Purchasing a golden for the first time!!!
Sooo many details and sooo much confusion! One breeder says clearances are not done because it was a surprise breeding, the other said champions all the way but pups are on antibiotics for some nasty infection... We just want a wonderful family pet. We want our first big dog and our vet suggested a golden... His words were actually "you can't go wrong with a golden for your family" ... Of course then followed by be careful. Clearances are nice, but hips, eyes, heart anything can skip generations!! Need some suggestions of some breeders in my area (grand blanc). Like i said a nice puppy. Temperament is important as well as health. Please help!! I have contacted several in the area, and i am not sure. Thanks in advance!!
Hi welcome to the forum. There are many people here that can answer your questions and point you in the right direction, they may not be on much today since it's Christmas but there's a lot of info to keep you busy
You're right not to make a hasty decision, clearances are important.
"The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials."
Talk to the breed referrals. Cheri Stager at Fort Detroit is awesome - I spoke with her prior to finding my Bertie. I especially described to her what I wanted and the breeder of course filled in the rest of the blanks by helping me pick my pup.
You can also go to the Novi show (early January) to visit with the breeders who may be there and talk a little to them.
Cobo is another option - though I haven't gone in years due to them hiking the prices up and it's miserable driving all the way to Detroit anyway.
Cathy Gaca (Bear Creek) may be planning a litter? I always thought she was very nice and approachable, especially if you are new to the breed. Remember to ASK questions and thoroughly describe your expectations.
I was at the vet a couple days ago with both my guys (final round of shots for Bertie, Jacks was along for the ride), and was waiting to be called back. The nice thing about the vet is that it is very active with people coming in to get routine stuff done with their pets and they were all coming up to fuss over the pup.
One woman especially came up with her 4 year old son (there was a twin at home) to visit. They were cat people, but her husband has been talking about getting a dog for a long time. She was thinking about waiting for her twins to get a little older so they could help out a bit more. I emphatically agreed with this and told her that otherwise, she would probably go nuts with two 4 year olds running amuck with the dog.
She looked at my dogs and repeatedly said that she wanted one as "Calm" as them. She liked how my guys were just sitting or laying down or visiting politely (all feet on the floor, no butt sniffing).
I had to set the record straight immediately - told her how I had waited for my older golden to get his obedience title and mature fully (happens around 4 or 5) before bringing a puppy home. And I told her about how the puppy who was making like a bear rug on the vet floor was constant garbage-eating, chair-leg chewing, wall scratching motion when not taking his ten minute naps.
Welcome to the forum & good luck in your search. As this will be your first golden take your time & learn as much as possible--the breed isn't for everyone. The GRCA website along with this forum (reference the stickies in this section) provide a great start in navigating the sea of breeders. Be leery of the supernice breeder who fails to do clearance much less anything else with the goldens except to breed them--I do wish it was easy to tell the bad from the good.
As your vet said issues can skip a generation--that's why it is so important to see complete clearances throughout the pedigree--not just the current generation. This alone should help you weed out the startup BYBs with slick websites.
And here is a great post by another forum member in helping to explain why you want a great breeder:
Originally Posted by LJack
This is a question that a lot of puppy buyers have. I don't want a show dog, why should I care about champions or performance titles in the pedigree?
1. When you buy from a breeder who is actively competing and showing, they are out there in the fancy. They are talking to other breeders, attending seminars, gaining knowledge of structure, heritable diseases, bloodlines and care. This means they are not working in a vacuum.
2. Breeders who compete are actively looking to improve their line. That litter they are producing is one they are hoping will produce the next step in their program. They are working for themselves. You reap the benefit since there are usually a small number of show quality, the rest are pets. Ever hear the addage you work harder when your selfemployed? It is the same philosophy here.
3. Structure, structure structure. Breeders who compete will have more structurally sound dogs. In addition the core four clearences, the dog's structure will determine if it will live most of it's life comfortable with activity or not able to go and do because of structural break down. This is where those Champion titles really come in. Champions are not judged on beauty, but it is a really nice by-product. They are judged on structure, angulation, movement, etc. Your pet puppy will benefit from these attributes.
4. Temperament. I want a dog that comes from stock that has been out in the world doing something. Dogs who compete and title not only prove themselves in that venue, but also that they can handle life beyond their home. Dogs that stay at home may have great temperaments but, how do they behave away from home in stressful conditions. Dogs that compete are exposed to these stresses and succeed.
5. My vanity. Okay, it is hard to look at a golden puppy an not think what a cutie! But, if I have chosen to buy a puppy and not rescue, I want my dog to be gorgeous. Call it vain, but that is what I want. I know that with parents that are proven in competition that is going to run in the line. I want things like proper coat, dark pigment, great structure, lovely top lines, fantastic headpieces, and lovely expression.
A word on champions in the grand parents generation and further back...if there are not titles in the parents generation, those grand parents titles don't mean much in the grand scheme of things. Quality can be lost in just a generation or two of careless breeding. It is not necessary for both parents to be titled, but it would be nice. At least one should be.
It always boggles my mind when less than reputable breeders point to the Champions in the grandparent or great-grandparent generation as a selling point.
They know that these titles are important and tough to get so they claim that their dog is just as good with out doing anything to "prove" them in competition.
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