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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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A well bred dog is more expensive, but it is often cheaper in the long run not having to deal with things like hip displasia.
Oh boy, you're not kidding. My rescue girl, Isabelle, whom I love dearly ended up with both hip and elbow dysplasia. It's going to cost us money for the rest of her life. We are trying to avoid expensive surgery and treat conservatively (which costs about $130 per month in meds, plus the cost of all the tests and periodic bloodwork, plus the meds can affect liver and kidneys, so there's more possible problems in the future), but we may do all this and still need multiple surgeries on top of it.

I'm starting to think that in well bred Goldens, dysplasia is no longer the big problem it used to be. It's still there sometimes, but it appears to be way down. IMHO that's all the more reason to keep encouraging ethical, responsible breeding, so that we can make these conditions as rare as they were 100 years ago.
 

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Sally's Mom I understand and I hear you. I agree that if a person wants predictability get a purebred. If they are fine with a bit of unpredictability get a mutt ( i love mutts )

And yes there is the possibility that an inexpensive golden will have health issues but there is the same possibility with an expensive one.
Possibility? Yes. Probability? No.

Why?

Because the moment that dog comes home they enter an environment that can effect it, and a world where they could be exposed to bad foods and a lack of treatment by an owner. All these play a role in why one dog lives longer than another ( not a certificate when they are first born, though that gives a buyer SOME peace of mind ).

A bit like buying a house. You can show me all the paperwork, but there is a lot of things that can be covered up or not mentioned or can occur years later because a lack of upkeep. Many factors play a role. Price is the least determining factor.

You made an excellent point. The environment plays SUCH a large part in our dogs lives as they age, and often times there are environmental factors we cannot control.... So that begs the question, why not pick the best genetic factors you CAN control by finding a well bred dog?

Let's take the word expensive out of the equation.

Which would you prefer a well-bred Golden whose parents, grand parents, great grand parents, etc have been cleared of hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, eye problems (I.e cataracts, Pigmentary Uveitis), heart problems (like murmurs, or SAS - sub-aortic stenosis) or a dog that you have no idea if their lines have these problems?

Edited for typos.
 

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My only concern with any dog that I buy is the health and safety of dogs.

But in this case its early, I do not know if that is the case. Obviously those who are registered, those who charge $1500 a dog are going to hate the guy, its quite simple. If he is selling them for $550 as he is now. That means people are likely to go to him vs paying $1500 ( at least those who dont have $1500 to spare )

Also bear in mind. Most dogs cost around $350 to $500 from a rescue. $1500 is alot to pay for a dog. ( before all the other stuff )

So I don't see a problem in his PRICING.

.[/QUOTE]

I would like to suggest that someone -anyone- who has puppies every month of the year simply cannot be doing it well. If the dogs do not have clearances, that is, OFA or Pennhip hips, elbows, a cardiac exam by a cardiologist, and an annual eye exam at a minimum- that person absolutely positively should not breed that animal. When health is your focus, you hedge your bet considerably by buying a puppy whose parents, their parents and theirs at least have these core clearances. There are more- dna, etc- but the core 4 are the bare minimum anyone who wants a Golden should shop for.
Pricing is another issue. My puppies are expensive in comparison to this fellow's, that is certain. I do not 'hate' this man, not in the least. I do hate that he's apparently cranking out puppies with little consideration for the breed itself. I don't have a new litter every month and I do every possible thing I can to insure their longevity. I'm not even remotely threatened by his low pricing, he and his kind of breeder are not my competition - I can't imagine any good breeder would feel threatened by a lowballer who doesn't even sell the same product really- his puppies and mine are worlds apart! So don't imagine that the issue w/him has anything to do w/what he sells his puppies for. The issue w/him is for me that he seemingly has little concern for the breed itself... anyone can put two dogs together and have a litter, but not everyone can do it well and in the best interest of the breed.
Questions to ask- do you have final hip and elbow clearances on your breeding dogs? do you have cardiac clearances done by a cardiologist on them?The # will have a -C- near the end, it will say C-VPI at the end. P-VPI or C-PI or C-NOPI are not adequate. Do you get eye exams yearly?Are they marked normal/normal or are there conditions noted on either eye? What are the conditions? You will be able to look those conditions up and see if they are breeders options or are considered non-breedable conditions. Do you deworm your puppies as often as AVMA recommends, at 2,4,6 and 8 weeks? What do you feed the dam, the puppies? How do you socialize the puppies? Are they health checked by a vet before they leave you, and do you get a sheet for each one listing at a minimum- are both testicles down (males), are any murmurs present, was a fecal done? Are puppies bright and interested, or are they lackluster? What do you do if a puppy isn't a good fit for the buyer's family? Or what if it exhibits health issues, temperament issues?

