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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear Forum Experts,

I hope you won’t mind the long email below, but I want to give you all the information I can think of that might help you make a good referral for us:

Having lost our beloved companion Finley to cancer a few weeks ago, our home is now dogless for the first time in 23 years. Our first dog Clipper died at 16, so she and Finley overlapped for several years. Clipper was half golden and half lab, 50 pounds. Finley was a rescue, originally thought to be the same mix, but as he never exceeded 38 pounds, we doubt it. Both were mellow, sweet, loved everyone, non-aggressive, good with kids (even babies who poked at them) and our cat was their best friend. Finley had playful puppy energy until the end, at 11 years and 4 months. We hope for all that again.

Our children have grown, so our family is now a very different one. We have both recently retired, and it is just us and the cat. That means less activity in the household, but also more time to spend with a new puppy (all day, every day). We did the standard puppy training and socialization classes with both dogs, and will do again, but are now leery of dog parks after Finley was attacked by a pit bull mix.

Now that I am retired, I am considering participating in more serious obedience training. Finley was such a good jumper I regret not pursuing agility with him, but I don’t really know what is involved in either of those pursuits, other than what I saw at the Cow Palace in January, so I am afraid to say absolutely that I want a dog bred for agility or obedience. DEFINITELY not hunting, though. We like the physique of field goldens, but the drive is likely tp be a bit much for us and our cat. May the lowest drive pup in a field-bred litter?

My husband and I are both hoping for a very small golden, so probably a female. We have a dog door and a fenced yard (in San Francisco), but there are some stairs involved. This never mattered until Finley’s surgery, when we had to carry him out for a month. Thinking ahead, if a dozen years from now we had to do the same for our next dog, we will not be able to manage it with a 65 pound dog. So, the smaller the better, so long as it is a golden. 50 pounds (I know that is below breed standard even for a female) would be great.

I assume this means looking for a breeder with small sires and dams. I have been scouring the internet (trying to comfort myself by looking at breeders and puppies), but I realized that can lead me astray. I was very interested in a litter from a breeder named Don Brubaker, but as I researched further I became concerned when I saw that the same pairing was expected to produce a litter only eight months apart, and then I found many descriptions of dogs with health and temperament problems coming from his kennel. So I have realized I need advice about reputable breeders. (If you know him, and the internet is mistaken, I would appreciate knowing that, too, because his kennel location is one we could visit from San Francisco in one long day.)

I don’t know whether this would be considered too fussy, but I really love the appearance of the dark and red goldens. They seem slimmer and sleeker than the creams, and I love those darker, warmer colors. So, all other things being equal, the darker, redder goldens would be my preference. My husband doesn’t care.

Finally, we cannot take a puppy until October, as we have a long vacation planned for September, and I don’t want to be away from a new dog for the first year. Optimum timing, if I have my facts right, means a mating around June or July, litter born August or September, ready to go home with us at 8 weeks in October, or November, before Thanksgiving. I hope this gives us time to find just the right breeder. Anywhere in a long drive from San Francisco would be perfect.

Am I unrealistic? Can this be done? What advice do you have for me? All breeder recommendations will be welcome!

Thanks!
 

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Welcome to the forum.

I moved your post/thread into the Choosing a Breeder and puppy section so you would get more views and replies.

Here are some threads with Breeder recommendations you can read through while you're waiting for referrals. The threads are for breeders in No California. There is a list of Breeders for So California if you're interested, you can pull it up by doing a search.

https://www.goldenretrieverforum.co...puppy/447857-breeder-northern-california.html

https://www.goldenretrieverforum.co...504280-search-golden-northern-california.html

You may want to contact the GR Puppy Referral person at your local GR Club too.

https://www.grca.org/find-a-golden/where-to-find-a-golden/grca-puppy-referral/

https://www.grca.org/about-grca/grca-clubs-map/

CALIFORNIA

Golden Retriever Club of Greater Los Angeles -Los Angeles CA 90001
Golden Retriever Club of San Diego County – San Diego CA 92101
Norcal GRC – San Francisco CA 945102

