Did you know that the cancer rate of Golden Retrievers is as high as 61% in the United States? There are presumably 500 hereditary diseases in dogs. They developed as breeders were breeding dogs, the way their kennel club wanted those breeds to look like. For decades they ignored that the good comes along with some hidden bad; genetics are too complex to play around with. So certainly pathogenic genes were passed as well when „grandpa was mated with granddaughter“ and so on… The tricky thing with genetic: Some of the genes are recessive. That means: they are not noticeable within the bearer. That fooled a lot of the breeders! How would they know, that these invisible genes affect their, when you mate two bearers?
Why does over half of the US Golden Retrievers die of cancer? Because of three Golden Boys: At the dog shows of the 70ies there had been three extremely lovely Goldens who at that time raked all the awards. What happened then? Golden Retrievers had to look like those three.
And so the three dogs gave a lot of their sperms, probably with human assistance, because sperm donating was and is a very profitable business in the dog breeding field. And here´s the figure: there are over 200.000 registered and proven descendants of those three (!!!) Golden Retrievers of the 70ies. Plus: a number of uncounted ones that are not registered in the dog breeders association.
So nowadays nearly every Golden Retriever coming from the US is a relative of one of those former three Golden Boys. If I were to get a Golden Retriever, I would make sure it would not have any American roots in its family tree!
Actually I had a Golden Retriever, and it did die of cancer, too. At the age of 11…
More on this in the next post!
Plus: Meeting Ted Kerasote!
PlusPlus: a preview to our film!!
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