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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 11-27-2012, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loisiana View Post
If you are looking for a service dog, you need one with a rock solid temperament. That is another benefit of going with a reputable, experienced breeder, they should know their lines and help pick the perfect pup for your needs.

As far as health clearances, you don't want to put all the money, time, and emotion into training a service dog, only to have the dog have a health issue pop up that prevents it from doing its job. Of course there are no guarantees in life, but a small investment up front can significantly reduce the chances of problems later on.

The only other option I would recommend is contacting a golden rescue group for an ADULT golden that has the qualities needed for a service dog.
Good point. Growing up, we had goldens. 1 from what would now be called a BYB, and 2 rescues. My step-mother works for a shelter and has brought home literally half a dozen rescues over the years. We thought about a rescue, but with our experience, you don't always know what you're going to get and how that dog's past will affect them in the future. And if there is a mix anywhere in their line, that opens up a whole other discussion. I am in NO WAY saying anything negative about rescue dogs. Our Sam was one of the best dogs ever, and he was a rescue. However, since we are not looking for a pet, but rather a calm and steady companion, and we have young children in the house, there are too many variables with a rescue for me personally.

Stacking the deck in our favor does have quite a bit of merit, but how confident can we be, buying from a reputable breeder, that we won't have problems in the future? I would hate to spend $2000 before training only to find out a short time later that the dog has health problems. Would a reputable breeder buy the dog back? Am I crazy to think they would?


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Old 11-27-2012, 10:53 PM
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Hi!
First off, clearances are VERY IMPORTANT. They are your only way to stack the deck in your favor of your golden not having genetic disease. There are FOUR main clearances ALL GOLDENS must pass before being bred :
OFA Hips
OFA Elbows
OFA Cardiac (heart) performed by a boarded cardiologist
CERF or OFA eye exam performed yearly by a boarded ophthalmologist
If you cannot verify current, final OFA clearances for all four on both parents of a litter you are looking at, walk away. You can verify clearances by typing in the registered name or AKC number on OFA's website : Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
Any breeder who does anything less or different or tells you they'll "show you the clearances when you buy the pup" -- walk away.

At any rate you don't want to spend the time, effort and money to raise and train a service dog and have it come down with bad hips or a heart condition, when that could have been avoided.

$2000 is on the high end for a well bred golden. Expect to pay closer to $1500.

Having said all that, have you trained dogs before and how do you expect to train a service dog? Have you investigated purchasing/being given an already trained service dog from an organization like PAWS, Canine Companions for Independence or New Horizons Service Dogs (they are local in central FL)?

Best of luck.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:01 PM
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Hi K9 Design and thank you for your input. I have contacted several reputable breeders (by the standards laid out in this forum) and most were in the $1800 range.
We have also looked into a program trained dog (this has its own pros and cons for our needs) and there is a 2+ year waiting list for both of the organizations who would train a dog for our needs. There is a training organization locally that I am reaching out to, but I don't want to put the cart too far in front of the horse.

I can't tell you all how much I appreciate all the feedback. I knew that by chatting with GR owners who were actively involved, I would get a healthy dose of balanced information and personal experience.


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Old 11-27-2012, 11:06 PM
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Not sure if anyone has given you the link but the Mid-Florida Golden Retriever Club operates a puppy referral service, and all litters listed have the required 4 clearances on all breeding dogs. Mid Florida Golden Retriever Club then click on "puppy referral"
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:07 PM
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I did message someone that might have pups. 4 out of the litter are going to New Horizons/Service dog organization.

I agree 100% with K9design.

How many breeders have you contacted?
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:31 PM
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6 breeders. Not counting BYB.
I checked the puppy referral. There was one couple listed with pups. I left a message earlier today, but haven't heard back. Thanks for the link.


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Old 12-04-2012, 07:06 PM
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UPDATE: I think we found our golden baby. I was able to get in contact with Janet at New Horizons who just happened to have a littler that will be available this weekend. Mom and dad have all health clearances, it's actually a repeat breeding of her own service dog! We will be the owner/trainer and plan go into their program once he has reached the right age.
We went to meet the puppies today and this beautiful redhead came right into my daughters lap. He kept coming back for more loves!! The girls were so excited. Planning to post more pics after Monday.
Thank you ALL for all your help and we hope to have more great conversations as a part of the GF community.



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Old 12-04-2012, 07:58 PM
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That is awesome! I hope all works out and post pictures!!!
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:26 PM
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We got our golden baby today. We ended up with a girl because the size will be easier for my daughter to handle.
Still working on a name but Roxy, violet and honey are in the lead. Busy day so far. A little exploring and a bath. Click image for larger version

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Old 12-10-2012, 01:46 PM
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She looks like a "honey" to me. Hoping that all works out well. She's adorable.
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