Good luck with your search
 

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Welcome to the forum. I would try contacting the breeders on the lists Carolina Mom gave and ask them for referrals if they don't have any up coming litters. My last girl was a purebred, had hip clearances, but I didn't know anything about choosing a good breeder. Luckily, she never had any health problems. She weighed about 56-57 pounds. I think the standard for females goes as low as 55 lbs. Best wishes on your search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. I have copied and pasted the list of ten and will start going down it. I had already contacted Emberlain, and they said they would pass my email on to a friend. And I have emailed the volunteers at Norcal, but haven't heard back from them yet. But there are still a bunch of other names on the list. I am not losing hope!
 

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Good luck with your search! I wouldn't be terribly worried about the cat. Prey drive is very different from retrieving drive in golden retrievers. My cat might be a little slobbery but I never have had to worry about his safety :)
 

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Hi and welcome to the Forum. I used to live in the SF Bay Area and always admired the dogs who could compete in obedience at the Golden Gate KC show and win! That show has more distractions than any other show I've been to. Anyway...

I was going to suggest Edwina Ryska and Emberain, but see you already contacted her.

If I was serious about starting in obedience and looking for a golden, I would go to DeeDee Anderson of DD's Goldens. She used to live in Redwood City, but now lives in Lodi. It would be worth the drive though. She has bred and shown the top obedience goldens since the early 1980's. She also teaches obedience. I used to train with her when she lived in Redwood City. She has an amazing way with dogs and her students. The obedience magazine, "Front and Finish" featured her several years ago: https://frontandfinish.com/dee-dee-andersonabt.

I don't believe I'm allowed to list her website, but if you google "dee dee anderson golden retrievers" her website will come up.
 

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Good luck with your search! I wouldn't be terribly worried about the cat. Prey drive is very different from retrieving drive in golden retrievers. My cat might be a little slobbery but I never have had to worry about his safety :)
Definitely agree with this. My dog is very birdy and will madly chase squirrels if I let her (which I don't, as she is sadly quite successful at catching them), but cats are potential pals to her. She loves them, often more than they love her, but her dream would be to have a cat of her own who loved her right back. Her approach to them is entirely different from her approach to a squirrel.

Size can be tough to predict. My last girl was what I considered small - she was about 50-52 pounds most of her life, which is probably what her mother and aunt were, from my memory of them. My current girl, I expected to be a bit bigger - probably right in the middle of breed standard. Her parents were both in the middle of breed standard - but my girl is very petite at 20.5 inches tall and 45 pounds. I love her size. I feel like I won the jackpot, but it was not what I expected from her breeding. But looking for the parents on the lower end of breed standard would probably tilt it in your favour - just don't get sucked into a "mini Golden" which is just a fancy way of saying a mixed breed dog that people are charging thousands of dollars for (Cocker Spaniel x Golden Retriever). If you are really worried about size, maybe a Cocker Spaniel might be a good alternative to consider?

The kind of dog you are leaning to - the more fieldy-type, red, small - also usually come with higher energy levels. But as long as you have a good arm that can throw a ball with a Chuck-It, you'd be okay. Agility and obedience are great, too, though agility you'd have to be careful about not starting too early as their joints need time to finish growing. But hunt training is REALLY fun - and again, several of the Goldens I train with live just fine with cats. As Archer'sMom said, it is a entirely different prey drive. At home, a well-bred Golden, who gets enough exercise, is more apt to be a couch potato. Case in point (after a morning of hunt training, but also a two-hour drive home) - this is the sight just to my left:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all. I have been fanatically contacting pretty much every breeder on the California and Oregon lists here on the forum that I can find emails for. Other than a brief reply from Emberain, no one has responded, which is very discouraging.

