Our New Puppy Does Not Look Like A Golden - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Question Our New Puppy Does Not Look Like A Golden

Please someone give me advice about what to do. We have a 4-year-old Golden female, who is perfection, but I bought her from a hobby breeder right out of college when I didn't know better (oops) & this time I wanted to do better. Me & my husband knew we wanted a male this time, and I did tons of research to make sure I chose a breeder who choose their sires and dams responsibly, did all the health checks, etc. We chose one & got placed on the 144-family waitlist. We finally got slated for one of their spring puppies, yay! This male and female had been bred together before and made beautiful puppies that have become hunting dogs and good pets. We put down a deposit on a male as soon as he was born in April. We were the last to put down a deposit, so we ended up getting last pick (not even really getting to pick one, just getting the last one left). We were fine with this, because everything I read said that when you choose a good breeder with good parents, no dog is the "last pick". The one that was designated to be our dog has always been smaller than all the rest and more shy, with lots of white patches on his body. There was even a time that she emailed me and said she was taking him to the vet because he was not catching up in weight to his siblings, and may end up refunding our deposit and sending him to a special needs home. She later emailed and said she decided not to have him checked out because he is doing much better. She posts videos almost daily of the puppies, but because our boy is so shy he is never on camera for very long. Yesterday she posted the first still photo in weeks of all the siblings at the vet for their checkup, and he obviously looked VERY different than the rest of his siblings. Not only 2/3 the size of the others, but also straight, very small ears and no blocky head like his siblings. His siblings are all gorgeous with wavy, beautiful ears, blocky heads, fuzzy fur (the typical golden puppy look that we really wanted). He looks like he could be lab mix puppy (still cute but we are paying quadruple digits for this guy). She then emailed last night and said the vet noticed that he is small and will look different than all the other puppies, so she is giving me a small discount on him (We are still paying 1000). I wish I could attach his picture on this but I don't know how. We are going to pick him up Saturday, but I have found myself not even excited to pick him up. I have expressed concern to the breeder, but she kind of acts like him looking different than his siblings is not a big deal. We are newlyweds, so we really value money and have saved up for months and months for our little guy. Should we forgo our deposit and keep looking if we don't like what we see in person this weekend? Is it common for someone to back out at the last minute? I feel awful and heartbroken about this.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 03:18 PM
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Welcome, where do you have your pictures saved?
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 03:25 PM
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If you posted pics, they are not showing up.
More than one dog can sire puppies in the same litter- if he truly has white patches on his body, not in typically found GR places like a little spot on his chest or a toe or whatever- and his ears are not typical, he might have a different daddy....
pictures should help. Many of us have much experience w Golden puppies and are able to ID a mix pretty accurately.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Our little boy is on the very right in both pics.. As you can see he's adorable! But he doesn't look like his siblings or my female golden when she was a baby.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 03:54 PM
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Where were they to all be in one crate? Just curious...
So, he looks like he is going to have a harsh expression- his ears look Golden-like to me, they are just set forward more than is ideal, or at least, in these two pics that's what it looks like. His eyes seem set a bit too far apart,and that adds to the harsh look. I don't see white patches. Could you get some pictures of just him, and let us know where the patches are on his body?
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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They were at the vet with their mom (on bottom) in those pictures. I'm guessing that's what she used to transport them & keep them all together at the vet. Here's a picture I found of him when he was younger with the white patch on the top of his head. He also has a big patch on his chest and on all 4 of his feet.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by las517 View Post
They were at the vet with their mom (on bottom) in those pictures. I'm guessing that's what she used to transport them & keep them all together at the vet. Here's a picture I found of him when he was younger with the white patch on the top of his head. He also has a big patch on his chest and on all 4 of his feet.

Honestly, if you really feel that this isn't the puppy you want I would talk to the breeder about just holding your deposit for another litter. You can ask for a refund but likely wouldn't get it based on you pulling out at the last minute. At that point you'd have to be willing to forego the deposit and by the time you'd find another breeder and get on the wait list, you should have some time to save up that last deposit money.


Though, I did find a few things that raised red flags to me with this breeder. It is kind of insane to have a 140+ person wait list. A good hobby breeder has 2-4 litters a year. At 10 pups a litter (never going to average that many) you're looking at 4-7 year wait list!? So that mean for a normal wait time of a year or less, they would be just pumping out puppies at a pace that of a puppy mill or for profit breeder. Now, I'm not saying this is the case but that seems like an awfully large wait list.



the 2nd thing that struck me it most good well established breeders will not let you "pick" a puppy from a litter but after temperament testing the pups at roughly 6 weeks of age, they will match the puppy to the buyer/family since they will know the true personality of the puppies. There is no way for a buyer to tell the personality of a puppy meeting it once or twice as one you think is calm and easy going may just have been running full blast for the past 2 or 3 hours and is wiped out.


Based on a few things here, If it were me personally, I may have to rethink this breeder and keep searching.

Eric
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 05:30 PM
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His coat does look very straight compared to his siblings, but Denver had pretty straight hair as a young puppy too (all of his litter mates did too)but he was very fluffy. When he reached maybe 4 months it really started to come in wavy in places. He'll probably have relatively straight hair as an adult when he's done maturing.

I can't really tell from the photos...but it looks like some of his other litter mates may have white toes too. How much smaller is he than his siblings? Was he a runt?
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 05:54 PM
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the 2nd thing that struck me it most good well established breeders will not let you "pick" a puppy from a litter but after temperament testing the pups at roughly 6 weeks of age, they will match the puppy to the buyer/family since they will know the true personality of the puppies. There is no way for a buyer to tell the personality of a puppy meeting it once or twice as one you think is calm and easy going may just have been running full blast for the past 2 or 3 hours and is wiped out.
Gotta say this isn't always the case.

