Golden Retriever Lifetime Study Frequently Asked Questions

Can I still enroll my dog in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study?

No. The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is a closed cohort. Enrollment began in 2012 and ended in 2015 when we reached full enrollment of 3,000 dogs (the actual number was 3,044). We are now collecting data on our enrolled dogs – our cohort – until the end of the Study.

Will Morris Animal Foundation do a similar study in other breeds of dogs or in cats?

We currently have no plans to do a similar study (a long-term, prospective study) in other breeds of dogs or cats. Morris Animal Foundation funds many other types of health studies, including clinical trials and genetic studies, in other dog breeds as well as general canine health studies and many feline studies, too.

When can I find out about Study results?

Numerous scientific papers have been published – you can find them on the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study page under "Golden Retriever Lifetime Study Publications." Additionally, you may follow Study participant data through the Participant Dashboard. As further scientific/epidemiological findings develop over time, we will publish this information in scientific journals and share on our website, through email, in press releases and on social media.

How do I keep up to date on what is happening with the Study?

You can sign up to receive the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study email. This monthly digital update gives you the latest information on the Study, as well as scientific highlights and a chance to meet some of our enrolled participants.

I am a Study participant. Who do I contact with questions regarding the Study?

The Study team – 855.4GR.DOGS (855.447.3647) – is available Monday/Tuesday/Thursday, 7 AM – 4 PM MT, and Wednesday/Friday, 7 AM – 12 PM MT. Email us any time at [email protected].


If I have missed any of my dog’s annual exam visits, can I still participate in the Study?

Yes. Any and all data collected on these dogs is beneficial. Please contact the Study team at 855.4GR.DOGS (855.447.3647) or [email protected] as soon as possible to learn how to resume Study participation.

I am unable to take my dog in for the annual Study exam on our anniversary date. May I change the date of the exam?

Once a dog is in the Study, the annual study visits should occur at approximately the same time each year. It is possible to request a change to the dog’s Study visit annual target date by contacting the Study team at 855.4GR.DOGS (855.447.3647) and requesting an, “anniversary date change.”

We recommend not changing your dog’s anniversary date frequently, but establish a time of year that sets you up for success in completing your Study visit requirement. Please discuss any schedule changes with your veterinarian to determine the best scheduling option.

How long does my dog need to fast before going in for the annual Study exam?

Dogs may not have any food for 12 hours prior to the annual Study exam. They may have water during that time.

Where do I go to see the results of my dog’s annual Study laboratory tests?

Laboratory results from each annual Study visit are uploaded to your veterinarian’s study account within three to five business days. You also can view these results on your dog’s Lab Results tab at once the veterinarian has shared the results with you.

What is the Golden Age project?

The Golden Age project is a new, optional part of the Study. Golden Age is a brief questionnaire about your dog’s mobility and behavior that you’ll be responding to every six months to help track subtle, health-related changes in your Study dog. We’ll use the data generated to guide new research into normal and abnormal dog aging processes. You will continue as normal with your Annual Owner Questionnaire for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Learn more via the educational webinar on the lefthand side of your Study Portal page.

Is the Golden Age project mandatory?

No, this is optional. You may opt in at any time. You may wish to discuss opting in with your Study veterinarian ahead of time, as they will need to complete a separate questionnaire (similar to the one you’ll complete) about your dog, but only once a year with your dog’s Annual Study Visit.

What does my dog’s score mean in the Golden Age project?

Your dog’s score reflects tabulations from the answers you gave in the questionnaire and will likely change over time with your dog’s health-related changes. What we hope to learn is what the score can tell us about your dog’s health, if this scoring tool can be used to assess and predict health outcomes, and if it proves valuable for monitoring. If you have any concerns about your dog’s health as related to the factors addressed in the questionnaire, we encourage you to discuss them with your veterinarian.

How do I access the training webinar for the Golden Age project if I want to view again?

You can access the training webinar at any time on the Golden Age page through your Study Portal. You can find the link on the left-hand side of your portal page.

Where can I find more information about necropsy?

Necropsy resources can be found on the Owner Resources page. If you have further questions after reviewing these resources, please contact the Study team at 855.4GR.DOGS (855.447.3647) or [email protected].