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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have noticed that in a lot of discussions (not here, just general) that if a dog, especially a GR, might have any type of issue/problem it is automatically assumed that the dog came from a puppy mill or byb. Why is that? All dogs from these places have problems? BYB's just breed 2 dogs that have problems to intentionally make them have offspring that will be problematic as well? Isn't it quite possible to get a dog from a "good" breeder and the dog can quite possibly have something worng with it as well? Whether it be a dominance issue, physical problem, etc...? Just curious because so many people say there are so many perfectly adoptable dogs yet some make you feel like an idiot that you would even think to go and adopt a dog.
 

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Now Caue's Dad Too!
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Excellent question and I'm sure there will be wide ranging answers. Personally I'm in the "There are no guarantees" catagory. Since goldens have their fair share of genetic problems it is probably wise to check for the obvious problem points. I have to admit that neither of my dogs have clearances that I'm aware of. Oakly came from a BYB that seemed knowledgable to me at the time. Caue was a bit of a rehoming and I knew nothing of his breeder until he was already under my wing. In later research his breeder would have sent me running although he has been a healthy happy boy since I adopted him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It something that I'm really curious to see what ppl have to say because I've read responses on other sites and stuff when people are looking for advice on a problem w/ their Golden and a lot of what I read is you get a bunch of answers and then at the very end it's "and then of course if you rescued the dof it probably came from a byb or puppy mill so that's your fault" basically saying Hey, your s.o.l. with this dog and there's no hope. Just bugs me. My dog is adopted as well. :)
 

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I think when you go with a "reputable" breeder you are getting a breeder with a good reputation within the dog world. That always matters in my opinion. These breeders tend to be very concerned about their reputation and that means they are more inclined to stand by their dogs in the long and short run. More of a partnership with the buyer I suppose.

I won't demonize byb, because the bar is set very high for what some consider "reputable". I doubt I could afford a reputable breeders pup...but I know that if I bought from a breeder straight out of the paper or a straight for profit breeder....I stand alone if a problem occurs.

Even BYB that offer some type of warrenty may not be around to fulfill it.
 

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I think they assumption comes from the fact that a BYB is one that will take any two dogs--clearances or not--and breed them. Whereas a reputable breeder puts forth the effort in not only clearances, but studying good breeding practices and their dog's pedigrees (assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the family members) before ever making a litter.

Because problems in dogs can have a genetic component which one do you think is less likely to create problem dogs? The careful reputable breeder!

Because problems in dogs can be learned, a pup from either can have problems!
 

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A reputable breeder will try to minimize the possibility of physical problems in a litter by having the sire and dam pass hip, elbow, eye and sometimes heart tests. They will also know if any previous generations had any type of problems.

A reputable breeder tries also to improve the breed standard by pairing a sire and dam that exhibit the best physical traits in looks and abilities of the breed. The breeder will have some sense of how successful he/she is by showing and entering contests.

A reputable breeder tries to breed for the correct temperament the breed is known for. For example, an overly aggressive golden retriever, no matter how beautiful she is, wouldn't be bred by a reputable breeder.

A reputable breeder takes great pains to socialize and expose a litter to what's appropriate for their young age.

Doing all this doesn't guarantee a perfect dog, but it does stack the deck that puppies from such a litter should likely be free of significant physical problems and have a pleasing temperament of the breed. Then, it's up to the purchaser of the puppy to build on this solid foundation.

Can you end up with a great pup from a BYB? Sure, but it's more of a gamble and you have to decide if it's a type of breeding practice you want to support.
 

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I'll step right out and say that yes, indeed, you can have physical and psychological problems with dogs from "reputable" breeders. Do you increase that risk by buying a dog from a byb or God forbid, a puppy mill? You bet! As for adopting dogs, many people on this forum and others are huge proponents of rescues and volunteer countless hours with organizations that don't necessarily know any background on the dogs. In my opinion, rescue organizations are wonderful and no one should criticize people who adopt from shelters or other rescue organizations.
 

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It absolutely is possible to get a puppy from a reputable breeder and still end up with a dog that develops health issues. As a breed in general, goldens are prone to a number of diseases and health problems, especially cancer. However, the difference between getting a puppy from a responsible breeder versus a casual BYB or a pet store is, in the event that a serious medical condition develops in the dog, that breeder should be there to help you through the process of dealing with the medical condition and even help with the costs of medical treatment if there are extensive vet bills involved in treating the dog's condition. They also do their research to ensure that both parents are perfectly healthy and come from good lines. I do believe that breeders who perform all of the necessary health clearnaces do somewhat minimize the risks of health problems in their pups, but it is still entirely possible to end up with a dog with cancer or dysplasia later in life. I personally would never purchase a puppy from a breeder who didn't do any clearances. Before we got Tucker, we searched for a good 2 months for a breeder that we felt really comfortable with and who had all health clearances in order on both the sire and dam. We still keep in touch with her on a regular basis and we will be getting another one of her pups this winter. There are way too many irresponsible breeders out there, which is one major cause of health issues in so many lines.
 

