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hey all...i'm new to the forum...I had to put down my fabulous and gorgeous golden girl recently at the ripe old age of 13...she was the picture of health up until shortly before her passing...i'm starting to think about a new golden family member and hope i will be a fraction as lucky as i was with my Reba...my girl was a beautiful red and this time i'm thinking about going totally opposite with a creme colored english golden...i've been scoping out breeder websites...i came across one in particular (http://www.starrgoldens.com/)...i really really like the look, build, and color of their dogs...i've seen all the lists of questions to ask about health, etc. and will certainly do that before jumping in....but, i was wondering if anyone knows anything about this particular breeder or had any experience with them? their website doesn't offer much information, but does anything on it get a "red flag" from any of you pup-experts? just want to be fully armed before a call and inquire...
 

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There's not enough information on their website to tell if they are doing all necessary clearances, etc.

If you are interested in the English style golden, try this website

http://starcrowned.com/egnatest/Public/breeders.aspx

and of course, make sure that hips are cleared through OFA, Penn Hip (requires low numbers, they don't actually give a pass or fail) OVC or BVA; elbows through OVC or OFA, maybe BVA; eyes cleared every year by a veterinary opthamologist and heart cleared at least once by a veterinary cardiologist.

Many "English" breeders are now actually importing their dogs from Eastern Europe. Not necessarily bad, but a breeder on one of the breed lists I am on, noted that she had contacted a well-known European breeder to inquire about purchasing a puppy. She was quite taken aback to find that they did not do clearances.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss. She definitely had a long life.

Honestly, the marketing of "English goldens" is mostly just a sales tactic for the most part and a lot of breeders use it as a way to charge more for a puppy. It is possible to get a light colored (even cream) golden from a responsible breeder, but I personally would avoid the ones who advertise them as English cream goldens and go with a breeder who has a litter of light puppies instead. Good luck in your search!
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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Those are a lot prettier than most UK style dogs IMO- not horribly overdone, not too overly stocky, not huge houndy heads. They have nice, full coats too. You'd have to check for clearances, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yep, thats what i thought too...its the only website i've stumbled upon so far where i like the whole package of both parents as opposed to just maybe one...health questions are my next step...thanks
 

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Maybe someone with more knowledge than I have can answer this...
A couple of the very light goldens that I board here at the pet hotel have much darker fur around their eyes and above their eyes. They have almost a raccoon look. I was told that's not uncommon when breeders try to breed specifically for a light color. Supposedly it even has a name. It doesn't show up until the puppy is several months old.
Anyone familiar with what I'm talking about???
 

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There's not enough information on their website to tell if they are doing all necessary clearances, etc.

If you are interested in the English style golden, try this website

http://starcrowned.com/egnatest/Public/breeders.aspx

and of course, make sure that hips are cleared through OFA, Penn Hip (requires low numbers, they don't actually give a pass or fail) OVC or BVA; elbows through OVC or OFA, maybe BVA; eyes cleared every year by a veterinary opthamologist and heart cleared at least once by a veterinary cardiologist.

Many "English" breeders are now actually importing their dogs from Eastern Europe. Not necessarily bad, but a breeder on one of the breed lists I am on, noted that she had contacted a well-known European breeder to inquire about purchasing a puppy. She was quite taken aback to find that they did not do clearances.
Insist on seeing clearances for hips/elbows, cardiac and eyes. Their site links to AKC and OFA, but there are very few Starr dogs on the OFA database, and fewer with complete clarances. There is one listed with mild dysplasia.

I found the photo of the awards won by one of their dogs interesting. They appear to be 4H ribbons. :)
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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Hi Golden Fan and welcome to the GRF :wavey:
I am not familiar with Starr Goldens and as others have stated you will need to verify clearances, don't take anyone's word see the paper. Their website leaves a lot of questions but that does not have to mean there is a problem. There was at least one member of the GRF that got a pup from them. I sent them an email and asked them to share their experience with you here. Hopefully they will be of some help to you.
Where ever you go to get your pup I wish you the best of luck!
 

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Starr's main sire - http://k9data.com/pedigree.asp?ID=209683 - Goldbrior Victory Dash - has only a cardiac clearance listed with OFA and it was done by a regular vet, not a cardiologist and no eye clearances listed with CERF.

Dam(s):
Rising Starr Of The Morning Valley (Remi) - http://k9data.com/pedigree.asp?ID=264086 - also has only a cardiac clearances with OFA done by a regular vet. No CERF clearance listed.

That is all the information I could find - the website is VERY light on details about the dogs. That can sometimes be a warning sign. I believe that the OFA's he talks of on his site are preliminaries, not final certifications.

If you look on k9data, there are several Starr dogs that have had their information changed or even deleted by John Stevenson. Two of his dogs have had their records locked by admin so changes can no longer be made by anyone but administrators.

