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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Been looking for a golden for a while now, but I’m looking for one that looks similar to Tucker Budzyn (all over the Internet). I’m obsessed with his fluffiness and face. I came across Matigan Goldens and I’m thinking about getting a puppy from them. Does anyone have any experience with this breeder? I’m very nervous in general and not sure exactly what I need to be looking for. Thank you so so much for your help!!!

She has 2 litters and here is the parents info of each:

Sire: Vonschenk's Last Stand At Matigan CGC EYE13 OFA24G (SR98750802)
Dam: Bonanza Matigan June Bug OFA24G OFEL24 (SR92974801)

DOB: 03/15/2019 (8 weeks old)
Sire: Shadalane's Caliber Gabriel EYE27 OFA26G OFEL25 (SR94433006)
Dam: Matigan's Dana Scully EYE11 (SS00994101)

The puppies are each $3000

Edit to add: Grew up with Goldens and had a dog the last 13 years of my own that we lost in November (not a golden). Yes, I’m very well aware of the golden breed and what they require. I only mentioned the “look” I am looking for as they are extremely hard to find with the wide face and puffy fur so I thought maybe someone would know a breeder in SoCal as the only breeder I’ve found that I know have that Tucker look is in Michigan so we may need to purchase from that breeder. Thank you!
 

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Hi! Great that you love Goldens!
Welcome to the forum - there are many Golden experts here who can advise you :0)
So - where to start answering your post:
I guess the first thing is, what do you want a Golden Retriever for? Seeing a cute one on the internet doesn't necessarily mean that you ought to just go out and get a look-alike... are you sure you know what sort of dog a Golden Retriever is? (Big, smelly, hairy and slobbery) Are you sure you can offer a loving and healthy forever home? (They're expensive in every way, and need a lot of 1-2-1 time, and even more excercise).
Have you done your breed homework? Don't just ask a forum - go and read books, visit shows, look up breeders and their programs, find out what genetic issues they have, and *read" the AKC standards for Golden Retriever dogs. These guys are special.... :0)
Once you do that, I think you'll look at the website of the breeder you are considering and wonder why there is quite a lot of information missing about their breeding dogs, clearances, health testing, etc.
Also, buying a 'ready made' pup comes with pros and significant cons. You need to educate yourself about these before you buy any pup regardless of breed.
If you want to avoid significant heartache later, please do your homework on the Golden Retriever breed now, before you buy. Be realistic about your situation and what you can offer a dog. They're not ornaments or trophies.
Good luck and keep us posted :0)
:0)
 

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Sire: Vonschenk's Last Stand At Matigan CGC EYE13 OFA24G (SR98750802)
>>> Sire is missing elbows https://www.ofa.org/advanced-search?f=sr&appnum=1937111
Dam: Bonanza Matigan June Bug OFA24G OFEL24 (SR92974801)
>>> Dam has outdated eyes (check with the breeder to see if they have the clearance but hasn't sent them in https://www.ofa.org/advanced-search?f=sr&appnum=1886899


DOB: 03/15/2019 (8 weeks old)
Sire: Shadalane's Caliber Gabriel EYE27 OFA26G OFEL25 (SR94433006)
>>> Sire heart is practioner only instead of either Advanced or by a cardiologist (this doesn't follow the GRCA guidelines) https://www.ofa.org/advanced-search?f=sr&appnum=1991961
Dam: Matigan's Dana Scully EYE11 (SS00994101)
>>> Dam turned 2 years old 2 months ago. No hip or elbow clearances but it might just be a delay in reporting. Check with the breeder and ask for copies of their clearances. https://www.ofa.org/advanced-search?f=sr&appnum=1942042

There is a user her LJack who posts what clearances should look like so you can tell if you're reading the real thing or not. :)

FWIW - I paid $2500 for my girl 10 months ago. But I've heard SoCal prices are jumping to $3k so that alone doesn't say anything one way or the other.

Will this be your first dog? Your first golden?

Edit to Add: I took a look at their website and nothing is looking out of place per se. But for me, personally, I would pass on both litters because the four core clearances are not up to ethical standards for either pairing.
 

