Originally Posted by revolutionrocknroll
"We don't yet know exactly why 60% of golden retrievers will get cancer. We know this is about twice the rate for other dogs and we know it is definitely genetic. What we don't know yet is which specific genes are involved."
^If that statement's true it sounds like your friend was talking to a bad breeder is making excuses for their dogs' s****y health.
That's a bit of a broad statement
A breeder is not making excuses for bad husbandry or breeding practices simply because their breed or bloodline has a predisposition to a particular disease.
It is an impossibility of Nature to eliminate all genetic disease, no matter how diligent or how much testing one does. Breed out one issue, and I assure you, another that may not have been prevalent before will become so - that is simply how genetics works, and it is not because a breeder is disreputable or has dogs in poor health.
While I do not have Goldens, my breed does
have a predisposition to cancer, and I have often joked that Beagles die of cancer, intervertebral disc disease, cancer, epilepsy/seizure complications, cancer, cancer, cancer and also, cancer. I have had both multiple group winning show champion dogs and rabbit hounds from several bloodlines develop some form of cancer on several different diets. If you called me asking for information on the breed, I would tell you outright that Beagles are tumor factories and that regardless of general health, diet, bloodlines, field or show breeding, four out of five will die of cancer.
When I inform potential buyers or anyone interested in the breed that high meat diets WILL contribute, I get accused of using that as an excuse to by "cheap" foods because I do not give a bent penny about their health
It's very frustrating being a breeder, especially when we have everyone telling us we are somehow disreputable because our dogs have the audacity to die, and of a common cause, no less.
To the OP; Yes, I have heard many, many show breeders of Goldens complain about cancer in the breed, and if an experienced breeder has told you this is a common problem, I would definitely listen. I wouldn't state that all
dogs of any breed are going to die of a certain disease, but odds are, considering breed statistics, if you get a Golden, be prepared to deal with the Big C.