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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am a very small akc "hobby" breeder of goldens & pointers.
Although I haven't shown yet i do strive to breed only breed standard quality dogs. I am absolutely in love with the idea of learning to show. I am aware not every dog meets the standards and I am on the hunt for my first "perfect" puppy and of course a helpful and FRIENDLY mentor for someone who has NO experience with showing at all!!! I would like the mentor to be the breeder I buy from but i am open to others. I am in louisiana and would really like to find someone close to me.

Thank yall!
 

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I honestly don’t think this will be an option for you right now. With GSPs, Goldens, teacup Yorkies, teacup poodles, guardian homes and not one single mention of health certifications, I don’t know a single responsible preservation hobby breeder that would be willing to take the huge risk you represent.

It does look like you don’t understand the terminology you used. Hobby breeders are not breeding as a hobby, they breed to continue the hobby of competing with their dogs. As of now, you look to be either a back yard breeder or commercial kennel based on what you are putting out there on your Devine Touch Kennel Facebook page.
 

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You are young. It would be pretty easy @ this point to just put the brakes on and assess the three 'future dams' you got last fall and keep the best of them, sell the other two, then work on putting some titles on her. Meet people at the dog show where you earn those titles. Forget you ever bred any of the dogs you bred, and become a sponge for knowledge. Learn the standard and take the AKC judges education so you can learn the body parts. Go the GRCA Breeders Education FB page and sign up for all the webinars on the books as they happen. AFTER you have gleaned some knowledge from these amazing breeders being interviewed- breeders who do things right, have hundreds of titles on hundreds of dogs- then
get her clearances.
Don't be firm on breeding her- she may not be worth breeding. Hopefully in the next 2 years your eye will grow so you know if she is breeding worthy. But if you will invest in training and titling her, and sit ringside and watch conformation, you will educate your eye. Odds are she won't be breed-worthy (because odds are her pedigree is not worth reproducing). But you will make valuable relationships if you invest in her titling.
Sell all the dogs on guardianship to the homes that have them with spay agreements.
You've begun something all wrong, and the only outcome is negative. The method you are following is one that treats dogs as reproductive parts first and anything else after. You must realize buying 3 bitch puppies intending to breed them, same general age, from a breeder who is also not a good breeder (we know this because no good breeder sells 3 puppies to someone and certainly not on full registration) is not the path to excellence. I cannot fathom anyone who is in fact a hobby breeder (and you are not) trusting you with a puppy- good breeders don't usually start out being breeders. They start out competing. Breeding is a side effect. And breeding with no knowledge or experience in a breed leads to less and less quality as you go....
I hope you will not continue down this road. You will never produce excellence. And no one who is really a hobby breeder is going to trust you.
 

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Prism’s advice is solid. I would add that you should focus on building your knowledge of one breed for at least 5 years before trying to add another. Goldens are a tough breed to learn and even in our master breeders, it is not common for them to have more than one breed.
 

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Kate
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Only thing to add or say differently - don't be a breeder right now.

Spend the next 5-10 years (average competition lifetime of a typical dog) putting titles on the dogs you own. Don't let it be about breeding. Don't set out to breed the dogs you own right now. Don't let that be the primary goal for doing anything. Let it be about getting your feet firmly in this breed, one breed, and excel with the dogs you own. Learn everything about this breed before you begin breeding it. Among else, this will help you with selection down the road.

The dogs you currently own may not be show quality (am guessing based on you looking for something else and putting 2 and 2 together based on the comments before mine), but if they are truly golden retrievers - they may be absolutely wonderful at competing to high levels in sports like obedience and agility.

Conformation might be out of your reach even with full registration - if the dogs you own were not bred for conformation. And as you might infer from posts above, conformation breeders will not sell pups with full registration to just anyone. But now is a good time to learn about what exactly conformation is or should be about.

It's not about pageantry. This is not like Toddlers with Tiaras. It's not a person's opportunity to be a STAR because it's not supposed to be about the person holding the leash, it is all about the dog and the breed of the dog. Know everything about the breed standard so you know your dogs strong points and weak points. This is where I point out that even conformation bred pups have many weak points. And this is why some breeders always breed show dogs, but sell all the puppies as pets. That goes back to the above point, learn more about this breed so you develop a better eye for this breed.

