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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am hoping to get my own golden retriever (probably) in about three years, to give an appropriate amount of time for a dog to mature before I go to college. Being the planner aheader that I am, I currently have my eye on two (loosely) planned breedings that roughly fit my timeline. Normally I would want to spend much more time focusing on Finn, but I can't take him to college as he's a family dog. Ideally, I would be getting a male show and obedience prospect, or a show prospect with an obedience background.

Breeding A has several lines that I like, the versatility that I'm looking for (hunt tests, conformation, and obedience throughout. I don't hunt, but I don't want a dog from a line who hasn't done anything in the field in generations, because I think that it's important that the golden retriever retains working ability). Parents (esp. Sire) that I like a lot, hunt and obedience titles on both parents, conformation on the sire. However, not everything is 'collected' on the parents, it's more spread evenly throughout. I don't like the tail male line on this breeding as much as the other, simply because of my stylistic preferences with dogs.

Breeding B has several lines that I like, is mostly a show pedigree, but Sire has hunt titles, both parents have obedience titles and show titles. Parents that I like a lot and I think would compliment each other well, and a tail male line that I adore (I know that looking for a male dog, the pup would be directly influenced by that line of dogs, because that is the only place for the dog to get the Y chromosome from). Sire is one of the most accomplished dogs I've seen, swimming in titles, and his parents are as well. However, when you go back behind that, it is almost exclusively a show pedigree with not a comparable amount of versatility that Breeding A's pedigree would have.

Both of these breedings are not set in stone, it's just stuff that's on my mind right now.

What are people's thoughts on this? I'd be happy to PM pedigrees to those interested, but I'd rather not share them publicly because I'd like unbiased advice and I also don't want this discussion to be viewed as an insult aimed at specific dogs, all of which are amazing.
 

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It’s very possible that there are people on this forum with much better, more intimate knowledge of these pedigrees that can provide much better answers. In particular, I would send these pedigrees to experienced breeders and let them help you decide.

Genetics is not so clean cut and this “Y chromosome” is simply the determination of puppy sex and not influential in other ways. Popular sires of any species do not reproduce copies of themselves in their male offspring because of the Y chromosome.

If this were me, I would talk to people who knew the dogs and the offspring of the dogs. Titles are fine and dandy, but they cannot tell you everything about the trainability of the dogs, but moreso the tenacity and training skill of the owners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Genetics is not so clean cut and this “Y chromosome” is simply the determination of puppy sex and not influential in other ways. Popular sires of any species do not reproduce copies of themselves in their male offspring because of the Y chromosome.
From my very remedial knowledge of genetics, I was of the impression that both parents contribute roughly 50% of genetic information to the offspring, and have read that genetic information attached to the Y chromosome is very similar passed down through generations, because it could only be obtained from the sire, not the dam. If it isn't an inconvenience, would you mind explaining to me what is incorrect about that and how it actually works?
If this were me, I would talk to people who knew the dogs and the offspring of the dogs. Titles are fine and dandy, but they cannot tell you everything about the trainability of the dogs, but moreso the tenacity and training skill of the owners.
That makes sense!
It’s very possible that there are people on this forum with much better, more intimate knowledge of these pedigrees that can provide much better answers. In particular, I would send these pedigrees to experienced breeders and let them help you decide.
As things become more concrete, I will definitely do that! Thank you!
 

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From my very remedial knowledge of genetics, I was of the impression that both parents contribute roughly 50% of genetic information to the offspring, and have read that genetic information attached to the Y chromosome is very similar passed down through generations, because it could only be obtained from the sire, not the dam. If it isn't an inconvenience, would you mind explaining to me what is incorrect about that and how it actually works?

That makes sense!

As things become more concrete, I will definitely do that! Thank you!
Dogs inherit 39 chromosomes from each parent for a total of 78 total chromosomes. Only one of those is the Y chromosome, the determinant of sex. That chromosome is responsible for the way testosterone influences the differentiation of the male from the females in utero.

The other 38 chromosomes from each parent contains thousands of different genes responsible for the other traits of the dogs + genetic recombination.

The Y chromosome is simply one of many and while X-linked disorders may appear because a dog is male, those traits are passed on from female dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dogs inherit 39 chromosomes from each parent for a total of 78 total chromosomes. Only one of those is the Y chromosome, the determinant of sex. That chromosome is responsible for the way testosterone influences the differentiation of the male from the females in utero.

The other 38 chromosomes from each parent contains thousands of different genes responsible for the other traits of the dogs + genetic recombination.