It's way more than about the money- its about whether he can reasonably speculate as to his line's likely health and longevity and if he has no method of keeping up with the puppies he produces, he likely cannot.

I'm sure he can talk with the best of them- and he's probably quite capable of raising puppies of a breed that doesn't require as much attention as a Golden litter does. I think that if you were to get answers to the clearances questions and they are the right answers, you may indeed be happy with his puppies. As you pointed out, a rescue costs nearly what he charges, so his puppies are for sure the Dollar Store version of a Golden- and like anything else, you may choose to shop the Big Lots, the Target, or the Macy's, or the Neimans- it's up to you where you spend your money and how much you want to invest in your partner for the next however many years your dog lives. When the 'cost' of goods to Neimans is more than the cost of goods to Big Lots, no one denies the quality is different- the markup is the same. And Neimans isn't threatened by Big Lots... they appeal to a different market.
No good breeder is lining their pockets w/puppy money- I'm sure if you inquire, you'll find that most pour that puppy money back into their keepers- and spend plenty of it on raising the litter well sparing no expense. I'd say run from the ones who appear to need puppy money to live on. But don't judge the expensive puppy vs this fellow's, imagining they 'cost' the same to produce or upkeep- they do not.
Good luck! I hope you find the answers you need to feel good about whichever puppy you end up with!
 

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Sally's Mom I understand and I hear you. I agree that if a person wants predictability get a purebred. If they are fine with a bit of unpredictability get a mutt ( i love mutts )

And yes there is the possibility that an inexpensive golden will have health issues but there is the same possibility with an expensive one.

Why?

Because the moment that dog comes home they enter an environment that can effect it, and a world where they could be exposed to bad foods and a lack of treatment by an owner. All these play a role in why one dog lives longer than another ( not a certificate when they are first born, though that gives a buyer SOME peace of mind ).

A bit like buying a house. You can show me all the paperwork, but there is a lot of things that can be covered up or not mentioned or can occur years later because a lack of upkeep. Many factors play a role. Price is the least determining factor.
Yes John, environmental issues play a role in a dog's health, BUT...genetics also play a big role. I have a friend who got a Golden (English Creme to boot) from someone who did not follow all the rules. We knew from the age of 8 months that Boomer was going to have structural issues based on the way he looked and the way he moved. The vet even told his owner that Boomer was going to have issues. At 30 months he blew out one ACL and the surgery cost $3000 and he will likely blow out the other ACL.

When I think of the young Goldens I know (and as the owner of a private dog park I know quite a few), those from reputable breeders are better structurally. And that is another point, while the longevity of a dog is a VERY important thing, the health of the dog while it is alive is EQUALLY important and that is where health clearances are important. My beloved Dexy (from a BYB) had elbow dysplasia and allergies and so does my little Duffy. My Selli (from a reputable breeder) has a much easier time in life, she does not experience pain when she runs and she spend days drugged to keep her from itching. That ease is worth a lot of money and effort to me.
 

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I'm just say that there is a difference between those who buy dogs because they want to SHOW them vs those who dont

If SHOWING a dog is your purpose, without a doubt, you are going to want to get a purebred, follow all the rules and blah blah.

If OWNING a dog is your purpose only, you aren't going to necessarily want a purebred or have them part of some elite society who turns their nose up at those who are not part of it.
I don't imagine you are interested in what people are saying while pontificating at them about guitars from Mexico and whatnot...