The sense of pride and love in this breed and this breed's history is what you should wear like a badge when you go out into that show ring or prepare to send your dog out with a handler. You get there by taking your time with the dogs you own.

I honestly hate the sense that people think it's all conformation or nothing - and they don't do anything with the dogs they currently own! What it means is running past many chances to establish yourself as somebody very serious + develop greater knowledge and responsibility in this breed. This is putting obedience titles on the dogs - because this is a breed whose crowning glory shows its shine in the obedience ring. Even show line goldens. It's the easiest route to titles compared to all of the others! And put clearances on your dogs. Get involved right now with the dogs you have. And down the road, getting a conformation dog would NOT be seen as an impulse or a business decision.
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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As an actual hobby breeder of Goldens, like LJack and Prism are, I echo their words to you. You should take them to heart. And I agree that no reputable breeder will sell you a breeding dog with your track record, so you're actually starting from below zero.

I think you have two choices:

(1) Abandon what you're doing, pick a dog or two and put titles on those dogs. And while you're doing that, learn about Golden Retrievers, good breeding practices, health issues in the breed, and memorize the breed standard and learn to understand what it actually means. Doing all this, you will meet the right people, and after putting a couple titles on your dogs and getting their health clearances, someone will probably be willing to take you under their wing. It might even be me.

Or...

(2) Decide that that's too much work and after all you're just in it for the money, and give up the goal of becoming a reputable breeder and just pursue your present course of becoming a large scale back yard breeder or puppy mill.

I'm a pretty cynical person, so I'm going to guess you'll pick path #2, which is by far the easier and cheaper route. But if you choose path #1, you could carve out a really nice niche for yourself, as we desperately need more ethical breeders in Louisiana, and especially in the Nawlins general vicinity.
 
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I’m going to offer a “same but different” opinion here. I agree with the others on you needing to choose your path. I do genuinely hope that you will start titling your dogs - nothing builds a bond with a dog like training and trialing. Once you really get into the dog world, you will see why the others are encouraging you to stop what you‘re doing, but we are rooting for you! We are rooting for you and we need people like you to get into the breed and be willing to do right by these most precious of animals. We are rooting for you to pick the breed and the dogs over the money you can make off them. We want to take you into our world, but you have to be willing to change and learn and recognize that you don’t know what you don’t know.

I’m “young” like you and have my first show dog and future breeding dog. I didn’t get her to breed her though, I got her to show in obedience and conformation. I will breed her to make my next competition partner and to make the next generation of versatile Goldens. I have specific goals in mind as to what I want out of a potential breeding for her, but she is first and foremost my very much treasured pet.

I didn’t just find a breeder and ask for a show dog, I spent three years building a relationship with my breeder by training and showing my first dog from her in Rally and a little obedience. After I got that first title on my boy (Rally Novice), I was hooked! I couldn’t get enough of training and showing, which eventually led to getting my girl and my breeder trusting me to do the right things with her. I don’t just have one mentor though, I’ve built a network. I have my breeder, I have my breeder’s mentors if I need them, and I have my local Golden club members. I have a sort of posse that I go to shows with who have been absolutely indispensable in learning the ropes of conformation showing.

I am curious as to why you want to get into showing and I hope it’s not to better market your current breeding animals. I also want to warn you - not to discourage - that showing Goldens as an owner-handler is HARD. Goldens are an incredibly competitive breed and more often than not, I’m either the only owner-handler in my class or 1 of 2 out of 7 or 8 or however many are showing that day. I’ve shown my girl at a total of 9 weekends/clusters (would be more if not for COVID) and I‘ve come home with 2 wins and 3 reserves. Showing is also a lot of work if you really want to win - weekly baths to keep the coat in shape, training/handling classes, keeping my girl in good condition, etc. For example, I have a show coming up this weekend and I spent most of the day yesterday grooming and in handling class. I will groom her again on Thursday and will probably have to get up at like 5AM or earlier on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for 8AM ring times at a show site that is an hour away. All of that will be worth it if I come home with a major, still worth it even if I don’t because I learn something new at each show.

