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I have learned alot on this forum, so before I go just buy another puppy I wanted to know what age should golden retrievers be bred at. I didn't know they could be bred underage! I would want to make sure I didn't get a puppy whose mom or dad was bred underage. So what age should Golden Retrievers have their first breeding to another dog and why? (side note: I am not saying I am interested in breeding, I can tell alot of you feel strongly about this and alot of people get the answer "well you can't just put to dogs together and make puppies and sell them!" so this is not what I am meaning I just wanted to know what age and why because when I looked it up on line I got different answers on the female and male. SO I figured I would just ask you guys because you seem to know alot!
 

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I would carefully review this thread:

 

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No dog should ever be bred before the age of 2 years and then only after it has received it's OFA evaluations for Hips and Elbows, it's heart clearance by a cardiologist and an annual eye certification. I personally wouldn't buy one without seeing a DNA panel in addition, clear by parentage is okay on some things if I can actually verify the information.

This is the short answer
 

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Why do they have to be 2 years of age? Why do they really need all of these health certifications? Just asking because I am not sure why and would like to know!
 

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I would suggest you take the time to read the thread information I shared with you as well as to search the Forum for information on this topic. There is a plethora of it for you to read that has already been discussed.
 

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Read the thread... You need to educate yourself. We all learn better by taking the time to read and digest information. Me spoon feeding you short answers will only do you a disservice.
 

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I just wanted to know what age and why because when I looked it up on line I got different answers on the female and male. SO I figured I would just ask you guys because you seem to know alot!
Per the Code-of-Ethics for the Golden Retriever Club of America, dogs need to have passed their hip and elbow health clearances before they should be bred. Also per the GRCA CoE, these clearances need to be certified by the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals). Due to growth characteristics, OFA will not certify hip/elbow clearances before the age of two (2). So, golden retrievers, both male and female, need to be at-least-two to be bred in compliance with the GRCA CoE.
 

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When a bitch CAN be bred (and conceive and have puppies) is way different from when she SHOULD be bred (in terms of maturity and physical health - and yes, knowing if she can pass the recommended clearances). In human terms... a girl can get pregnant as soon as she starts menstruating (as young as 10 or 11 for some who start early), but it would be hard on both her physical and mental health to have a baby that young.

As for your second question... responsible breeders do all the clearances because hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and heart and eye problems, as well as several other afflictions (such as ichthyosis), are common in the breed and may have a genetic component (e.g., a dog with bad hips has a higher chance of producing a puppy with bad hips). These diseases can costs thousands of dollars to try to correct, many are painful for the dog and some are fatal. A responsible breeder does everything possible to ensure that their breeding stock is as free from these afflictions as is possible for them to determine. Because there are no guarantees (genetics is a funny thing, and weird things pop up, regardless of whether they are evident in the parents or the pedigree), many breeders go deep into the pedigree to not only verify that their particular dog doesn't have these issues, but that their parents and grandparents and great grandparents (and their siblings and any other puppies they produced) also do not have these issues.

As I said... it's still no guarantee, but responsible breeders do everything in their power to reduce the chances of producing puppies who may be affected by these problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
@SoCalEngr ok well that makes sense.
@OscarsDad and @DblTrblGolden2 and @pawsnpaca thank you.
So I know this is a sensitive topic. But if a dog has all of the right certifications like OFA HIP and ELBOW and heart and eye certifications. Do you think it would be okay to stud or breed that dog whether it is a female or male? Or do you guys still think you should leave it to breeders that have been doing this for years? Once again just out of curiosity I have way to much going on in my world as it is. SO I definitely wouldnt breed dogs. And with all that I have learned I dont really want to!
Side note my pup is about to be 10 months old, he is really disproportionate his shoulders are broad and stocky but his body is slim and lean. Is this just like a growing stage or what? Its weird to because he was the first born and the runt and now he is taller than all of his siblings (5 brothers and 4 sisters). Hes also got like a knot on his head my grandparents said that they've always been told that those dogs with knots on their heads would just be really intelligent. I am not sure though... should I be worried, would I need to take him to the vet? I know this is a completely different topic but I figured I would just ask on here instead of making a different discussion😊
What testing should the HAVE TO HAVE done because I pulled up the ofa testing just so I could know what they are for next time I buy a puppy and their were a lot of them so do they need all of them?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thats cute! I dont have any female dogs anyways. Actually only have one female animal and thats a Dutch Warmblood Palomino. She is the only female animal I have ever had. I only get males. I didn't and dont plan to neuter him because I dont like the way it can affect their health thyroid, testosterone levels, metabolism etc. I actually have never neutered or spayed any of my animals ever.
 

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Breeding dogs should pass ALL of the tests recommended by the GRCA Code of Ethics. Period.

NO dog should be bred unless they are outstanding examples of the breed. This eliminates probably 90% of male dogs (who can be used to breed many females, and so we should really only be breeding the best of the best), and a majority of females. Most breeders are "kennel blind," which just means it's really hard to be objective about your own dog. That's one of the purposes of showing a dog in conformation ("Breed shows")... it allows an independent expert to give their opinion of whether your dog is an outstanding example of his breed. It is HARD, and expensive, for a Golden Retriever to earn an AKC Championship! He (or she) has to be deemed to be the absolutely BEST dog in the ring when compared to a LOT of other dogs, across, usually, quite a few shows, to earn a championship. That's one of the reasons many breeders keep only females and then look for the best stud to pair with her, and hopefully balance out any (minor) flaws she has (if she has major flaws, then she should not be bred).
 

