Golden Club President Believes Study Will Help Breed Healthier Dogs
Jon Chase is a hard person to pin down. He’s a farmer, photographer, former Marine colonel, breeder of Golden Retrievers, judge of conformation and field events, and the president of the Golden Retriever Club of America. Despite his busy schedule, he’s taken time to enroll his dog, Winnie, in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.
Having bred Golden Retrievers for nearly 30 years, Jon is a devoted fan, but he also has major concerns about the breed’s health.
“One of my goals is to teach Golden Retriever breeders how to manage an effective breeding program, using modern day genetics as a tool to improve the chances they will produce healthy, sound dogs who live a long time,” he says.
Jon’s involvement in the Thoroughbred horse industry has led him to observe how carefully breeders researched and analyzed genetic data before they developed a specific breeding plan for a mare. He believes dog breeders can apply similar methods and he sees the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study as one way to address the genetic issues that affect the breed.
“The message I’ve been preaching all along is how important longitudinal research (witness the Framingham Heart Study) is to the future of the Golden Retriever,” Jon says.
This is what the Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is all about. By collecting genetic data on puppies and their parents and grandparents, scientists will begin to unravel the genetic mysteries that affect this breed.
Jon has lost several Golden Retrievers to cancer over the years “at far too young an age,” and he feels strongly about finding ways to decrease the incidence of this terrible disease in his beloved dogs. He is excited to participate in something that he feels confident will provide the much needed science to allow breeders to make more informed decisions.
To learn more about Morris Animal Foundation and our other programs please visit morrisanimalfoundation.org.