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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! This is my first post, and I'm SO grateful to everyone here. I've spent a few hours reading through past posts but I know I still have a lot to learn.

I do have a time-sensitive request for help, though! We've been searching the past month for a breeder, hoping to bring home a Golden pup this winter (started too late, I now realize). However, I recently learned about and contacted Howard at PBG Kennels in Reidsville, NC, and he told me they have 3 males available from his current litter. The next litter is most likely all spoken for already. He said there were 8 males/2 females in the current litter, and they just had more requests for females, or people who wanted to wait on the next litter, which should be a deeper red. We are planning to go out and visit the farm tomorrow so I'd love to be prepared to ask good questions - and I am feeling the sense of urgency that we may need to commit sooner than we were planning - or maybe just cool it and wait this one out if it's not a good fit.

My questions are:
-Any thoughts on this kennel?
-We are wanting a family dog and I've read mixed thoughts on whether a "field bred" Golden would do well as a companion pet vs. a home where it would be worked. Howard said that they will be smart, trainable, healthy, and athletic - all things you'd look for in both home and performance, and that most of his dogs do go as family pets. He also said the males should be about 60lb full grown - is that on the small side? Should that matter to us?
-This is the litter pedigree: Ruby x Goose I've done a deep dive into learning about the clearances, but would love an experienced review. The issues I notice are that the dam has only been checked by a cardiac practitioner, and her half-sibling Jolene does not have elbow clearance listed. Is there anything else? Would these issues be a no-go for you all, or would it be more of a "proceed with caution and ask the right questions" situation?
-The other upcoming litter pedigree that seems to be more desirable is this one, btw: Cash x Nebraska

The other breeders I have been in contact with are Hyatt's Goldens in Charlotte, Season's Gold, Copperfield, and Goldenwise - all in NC. They are all more likely to have a spring or next fall availability but I'm keeping in touch in case someone backs out. I also have a few reservations about a couple of those kennels, so would welcome any further info.
I've also reached out to River Rock, Stormy Point, and Eldorado in VA but haven't heard back. We are in central NC but willing to travel to VA, SC, eastern TN, maybe even GA.

Again, thank you all so much. I'm so glad I've found this group and look forward to educating myself more as we move along in the process!
 

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You’re right, the dam is missing a proper cardiac clearance and her dam is missing elbows.
These are performance dogs and I think they would make fine pets but might require a bit more of a home than a dog not bred similarly. However, I think any owner that wants a sporting dog should prepare to have an athletic pet, no matter the pedigree. This one just might require more attentive training and exercise

I wouldn’t worry about size, they’re not bred to the Golden conformation standard.
 

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Both PBG litters look like outstanding performance prospects. If the breeder is close enough, I'd visit the parents of both litters (or at least the dams) to check out their respective personalities. Temperament has a strong genetic component. If the dog gets plenty of exercise, he'll be fine. If you don't have much time to spend with the dog and no place where he can get some regular off-leash exercise, consider a different breed.

The other breeders all look like conformation breeders or their dogs are mostly conformation pedigrees. I don't know anything about conformation lines.

Kelly
 

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I would really think through the implications of having a field-bred dog unless you’re youngish, very active, have plenty of free time and love to spend it outdoors. This isn’t likely to be a dog that will happily sleep while you work a 50-hour week and then snuggle up and sleep some more while you watch television at the end of a long day.

It can be hard just to get a young companion-bred Golden enough vigorous cardiovascular exercise…just sedate leash walks don’t cut it for most. I know even in my younger years with my work schedule I wouldn’t have been a good home for a field-bred Golden.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Both PBG litters look like outstanding performance prospects. If the breeder is close enough, I'd visit the parents of both litters (or at least the dams) to check out their respective personalities. Temperament has a strong genetic component. If the dog gets plenty of exercise, he'll be fine. If you don't have much time to spend with the dog and no place where he can get some regular off-leash exercise, consider a different breed.

The other breeders all look like conformation breeders or their dogs are mostly conformation pedigrees. I don't know anything about conformation lines.

Kelly
Thank you both for the input! We do have a fenced yard and I love to go for daily walks, plus we hope to let our dog play with the neighbors if they all get along. We hike and camp on the weekends as we're able and are planning to do obedience training through Good Canine Citizen level. I think the breed seems like a good match for our family?

We are able to visit PBG this weekend, and I believe both dams and one sire will be there.

