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My name is Sabrina. Goldens have been my true love since I was a child. I am now a wife, mama, and special education teacher with a dream to one day breed and show. We lost our golden to old age a few years ago and with thoughts of him constantly I'm eager to learn everything possible about how to become a hard working and knowledgeable, ethical breeder of goldens and to always work toward improving the breed. I plan to immerse myself into this world as much as possible before beginning my search for our next pup. My hope is to learn from the experts and eventually find an incredible mentor to help me make my dream a reality.
 

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Welcome!

I moved your thread into the Main section so you would get more views and responses.

If you have any particular questions, feel free to post them in this thread.

You may want to visit the Golden Retriever Club of America.org, it has a lot of very good information on the site.

 

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Wonderful! I sure appreciate you. I’m spending much of my time right now exploring organizations nationwide and here in Florida. Thank you kindly
 

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Sabrina, you know the GRCA National will be in Ocala at the WEC this fall? World Equestrian Center Ocala - World Equestrian Center If you are in Mid-Florida, please visit our FB page and join us- you can volunteer and work the event, meet people and really immerse yourself! Oct 16-28 . You can see the schedule of events on 2020.grcanational.com and plan your days!
 

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My name is Sabrina. Goldens have been my true love since I was a child. I am now a wife, mama, and special education teacher with a dream to one day breed and show. We lost our golden to old age a few years ago and with thoughts of him constantly I'm eager to learn everything possible about how to become a hard working and knowledgeable, ethical breeder of goldens and to always work toward improving the breed. I plan to immerse myself into this world as much as possible before beginning my search for our next pup. My hope is to learn from the experts and eventually find an incredible mentor to help me make my dream a reality.
There is such a need and demand for breeders who follow the Code of Ethics and want to be mentored rather than those who just want to make money off of dogs. The GRCA National would be a great opportunity for you. Best wishes for your dreams to become reality.
 

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Get active in your local breed club. Attend events/meetings. Volunteer, especially if there is a CCA in your area. Go to shows or what ever event you want to compete in and look for the dogs you like and handler/owners who are successful like you want to be. Build a relationship with those folks, ask to be mentored. Buy your first dog from those successful people you build a relationship and be prepared to co-own. Doing that will get you a big jump start on your goals.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Get active in your local breed club. Attend events/meetings. Volunteer, especially if there is a CCA in your area. Go to shows or what ever event you want to compete in and look for the dogs you like and handler/owners who are successful like you want to be. Build a relationship with those folks, ask to be mentored. Buy your first dog from those successful people you build a relationship and be prepared to co-own. Doing that will get you a big jump start on your goals.
I am soaking in every bit of advice and I couldn’t be more thankful.
 

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infodog.com- search by state.
There is a big cluster coming up in Tampa, you might go for Goldens ring time and find someone willing to explain what's going on.
 

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Kate
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I think you want to check around for your local golden retriever clubs.... and attend meetings and events so you can meet people and become a familiar face. Meet breeders, friend them on facebook, friend them in real life as you go to shows.

From this forum, people to talk privately to would be Robin (Prism Goldens), Anney (K9Design), and Kelli (Kmullen). Robin and Anney are in Florida and Kelli is pretty close by and shows there frequently. Kelli might not be on the forum very often or recently - but others can get you in touch with her.

Basically meet, talk, and LISTEN and learn. Make sure that all the stuff these people do as far as dog shows is something you can do. It looks easy and glam from outside the ring, but it's a lot of work and $$$$$$ - especially if your goal is to become a breeder. You want all your ducks in a row first and that could take years of growth, involvement, and learning.

Kelli especially would be a good contact if you can reach out to her, because she started out about 10 years ago with her first puppy bitch with a mentor (from Florida by the way) guiding her the whole way. And unlike many who jump in face first, she's pretty awesome and has just GROWN and become very reliable in what she breeds and produces. I believe a lot of that is her listening and learning and doing things in the right order for the right reasons.

If you attend shows to watch and learn - don't just sit outside the show ring and wait for the goldens to show up... if your plan is to show and breed dogs. Most of us show up 1-2 hours before showing, groom our dogs, hang out together.... and then go out to the ring. Most of the work happens before we get to the ring.

If you watch from ringside, that's a good time to learn the routine and understand what is going on out there. Once you get a show pup and start training for showing, go to shows and watch other people handle their dogs in the ring. The more you do, the more you can see what you should do.

