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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

My husband and I are looking to bring home a Golden puppy next spring or summer for a family pet. I am a new member here and was hoping to get some input from everyone about breeders and factors that go into selecting the right one.

Our main concern is the health and longevity of the dog. What breeders in the Midwest would you say produce the healthiest puppies? I'm looking in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota. Obviously I don't mind long car trips!

In looking at the pedigrees of a sire and a dam, what factors should I consider? How important is the COI and what would you say is too high for a 12-generation COI? Does sire and dam age affect the litter, other than the requirement they both be at least 2 years old to have final health clearances? Are there any "rules" you use when evaluating parents of litters?

Again, I'm brand new to this forum so please forgive any mistakes that I may have made. Any information or breeder referrals anyone could provide would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you so much!

-Makenzi
 

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Kristy
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Start by finding a breeder who is only breeding puppies to keep one for themselves. Most likely they won't breed very often, maybe not even once a year because the average serious hobby breeder cannot keep a large number of Goldens. They should be competing in some venue with their dogs (conformation or a dog sport like obedience, agility, field work etc.) If it's someone who primarily competes in conformation, I would still (personally, if it were me shopping for a puppy) prefer that they also do something else with their dogs, just so you have some proof that they are interested in producing dogs that are easy to train and want to please people etc. Even if you never show your dog ever, you still want to make sure your puppy comes from parents that look and act like correct Golden Retrievers. A breeder who competes with their dogs and keeps a puppy for themselves has a vested interest in producing healthy and long - lived dogs.

Try contacting local Golden Retriever clubs and speak to their puppy referral person. You will have the best luck contacting clubs in the Chicago area, WI, MN, MI, OH. When you have some leads, you can check with people here. Ask the breeder a lot of questions:

1) Why are you breeding this litter? Are you planning to keep a puppy?
2) Health and Longevity are a top priority for me - what kind of attention did you give to longevity in your breeding decision? (you can check the pedigree on k9data for dates of death on all the dogs in the pedigree to get some idea for yourself)

You can use the search feature at the top of the page and enter search terms "recommended breeders in Michigan" etc. to find old threads on the topic you're interested in. Post threads with specific questions and you should find lots of people here to help you figure somethings out. Enjoy your puppy search and try to meet breeders and their dogs now when you're not feeling rushed. It's fun and you may discover on your own that you like certain types of Goldens better than others.
 

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I agree with all said except the part about a good breeder only breeds once a year if that. I hate generalizations like that. Sorry, Kristy. As long as all the dogs have the major four health clearances, the line is healthy and long lived and at least the sire is shown in some venue, it does not matter how many litters a reputable breeder has. That is just my opinion.

I think you are on the right track. I think the looking at COI is a bit overrated. If there are sound, healthy and long lived dogs behind the line - to me the COI is not that important. That said, of course, a COI of 36 would be a concern, because there would be a great deal of inbreeding. That I would not be comfortable with. But that is my opinion.

Good luck in your search.
 

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I would start at the GRCA and read, read, read. Educate yourself on what the clearances look like and what the title identifications are in the pedigree. Go to k9data.com and look at titled dogs, look at their offspring, look at their siblings. Then play around with offa.org to see what the clearances look like. Get a idea of what healthy looks like on paper first and it will make it easier to cross entire kennels off your list of prospects.

Then go back to the grca and ask for puppy referrals. They publish a list of members in good standing every year and it has a lot of good breeders on it. When you make an inquiry they will send you to one of these breeders but still do your homework and check the clearances yourself.

Last but not least. make sure that you start to develop and idea of what your ideal dog will be. Couch potato, walking pal, hunting partner, dark or light, fluffy or moderate in coat, show ring prospect, agility dog, therapy dog. When you have a better idea of what you want besides just healthy it is easier for you to weed out the dogs that do not match what you are looking for besides just healthy.
 

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Good luck with your search!

Since I had such a horrible experience with Nalyns in Wisconsin, it's hard for me to remain silent when prospective puppy buyers come to this forum to ask for breeder recommendations in the Midwest/Wisconsin. I do not recommend Nalyns.

I hope you find a good match soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you so much to everyone who responded! Your information and suggestions were very helpful. I'm spent the past few days emailing and talking on the phone with several breeders, checking out k9data.com and offa.org, and reading volumes of information on health issues. This search is like a full-time job, but I'm definitely willing to put in the time necessary to make an informed decision.

I'm sure I'll have more questions are they arise, so I'm so happy to be a part of a forum with so many knowledgeable people.

Thank again, everyone! :D
 

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Kristy
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Christa, this is what I said:

"Most likely they won't breed very often, maybe not even once a year because the average serious hobby breeder cannot keep a large number of Goldens."
I'm trying to figure out why you think I am telling her that a good breeder only breeds once a year. My thought behind what I highlighted in Navy is that I was explaining that this is a long term project and good breeders aren't churning puppies out like Walmart. It's a process. I was not putting a number on the amount of litters per year that equal a good breeder. I think it's a lot easier for the average person trying to find a nice puppy to recognize that they can expect to wait a while on a reputable breeder's list because they aren't a puppy factory, they're breeding their dog for a reason other than to make money.

And please don't every feel like I would be irritated with you for disagreeing with me, I am ok with that. I try to be very careful with the words I choose when I post so I do wish that you would take your time and hear what I'm saying.
 
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