I do have a question about how to tactfully ask about the cardiac exam; I don't want to make a faux pas or insinuate that the breeder is unethical. How do you suggest bringing it up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It can be hard just to get a young companion-bred Golden enough vigorous cardiovascular exercise…just sedate leash walks don’t cut it for most. I know even in my younger years with my work schedule I wouldn’t have been a good home for a field-bred Golden.
Thanks for the feedback, this is what I was worried about. I'm home during the day and once the dog is older both my husband and I would probably run it a few times a week in addition to neighborhood walks, but I'm worried that still might not be enough.
 

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Walks don't cut it with our field-bred pup. He'd destroy the house. To give you an idea; this is what our day generally looks like with him:

6:00am - Morning Zoomies & a mile walk.
Breakfast
7:30am - A game of fetch.
10am - On days where I don't work, we go dock diving for an hour. If I do, he gets a frozen kong with PB/applesauce/kibble/etc.

He's usually crashed out by then so he sleeps until 4:30pm;

5:00pm - Dinner, we usually toss it in a puzzle game or long grass so he uses his brain.
6:00pm - nap time
7:00pm - finally getting cool enough for a good run. 2 mile joring/run session, sometimes another swim....

And he still gets another round of zoomies/energy before we go to bed at about 10 lol.

He is, however, a wonderful dog. Pretty easy to train, loves people & etc. Just a danger to society if he doesn't get exercised. I can't even imagine how people handle some of the high-caliber breeds like Collies and GSD.
 

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I do have a question about how to tactfully ask about the cardiac exam; I don't want to make a faux pas or insinuate that the breeder is unethical. How do you suggest bringing it up?
You say 'I was reading the Code of Ethics and it appears that hearts should be done by cardiologists and not practitioners' and they'll tell you how wonderful their pet vet is and that they trust pet vet with anything and then you'll feel like you have to make a choice- because you do...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You say 'I was reading the Code of Ethics and it appears that hearts should be done by cardiologists and not practitioners' and they'll tell you how wonderful their pet vet is and that they trust pet vet with anything and then you'll feel like you have to make a choice- because you do...
I know. You're right. I think I should let this one go. Between that, and also not being sure that a male field-bred Golden is the right fit for our family, we should probably just be patient and continue to wait. I think I was just feeling discouraged that we wouldn't be able to get a winter puppy because I didn't realize how much farther in advance we should have started - and then it just seemed like amazing luck that I reached out to this breeder after meeting one of his puppies at the gym, and he happened to have 3 on the ground.
 

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I think you should trust your instincts and it sounds like this may not be the right fit. I waited ten months for our first boy…it’s going to be over a year for the little girl I will pick up in two weeks. And I’m traveling 3400 miles to get her! But I know this breeder and know what she looks for and I was very lucky to have gotten a pup from her second litter six years ago because it gave us priority now.

Keep looking! It’ll happen. FWIW, depending on where you live, a “winter” puppy can mean a lot of nights freezing in the snow waiting for your pup to remember why he’s out there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
FWIW, depending on where you live, a “winter” puppy can mean a lot of nights freezing in the snow waiting for your pup to remember why he’s out there!
Thank you for the encouragement! I did consider that aspect about a winter pup - but it's not terrible in the winter here (central NC) and we tend to "nest" a little more with fewer/shorter activities out of the house in the winter so I thought it would be a good time to focus on the puppy without it cramping our lifestyle - and we could hopefully take it camping with us by the summer months!
 

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I remembered this morning that I looked into a more field lines breeder here in the PNW a couple of years back…and went through the same decision process you did. It would have been a bad fit for us, so I’m happy I waited. I’m VERY glad that xRoan posted about his experience with his pup…it sounds like an absolutely wonderful life for them and what a lucky dog that is! But that’s a huge commitment and knowing that is really helpful.
 
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Exactly. I took a gap year (or two…) from college after graduating high school, my father works from home, and my mother is retired— it’s the only way we, with our lifestyle, are able to give Colt the attention he needs.

Our neighbor has a show line that is around the same age as Colt and he is completely content to just hang out and chill on the driveway while they talk. He’s great with kids, sits nicely for pets, and walks loose on the leash with little to no training. I’ve worked with Colt every day since he was nine weeks old and he STILL feels the need to greet people at mach ten, knocks kids over, and I have to tell him to heel about a hundred times because all he wants to do is RUN and sniff for birds and chase rabbits. Most of our walks are off-leash on an e-collar for that very reason LOL. He is only a year old and will get better with time, but significantly more time than what it would take for a show line to learn. He is happiest in the field running to retrieve ducks, or launching off of a dock to go swimming.

