Golden Retriever Health Survey
In 1998, the GRF funded the first comprehensive breed health survey in order to identify areas of focus. The primary objective was to describe the frequency and pattern of occurrence of health related conditions and causes of death in Golden Retrievers. A secondary objective was to relate physical traits, diet, environment, and personality of individual animals to certain diseases and longevity.
The GRCA Health and Genetics Committee and Dr. Larry Glickman from the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine developed the questionnaire used in the health survey. The GRCA mailed the questionnaire to all members and placed a copy on the Club’s web site. Each owner was asked to complete a separate questionnaire for up to five dogs that were alive on January 1, 1993. Seven hundred and forty six owners submitted usable responses directly to Purdue University for 1444 Golden Retrievers.
Results of the 1998 survey have led research scientists to conduct further studies, and have given baseline data that had been suggested but never before statistically proven. For example, the average lifespan of a Golden is 11 years, which is the same as for other breeds of the same height and weight. Males live an average of 6 months less than females. The most commonly reported health concern overall was skin and coat problems, while a statistically significant correlation was found between joint disease in adult dogs and their weight as puppies (obesity in puppies leads to increased orthopedic disease). The complete survey may be found here.
Although a brief follow-up survey was conducted in 2005, the results were not compiled in a statistical summary. As additional health surveys become available, GRF will post them to this site. A current survey supported by the GRCA Health and Genetics Committee is available on the OFA website. This survey is also not considered a scientifically valid study, but results will be used to determine future areas of interest for research support. If you would like to enter data for your Goldens in this survey, go to http://offa.org/surveys/survey_golden.html
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