When Does a Dog Start Turning Gray?

by Eleanor McKenzie Google
A Great Dane's dark muzzle is the first place you are likely to see gray hairs.

A Great Dane's dark muzzle is the first place you are likely to see gray hairs.

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Pooches, like people, display some outward signs of aging. Graying can be one of those signs, but it's not always one of the first. The appearance of gray hairs varies from breed to breed, and some dogs are more prone to premature graying.

Graying With Age

In general, dogs enter their senior years between the ages of 7 and 10 years of age, according to the ASPCA. Typically, you are likely to see the first signs of graying around the muzzle, particularly in breeds with dark coats or back muzzles. The dog's coat is likely to be less luxuriant than in his youth as he ages. Some breeds with a black mask, such as the Great Dane, may gray prematurely at around 5 years of age.

Doggy Genetics

Doggy genetics affect your pup's tendency to graying. Breeds with a Gg or GG genotype are more likely to have coats that lighten with age. Primarily these are long-haired breeds like the bearded collie, poodles and a variety of terrier breeds.

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About the Author

Based in London, Eleanor McKenzie has been writing lifestyle-related books and articles since 1998. Her articles have appeared in the "Palm Beach Times" and she is the author of numerous books published by Hamlyn U.K., including "Healing Reiki" and "Pilates System." She holds a Master of Arts in informational studies from London University.

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