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People can do what every they want. Generally speaking there will be a code of conduct for appropriate societal behavior if you will. All humans are fully capable of taking the life of another, but we know that this behavior is not just, ethical or moral. The same can be said with lying, stealing, sexual assault, etc.

You are asking repeatedly questions like why is it not okay to just randomly breed? Why not at young ages? Why not without health certifications? We can keep pointing you to the resources but if you are not taking the time to research, evaluate and assimilate the information, we are not going to make much headway.

There are people out there who do believe stealing is just fine; that makes them unethical and immoral. If someone is aware of what the standards for ethical breeding are and chooses to ignore that and decides to proceed outside of that Standard, that choice makes a clear statement about their ethics.

You have to decide what kind of person you are. Are you the kind of person that expects ethical, just and moral behavior from everyone including yourself? Or are you okay knowing that your behavior shows that you are not ethical, just and moral in the animal related aspects of your life?

By the way, your decision to buy Patriot should not be something anyone should measure your ethics by because you were 1. young and 2. lacking sufficient knowledge to do better. It is a drastic comparison but our culture feels the same when young children accidentally cause injury or death. They simply are not a fully formed person nor do they have the understanding to know the impact of their actions.

Moving forward from this month, you now do know the framework for responsible dog breeding. Now you have to decide “who you are”.

If you are looking to breed, which your discussions point to, please find a reputable mentor. We need more young, passionate people in the breed. Unfortunately youth and passion don’t make great breeders so mentorship is critical to success for the breed.

You also need to be onboard with the idea Patriot or any dog you may buy is not a dog that should be bred. My very first Golden was an amazing girl that I as a very amateur owner showed to her AKC Championship, but she failed elbows and was spayed. I had another puppy from my breeding that I spayed because at 9 months old she went oversized for a Golden. These are tough decisions but dogs missing or failing certifications should not be bred and not every dog with health certifications should be bred.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
@LJack thank you. I really honestly am being truthful I don't want to breed dogs I maybe once did but not now. I will just leave it up to the professionals. I was just wondering about the following questions I presented because all of you seem set against "backyard breeders" I was just curious as to why. Also why you guys think or know that they need all of the following health certifications. I was just wondering and I will definitely go look into all of the information you guys shared. I am just super unlearned about the topic presented so I was just curious.
 

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For the record I am not against anyone breeding including you at some point.

What I am for in a big way is the Golden Retriever breed. I want Goldens to continue to exist. If they loose those amazing Golden qualaities that make them more than just another dog or if the breed becomes so riddled with health issues it is not sustainable, that is not going to happen. Poor breeding practices don’t just potentially hurt the families who buy the puppies, it hurts the whole breed.

I am also super passionate about people’s ability to make their best choice. Unfortunately that often times does not happen for buyers because they don’t know what they should be looking for health-wise or bad breeders mislead/lie. It is not right in my mind for any breeder to rob a buyer of their ability to make their best choice by lying or taking advantage of the buyer‘s lack of knowledge. Buyers should have full and correct information to base their decision on.

I hope as someone I suspect bought from a breeder who stole your fully informed decision from you, you can see why there is a lot of education and passion for breed on the forum.
 

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Yeah I can see that... I was just very curious as to why people label people as backyard breeders and unethical. I have my answer though😊I was just wondering basically if a person had their dog/dogs OFA certified and cleared w and they bred them at 2 years or older. If you guys would label them unethical and backyard breeders even if their dogs came from champion lines and sold them for cheaper since the pups they would be breeding aren't champion sired. Maybe even if it was a hobby of breeding Goldens and they sold them to people who couldn't afford a golden thats anywhere from $1000 to $3500. I was just wondering why that might be labeled unethical or "backyard breeding". I am unlearned about alot of topics like this...
 

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So, there is a lot to unpack there. Would I label someone as unethical for breeding parent dogs that have full and verifiable health certifications? No.

You have a great point on price and there certainly is a market for puppies from well-bred parents where being a top competition dog is not a priority. There truly is a market between BYBs/Greeders and responsible preservation breeders. Sadly, this market usually goes unfilled.

I would have no problem even referring to a breeder that was careful with health by making sure to have full and verifiable health certifications, a reasonable price and that I could tell they are able to make sure their dogs remain serviceable representatives of the breed (stable temperaments, overall still looks like a Golden, doesn’t have apparent structural issues, etc.) Would I shout from the roof tops that are a great breeder? No, but I would have no qualms referring to them.

Do these mid-point breeders exist? No, not in reliable numbers. What we see instead is what should be a mid-point breeder charging the same or more than the reputable preservation breeders which are working with higher quality, deeper health certifications backgrounds, and actual titles. Or what could have been mid-point breeders but they decided health or temperament or structure is not as important as making money.

So, you get what you see often on the forum someone checking out a breeder to only find health certifications woefully lacking or the response that the breeder is not involved in Goldens and is way overpriced.

As far as Championship bloodlines, that really means nothing. All it takes is a single generation of careless breeding for quality to be lost. Breeding well is a constant fight to keep the Golden breed from back sliding to a generic dog. For mid-point breeders (if they exist) the focus should be on health and a reasonable attempt to be in alignment with the breed standard, not trying to claim the quality of a previous breeders hard work. http://images.akc.org/pdf/breeds/standards/GoldenRetriever.pdf
 
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