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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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Questions for breeders

Ok, so I've been thinking about breeding goldens one day in the very, very distant future. Of course, I would want to do it the right way, if I ever decide to breed. I was just wondering how you go about becoming a reputable, quality breeder? How do you do clearances, ect? It's just something I've been thinking about. I'm 24 now. I'm thinking about maybe doing something like this in my late 30's or 40's. I would just like to know exactly what I'm doing and how to get started.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 08:36 AM
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I am not a breeder.
But, I would suggest joining the Golden Retriever Club that is close to your area. By participating within the club you will meet the people that could best give you the advice you seek. Over time you may end up with a mentor. By joining you will be around people and the goldens that usually meet the standard. This will give you a more hands on approach to learning to evaluate what is the correct standard. The more you and Lilly do within the club the more you will learn. Even though you won't be showing Lilly I would take a conformation class to learn and practice with her.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 08:39 AM
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I think that my first question is WHY?
honestly breeding is the thing I like doing the least.... I do it so I can have the next generation to show and work with and because I LOVE the breed but honestly it is the most stressful thing that I do... every time I breed I get to the end of the pregnancy and think to myself what was I doing???

yes the puppies are great... they are a ton of work and I have had puppies die and the ensuing vet bills trying to save a pup.... you risk the health and welfare of the mother and all breeders know someone whose girl died whelping puppies. Screening families is horrendous.... and they stress you out (sorry folks you do) you don't make any money.... and what happens when you get a sick puppy back.... I have a puppy that I got back at 4 mos of age... not realizing he was sick when I placed him.... he required 10,000 in surgery to save his life. What would you do?? do you have the money to back you up.... do you euthanize a seemingly normal 4 mos. old puppy who you know is going to get sick.... I have had puppy people totally snow me... I screen and screen and still ended up with a neglected puppy... thankfully we got him back.... or a puppy person who didn't teach her dog any self control and he ended up biting another dog... (he was a show dog and was neutered 3 days later and went to six weeks of in house boarding training because I told her if she didnt do that I was taking him back).

this doesn't address the basic question you asked but it would be my first question for you....

then to be reputable...

you do something with your dogs... being a good pet is just not enough... there are lots of nice dogs in the shelter so what makes your dogs extra special and makes them worth adding to the genetic mix... how did you make them prove they are worth breeding??

be an active member of your local and national club and adhere to their code of ethics

don't breed your dog prior to the age when final clearances can be done which is age two in the US, don't make money of the backs of your dogs... you will never make money if you do it right....

Find an experienced mentor... we all have one... my own mentor is a woman in her eighties who has been involved in goldens since the 1960's and her own mentor was Paigey Elliott, surround yourself with people who will be honest and a resource....

learn your pedigrees and what exists back there and be honest about the health issues in your own dogs.... we all have them...

health clearances obviously? hips elbows heart eyes at a minimum

I personally only breed when I am planning to keep a puppy

I take back any puppy at any time for any reason

pet puppies go on limited registration

be a resource to your puppy people I am happy to say that most of my puppy people have become friends....

I am sure the others will add more but this is just what comes to mind at the moment

Shalva and the Milbrose Retrievers and Irish Wolfhound
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 10:20 AM
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I think Shalva's post sums it up. It isn't all sunshine & roses. It can be a lot of heartbreak and headaches. I know that more times than not, you lose money if you're doing things the right way.

Join your local GR club, ask a reputable breeder if you can be mentored by them. And get busy with your new puppy. No one will sell you a show & breeding quality female without seeing that you've attempted numerous titles on the dog you already have!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 01:17 PM
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I agree 100% with the excellent advice that Shalva has given.

It takes many years to develop a "quality" line and deserve a good reputation in any breed of dogs and along the road are many heartaches and disappointments.

Reputable people in the dog world don't just breed puppies - they are actively involved with their breed and strive to bring something positive to it by being involved in the welfare and future of the breed they have a passion for. Breeding litters of pups is not the paramount aim.

Breeding puppies is messy, stressfull, hard work and expensive. Each time you breed a litter from your bitch/es you put them at risk. Puppies don't always come born all fluffy and cute, there are often difficult births, miscarriages, deformed puppies and puppies that don't thrive for various reasons. Then there is the worry about whether the pups are going to suitable and permanent homes. They do sometimes come back and the question you should ask is "am I prepared to be involved with and take responsibility for the pups I bred and the ones who may come back. The welfare of your dogs should always be uppermost in mind no matter what it costs in terms of money, effort and sometimes heartache.

The best thing that you can do for the moment is learn as much as you can from people who have been actively involved with this lovely breed for many years, people who have experience and informed knowledge and who are willing to share that knowledge with you. A good mentor will also become a good friend. Go to shows, events and get involved. Reearch, research, research.

Continually ask yourself WHY do I want to breed puppies? If financial issues (either gains or losses) play an important part then I would say please don't do it - it is best left to the experts.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 01:27 PM
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I was involved in obedience showing for many years before I ever thought about breeding. Shalva has very good advice. And from personal experience with my own dogs things can all go well and you feel great about it. But when things go wrong (c-section, fetal death, fetal reabsorption) it is a horrible experience. I also had mentors to guide me. I was a member of the local golden retriever club and the GRCA, and a member of the local obedience club.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the great advice!

To answer the question, WHY am I thinking about this? There are a few reasons. One, I have always loved the breed since my childhood dog, Jewel. I didn't know what a "BYB" was, just that there were purebred dogs with papers, purebred dogs without papers, and then there were mutts. And also that there were show dogs. I never knew how people got into showing. I really didn't know what a "reputable" breeder was until I came to this forum. I have so much respect for the quality breeders because I know that they could just not bother doing it the right way and actually make a great profit, but they choose to do what's right for the breed and the health of their puppies and dogs rather than to try to make money off of their dogs.

This is just something I have been thinking about for the last few days, and I was curious on how you would get into doing this. I don't know if it's really something I would want to do or not.
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