure 2 and did some curve fitting to get the new rule. Take the number of dog years and apply the natural logarithm. We'll call that D for "dogarithm". Then the human-year equivalent H = 3.11*D^2 + 12.99*D + 15.94.

So, for example, my precious pupper is 2.25 years old. D = ln(2.25) = 0.81. Then H = 3.12*(0.81^2) + 12.99*0.81 + 15.94 = 28.52 human years. However, she's still a puppy to me.
posted by Jpfed at 11:31 PM on December 2, 2019

Note that they did the study entirely with Labrador retrievers. The smallest breeds live about twice as long as the largest breeds (15-16 years vs. 7-8 years). This affects the late-in-life milestones more than the early-in-life milestones, leading to this Wikipedia chart based on this WebMD article.
posted by clawsoon at 3:41 AM on December 3, 2019 [5 favorites]

The very largest breeds are also slower maturing, particularly physically. It would be interesting to see that curve for dogs maturing larger than 90lbs as well. There's a big, big difference in mean lifespan between a 50lb Lab and a 110lb Dane.
posted by sciatrix at 4:21 AM on December 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

Rush not, my puppers, into doggohood.
posted by Splunge at 10:46 AM on December 3, 2019 [5 favorites]

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