But I did want to point out something very important and while it might not impress anyone determined not to be impressed, it is important to throw out there in case anyone is being judgmental of others....

I come from a big family of 8 (had been 9, but one of my sisters died in childhood). 3 of my other sibs spent a good portion of their childhood in and out of hospitals because of out of control epilepsy issues (both my brothers would have constant seizures on "bad days" and it put them in danger of brain damage if not at the hospital - this was before they doctors began prescribing certain meds (Ativan) to break the cycle of seizures). And of course my oldest brother had something like Leukemia - which was treated aggressively with medications since a bone marrow transplant would have been way too much of a risk because of how bad his numbers were... and he lived at University of Michigan for almost year during this time. <- So think MAJOR LEAGUE hospital bills for my parents.

There's things like me watching tv shows or movies from the time I was a kid and not having anything in common with my generation (80's and early 90's) because of things like... we didn't have a TV until I was 10 or 11.... and even then, we didn't have cable for a very long time so there was nothing to watch on TV.

We never went out to eat.

When we traveled - we always found a way to stay with relatives to avoid paying for hotels.

Our cars were always 20+ years old and falling apart. It wasn't until I was in my teens that my parents bought their first "new" car... and even then it was still about 5 years old.

My siblings and I.... we never had new clothes. Or at least I never had a new dress purchased from a store until I was 19 - and it was one of those things where I promised (and DID) pay my mom back for buying 2-3 dresses for me, as they were work clothes. Until that point, all my clothes were passed down to me from my older sisters.... who wore whatever they could find in charity bags or consignment stores.

So you understand the reasons why my dad smelled blood in the water when he saw how old the puppies were and conditions they were kept... when he talked the puppy price for our first golden down to $200 instead of $400.

$400-700 was about the norm price for a nicely bred golden retriever. The backyard breeders selling Charmy... they were very ambitious, if anything. :)

Because Charmy had various hereditary issues (cataracts, etc) and not a family dog temperament (he was snarly) - my oldest two sisters got together and saved up every dime they made at their first jobs until they had about $1000 between the two of them. And my oldest sister went into high gear contacting the local clubs in search of a good breeder to purchase from. Because both girls were teenagers.... they were yelled at, scolded, and discouraged by various people in the breed referrals and given the cold shoulder by many breeders who would NOT talk to teenage buyers with little kid siblings.... until she and my sister found a breeder way out of the way who was rock solid as far as breeding good quality lines and producing carefully planned litters.... this was our Sammy who was about $500-600 at the time. Again sounds cheap, but 20 years ago - that was about what you would normally spend on a golden retriever puppy.

Fast forward a couple years and both sister did the same thing again with our Danny - who was closer to $800.

Now many years later when it was time to buy the next puppy.... I had a good job and actually earned way more than both my sisters combined back when they bough Sammy and Danny.... but I still had a very stressful time working that $900 out of my tight budget with only 1-2 months of planning.

I made it work and never looked back, but when Jacks was about 1.5 and we lost my Danny.... I decided not to rush back out there and buy the first puppy I could. I started putting money away and looking and talking. And I spoiled Jacks rotten in the meantime. Took me about 2 years before I got REALLY SERIOUS about getting the next puppy, and by then I had a $2000-2500 padding saved up. Bertie was no where near that expensive! But basically that money in the bank went towards training and health care for that puppy the first 1.5 years or so after buying him.

So all that long novel I just typed up will probably be disregarded and mocked by people who don't get this, but what I'm saying is I feel insulted every time I listen to somebody's sob story and turn around assertion that people like me are elitist snobs. Every dog we've owned was well planned and we spared no expense on them. Even that first golden - he may have only been $200 in the beginning, but even his last 6 months - my parents cut expenses from elsewhere to make sure they spent the $500-700 on diagnostics to figure why he was throwing up nonstop and they spent the next $500-900 on food and vet care to keep him comfortable during those 6 months. And yes, in the end, they spent $200+ putting him to sleep when the time came.

I imagine that most people out there who are deeply involved with the breed or getting involved like I am... we didn't just roll out of bed some morning to become who we are today. People come from somewhere and a lot of what people believe in and emotionally and passionately support - it comes from many years, and not always easy ones, falling in love with the breed.
 

