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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello.

We live in North Carolina and are looking to add a Golden to our family.

We are very interested in the planned litters at Creekside English Goldens in Nickelsville, VA.

Does anyone have any experience with them and their puppies / dogs.

Please let me know

Thanks

Jim
 

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I can see why the site is appealing- it is fresh and clean looking and the words are all spelled correctly, and they sound like really up and up breeders. But when you look closer, you see that their stud dog's eyes are way out of date, his cardiac exam is not sufficient to meet the Code of Ethics minimal requirements, and looking even closer, you can see his full sibling failed hips and a half sib did as well Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
and they use not just one hip evaluation service, but three- BVA, OVC and OFA- so one might deduce they shop clearances. Most people are fans of one or the other, but this is the first site I've perused that uses all three!
It just seems odd to me- your mileage may vary.
Of the two litters coming, both are sired by him. Meadow, dam of first one, has out of date eye clearances, her cardiac is not sufficient for CoE, and her own dam failed elbows and she has a half sib w failed hips. Her own hips/elbows cannot be verified.
Tara, dam of second litter, actually has a correct cardiac exam. But her eyes are out of date and there is no way to verify her hip or elbow clearances. Her sire has no apparent hip/elbow clearances and she has a sib w retinal folds.

In case you hear the argument that OFA didn't do the hips/elbows... all they'd have to do is send them to OFA and OFA will verify the ratings and post them on www.offa.org for a cost of about $12 per. So it's not like one cannot make info accessible if they want to... the cost is not so much that there's any reason not to send them in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. My research was leading me in the same direction as your analysis. Not an expert by any means but trying to piece everything together...
 

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I am posting this only because I don't want to forget what I read today at the dog show, in case this breeder comes up again here. I saw the correspondence between the breeder and a potential puppy buyer who had asked for copies of clearances, which, once the question was asked resulted in an immediate 'we only sell puppies to people who trust us and that is obviously not you' answer.. the earlier emails attached explained that OFA didn't want to offend practitioners however P clearances were absolutely equal to C clearances, among other completely inaccurate statements.
I believe I will be able to remember this clearly now, with just this prompt for the future if they come up again and will tell the rest of it if that happens!
 

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Prism Goldens, that is one of the best criticisms I've ever read. Concise, dispassionate and most of all, knowledgeable. Thank you. You've taught me a lot that I can put into my research for when I'm looking for a pup again.
 

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Prism Goldens, It is two years later and I have done a lot of communication with the breeder and am strongly considering a puppy from Creekside. I would appreciate any insight you may have. I have researched the clearances and the OFA ones seem good for eyes/cardiac, and the ratings are also great for BVA for hips/elbows. My only hesitation is I have not asked for info on the sire's lineage, as his sire and dam's information is not available on OFA.
 

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Prism Goldens, It is two years later and I have done a lot of communication with the breeder and am strongly considering a puppy from Creekside. I would appreciate any insight you may have. I have researched the clearances and the OFA ones seem good for eyes/cardiac, and the ratings are also great for BVA for hips/elbows. My only hesitation is I have not asked for info on the sire's lineage, as his sire and dam's information is not available on OFA.
Ask the breeder for copies of the health certifications if they are not on OFA. My guess is they are not filed with OFA because they have not been done. If they can't produce them I would recommend you walk away.
 

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For $2400 and up, there is not much value here. It looks like for that price tag all you are really getting is AKC registered and light color. Based on their website planned breedings of Treasure to Silk and Tilly, only Treasure’s eyes meet the stringent health certification standards in the US. All are missing a verifiable health certification for hips and elbows. All have a deficient heart exam by a practitioner instead of a Cardiologist and both girl’s eyes are expired. So out of these three dogs only 1 out of 12 (4 per dog) is what it should be.