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Thank you very much for your help! This will just be a family dog with no breeding or shows, just wanted to add that! ?

Doesn't matter if you're going to title the dog or use it for a heating blanket in bed with you :) health clearance are stacking the odds in your favor the dog is healthy long term. You don't want a blind dog from cataracts or a bad heart leading to a short lie or anywhere from 4-8 years of age and expensive and painful, debilitating hip or elbow dysplasia (can be between $5k-10K to correct).


Getting a dog from lines that have 4+ generations of health clearances is what you should be looking for. If you're spending 2-3K for your dog, why get a puppy with those types of health risks?


Edit to add: The best thing I can tell you is look for breeders that have dogs that look the way you like and then vet the heck out of them. scrutinize all their dogs and make sure they are doing the minimum 4 core health clearances (Hip/Elbow at 24 Months or older, heart by cardiologist and eyes yearly). Then it's just a choice on which dogs you like better. It could be a head style you like, a color but that is all the last thing AFTER you know they are reputable by doing the health clearances. Go and look up the Golden Retriever Code of Ethics and that is what they should be doing before deciding to buy.
 

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For $3000, you should get full health certifications on both parents. That is not what you are getting.
I will post the lacking health certifications for this breeder. Then i’ll Do another post showing what you should see.
 

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Here is an infographic and screen shot that will help you determine if there are full health certifications. Take the parents registration name or number to www.ofa.org and look them up.
 

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Here is an infographic and screen shot that will help you determine if there are full health certifications. Take the parents registration name or number to www.ofa.org and look them up.

Thank you so much LJack!!! This is so helpful!!! Ya, we want a perfectly healthy golden, especially if I’m buying from a breeder. This is extremely concerning that all of those health checks are not up to date. Thank you so much for helping us understand what we need to look for. I’ve already talked to over 25 breeders in the last year and all of the dogs were over $2500 and none of them had the health clearances that even these litters have (which are still incomplete). This is actually scary to me. We are filling to drive to other states if that’s what it takes to get a healthy pure bred golden. I could be wrong but it feels as though SoCal breeders are taking advantage of the system.
 

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Here is an infographic and screen shot that will help you determine if there are full health certifications. Take the parents registration name or number to www.ofa.org and look them up.

Should I just expect to get the parents health records or should I also be asking for previous generations health records? I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you LJACK!!!!!!!!
 

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For $3000.00 I would think your should get full certifications on parents and on the generations behind them. If you are looking at imported dogs, the generations behind may not look the same as US born dogs as other countries don’t always have the same stringent standards we have in the US.

As far as taking advantage of the system, it is more like taking advantage of a lack of knowledge. I find it very unethical to present dogs as fully tested if they are not. Buyers are certainly at a disadvantage in this interaction. That is why I spend as much time educating as I do.

I am sending you a PM that might be helpful.
 

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There are plenty of breeders in Southern California doing things right. You may just have had some bad luck. Have you emailed the GRCSDC and GRCGLA for litter referrals? I'm also happy to help if you would like to PM me.
 

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I know this breeder well and she is responsible breeder who produces puppies with the look you’ Seeking. She’s used my stud dog with nice results.
I want to add some thought on the heart clearances. The change from accepting practitioner heart auscultation to cardiologist heart auscultation is recent (2-3 years ago), so keep that in mind when looking at these litters.
Also, the most important thing is to get a warranty on your puppy. Responsible breeders will give a 2 year warranty on hips, elbows, heart and eyes.
 

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Also, the most important thing is to get a warranty on your puppy. Responsible breeders will give a 2 year warranty on hips, elbows, heart and eyes.
Sorry, I respectfully disagree with a warranty being "the most important thing." I think parents with health clearances on hips, elbows, eyes tested by ophthalmologist, and heart tested by a cardiologist are the most important to me. What good is a warranty if you love your dog and would never want to give it up due to a health issue? I'd rather have a dog with reduced chances of a health issue because the parents have verifiable good health clearances and a lineage of good health.
 

