The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, part of the Canine Lifetime Health Project funded by Morris Animal Health Foundation, is largest and most comprehensive observational study attempted in veterinary medicine.
Launched in 2012, the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study (GRLS) is the first prospective longitudinal study attempted in veterinary medicine. By 2015, 3044 privately owned, purebred golden retrievers had been enrolled in the observational study, the goal of which is to identify the major dietary, genetic, and environmental risk factors for cancer and other important diseases in dogs. Now, for the first time, specific information has been publicized about the characteristics of the participating dogs.
The data, published in Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, focuses on the demographics of the study’s cohort and their initial visits after enrollment. As part of the study, pet owners and veterinarians who’ve signed up to participate must complete yearly online questionnaires about the dogs’ health status and lifestyles. Additionally, dogs undergo an annual physical examination and collection of biological samples by their primary care veterinarian.
The following information about the enrolled pets has been identified:
Why Golden Retrievers?
Golden retrievers were selected as the canine population of interest because the breeds’ popularity in the United States increased the likelihood of sufficient enrollment within the set period of time. Similarly, golden retrievers are owned by a diverse population, which helps to ensure that participants are exposed to a variety of environmental factors. The breed is also thought to be at high risk for cancer development.
Other Canine Lifetime Health Project Studies
The GRLS is the first of many studies the Canine Lifetime Health Project plans to oversee. Run by the Morris Animal Foundation, the project’s website is currently seeking dog owners and veterinarians who are interested in participating in future studies.
Additional canine longitudinal studies are also underway: