Looking for "Bomb-Proof" World Travel Companion - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Looking for "Bomb-Proof" World Travel Companion

I posted back in late 2018 after I lost my previous best friend Daphne to a non-operable meningioma near her pituitary gland at the age of 14. Being only 9 when I got her as a pup, this breeder search was all new to me. Combined with fact that Daphne’s breeder, Mimi of Ajan Goldens no longer breeds, I had no clue where to start. Thankfully to the help of many here https://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...e-pup-usa.html (Help Looking for 2019 Golden Retriever Female Pup in USA), they were able to help me narrow down what I was looking for in a new potential pup, as well as some recommended breeders. Several of whom I reached out to. Some said potential litters were up in the air, others no response (I’m sure they are super busy), and others no litters. I followed up a month or so later to similar responses. Due to feeling a little overwhelmed, and to wrap up some work commitments that had neglected for too long, I took a break from my search.

I have since wrapped those obligations up and am determined to find my next partner in crime. I just followed up with those recommended breeders again and thought I’d inquire here again as well. This time however in a much more concise fashion.


WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR IN DOG:

A female pup from a conformation/show line, with temperament being #1 desired quality followed by strong history of longevity in line. This in addition to obvious health clearances. With regards to “temperament”, looking for a super “Zen”, “go with the flow”, “bomb-proof” dog who isn’t phased by anything or any environment. But also energetic and driven enough to attain high obedience levels through training to complement the “Zen” temperament and accompany me in my active lifestyle and eventually travel adventures around the world. Ideally from a hobby breeder who breeds no more than once or twice a year at absolute most, who will pick out the puppy from the litter that they feel best fits ME and MY SITUATION, and who cares enough about their puppies to grill me with more questions than a Father does the boy bringing his daughter out on her first date. I am willing to travel anywhere in US for breeder and extremely flexible on my timeline to find the perfect fit, as I think anything less would be unfair to my future family member. Whether that be making an opportunity that arises next week work, or waiting a year or more for the perfect fit, I am willing to do either, as well as everything in between.

ABOUT ME & ENVIRONMENT DOG WILL BE IN:

Age 24, self-employed in real estate realm. Started early, worked extremely hard, and in position where finances not going to be issue moving forward. Will be able to allow my incredible single mother to finally retire, and me financially free to pursue my main passion of travel. As I got older and more independent, I went on some awesome travel adventures with Daphne later in her life. From these travels, I realized if the dog has right temperament (as Daphne did) and planning done correctly on my part, world travel and canine companionship are not mutually exclusive, but can actually be extremely complementary. Daphne was the best, most enjoyable, lowest maintenance travel companion I've ever had, bar none. I only wish I'd been a little older earlier on so we could have gone on more such adventures. As I’m currently single and plan to be for while, I’m looking for this new fury four-legged lady to pick up where Daph left off, and be my primary companion on these upcoming travel adventures and beyond, as I'm looking for my BestBud4Life



For those wanting more information about me before putting me in touch with any potential breeders, a potential litter of their own, or interjecting their recommendations, I have a 9 page questionnaire that I have attached below. I adapted it from the Questionnaire of one of the recommended breeders, and filled out the majority of questions that, if I was a breeder, I’d think I’d want to ask one of the buyer’s of one of my pups. If I left anything out or you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

It is also my understanding that specific recommendations and/or condemnations of breeders are looked down upon in the public forums, so feel to PM me or email me at [email protected]. I can also hop on phone call, video chat, whatever is needed. For whoever took the time to read this whole post and/or offer any help, I greatly appreciate it. Nothing has had a deeper more profound effect on me and my life thus far than growing up with that four legged girl named Daphne, and it is awesome to be in a place where so many others share this view of the borderline perfect creatures that we call Golden Retrievers. And also how so many here work tirelessly to uphold and improve that incredible standard through their own breeding efforts and the free dissemination of proper information to any and everyone who will listen on this forum.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 11:51 AM
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If you're willing to wait, Goldruls about an hour east of Atlanta has a strong female line and her dogs are beautiful but most important the ones I've met have a terrific, people loving temperament. My parents have one of her girls and she is just fantastic with people.

I want to caution you that no dog is bomb proof. They are living creatures and have very individual personalities. Starting with a good breeder who can help select a good fit for you out of a litter is a great start, but your willingness to invest your time in the foundation obedience training and socializing is what will ultimately make the most of your dog. It's a serious project for the first 2 years on obedience training and daily exercise to get through the puppy phase and have a great dog. Best of luck with your search.

You might also try Grapevine Goldens to see what her wait list is like and also contact a member here, k9design, K9-Design :: Vinyl Dog Decals, Magnets and Graphic Design and see if one of her dogs (she owns males who will occasionally sire a litter) and see if she has a lead for you on a litter coming up that might be a good fit. Her boys are amazing and have fantastic temperaments, they are well known for being strong performance/conformation combo dogs and will typically be used by breeders who are looking to produce great, all around puppies.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR IN DOG:

A female pup from a conformation/show line, with temperament being #1 desired quality followed by strong history of longevity in line. This in addition to obvious health clearances. With regards to “temperament”, looking for a super “Zen”, “go with the flow”, “bomb-proof” dog who isn’t phased by anything or any environment. But also energetic and driven enough to attain high obedience levels through training to complement the “Zen” temperament and accompany me in my active lifestyle and eventually travel adventures around the world.
This is precisely what we try to breed for. We take great pride in our mission to raise courageous, confident puppies, and we have worked at and studied this extensively. So let me give you my two cents about what you might want to look for.

Having a "bomb-proof" dog depends on a few things. First, of course, the breeding must be between confident dogs. With most hobby breeders you'll never see or know the sire, so there will be an element of faith to that. But you should be able to see and assess the dam. If you can find a breeder who specifically breeds for confidence, you are halfway there.

Second is how the puppies are reared from day 3 of life through the 8 or 9 weeks of age when they go home. (We keep puppies to 9 weeks of age specifically because we think that extra week is prime time for making courageous, confident dogs, and with proper socialization.) I'll address that in a bit.

Third is how you rear the puppy from the day you get her until 12-14 weeks old.

After that, their propensities are basically set. The combination of genetics + how they are reared until 12-14 weeks of age will make your dog what she is. After that, it's just tinkering around the edges, and only some traits respond to tinkering. So here are some things you might look for in a breeder when searching for a puppy:

We begin making bomb-proof puppies at 3 days old. We put the puppies under stress beginning at this early age through early neurological stimulation and early scent introduction. Somewhere on this forum is a video of me demonstrating this. Our feeling is that puppies must be abused (<-- "abused" is a joke, but the point is that they must be put under stress) from a very early time. This stimulation actually affects the way their neurons connect as their little brains develop, and assists in myelination of the cranial nerves. Puppies are born with incomplete development of their brains, and the development of the postnatal brain, and particularly the progressive myelination of the cerebral white matter, can be affected by the puppies' very early environment. A little myelin goes a long way for early brain development in puppies. This is where early neurological stimulation and scent exposure can assist. So, if you find a breeder who does this, that may be a plus for you, and it will indicate that the breeder is interested in rearing confident puppies.

Make sure your puppy stays with her litter for 8 weeks or longer. Sending puppies home too early, say at 6 or 7 weeks rather than 8, increases the chance that they will be fearful and reactive as adults. Simply staying with their littermates helps build self-confident dogs. We keep pups to 9 weeks for this reason and others (such as socialization benefits).

Some folks believe that baby puppies should be shielded from any fright or challenge that might stress them. We believe the opposite. We know that to gain confidence, puppies must do things that are hard for them, that take them out of their comfort zone. Puppy equipment that is too easy for the puppies after 4 or 5 weeks of age is cute but not developmental. By six weeks of age, puppies need situations that are physically and mentally difficult and a little bit stressful. Pups need to struggle to gain confidence, whether getting on a platform, sliding down a slide, or wading in a stream. A pup may have to try a dozen times, perhaps over several days, to climb up on a platform. He may whine, cry and even howl. He may give up or fail, over and over. Yes, he will get stressed and it will be hard on him (and you) but if we allow the puppy to solve the problem himself, he will become more coordinated and confident. If we make it too easy or if we rescue him, he will not. Independent success and achievement create confident puppies.

The breeder should change the puppies' environment regularly. Because of the way puppies’ brains develop, challenges need to change regularly. Puppies quickly habituate to things and when they do, development stops. So a good breeder will change up the puppy pen, moving items around and rotating things in and out almost daily.

We take entire litters on something we call "adventure walks," which are not only lots of fun, they are great for developing confidence. Taking puppies out for off-leash walks over moderate terrain helps them develop confidence and proprioception. We try to get off the path and go cross country with litters beginning at 6 weeks so they meet and overcome challenges like ditches, hills, fallen trees, stone walls and more. In doing this, we never rescue puppies unless they are in danger, but we allow them to solve their own problems. It is vitally important that they be allowed to become stressed, but not rescued, and that they have to solve their own problems. Of course, we keep them safe, but otherwise, they are on their own. These walks also help in developing the following instinct, so that they want to follow their humans later on. A breeder in a city may not be able to do this kind of walk, but they can find substitutes.

We also use APET temperament testing, which takes us two days to complete for an average sized litter. This will reveal the pup's propensities. Some traits are tweakable, others are not. Some aspects of a puppy’s temperament can be changed through training, development and socialization experiences but other traits are stabilized before a puppy goes to its first home. Your puppy should be matched to your home and lifestyle in terms of managing its stable traits.

Now, all these things aren't the only way to choose and rear "bomb-proof" puppies. But the principles are universal. The more of these kinds of things you can find in a breeder, the more likely you are to get that "bomb-proof" puppy.

But it doesn't stop with the breeder. When you get your puppy home, you should (while keeping her safe from parvo, etc.) expose your puppy to every situation you possibly can before she is 12 weeks old. At somewhere between 12-14 weeks, the window for helping your pup become "bomb-proof" closes. So it's important to work diligently with your puppy during that period. We make sure puppies meet at least 100 people of all kinds (tall, short, fat, thin, old, young, disabled, black, white, Hispanic, with glasses, with beards, bald, in wheelchair, etc., etc.). We put their feet on every conceivable surface. We take them to loud and scary places (factories, railroad tracks, fireworks, etc.), and we expose them to as many "safe" animals as we can. It's very important to do this before they are 12 weeks old, before that developmental window closes.

And as your puppy grows, she will go through two to three developmental "fear periods." It is important during these times that you not coddle or rescue your pup, nor to force her, but allow her to work through her fears and insecurities, so long as you keep her safe from harm.

Sorry this is so long. But I hope it helps in giving you an idea of the kinds of things you might want to look for in a breeder, and what you should keep doing when you get your puppy home.

Good luck!
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If you want a bomb proof dog, you're probably better off with a male btw. While females can be bomb-proof like your Daphne, it seems a bit more common in males.



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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nolefan View Post
If you're willing to wait, Goldruls about an hour east of Atlanta has a strong female line and her dogs are beautiful but most important the ones I've met have a terrific, people loving temperament. My parents have one of her girls and she is just fantastic with people.

I want to caution you that no dog is bomb proof. They are living creatures and have very individual personalities. Starting with a good breeder who can help select a good fit for you out of a litter is a great start, but your willingness to invest your time in the foundation obedience training and socializing is what will ultimately make the most of your dog. It's a serious project for the first 2 years on obedience training and daily exercise to get through the puppy phase and have a great dog. Best of luck with your search.

You might also try Grapevine Goldens to see what her wait list is like and also contact a member here, k9design, K9-Design :: Vinyl Dog Decals, Magnets and Graphic Design and see if one of her dogs (she owns males who will occasionally sire a litter) and see if she has a lead for you on a litter coming up that might be a good fit. Her boys are amazing and have fantastic temperaments, they are well known for being strong performance/conformation combo dogs and will typically be used by breeders who are looking to produce great, all around puppies.
Thank you! I will reach out to Goldruls. One question though. In your response, you mention Goldruls having strong female line and Grapevine having awesome boys. Is it sometimes common, even with excellent breeders, for some desired traits to be skewed towards one gender more than the others?

Absolutely, nothing is guaranteed and whatever dog I do end up bringing home I will love and nurture no matter what. Just as any TRUE relationship, it is a two way street, for better or for worse. One of our canine companions purest traits is their unconditional love, and it is sad that as humans we so often fail to reciprocate when the going gets a little rough. Life isn't about the destination, it's about the journey. And more specifically, those we have in our life to share that journey with, for both the failures and successes. And as I'm sure many here will attest, there is no one better to share this journey with than a dog. And also for me, family isn't defined by blood but by those you choose to have in your life and those who choose to be in yours. To me, my dog is as much a part of my family as any two-legger will ever be.

That said, no reason why I shouldn't try to do everything in my power to skew the odds in favor of the best fit possible for the dog and the environment it will be joining me in. Any decisions here, not only affect one life, but two. And that is a huge responsibility. Not just through finding the ideal breeder and litter, but also as you and DanaRuns mention, doing my part from very the day I bring the pup home to help it reach its fullest potential. Anything less would be selfish on my part and a huge disservice to the dog. And whatever that temperament does turn out to be after all is said and done, I will live my life and make whatever changes to my environment as necessary.

Again to reinforce, not trying to force a square peg into a round hole here. Yes I do have a vision for how I want the next few years of my life to play out and want to do everything in my power to place the odds in my favor of a four legged companion who will thrive in that environment. But at the end of the day, once that pup comes home, that is a lifelong commitment. Life happens and things change. If that means adapting my life or that vision for my family, two legged or four, then that's what I'll do.

First and foremost is a healthy and happy four legged companion. The more unique and exotic adventures we can go on the better, but that pales in comparison to the importance of the former.
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Originally Posted by DanaRuns View Post
This is precisely what we try to breed for. We take great pride in our mission to raise courageous, confident puppies, and we have worked at and studied this extensively. So let me give you my two cents about what you might want to look for.

Having a "bomb-proof" dog depends on a few things. First, of course, the breeding must be between confident dogs. With most hobby breeders you'll never see or know the sire, so there will be an element of faith to that. But you should be able to see and assess the dam. If you can find a breeder who specifically breeds for confidence, you are halfway there.

Second is how the puppies are reared from day 3 of life through the 8 or 9 weeks of age when they go home. (We keep puppies to 9 weeks of age specifically because we think that extra week is prime time for making courageous, confident dogs, and with proper socialization.) I'll address that in a bit.

Third is how you rear the puppy from the day you get her until 12-14 weeks old.

After that, their propensities are basically set. The combination of genetics + how they are reared until 12-14 weeks of age will make your dog what she is. After that, it's just tinkering around the edges, and only some traits respond to tinkering. So here are some things you might look for in a breeder when searching for a puppy:

We begin making bomb-proof puppies at 3 days old. We put the puppies under stress beginning at this early age through early neurological stimulation and early scent introduction. Somewhere on this forum is a video of me demonstrating this. Our feeling is that puppies must be abused (<-- "abused" is a joke, but the point is that they must be put under stress) from a very early time. This stimulation actually affects the way their neurons connect as their little brains develop, and assists in myelination of the cranial nerves. Puppies are born with incomplete development of their brains, and the development of the postnatal brain, and particularly the progressive myelination of the cerebral white matter, can be affected by the puppies' very early environment. A little myelin goes a long way for early brain development in puppies. This is where early neurological stimulation and scent exposure can assist. So, if you find a breeder who does this, that may be a plus for you, and it will indicate that the breeder is interested in rearing confident puppies.

Make sure your puppy stays with her litter for 8 weeks or longer. Sending puppies home too early, say at 6 or 7 weeks rather than 8, increases the chance that they will be fearful and reactive as adults. Simply staying with their littermates helps build self-confident dogs. We keep pups to 9 weeks for this reason and others (such as socialization benefits).

Some folks believe that baby puppies should be shielded from any fright or challenge that might stress them. We believe the opposite. We know that to gain confidence, puppies must do things that are hard for them, that take them out of their comfort zone. Puppy equipment that is too easy for the puppies after 4 or 5 weeks of age is cute but not developmental. By six weeks of age, puppies need situations that are physically and mentally difficult and a little bit stressful. Pups need to struggle to gain confidence, whether getting on a platform, sliding down a slide, or wading in a stream. A pup may have to try a dozen times, perhaps over several days, to climb up on a platform. He may whine, cry and even howl. He may give up or fail, over and over. Yes, he will get stressed and it will be hard on him (and you) but if we allow the puppy to solve the problem himself, he will become more coordinated and confident. If we make it too easy or if we rescue him, he will not. Independent success and achievement create confident puppies.

The breeder should change the puppies' environment regularly. Because of the way puppies’ brains develop, challenges need to change regularly. Puppies quickly habituate to things and when they do, development stops. So a good breeder will change up the puppy pen, moving items around and rotating things in and out almost daily.

We take entire litters on something we call "adventure walks," which are not only lots of fun, they are great for developing confidence. Taking puppies out for off-leash walks over moderate terrain helps them develop confidence and proprioception. We try to get off the path and go cross country with litters beginning at 6 weeks so they meet and overcome challenges like ditches, hills, fallen trees, stone walls and more. In doing this, we never rescue puppies unless they are in danger, but we allow them to solve their own problems. It is vitally important that they be allowed to become stressed, but not rescued, and that they have to solve their own problems. Of course, we keep them safe, but otherwise, they are on their own. These walks also help in developing the following instinct, so that they want to follow their humans later on. A breeder in a city may not be able to do this kind of walk, but they can find substitutes.

We also use APET temperament testing, which takes us two days to complete for an average sized litter. This will reveal the pup's propensities. Some traits are tweakable, others are not. Some aspects of a puppy’s temperament can be changed through training, development and socialization experiences but other traits are stabilized before a puppy goes to its first home. Your puppy should be matched to your home and lifestyle in terms of managing its stable traits.

Now, all these things aren't the only way to choose and rear "bomb-proof" puppies. But the principles are universal. The more of these kinds of things you can find in a breeder, the more likely you are to get that "bomb-proof" puppy.

But it doesn't stop with the breeder. When you get your puppy home, you should (while keeping her safe from parvo, etc.) expose your puppy to every situation you possibly can before she is 12 weeks old. At somewhere between 12-14 weeks, the window for helping your pup become "bomb-proof" closes. So it's important to work diligently with your puppy during that period. We make sure puppies meet at least 100 people of all kinds (tall, short, fat, thin, old, young, disabled, black, white, Hispanic, with glasses, with beards, bald, in wheelchair, etc., etc.). We put their feet on every conceivable surface. We take them to loud and scary places (factories, railroad tracks, fireworks, etc.), and we expose them to as many "safe" animals as we can. It's very important to do this before they are 12 weeks old, before that developmental window closes.

And as your puppy grows, she will go through two to three developmental "fear periods." It is important during these times that you not coddle or rescue your pup, nor to force her, but allow her to work through her fears and insecurities, so long as you keep her safe from harm.

Sorry this is so long. But I hope it helps in giving you an idea of the kinds of things you might want to look for in a breeder, and what you should keep doing when you get your puppy home.

Good luck!
Wow! Is there an equivalent of Reddit Gold here? This is incredible information!

