Breeders who don't show their dogs - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Breeders who don't show their dogs

I had a question about a breeder I found who doesn't show their dogs. They are a young couple (late 20's) and it looks like they have just starting out breeding. They've only had a couple of litters so far. The dogs they have bred have their 4 main OFAs with passing scores and have pedigrees back 4+ generations on both sides with some titled grand and great grandparents. They also do a contract with the puppy buyers, will take the puppy back for any reason, will help train the puppies after you buy them, and will watch the dog whenever you go on vacation if you live close by. From what I've been reading these are things good breeders do, but I've also seen people who say if the breeder isn't showing their dogs they aren't a "reputable" breeder. Is this something that's important when looking for a breeder or is it ok that they aren't showing dogs so long as they are doing testing etc? They have one dog about to be 24 mos in a couple of months that they are going to breed late fall/winter who has her eyes and heart OFA but not yet the hips and elbows. If they get those done before they breed her do you think it would be ok to get a puppy from them? Thanks in advance for any advice! I've never bought a puppy from a breeder before and am still learning what to really look for!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 07:01 PM
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Honestly, it depends.

In general, it is more important for young and inexperienced breeders to be competing. It isnít just about the title. Shows are where mentors are found, dog knowledge is shared, relationships with more experienced breeders are built and where their breeding stock is evaluated by an independent expert. In fact most responsible preservation breeeders are also called hobby breeders because they start with showing as a hobby and then breed to get their next competition partner and companion. Being young or inexperienced and grabbing any two dogs to breed together could be a disaster even if the ancestors are great dogs.

It is good they are getting all the certifications but you want to make sure you really check, even a heart on OFA could be insufficient. If you need a double check, just post the registration names or numbers.

On the other hand, if the price is reasonable it might be an option.

No way should an inexperienced breeder with no involvement in the breed be asking the same price as breeders offering higher value in the form of competition evaluation. If they have all the certifications and are not changing and arm and a leg then maybe. Honestly, I would love to see more breeders that breed healthy dogs at appropriate prices, as preservation (show/competition) breeders are never going to produce enough puppies. Saddly though what tends to happen is they either donít do all the tests or charge the same or more than preservation breeders.

This was recently posted by another person but is certainly applicable here. https://dogopinionshere.blogspot.com...HXAexpyOTkt6Jo


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 07:22 PM
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Breeders come in many forms.
I would ask how they happened to start breeding dogs... the answer should tell you if you want to buy a puppy from them.

You can find puppies from breeders who do not do clearances- those sorts can be the worst of the worst, or merely uneducated and happy to have a litter from their BYB Sassy with the neighbor's dog...

You can also find puppies from breeders who get clearances but even breeders who do clearances are on a spectrum- if I were in charge of this spectrum I would put the non-competing breeder who is breeding for side cash at the lowest position (assuming the clearances are correct- UTD eyes, cardiologist, final hip and elbow). That's not because they can't make a nice puppy- they can. But do they know they have a nice puppy? Do they choose the stud dog because he's in their yard and they use him on all their girls, or do they choose him just because he's a CH? Do they know what their girl needs in a stud dog to make puppies better than she is herself?

Do they know the pedigrees they are working with? Likelihood of making ICT for instance? An understanding on recessive traits? Do they know what a front assembly is, how their girl's body is put together? These are not things one can learn overnight. Pedigrees especially take years and years. Dog events are a way to do field trips in one's education. There's nothing like seeing one's BYB girl in a class w competitive girls, it's a wakeup call... I see it at about every large show. Owner never realized their girl was super oversized or her ears are not placed correctly, or whatever.. there just is no replacement for dog shows. Same for hunt tests or field trials. Seeing dogs work is an important part of breeding dogs, because you can see benefit of traits that way. If dogs are an income and not a passion, I do not think a breeder lacking passion can do as good a job. That doesn't mean you should not buy from them- but you should learn why they are breeding. Decide whether it matters in the end to you that your future dog's genetics were thoughtfully combined...
and realize that odds are that the breeder who does not compete is by virtue of just that going to make a less quality litter most of the time. Whether a pet person can see that quality or not depends on what is lacking. It may seem cute to have all gay tails at 8 weeks but it's pretty ugly at 2 YO.. or one could be lucky and have something not so noticeable as the tell, so hope for that!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 07:29 PM
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It's funny, Laura, I had a paragraph on pricing and took it out- but I think it is insulting for a new/young/non-competing/BYB/whatever breeder to charge the same amount as the experienced good breeder-
not only is the $$ not going back into the dogs and their titles, training, etc, but the new/young/non-competing/BYB/whatever breeder is just producing a product and selling it. They do not have the investment that the good breeder does. A mentor is SUPER important when one is a new breeder- I would also ask these young breeders who their mentor is.
And check that person out too. Ask how involved the mentor is in stud dog choice, for instance.
A good mentor lets the mentee make a list and explain why they like every dog on it- and then the mentor chooses the best dog and tells the mentee why that dog is best. And the mentee makes note of everything they just learned about the choices' pedigrees and never forgets a word of it lol!!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for great info! I'll definitely probe a bit more with these breeders and keep looking for more experienced/qualified breeders. This will be my family's first dog and my first dog as an adult, so I want to make sure I can get the best puppy I can find!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
but I've also seen people who say if the breeder isn't showing their dogs they aren't a "reputable" breeder
Small warning - I'm very plugged up from allergies (my head sounds like an echo chamber when I breathe or say anything LOL), so I might be way off base here with how I phrase this, but...