I have taken comfort in Archer's mom differentiating prey from retrieving drive for me. That was a great clarification. Sweet Girl, your last 50-52 pound girl sounds like a good size, and I love the color of your snoozing pup in the picture... I am perfectly competent with a chuck it, but maybe breeders are so insulted when I say what I am looking for, that they don't bother to respond. Maybe the hunters don't like that I don't hunt, maybe the conformation folks don't like that I want small for breed, maybe no one has litters planned to be ready to go home October or November...Maybe a small-for-breed female is impossible to predict beforehand, so no one will put me on a waitlist... I don't know...I am getting cross-eyed from being online so much.

Anyway, thanks again for everyone's words of wisdom.
 

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I am sorry for the loss of Finley:(( I hope that cancer one day will be cancelled out of our dogs' life.
We just homed a cream GR abroad ( from Turkey to US). She was 2 years old and weighing only 50 kg.
Why not consider rescues for a petite GR since you have time till fall. I am sure they will have small sized goldens available till September / October:))
 

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Thank you all. I have been fanatically contacting pretty much every breeder on the California and Oregon lists here on the forum that I can find emails for. Other than a brief reply from Emberain, no one has responded, which is very discouraging.
I'm on the SoCal list. But we won't have any litters for a while and we would never purposefully breed a 50 lb. Golden anyway. Nevertheless, had you contacted us we would have had the courtesy to respond. I'm sorry that others have not. You're probably right that many breeders won't respond to your inquiries for the reasons you said. So it's going to be tough. You also won't find any reputable breeders breeding 50 lb. Goldens. You'll either have to luck into a "runt," or you'll have to rely on unethical breeders.

You might have better luck with another mix. Or have you ruled that out?

And as for your cats, I have 7 full-size Goldens and two cats, and they get along fine. Other cats are prey, but our cats are part of the pack. If a dog can consider a human part of the family, they can consider cats family, too. As I type this, one of our cats is "making biscuits" on our biggest Golden. Our Goldens respect the cats and get along with them fine. They are "their" cats. Other cats better watch out, though, :D
 

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Thank you all. I have been fanatically contacting pretty much every breeder on the California and Oregon lists here on the forum that I can find emails for. Other than a brief reply from Emberain, no one has responded, which is very discouraging.

I have taken comfort in Archer's mom differentiating prey from retrieving drive for me. That was a great clarification. Sweet Girl, your last 50-52 pound girl sounds like a good size, and I love the color of your snoozing pup in the picture... I am perfectly competent with a chuck it, but maybe breeders are so insulted when I say what I am looking for, that they don't bother to respond. Maybe the hunters don't like that I don't hunt, maybe the conformation folks don't like that I want small for breed, maybe no one has litters planned to be ready to go home October or November...Maybe a small-for-breed female is impossible to predict beforehand, so no one will put me on a waitlist... I don't know...I am getting cross-eyed from being online so much.

Anyway, thanks again for everyone's words of wisdom.

It's true that no ethical breeders would purposely be breeding for smaller than breed standard - it's just luck of the draw if you get a small one. Shala isn't a runt - if I remember correctly, she was the biggest of the three girls at birth in her litter - but it's a total crap shoot that one might be slightly bigger when full grown and one might be slightly smaller. Shala does still meet breed standard, thanks to the one-inch leeway on height - but my breeder was not purposely trying to breed small girls by any means.

So that could be why some breeders aren't replying - they also just might be really busy. Showing, training, competing in various dog sports does take a lot of time.

Since you never really know how big a puppy is going to be when fully grown, what would happen if you wound up with a 60-pound female? Would you have to get rid of her? It's something to think really seriously about. If it is really that important, getting a fully grown rescue whose size you would know, or considering a smaller breed might make more sense.
 

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This is to inform you that there is golden mix called "momma" - 1,5 years - 40 lbs who was chained to a mobile house and gave birth to beautiful puppies and rescued by Rescuedogsrocknyc. Momma and her puppies have been taken away from their owner.

