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  #51 (permalink)  
Old 11-24-2012, 11:37 AM
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There will probably always be too many and too few depending on the type.
Even one puppy mill will be too many.
There will always be too many back yard breeders.
There will probably always be fewer responsible hobby breeders than there should be.

The most scary of all though are a sub-group of back yard breeders. For the lack of a better term, I call them "Wool Pullers". These folks are really dishonest either through lies, telling only partial truth, or withholding information from puppy buyers. It is the goal of these folks to "look" like a reputable breeder and they get the same or nearly the same price for their puppies.
Here are some examples of behavior these people ingage in.

Getting OFA clearences for things that are not in or GRCA COE like pattlar luxation etc. then promoting their dogs are OFA'd even though they did not test hips, elbows, hearts or eyes.

Testing for only hips or just hips and elbows.

Telling puppy buyers dogs under two have clearences. Prelims are not clearences. Then continue to breed them their whole life on these prelims.

Breeding dogs with missing clearances. It is a pretty good assumption that if you see a dog with an elbow, heart and eye clearence: they did not pass on hips. If you don't see hearts and eyes, you need to ask to see them.

Breeding dogs with failed hips, failed elbows, failed hearts, hearts by practitioner (current dogs, historically frozen seamen dogs would have had the clearences recommended by GRCA at the time they lived, and we know the wool pullers would not be paying the kind of money it takes to breed to one of the frozen greats anyway) juvinial cataracts,(I know this is a hot point, I personally would not breed this dog at all, but Wool Pullers would and most importantly would not disclose) Grade 1 elbow displaysia (again, I know this is a hot point, I personally would not breed this dog at all, but Wool Pullers would and most importantly would not disclose) and severe allergies.

The other thing they will do is tout their success in the show ring, counting on folks not knowing the difference in levels of competition. I recently finished a UKC Championship in one weekend. An accomplishment I an very proud of. That however does not mean she is at the same level as an AKC Champion or Grand Champion. Now, she is 12 months old and I think she will get an AKC CH as a mature dog, but it is not the same and I know it. Wool Pullers don't educate their buyers, they just want to impress buyers with the Title of Champion, no matter where it was earned. I am all for competition and there is value to every level, my issue is when it is used in a dishonest way to inflate a price and mislead a buyer. For a large price tag I would expect more accomplished parents no matter the discipline, conformation, hunting, obedience, agility, etc.

We all talk about how important education is. It of course is critical when a puppy buyer is serious about a healthy puppy and is willing to research and wait. This is why Wool Pullers are so scary. Even the most informed first time buyer can get taken in by these folks.

It is something a lot of us who have been around the sport know exists and that is why on almost every single "I think I have found my puppy, litter, breeder" post people will always say "be sure to check the clearances" or "do your due diligence and check on www.offa.org". We know there are Wool Pullers out there hoping you don't know enough to realize the dogs they are breeding should not be. They are hoping you will fork over your $1000-$2000 for their risky or less proven puppy instead of paying the same down the road for a puppy who is from cleared and competitive stock.

I guess my whole soap box comes down to BE HONEST.

Everyone is going to get their dog from where they choose. I just think no matter where we buy, we should all be able to count on honesty and it is so sad, that we can not.
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  #52 (permalink)  
Old 11-24-2012, 11:48 AM
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This is an interesting thread and I agree with your assessment of things. All 3 of my rescue dogs have had very special health needs that required a lot of our time, attention and financial resources. Our current rescue boy actually came with the AKC paperwork, and sometimes I think his breeder should have those cement shoes as well , but we love him dearly and are just happy we can provide for him and keep him as healthy and happy as possible. With that said, and thanks to the knowledge gained from this forum, our next family member will be from a very reputable breeder and will come with all the health clearances. I'm sure there will be questions when the two dogs are side by side and I will remember to use it as a teaching moment.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was no longer a need for an animal rescue? I know, I know...... it's an impossible dream.
I'm sorry your boys have had so many health issues, I know it's been hard on you and them as well, not to mention the financial repsonsibility involved with their care.

