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Are some breeders of Golden Retrievers breeding them to be smaller than the average in size? A few times I've seen this guy walking a Golden Retriever that was smaller than what I have ever seen and I kind of like the compact look. I think it would be nice if there were more of them around. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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Old Guy
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me2 said:
Are some breeders of Golden Retrievers breeding them to be smaller than the average in size? A few times I've seen this guy walking a Golden Retriever that was smaller than what I have ever seen and I kind of like the compact look. I think it would be nice if there were more of them around. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
In all my Golden books, I keep reading that the size requirement in the standard is supposed to be for function. Evidently if the dog is too large, not only will they tire out sooner and are more liable to tip a boat when going after a retrieve but 'they' say it upsets the skeletal structure and can lead to joint problems. And by the same token, if a Golden is too small, s/he will not be able to properly retrieve some of the larger game and may not be tall enough to see over high grass and weeds where they are often expected to work from.

Now I'm often coming across breeders who tout specializing in breeding very large Golden Retrievers, it seems to be coming popular to have a 'huge' Golden... in fact we have one in our local obedience class, a young Golden that must be at least 29inches (to the whithers) and maybe 95 or 100 pounds... and this dog is NOT fat... the owner says he is a pure bred Golden and has the AKC papers but I swear he has the droopy facial features (complete with non-stop drooling) of a Saint Bernard... AND she says, "This guy is small, you should see the sire, he's over 125pounds!"

But specializing in small? Now I've not yet come across a breeder that's advertising that characteristic. We were hoping for a smallish Golden but our Sidney is now (at just over a year) 25inches and 75pounds which puts him at the very high end of the standard, so I guess smallish is out of the question... but that's OK 'cuz we really love him and will always make room him.

OK, those are my thoughts...
 

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I wrote today (can't remember what section I used) about my golden Mojo. He's only 21 inches at the withers and 54 pounds. He was also the runt of the litter so maybe that has something to do with it. I used to have a huge Golden named Toby that came up to my upper thigh (I'm 5'2") and his breeder seemed to breed for that size. Mojo's breeder goes more for the personality which I prefer. I love him no matter what size he is but it's a little easier on the furniture with him being smaller. With two dogs (approx the same size) the house can get filled quickly. If I had my way (I'd have to get rid of the hubby) I'd have a houseful of dogs. I'd prefer Goldens but anything with fur would do.
 

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Thanks for the measurements

I just got the yard stick and tried to measure Lovey. What a circus! From what I can tell she is about 20 inches tall (shoulder) but all she wanted to do was sit and beg for a treat. Haha
I can only imagine how easy it would be to get her on a scale.
We don't know the whole story of her past. She was found at 7 months and given to a family who had their golden stolen. They soon knew that she was not theirs but kept her anyway. She has something wrong with her tongue and smiles kind of lopsided. They couldn't have her in town and a small lot so gave her away. Are we lucky! Of course she is too. Now she has 40 acres of woods, and a river to explore. Love her dearly but would be nice to know if she is a mix or all golden. If I get a decent picture will post it.
 

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Gramma Bergan said:
...I can only imagine how easy it would be to get her on a scale...
Either you or someone who can lift 60 or so pounds, get on a scale and weigh yourself first... next pick-up Lovey just high enough to get her off the floor and step back onto the scale again... do a simple subtraction and... tada! you'll have Lovey's weight.
 

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My 2 year old Dixie is only 42 lb. She is out of very strong field trial breeding. At first I was disappointed in her size, but now I admire her grit. She is a pocket rocket. She competes in field trials and hunt tests and we have encountered a couple circumstances where her size was a problem. But most the time it is just fine. She has no problem carrying a duck and being little and quick like she is, we never have to worry about style points. She has been very successful to date. I realize she would be escorted out of the show ring, but that was not her purpose. She is also nice to have in a layout boat when duck hunting as compared to an 80 pounder.
 

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I love the "pocket rocket" explanation.
 

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Hi, I'm new to this forum. My friend used to breed Goldens. She once had a Golden that was going to be about 35 lbs as an adult. He was the runt of the litter, very tiny. I think in all the years of her breeding Goldens, he was the smallest.

Cheryl
 

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My brother keeps saying that he wants MY life long dream to be to breed a mini Golden, but they are dogs with jobs...this would throw everything off...an entire new type of golden! They wouldn't be able to do anything! Like a potato with legs!
 

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Smaller Goldens

I think it would be a good idea to become familiar with Golden breeders in your area and ask them to let you know if they ever have an extremely small Golden. We brought home a Golden male who was only going to be 35 lbs at adulthood. He was a normal Golden in every way. We didn't keep him because we decided three dogs would be too much for us. He did get a good home.

Cheryl
 

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I would be very concerned about such "breeders". The golden breed is bred for a purpose and thus its size as mentioned by Monomer. To purposefully breed a golden smaller than the standard is an adulteration of the breed. I would not call these dogs a Golden. They are probably some "designer breeds".
 

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I don't understand why these 'breeders' would want to breed outside the standard. The breed standard is in place for a reason, and these people who breed outside the standard, honestly, I don't think they honestly care about the breed. Because its not as if they are bettering the breed, or something like that..
 