My gut feeling is there's some people who truly have the opinion that anything less than a breeder who is actively putting titles on their dogs is an undesirable breeder. They literally are preaching advice that they take themselves. <= There's nothing wrong with that. But it is a little political if based solely on titles (pedigree behind the parents) or the names of the breeders (who's who).

There's political people out there who ABSOLUTELY do not regard a person or their dogs as deserving of attention unless they are big stuff. Big breeders and big handlers have their groupies (LOL). And you see those same people who basically like dogs because of who owns them. They don't actually know a THING about what makes a dog good or not! <= That kind of stuff makes me frustrated. Especially if you see somebody stating an opinion, but when you quiz them on WHY they have that opinion they don't have anything to say at all!


^^ Anyway, that's a couple different groups of people out there.

1. Very straight up and up about what they'd want in a dog and when giving advice, they do not offer any advice they would not personally take. IE, they would not recommend a good breeder if that breeder's producing dogs that do not fit a niche or level of quality.

2. Political groupie type people who I swear are completely vapid when it comes to dogs. >.< And these people support dogs because they know the owners/breeders or somebody they respect supports those dogs so they must be OK...

But then there's a 3rd type -

3. Other people have jumped on the "must compete" bit as a codebreaker or key to finding reputable breeders beyond making sure full clearances are there. And this is the route they took for themselves... Which is fine, except they are missing the "point" as far as WHY it's preferable for breeders to be active in the breed in order to be considered reputable (will explain my view below).

And then there is a 4th which is the bare min required for advertising a litter with breed referrals at clubs -

4. The clearances have to all be there. Period.

*****

My simple take is if you are looking for a breeder, you should know what you want in a dog.

Not every dog is alike. Not every breeder is producing puppies for the same purpose

I'm SORTA on the #4 bandwagon when it comes to this forum, just because so many people ask about breeders who do ZERO clearances. You feel like you have to support breeders doing a small bit of what they should be doing!

But recognize that clearances by themselves are NOT the only necessity in a pair of breeding dogs before you throw them together and hope for puppies?

Personally speaking, I believe the reason behind the "reputable breeders must be actively competing" bit is those breeders are more likely to be breeding for purpose and type. And those are qualities which get lost very quickly with indiscriminate breeding. That's when you start getting goldens who look more like mixes because of all the faults they have.

Breeders who are very disassociated with the breed in general - while still breeding the dogs (!) - they are less likely to have the same predictability in everything they produce.

That's the biggest argument against the "english creme" breeders out there. Even if they DO get full clearances (which sometimes happens and we're all amazed), there's still concern about type. Are they breeding for "type"? Or are they just breeding for coloring and access? Might add to that, there's studs out there who are wonderful themselves, but their kids are full of all kinds of crazy faults. It's a shame.

Other breeders - like BYB's... might be buying dogs off hoobly or craigslist strictly for breeding... and even if they get full clearances on the breeding dogs, that doesn't fix the problem if the dogs themselves are really poor quality.

I had this comment before, but I know somebody who had a nice stud dog and she let him be used by somebody with a very poor quality golden.

The bitch owner's perspective was she had a purebred golden who got all her clearances - but was very far off the beaten trail as far as overall look. <= So she chose a boy who had both sides covered. Very handsome boy with a loaded pedigree behind him. And this boy is doing great in both obedience and agility (dog jumps like a gazelle, it's just a beautiful thing).

This was a very good breeding choice for her. And I have no doubts whatsoever that the puppies were nice enough.

But there's people out there who would not have agreed to the breeding because there was nothing in it for their dog - and too much chance of their dog producing a lot of ugly ducklings that would have reflected on him.

^^^ I really don't know what the answer would be in that case? Because I do appreciate the efforts on the breeder's part to improve what she had????

But that litter was not one that most people with better quality dogs or accustomed to having better quality dogs would have had any interest in getting a puppy from.

Me personally, that was a reputable breeder (clearances all there and demonstrated desire to improve on what she had)... but meh as far as me getting a puppy from her. But would I have recommended her? ABSOLUTELY.

I do think that if you are spending thousands on a puppy - the very least is you should expect -

1. The adult dog you own should be healthy and LOOK like golden retriever.

2. Full clearances need to be in place before the breeding.


A reputable breeder to ME is somebody who has a demonstrated track record of being selective and careful about what they breed and successful in what they produce.