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Hi Jonm,

Clearances are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. IF you are buying a purebred and you are concerned about health and longevity, then that means you are concerned about clearances. Period. If it's just something you're saying but don't really mean, then you are not I concerned about clearances and will knowingly buy from someone without them. If you are concerned about price and prefer crossbreed dogs anyways, then I'm not sure why you would be interested in a BYB breeder without clearances? Just go to a rescue, and if the local one doesn't have what you're looking for, search in the next town over. Honestly, to me this sounds like the better option for you.

I have made mistakes and bought from a high volume breeder who doesn't have complete clearances. She was really nice, I believed her, she'd been breeding for a long time, and had even had some well known dogs once upon a time... Doesn't change the fact that not one of the THREE Goldens I bought from her has a complete set of clearances (3 or 4 generations). I don't think I could make up a complete set between all 3 of them! My bad. I trusted a person who sounded good, and didn't do research to validate her claims. I didn't realize it- until my dog died out if the blue at age 5, after a lifetime of nagging little health issues. The next pup I buy will have full clearances that I will validate personally. I will save up and spend the money to stack the deck in my favour. I would STRONGLY suggest that if you're not willing to do the same (save up the $$ and spend a lot of time researching) you should drop the purebred dog idea and rescue some lovely mixed breed! It seems that you'd prefer to do that anyway so I'm having trouble understanding what the problem is?


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Hi Jonm,

Clearances are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. IF you are buying a purebred and you are concerned about health and longevity, then that means you are concerned about clearances. Period. If it's just something you're saying but don't really mean, then you are not I concerned about clearances and will knowingly buy from someone without them. If you are concerned about price and prefer crossbreed dogs anyways, then I'm not sure why you would be interested in a BYB breeder without clearances? Just go to a rescue, and if the local one doesn't have what you're looking for, search in the next town over. Honestly, to me this sounds like the better option for you.

I have made mistakes and bought from a high volume breeder who doesn't have complete clearances. She was really nice, I believed her, she'd been breeding for a long time, and had even had some well known dogs once upon a time... Doesn't change the fact that not one of the THREE Goldens I bought from her has a complete set of clearances (3 or 4 generations). I don't think I could make up a complete set between all 3 of them! My bad. I trusted a person who sounded good, and didn't do research to validate her claims. I didn't realize it- until my dog died out if the blue at age 5, after a lifetime of nagging little health issues. The next pup I buy will have full clearances that I will validate personally. I will save up and spend the money to stack the deck in my favour. I would STRONGLY suggest that if you're not willing to do the same (save up the $$ and spend a lot of time researching) you should drop the purebred dog idea and rescue some lovely mixed breed! It seems that you'd prefer to do that anyway so I'm having trouble understanding what the problem is?


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No problem. This has been a great thread and a diverse set of views being shared. I have learned a lot from you folks.

I made a decision not to buy from Al Bain ( golden retriever breeder in Campbellford ) as his conversation with me raised several red flags as a dog owner. One being that he felt it was ok to leave a NEW dog for 12 hours. I would never do that. The longest I have ever left my adult dog because we had to visit my wifes parents was 4 to 5 hours, even then I don't like it, and that was a dog that was an adult and house trained. In my mind a puppy should never be left in the early stages, and even later arrangements should be made with a kennel or friend to keep an eye on them if you are going anywhere longer than 10 hours. I know there are people who work 12 hours but that doesn't justify leaving a dog. In fact if someone is away 12 hours a day, i would ask whether they should even have a dog.

A few other things he said made me a little skeptical. He does does lay on the salesman ship hard, says he is booked up 4 to 6 months in advance even though he has listed twice in a period of one month on Kijiji different litters but more than anything at no point did he ask me about what our home life was like?

Most decent dog breeders and shelters require a lengthly application with references and even a home visit. He didn't require any of that. That set off warning bells for me.

