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Hi,

I live in Madison, WI, with my husband, son, 2 cats, and one dog. I'm looking to get a Golden puppy in a year or so. I've owned dogs for about 11 years now but they've all been rescues. We currently have a 9 yr old Golden, Gerry, who came from a municipal shelter when he was about a year old. He's a joy to live with and I want to make sure we get a puppy who's just as good.

My big concern is aggression problems in Goldens. I've heard from some conformation show people that even reputable breeders can have dog and/or people aggression in their lines, and I've seen some scary video of aggressive Golden puppies who come from at least one reputable show breeder.

How do I find out if a potential breeder has these problems in their lines? A reputable breeder should be forthcoming about this, shouldn't they?

Other than that, I'm not sure if we want a show, field, or performance breeder. We live in a fairly urban area of Madison WI. Any dog we get would be going to doggie daycare 5 days a week for at least the first year, plus 2+ walks a day on top of that (we're in an apartment and have no backyard). I love taking dog classes for obedience, agility, and field work but just don't have the time to compete in anything, although future puppy will be getting his CGC. We spend our weekends visiting family members, hiking at one of the state parks around here, and/or taking walks down to the park with our son. Our dogs will be coming with us.

Our current Golden is an active, high-drive, confident/outgoing dog who settles well in the house and would never think of being aggressive towards a person, which is great for us. He is also a devoted cat/small dog chaser as well as a "fun police" dog in daycare (doesn't like a lot of wrestling and body slamming), which is not so great, although we can deal with it.

My plan was to find a breeder I like and then wait for a puppy of theirs when we're ready. It would also be good if they were able to pick out the right pup for us based on temperament.

Any Wisconsin breeder recommendations would be appreciated. :) Are there any bench shows in this part of the country? We just moved here last year.

Thanks for reading,

-Meghan and Gerry
 

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Really, the only way you are going to find out about aggression is to ask around, keep your eyes and ears open, and look for an honest breeder.

There aren't any bench shows in Wisconsin. The closest one is in Chicago

International Kennel Club of Chicago

There are 2 specialty clubs in Wisconsin. There is a specialty coming up in March

Badger Golden Retriever Club

and in May

Untitled 2

Both clubs have a puppy referral as well,

There are a lot of good breeders in Wisconsin-and a lot of not so good breeders as well.

Diane Henning of Rustic Pine Goldens is planning a litter with her girl this spring. Diane looks for multi-purpose pups, and trains with Webshire Kennels, another good breeder. I just bred my girl and am hopefully expecting puppies on March 2 :)

As far as conformation bred, field bred, obedience bred, etc. you should meet as many breeders and their dogs as possible, in order to find the best fit for you.
 

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Be mindful that a puppy that is not properly socialized and given all of the great opportunities for varying experiences and meeting new people will be different from it's littermate that did receive these things. Genetics is not the only factor!

Best of luck in your search! You're received some good referrals already!
 

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My boy is from Topflight Kennels. I love him to death is the perfect dog. He has drive in the field but once we come in he settles down and chills with the family. He is only 8mos and is a joy. I would get another dog from this breeder. Sue was easy to talk to and forth coming with all my questions as I had never owned a golden before.
 

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The temperament on Beth's dogs is amazing-and Hobo's longevity is, as well! Bindi was bred to Hero (Lush's Dad)

Pedigree: Ch. Summits Goldentripinthelineofduty

and Diane's girl is Summit-bred, as well :) Hero has been staying with Diane, and I know he was bred again this week, but I don't who the bitch was.

Diane usually knows if Beth is expecting a litter, and actually is pretty well plugged into the Golden community in Wisconsin. She often knows who has puppies, or is planning a breeding.

Another breeder to check out is Nancy Gratiot in Stoughton-

Nalyns Goldens Golden Retrievers - Home Page

There are a lot of other small breeders as well. The upcoming specialties would be a great place to meet several breeders and see what their dogs are like as well.
 

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Wow, I say jump on the Hero/Bindi litter! Waaa hooo. Lushie truly could not have a better temperament.
 

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Welcome to the forum foilgirl, sounds like you are going to have a blast doing your research. You're so lucky to have the people who have chimed in here give you their input. I have great respect for their opinions. Have fun!!!! (Can you tell I'm a little envious of your adventure!?!?)

I almost forgot, I'm sure all these breeders will have their clearances in place and up to date. Don't forget to ask for them up front,then the breeder will know you are a smart cookie who has done her homework :))
 

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Not to step on anyone's toes here but please remember to take a look at the hip, elbow, eye and heart clearances on the dogs mentioned AND those dogs behind them. Unfortunately, a few dogs behind the sire mentioned have no hip clearances, spotty elbow clearances, not seeing many heart and eye clearances either. Of course, with any breeding you can have issues with offspring from clear parents. But Fox Mulder is known for hip issues in his offspring. Go to the K9data link provided and do a 5 generation hip pedigree on these dogs.