There's a whole other conversation to be had about people using the "reputable" label to prop up some breeders or injure others.

A good example was the other day I had a very depressingly eye opening conversation with somebody about 3 different breeders who I have always regarded as reputable. I'm not going into detail about what I heard, but it bothered me because I do think somewhat that if a breeder is

1. Getting full clearances
2. Actively competing and very active in the breed
3. Long established name - connected with quality

You would think that breeder would be an easy decision for somebody looking for a puppy. But based on the conversation I had... there's a lot of muddy water.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 11:40 PM
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Yeah, I would not have recommended that breeder, Megora. Nor would I have allowed my stud dogs to be bred to the bitch, for the reasons you said. I'm sure that say something bad about me, but so be it. I'm a fairly new breeder -- 12 litters -- but I breed to the highest standards I can.

And to me, there's another criterion for a good breeder. It's not in the standard. No one ever talks about it. But it is possibly the most important factor for me. And that is that the puppies must be bred to be rugged, athletic, bulletproof dogs. There are far too many delicate Goldens out there, imho. Dogs that have to be pampered and carefully monitored in order to pass their clearances. Dogs that aren't allowed to jump, or run, to climb stairs until they get their hip and elbow clearances. Dogs that are so slight of bone and muscle that they risk injury or arthritis in later years.

To me, a well-bred Golden should be dense and thickly muscled, with good bone, and excellent structure. They should be natural athletes, with the build and foundation to keep them rugged and healthy.

I don't see many breeders making that a priority. But it is for me.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by DanaRuns View Post
Yeah, I would not have recommended that breeder, Megora. Nor would I have allowed my stud dogs to be bred to the bitch, for the reasons you said.
I wouldn't either... however, I'm looking at this from the position where I've had it drilled in my head that before you breed a dog - it needs to be breeding quality.

Breeding quality isn't the same thing as show quality? But it's checking off the boxes, including you (the breeder) being honest about why you have chosen to breed that dog. And the answer better not be - simply access and ability.

That said, tilting this a different way - this person was doing what she had to in order to improve on what she had. She could have done what others do and buy a dog specifically for breeding purposes.

Probably shouldn't have mentioned it because off topic + the dog is titled in various areas. But it came to mind because it actually is a good example of what technically is a good breeder doing what they should be doing... If you are just dumbing things down and defining a reputable breeder as somebody who is getting full clearances on both breeding dogs... that's leaving a lot of required stuff out.


Quote:
And to me, there's another criterion for a good breeder. It's not in the standard. No one ever talks about it. But it is possibly the most important factor for me. And that is that the puppies must be bred to be rugged, athletic, bulletproof dogs. There are far too many delicate Goldens out there, imho. Dogs that have to be pampered and carefully monitored in order to pass their clearances. Dogs that aren't allowed to jump, or run, to climb stairs until they get their hip and elbow clearances. Dogs that are so slight of bone and muscle that they risk injury or arthritis in later years.
I don't really know of any delicate goldens.

That said... having looked at xrays of very young goldens (including 4 month old pups), I do think that with many programs focusing on slow growth... there's so much risk for damage to growth plates. I saw something about how everything comes together on a growing pup and there's so much room for injury if you are pushing it too much.

Quote:
To me, a well-bred Golden should be dense and thickly muscled, with good bone, and excellent structure. They should be natural athletes, with the build and foundation to keep them rugged and healthy.
Having good muscle, good bone, excellent structure, athletic/agile - all good.

Be careful though? Dense and thickly muscled sounds like labs not goldens...

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by excessively_diverted View Post
I had a question about a breeder I found who doesn't show their dogs. They are a young couple (late 20's) and it looks like they have just starting out breeding. They've only had a couple of litters so far. The dogs they have bred have their 4 main OFAs with passing scores and have pedigrees back 4+ generations on both sides with some titled grand and great grandparents. They also do a contract with the puppy buyers, will take the puppy back for any reason, will help train the puppies after you buy them, and will watch the dog whenever you go on vacation if you live close by. From what I've been reading these are things good breeders do, but I've also seen people who say if the breeder isn't showing their dogs they aren't a "reputable" breeder. Is this something that's important when looking for a breeder or is it ok that they aren't showing dogs so long as they are doing testing etc? They have one dog about to be 24 mos in a couple of months that they are going to breed late fall/winter who has her eyes and heart OFA but not yet the hips and elbows. If they get those done before they breed her do you think it would be ok to get a puppy from them? Thanks in advance for any advice! I've never bought a puppy from a breeder before and am still learning what to really look for!

Are they competing in other venues with their dogs? There is far more to do than just show. Are they hunt people? Obedience? If they are not showing, are the getting a CCA on their dogs at the very least to demonstrate that the dogs meet breed standard? I would want to ask them WHY they are breeding - what is their purpose in breeding two specific dogs together - and what kind of socialization they are doing with the pups.

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