I know very little about this topic and thus don't want to be approaching some of the highly respected breeders recommended by some on here in the wrong way, but it sounds like I need to still find some way to broach the following questions:


- What do you personally feel is the proper temperament for a golden retriever? How does this definition relate to what you are currently trying to achieve with this current or upcoming litter?

- What are your thoughts on the role of genetics versus environment in the development of temperament in golden retrievers?

- Based on this opinion, what do you do as a breeder with regards to each of these variables (genetics and environmental stimuli) to try and best achieve the temperament you described above prior to the puppy going home with new owner.

- Do you pick out pups from litter for potential owners or do you allow potential owners to pick? (Unless extenuating circumstances or potential owners being super respected and experienced breeders or trainers themselves, I imagine the latter would be huge red flag)

- To what extent do you feel the temperament of the pup can be further affected for better or worse once it goes home with the owner? Along these line, just as a breeder you are constantly looking for desired traits in dogs, what desired traits are you looking for in a potential owner of one of your pups?

- It sounds like you take incredible care with matching pups to owners which is awesome. However I am curious, what in your opinion was the worst match you've ever placed between a pup and and owner? How did the situation rectify itself? What have you tried to do since to make sure that doesn't occur again?

- Do you have any particular recommendations or resources you'd advise with regards to further positively impacting the temperament of the dogs once it is brought home by the owner?

- Within reason, will you as the breeder be open to contact and questions from me once I bring the puppy home to help me ensure, that to the best of my ability, I do my part to help the pup reach its full potential from a temperamental and behavioral perspective?


Thoughts?

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.. In your response, you mention Goldruls having strong female line and Grapevine having awesome boys. Is it sometimes common, even with excellent breeders, for some desired traits to be skewed towards one gender more than the others?.
Good traits can be passed to either sex.

Goldruls is Margie Sarkin and she has been able to keep a pretty consistent 'look' to her dogs for several generations now. She breeds primarily for conformation but does get some hunt and obedience titles on some of her dogs. She keeps females mostly but also has a super nice male (who also has an amazing temperament) and recently kept a son of his. Margie has a good eye for puppies and has established a look to her dogs so it's easy to see it in the bitches but you can see she also has produced great male dogs too. Not many people have as much success as she has getting such a consistent look.

I mentioned Grapevine because I know she has a nice litter planned this summer, no idea what her long term plans are. She is someone who would be someone to keep in mind for a puppy because I notice she tries to choose sires for her puppies who are meet the breed standard physically but also have performance talent, which matters for Goldens. She is not the one who keeps males only, that is k9design who I gave a link for.

K9design is a member of this forum. She enjoys training and showing and doesn't want the hassle of keeping both sexes or breeding and raising litters so just has her boys. They are sons and grandson of her original extremely special dog, Fisher. It is easy to see that the genetics are passed down because I've spent time with them - Fisher is the sire of the girl in my signature photo. The time and training invested in her boys is a big part of the equation, but part of it is clearly inherited genetic tendencies. It is easy to see the way looks and temperament have been passed down with the males because that is what she keeps and she is a terrific trainer who invests a ton of time and effort into her dogs. I have a female and I adore her, she is my shadow.