Some breeders or handlers may be willing to let you shadow them during a show day (if they KNOW you) - that's ideal if you can do that (again, without looking or sounding like a random creeper). Most of us are doing everything you would be expected to do as well before showing your dog. You won't see any of that if you spend all your pre show dog time sitting outside the ring and going googly eyed at the dogs in the ring.

Expect to spend thousands on equipment, tools, show entries, training, travel, etc... <= Note, a lot of that goes out the window if you do not have the right mentor guiding you or the benefit of a nice show quality pup. If a mentor tells you to travel multiple states away to enter a show under a judge - do it, etc...

Show quality isn't just a nice enough pup with full registration. You want a pup that has good structure and good sound temperament and is typey for the show ring. And you have to socialize and train them well before getting to the ring to have a chance out there. That's where it gets tough because the impression is that the dogs just show up trained and there's nothing to it. Golden retrievers especially is a breed where you basically never see them in handling classes - because they are a professionally handled breed.

Oh and grooming is part of the training. Ideal world, you are bathing and grooming your show dog once a week. This is to train their coats and train them to stand still and actually relax and be zen during the whole process - but it's also practicing the whole routine so that when you get your dog to a show and know that you have to fully bathe and groom him as close to showing as possible.... you know how much time you need and do not have any worries about getting your dog wet and not having the dog dry and ready at show time.

And there's no wishy washy maybes about equipment you buy. NO, you don't have to buy a $500 dryer or a $600 grooming table or $300 shears, etc.... etc.... :) But you DO have to get a grooming table, a good quality dryer (not the cheap stuff), and good quality shears - and learn how to use all those tools.

Other breeds are easier to jump in without going nuts buying stuff. I know somebody with a tibetan mastiff who did not have any grooming tools or table or anything. She had the breeder trim up her dog's ears and feet a week before a show and just went to a self-grooming shop to groom her dog the day before a show. When it was time to show, she literally showed up a half hour before showing and hung out near the ring before it was time to go in. She entered her first show after her second handling class. Her dog won a major his first time out. And quickly titled and got his grand championship after. <= Am saying that there are breeds who are a LOT EASIER for beginners than golden retrievers.

Golden retrievers being dominated by professional handlers means that you don't have much room for error + a dog that isn't show quality is going to have a tough time. Many new people with their first golden and showing for the first time.... they last about 5 shows before quitting.

Others if their mentors are from other breeds and people who don't know or understand the golden ring very well, they may show in a limited way for 2-3 years without getting a single point on their dogs. <= Again, it is a tough breed and tough ring. It is not just buying a pretty dog and running around the ring and winning just on looks alone (both handler and dog LOL).
 

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I would echo everything that Megora said above^. I too am and rookie and am just enjoying immersing myself in the breed for now, and seeing where my goals take me. Finding a mentor was surprisingly hard for me. It took a while before I found someone that was willing to help and guide me along Many breeders I talked to flat out told me “Sorry no”. That was difficult to understand because most people in other breeds had told me how much the sport needs new, young dedicated people to carry on!

I did eventually find two breeders who I would consider wonderful mentors. One is primarily involved in obedience and agility, so we train with her and attend shows with her etc. and the other is a conformation breeder, and very active and imbedded within the breed.

We will be attended several UKC shows this summer and our obedience goal is to earn RN or BN by the end of this year. I also just got all of my dog’s genetic testing done, and have signed up for health clinics coming up to get clearances on him. I want to show breeders and others in the breed that while I am young and inexperienced I am eager to learn and be taken seriously. I have attended many shows and networked with breeders and handlers. I love learning from more experienced people and it’s been mostly great so far.

Learning/reading pedigrees is something that is really cool and interesting (to me anyway). I was given some good advice a little while back, to pay attention and remember kennel names and popular dogs.

If you have a dog now you could do the genetic testing and health clearances as a start, obviously not to breed but to show others that you are starting out on the right path and are serious about doing this the right way. Start going to shows to network and meet people. Enter in classes for obedience and go to obedience shows to watch or compete. You can even enter UKC altered conformation for show ring experience.

Good Luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think you want to check around for your local golden retriever clubs.... and attend meetings and events so you can meet people and become a familiar face. Meet breeders, friend them on facebook, friend them in real life as you go to shows.

From this forum, people to talk privately to would be Robin (Prism Goldens), Anney (K9Design), and Kelli (Kmullen). Robin and Anney are in Florida and Kelli is pretty close by and shows there frequently. Kelli might not be on the forum very often or recently - but others can get you in touch with her.