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Chantilly Goldens
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Just as a note the clearances that should be completed are hips, eyes, hearts and elbows... a reputable breeder always does these 4 clearances.
 

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I disagree about the atmosphere on this forum; I find it quite welcoming about everyone, no matter where they got their golden; I enjoy the diversity of where people got their goldens--it makes for a very interesting place to hang out--so my impression is far different from yours, and I have not been around that long.

As for breeder vs. more experiened/knowledgeable breeder vs. rescue vs. pet store vs. animal shelter: Each person needs to decide for themselves what is the best source to purchase a pet--because so many decisions go into the final plan; of course there's the cost, but there's also timing--litters aren't available all the time nearby; some people are hooked on a certain color, or age, or sex, or temperament--if someone really needs their dog temperament tested, because they're looking for a certain personality--calm, for example, then they have to really go to a breeder that is more knowledgeable than one that is more freewheeling.

For me and my husband, we went to a GRCA recommended breeder--we hadn't owned dogs for years, we were afraid of what we were reading about the temperaments as reported on internet message boards from pet store bought goldens (and health problems) and we decided to put the odds on our side, knowing there are no guarantees. We are very, very happy, and had gotten 3 goldens from this breeder, with excellent support--and I think that's also was important to us, the support you get from the breeder along the way. But that was us, and each person decides on their own situation.
 

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As others have said, genetics in breeding is all about the odds. Reputable breeders stack the deck in your favor. With puppy mills and bybs, there is a greater chance that your pup will have some sort of problem. In particular, a lot of puppymill pups are taken from their mom and littermates at a very young age and develop behavior problems because they missed out on some very important socialization.

One of the things I like about getting a golden from a reputable breeder is they try hard to improve the breed and create healthier goldens. These people are making a conscientious effort to weed out genetic problems not just for the benefit of individual pups but for the breed as a whole.

With the pet overpopulation problem, I have a really hard time justifying backyard breeders. Rescues, however are awesome. I have a lot of respect for people who work in rescues (fostering or otherwise) and for those who adopt rescue dogs, particularly senior dogs and those with special needs. I don't think you'll find many here who will brush someone off because their rescue has health or behavioral problems.
 

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Mindy wrote: I have noticed that in a lot of discussions (not here, just general) that if a dog, especially a GR, might have any type of issue/problem it is automatically assumed that the dog came from a puppy mill or byb. Why is that?

IMO, not based on any facts, in todays world the cost of breeding responsibly is high, those that do quality breeding may breed rarely compared to the ones that breed but don't do any of the tests. If my opinion is right there are a lot more dogs out there from what some call puppy mills and byb's.


Mindy wrote:All dogs from these places have problems?

No.

IMO, in the beginning there was a small gene pool, that means all goldens have the potential to carry certain genetic markers. Those that truly are breeding to better the breed will carefully screen each dog used in their breeding program also using the history of the dogs that stand behind their stock. To make the best decision they can to better the breed. Many of those byber's do not know any of the science behind breeding and do think they can take two pretty dogs and breed them and get healthy pretty dogs. (a little simplistic)


Mindy wrote: BYB's just breed 2 dogs that have problems to intentionally make them have offspring that will be problematic as well?

I don't believe anyone would intentionally breed for problematic dogs. They just don't understand how much knowledge is used to get good breedings. They don't keep track down the road. Many health issues don't show up in very small puppies. By the time some things show up they don't have any knowledge of their dogs.



Mindy wrote: Isn't it quite possible to get a dog from a "good" breeder and the dog can quite possibly have something worng with it as well?


Yes, it is very possible. But good breeders aren't just picking pretty dogs and breeding. They are really attempting to better the breed. Again, with a small gene pool even good breeders through the years have made mistakes. Also, no matter how much the good breeder knows things happen.




Mindy wrote: Whether it be a dominance issue, physical problem, etc...? Just curious because so many people say there are so many perfectly adoptable dogs yet some make you feel like an idiot that you would even think to go and adopt a dog.


Every dog out there is priceless. Every dog out there deserves a wonderful family and home.

There are not enough good breeders to supply the demand. Many dogs coming from lesser quality breeders live wonderful healthy lives.

Those that want to attempt to beat the odds for a healthy pet will do their homework and find a quality breeder, this gives them a better chance of a healthy pet.

Those that buy from a shelter or rescue do still get healthy pets, just the odds are lower.

The main reason not to buy from a byb is you are putting money into their pocket. This helps them to continue to breed.

Until enough quality breeders are willing to meet the consumer demand for pups we will always have byb's. Since quality breeding is so expensive and the Animal Rights keep pushing laws that are harmful to breeders I don't see an end to byb's. In the end those that follow the laws will not be able to afford to breed. Those that don't care and do not follow the laws will breed hidden without a care to health just the money.
 

