We have also had many discussions about the costs associated with raising and breeding and showing goldens. The costs are obscene and I don't think anyone would disagree with that. There are also many breeders who have a big beef with the fact that these charges are on top of the clearances themselves and they have issues with the fact that the OFA will accept a heart clearance from a practioner, when it is supposed to be done by a cardiologist and that CERF charges every year on top of paying for the actual exam and they also charge the parent clubs for any information that they need. So, there are also some politics involved with the issue, as well.
As the costs, yes, it is $8 per year to recertify a dogs eyes. The GRCA is also now asking that all dogs who have ever been bred have their eyes done annually. A lot of breeders also don't agree with that. If the dogs are in their possession, they will continue to have their eyes done. But, many are placed after they are retired and while they can ask someone who then owns the dog to take them, it then becomes out of their control. For example, we usually do place our girls after they are retired. I explain to people about the eye issues and tell them I will pay for an exam, if there is a clinic nearby, great-many will take them. I do however, have one that the closest optho would be 5 hrs from her. Sorry, I do not see this pet owner, who is a single woman in her late 60's driving 5 hours one way to have a dogs eyes checked and I am not going to beat her over the head about it. We all do the best that we can. So, now we have $8 for every dog that we are currently showing, breeding and every dog that has ever been bred and then we also have to factor in the fact that the exam is anywhere from $35 to 50 per dog as well. This is not something that is inexpensive, as many would like to think and this is also something that is part of the new COE.
Moving on thru the COE. It is a guideline, it was never meant to be punative in nature. As I had stated in a previous post, nothing will happen to any breeder who does not follow the COE and it is a guideline because breeding dogs is not black and white. The longer someone is involved in dogs and breeding, the more shades of gray they will see. There are many things that need to be taken into consideration. For example, with elbows...other countries(notably in Europe) do not have an issue with breeding a dog with a grade 1 elbow, if the dog is asymptomatic. WHAT, you say?? Why would anyone ever do that??
Well, again, things are not black and white. There are many times that dogs are submitted to one registry and don't clear and will be submitted to another registry and do clear. This is a radiologists opinion from a 1 dimensional xray of a 3 dimensional joint. Because of the nature of the elbow joint, it is also more susceptible to wear any tear, than the hips would be. If you were to ask a radiologist if you could difinitively tell from an xray that a dog that was said to have grade 1 elbows, truly had elbow dysplasia, the answer would be no. There are different things that they look at with the elbow and some can be seen without question. But, many elbows that don't clear, appear to be normal on an xray. This is where we get into a gray area. The only true way to tell that one of those dogs had elbow dyslpasia would be to do surgery and look. Well, obviously, that isn't acceptable as a means for a clearance to have every dog have surgery to look at their elbows. So, we work with what we have available.
I do know of breeders who have bred grade 1 elbows(the dog had been hit by a car and was grade 1 on the side they were hit by a car on) and is now 4 generations removed from that dog and none of her offspring that have been checked have failed elbows-and a considerable number of them have been checked because they were in show homes.
I think that most people who are involved in any facet of conformation with their goldens knows who CH Amberac's Asterling Aruba was. Aruba's mother did not have a hip clearance. There are many, many generations removed from Aruba now and those lines don't show a higher rate of hip dysplasia than others. Another very well known dam is CH Aspenglo Angel Fire. Angel was a BIS winning girl who had quite a few littermates that did pass hips, but she did not. She was bred and her production record for hips is actually above the breed average, probably due to the stud dogs that were chosen for her and the fact that their hip production records were very strong.
I could go on and on about dogs that were bred "against" the COE that is in place right now-I should also state that back when Angel and Aruba were bred, there was not a COE but it was accepted practice at the time that hip and eye clearances were done.
We also now have DNA tests available for goldens. I see a lot of posts saying that all breeders should be doing those tests as well. The GRCA has not made an advisement in regard to those tests because there are a lot of things to consider with the decision to test or not should include considerations such as: the seriousness of the disease, the reliability of the test, the prevalence of the disease in the breed, and the presence of affected or carrier dogs in the vertical pedigree.