Basically meet, talk, and LISTEN and learn. Make sure that all the stuff these people do as far as dog shows is something you can do. It looks easy and glam from outside the ring, but it's a lot of work and $$$$$$ - especially if your goal is to become a breeder. You want all your ducks in a row first and that could take years of growth, involvement, and learning.

Kelli especially would be a good contact if you can reach out to her, because she started out about 10 years ago with her first puppy bitch with a mentor (from Florida by the way) guiding her the whole way. And unlike many who jump in face first, she's pretty awesome and has just GROWN and become very reliable in what she breeds and produces. I believe a lot of that is her listening and learning and doing things in the right order for the right reasons.

If you attend shows to watch and learn - don't just sit outside the show ring and wait for the goldens to show up... if your plan is to show and breed dogs. Most of us show up 1-2 hours before showing, groom our dogs, hang out together.... and then go out to the ring. Most of the work happens before we get to the ring.

If you watch from ringside, that's a good time to learn the routine and understand what is going on out there. Once you get a show pup and start training for showing, go to shows and watch other people handle their dogs in the ring. The more you do, the more you can see what you should do.

Some breeders or handlers may be willing to let you shadow them during a show day (if they KNOW you) - that's ideal if you can do that (again, without looking or sounding like a random creeper). Most of us are doing everything you would be expected to do as well before showing your dog. You won't see any of that if you spend all your pre show dog time sitting outside the ring and going googly eyed at the dogs in the ring.

Expect to spend thousands on equipment, tools, show entries, training, travel, etc... <= Note, a lot of that goes out the window if you do not have the right mentor guiding you or the benefit of a nice show quality pup. If a mentor tells you to travel multiple states away to enter a show under a judge - do it, etc...

Show quality isn't just a nice enough pup with full registration. You want a pup that has good structure and good sound temperament and is typey for the show ring. And you have to socialize and train them well before getting to the ring to have a chance out there. That's where it gets tough because the impression is that the dogs just show up trained and there's nothing to it. Golden retrievers especially is a breed where you basically never see them in handling classes - because they are a professionally handled breed.

Oh and grooming is part of the training. Ideal world, you are bathing and grooming your show dog once a week. This is to train their coats and train them to stand still and actually relax and be zen during the whole process - but it's also practicing the whole routine so that when you get your dog to a show and know that you have to fully bathe and groom him as close to showing as possible.... you know how much time you need and do not have any worries about getting your dog wet and not having the dog dry and ready at show time.

And there's no wishy washy maybes about equipment you buy. NO, you don't have to buy a $500 dryer or a $600 grooming table or $300 shears, etc.... etc.... :) But you DO have to get a grooming table, a good quality dryer (not the cheap stuff), and good quality shears - and learn how to use all those tools.

Other breeds are easier to jump in without going nuts buying stuff. I know somebody with a tibetan mastiff who did not have any grooming tools or table or anything. She had the breeder trim up her dog's ears and feet a week before a show and just went to a self-grooming shop to groom her dog the day before a show. When it was time to show, she literally showed up a half hour before showing and hung out near the ring before it was time to go in. She entered her first show after her second handling class. Her dog won a major his first time out. And quickly titled and got his grand championship after. <= Am saying that there are breeds who are a LOT EASIER for beginners than golden retrievers.

Golden retrievers being dominated by professional handlers means that you don't have much room for error + a dog that isn't show quality is going to have a tough time. Many new people with their first golden and showing for the first time.... they last about 5 shows before quitting.

Others if their mentors are from other breeds and people who don't know or understand the golden ring very well, they may show in a limited way for 2-3 years without getting a single point on their dogs. <= Again, it is a tough breed and tough ring. It is not just buying a pretty dog and running around the ring and winning just on looks alone (both handler and dog LOL).

KATE (I believe that's your name)
The gratitude I have for the time you took to provide so much insight and advice is beyond words. This information is so valuable that I've printed it so I can constantly reference it. I'm incredibly grateful. Thank you. THANK YOU. THANK YOU
 

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I've only just started to dip my toes into this golden world and I feel incredibly thankful for so many wonderfully helpful and caring responses. I'm taking every bit of advice and guidance to heart and plan to execute every opportunity to gain as much of the valuable knowledge that is out there as possible. I truly appreciate this community. THANK YOU.
 
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