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Long time lurker here, finally decided to create an account and make a help me post. This forum has been super helpful on how to approach breeders, what to expect etc etc.

We're based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and found this person, Shannon Gates, based out of Aromas, CA, in the AKC marketplace. She doesn't seem to have a website and we got talking to her over SMS, and she seems to have all the necessary clearances, (even though some of them were not updated in the OFA website, she sent up pics of the certifications). We'll definitely go and visit her in person before deciding, check out the conditions and the certifications in person. But we wanted to know if anyone in the forum has any experience, good or bad, with her. Getting a puppy is a huge deal, and we want to make sure we cover all our bases completely.

Thanks in Advance.
 

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Puddles
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The market place is not usually a good place to start but if you could provide registered names of sire & dam we will happily look up the information for you.

I wouldn't advice going to view puppies prior to learning about them 1st. People count on you not being able to walk away from cute puppies.

She breeds labs, schnauzers & goldens. Doesn't compete in any venue with any breed. It would appear that all she does it pump out puppies. I can't find a kennel name so no way to look up clearances but would be really surprised if she has them. Without more information I would pass on even looking. When the only purpose for breeding dogs is to have income it is never a good thing for any of the breeds.

Same person? Bay Area Schnauzers - Online
 

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Kristy
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She is one and the same. Says she breeds Mini Schnauzers, Labs AND Goldens. Here is what else her Marketplace ad says:

AKC Registration Application Provided
Not an AKC National Breed Club Member
Not an AKC Specialty Club Member
Not an AKC Licensed/AKC Member All-Breed Club
Not competing in Dogs Compete in AKC Events

This is not where I would be purchasing a puppy from. You can do better than this. Have you used the resources here on the forum or on the national club website www.GRCA.org?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info people. We had our doubts too, but we didn't want to rule out a potential breeder just because she didn't have a website or a kennel name. That's why we started talking to her.

This is the sire's url. https://www.ofa.org/advanced-search...tdte_end_year=&rptdte=&btnSearch=Begin+Search

Dam : Pedigree: JCh BLR Sky Pride Blaze Beauty. The dam is missing heart and eyes on the k9data site, but she sent me pics of the certifications, and it seems to be good.

What is worrying me is that I can't find any information on her anyway. Like @puddles everywhere says, she maybe churns pups out on a regular basis, and if that's the case, I wanted to know if anyone in the forum has had any interactions with her, personally.

@nolefan, we are talking to a few other breeders as well (breeders who were vetted by the forum, and we know are top notch), but just wanted to do our homework on her as well, as she is the one we have least info on.
 

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the dam is missing cardiologist heart and eyes, as you know- but as well, her foreign hip and elbow clearances were done when she was underaged as they were done in 2016. The sire's dam is missing clearances also. Having the least info out there generally means the least worth imo. Churning out puppies of at least 3 different breeds means doing a less than stellar job with any of them- Goldens alone are a lifetime learning and take decades to feel confident in one's knowledge level. Certainly a person who is not involved w dogs outside of making puppies is not capable of making stellar choices, and the puppy buyers are the ones who pay for these choices in the end. And on the front end as well, since she is charging more than what a fabulous breeder charges. Tread carefully.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks. @Prism Goldens! I just rechecked the info on the dam, And, to be fair, the breeder has done her certifications again, after she was imported, and they're after the dog turned 24 months. But I get what you're saying. There is too little info to be very clear, and I guess In this case, it's better safe than sorry. On a side note, how does the certifications of the dams parents or the sires parents help? What information does it give us?
@kjengold, we did, twice. But they haven't gotten back. Maybe I'll shoot them an email again.

Thanks again folks!
 

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Jennifer
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I'm sorry no one has gotten back to you. I used to live in the Bay Area and can suggest following breeders. They're all reputable, active in the breed and GRCA members.

Nancy Kelly - Golden Pine - San Mateo

Christine Hsu - Tigana - San Jose
Eileen Oshiro - Suntory - Cupertino

Laura Franchi - Regency - Gilroy
Linda Lang - Ambermist - Watsonville

Laura Finco - Argus - Dublin

Robin Baker - Aubridge - Sacramento
Jeanetta Gulden - Casadeloro - Sacramento
Wendy Hunter/Jan Richards - Osprey - Penryn

Sylvia Donahey - Birnam Wood - Cotati
Jennifer Masterson - Masters - Sebastopol
 

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Puddles
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While the sire has excellent hips his dam had no clearances at all.... his sire had failed hips. There are 6 siblings listed and out of the 6 listed 2 have failed hips and 2 have failed elbows.
This alone would be a no for me. This is why it's good to be able to look back several generations back. Like most things, history is a great predictor for the future.
You may be looking for a "pet" but why spend a ton of money to get a pup that could cost you thousands in hip or elbow surgery in the future or watch your precious puppy be in horrible pain.
This is not a breeder that is doing the golden retriever breed any favors.
 