The Y chromosome is simply one of many and while X-linked disorders may appear because a dog is male, those traits are passed on from female dogs.
Thank you for explaining!
 

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Kate I think "tail male" line would be the mother's father/grandfather/etc????
 
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Also, just FYI I see gobs and gobs and gobs of titles on conformation dogs these days touted as "multipurpose" and it's just a bunch of dock diving, lure coursing, barn hunt and other stuff you don't have to train for. They are meaningless to true performance potential. Be wary if those are the only "performance" titles you see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Also, just FYI I see gobs and gobs and gobs of titles on conformation dogs these days touted as "multipurpose" and it's just a bunch of dock diving, lure coursing, barn hunt and other stuff you don't have to train for. They are meaningless to true performance potential. Be wary if those are the only "performance" titles you see.
No, I’m looking at actual obedience and hunt test titles. I’m also not counting the rally titles as obedience, of which there are many. I agree with you that those are fun and show time and effort put in on behalf of the owner, but don’t indicate working ability at all.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What do you mean by "tail male"?
Sire, sires sire, etc- the top line of names on a pedigree. I’m just parroting what I’ve read elsewhere so it may be incorrect
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
From what I’ve seen, yellow is the “tail male line” and blue is the “tail female line”
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Who the breeder is - kinda matters.

Patterns or general gist of a pedigree also matters and typically what I know about either side of a pedigree. And who the dogs are top or bottom matters as well. <= In 3 years, you likely will grow more into this breed and recognize and know dogs more, especially if you stay out there and continue to show in the mean time.

Good example is there's a litter I heard about where I like the mom, but not the dad. Dad is owned by a well liked breeder and he seems a nice enough boy, got his CH super fast... but I dislike his looks. There was this time where I was out there in the ring and glanced back at him and thought, "Ick". I just don't get him. Some of the things I dislike about him (color of coat, color of eyes, blahness of attitude, etc.... will absolutely get passed down to his babies).

W/R to obedience titles or other performance or field titles.... the problem there is that the people who do obedience and field very well, are very unlikely to hand their dogs off to a handler to finish them in conformation. Those of us who do obedience either seriously - we bond more with our dogs and are very reluctant to hand that leash off to anyone else or go weeks or even months without our dogs at home with us. Other thing as well, people who do obedience very well... they are not gambling by purchasing a pup from an all conformation pedigree and again there are very few dogs highly titled in both obedience and conformation, so they are picking pups based on their sport (obedience) - which means they buy pups who are very far from the conformation ring and get further and further away with every generation.

The gist because of that is if you want a conformation prospect - you have to go to those pedigrees. It may get you a dog that is more work for obedience, but you can probably help yourself out by looking for pedigrees that typically have more athleticism and drive. Some of the Summit lines out there are a lot of fun, as an example. Maybe not all and you could probably get a very athletic dog who is as dumb as a stump.... but a dog's ability to move and jump is helpful. You can always shape/condition/train the rest.

My opinion anyway.

So doesn't really answer your question other than me probably telling you to keep your eyes open and be a sponge this whole time while preparing to get your first show pup.
 

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I think it’s impossible to make a reasonable judgement purely on descriptions like that (not seeing the actual pedigrees), but I read your descriptions of each a few times and based on my own interpretation, I lean toward B, just for the sake of answering your question. As some others pointed out, you can’t really judge working ability purely by titles or lack their of because of factors like owner involvement, trainers, handlers, money, etc. (an able dog may not have been shown to full potential or a not-so-able dog may have spent years training for a title that the other doesn’t have because the owner didn’t go for it) so talking with those involved with these dogs and learning more in-depth about each dog is definitely something to pursue. For me, I also want to be super in love with the sire — both parents ideally of course, but if I’m not in love with the sire, I’ll pass. I’d be curious to see the actual pedigrees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Who the breeder is - kinda matters.

Patterns or general gist of a pedigree also matters and typically what I know about either side of a pedigree. And who the dogs are top or bottom matters as well. <= In 3 years, you likely will grow more into this breed and recognize and know dogs more, especially if you stay out there and continue to show in the mean time.

Good example is there's a litter I heard about where I like the mom, but not the dad. Dad is owned by a well liked breeder and he seems a nice enough boy, got his CH super fast... but I dislike his looks. There was this time where I was out there in the ring and glanced back at him and thought, "Ick". I just don't get him. Some of the things I dislike about him (color of coat, color of eyes, blahness of attitude, etc.... will absolutely get passed down to his babies).

