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Common Health Risks

Can a human actually guarantee the health of another living being? Do vets guarantee health of the dogs and puppies they care for? Can breeders guarantee owners are giving their all in regards to raising a dog? Do human doctors guarantee health of their human patients at yearly exams?


The best answer is no. Humans are unable to completely control the health of another human or animal. It is important to understand that owning an animal comes with uncontrollable health related issues. In specifics, anyone owning a golden is accepting the risks. Most of us know very well that there is no absolute guarantee of good health in a dog due to factors beyond our control including genetics, accident, environmental, etc. It is easy to forget that breeders are only human, so beyond doing our due diligence and testing our dogs or buying from tested lines, there is only so much we can control. That being said, it is important to know the risks and common health problems that arise in certain breeds and find a breeder who is aware and educated on these.


Specific breeds generally carry increased risk for certain health conditions, and buyers should make sure they find a breeder who is testing for all of the recessive genes that are common in breeds and is able to converse intelligently regarding these health conditions. Unfortunately, it is important to understand that not every disease and health problem will have a test (like cancer), but it is important to find a breeder who knows what they are doing and can educate their buyers regarding these risks and who is ready to educate on new research. On the flip side, it is important for owners to be diligent on what they are providing in terms of proper nutrition, exercise and to be diligent with puppy growth and the vets guidelines of health.

Golden retrievers have major health risks that we are unable to test for a recessive gene in, therefore are unable to guarantee the presence of it popping up randomly in golden retrievers:

Please click on each work to go to a page describing each condition

Below are the recessive genes we can test for and are able to guarantee avoiding them in our dogs.

1. Degenerative Myelopathy 

Aliases: Canine degenerative myelopathy, DM

2. Ichthyosis (Golden Retriever Type)  1&2

3. Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Golden Retriever 1 

Aliases: GR-PRA1, GR1-PRA

4. Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Golden Retriever 2

Aliases: GR-PRA2, GR2-PRA

5. Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Progressive Rod-Cone Degeneration


6. Neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses

Aliases: NCLs

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