Um... I gave a dear long time friend of mine 3 different leads for breeders who either had puppies on the ground or due any day. All three breeders were show breeders with both parents and every dog behind AKC champions. All three breeders were going to let my friend pick her puppy. My friend ended up picking a puppy from a litter where she has 3rd pick girlie. This means that after both breeders (mom was a co-own between 2 breeders) take their pick, my friend has the first pet/performance pick after them. She will definitely have guidance for her pick, but it's her choice.

I don't know if this was my speaking for this friend and recommending her as an excellent home, but she will also have the ability to show her pup in conformation if she likes. Should mention, a 9th pick from this breeder is going to be much better quality than a different breeder's first pick. It's just a very nice litter and a lot of "typiness" in the lines.

That said, this friend is spending $2200 on this girl puppy. That's not extra for anything. That's standard price for a puppy.

If somebody is buying a puppy for more than 1/2 that price - sometimes there's a reason.

Looking at the pictures and reading between the lines - would wager these pups do not have full clearances behind them nor titles on the parents.

White markings on the heads - it's nothing necessarily to worry about. One of my past boys (the show/field cross boy) had a little white mark on his head - and it was gone by the time his puppy fur blew.

Even white markings on the heads and maybe a touch on the chest or one toe or something - it's not a concern.

Show breeders do not typically breed dogs if they have any markings. Because it's a big nono in the ring. This means they have less a chance of producing pups with markings.

Field and pet breeders have no reason to worry about markings - and they will breed dogs with pretty blatant white marks on their chests, typically.

I think it's only concerning when you have pups who have markings in the all the places that are typical for other breeds (spaniels, hounds, etc). So blaze on the nose, white on chest, white feet, white tail tip...

The pups are all adorable.

It's difficult to say anything one way or another about the mom because she's scrunched in that cart and looks frazzled - but she looks like a golden retriever. I'm suspecting she's younger than 24 months, but....

Dad is mia - but really, I see no reason to assume the pups are mixed breeds.

You are paying only $1000 for a pup.... I think higher quality, more typiness, etc... you do need to pay more than that. It goes along with wanting the whole package (full clearances, titles, well established and reputable breeders, etc), especially since people buy puppies only once every 12-15 years.

Anyway - for $1000. These pups look like golden retrievers. Maybe some things are off here or there. Whatever. It is what it is.

ETA - I read the original post after posting this. I do hope this is a good breeder and my assumptions are all wrong. If it's a good breeder who has done full OFA's and had been very careful picking what they breed - you should be good.


Last edited by Megora; 05-30-2019 at 09:16 PM.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by las517 View Post
(...) We are going to pick him up Saturday, but I have found myself not even excited to pick him up. I have expressed concern to the breeder, but she kind of acts like him looking different than his siblings is not a big deal. We are newlyweds, so we really value money and have saved up for months and months for our little guy. Should we forgo our deposit and keep looking if we don't like what we see in person this weekend? Is it common for someone to back out at the last minute? I feel awful and heartbroken about this.

I agree with Maggie's Voice that there are some concerning things in your description of what has happened, including the "last pick" concept. Normally, the breeder would be concerned about choosing a pup with a personality that fits well with your resident dog, regardless of the timing of your deposit. This particular pup seems to have been assigned to you at a very young age, suggesting that no temperament testing has been done. Given his development problems, his shy personality and the fact that the breeder told you at one point that he might be better in a special needs home, I can sort of see why you would feel you're getting the "leftover" pup. It bothers me that she doesn't think your questions are a big deal.



Bottom line, though: every pup deserves to go to a home that's excited to get him, and deserves an owner who is going to be committed to him. Based on the sentence highlighted above, you're clearly very conflicted about this. If you're not sure, it may be better all around to withdraw and write off your deposit. You're making a lifetime commitment to this pup, and if you're not happy in the beginning, you may be setting yourself up for heartbreak.


I know it's difficult to make this kind of decision without actually meeting the pup. Photos and even videos can be deceptive. However, if you see the pup "in person", you're probably going to bring him home. It's very, very difficult to say "no" to a pup when you have him in your arms. I say this from personal experience ... Twelve years ago, when I was looking for my first performance golden, I got a phone call from a fairly local and well-regarded breeder who had heard about me from a mutual acquaintance (a fellow agility competitor): a 9-week-old pup had just been returned by the buyer and she was mine if I wanted her. I went to see the pup with my husband and (then) 5-year-old daughter. It was a super cute puppy, but I knew immediately, when I met the dam of the litter, that this wasn't the breeding for me. My family wanted to take the pup, but I didn't. So we left without her, and my family didn't speak to me for several days afterwards. It was the right decision - the following week I met with a different breeder, the one from whom I eventually did get a puppy, and the puppy I eventually got was everything I had hoped for, and much more (she's the dog in the photo below, which was taken as she was clearing the last jump to win her class of the national steeplechase championship). But turning down that first pup was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make.


This is a tough choice and I sympathize with you. However, if you're leaning towards pulling out of the purchase, I'd strongly suggest you do it now, before you meet the puppy.


Best of luck. I hope things work out for you.

Christine

Ruby 13-01-2007 to 18-03-2015.
My dog of a lifetime. I'll miss you forever.
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