W/R to obedience titles or other performance or field titles.... the problem there is that the people who do obedience and field very well, are very unlikely to hand their dogs off to a handler to finish them in conformation. Those of us who do obedience either seriously - we bond more with our dogs and are very reluctant to hand that leash off to anyone else or go weeks or even months without our dogs at home with us. Other thing as well, people who do obedience very well... they are not gambling by purchasing a pup from an all conformation pedigree and again there are very few dogs highly titled in both obedience and conformation, so they are picking pups based on their sport (obedience) - which means they buy pups who are very far from the conformation ring and get further and further away with every generation.

The gist because of that is if you want a conformation prospect - you have to go to those pedigrees. It may get you a dog that is more work for obedience, but you can probably help yourself out by looking for pedigrees that typically have more athleticism and drive. Some of the Summit lines out there are a lot of fun, as an example. Maybe not all and you could probably get a very athletic dog who is as dumb as a stump.... but a dog's ability to move and jump is helpful. You can always shape/condition/train the rest.

My opinion anyway.

So doesn't really answer your question other than me probably telling you to keep your eyes open and be a sponge this whole time while preparing to get your first show pup.
Thank you for all of this information!

I know that I don't want a dog from an all obedience line that is so far removed from the show ring- I am not into obedience that much. I saw a golden on the cover of a very popular obedience magazine a few months ago, and had to do a double take to check that it was actually a golden. Even if I didn't care about having a show dog, I still wouldn't want that. I also don't want a field bred dog- I don't hunt or compete in field trials and never plan to, and I wouldn't want to 'waste' a good field dog that could be off having the time of its life working, on me who will never hunt a day in my life. My ideal dog is a dog that I could finish in AKC, get the CDX obedience title with, probably some rally thrown in there, and then enjoy the myriad of other non performance sports that AKC offers. That's why I'm hoping to find a dog with parents who are competing on obedience to some degree- as sweet as they are, I'm not trying to get a froofy show dog with no brains in its beautiful head.
 
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In terms of Obedience, I think titles in the pedigree are sometimes a useful indication of capability within the line and indicate that the breeder is probably paying attention to trainability, but the actual traits of ancestors and other related dogs are far more important. I’ve been involved in dogs for long enough to know that skilled and persistent trainers can put titles on most dogs.
When I’m looking for a puppy, I look at related dogs. Are they “natural retrievers” - dog’s that are happiest with something in their mouth? Are they relaxed and confident? Do they pay attention to their handlers or are they easily distracted? Are they persistent or would they quit if training was difficult? Are they equable or do they eyeball other dogs? (I’d hate to own a dog that I had to watch like a hawk around other dogs.) I pay attention to the lines I like, but also take note of lines I want to avoid.
It surprising how much you can learn by watching people’s videos of their dogs on social media, or by watching the dogs themselves outside the show ring. I guess that’s the Obedience equivalent of putting your hands on the dog and feeling structure under the coat, rather than just looking at the pedigree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My advice would be go to a show, look at the dogs see if you like them in person, talk to the breeders, keep an open mind, then visit at home and get to know the breeder and the dogs. Annef
Unfortunately neither of the breeders that I'm looking at are near me, and my parents don't like to take me very far away to shows. I would otherwise, though!
 

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That's why I'm hoping to find a dog with parents who are competing on obedience to some degree- as sweet as they are, I'm not trying to get a froofy show dog with no brains in its beautiful head.
My take as somebody who enjoys obedience training and have competed in such with my dogs.... I'll take a froofy show dog with no brains in its beautiful head but very soft and willing and eager to please over one that is super smart but also hard headed and quits when bored. Ditto any show dog with no brains, but sound and confident - over a dog that's incredibly smart, but also hamstringed by phobias and fears. :)

Show goldens get a bad rap from many out there, but keep in mind to have a dog stack for 10+ minutes without getting bored, stand still in a very specific position while a judge is poking and prodding at it, and gait around a big ring behind another dog or with another dog running up its butt.... those things are tests of temperament and trainability. These dogs are definitely obedience trained.

There's a lot of stuff you can't see just looking at the list of titles behind or in front of a dog's name in a pedigree. Sometimes you can be pretty safe getting a show line golden and seeking out the best trainers possible to shape that pup into serious business in any sport you want to play in. Most of us would not go to a pet trainer at a petstore for conformation handling classes. Same thing re obedience classes. You should expect a trainer to have titled dogs in the sports they are teaching.
 
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