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My two boys are rescues, who also happen to be from backyard breeders. The breeders who bred them had no regard for the health of the puppies they were producing, they just wanted the money that they could get from selling them. Jasper was almost dead from starvation and anemia when the breeder dumped him and his litter at the shelter. Danny had two congenital heart defects when he was sold and those owners ended up turning him into a shelter at 5 months old. They are both the loves of my life and I would not trade them for anything!

I have no use for backyard breeders. They are, in my opinion, the direct cause of the overpopulation of Golden Retrievers. You would be hard pressed to find a Golden from a reputable breeder in a shelter. Our rescue pulls purebred Goldens weekly from the shelters around here.

I have no desire to ever buy a dog. But I would love for the day to come that the only way I could get another dog is to buy one from a reputable breeder. Because that would mean that the thousands of dogs put down every single day would no longer be in shelters and being put down. Unfortunately, I don't think I will live to see that happen.
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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I've never seen anyone here treat a member badly because of a dog already purchased, with the exception of some, "Oh well, now you know better" type comments. Though, many here will discourage a person without a dog yet from getting one from a BYB. I think that's perfectly fair.

With the exception of a couple of show bred rescues I have taken in and fostered (who had good pedigrees, but did not directly come from reputable breeders, but whose parents or grandparents did) I have never had a well bred Golden. My female, Holiday, is 1/2 AWESOME show bred and 1/2 about the worst of the worst puppy mill lines. Very odd combo- beautiful, healthy dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I disagree about the atmosphere on this forum; I find it quite welcoming about everyone, no matter where they got their golden; I enjoy the diversity of where people got their goldens--it makes for a very interesting place to hang out--so my impression is far different from yours, and I have not been around that long.

As for breeder vs. more experiened/knowledgeable breeder vs. rescue vs. pet store vs. animal shelter: Each person needs to decide for themselves what is the best source to purchase a pet--because so many decisions go into the final plan; of course there's the cost, but there's also timing--litters aren't available all the time nearby; some people are hooked on a certain color, or age, or sex, or temperament--if someone really needs their dog temperament tested, because they're looking for a certain personality--calm, for example, then they have to really go to a breeder that is more knowledgeable than one that is more freewheeling.

For me and my husband, we went to a GRCA recommended breeder--we hadn't owned dogs for years, we were afraid of what we were reading about the temperaments as reported on internet message boards from pet store bought goldens (and health problems) and we decided to put the odds on our side, knowing there are no guarantees. We are very, very happy, and had gotten 3 goldens from this breeder, with excellent support--and I think that's also was important to us, the support you get from the breeder along the way. But that was us, and each person decides on their own situation.
I wanted to make it quite clear that I was NOT referring to this forum, but other sites that I have visited and read various posts elsewhere. No, I enjoy this forum and find everyone to be helpful and friendly! :):):):)
 

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I just wanted to add another reason why most people would assume that a rescue dog does not come from a reputable breeder. A good breeder will take back one of their pups at any time for any reason. It's often stated in a contract that the dog has to come back to them if the owners don't keep the dog. They absolutely do not want their dogs to end up in shelters. So while there are some pet owners who do not follow through with this and will bring a dog to the shelter anyway, most people will go ahead and give the dog back to the breeder if they can no longer keep it.

Most BYB, on the other hand, would not want to be bothered having a dog returned to them.
 

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I think that if someone is willing to compromise and not go for a puppy from what the fancy terms a master breeder, then the rescues are just awesome places to go. They also temperament test the dogs that come in; train them; stand behind them for the remainder of their lives; many times taking care of their initial health conditions or work with a team of vets that are able to diagnose the health problem (that the first owners were too flustered to take care of, or didn't want to take care of). Purebred rescues basically serve the same function of a master breeder--they become, in essence, the "breeder" of that rehomed dog and if someone wants a support system for life, that's another great way to go (IMHO). This is something that a pet bought from a pet store, or from an "unknowledgeable breeder" can not provide. Imagine buying a computer from one manufacturer and getting support 24/7 for the rest of that computer's life? That's the great thing about rescue groups and master breeders. The others just don't have the ability and knowledge to stand behind their "product."
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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Well a lot depends on exactly what "your" definition of a "BYB" and "reputable" breeder are.
I my opinion the one thing that has been missed in this thread is what makes a breeder "reputable". And in my opinion just as, maybe even more, important than getting clearances and following some code of ethics a "reputable" breeder takes responsiblity for every pupthey breed for the entire life of that pup. And thus it is extremely rare to find a pup of their breeding in rescue as the pup would go back to them before they would allow it to enter a rescue. Of course sometimes an owner will for whatever reason not make the breeder aware of the situation but again that would be rare. A responsible breeder checks out every prospective home for their pups and this also helps to ensure that if there is a problem they are cofident the owners will contact them. And if someone is willing to do this then there is a good chance they will also do all the screening and follow a very strict code of ethics.

But doing all of this is still no guarantee that the pup will not develop issues but as others have stated, it most definitely improves the odds.
 
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