I just suggested these because they are consistent with nice dogs and I am confident you should be able to get a great puppy regardless of sex.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 09:41 AM
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I have a dog who is completely bombproof. His name is HipHop. He was a phenom show puppy going all around the country finishing from 6-9 puppy , earning his GCH , group placements, and winning a specialty all at 12 months. He showed just as well for our 16 year old junior handler as for our professional handler, and he also passed the Public Access test to go with my friend Amy who is board certified in emergency medicine everywhere she goes. He goes to the hospital and to work at Urgent Care, he goes to restuarants and Whole Foods and the mall with her autistic daughter, and he teaches "Doga" yoga for dogs at a local studio. He socializes bengal kittens for a local cat breeder. He still has plenty of energy and personality, and loves to swim and play. His father Mystic is pretty bombproof too, but HipHop's zen is otherworldy. We dont breed enough to be able to offer a puppy to you, but their breeders Kathy Whipple at Tamarack Goldens in Eagle Idaho and Indya Sheehan at Rainyday Goldens in SC are promising leads for this kind of wise, calm, gentle deep-thinking dog. HipHop has a few litter on the ground now and then, but all are spoken for at the moment. He isnt bred often bc he has such an important daily life going with Dr. Amy absolultely everywhere.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ljilly28 View Post
I have a dog who is completely bombproof. His name is HipHop. He was a phenom show puppy going all around the country finishing from 6-9 puppy , earning his GCH , group placements, and winning a specialty all at 12 months. He showed just as well for our 16 year old junior handler as for our professional handler, and he also passed the Public Access test to go with my friend Amy who is board certified in emergency medicine everywhere she goes. He goes to the hospital and to work at Urgent Care, he goes to restuarants and Whole Foods and the mall with her autistic daughter, and he teaches "Doga" yoga for dogs at a local studio. He socializes bengal kittens for a local cat breeder. He still has plenty of energy and personality, and loves to swim and play. His father Mystic is pretty bombproof too, but HipHop's zen is otherworldy. We dont breed enough to be able to offer a puppy to you, but their breeders Kathy Whipple at Tamarack Goldens in Eagle Idaho and Indya Sheehan at Rainyday Goldens in SC are promising leads for this kind of wise, calm, gentle deep-thinking dog. HipHop has a few litter on the ground now and then, but all are spoken for at the moment. He isnt bred often bc he has such an important daily life going with Dr. Amy absolultely everywhere.
Your description of HipHop is exactly what I'm looking for and is extremely similar to my experience with Daphne. Never once spooked, never once flustered, never once showed any aggression. Would handle any new experience or environment with the same confidence as if she had already been there a hundred times. Massive dog barking and going crazy behind fence 10 ft from her, doesn't even acknowledge them. Packed like a sardine in Rome subway on a 7am commute with some very smelly Europeans, total zen. Turbulence during thunderstorm on plane to point where some ppl on flight getting audibly nervous, doesn't bat an eye. Goes blind at 10, transitions beautifully and retains the same zen for any and all situations. When we were out and about, it would only when people would see her eyes that they would realize she was blind. Otherwise they would have no clue. Had one experience in Paris where I overheard someone remark "awww, look at the guide dog leading the blind boy" (they thought I was the blind one, lol). Once she went blind, we did develop some of our own language to communicate different things such as curb coming up, to slow down/stop as obstacle coming up, and so forth. We also developed an extremely strong non-verbal communication through the slightest movements of the leash and she had an incredible amount of trust in me. But still. The really only major difference once she went blind from before was her inability to see and chase squirrels.

She was incredibly zen, but I still was little worried when I took her as a fully blind 12 year old dog on a 2 month trip across Europe. Thus a couple smaller domestic test runs with planes and so forth to test things, which she passed with flying colors, but still. It blew my mind how well she did. Transatlantic flight followed by two months of constantly switching trains in Europe (she'd never been on train before), new Air Bnb every few days, subways, and everything in between. And out of myself, my Mom, and the blind 12 year old dog, the blind 12 year old dog was the lowest maintenance zen one out of the three of us by a mile. And yet my Mom and I had done many similar experiences before while Daph had not.

On our flight back from Naples, Italy to New York, she slept the whole way. Part of that was by design on my part tiring her out the two days before so she'd sleep the whole flight. But when we got up to get off flight, people behind us freaked out for second as apparently she had been so still for whole 12 hours that they assumed she was just a stuffed animal (their words).

Thus, me thinking what could have been possible with Daphne had I been older and her exposed to more training. She was a certified therapy dog from her younger days, yes, but her commands were mostly just sit, down, and stay. It was just all her natural temperament. Like an elite athlete just operating on pure talent alone. Now what if she had been exposed to more training from a young age??? The things that would have been possible...

Last edited by BestBuds4Life; 06-17-2019 at 12:03 PM.
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