BVA is acceptable in the US if it is done at 24 months or older and it is verifiable independently through a site like OFA. The issue with BVA is that they will evaluate at 12 months when the puppies are still growing and developing. Poor quality breeders love this as they can bypass the wait time until maturity at 24 months and start breeding underage dogs to start their profit cycle. The BVA forms if not verifiable online can easily be faked or altered. Also, incredibly frustrating that this breeder would list 1/1 elbows as normal when it means both the right and left elbows have grade 1 Dysplasia. That honestly makes me question this person’s integrity and would make me personally skeptical of anything they are claiming.

The other thing that is notable is that this breeder is claiming amazing quality but does not seem to do anything with the dogs but make puppies to sell. In fact the website is full of pretty pictures that do a fabulous job of never letting you see how well or how poorly these dogs are structured. Only using sitting and laying pictures are normally used to hide structure issues that may lead to painful aging.

For $2400 it is reasonable to expect full and verifiable health certifications, verifiable health certifications in previous generations and parents with strong breed characteristic that are proudly proven in competitive events.

Is this the worst option out there, no. It is though similar to paying new Lexus price for a used Kia. The pricing does not match the value offered and the health risks are higher than they could or should be.
 

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I appreciate your input very much - and all I will take to heart - that being said, I'm getting quite frustrated as I've checked into just about every breeder that I can find within driving distance (8 hours one way) and they all have issues based on the information I have read on here. (Literally days of emailing, researching, etc) $2400 is a lot, yes, but on the low end compared to others that have even fewer clearances. I cant fly to get a dog, that is not an option... Breeders that I've found on englishgoldens dot net/breeders want upwards of $3k plus and dont even meet all the criteria I've read on here. If I'm going to spend $1500 plus for a dog I defn want to know it is healthy and will be an asset to our family but one we can love and care for for a long time.
 

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Plus I just read another email from a breeder who is recommended on this site who PREFERS to use BVA for hips instead of OFA and says OFA's ratings are subjective. This is all starting to overwhelm me as I feel there is quite the disparity among breeders opinions. Sigh.
 

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Prism Goldens, It is two years later and I have done a lot of communication with the breeder and am strongly considering a puppy from Creekside. I would appreciate any insight you may have. I have researched the clearances and the OFA ones seem good for eyes/cardiac, and the ratings are also great for BVA for hips/elbows. My only hesitation is I have not asked for info on the sire's lineage, as his sire and dam's information is not available on OFA.
I am sorry I won't have time today- but will try for tonight to take a look.
On OFA- cardiac clearances should end with C-VPI or C-PI or C-NOPI. P-VPI, etc basically anything ending w a P then the ID info is not adequate to breed on. Goldens have cardiac issues that are genetic and only a cardiologist is able to hear oddities in the heart sounds. An echo by a specialist (would end w S-VPI etc) is ok- because an echo isn't dependent on listening skills.

If I remember right, these were the people whose correspondence I read last year- it was so disrespectful once the buyer started asking well-phrased questions. Unquestioning trust is earned, not a given!
And if I remember correctly, they are also the people who use not just BVA but BVA, OFA and OVC... (OVC is no longer doing clearances btw). I find that odd.
 

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Prism Goldens, I read your response from two years ago, and noticed that the OVC rating was on the oldest dog only. She prefers to use BVA for hips and elbows, as does another breeder that I just spoke with (who is recommended on here) as they say OFA's ratings are subjective. I have had good communication with Creekside, havent had any push back with any of my questions yet. She specifically told me she'd give me copies of their clearances. I have asked her for more info on Treasure's lineage (current litter with Silk) as his sire and dam arent listed on the OFA website, and I'm assuming are from overseas. Thanks for your input it is much appreciated.
 

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Plus I just read another email from a breeder who is recommended on this site who PREFERS to use BVA for hips instead of OFA and says OFA's ratings are subjective. This is all starting to overwhelm me as I feel there is quite the disparity among breeders opinions. Sigh.
There is nothing wrong with perferring BVA as long as it is not used to skirt the more stringent health testing standards in the US. Done at 24 months or later and publicly verifiable, there would be no issues. Generally speaking though that is not what you find. Instead you find folks who choose BVA so they can claim “health clearances” (not a term I use as it has no real definition) on underage dogs. I have seen too many dogs go from normal hips or elbows at 12 months to Dysplasia at 24 months to be comfortable with breeders looking to test so young while dogs are still growing.

