At what age do dogs start to `slow down?`

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

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Barked: Tue Oct 25, '05 7:28am PST 
Hello all smile
Just talking to my cousin, whose beautiful chocolate lab is starting to deteriorate in health. He is 11 now, and has a type of dementia thing, but he has had a lot of trouble on stairs and walking since he was about 9 or 10.

This always worries me, because I am not looking forward to this with Takiah!! frown Now, I realize there can be huge differences, depending on the dog, the breed, and the size, but on average, at what age did you guys notice your dogs started to `slow down` a little. Not really serious, just a the usual aging thing
Takiah is almost 8 years old now, but so far she seems the same as when she was younger. She is still easily able to run 40 miles a week, she has quick reflexes, and she still has her `hypers` most days where she goes nuts and runs around the yard with her butt low barking and growling!! The only small thing I have noticed is sometimes when she stands up from lying down her first few steps are a little stiff.

When should I expect to see her really slow down, and is it usually a sudden thing, or a very gradual one? I know it is hard to generalize, but what are your experiences?

Good Boy
Barked: Tue Oct 25, '05 8:06am PST 
I'm not showing any signs of slowing down yet and I'm 10 years old.
We compete at agility and we've seen dogs at 12 years of age competing over 2'6" jumps and it's not just us Border Collies, there was a 12 year old dog that won the ABC (Anything But Collies) class at Olympia last year. There are Veterans classes for dogs over 9 years over lower jumps for dogs that can't cope with the higher jumps, but can still have fun.
Ben -In- Memory

Life life to the- fullest
Barked: Tue Oct 25, '05 8:17am PST 
Ben started slowing down around 10 years old, but didn't have any health problems until about 12.
Lucy started slowing down around 8. She's 10 now and when she wakes up you have to give her a few minutes. And she can't walk as much.


Barked: Wed Oct 26, '05 5:43am PST 
Thanks for your insight! Nice to know there are still old dogs who are so active! I figured 10 years was maybe the `starter` year for the old age to kick in.

Do you supplement with anything extra as your dog ages? A lot of people start giving glucosamine and chondroitin for example....I haven`t had any joint problems, but maybe it is better to prevent it before it happens??
Ben -In- Memory

Life life to the- fullest
Barked: Wed Oct 26, '05 10:06am PST 
Ben didn't take any supplements, but he had arthritis so we did massaging and heat. He also took aspirin in his last few years as he had CHF and needed to thin the blood.
Lucy isn't on anything as of yet. She still troops along.We do have Hayley on glucoasmine but that's because she's at high risk of HD.

Energizer Bunny
Barked: Wed Oct 26, '05 6:57pm PST 
I'm about 14 or 15, and I only have a little arthritis. I can still run and play with Kallie and Sher, and you sure won't see me slowing down! Well, maybe I'll stop doing too much when I'm 16. I think that as long as your human keeps you in good shape, you don't have any serious medical problems, and you take glucosamine, you'll do fine smile. I'm not planning on slowing down anytime soon!
Jiggs..In Memory 1984-1999

Where's the- water???
Barked: Wed Oct 26, '05 7:13pm PST 
I think it really depends on the dog.......
Jigg's started to get a little stiff in the joints around 14 years old and we put him on Glucosmine......
He seemed a little stiff in the mornings but after a few hours he was his usual self and it was hard to slow him down......
Actually he never did slow down until the morning he died, and all of a sudden he just collapsed and couldn't get up again.
We were told by the vet at that time that a dog can "hide" his/her problems and that you are never really aware there is something wrong in a lot of cases.
Tyger- -Beloved- (1978-1996)

Tyger - Fear my- symmetry!!!
Barked: Thu Oct 27, '05 10:22am PST 
I was 16. I'd had a few episodes of, well I don't know what to call it, I started acting like my water dish was possessed. I'd bark at it and wouldn't turn my back on it. Dementia? when I was 15. Started the cataracts and hearing loss at 16. Had a TIA at 18 and stroked out 5 months later.

I'm not- spoiled..mom's- just well- trained
Barked: Thu Oct 27, '05 4:04pm PST 
Slowing down is a very gradual thing, unless there's some sort of injury involved (at least in my experience, and I've had to put down 3 dogs).

My old Toby, an Irish Setter who had to be put down at 14 1/2, showed his first sign at age 7. It was just a small thing. He stumbled when he was running up the stairs. He would just run up and down those stairs, but when I saw that, I remember thinking, "Oh, there's the first sign." But he lived to be 14 1/2!!!

Jes and Jake deteriorated slowly too. Jes developed degenerative disk disease in her back and Jake had degenerative arthritis of the elbow. They also lived long lives (14 1/2 and 12 1/2 respectively) and were on a glucosimine/condtrytin (sp?) supplement for their joints. Later, of course, that wasn't enough and they started on Remedyl and Edogesic (I don't know if I spelled those correctly either), and progressed to steroids.
Keiko- (4/8/98-12/5- /12)

Queen fuddy- duddy
Barked: Thu Oct 27, '05 4:16pm PST 
I guess I was confused at first by your question. I was going to answer, and then saw all the other posts listing such older dogs. So I will say this.

I have never had any dogs over 14, and that was the family dog and not mine. Keiko started slowing down around 4. That's when she matured and wasn't wild and crazy anymore. But at 7 1/2, she can still run with the best of them if she feels like it, although she mostly prefers to watch nowdays. Her energy level has increased some in the last 2 weeks, due to a combination of 1) its cooler, in the summer she really is lazy. 2) She has lost 2 lbs (YAY!!) and 3) we started her recently on glucosamine/chondroiton. I hope for her to live another 7 1/2 years.

I expect Gunther to start slowing down from old age by the time he is 5-7, since great dane life expectancy is around 8-10. He is not quite 1 yet, so we still have many good years left.
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