The Golden Retriever Club
of San Diego County, Inc.

Health Issues

Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, various eye problems and heart disease are common inherited health issues in Golden Retrievers for which there are screening examinations.  Learn more about these conditions here

The Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) recommends breeders perform standard health screening tests for these on their breeding stock.  GRCA’s
Code of Ethics provides breeding guidelines for Golden Retrievers belonging to GRCA members.

The GRCA Code of Ethics recommends that all breeding stock be of sound temperament and be free from communicable disease.  Additionally, the Code of Ethics recommends that all breeding stock have verifiable clearances for the following:  1) hips and elbows from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA); 2) a heart clearance from a board-certified Cardiologist recorded (certified) in an online approved database; and 3) a
 current (within 12 months of breeding) eye clearance from a board-certified ophthalmologist recorded (certified) in an online approved database (usually the Canine Eye Registry Foundation - CERF). The guidelines are intended to improve and protect the health of Golden Retrievers, and ideally, should be followed by all owners who are considering breeding a Golden. 

A puppy's parents can be screened to minimize the risk that their puppies will be affected by hereditary health issues.  A reputable breeder will provide you the full AKC registered names or registration numbers of the parents.  Use this information to verify their health clearances

A number of other health issues may affect golden retrievers, including allergies, cancer, and hypothyroidism.  Potential buyers should feel free to ask the breeder about these or any subjects of concern to them.