Wow, isn't the internet an amazing place. Two new members lurking with an hour of each other!! That is too cool.
I thought I heard something about Gold Rush dogs and a heavy occurance cancer, but I may be mistaken. Others here follow these things more than me.
Although there has long been an association with Gold-Rush and cancer, I have yet to face that awful, awful condition that plagues our breed. Furthermore, Ann Johnson has been doing a fantastic job of diversifying her gene pool and trying to wipe out that long-standing association that exists.
I would encourage anyone to look at the pedigrees of our dogs on K9 data and the COIs of breedings we are planning. You will see that we are not only trying to control for the characteristics we want but also to diversify the gene pool in our own breeding program. Our breedings of Ruby and Casanova (with 2 puppies with majors from the 6-9 class and a Best in Show puppy) and Button and Nate are perfect examples of this.
I would also like to add that cancer runs in lots of lines but it is not very well publicized...and only those with close relationships with breeders even know what their dogs are dying of.
Many years ago, there was what I would term a "witch hunt" out for Ann's blood and many stories that have become urban legend as well. I know I may be opening a whole can of worms here, but Ann is commited to the betterment of our breed as evidenced by her bringing in pups from all over to diversity her gene pool while retaining all the good qualities of Gold-Rush dogs. So, check out the pedigrees of our girls, you wil see the diversity and that Gold-Rush is just sprinkled in...again evidence of Ann's diversification. Sadly, cancer is something we can not control entirely for nor predict. All we can do is make every effort to diversify the gene pool and provide our dogs with the best care possible. I could go on and on about the high incidence of cancer (talking to someone almost done with an MS in biochemisty...so a firm grasp on the science) and why their is this association with certain kennels, but let's not recover very old ground. Suffice it to say, we spend endless hours researching our breeding stock, potential sires, and have litters planned out well in advance each with a goal in mind. I would not hesitate to use one of Ann's boys (and have) if he properly complements one of our girls and possesses the qualities we are looking for. I also wouldn't hesitate to buy a puppy from her (and have on numerous occassions) as a show prospect, again provided the puppy has what we are looking for. We have been fortunate to have a great relationship with her, fantastic results with our breeding choices, and the honor of presenting her dog this year at Westminster! So, I guess I will leave it at that.