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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I may have missed it but my wife recently told me she's heard that a full bread golden will not live as long as a mix. We had a golden mix that we lost 4 yrs. ago and it just about killed me. I am overly protective because I don't want to feel that pain again. Now we have two and they both seem to have little quirks with their health that KC, our mix did not. Can we take a poll on how long have you been able to share love with your golden's in the past and what are the ages of some members goldens @ this time. Thanks,
 

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Look for a breeder with proven longevity in their pedigrees.You will need to do your research, but they ARE out there.

There is no truth to the statement that a mix will live longer than a purebred. There are far too many variables that effect longevity to make a blanket statement like that.
 

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Now Caue's Dad Too!
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My previous two dogs were golden mixes. One lived to be 14 the other was diagnosed with Lymphoma at 8 years and I had to have her PTS shortly thereafter. Mutts do have the benefit of having fewer genetic defects due to inbreeding but still genetic problems due to poor breeding. (kink of like humans :D )
 

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Mutts do have the benefit of having fewer genetic defects due to inbreeding but still genetic problems due to poor breeding. (kink of like humans :D )

Be VERY careful how you interpret this statement. While "mutts" are generally the result of accidental breedings, this does open them to the possibility of inbreeding. Linebreeding, done by careful, responsible, and experienced breeders to produce quality purebred dogs, is not necessarily a bad thing, which this statement could be interpreted as meaning. Carefully done linebreedings, and even inbreedings, are done to STRENGTHEN genetic health. Taken at face value, a novice "doing their homework" and perhaps looking at pedigrees/clearances in K9 Data, for example, might think that seeing the same dogs in both sides of the pedigree is a bad thing - "inbreeding" which produces genetic defects. This is not necessarily the case.
Remember, too, that very few mutts are necrosied at time of death, so cause of death may never be known, thereby making the oft stated mantra "mutts are healthier" potentially a myth.
 

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I lost one Golden girl as young as age 10, but for the most part, they have lived between 12-17 years of age. To be fair, the 17 year old was many years ago.
 

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Angel Gage's Grandma
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My rescue golden Toby lived to be more than 15 years old. I have no idea who his breeder, if any, was. Gage lived to be about 12; Casey was 11. Don't know about Monty, as he stayed with my ex. Tia is now 8 (or will be next month). All of my dogs are rescues, so I have no information about their lineage or background.
 

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My golden mix Keisha, I had to have put to sleep due to horrible arthritis. She was 11 years young.

Tess, a girl that I had come into my life at 10 years old lived for another 2 1/2 years.

I don't want to think about my current dogs leaving me. I don't know how I will be able to handle it.
 

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Our family's first 2 purebred goldens were lost quite young. Ginny was 8 and Tara was 7. Both had horrible arthritis, major thyroid issues and were blind and deaf :( Our next purebred, Skokie, died at 4.5 from Lymphoma.

I'm hoping for much better luck with our current 2 boys - Skoker (2 yrs old) and Molson (6 months).
 

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Griff's a Muffin Thief!
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Our first Golden, Jake lived to his 17th Birthday. (See picture strip below.) His mother died at 8 from cancer and his father lived to be 14 1/2. The last 6 months he was in bad shape - thus the last pic in my siggy showing him at 16 1/2. I should have let him go then but he was our first and letting go was very hard as you all so well know.

The best you can do is find a breeder with longevity in their lines but fact of the matter is.. it's still a craps shoot. Everything for a reason - we just don't know what that reason is all the time.
 

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I lost one Golden girl as young as age 10, but for the most part, they have lived between 12-17 years of age. To be fair, the 17 year old was many years ago.

And we did see dogs living longer many years ago. This is why I believe that so much of it is environmental. This is not just a Golden Retriever issue. Many other breeds are seeing more cancer, and what people neglect to take into consideration is that the breeds that people and even vets say are "cancer machines", etc, are breeds that are more popular, so it makes sense that we'll see more. We're seeing more cancer in humans, as well...we've learned that so many envirnmental factors are contributory.
It has not been definitively proven that cancer is hereditary or familial, the jury is still out on that, but I look carefully at lines that seem to have more cancer and less longevity and stay away. I also believe in not over vaccinating - something I have been very cautious of for years. I still have dogs living well into their teens - 13, 14 is average.
 

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We lost Ryder at 10 years due to a heart problem.
The cardiologist said that it was not hereditary, just something he had, possibly was born with it.
It hurt like h*** when we had to put him down and I swore I would never go through that again.
Then Timber joined our lives and brought us back into the life of dogs.
Looking back, if I knew ahead of time what we would go through with Ryder, would I have gone through that??? Definitely!!! Not to have had that boy in our lives would have been worse than the pain we felt when losing him.
They are only lent to us for a time. We must enjoy them and be thankful that we have the honor of being a part of their lives.
 