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Also, the most important thing is to get a warranty on your puppy. Responsible breeders will give a 2 year warranty on hips, elbows, heart and eyes.
Seriously, such warranties are all but useless. Some breeders even require that you give your puppy back, something no one ever does. And the warranty doesn't provide a healthy dog, only some measure of economic relief if the dog is not healthy. A dysplastic dog is going to be dysplastic no matter how great that warranty is. You might get some cash or a replacement puppy, but the dog you have is always going to be dysplastic.

The "most important thing," IMHO, is all required health testing, and then I'd add genetic testing on top of that.
 

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The change from accepting practitioner heart auscultation to cardiologist heart auscultation is recent (2-3 years ago), so keep that in mind when looking at these litters.
That is not accurate. The Cardiologist heart certification has been in the GRCA CoE and CHIC standards for about 8 years at this point.

Most breeding bitches are well under 9 years of age and should have a Cardiologist heart certification or it would be considered deficient. There certainly could be some older stud dogs out there that were tested by a practitioner prior to 2011. However, stud dogs tend to be tested to the latest offerings first and many oldsters had been tested by a Cardiologist years before it was added to the CoE.
 

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Thank you so much LJack!!! This is so helpful!!! Ya, we want a perfectly healthy golden, especially if I’m buying from a breeder. This is extremely concerning that all of those health checks are not up to date. Thank you so much for helping us understand what we need to look for. I’ve already talked to over 25 breeders in the last year and all of the dogs were over $2500 and none of them had the health clearances that even these litters have (which are still incomplete). This is actually scary to me. We are filling to drive to other states if that’s what it takes to get a healthy pure bred golden. I could be wrong but it feels as though SoCal breeders are taking advantage of the system.
I live in Orange County, and began our search for a puppy last fall. This forum was an excellent resource and helped point me in the direction of several breeders who were doing things right in terms of breeding practices, and they also had a solid history of success. I also talked with many others who did not quite check all of the boxes that one should inquire about — many of these people seemed quite nice and put out reasonable explanations for missing clearances, etc., but in the end there’s no reason to take a shortcut.

I don’t think you will have any problem locating a fantastic litter in this area, just be patient and make sure that you select a breeder who is doing everything they can to produce healthy and breed standard puppies.
 

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Also, the most important thing is to get a warranty on your puppy. Responsible breeders will give a 2 year warranty on hips, elbows, heart and eyes.

Agree, Warranties are really a selling tactic as like Dana said, no one gives up the puppy and only will get SOME monetary help, MAYBE. Usually that at most might be the cost you paid to buy the pup, what 2-3 but usually far less even then that. A Hip replacement will cost 7-10k. Some will just give you another puppy if you return the dog with bad hips. If you're not getting the full health certifications at the minimum and having 3-5 generations back with those health certs, you're playing Russian roulette with the health of those puppies.
 

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No health clearances might mean you will have a million dollar dog. Hip dysplasia surgery is about $3000 per hip.



$3000.00 per puppy. Yikes. Drive a little, save a lot! Breeders north of Rancho Santa Fe will usually be cheaper. The breeders does not do confrontation or show their dogs. But they are on the AKC marketplace.



Just my 2 cents.
 

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The breeders does not do confrontation or show their dogs. But they are on the AKC marketplace.
Are you saying that Matigan doesn't show their dogs? I've seen their dogs at shows. In fact, my handler showed one of them. This one: Pedigree: CH Matigan Dharma Bum

Matigan also wanted to buy a show puppy from us, though we ended up keeping him and are currently showing him ourselves.

So, she does show.
 

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No health clearances might mean you will have a million dollar dog. Hip dysplasia surgery is about $3000 per hip.



$3000.00 per puppy. Yikes. Drive a little, save a lot! Breeders north of Rancho Santa Fe will usually be cheaper. The breeders does not do confrontation or show their dogs. But they are on the AKC marketplace.



Just my 2 cents.

Dana is right, they have shown their dogs. In addition, $3,000 is the average price for puppies in Southern California these days. Some are $3,500.
 
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