Anyway, I do hope we can recruit you to the dog world. We need more people in the breed doing things the right way for the future of the breed.
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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I am curious as to why you want to get into showing and I hope it’s not to better market your current breeding animals.
The following is not related to our OP, it's just a general comment.

Many, many back yard breeders struggle and scheme to find a way to get a well bred dog into their breeding programs so they can market their "champion lines" or what have you. They will lie, tell you how they want to get into showing, ask you to mentor them, and say all the right things. But once they have their hands on your puppy, it all changes. All they care about is getting a breeding dog from good lines, and it's far easier to scam their way into getting someone else's good puppy than it is to make one themselves. Once they have that well bred puppy there is no reason to continue the ruse, and suddenly you discover with a sinking heart that you've been scammed.

Good breeders have to be very, very watchful and take great care that they don't get suckered into selling a puppy on a full registration to a situation like that. Unfortunately, there is a constant stream of predatory back yard breeders out there who will lie, cheat, and steal to get their hands on a well-bred breeding dog.

Aside from the horror of realizing what a terrible mistake a good breeder makes by being sucked into that, and aside from the heartbreak of knowing you sold a dog to a less than stellar home, it can also damage a reputation carefully built over many years. No good breeder wants to see their puppy wind up in a situation like that. So, to come back to the OP, stories like hers are looked at with great suspicion. That's why everyone is telling her to title dogs, etc.: because that's how you show good breeders that you're not just another puppy mill or BYB.
 

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@DanaRuns I do sincerely hope that the OP isn’t one of these predatory BYBs. What you just outlined is exactly why I am curious as to her intentions.
 

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Hi! I want to encourage you as well to focus on one breed and really do that breed justice. :) The others are correct in that there is a desperate need for reputable and ethical breeders that meet and exceed the GRCA Code of Ethics. I'd love to see people ask about your litters and be able to say "this is GRCA compliant".
 

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@DanaRuns I do sincerely hope that the OP isn’t one of these predatory BYBs. What you just outlined is exactly why I am curious as to her intentions.
well, she hasn't come back since the general tone has been discouraging. I suspect if we watch her FB page and see things disappear what she took from this is an education on how to get around the right way to do things.
I hope she comes back after serious contemplation on her past breedings and plans to go forward in a more ethical way.
 

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Responsible preservation breeders are often lied to as Dana mentioned above. It makes us verify who people are pretty intensely. I can’t tell you how often a poodle mix-breeder has contacted me for a pet, often for a sick child and certainly the only dog they will own. You learn how to go Sherlock when needed. 😉
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
First of all I would like to say I haven't been "back" online because I work for a living, have a child, husband and of course my beloved animals to take care of!
I am NOT a puppy mill and in my own opinion not a BYB! I actually do care about the health and temperament of my animals!
I've seen both and even if you have a different definition youd be shocked to find there are worse people out there.
I've tried to report several puppy mills in my area to spca and akc and neither have seemed to care enough to do any type of wellness check.
I dna test my dogs through embark and optimal selection! I go though pennhip for checking hips etc!
I LOVE my dogs and I love the golden retriver and german short haired pointer breed.
I HAVE been doing my due diligence as far as researching breed standards!

Yes, I may be a BYB in your opinion bc I have bred dogs out of the ideal confirmation...
But I'm not trying to get a show dog to "better market" my "buisness".
If you've ever bred your dogs regardless of having titles, and none the less than perfect dog as far as standards go then your no better than me. We all LOVE dogs clearly! I have a passion to produce well structured, great temperamented and eventually titled dogs!
I want to participate in not only the show ring but sporting and obedience events as well.
We ALL start somewhere!!!!
I mean honestly do yall think the history behind your pure bred dogs was perfect?
Yall really need to stop bashing every single person that reaches out for help bc all your doing is scaring them away. No I'm not gonna go cry my self to sleep bc I got some constructive criticism but at the same time akc show people have a serious reputation for having bad attitudes.
I understand a well respected and reputable breeder would be weary about giving a puppy to someone with a breeding history but that's why you place them under contract, and limited until all the right specifications are met and that person shows you how serious they actually are.
I also understand how hard you work for those reputations and would be lying if I said I didn't agree on being extra cautious.
I am a good hearted person with nothing but love for any animal...show bred or not.
And whether you or anyone else likes it there are millions of people in the world that are in the market for a pure bred and only about 40% of them probably care about titles and pedigrees. Luckily the world is catching up to reputable breeding as far as health testing and a clear definition of what a puppy mill actually is. NOT EVERY BREEDER HAS BAD INTENTIONS!
 

