Tag: Dan Gomez

How old is your dog?

Dan sends me a more accurate calculation.

Dear Dan and I recently had an email ‘conversation’ about the conversion of dog years to human years. Then, yesterday,  as in Thursday, he sent me the following article from ZME Science.

Enjoy!

ooOOoo

Here’s a better way to calculate dog years – backed by science.

Lets’s face it, 1 for 7 years is not accurate.

November 21, 2019

By Mihai Andrei

The formula is about mid-way through the article, and it includes a simple calculator.

We learn, as kids, to approximate dog age thusly: one dog year for seven human years. That’s a decent approximation in some cases, but the more you think about it, the more it starts to fall apart.

All dog breeds tend to follow a similar pattern: they reach puberty at 10 months old. Right off the bat, it’s clear that the approximation doesn’t work here, as humans don’t really reach puberty at 6 years. Dogs can also reach 20 years or even more, and 140 years has never been recorded for a human. All in all, while it can give a ballpark estimate, the 7-for-1 approach falls short in many regards.

But now, researchers have come up with a much more accurate formula to assess dog age in human years. This one, at least, is backed by science.

It started as a way to detect factors associated with dog aging, and it focused on a relatively new concept: DNA methylation. The idea is that as we age, our DNA undergoes chemical modifications which can be used as a sort of genetic clock. It’s a way of looking at our body’s wear and tear, as the influence of diseases and unhealthy lifestyle can also be observed (to an extent) with this approach.

It’s not just humans that have epigenetic clocks. Other species have them too — including dogs. Geneticist Trey Ideker of the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues, analyzed the DNA methylation patterns in the genomes of 104 dogs (all golden retrievers), ranging from 4 weeks to 16 years of age. Although just golden retrievers were analyzed, the patterns are very similar for all breeds.

There were remarkable similarities between the DNA methylation of dogs and humans. Although the two species diverged a very long time ago, dogs live in similar environments to humans, and they even have access to similar healthcare.

Simply put, the patterns of DNA methylation in young dogs tended to be similar to those in young humans — the same goes for older dogs and older humans.

Finally, the study also demonstrates that these patterns can be used to translate the age-related physiology of one organism (in this case, dogs) to another organism (humans).

The formula is not linear, and is not exactly simple, but here it is:

Human Years = 16 ln(Dog Years) + 31,

where ln is the natural logarithm.

Inputs

Dog_years:

Outputs

Human_years:

-∞

Powered by JSCalc.io

 

Logarithmic function for epigenetic translation from dog age (x-axis) to human age (y-axis). Tom Hanks for scale. Image credits: Wang et al

The natural logarithm is used because dogs and humans don’t age similarly. Dogs seem to age very quickly in the first part of their life (which is why the age of young pups seem very weird translated into human years), but their ageing process slows down massively compared to that of humans. So the translation dog to human years cannot be linear — it is logarithmic. When your dog is 1 year old, he’s approximately 30 in human years. When he’s 2 years old, he’s 42. He’s around 60 human years by the time he’s 6, but only 70 by the time he’s 12.

It’s a weird thing to wrap your mind around and it is definitely not a perfect translation from dog years to human years, but it works much better than all existing alternatives. It also works to explain why some dogs reach sexual adolescence as early as 6 months old — the onset for that is around 10-14 years for humans. Dogs are adolescent until about 2 years, which in humans lasts until 25 years old. Then, maturity for dogs is around 2-7 years, and for humans around 25-50 years. Similar calculations (but with a slightly different formula) can be carried out for other animals, including cats and mice, researchers conclude.

The study can be read in its entirety for free on biorXiv.

ooOOoo

M’mmm, I think I need a little more time to absorb that!

Rattlesnake Aversion Training

Following on from yesterday’s post.

In yesterday’s post that was about Dan’s dog, Lexi, Dan offered:

She had Rattlesnake aversion training last year in Palm Springs and did very well. She ran a gauntlet of four snakes to learn sound, site and smell.

The company that Dan used was Natural Solutions in Palm Springs.

I haven’t had the time yet to contact them to see if they can provide material of general interest to you.

But I did find the following video on YouTube that seemed to be interesting. (But note that I have no knowledge good or bad about the company and there are many other companies offering aversion training.)

All about Lexi!

Lexi is a wonderful young dog.

Those poor souls who keep on calling in to this place will most likely be aware of my very long-term friend Dan Gomez.

For all of the nearly forty years that I have know Dan he has always had a dog in his life.

Just a few days ago, Dan sent me an email with some pictures of Lexi, a young dog that he has had since she was a puppy.

Lexi! (Photograph taken at the Sante Fe ski basin.)

Or in Dan’s words:

Lexi has been a magnificent example of an adventurous Flat-Coated Retriever.

She’s a wonderful hiker, swimmer, hunter and a great greeter on the trail. She’s happiest when she has her leash clenched in her teeth, parading around from person to person before continuing on her way.

What a great breed these dogs are!

Lexi came from the Brazilian breeder Keli: “Keli is the breeder, a fantastic Brazilian living in a wonderful estate in the hills of San Jose.“; to use Dan’s words.

Apparently, Keli plans for pups that year were taken out of her hands. For the reason that Lexi’s parents, Schmee and Party, decided to creep off into the bushes one day, and:

Schmee and Party are the popular names for the sire and dam and they were free from the kennel one day when Keli was off on a trip and they mated. So, the pups were “accidents”.  But, most assuredly, great accidents!

As Keli’s website explains:

Schmee x Party

Born October 11, 2015

7 girls, 3 boys

Pedigree

J Litter Gallery

While this repeat of our G litter was not planned … We welcomed these ten pups with open arms after seeing the success of the 3 intact G puppies and the stories from owners of other G pups who just adore their dogs.  Not surprising at all, based on Schmee and Party being complete mushballs who just want to hold on to you, be with you and be loved by you.  This litter has surprised and delighted us already with three pointed puppies … Juice, Callie & Popper in their first year of showing.  I cannot wait to see what 2017 holds for them.

Introducing …

Saudades’ Juicy Fruit aka The Juice

Saudades’ Just Do It aka Lexi

Saudades’ Jaboticaba aka Callie

Saudades’ Jelly Belly aka Imogene

Saudades’ Jumbalaya aka Olivia

Saudades’ Jundiai aka Stella

Saudades’ Jasmine Jubilee aka Jasmine

Saudades’ Jewel for Tomme aka Banks

CH Saudades’ Jalapeno RN CGC aka Popper

Saudades’ Jalisco aka Buck

Dan’s email closes:

She will be three in October and her health and performance has been great. She had Rattlesnake aversion training last year in Palm Springs and did very well. She ran a gauntlet of four snakes to learn sound, site and smell.

She’s had two rattler encounters. On one hike, she encountered a rattler, approached it but stopped on a dime when it rattled loudly. I was someway behind, heard the rattle and whistled to her and she backed away, came immediately to me.

Nature vs. training worked perfectly.

We are still hiking two times daily between 3 and 7 miles total all over the West. Addicted.

Schmee and Party were a great “accident”!

Garden of Gods, Colorado

oooo

Sheridan, Wyoming.

Again and again, our lives are so incredibly enriched by having a dog (or six) in our lives!