So, we now need a dog with a great temperament, a dog that possesses good aptitude in the field, a dog that meets the golden retriever standard, a dog who passes hip, eye, heart and elbow exams and along with all the DNA tests and has titles to demonstrate their abilities. Hmmmm....then I see posts about how bad linebreeding is and how high is too high for a COI. As we do more and more testing, we will limit the gene pool further and further and continue to decrease the genetic diversity of the golden retriever. Because of all these things, the COE is a guideline. The dog who fails a clearance while the littermates have all cleared, statistically is better off than the one dog from the litter who passed its clearances when the rest of the litter failed.
These are some of those gray areas that I am talking about when breeding and why I say that breeding is more of an art than just a science. There are far more considerations involved with breeding than I could ever really touch on in a post here.
I understand that we are all passionate about the dogs that we all love and hold dear. I ask that people not be quite so judgemental and sometimes understand that you have to look and think outside the box to "get it". It truly is one of those "until you have walked a mile in my shoes" kind of things. I read some of the posts on the forum and I used to be that person 20 years ago, before I knew how very much more was involved and how many more things needed to be considered.
Wow, I think you should see a championship through from beginning to end, and then put a field trail title on a dog, before you make broad statements about what the dogs are like deep-down. This sounds like sour grapes from someone who has not done the work in either venue.
Goldiva Tangled Up In Blue CD RAE TDI TT CGCA
BISS GCH CH Tamarack Billions Of Stars Over Poeticgold CGCA BPIS # 11 Golden
GCH CH Harborview Sweeter Than 'Shine At PoeticGold CGC
BOS Chantilly's Bright Lights Big City RN TDI CGC
Sand Dancer's Infinite Sky TDI TT CGCA
Pebwin Reverie Soothsayer
Breeding horses and breeding dogs is two different things. It is more than a little irresponsible to come on the forum and accuse breeders who have been doing it for many, many years of not breeding to the standard when you have very little experience with the breed.
Very few people are handed things in life on a silver platter. If you want dogs from champion lines that are correct and can do the job that they were bred to do, and believe me, there are plenty of them out there who can, you need to step outside your little world and show that you are actually serious about the breed.
Breeders, like myself, are cautious with our dogs and our breeding programs because we have put years and years into developing these dogs and don't want to see it ruined because someone is breeding irresponsibly.
No one handed me a thing-I did it all the old fashioned way-I worked my butt off. I started in goldens doing competitive obedience and put real titles with good scores on those dogs and was invited to Gaines and Pupperoni Events with those dogs. Those things showd conformation breeders that I was serious and that I was committed to the dogs in my care.
No one taught me how to groom, no one taught me how to handle and no one taught me pedigrees. I worked, I worked some more and I researched and I learned these things.
What good does it do if a dog has coat and is pretty if it can't move?? There are dogs who have all three-brains, beauty and they fit the standard.
I really feel it is beyond disrespectful to come on the forum with this type of post. You can get good dogs and go to good trainers but it takes work in a breed as popular and competitive as goldens.
I honestly don't know how many titled and champion Harborview dogs there are but I have been an owner, breeder, handler to many as well as earning group placements on many, too. There are dogs with hunt titles, obedience titles, breed chmapionships, therapy dog titles, agility titles and tracking titles. Now you are coming on this forum and telling ME that I am doing things the wrong way??
I am always open to learning and a good breeder is, but I would suggest you take a good hard long look in the mirror. AS the old saying goes, when you start pointing a finger at others, there are more pointing back at you.
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I appreciate your hard work and all you have done and will continue to do. I also appreciate your well thought out responses.
I was not and do not intend to point fingers at anyone. I was simply frustrated and hurt by people that don't know me. And, sometimes the best response is no response.
Learning as always...
I can certainly understand that people's words can hurt. People were commenting on the information on your website and on the OFA. Yes, we are always learning and most times, our actions speak louder than our words.
I hope you continue with what you have started and keep on the right path. If that happens, instead of negative things, you will hear positive things. But yes, it takes time and hard work.
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