Haven't looked at the Dam's pedigrees and hopefully they are very strong in their hip/elbow productions and what is behind them. It appears from the OFA numbers on Hero that either he didn't pass hips the first time he was Xrayed at 27 months or they resubmitted just hips at 32 months but didn't redo elbows. That always looks suspicious to me - just my opinion. The Woodspoint's dogs have no hips or elbows listed on k9data.

Unfortunately, OFA website was having some issues when I tried searching a few moments ago.
 

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Well, I did think hard about Fox Mulder when choosing my Hero puppy, and I believe that all pedigrees come with risks. These risks have not always paid off for me lol, but I hope this one does. I believe though, that Hero's Hips were resubmitted bc he was very close to a higher rating and not bc he was in any danger of not passing. I did my homework on that before choosing the litter I did.
 

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Just wished they had done the elbows again at 32 months so the hip & elbow numbers match. And of course, any breeding comes with risks between two dogs. We have to remember that only a small percentage of the offspring are ever evaluated for clearances in most litters unless the entire litter went to show homes and clearances were required in the contract.
 

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I did my homework as well :) The strength of clearances behind Hero's Dad is very high, and my line has a very good strength of clearances as well. I also looked at the dogs behind and around his mother, and was very comfortable going with him. One of these puppies will, God willing, become an integral part of my breeding program, and I am a pretty risk averse person, as my friends will tell you :)

Longevity and temperament are also good with this pedigree, and I want it all-health, temperament, longevity and intelligence :)
 

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Not to step on anyone's toes here but please remember to take a look at the hip, elbow, eye and heart clearances on the dogs mentioned AND those dogs behind them. Unfortunately, a few dogs behind the sire mentioned have no hip clearances, spotty elbow clearances, not seeing many heart and eye clearances either. Of course, with any breeding you can have issues with offspring from clear parents. But Fox Mulder is known for hip issues in his offspring. Go to the K9data link provided and do a 5 generation hip pedigree on these dogs.

Haven't looked at the Dam's pedigrees and hopefully they are very strong in their hip/elbow productions and what is behind them. It appears from the OFA numbers on Hero that either he didn't pass hips the first time he was Xrayed at 27 months or they resubmitted just hips at 32 months but didn't redo elbows. That always looks suspicious to me - just my opinion. The Woodspoint's dogs have no hips or elbows listed on k9data.

Unfortunately, OFA website was having some issues when I tried searching a few moments ago.

Hero's hips were redone because Beth and her ortho doing the xrays thought he should have gotten a good and was given a fair.
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

The above link is to Hero's clearances. For anyone who is interested, I have copies of his heart and current eye clearances as I am Lush's breeder and I also bred him to another one of our girls. His heart was done by a cardiologist and his eyes are clear with no breeder options for the last 2 years that I have copies for.

If you take a look at the above link....the depth of information from his littermates is AMAZING!!!! You normally do not get that kind of information from a litter because there are normally not that many puppies placed in homes where they are being shown or where clearances will be done. Many times, you are lucky if you have clearance information for 1 or 2 other littermates and sometimes there is no information on littermates. I really believe the depth of information available on a dog/pedigree is more important than any one part.

Yes, Fox Mulder has produced dysplasia. He is Hero's grand-father but is just one dog in his pedigree. There is no perfect dog out there and we have to be careful not to only zero in on faults/issues. If you look long and hard enough, you can find something with every pedigree. Hero is a
younger stud dog-I say this because their offspring have to reach 2 years old before clearances can be done and that information on his offspring so far is also available at the link I posted above.

You also have to remember that a lot of the dogs in Hero's dam side of the pedigree are not living in this country. His mom was shown by Beth here in the US so she was here and getting her clearances were not an issue. I talk to a lot of different breeders from a lot of different countries and they do not have the specialists that we have available in this country, unfortunately.

He also has a very "old" pedigree so when looking for elbow clearances, you have to remember that they were not required or done routinely until about 2001 or 2002. Some people went back and did elbows-that is the case with our foundation bitch and why her hip and elbow dates don't match-but it was not a requirement to do so. Dogs that had already had their hips done were "grand-fathered" in.

Hero also has a lot of good things that he brings to the table. He truly has a lovely temperament and good longevity and beautiful movement and structure. These were the reasons that we chose to incorporate him into our breeding program.

Our foundation is 15 years old. Her first litter is now 12.5 years old. It is important to me that the trend we see of goldens dying in their prime not become the norm. I believe that longevity and temperament are just as important as the "big 4". You need to whole package to have a golden retriever!! :)
 

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But if you look at the offspring listed on K9data, Hero was used before the age of 2 years old (he was born 2/25/06) and had litters listed as produced on 5/4/07,11/16/07, and two litters born on 9/10/07. Looking at those early litters and the offspring that actually cleared on OFA, I am not seeing many of them clearing hips & elbows and they were placed in show homes. Sapphire has all of her clearances and she was born 11/16/07.

