Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is a groundbreaking effort to learn how to prevent cancer and other diseases. It is the largest and longest observational study ever undertaken to improve the health of dogs. The study will enroll up to 3,000 Golden Retrievers and will last 10 to 14 years.

A Golden Opportunity to Improve the Health of Golden Retrievers

Why Should Your Dog Participate?

Cancer is the #1 cause of death in dogs over the age of 2, and more than half of all Golden Retrievers die of the disease.

It will identify the genetic, nutritional and environmental risk factors for cancer and other diseases affecting Golden Retrievers.

This study is expected to provide valuable information into prevention strategies, early diagnosis and new treatments for cancer and other canine diseases.

The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study will help to improve the health of future generations of Golden Retrievers and will help create a healthier tomorrow for all dogs.

Who Can Participate?

Highly committed Golden Retriever owners living in the continental United States.

Owners who are over the age of 18.

Dogs that are healthy and under 2 years of age at the time of enrollment.

Dogs that have a three-generation pedigree.

What Is Expected of You?

Agree to participate for the life of your dog

Select a veterinarian who agrees to participate with you

Complete online questionnaires regarding your dog’s food type and feeding habits, environmental exposures, behavior/temperament, disease events, etc.

Visit your dog’s veterinarian for annual exams and sample collection (blood, urine, feces, hair, and toenail clippings)

When applicable, allow collection of tumor samples for evaluation

Be willing to consider a necropsy (post mortem examination) when your dog’s life ends

Note: You are responsible for all costs associated with the annual exam, sample collection and laboratory test results. Morris Animal Foundation will reimburse you for up to $75 of these costs per year after verification that the exam and sample collection has been completed. 

If you choose, you may also donate this compensation directly back to Morris Animal Foundation to support the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.

To determine if your dog is eligible for participation in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, you must first register for the Canine Lifetime Health Project. After you sign up for the Canine Lifetime Health Project, you will be notified by email if your dog qualifies for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study or any studies managed through this project.

Special Update from the GRF and the Morris Animal Foundation

The Golden Retriever Foundation and GRCA are excited to announce that the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is underway! This is an unprecedented longitudinal study of factors that may influence the development of cancer and other diseases in Goldens. It is the innovation of the Morris Animal 

Foundation, and will succeed only with full support from the Golden community.

If you own a Golden of known pedigree who is 2 years or younger, and you are willing to commit to participation with your dog for its entire lifespan, you are encouraged to register for this important study. Please take a few minutes to check out the details at:


At last notice, there were already over 200 eligible Goldens already registered for the Canine Lifetime Health Project, out of which the participants for the GRLS will be selected. Once you register, watch your email for more information and the next steps. 

50 Goldens will be used in the initial beta phase of the project, which launched just last week. All other Goldens who are eligible, and registered with CLHP, will be invited to enroll in a few weeks. Be patient while the “kinks” are worked out of the system. Morris Animal Foundation is committed to their goal of 3000 Goldens participating in the study. 

An important aspect of the study is that a wide range of pedigrees and geographical regions is needed. Spread the word to your friends with Goldens, especially those who may not be members of GRCA or acquainted with the GRF, and encourage them to register. Field dogs, conformation dogs, agility dogs, obedience and rally dogs, pet dogs — we all need to play to win this game!

To recap: 

1. Register for the Canine Lifetime Health Project at the website noted above.

2. Wait to hear from Morris Animal Foundation that your dog is invited to enroll in GRLS.

3. Commit to the project and help our breed live longer, healthier lives in the future.

Look for an article on page 32 of the March/April 2012 GRNews on GRLS — and register today!