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I've got a question about this hip/elbow dysplasia topic. Is it visible when looking at new pups when choosing a puppy? I read somewhere that it isn't visible until 24 months and I'm just needing clairification on this. I'm getting a GR from shall I say a "backyard breeder or GR hobbiest," who has two litters a year(two different females). They are not all about making money, but it's not a big expensive endeaver. The puppies look fine from the pictures I've seen, but I won't really know any more until I see where and how they live. No obligation under contract or anything. AKC- yes, but I've read that really doesn't mean much these days. They will have the vet check and 1st shots. Have talked to the breeder several times, seems very sincere and has been doing this for 10 years. I'm looking for a family pet, not for show, however we will do obediance training. The breeder has denied any health problems with her dogs. I guess I'll just have to wait and see the condition of the place. We've been waiting for a pup since the end of August. I'm not paying an arm and a leg, can't afford to, but is not cheap either. There are pups in Vermont listed for 1/2 the price we are paying.
I'm just concerned about this hip/elbow dysplasia topic. I'm wondering if it's visible in puppies and in the early developmental stages. I want to be prepared with knowledge and armed with finances to deal with this, should this come our way. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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Hip and elbow problems are not visible in young puppies unless they're totally extreme. Often, they're not visible in older dogs until long after breeding age, which is why hip and elbow certifications are so important.

A BYB and a hobbyist are really two different things in my mind. A hobbyist does all the four clearances on breeding dogs (hips, elbows, hearts, and eyes), and a hobbyist competes in some venue with the dogs (like obedience, agility, showing, hunting, etc.). We often use the term BYB around here to mean somebody who just mates the dogs they happen to own without getting certifications and without an eye toward maintaining and improving the breed.

A dog without cleared parents may seem cheaper up front, but when you consider the fact that clearances seriously cut down on the chances of debilitating conditions later in life (heart murmurs, hip dysplasia, fragmented coronoid process in the elbow, etc.), your relatively small investment up front can save you thousands later. Many BYB dogs live long, happy lives, but overall, it's certainly cheaper to spend $1000 on a dog with proper clearances than $300 on a dog who is more likely to cost you a lot more in the long run.

And, more importantly, a Golden Retriever deserves the best possible shot at a happy, healthy life, and we have a responsibility to do everything we can to ensure that. Please don't support a casual breeder who isn't doing his best for the dogs.

Have you read up on OFA, cardiac, and CERF clearances? If not, I'm sure somebody can give you good rundown or direct you to another thread where those are covered.
 

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Agreeing with Tippy. I have one of the BYB pups who IS HD and ED. DH and I decided our next pup we were paying the higher price for decreasing our chances of another problem pup.

Do you have the parents AKC names? You can look up on OFA and see if they have any records of clearances. You can see also if they are on K9data.

My young golden was dx at 9 months. She was symptomatic very early but I didn't know the symptoms. I thought when she was "sore" she was just experiencing growing pains, or I was imagining she was limping puppies don't limp. She was severe and had a total hip replacement on her right side, for her first birthday. That was a MAJOR expense. I just want to give you fuel for thought.
 
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