So... it appears from what I can see that currently today there are 3 options available for purchasing a dog

A. Purebred Breeders ( To some extent this does give an owner peace of mind both over temperament, registery and health) even though there does exist scrupulous breeders who are flying under the radar and not doing everything that is required. But most decent ones, at least the ones i have seen have a website, lots of references, lots of information on the parents and grandparents. They also don't breed as often. I have seen recently some great breeders with prices that are in the 900 mark and have been around for a long time. That is reasonable for me. Google breed in your area.

B. Shelters/Fosterhomes/humansociety - Great way to save a dogs life, a little less choice and likely that you may end up with a mixed breed. Not bad at all i like this and our last one came from the Humane Society, she was a pup in a foster home. 3 months. I am a big advocate for saving a dog. Check humane society, check petfinder.com, or 4leggedlove.com or homeagainbancroft.ca or hartdogrescue.ca

C. Kijiji ( first off let me state that I am for them closing the sale of dogs on Kijiji, i signed that petition and I believe others should consider it. I posted the link above. )

There appears to be three types advertising through Kijiji.

C a. Legit breeders who are linking to their website, legit shelters who are linking to their website ( this seems to be a key factor if they don't link... question it. If they link research their site and google them like I did Al Bain )

C b. families who have adult dogs that no longer can keep because of divorce, baby, too energetic, moving. Those usually are only selling one dog and most of the time its around 1 year or above. These are unfortunate but at least they arent a litter.

C c. Vague/questionable puppy sellers ( these I believe are puppy mills 90% of the time ) even their photos make them look shady.

Some might say well there are families that have had a litter and are selling on there and they are not puppy mills. Sure, but chances are that is not the case as most people get their dogs spayed and neutered now days, and dogs arent generally roaming around and getting pregnant by accident.

These vague puppy sellers, usually have photos of wire enclosures, I saw one with a ladies FOOT on the dogs belly. Maybe she wasn't hurting it but it didnt look good. Other photos are ones with them outside in a muddy area. I dont ever keep dogs outside.

Anyway.

I am leaning towards either a Purebred Breeder or Adoption right now. There are pros and cons to both.

Anyway, I hope this also helps others who stumble on this in search of information on Allen Bain ( or Al bain ) or Kijiji Golden Retriever Seller Al. It might just help them to think twice.

Thanks to you all.
 

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Sounds good! If you go the breeder route, double check all of the clearances via the offa website (search by dog name). If you can't find the clearances there, discuss it with the breeder and see what they say about it. If you have any questions, folks here are always ready to help. Learn from my experience and please verify literally everything yourself! A reputable breeder won't find that insulting! Good luck- keep us posted on the puppy situation!


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Good luck with whatever choice you make!
If you go the purchasing route, I can't emphasize enough how important it is to make sure the clearances are in place if the health/soundness if the dog is important to you. Also, there is a huge difference between clearances and a vet check up stating the pups and adults are healthy. You want hips and elbows X-rays and submitted to OFFA or pennhip for grading. You want the heart checked by a cardiologist (not normal vet) and eyes CERF tested by an opthamologist. A good breeder will have these and willingly show you the proof if you ask.
 

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Hi DanaRuns.

My dog is not registered, nor is Allen Bain a registered breeder, as has been established, so I can't post any of that information.
Then how do you know your dog isn't inbred??? If you have never seen the pedigree there is no way to know that. I am asking out of curiosity, not accusation.

ETA: I don't think a dog has to be registered to be entered into k9data if that helps any.
Why Is Inbreeding Used In Dog Breeding?
In some situations, inbreeding is required, for example, to create a new breed or to re-create a nearly extinct breed. Indeed, in both cases, the very few specimens available at the start will need to mate together several times to grow the number of specimens within the breed. Because dog breeding is mainly assortative breeding, without the sorting of individuals by trait, a breed could not be established, nor could poor genetic material be removed.
The more sound the bloodline the more successful inbreeding will be, this is why the parents and their ancestors must be as void of structural faults and health problems as possible to avoid (randomly) fixing the wrong genes and fixing and preserving hereditary diseases. Before starting an inbreeding plan, you will need to study as many generations as possible before mating the dogs to make sure the bloodline is genetically sound. It will take time to research so many generations but you will have to go through this process to avoid accidents.
 

