Golden Retrievers as a breed are prone to hip problems. When we first started breeding many years ago, we imported a number of puppies from Europe. Hip testing was always a time of great apprehension. With all the love, time, and money invested, what if they didn’t pass? We had some major disappointments! Fast forward to today. We have some of the best hip scores in the country (90% on PennHIP is pretty normal for us now). This isn’t by accident. I’ve been able to identify four factors that contribute to excellent hips:
- Genetics. This is our part as a breeder. We want lineage that gives us the best possibility of getting great results.
- High quality food and nutrition. We spare no expense to give our goldens the very best. In addition to premium five-star rated food, we supplement their diet with nutrients helpful to optimal joint development. Check out what we do in this regard on our website
- Proper exercise. We make sure our goldens get plenty of exercise at their pace. They get to run and play with us in our big yard.
- Weight. This is the biggest factor in hip results. Research now shows that proper weight is responsible for 50% of how the hips turn out. This is why we don’t use puppy food for our goldens. They get too fat too quickly on it. We use “all life stages” food that allows for proper development. A “fat” puppy may look cute, but it is terrible for the hips.
As you can see from this list, three of the four factors for great hip results are in the hands of the new owners. If you start with the right pedigree and follow these simple steps, your chances of getting great hips that will last the lifetime of your golden are very good.