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Kate
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I want to participate in not only the show ring but sporting and obedience events as well.
We ALL start somewhere!!!!


Start now with the dogs you own now. Titling a dog in obedience is a lot easier than winning a single point in conformation. Heck, some days it's easier than winning a class with your dog (which gets you nowhere if you don't win in the winners ring).

Same thing with clearances - anyone should be able to look up your dogs registration numbers and names in OFA and find full clearances listed there, including PH if that's what you did for hips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Start now with the dogs you own now. Titling a dog in obedience is a lot easier than winning a single point in conformation. Heck, some days it's easier than winning a class with your dog (which gets you nowhere if you don't win in the winners ring).

Same thing with clearances - anyone should be able to look up your dogs registration numbers and names in OFA and find full clearances listed there, including PH if that's what you did for hips.

I want too! I just have no help. That's what I'm looking for. Unfortunately I didn't grow up in the event world or even pure bred world at all. Its something I've come to have a passion for on my own.
It's really hard to just jump into something when you haven't the slightest clue how to start not to mention I'd really prefer not to be the laughing stalk of any event as I know how terrible people can be.

I really appreciate your kindness!
 

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Kate
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I'd really prefer not to be the laughing stalk of any event as I know how terrible people can be.
First keep in mind that most people generally don't laugh when they see something really bad or crushing happen to another exhibitor. I think there's cringes - and part of those cringes is the feeling that you've been there or you wouldn't want that to happen to you.

Do classes and hang out with people who are where you want to be.

I don't personally think that people here were trying to be mean - they were telling you the hard truth as far as where you're coming from and what you have to do. I would say that Laura and Robin are both a lot nicer than some of the people out there who are super protective of their dogs and very harsh on anyone that's trying to get a breeding dog from them.
 

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I want too! I just have no help. That's what I'm looking for. Unfortunately I didn't grow up in the event world or even pure bred world at all. Its something I've come to have a passion for on my own.
It's really hard to just jump into something when you haven't the slightest clue how to start not to mention I'd really prefer not to be the laughing stalk of any event as I know how terrible people can be.

I really appreciate your kindness!
Hi! I've been the newbie! (Still am if we're being honest). How I got started in sports (and again, I'm still super new cause I haven't titled ANY of my dogs beyond a CGC), is I joined a local obedience club. Took class after class. Was friendly with the instructor and my class mates. Actually joined the club as a member and participated in club events. Went to the match shows my instructor recommended (most often put on by someone not affiliated with the club but that they knew from the community). My instructor was very supportive and told us she would be in the stands rooting for us at our first show. I never got to show him b/c he fell ill but that was my experience. When he died and I got my next dog (Lana) my breeder was/is extremely supportive. I went to a few local conformation specialties and made small talk with other breeders on the side lines and then when it was my turn to show Lana as an owner-handler I did my best and when we came out of the ring everyone was so nice. Like, EVERYONE. Pro handlers took time to compliment our time in the ring. Other owners and breeders I'd met in passing took time to come talk to me and encourage me. I still get a little giddy thinking about that day cause it was an emotional high for me. And the more shows you attend, the more people you meet and the more friendly faces you see in the crowd.

I, personally, don't want to do owner-handler again. Because I get anxiety about tripping or stepping on Lana and I don't think her BEAUTIFUL movement is highlighted when I am a distraction next to her; so I choose to send her out with professional handlers and I get to just enjoy conformation shows on the sidelines. But when I get back into Rally that'll be all me and Lana. And no matter what happens in the ring, you always want to leave the ring on a high note. You could have NQ'ed from the get go. It's OK. Finish the run and tell your dog you're proud of them and they're good puppers and try again next time.

