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Old 12-28-2012, 12:55 PM
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Obviously the breeding (pedigree) between the two is very different.

Is the five year old neutered? If so, at what age?

Coat issues are often related to thyroid issues. A low normal result is low for golden retrievers and medication may be needed.

Another possibility you may not have looked into is Icthyosis. (This one is genetic.) You most often see symptoms as excess dander in puppies, but it can flare up in adults if they're stressed, or in older senior dogs as their immune system falters due to age.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:19 PM
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Yes if you are concerned about the quality of his coat get a thyroid test done properly through Dr Jean Dodds. My vets seems to be unaware that low thyroid in goldens require medication.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:44 PM
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My girl Smooch's face turned white at about 5 or 6 years old and she lived to be almost 12. We think she was 16 mos. old when we adopted her -her name was Bedlam and we made her Birthday, Valentine's Day.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:45 PM
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I took Ax to the vet yesterday, he was due for some boosters anyway. The Vet pronounced him to be in 'perfect shape'. When I asked him whether he thought a thyroid panel should be done because of the coat issues, he responded that he didn't feel it was necessary because in his experience, dogs with thyroid issues were almost always overweight and not energetic - neither of which remotely describes Axl. I guess I'll keep a close eye on it for now. His fur seems to be growing in nicely and it appears to have grown around an inch (although darker) in the last month. He's starting to get the classic golden waviness along his spine again.

Swampcollie, Axl was neutered at around 9 months old. I frankly wish I hadn't because if I knew what an awesome dog and athlete he would turn out to be, I definitely would have tried to have him sire at least one litter.

There are obviously huge differences in breeding and genetics between Axl and Angus. Axl was most likely a puppy mill product. He was born in South Dakota to a 'breeder', came through Lambriar in Kansas and finally ended up at a local pet store where my then 10 year old daughter spotted him as a 'clearance puppy' (just like Marley) and the rest as they say is history. Please, no flames, I am well aware of evils of puppy mills and buying puppies at pet stores. Try explaining that to a persistent, obsessed 10 year old that fell in love with the fluffy 20 lb, 3 month old puppy stuffed into the cramped cage looking very sad. Who knows what fate might have awaited this awesome dog if he hung around a bit longer until he entered the awkward adolescent phase. Additionally, I had ALWAYS wanted a Golden Retriever so I saw it as a Win-Win. Anyway, I think it worked out pretty well for all parties involved. He is obviously an American Golden and the 'breeder' (whom I have since spoken to) claims he is from field lines which I have no problem believing given his very strong retrieval drive and his athleticism. He has a typical golden disposition and is very affectionate and gentle with the family and he seems to love all people. He is mostly indifferent to other dogs except those he considers to be his 'pack' (his brother Angus, my sister's Cocker Spaniel, my neighbor's Jack Russel, and a Yellow Lab two doors away) and would rather interact with humans, especially if they are holding something that might need retrieving. He is however, a very dominant male and he doesn't tolerate aggression from other dogs - at ALL. He has NEVER gone after another dog that didn't either flat out attack him or attempt to mount him, which in Axl world, is a BIG NO NO. He NEVER goes looking for trouble, all he wants to do is practice his craft, but if trouble finds him, he does not hesitate to deal with it. I have to admit, in my opinion, that is one of his best qualities. Since he is off leash shagging discs the majority of the time, I love the fact that he is ready, willing and more than able to defend himself at all times. That is a quality that I have found to be rare among GRs, at least in this area. Unfortunately, there are a LOT of IDIOTS in NYC that think it's 'cool' to have large aggressive dogs that run around loose in off leash areas and terrorize other well behaved and trained dogs (and people) just out for some fun and exercise.

Angus is the complete opposite of Axl in almost every way. I got him from a BYB in northern NJ that breeds and shows goldens. They claim to breed GR's with 'tons of bone and coat' and from what I'm seeing they aren't kidding. At less than 8 months, he is about an inch shorter than Ax and already weighs exactly the same -77 lbs. He is not fat, he just appears to have MASSIVE bone structure. My vet estimates he will be north of 100 lbs when fully grown which is obviously way outside the breed standard. His coat is ridiculously thick. He loves water and swims laps in the pool and he drys off in seemingly 10 mins. He is very clumsy and uncoordinated though and doesn't appear to have much of a retrieval instinct. Hopefully when he grows into those massive paws that will change. He's a super nice dog and learns very quickly, but it doesn't look like he will become Axl's disc protege like I had hoped. No matter we love him anyway.
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Last edited by alphadude; 12-29-2012 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:17 PM
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Karen, I LOVE the Bedlam moniker! Ax's nickname was either Mayhem, or Hurricane Axl when he was a pup. Great that she lived to 12. I'd definitely sign on for 12 for Ax right now but I'm secretly hoping for 15. I know his sire passed @ 10 according to the 'breeder'. I hate reading about GRs that are seemingly perfectly healthy and gone a week later @ 5 or 6. Struck down in their prime unexpectedly by cancer or something else equally horrific.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:46 PM
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Actually, I was just looking at the avatar pic of Ax & Gus taken about a month ago, and it shows exactly what I was talking about on Ax's back. The dark patch toward the back. That progressed all the way forward to the back of his neck and now the darker more brownish fur appears to be lengthening.

Look at the size of the paws on Angus. They (and the leg bones) are easily twice the size of Axl's and have been for some time. He looks and acts more like a goofy, gentle bear cub than a GR...
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