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Thanks. @Prism Goldens! I just rechecked the info on the dam, And, to be fair, the breeder has done her certifications again, after she was imported, and they're after the dog turned 24 months. But I get what you're saying. There is too little info to be very clear, and I guess In this case, it's better safe than sorry. On a side note, how does the certifications of the dams parents or the sires parents help? What information does it give us?
@kjengold, we did, twice. But they haven't gotten back. Maybe I'll shoot them an email again.

Thanks again folks!
the hip/elbow shown on k9data (entered by the breeder) were done in 2016. She would've been 1 year or so old depending on what month they were done but they were done prior to 3/2016 so at most she was 13 mo old.
What it tells us- I believe Puddles has pointed the answer to that question out, but it tells us how safe the pedigree is generally. You can learn a lot by looking at siblings, offspring, half siblings. Just because one dog in a litter passes - doesn't mean much... if I were forced to choose between two bad choices, an excellent whose sibs failed or a fail whose sibs were all excellents, I would take the latter.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm sorry no one has gotten back to you. I used to live in the Bay Area and can suggest following breeders. They're all reputable, active in the breed and GRCA members.

Nancy Kelly - Golden Pine - San Mateo

Christine Hsu - Tigana - San Jose
Eileen Oshiro - Suntory - Cupertino

Laura Franchi - Regency - Gilroy
Linda Lang - Ambermist - Watsonville

Laura Finco - Argus - Dublin

Robin Baker - Aubridge - Sacramento
Jeanetta Gulden - Casadeloro - Sacramento
Wendy Hunter/Jan Richards - Osprey - Penryn

Sylvia Donahey - Birnam Wood - Cotati
Jennifer Masterson - Masters - Sebastopol
This is super useful, thanks a ton. @kjengold. We did reach out to Osprey and Birnam, both of who don't have any litters in the near future. We also spoke to Jennifer at Masters Goldens, who said she may have a litter in late Fall. We'll vet the others in your list, (primarily for my own satisfaction, I'm sure they are top notch) and reach out to them. Thanks so much!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
@Prism Goldens, @puddles everywhere, as always thanks a ton for all your info. I wasn't sure about the impact that the previous few generations would have, and now that you've enlightened me, I'll add that to my check list when I vet breeders, and their litters. You guys are right, she doesn't seem like she's doing justice to the breed, and that's more than reason to politely move away.

Thanks a lot folks. I'll politely excuse myself from Shannon Gates' litter, and continue the process with the rest of the breeders who got back to us. I'll also tap into the list that @kjengold has given.


As always, tons of thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm a lot more relaxed and confident about the rest of the breeders that we're talking to/ plan to talk to. Without considering @kjengolden's list, this was our dream list of breeders who we think are doing good to the breed in general and the dogs in particular: (list in no particular order)

1. Master's Goldens in NorCal,
2. Victory Goldens in LA,
3. Shyan's Goldens in Oregon,
4. Firefox Goldens in NorCal.

And like I said earlier, no luck with Osprey, Birnam Woods, or with Aureus Goldens in LA.

Hopefully, once we welcome home our pup, we'll put up a list of all the breeders we spoke to, and our experiences. Sort of our way of giving back to this amazing community.
 

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Kristy
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Hopefully, once we welcome home our pup, we'll put up a list of all the breeders we spoke to, and our experiences. Sort of our way of giving back to this amazing community.
No matter how you are referred, ask about the clearances on the litter you will be purchasing the puppy from. As long as you are polite, no one should ever be offended by the questions. And ask questions about how and where they raise and socialize their puppies. Breeders will all do things just a little differently and even if someone is very well respected, you just want to verify the details.

I hope that you will be back sharing puppy photos and adventures before you know it. That's the best :)
 

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Bailey Buddy
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Avoid Shannon Gates of Watsonville, CA. For ANY breed. I have one of her GRs. It's a great 7 month old puppy. But it ended up not being of the lineage in the contract. It isn't of British standards. I'm questioning her breeding ethics... Plus it was very sick for the first 2 months I had it and showed behaviors reflective of emotional abuse or neglect.

There are great breeders in the Bay Area. Be sure to research them, ask for references, interview them, and don't pay extra just because someone advertises "English Cream" as they don't exist as a breed.
 
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