He is so fast that he has, on three different occasions, caught a live bird while out on a walk and will happily bring them back to me & deposit them in my hand.

Great dog, lots of energy. He’s got a stubborn streak but once you work through it you couldn’t ask for a better dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, forgot to respond to you @xRoan! Your Colt sounds like an incredible dog and your sample daily timeline was super helpful. We will definitely have some days where we have the time and interest to work with our dog that much, but it’s not going to be feasible every single day depending on the kids sports and other commitments. I do think we’ll still visit this kennel tomorrow, since the breeder invited us out and it’s a beautiful day to meet some dogs and walk around the farm. I hope he won’t feel like we’ve wasted his time. He said he planned to be out there anyway working with the dogs.
 

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Well, I’m going to say you’re coming home with a dog. Unless your willpower is a whole lot stronger than mine! Especially if your kids go along! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh lordy 🙃

well my husband can’t go tomorrow anyway so I’m taking my mom and the kids and we told them that we are just starting our research and thought it would be informative to visit a kennel in person. If they are working with the dogs I thought it could be interesting to see what they do with them! We’ll just call it a field trip 😅
 

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Good luck, Denise! At least you’ll have your mom to help back you up. If she will. If she’s a doting grandma, you’re on your own!

Hope you’ll post an update!
 
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I think one more warning is in order here: if you truly don’t think these puppies are a good match for your family, please don’t go see them.

I completely understand the desire, the ache, the longing you feel while waiting to bring a pup home. I really do. I hope I’m wrong - and please tell me I am - but I think you have an ulterior motive for going to see them: you’re hoping that you’re wrong about the pups not being the right fit. You’re hoping they will be a good fit and you can bring one home instead of waiting an indeterminate amount of time to find a pup that is a good fit.

If your gut says they aren’t a good fit, then listen to it. The dog you eventually get will be worth the wait.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think one more warning is in order here: if you truly don’t think these puppies are a good match for your family, please don’t go see them.

I completely understand the desire, the ache, the longing you feel while waiting to bring a pup home. I really do. I hope I’m wrong - and please tell me I am - but I think you have an ulterior motive for going to see them: you’re hoping that you’re wrong about the pups not being the right fit. You’re hoping they will be a good fit and you can bring one home instead of waiting and indeterminate amount of time to find a pup that is a good fit.

If your gut says they aren’t a good fit, then listen to it. The dog you eventually get will be worth the wait.
Thanks for helping me think this through. So, confession- I did have the thought "maybe the puppies haven't been claimed because they're so mellow" - but even if that was the case, they're not ready to go home until end of October, and I wouldn't make a decision without my husband meeting the mama and the breeder first. And having never visited a breeding operation I really did think it would be good to have the experience of meeting the breeder and the older dogs and seeing what their particular setup is like. Kind of a like a practice interview for a job! Truly, I do not want to get a dog that needs more than we can provide and my gut is saying to wait for a conformation-bred Golden.
 

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I have hesitated to post again, because I really, really don’t want to make you feel like we’re piling on…I get it, I really do!

I did volunteer work with shelters and rescues for a few years. I can tell you the number one reason dogs, usually at right around 9 to 10 months, end up in rescues is because they’re adopted by young families or young working couples who fell in love with a puppy…and then that puppy turned into a big, strong, active dog that no one had the time to exercise or train adequately. Those young dogs end up in rescues manic and stressed…and it’s horrible for the families and even worse for the dogs.

You have children, yes? I don’t know how old they are, but most rescues won’t adopt young dogs or puppies to families with children under 12 because too often the dog knocks them down or steals their stuff or otherwise causes all kinds of uproar…just being dogs. Parents have plenty on their plates as it is, especially these days, and at some point it’s just too much.

At a minimum, your husband needs to meet this dog. And if this breeder tries to push this without having met your husband, he’s not a responsible breeder anyway. And you’re not going to be able to tell by meeting the sire and dam tomorrow, because you don’t know if they were run ten miles today and are therefore sleepy and mellow. Same with the puppies.

Have you thought about looking into a rescue dog? An older dog is more of a what you see is what you get situation and is usually a whole lot easier to deal with. I can tell you both of my rescue Goldens, whom I got at three years and one year, respectively, were incredibly easy compared to my beloved stinker puppy. And he‘s not from field lines.

Ah, I wrote too much. I’m sorry. I just wouldn’t want to put myself in a situation like that, where your heart and your kids might override your head.

And now I’ll shut up!
 
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