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I really take exception to your saying that smaller goldens are not goldens.. my Dixie is only 43 lb.. but she duck hunts 4 to 5 days a week during season and has been very successful in field trials and hunt tests.. she was the derby dog of the year in our club.. it was not the intent of her breeder to breed a small dog, but that is how she turned out.. and she is every bit a golden retriever.. she serves her PURPOSE quite well thank you.. they are golden RETRIEVERS and she retrieves just fine.
I know people that are 5 feet tall, but they are still people..
I am sorry to be so defensive here as a new guy, but it just irritates the snot out of me when a dog is judged on how they stack up against some visual standard rather than how well they serve their purpose. I will put many qualities before how they look.. such as temprament, health, tractibility, athletic ability, and birdiness.
I will now take ten deep breaths and climb down off my soap box.
 

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No offense meant Greg. My comments were directed to those who purposely breed goldens to be smaller or mini-goldens or those who know of such "breeders". It is true the standards mostly apply to "showline" goldens whilst the "fieldline" goldens do differ physically.

I have seen the product of so called "mini huskies" and trust me, if you are a husky enthusiasts, you will not like what they have done to the breed. It is just sad to me what some "breeders" will go to the extent for money.
 

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No problem, Molmotta. I am probably a little defensive of my little girl. She continues to amaze me. Truthfully , I was disappointed in her size. But she has taught me about heart.
I can't go back and look where you are at, but it seems like it was in Singapore. Are there many goldens there?
I do agree with you about breeding just to get a small size. I would probably get into an argument with everyone on here regarding the traits that should be emphasized in the golden. It has become very difficult to find a well bred field litter.
Have a great day or night depending on what time it is there and I hope that we can become friends in spite of my yelling at ya.. :)
 

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Rockin' Nerd said:
...They wouldn't be able to do anything! Like a potato with legs!
You know, that's quite the metaphor... I have this very strange mental picture going on in my mind. So why would a potato with legs be useless? they sure have plenty of eyes to see where they are going...;)

Just some of my ramblings about this discussion of the Golden's size requirements...
I watched an interesting program, several months back, about dogs (PBS's Nova: "Dogs and More Dogs"). It basically tried to explain the evolutionary history of the modern dog and referenced human intervention and the breeding practices use to create the various breeds of today's dogs.

It went something like this... Most all dogs had a job to perform at some early point in its history. The ones who excelled at their job were given more/better food and accommodations and were bred more often... and so were more likely to past on their genes... further iterations of selection by performance criteria were carried out on subsequent off-spring, and so on and so on. So a Saluki, for instance, was developed by successively breeding the fastest dogs with the fastest dogs on down through many generations until a dog with a very deep-chest, large heart, long nose, long legs eventually appeared. No one bred for this 'look', they had no knowledge that a very large lung capacity was necessary to support the oxygen up-take the muscles would need or that a large heart was needed for pumping all this oxygen-rich blood to the muscles, heck they didn't even know what oxygen was... they were just breeding for speed and this is what they ended up with. Because life often was 'lean' for humans for the most part, they only kept dogs that could earn their keep... and so by necessity, form followed function. So this basically describes the beginnings of most all of the breeds today.

However during the Elizabethan period nobility could 'afford' to keep dogs that didn't need to earn a living and hunting was merely done for sport (entertainment). This soon became a hallmark of the rich... a symbol of wealth. Eventually as time went on this practice of just keeping a 'pet' dog filtered down to the 'common' people... but now with so many 'pet' dogs there soon came a problem of how to preserve the original breeds? Since they no longer really 'worked' for a living, how do you select the best ones? (Remember, up until that time, form always followed function)... thus the competition of conformation was born. That's where dogs are bred to match what is essentially an appearance criteria... and practices such as line-breeding was introduced (along with some of the inherent genetic problems that that entails). Now, form became an end unto itself and function essentially plays no role.

At this point in the show, I suddenly became aware of how distorted this whole idea of breeding for conformation actually is. Shouldn't we instead continue breeding for function and let the form follow? Breeders talk about trying to improve the breed... wouldn't that be the way it should be done? But if a Golden's function is changing then maybe conformation is becoming a detriment to attaining the next 'type' of Golden Retriever... the Golden as a pet. This may dictate a smaller dog for many good reasons... but then the question becomes... when is a Golden Retriever no longer a Golden Retriever? Is the conformation standard going to answer this question or is it some organization's (unverified) recording keeping? I believe that is really the crux of where this thread has gone...

(...or maybe not.)
 

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Monomer, what you say reminds me of what I've been hearing from Field Retriever Breeders for a while, that being that conformation rules are taking away from the working qualities of Goldens. They like the smaller redder Goldens.

I've found the trend these days is to breed Goldens larger and fluffier, and these Goldens couldn't do a days work in the field if they tried. Clancy is 85 pounds, and he is slim. You don't often see field dogs that size. But he has kept the personality and temperment that is sought after in Goldens. I like the bigger Goldens as long as they have the Golden Personality and are healthy.

But by continueing to breed for conformation, you risk losing qualities like good temperment and breeding in health problems. And breeders who look for that long shiney coat only so they can win are risking things like increased Hip Dysplasia and not so friendly temperment. It has happened in other breeds where all of the sudden you see them becoming more aggresive, probably due to bad breeding because breeders are breeding for the wrong reasons.
 

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I agree that breeders should concentrate on health and temperament. I wish they'd get away from linebreeding. We have the same sires listed two and three times on both of our dogs' pedigrees, and they have mostly champions on their pedigrees.

Cheryl
 
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