I have been extremely lucky and I know that with my goldens and I am truly thankful for that. My bridge boy that lived to be 15.5 who was AKC but not a well bred Golden nor from a reputable breeder, only had minor health issues up unitl he was diagnosed with Cancer at the age of 14.5. We opted not to go with treatment due to his age. His Vet felt he would not tolerate treatment well due to his age and we agreed to make the most of the time we had with him and keep him as comfortable as possible.

Since my girl was treated for her medical issues and cleared, she has been healthy and will soon be 8. However, I feel because she had such a rough start to life and was not cared for well, most likely she will not live well into her teens like most of my dogs have. My boy, again who I adopted and basically have no knowledge of his background, is only three and so far is doing great. He had only minor health issues when I adopted him and was underweight.

It would be wonderful if there were no need for Rescues or shelters. Until the public is educated and understands that they shouldn't be breeding their dog(s) and that it should only be left to the professional breeders, this is not going to happen. Also pet owners should have their animals altered to prevent pet over population and also to reduce the number of animals that are taken in at shelters which would also reduce the number of animals being euthanized in shelters. According to the FY Public Animal Shelter Report for my state in 2011, 52% of the dogs and 79% of the cats taken into Public shelters here were euthanized. This does not factor in the number of animals that are dumped in rural areas to die a horrible death.
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 11-24-2012, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by CAROLINA MOM View Post
Also pet owners should have their animals altered to prevent pet over population and also to reduce the number of animals that are taken in at shelters which would also reduce the number of animals being euthanized in shelters.
This can just as easily be achieved by not multilating my dog and simply preventing him from running wild in search of females to breed with. It would be a strong violation of my personal moral code for me to hand my dog over to people to perform what is at best an unnecessary surgery, and one that will impact him the rest of his life (Not only preventing him from being able to breed, but preventing him from having a normal hormonal balance, living out his normal life cycle in a natural way, and from being able to mark with the same pride and vigor that he does now and be recognized as an intact dog by his peers. Intact male dogs also tend to be less prone to overeating and being overweight, and the associated health issues involved with those things, according to two different vets I've talked to.). I say this not to get on the case of people who do choose to neuter their dog or dogs, but rather to simply assert that I believe it's wrong to tell owners who have their own beliefs on the issue what they have to do or not do when it comes to this.

I think each individual dog owner's perspective should be respected, and that this should be a personal choice each dog owner is freely allowed to make one way or the other for his or her dog or dogs according to the beliefs of the owner involved, the circumstances, and so on and so forth. I don't think anyone should be forced into a neuter that they don't want or believe in for their pet.
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old 11-24-2012, 12:44 PM
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Friends, just a gentle reminder to please stay on topic. Unfortunately, the debate on spay/neuter usually ends in the thread being closed, and this thread contains so much interesting information. I'd hate to see it go sideways. Thanks.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:01 PM
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Let's assume there was a gradual increase in the number of responsible hobby breeders until it was, say, double what it is today. What do you think the effects would be?

I can think of a couple right away:

1. More of the available puppies would be healthy, have the correct temperament, and come from breeders that care what happens to these puppies throughout their lives.

2. The number of Goldens being shown would roughly double. That means it would become even harder to finish a dog, and the number of dogs that need to be defeated in order to get a major would go from the current 2 billion to twice the number of stars in the universe.

Hmmmm.
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  #56 (permalink)  
Old 11-24-2012, 01:08 PM
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While we're dreaming about perfect breeding practices, I would love to see more attention paid to breeding dogs that will be companions for us "pet people," who are actually in the majority. Too often we get the puppies that don't make the cut as show dogs and I suspect that the structure of competitions tends to move the breed towards athletic, high-energy dogs who may not be ideal for family life in an average home. That may contribute to the number of Goldens who end up in rescues or shelters.

It would be wonderful to see more "credit" given for dogs that qualify as therapy dogs or otherwise demonstrate a gentle, calm temperament. Better yet would be responsible breeding of Goldens who are intended from their carefully planned conception to be pets. I know some breeders do this and I thank every one of them from the bottom of my heart.
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  #57 (permalink)  
Old 11-24-2012, 01:30 PM
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Maybe Too Many Uneducated Breeders

I think the Golden Retriever is one of the most superior breeds out there. That said, I also think it is one on the brink of self-destruction due to poor breeding practitioners.

Whenever you have a breed that has so many cases of bad skin, heart defects, hip and elbow dysplasia, etc, it raises speculation that there is too much inbreeding and not enough stringent bloodline diversification.