As Tahnee said, your best bet is http://www.starcrowned.com/egnatest/default.aspx

**okay, several of you wrote the same things I did while I was looking all this up ;) **
 

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I have two dogs from Starr. I've met the family, been out to their house, seen all the dogs, etc. Call John (owner) and he will answer any questions you want about the health of the dogs. Mine both had their certs. I lost some of my paperwork and so I had my vet call the owner and she said she was very impressed with everything he had done and asked if she could forward his information to some other patients that were looking for a new Golden. I can answer any questions you have. Both my dogs have great temperments (at least when alone). They are extremely well behaved when alone, but need some monitoring went left together. They are both still puppies (12 weeks and 10 1/2 months). First one (Bentley) potty trained in two weeks, Second one (Bristol) is not quite so dedicated (although oddly I think she is a little smarter). The only thing I would change is that if I ever get another puppy, hold off on winter time. Potty training in the freezing cold and snow is difficult. Either you freeze or the dogs just want to play in the snow. Puppies are A LOT of work! (unless you get one like Bentley).
 

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I have two dogs from Starr. I've met the family, been out to their house, seen all the dogs, etc. Call John (owner) and he will answer any questions you want about the health of the dogs. Mine both had their certs. .
Just curious, do you remember if the certs you saw on plain white paper or on paper with a colored background? Preliminary Hip & Elbow look like this: http://offa.org/samplecerts.html#prelimrpt while the final permanent certifications look like this:http://offa.org/samplecerts.html#hiprpt & http://offa.org/samplecerts.html#elrpt

The difference is that Prelim reports are reviewed by ONE radiologist, where the final ones are done by 3 separate radiologists: "Radiographs of animals 24 months of age or older are independently evaluated by three randomly selected, board-certified veterinary radiologists from a pool of 20 to 25 consulting radiologists throughout the USA in private practice and academia. Each radiologist evaluates the animal's hip status considering the breed, sex, and age." -- from the OFA website.

If his dogs had permanent final certifications for hips/elbows, they would be recorded with OFA. Since they are not, they are most likely only prelims, which begs the question, why didn't he get the final clearances?
 

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Those are a lot prettier than most UK style dogs IMO- not horribly overdone, not too overly stocky, not huge houndy heads. They have nice, full coats too. You'd have to check for clearances, though.
Could you clarify whether you mean dogs in the UK or those in the US? If you mean in the UK then I would beg to differ, after all, I am surrounded by UK Goldens every day and I do not find them ugly in any way... very beautiful in fact!

And what does a huge houndy head look like?

Sorry, I'll stop there:)
 

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I've just checked out their site and would only comment on this...

I can't see the point in stating that their dogs have many Champions in their pedigrees if they don't take the time to publish the pedigrees themselves. I just find that a little odd.

They all look healthy though, although I don't see any evidence that they have shown their dogs at all, and I would be a little dubious about any kennel which just uses their own dog as stud. Is that common practice in the US/Canada?

I agree with what has been said before about health clearances, you can never be too careful. And always check this out BEFORE you go visit any pups... just too hard to walk away!!!!!
 

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There is "English" and then there is English....

This is going to be long, but I'll chime in on this one as I have dogs of primarily English background. Those of us who focus on this style as the cornerstone of our breeding for ourselves (as opposed to having "niche-marketable" puppies to sell) do not do so because of the colour. Given our connection to the UK as a member of the Commonwealth, in Canada these bloodlines have been anything but rare as some of our leading kennels focus on this style. That said, when Oprah bought her pale puppies from that deplorable excuse for a kennel we knew that the trend was going to explode, and the people capitalizing on it were not going to be focus on breeding good GOLDENS. Quite frankly, if the primary selection criteria appears to be for a so-pale-as-to-appear-white coat there is a problem. Saying "our stud dog has the palest coat we have ever seen!" or "Her bloodlines are extremely rare in North America" is a tip off.

Well bred dogs of English/European origin or ancestry do not have massive clunky heads or droopy eyes (because it is incorrect in the UK standard as well!), and in fact can do quite well under breeder judges even in the AKC breed ring, as they often have great strength to offer in terms of improving depth of stop, or return of upper arm for instance. My own boy has placed, owner-handled in the Open class under judges like Michael Faulkner, Don Sturz and Janice Provenzano for example. Many highly successful US kennels have used UK bred dogs, or imported them for themselves for these reasons. I also prefer the less profusely feathered coat that is typical as I find it easier to maintain in dogs that I hunt with. I also love the easy-going and biddable temperament, combined with a love of birds (my friend with an FTCH black lab prefers to shoot over my boy when we go pheasant hunting!) For me, a good English style dog more closely matches what I envision when reading the standard.

