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I've finally found a couple of breeders that I like, after much research of breeders from MA to PA and after weeding out those that either seemed unethical OR didn't have litters available to coincide with our time frame.

Here's the thing: My #1 concerns are health and temperament. But there is also a certain "look" that I prefer, and I don't like being made to feel like a criminal for saying that I prefer a blondish gold. I think the whole "English Creme" or "Euro Cream" trend is BS (I guess it sounds more exotic than "white"), but I do like a bigger-boned, gentle-featured dog with a wider head, shorter muzzle.

I truly love ALL dogs—I'm sure I'd love him if he were striped and polka-dotted. But if I am paying $2,000, I think I should be allowed to voice a preference. It's almost like if you ask for specific color or shade, you're a racist!

Anyway...I was leaning toward the English-style, but one of the breeders I found and like says she only breeds American. The dogs look beautiful to me. Still, it is hard to gauge size from a pic. I told her I just didn't want a skinny, Setter-like Golden. She said, "Those are field Goldens."

My question is: I know there is only one Golden breed, but variations in standard depending on AKC or UC. BUT...are there really THREE different styles??

I am very familiar with the differences in Labs—the difference between American/field and English/show is very visible and also obvious in temperament. Is it the same for Goldens? These American Goldens seem just as beautifully built as the English style and the differences seem more subtle than with Labs.

Thanks for your help!
 

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Kate
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Have you gone to dog shows? You may be able to see the actual parents or at least the style of dogs which they breed. That would be a good start.

And/or go in person to visit the breeder.

People have preferences for style, color, temperament, purpose, etc.... and that's OK. But really make sure you are going with an up-and-up breeder who is doing all of the clearances (hips, elbows, heart, eyes).

Other thing too, I think a lot of people go into purchasing a puppy with an idea that they want a solid looking dog. And you will have breeders have these rather obese looking dogs who weigh upwards of 90 pounds. It is one thing to be dealing with thyroid disease and getting and/or keeping weight off of middle-aged dogs, but younger dogs (2-3 years old) should be in the best shape of their life and be in prime condition. Goldens are not and should not be heavyweight dogs, even when they are big boned.
 

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Kristy
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Trust me, you can end up with a Golden Retriever who is hyper and unable to focus no matter what color the coat is or what their bone structure is like unless you do your research and take plenty of time interviewing breeders. Make sure no matter what their dogs look like they are active in showing their dogs in some venue like obedience or field work where an obedience basis is important. It's the best way of making sure that you end up. With a dog who is easy to train and to live with. I have learned a lot about Goldens over the past decade or so and color is way down on my list of concerns when looking for a good dog. Best of luck with your search.
 

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We have EXACTLY the type of field golden that we are referring to! It is so funny how different people's are preferences are because we really wanted a dark, skinny, setter-like golden vs a lighter golden or white golden.

I can promise that no matter what "type" of golden you get, your days will be filled with lots of fun, laughter and sometimes frustration because they ALL have their moments =)
 

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the party's crashing us
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There is ONE breed with MANY different styles. Not two, not three, but many. You can find goldens all over the spectrum. Just be wary of ANY breeder who is marketing their dogs as a specific type, for example "English Creme" "American Red" etc. This is not something any reputable breeder will do. Those terms just make my skin crawl.
Like produces like. Regardless of the type, style or pedigree, your best bet at getting a dog you like the looks of is to buy a pup from parents you like the look of. It's really that simple :)
It's not a bad thing to want a golden of a particular style. There are even big variations of type within just show goldens from America. I like a particular style, that's what my dogs are. Just avoid any breeder that is using looks as their PRIMARY push in advertising their dogs.
 

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I like a particular style, that's what my dogs are. Just avoid any breeder that is using looks as their PRIMARY push in advertising their dogs.
Completely agree with this! A breeder should obviously listen and understand your preference with color etc. but a good breeder will not focus just on outward appearances of dogs! Look for lots of health certs and breeder that shows their dogs in some way.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, everyone, for your comments. I totally agree that color is on the back burner as far as important traits go. I do have a preference for blond or tawny, but it's not that significant.

I have completely sifted out the breeders who use color, or phrases like "specializing in English creme." I also weeded out those who ship puppies, or who give the person with the first deposit "first pick," since I think the dog should complement the family.