Yes, if you are getting locked in on “I have to find an “English Cream” breeder near me” instead of “I need to find a good breeder near me”, you will likely end up paying a huge price tag for a risky health background. Simply put people who are in this style advertising Cream in the US are either going to cut corners on health certifications or if they have them, overcharge for what the actual value is.

Just curious, is the wrapping (color), more important to you than health?

If you are flexible with changing your priorities, I am sure you could find full health certifications at that price. Your local Golden Retriever Club would be a great place to start.

As a note, I recently started a FB page that only allows breeders to list puppies of European lineage that meet the health testing requirements of their country. It requires that they prove their claims with verification links or scans of the testing. In 3 weeks, every single posting where a breeder claimed they had this, not one could provide proof and the posts had to be removed. It is sad but this style seems rife with breeders who simply do not care about health certifications they way they should and more frightening is that many seem completely okay with lying about it or misrepresenting health certifications.
 

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Prism Goldens, It is two years later and I have done a lot of communication with the breeder and am strongly considering a puppy from Creekside. I would appreciate any insight you may have. I have researched the clearances and the OFA ones seem good for eyes/cardiac, and the ratings are also great for BVA for hips/elbows. My only hesitation is I have not asked for info on the sire's lineage, as his sire and dam's information is not available on OFA.
I am sorry I won't have time today- but will try for tonight to take a look.
On OFA- cardiac clearances should end with C-VPI or C-PI or C-NOPI. P-VPI, etc basically anything ending w a P then the ID info is not adequate to breed on. Goldens have cardiac issues that are genetic and only a cardiologist is able to hear oddities in the heart sounds. An echo by a specialist (would end w S-VPI etc) is ok- because an echo isn't dependent on listening skills.

If I remember right, these were the people whose correspondence I read last year- it was so disrespectful once the buyer started asking well-phrased questions. Unquestioning trust is earned, not a given!
And if I remember correctly, they are also the people who use not just BVA but BVA, OFA and OVC... (OVC is no longer doing clearances btw). I find that odd.
As @Prism Goldens states, it is very important to have the cardiac clearance done by a cardiologist and not a practitioner. I think OFA might be changing the way they denote that in the numbers given. My girl has her heart cleared by a cardiologist, you can see here that her number doesn't have a C at the end to show this. http://www.k9data.com/pedigree.asp?ID=639280
My older girl (also cleared by a cardiologist) does have this.
http://www.k9data.com/pedigree.asp?ID=232382

Creekside, as stated in many of the prior replies, has some real red flags and I wouldn't recommend them, but I just noticed that about the OFA heart clearances...is there still a way to differentiate it in the actual number?
 

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She specifically told me she'd give me copies of their clearances.
You did not say when, so please insist on them now. Not when you visit and are distracted by friendly dogs or cute puppies and not when you pick up a puppy. If they balk at giving them now that is a huge red flag.

Also, food for thought if health and transparency is really important to this breeder, why have they not paid the nominal fees to have testing forms verified and listed in OFA? If you get these forms are you expert enough to tell that it is real and unaltered? Had they paid nominal fees, (less than $100 total for each dog) you could independently verify in complete confidence. Instead you are having to ask the person that wants to to pay them over two grand to give you a document or a scan of a document that you likely have no way to verify. I guess I would just expect premium service/quality for a premium price.


To me personally, I would not be comfortable paper or scans of unverified health tests regardless of how I felt about someone’s communication. I like to be cautious with my purchases by checking independently like Consumer Reports, getting a Car Fax, or having a home inspection. Verifiable health certifications are similar for puppy purchases. But your mileage may vary when it comes to health risks.
 

