Today, I viewed a trailer for the Herding Videos – Herding I, II and II we did in 1989.
One of the segments includes footage of Chiquita, a little blue Aussie I introduced to stock during the shoot. She had just turned one. It dawned on me that while she was only twelve months old in the video – she represented Longevity that was much more common in the breed when I was growing up. It wasn’t unusual to have a healthy and happy 15 or 16 year old Aussie. We lost her in 2006. Chiquita had lived to be 18 years old.
Sadly, too many Aussies are over and done at seven or eight years of age. There are numerous factors contributing to the early demise in dogs today. Some breeders who tend to breed for external appearance and performance and may be inclined to ignore longevity. Metabolic disorders including obesity are among the most common problems in the breed not to mention toxins in diet and the environment that didn’t exist early on. Even so, longevity is a trait that should be sought after and bred for.