Golden Retrievers had died much too young. Portions of this post were first published in 2006.)
It’s not hard to see why Golden Retrievers are among the most popular breeds in the U.S. year in and year out. They’re cuddly cute as puppies and beautiful as adults. They’re great around kids, energetic, intelligent, intensely loyal and easy to train. In fact, they often train their owners.
But American golden retrievers are also are ticking time bombs. An extraordinary six of every 10 Goldens succumb to cancer well before living to the once typical 12- to 16-year life expectancy. The mortality rate for other dog breeds, as well as for humans, is three in 10.
While any dog that has lived beyond its normal reproductive years is at increased risk for cancer and Goldens are not alone compared to other breeds in this regard, anecdotal evidence suggests that an inordinate number of Goldens are dying before they reach middle age.
The outlines of the Golden epidemic have been clear for over 10 years, but organizations like the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA), while on the one hand funding studies on and supporting research into the cancers, have done little or nothing to rein in greedy member breeders who play God in knowingly selling interbred, cancer-prone puppies to unsuspecting buyers who end up heartbroken.
Click here to read more.