Why not contact "Rescuedogsrocknyc" if you would be interested in Momma or one of her beautiful puppies.
Momma is gaining a little weight and will be maximum 50 lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I so appreciate all the time and care with which the people on this forum respond. I continue to learn. Working my way back through the responses:
Peri29, I looked on the Rescuedogsrocknyc site, and saw that they did have one adorable girl. But without knowing the mix, I would be leery about breed characteristics. Maybe if they did a Volhard test that would be safer? Not to mention, I have had drilled into me from this site that I need to pay attention to OFFA certs, which I strongly suspect were not done on the mom, and can't be done on the unknown dad. I guess I was just lucky with my first two dogs, but now I am afraid to take the chance. Plus, that's awfully far away from San Francisco. And I am very afraid of older overseas rescues, both for those reasons, and because I don't want to miss out on the labor intensive but oh-so-charming first few months of bonding with the babies.
Sweet Girl, if we wound up with a 60 pound female, we would love her madly, and pray that she would never need us to carry her due to a major illness or old age. If we did, we would do...something. Maybe have our dog sitter stay with us for the duration? You and several others have pointed out that just getting a small puppy tells us nothing about her full grown size, so I am beginning to resign myself to the guess and pray method, and just let the breeder pick the best puppy for us based on the Volhard test and their general knowledge of their pups.
DanaRuns, I wish I could see your cat kneading your dog! I don't want an unethical breeder, because of health concerns. And I don't see how one could luck into a runt if the pick list is all done before the litter arrives...unless the litter is so large there are extras, no one else wants the runt, etc. And I have now had responses from several breeders, none with litters planned for October or later, most of them nice responses.

I guess the bottom line now is: I would like a girl pup, ready to go home after October 1 (so litter could also be planned for November, December, or even January if necessary), preferably from a smaller but still breed standard dam and sire just to improve our odds, selected for us for temperament (Volhard 4?) by a reputable breeder with all health clearances and within a two days drive of San Francisco. And I will stop fussing about color because the odds already seem stacked against us if I put limits on that.

So, if anyone hears of a breeder with planned litter that fits, please let me know!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
PS. Rereading my reply, I realize I may not have made it clear: I would not give away a loved dog for anything. We just cope with whatever comes, as we did with the 24/7 weeks of care for Finley after his very expensive surgery.
 

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PS. Rereading my reply, I realize I may not have made it clear: I would not give away a loved dog for anything. We just cope with whatever comes, as we did with the 24/7 weeks of care for Finley after his very expensive surgery.
Dear, I ll send you the pictures of the girl later via DM. The father dog is known since she was a dog with owner. However , he has been keeping both the mama and the litter tied to a mobile house severely neglected and they had to be removed.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Don’t get too discouraged if breeders don’t respond right away..that happened to us ( we’re in Mass) and it all eventually worked out.
We, too, are recently retired. Our youngest moved out a few months ago and we are so grateful for our 9 mos old pup, Bear, who helps to “fill the void”. Initially we got him became our 10 yr old, Lincoln, was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma last May, given three months to live and we couldn’t bear with the idea of not having a Golden at home. We got Bear to help make the loss easier and also, we felt that while Lincoln was still with us, he could help “train” the pup. Fast forward 11 months later and Lincoln, thankfully, is still with us. Turns out that the tumors are benign, hemangioma. The two dogs are so great together. Bear has brought on a new life in Lincoln and Lincoln has basically showed Bear the ropes.
I wouldn’t worry too much on size. Although, Bear is 75 lbs of pure muscle at 9 mos, he’s not very tall. He has a great, silly personality and so affectionate. Good luck in your searc and please keep us posted.
 

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Dear, I ll send you the pictures of the girl later via DM. The father dog is known since she was a dog with owner. However , he has been keeping both the mama and the litter tied to a mobile house severely neglected and they had to be removed.
I just sent you the link where you can check on Momma & puppies. Appearantly, mum is a golden & lab mix:))
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Peri29,
I just tried to reply, but don't have enough posts yet to be allowed to DM you. I think this one will put me over the limit.
And, as long as I am posting here, thanks for your encouragement Lincgold. And what a darling picture of your two pups.
 
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