FWIW - Megora is correct re: winning conformation points is harder than titling in OB/Rally. Rally is pushed heavily at my OB club b/c it's perceived as easier to get into for the average person. You might want to start there. :) If you also join a local GR club, you'll probably run into club members who also do Rally or OB at shows you plan to attend and you can connect with them. More friendly faces. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi! I've been the newbie! (Still am if we're being honest). How I got started in sports (and again, I'm still super new cause I haven't titled ANY of my dogs beyond a CGC), is I joined a local obedience club. Took class after class. Was friendly with the instructor and my class mates. Actually joined the club as a member and participated in club events. Went to the match shows my instructor recommended (most often put on by someone not affiliated with the club but that they knew from the community). My instructor was very supportive and told us she would be in the stands rooting for us at our first show. I never got to show him b/c he fell ill but that was my experience. When he died and I got my next dog (Lana) my breeder was/is extremely supportive. I went to a few local conformation specialties and made small talk with other breeders on the side lines and then when it was my turn to show Lana as an owner-handler I did my best and when we came out of the ring everyone was so nice. Like, EVERYONE. Pro handlers took time to compliment our time in the ring. Other owners and breeders I'd met in passing took time to come talk to me and encourage me. I still get a little giddy thinking about that day cause it was an emotional high for me. And the more shows you attend, the more people you meet and the more friendly faces you see in the crowd.

I, personally, don't want to do owner-handler again. Because I get anxiety about tripping or stepping on Lana and I don't think her BEAUTIFUL movement is highlighted when I am a distraction next to her; so I choose to send her out with professional handlers and I get to just enjoy conformation shows on the sidelines. But when I get back into Rally that'll be all me and Lana. And no matter what happens in the ring, you always want to leave the ring on a high note. You could have NQ'ed from the get go. It's OK. Finish the run and tell your dog you're proud of them and they're good puppers and try again next time.

FWIW - Megora is correct re: winning conformation points is harder than titling in OB/Rally. Rally is pushed heavily at my OB club b/c it's perceived as easier to get into for the average person. You might want to start there. :) If you also join a local GR club, you'll probably run into club members who also do Rally or OB at shows you plan to attend and you can connect with them. More friendly faces. :)
Thank you so much! This was actually very helpful and encouraging!!
First keep in mind that most people generally don't laugh when they see something really bad or crushing happen to another exhibitor. I think there's cringes - and part of those cringes is the feeling that you've been there or you wouldn't want that to happen to you.

Do classes and hang out with people who are where you want to be.

I don't personally think that people here were trying to be mean - they were telling you the hard truth as far as where you're coming from and what you have to do. I would say that Laura and Robin are both a lot nicer than some of the people out there who are super protective of their dogs and very harsh on anyone that's trying to get a breeding dog from them.

Its extremely rude to judge someone and call them a BYB or a puppy mill just because they breed!
News flash most of us have bred dogs!
I try my best to do things the right way and strive to only produce the healthiest!
Obviously it would be ideal to have only the perfect structured dogs in my program but I is near impossible as stated above in lots of comments, breeders with these types often will not sell to someone like me just i because haven't competed.

It makes no sense to judge someone with the EXACT same goals as theirs when the only difference in what I am doing and they are is they already have what I'm wanting to get to and they compete 🤷‍♀️
It's almost easier to debate with an animal rights activist/anti breeding person's.
I agree on everything's far as health testing & breeding to improve the breed as far as standards go so what is the problem here!?
How does this make me a puppy mill!?
I honestly want to know?

I have THREE dogs in my home!
TWO goldens and ONE GSP! I live on 8 acres and my animals have more than I do...
They receive the best vetnarian care and i do right by their puppies and place them in the same quality homes as most of these people would!

My point is we have got to be better and stop hating on people bc they love the same things we love, share the same goals and yet are just doing things the very slightest bit different!

If yalls beloved AKC was against everyday breeding then they would only allow the "proven" to do it! And if you dont support them on that then why do you continue to do so by participating in akc events?

Akc in my opinion has higher standards than most and tries hard to provide detailed information on breed standards, health testing, etc to educate people and that's what I love about them.
 
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