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Back in the 1970s, Golden Retrievers routinely lived until 16 and 17 years old, they are now living until 9 or 10 years old. Golden Retrievers seem to be dying mostly of bone cancer, lymphoma and blood vessels cancer more than any other breed.

The Morris Animal Foundation has invested in a groundbreaking $25-million study with thousands of Golden Retrievers enrolled!

Owners and breeders are all awaiting important results so they can start focusing on specific characteristics when breeding the dogs.



The foundation said this study will help improve all dog breeds, because dogs of different breeds share more than 95% of their DNA.

What's your take on this, hopeful?
 

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Wow, not the Goldens I knew, in the US at least.

Here is an interesting study on age at death from 1970 through 2010

A Study of Golden Retriever Lifespan

A study of Golden Retriever Lifespans
The mean lifespan for the entire dataset of 5411 Goldens is 11.4 years. The plot below
indicates the mean life span of those who died in a given year. The next plot shows the number
in the dataset who died each year. 80% of the death dates are known to the day. If only the
month is given I assign the death date to the middle of that month. If only the death year is
stated I pick the middle of the year.

19% Lived 14 or more years.
0.5% lived 17 or more years.

12% lived 8 years or less.
 

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While I agree with some of the facts posted in the replies (you are right, half of 17 isn't 10) I do think that Morris Animal Foundation is doing a great deed. I think there work needs to be supported (although not exaggerated).

At the OP, you will be happy to know we have several existing threads on the Lifetime study, and many, many forum members have their goldens enrolled. I wish you luck in your support of the study!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I really don't think the actual statistic or headline should capture all the attention here... But rather the actual project of the study, quite a remarkable enterprise undertaken by the foundation. Regardless of the actual numbers, the golden retriever's life expectancy is plummeting and it has to be fixed...
 

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Grumpy Old Man
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That stat is getting thrown all over the dog web today. There's no clear evidence that Goldens' lives have shortened at all, much less by 50%. Anybody got any actual, y'know, data?
There was an article posed on several news sites over the last couple of days. I believe the author of that article misquoted one of the Vets who had a dog that lived 16-17 years, and translated that to the average for the breed was 16 - 17 years.
 

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Regardless of the actual numbers, the golden retriever's life expectancy is plummeting and it has to be fixed...
If you are disregarding the numbers, how do you know this is actually happening? I am extremely suspicious of anecdotal claims about the good old days when dogs ate table scraps and lived forever. All the actual data I've seen seems to indicate that the lifespan has been relatively static and pretty close to the median for dogs of the same size.

I think you will find that pretty much everybody here is totally supportive of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, but I don't think scaremongering and making up facts is a good way to support a scientific endeavor.

BTW - I think if we do see any overall loss of longevity, obesity is probably the simplest explanation. The Purina longitudinal study demonstrated pretty clearly that even being moderately overweight costs dogs 15-20% of their lifespan (~1.8 years in the labs in the study). So if obesity rates increased, even moderately, lifespan would show a noticeable drop.

I think the most likely scenario here is that medical care has improved and obesity has increased overall, so it's possible that there has been a reduction in longevity that is only mostly offset by improved medical care.

But at the end of the day, I don't think the numbers really exist once you get back to the 1980s and earlier, so we don't have a good dataset to make claims about changes in longevity over that long a period. The best indication that longevity in GRs hasn't changed much is that they are currently, as I said before, roughly at the median for dogs of their size. They would have to have been well above average 30 years ago to have experienced a major reduction in longevity by today.
 

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If you are disregarding the numbers, how do you know this is actually happening? I am extremely suspicious of anecdotal claims about the good old days when dogs ate table scraps and lived forever. All the actual data I've seen seems to indicate that the lifespan has been relatively static and pretty close to the median for dogs of the same size.

I think you will find that pretty much everybody here is totally supportive of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, but I don't think scaremongering and making up facts is a good way to support a scientific endeavor.

BTW - I think if we do see any overall loss of longevity, obesity is probably the simplest explanation. The Purina longitudinal study demonstrated pretty clearly that even being moderately overweight costs dogs 15-20% of their lifespan (~1.8 years in the labs in the study). So if obesity rates increased, even moderately, lifespan would show a noticeable drop.

I think the most likely scenario here is that medical care has improved and obesity has increased overall, so it's possible that there has been a reduction in longevity that is only mostly offset by improved medical care.

But at the end of the day, I don't think the numbers really exist once you get back to the 1980s and earlier, so we don't have a good dataset to make claims about changes in longevity over that long a period. The best indication that longevity in GRs hasn't changed much is that they are currently, as I said before, roughly at the median for dogs of their size. They would have to have been well above average 30 years ago to have experienced a major reduction in longevity by today.
Agreeing with 90% of your post (the parts not focusing on stats)

Obesity and quality of the manufactured food that most people feed their dogs with are probably where scientists should focus all their attention on..
 

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Kristy
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Thank you to the people who spoke up on this topic. I have read the article in a couple different places and was trying to come up with an instance of even one large breed dog that I remember from my youth that lived into it's teens and couldn't come up with a single one. Made me wonder where the data was on this and who the heck the author is,,, not much of a scientist basing this on an interview with one vet's anecdotal evidence.

I think we will come up with it being multiple factors, obesity being the biggest one and lawn pesticides being another, combined with genetics. My girl, Ellie, is enrolled in the study along with at least one sibling. I currently know one dog who has made it to 16 - a chocolate lab who is an OTCH/Mach named Remi and her owner spares no expense in her care and treatment, acupuncture, chiropractic etc.
 

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Since my Tiny made it to just short of 17, and my Toby days short of 14, in my statistical world the current life expectancy of a Golden is 15.5 years ;) ;)
 

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Grumpy Old Man
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I find the bell curve on the graph from the Undeniable Golden's website to closely mirror the life spans of the dogs we've produced over the last three decades. (between 11.5 to 14)

It may be a coincidence but I noticed a slight drop in average lifespan in our clients dogs, almost in direct proportion to the increase of early spay/neuter during that same time period. There was also a corresponding rise in obesity and hypothyroidism at the same time in the animals that were altered early. That drop in lifespan did not occur in the dogs that remained intact and produced litters.
 

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Kate
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Golden retrievers... at least when it comes to boys, you expect them to live 10-12 years. If you are familiar with sources like K9Data.com and talk to people who have been in the breed for ages, it wasn't exactly the norm for all golden retrievers to live well into their teens. :)

For that matter, when we lost our last golden - he was almost 13. And I found that to be a very common age (12-14) as far as all the people coming up and sharing their own experiences about the dogs they lost. That age is about that time when they are dealing with all kinds of stuff going wonky... and it's not really surprising that they develop tumors.

That said - environment likely affects the dogs more than most people like to think. Because it's easier to figure out different lines to bring home or blame breeders for their losses.... when they probably live in a bad area for pollution and or have lifestyles which affected the dogs health.

My gut feeling is that if people have multiple dogs of different backgrounds (different breeder, etc) who die early (before age 10) to cancer.... then there may be a separate cause for the cancer besides genetics. It may have something to do with toxins in the environment which the dogs lived.
 
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