I am not a breeder, nor am I an expert on breeding Golden Retrievers, but I expect those that are breeding and selling them to be EXPERTS, and impose only the highest restrictions of conformity upon themselves and their puppies.

I have owned Golden Retrievers since I was a boy in the 80s, and, in that time, we have had several that ended up with hip dysplasia and repeated skin hotspots. Luckily no cancer or heart issues, and they've all lived well above 11 years and one even to 14.

One of those pups had such bad hip problems that we had to have the balls of her femur bones cut so she could walk (can't remember the exact name of her disability). That is an EXPENSIVE procedure for such a young dog - good news was that she could then run top speed! She is now going to be 13 this month, so she's been a great friend and family member.

My point is this, check out your breeders' credentials, and, if you are thinking of becoming a Golden breeder, make sure to HAVE THE PROPER CREDENTIALS.

I'm told that this can be a lucrative hobby business, but if you're ending up muddling the bloodlines and causing health problems, you should get out!

Just my opinions - feel free to school me or weigh in with opposing views.
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  #58 (permalink)  
Old 11-24-2012, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by DanaRuns View Post
Let's assume there was a gradual increase in the number of responsible hobby breeders until it was, say, double what it is today. What do you think the effects would be?

I can think of a couple right away:

1. More of the available puppies would be healthy, have the correct temperament, and come from breeders that care what happens to these puppies throughout their lives.
Perhaps, but not necessarilly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaRuns View Post
2. The number of Goldens being shown would roughly double. That means it would become even harder to finish a dog, and the number of dogs that need to be defeated in order to get a major would go from the current 2 billion to twice the number of stars in the universe.

Hmmmm.
Not likely.

You're making an assumption that Conformation is THE reason sombody gets a Golden. That is not the case. The reality is that very very few golden owners participate in any type of organized activity whatsoever, let alone Conformation.
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  #59 (permalink)  
Old 11-24-2012, 01:43 PM
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I have the utmost respect for Golden Breeders, their programs, their ethics. One of the things I really like too along with the Breeding practices, is the fact that they will take their puppies/dogs back at anytime during the lifetime of that dog for any reason.

People who purchase a pup from a BYB or a puppy mill, often find themselves having a dog that is not healthy with serious medical problems such as hip displaysia, or heart problems, or with behavioral problems. The owners do not have a contract with the individual they purchased the dog from and that person will not take the dog back often times. That's where the Rescues come in, these dogs are either surrendered to the Rescue Groups or the groups pull them from shelters when the owners take them there because they are unable to pay for the required medical care. The Rescues take care of their medical needs, get them healthy, adopt them into homes, and have an Adoption Contract which states the dog is to be returned to the Rescue Group in the event the owner can no longer care for the dog and it is for the lifetime of the dog.

However, if all pups that are being bred, were being done so by Professional Breeders, the need for Rescues wouldn't exist.

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  #60 (permalink)  
Old 11-24-2012, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by GoldensGirl View Post
While we're dreaming about perfect breeding practices, I would love to see more attention paid to breeding dogs that will be companions for us "pet people," who are actually in the majority. Too often we get the puppies that don't make the cut as show dogs and I suspect that the structure of competitions tends to move the breed towards athletic, high-energy dogs who may not be ideal for family life in an average home...
I don't really agree with the above. Most of the puppies in a litter will not be show quality. So in a very roundabout way, hobby breeders do breed for pet people. If a litter is bred correctly, the difference between show vs pet is usually so miniscule, that the average pet owner couldn't tell the difference. I also don't think that those "pet" puppies are so different in temperament than their show quality siblings. In fact, most breeders want their show pups to have more of an "up" temperament as opposed to a very laid back one.

I think when you get a litter that varies a lot in those things, it's usually because of the breeder not knowing their own lines and those of the dog they bred to.

There's a Dane breeder I know, that when you see one of her dogs you instantly know it's one of hers because her dogs are so uniform in looks. She knows her lines so well and studies pedigrees forever, that her pet pups and show pups are virtually indistinguishable from each other. At least to most people, but not to her. And they're all super sweet.

IMO, if a breeder's pet puppies and show puppies are that different in temperament and structure, then they're not doing things right.
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