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There is nothing wrong with perferring BVA as long as it is not used to skirt the more stringent health testing standards in the US. Done at 24 months or later and publicly verifiable, there would be no issues. Generally speaking though that is not what you find. Instead you find folks who choose BVA so they can claim “health clearances” (not a term I use as it has no real definition) on underage dogs. I have seen too many dogs go from normal hips or elbows at 12 months to Dysplasia at 24 months to be comfortable with breeders looking to test so young while dogs are still growing.

Yes, if you are getting locked in on “I have to find an “English Cream” breeder near me” instead of “I need to find a good breeder near me”, you will likely end up paying a huge price tag for a risky health background. Simply put people who are in this style advertising Cream in the US are either going to cut corners on health certifications or if they have them, overcharge for what the actual value is.

Just curious, is the wrapping (color), more important to you than health?

If you are flexible with changing your priorities, I am sure you could find full health certifications at that price. Your local Golden Retriever Club would be a great place to start.

As a note, I recently started a FB page that only allows breeders to list puppies of European lineage that meet the health testing requirements of their country. It requires that they prove their claims with verification links or scans of the testing. In 3 weeks, every single posting where a breeder claimed they had this, not one could provide proof and the posts had to be removed. It is sad but this style seems rife with breeders who simply do not care about health certifications they way they should and more frightening is that many seem completely okay with lying about it or misrepresenting health certifications.
No, the color is not as important to me, which is exactly why I've spent the last two days researching breeders and their clearances. What I do, prefer, however is the boxier look and the square face, smaller snout. I do not even know anyone with a English golden, had no idea that there was an English Cream Golden frenzy of sorts until I started googling- researching breeders in my area- and came upon this forum. I mostly like the body type (and bigger sizes of some) and color is second.

I am definitely finding that almost ALL English breeders that are missing clearances of some sort have European lineage - many go on and on about the pedigrees and claim to have all the clearances but there is no way to prove them or they balk at specifics. It is so frustrating especially when following leads to reputable breeders.

I am pursuing Darrowby in NY -she is more expensive- but includes a warranty and tons of info on the health clearances. She is also one of the only breeders that gave me tons of info up front in an email without me having to fish for information and has answered all my questions.

By the way, we are looking for a family dog, we dont need to show or breed. Just wanted an English Golden that will live 10-12 years and be relatively healthy. My husband and I have been married for 19 years and both love big dogs but never felt it was fair to have a large dog where we lived. We were finally blessed to move on 2 acres and are ready to add a dog to our family!
 

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You did not say when, so please insist on them now. Not when you visit and are distracted by friendly dogs or cute puppies and not when you pick up a puppy. If they balk at giving them now that is a huge red flag.

Also, food for thought if health and transparency is really important to this breeder, why have they not paid the nominal fees to have testing forms verified and listed in OFA? If you get these forms are you expert enough to tell that it is real and unaltered? Had they paid nominal fees, (less than $100 total for each dog) you could independently verify in complete confidence. Instead you are having to ask the person that wants to to pay them over two grand to give you a document or a scan of a document that you likely have no way to verify. I guess I would just expect premium service/quality for a premium price.
She did say she would include the clearances as part of the take home information - which sounds odd, I know...

Also, both she and Darrowby said they prefer BVA. Darrowby's explanation is the OFA hips are much more subjective and they prefer the number system on BVA. She gave me very specific information on BVA and the numbers from her dogs (her current litter's dam has a fair rating for hips so I was questioning if any problems were found in her sire and grandmother as they also have fair ratings for hips)
 

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Have you considered a Great Pyrenees instead of a Golden? They have the look you describe and will be larger. I've met some great livestock guardian dogs. If we had more property I would absolutely own one.
 

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Have you considered a Great Pyrenees instead of a Golden? They have the look you describe and will be larger. I've met some great livestock guardian dogs. If we had more property I would absolutely own one.
So funny that you mention this b/c we have good friends that recently bought a Great Pyrenees and say he's the best dog they've ever owned - he is super sweet and encouraged us to get one as well. I'm not sure we want one *that* large though!
:grin2:
 
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