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July 22, 2019 – Imagine everything that impacts your dog every day of their life. What do they eat? Where do they sleep? What kind of chemicals are they exposed to in your home and yard? Even how they behave.

Now, imagine capturing this data throughout your dog’s life. Throw in biological samples gathered every year – blood, urine, feces, nails, hair, saliva – and multiply by 3,000 dogs. That’s a lot of data. And it’s the type of data that forms the heart of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study and the Morris Animal Foundation Data Commons, scheduled to launch later this year.

Data Commons is an open data resource platform for animal and biomedical health researchers. Our philosophy is the more we can share, the more impactful ways our massive and comprehensive data and sample set will be analyzed. This will provide more opportunities for researchers to find associations between potential risk factors and diseases in dogs, as well as biomedical researchers to use the data to advance human health. 

Data Commons will provide global access to historical data of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study cohort, covering 11 key subject areas: activity, behavior, dental, disease diagnoses, diet, environment, grooming, geographical locations, medications, physical exams and reproduction. Information will be added to the Data Commons throughout the Study. The database will not include sensitive information, such as names and addresses of Study participants.

“Many large datasets and biological sample collections exist for human medicine and have aided in discovery of new diagnostics, treatments and even cures for a myriad of diseases. They also have created public awareness around lifestyle factors that increase or reduce cancer risk,” said Michael Cinkosky, Vice President of Information Systems. “Morris Animal Foundation, the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, and now the Data Commons, are here to improve the discovery process for animals, too.”

And, none of this would be possible without our donors, and the golden retrievers, dedicated owners and veterinarians participating in our Study. Together, we are taking research to the next level, opening the door to the future of disease research to improve the lives of dogs everywhere.