That said, what I am talking about is a well-bred English style golden. And in this respect, many of the breeders using primarily English lines who view the complete package are quite open to using a quality American line dog if it has something they need in order to make an improvement. Long-term dedicated breeders of the English style have spent years building relationships with leading breeders in the UK and on the continent (often including trips to Crufts and Windsor and the like), and quite often the people who cannot get dogs from these bloodlines cannot for a reason! The influx of Eastern European dogs with poor histories of clearances behind them, and often of poor conformation quality as well, are not brought in by the dedicated fanciers of this style. People without the reputations and years of work into this buy their dogs where those connections do not matter and the cash gets the dog. So a claim of buying a dog from a top-winning European kennel or a leading judge really isn't worth its salt unless backed up by being open about what those "big wins" are or who that judge is--otherwise you can claim just about anything you want because there is no way for anyone to check it out!!

So, what is the lesson? Buyer beware if you are seeking this style specifically. Do not make colour your primary selection factor (my girl's sire is of completely English breeding and both he and his sire are mid to dark gold!) Do your homework--does it seem like a white-puppy producing operation with little attention to proving dogs in the conformation, obedience or hunt test venues? Or are they competing with and proving their dogs before breeding them? Are full names of their dogs readily available on their website so that you can check them out in k9data and OFA? Are they breeding quite young dogs? This is a concern as these bloodlines can be quite slow maturing, so even at 2 you don't always know what you have yet. The English Goldens site given earlier is a good place to start but you will still have to do your homework--doing a Google search for "English Goldens" or especially "English Creams" is the worst way to start as that is a search key that the profit-minded use to get traffic to their sites. If they talk about English Goldens as if they were a separate breed that is another red flag. They are Goldens. Period. And a good one is a good one.

And as for the original inquiry--with some digging, I determined that their stud dog Storm is Goldbriors Victory Dash--born in 2005 according to the OFA record, and first litter that they had by him born in 2006--kind of tells the tale. Only one clearance listed in OFA and that is a heart clearance done by a practitioner rather than a cardiologist. He has also been bred to a girl who comes down from an establishment with a not so good rep up here, given what I found in k9data.

(PS I too was writing away when folks dug up some of the same info I did!)
 

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I have no idea what color the paper was. I have spoken to some other owners, who knew other owners as well, etc... and I don't know of any of their dogs ever having health problems.

I assure you they are not a factory. They care a lot about each of their dogs, enjoy talking about the personalities of each dog, and they won't give one to anyone that can write the check. If they aren't comfortable with the potential owner they won't let them have a puppy.

As for the "palest coat we've ever seen" comment, I wouldn't read to deep into that. They aren't buying dogs to breed just because the color is so light. Its definitely a factor, but as long as they are making sure their dogs come from good breeders/homes, I don't think its relevant. I have the best dog in the world (or at least that I've ever had or seen) and he just happens to be a light cream (because thats what my wife wanted). Some people like cream, some golden, some red, at the end of the day its still just a Golden. My last dog was a rescue (pre-wife) and he was awesome (Red Golden incidentally).

Best of luck finding what you want. As for the whole breeder selection process, there are lots of good ones out there. They may not have fancy websites, they may not post all their clearances, but that doesn't mean they are shady. Sometimes its just means they aren't as sophisticated and you need to make a few phone calls and have a conversation.
 

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Glad that you have a dog that you love and who has been healthy and happy.

But the point is that transparency with your clearance information, and following established protocols is part of being a responsible breeder. One does not need to be a "puppy factory" to not clear the bar. Someone can be well-meaning and love their dogs but still not do what they should. If orthopaedic clearances are done at the required age there is no need for the breeder to post them. If they are done and they have passed they are posted to OFA automatically.

So, breeding dogs who are not old enough to have permanent clearances is a problem. The male Storm was born in May 2005, and his pups out of Maddy Ann Starr were born in August 2006. He was just over a year old when they were sired! The bitch (who was born in 2002) then had another litter by him in May 2007. She had previously had litters by a dog named Caslands Liberty Starr(born July 2002) in Sept. 2003, Nov 2004, June 2005, and Jan 2006. So she has had 6 litters and started before she was 2 years old, which again is before she was old enough for final clearances! Nuff said!

Again, glad you love your pups and are happy with them, just not going to tell someone else that they are a good choice.
 

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I don't care for Goldens with huge, boxy heads, too much lip/flews, the haw showing on the eye, huge bone (if it weighs more than 75 pounds for a male or 65 for a female in good condition, then it's not my style for sure). I don't care for loose skin on the neck, either. I have seen UK Goldens that are gorgeous. My favorite was one Ann Woodcock was showing, a top winning female. That's the type of UK Golden I like. I did live there for a couple years :) I saw many nice dogs. I also some some massive, waddling dogs that my dogs could run and swim circles around. That said, there are plenty of US type dogs that I think are incorrect as well. I also believe cream is incorrect for this breed, but it is pretty, provided the dog has jet black pigment- I think that's gorgeous.
 
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