Gerald P Murphy masthead

Murphy Foundation’s Research on Exceptional Longevity Featured in AKC’s Family Dog

“It’s a blessing to have a dog who wins big in the life span lottery.” This true statement signals the start of “The Oldest Old”, an article appearing in the Nov/Dec 2015 issue of AKC’s magazine Family Dog. The story, written by Mara Bovsun, presents a perspective on the special subset of dogs that live as long as 100-year-old people — the ultra-seniors.

Incredibly, these dogs side-step or delay the disease conditions that affect the lives of average dogs. And when it comes to studying the science behind this disease delay, the Murphy Foundation continues to lead the way. In 2003, we published in The Journal of Gerontology the first scientific paper on 21 ultra-senior Rottweilers. The research showed that the majority of these dogs have profound disease resistance, remaining totally disease-free until after reaching 13 years of age — the age equivalent to the 100-year mark in humans.

Today, Murphy Foundation scientists maintain their position at the head of the pack when it comes to probing the science behind highly successful aging. In 2016, The Murphy Foundation intends to publish results on how the oldest-old dogs delay diseases and compress morbidity. This consequential study represents the culmination of more than 6 years of dedicated scientific study, gathering data from more than 300 of these 100-year-old Rottweilers from across the U.S. and Canada.

Researchers want to find out just how these ultra-seniors do it, counting on these insights to help both pets and people dodge diseases and age more successfully. Read about this research committed to serving both pets and people in Mara Bovsun’s article “The Oldest Old”.

  • More about our aging research: Center for Exceptional Longevity Studies

  • The Old Grey Muzzle Tour: Learn from the oldest-living dogs

  • Dr. Waters' TEDx Talk: "The Oldest Dogs as Our Greatest Teachers: Get the Words Out of Your Eyes"