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We lost Chip at 11 years to cancer. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to endure. But the happy years with him were absolutely worth it!
 

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"GO TARHEELS!!!"
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Mandy is almost 13 now and still going strong, although slowing down quite a bit. She is the first Golden that has owned me so I can't comment too much on the mixed/pure-bred question. I previously had German Shepherds and GSD mixes and can tell you that one GSD lived to 14, one to 12.5, one GSD mix to 10 and one GSD mix to 15.

In my humble opinion, it depends more on line history and environment than whether pure-bred or mix.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, thank you, this gives me some hope but there is bad news as well. I guess you can never make a blanket statement like that is the moral. KD and Karma were sisters and according to their breeder their mother died @ 6 when she gave birth to these two. The breeder said she was not sure what the mother died from but it was her third litter. I don't know much about breeding anything really (other than humans and my knowledge of that is limited) but it just seems to me that having three litters of puppies would take it's toll on a dog. Are there any breeders here that could weigh in? I guess I am OCD about their health because I don't want to feel the pain and heart break of losing another loved one, especially @ a young age.
 

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Grumpy Old Man
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Hi, I may have missed it but my wife recently told me she's heard that a full bread golden will not live as long as a mix. We had a golden mix that we lost 4 yrs. ago and it just about killed me. I am overly protective because I don't want to feel that pain again. Now we have two and they both seem to have little quirks with their health that KC, our mix did not. Can we take a poll on how long have you been able to share love with your golden's in the past and what are the ages of some members goldens @ this time. Thanks,

When looking at longevity, one must bring fair and realistic expectations to the table. As a rule of thumb, the larger the breed the shorter the life span. Many toy breeds have average life spans that near 20 years, most of the giant breeds can only expect eight to ten years.

Golden Retrievers typically live between ten and fifteen years, and they've been in that range in North America for at least the last 80 years. Some lines live a little longer, some a little less.

If you're bringing expectations that you want your next dog to live 15 years or longer, a retriever (of any breed) is not for you.

If you can accept as a premise the average life expectancy for the Golden Retriever, look for breeders who have a history of producing sound healthy dogs. If you're seeing gimpy dogs, dogs with allergies, or needs for special diets or supplements, go elsewhere for a dog.
 

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Murphy's mom
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When looking at longevity, one must bring fair and realistic expectations to the table. As a rule of thumb, the larger the breed the shorter the life span. Many toy breeds have average life spans that near 20 years, most of the giant breeds can only expect eight to ten years.

Golden Retrievers typically live between ten and fifteen years, and they've been in that range in North America for at least the last 80 years. Some lines live a little longer, some a little less.

If you're bringing expectations that you want your next dog to live 15 years or longer, a retriever (of any breed) is not for you.

If you can accept as a premise the average life expectancy for the Golden Retriever, look for breeders who have a history of producing sound healthy dogs. If you're seeing gimpy dogs, dogs with allergies, or needs for special diets or supplements, go elsewhere for a dog.
Very good post. We have to accept that part of the life cycle is death. There are no guarantees. Death happens to everyone and every living thing. But the joy and love of a pet keeps me coming back for more...even with the great pain of each and every loss.
 

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I've had more than my fair share of mutts in my lifetime, and as a whole there really wasn't much difference in life expectancy between the mutts and the purebred dogs, and we had some health problems with the mutts. One mutt had severe, severe, severe arthritis (at least partially a result of being hit by a car as a puppy, but I find it hard to believe the extent of her arthritis was all from that) and another had some pretty severe thyroid problems - so as others have said, mutts really aren't "healthier".

My golden rescue, Milly, is 10-11 and she is in great health, and seems to act younger everyday. I hope to have many more happy, wonderful years with her, and *knock on wood* there are no signs that I won't.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
After reading all the comments - it's sort of a good news/bad news thing. We all want our dogs to have a long healthy life but after losing KC to cancer after 15 years I was not in favor of getting another dog. My wife had this dream we would both have a golden girl of our own. It hasn't quite worked out that way but now that we have them I am fretful if one gets bit by a fire ant. I was shocked to learn KC had cancer but the doc told me that it's very common as stated above. Where I live in Florida (the town) 20 years ago was not very populated and the only industry was a large paint factory. I was informed by an investigator from the EPA that for many years the paint factory dumped their hazardous waste all around the area that was wooded. Now it's not wooded but populated so I wonder if by walking and constantly sniffing the ground she could have sniffed enough toxic waste to cause the cancer. I suppose every town has similar problems. We got our girls as stated from a breeder who seemed reputable but mom died @ 6 while giving birth to them and they each come with their own set of health problems - hopefully nothing serious so I worry there may be a genetic thing. I guess there's no way to tell. I will just enjoy them for as long as we can. thanks
 
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