Join Date: Jun 2018
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I think breeders fall on a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum you have people we call backyard breeders, who have a male and a female, aren't concerned about health testing or breeding to the standard and breed them to produce a litter of goldens to sell on craigslist, the paper, to friends etc. Or commercial puppy mills and kennels just cranking out puppies for cash.
On the opposite end of the spectrum you have very serious breeders that compete professionally in one venue or another, and are breeding for performance on top of the breed standard, have all health clearances and have worked hard to establish their program and their lines.
Somewhere in the middle, you have breeders who may absolutely love and cherish the breed, and for whatever reason competing is not for them. They abide by the CoE, they may have a certain "type" of dog they like to produce, heck they may even breed adhering to the standard without titling their dogs.
Let's say you have a breeder who I guess would fall in the middle of the spectrum. Breeder is a really sweet woman who you could just tell loves her dogs. This is her passion. She has a few females, one male, and is planning a litter with one of her females and another breeder's stud. She breeds for temperament as her number 1 priority and often sells pups to therapy homes. Her dogs certainly have that conformation "look". They have the core 4 clearances, and some genetic testing. Most of the dogs have CGC titles or maybe therapy certifications.
Would I take a puppy from a breeder like this if I all I wanted was a happy, healthy, companion dog? Probably. Would I recommend a breeder like that to anyone looking for a beautiful, even tempered golden family companion? Yes.
Of course there are breeders who fall elsewhere on the spectrum who sometimes do clearances, maybe get prelims and that's it, or compete here and there but not as their career path.
I think it is important to remember that a lot of folks who come to this forum know nothing about the CoE, the breed standard or how to even find a half decent breeder. Many times people wont be willing to go as far as the top end of the 'breeder' spectrum for whatever reason, but want to do their best to find a responsible breeder.
I do think there is a way to educate people on best practices while respecting that they will end up making the decision that best works for them.