What a draining process! There are many "breeders," but relatively few who don't have at least one red flag.
 

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If you're looking in the north east (which I assume you are since you said you've looked from MA to PA) there are plenty of good breeders around, you just may have to be willing to get on a wait list. Blonde shouldn't be too hard to find either. As for field vs conformation, check out some conformation shows and spend some time with a breeder of field lines if you can. The research, effort and wait will pay off in the end!
 

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differences in "sub-breeds" of the Golden

there are subtle differences to the golden. I've owned two field bred goldens and they are spectacular dogs. they make terrific family pets and hunting companions. I've found the field bred goldens are bred to proper size and only the most desirable pups are chosen for training and breeding by the breeder. my current 2 y.o. golden is a 55 lb female that has certified hips and eyes by an accredited agency. this achieved by not breeding them too large as it causes health problems. her parents are ribbon winning champion dogs with deep golden color and beautiful proportions. she is an excellent pup. the field bred is more proportionate, healthier and responsibly bred than any other of the casually bred goldens. I highly suggest you consider the field bred golden for a family pet. my latest came from Fireside Fireside Retrievers & Top Brass Topbrass Retrievers-Golden Retrievers and Labradors since 1968

feel free to contact me directly for pictures and more info. [email protected]
 

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Grumpy Old Man
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I also weeded out those who ship puppies, or who give the person with the first deposit "first pick," since I think the dog should complement the family.

What a draining process! There are many "breeders," but relatively few who don't have at least one red flag.
There are a lot of quality breeders who will ship a puppy. It is often the least stressful method to get a pup to its new home. Let's see crated for a 12 hour car ride or a two hour non-stop plane ride, which is going to be easier on the pup?
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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...the field bred is more proportionate, healthier and responsibly bred than any other of the casually bred goldens.

This is one of those BROAD statements that are not based on any facts and drive me crazy. :mad: And of course the "other" are not "casually bred" if done by a responsible breeder. :doh:
 

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I prefer a blondish gold. I do like a bigger-boned, gentle-featured dog with a wider head, shorter muzzle.
Given your preferences, don't go with a field golden. They are MY preference, but their standards don't match your preferences. Again, it is perfectly okay to have a "look" that you like.
 
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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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there are subtle differences to the golden. I've owned two field bred goldens and they are spectacular dogs. they make terrific family pets and hunting companions. I've found the field bred goldens are bred to proper size and only the most desirable pups are chosen for training and breeding by the breeder. my current 2 y.o. golden is a 55 lb female that has certified hips and eyes by an accredited agency. this achieved by not breeding them too large as it causes health problems. her parents are ribbon winning champion dogs with deep golden color and beautiful proportions. she is an excellent pup. the field bred is more proportionate, healthier and responsibly bred than any other of the casually bred goldens. I highly suggest you consider the field bred golden for a family pet. my latest came from Fireside Fireside Retrievers & Top Brass Topbrass Retrievers-Golden Retrievers and Labradors since 1968

feel free to contact me directly for pictures and more info. [email protected]
Gah! :no: Just stop with the baloney, please! Most people here are knowledgeable enough to dismiss this tripe out of hand, but a few may not be. Just. Stop. It makes you look like you an uneducated advocate spouting mere sophistry.
 

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Certified hips by an accredited agency? Who and what does that mean?
 
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Gah! :no: Just stop with the baloney, please! Most people here are knowledgeable enough to dismiss this tripe out of hand, but a few may not be. Just. Stop. It makes you look like you an uneducated advocate spouting mere sophistry.
This is one of those BROAD statements that are not based on any facts and drive me crazy. :mad: And of course the "other" are not "casually bred" if done by a responsible breeder. :doh:
Fireside Angry Birdy, I agree with these two comments, but want to say that I also agree (and I am pretty sure DanaRuns and AmbikaGR would agree) that Fireside and Topbrass are very good breeders.
 
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This is one of those BROAD statements that are not based on any facts and drive me crazy. :mad: And of course the "other" are not "casually bred" if done by a responsible breeder. :doh:
by casually I mean for profit rather than for sport or show. There are so may casual breeders of goldens out there. so many in the northeast that you must search far beyond to find a breeder that does not breed solely for profit.
 
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