This wasn't about pointing fingers at Hero. Just like every other litter posted on this forum, people advise potential new pet owners to educate themselves about clearances, the lack there of as well as looking at the dogs in the pedigree 5 generations back. This was not for anyone to justify why they used a particular stud or clarify their choices. Simply mentioned that the dams side of Hero's pedigree has many unknowns with missing clearances but those dogs were used in other countries.....Fox Mulder being used a lot! And yes, that is his grandsire.

We all have and make choices when it comes to breeding. Their is no perfect dog. Some breeding's simply don't click and we don't know it until afterwards. Same as taking a chance with breeding to a dog missing clearances - happens all the time. Their is no right or wrong. But awareness of these breedings and those clearance results are public information entered on k9data and OFA.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks to everyone for the useful discussion! I'm learning a lot. :)

Thank you, Tahnee, for the info about current litters, but I'm having surgery in April and will require a few months' recovery afterwards. So no puppies for us this year. :( We will be going to the Chicago show in February, though, as well as the specialty in March. Maybe I'll see you at one of those?

As another general question, do breeders generally know how prevalent medical issues that can't be tested for are in their lines? I'm thinking of things like cancer, skin/ear problems, etc.

After reading some of the threads on this site, I'm also getting worried about the subject of neutering. I'd be using doggie daycare until future puppy could be trusted in the house alone, and they all require neutering once the dog is 6 months old. That basically leaves me with no choice but to neuter at 6 months. I've seen threads with breeders stating they won't sell to people who would neuter before a year old. How prevalent is that?

Thanks again!

-Meghan and Gerry
 

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This wasn't about pointing fingers at Hero. Just like every other litter posted on this forum, people advise potential new pet owners to educate themselves about clearances, the lack there of as well as looking at the dogs in the pedigree 5 generations back. This was not for anyone to justify why they used a particular stud or clarify their choices. Simply mentioned that the dams side of Hero's pedigree has many unknowns with missing clearances but those dogs were used in other countries.....Fox Mulder being used a lot! And yes, that is his grandsire.

We all have and make choices when it comes to breeding. Their is no perfect dog. Some breeding's simply don't click and we don't know it until afterwards. Same as taking a chance with breeding to a dog missing clearances - happens all the time. Their is no right or wrong. But awareness of these breedings and those clearance results are public information entered on k9data and OFA.

I don't think that anyone has said that someone looking for a puppy should not check the clearances on a dog. Absolutely, they should. I also stated the same as your paragraph above in that there is no perfect dog and that they all come with some issues. A mentor of mine bred an OFA excellent to another OFA excellent and got 3 dysplastic puppies from the litter. We work with the information we have available and yes, the breeding that I spoke about with the EXC/EXC would certainly seem wonderful on paper, but it certainly didn't turn out that way.


To the OP-yes, the breeder should be aware of any skin problems/allergies and those type of issues in the line. There is no such thing as a "cancer free" line and if a breeder tells you they don't have any cancer-RUN!! Even if a dog lives into very old age, they typically die from some form of cancer.

Also, because you are probably looking at a dog for next year, don't be alarmed or surprised if a breeder can't give you specific time frames or breeding plans. They are usually focused on breedings that they are doing in the next 6 months or so and breedings done further out will a lot of times be contingent on clearances, etc.
 

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I have observed that breeding extremes to each other can result in extreme clearances(good and bad)..
When looking at other breeds, I have seen in the doberman, for example that in certain show lines the physical soundness has improved, but perhaps DCM has increased.
I have always stated that people who breed dogs are constantly making decisions about who to breed.... and who to breed their dog to... it is never easy. And ask questions about skin, ears, heart, hips, eyes, etc... As HVgoldens said , if the answers are never, run! IMO, if they have never had any of these issues, they are lying OR....

And not to beat a dead horse about Hero... but, all I can find on Fox Mulder on OFA is an elbow clearance.....
 

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We bought Maddie from Diane. Hobo is her dad. I found her through this forum & couldn't be more grateful. Very social & not afraid of anything. She's a character.
 

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Dichi, Dichi, Dichi! They have been breeding for 30 years and have champion Goldens.

Ok, I may be biased, but my little Charley is the sweetest, smartest, cutest thing ever. I still wonder if it is Nature or Nurture - and I have nothing but the most impressive things to say about this puppy. He is 4 1/2 mos old, was sleeping thru the night after three nights, was house trained after two weeks, and just "gets it". He knows sit, stay, come, no, no bite, his name, who's here, his boundaries, his schedule, and is crate trained. (All without any harsh words, punishment, or frustration!) He is very curious, happy, brave, snuggly, and attentive.

Good luck with your search - you'll know when you find "the one"! You will just feel it.



p.s. I got my Golden who has passed, Sophie, from a "family" breeder and she was just perfect too - the love of my life.
 
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