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Inbreeding vs Linebreeding vs Backbreeding
Both linebreeding and backbreeding are some forms of inbreeding. Although there is no clear rule to separate Linebreeding from Inbreeding, here is the common agreement:
Inbreeding is the mating of close relatives (between brother x sister, parent x puppy, half-brother x half-sister)
Linebreeding is the mating of relatively close relatives (between cousins, uncle x niece)
Backbreeding is the matin of one parent with its descendants over several generations (father with a bitch, then the same father with its one daughter, granddaughter, etc.)
Linebreeding Inbreeding Dogs
THE LINEBRED PUPPIES’ PARENTS ARE IN FACT AUNTIE (D1) AND NEPHEW (S2).

For more information, feel free to read our article on linebreeding and the one on backbreeding.
Inbreeding Coefficient
The coefficient of inbreeding is an equation which expresses the expected percentage of homozygosity arising from a given Sire and Dam, meaning, the probability of how genetically similar they are. To perform this equation, the breeder needs a fully documented pedigree over as many generations as possible.
The UK Kennel Club offers a page where you can provide the Sire’s and Dam’s name to find out what is the degree of inbreeding. You can also find a few calculators online where you can quickly find out the result of a breeding, PedScope is a software for Windows and OS X users offering a free trial.

Those tools offer accurate pedigree analysis through various and complex mathematical functions (Wright’s equation, for example), assisting you with various measures of genetic diversity, statistics for groups of individuals, relationship matrices, reports and many other metrics. They are not required in order to inbreed as nothing replaces your very own knowledge of the bloodlines involved and the study of the pedigrees mating.
Grading up is a dog breeding strategy used by many new breeders to progressively increase homogeneously the overall quality of their bloodline. It boils down to investing in a very high-quality stud dog that will then be line-bred to his best offspring. Here as well, there is a risk of high inbreeding coefficient and therefore requires a lot of caution from the owner.
Why Is Inbreeding Controversial?
The BBC produced two documentaries on dog inbreeding titled Pedigree Dogs Exposed and Pedigree Dogs Exposed – Three Years On that document the negative health consequences of excessive inbreeding. They give the example of a Cavalier King Charles part of a breed where the direction is to reinforce the small size of the dog but as a result of such an intensive assortative breeding, the skull’s size of some dogs became too small for their brain, resulting in severe neurological conditions.
This type of breeding is not recommended to novice breeders and newcomers in a breed. Before starting such an enterprise, you will need to seek bits of advice from your Kennel Club, other breeders and breed’s specialists such as competition judges. You will end up having the worse bloodline if you start with a poor broodstock and inbreed them. Most issues will appear years after the birth of the puppies and your reputation will be broken, so are the lives of the puppies you produced.
The UK Kennel Club's decision on Inbreeding
Because inbreeding does not only improve the puppies’ features positively but also negatively, The Kennel Club decided a few years ago to stop registering litters from a close mating, between mother and son, father and daughter or brother and sister. They, however, said that in exceptional circumstances, they would allow it if welfare reasons were clearly and scientifically identified.
 

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Inbreeding is the mating of closely related dogs, sometimes over many generations. For example father to daughter, brother to sister, half-brother to half-sister, mother to son, etc.
Inbreeding is a process that intensifies the animal’s traits and characteristics, both good and bad, at each and every generation. The ultimate goal of inbreeding is to fix and preserve the traits that the breeder is looking for by increasing homozygosity in the dog’s genetic pool.
 

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Are you discussing the dog's appearance or their character, ^ _ ^ or health, registered dogs and non-registered dogs, purebred dogs and crosses, family dogs and stray dogs, what is the difference?
 

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So a good breeder is registered step by step, and a good dog has no dog relationship, but health is more secure, looks better, more suitable for performance. That doesn't mean that the breeder is good. Maybe just want to be famous and want to make money? I am still very confused. I don't have a lot of money, so I have been looking for a good family. The puppy that I gave birth is sold because I can't afford to register a dog. Although they are all of the same life, they are labeled with noble bloodlines when they are born, and we can't afford them.
 
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