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looking for a golden retriever in texas but the cost of the puppies today is sky high and the risk of cancer also sky high. So i am wondering if getting a lab and golden mix even reduces those odds given the gene mix, also will they stand a chance of looking like a golden versus a lab as they grow up? Any reputable breeders of this mix in texas that you recommend? Thanks.
 

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No reputable breeder will breed a mix.


Your best way forward is probably rescue. There are a lot of lab/golden dogs in rescue and you can probably find a rescued adolescent dog fairly easily. That way, you will know what the dog will look like as an adult. There's no way of predicting which breed the pups from a mixed breeding will resemble.



FWIW, having owned both a lab and a golden, I can tell you that labradors shed. Not just a bit. A lot. They shed short hairs that get literally everywhere. It's much worse than a golden. During heavy shedding periods, you could literally see the hair falling off my labrador when she walked around. We burned our way through several really good vacuum cleaners during her lifetime. I would imagine that this trait carries forward to the mix too. So be prepared.


And with a mix, you need to be careful of other problems in addition to cancer. Mixed breed dogs generally don't come from health-tested parents, and both the breeds you mention are prone to things such as eye disease, heart disease and joint disease (dysplasia) to name but a few.



Best of luck with your search! Hope you find what you're looking for.
 

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No reputable breeder will breed a mix.

FWIW, having owned both a lab and a golden, I can tell you that labradors shed. Not just a bit. A lot. They shed short hairs that get literally everywhere. It's much worse than a golden. During heavy shedding periods, you could literally see the hair falling off my labrador when she walked around. We burned our way through several really good vacuum cleaners during her lifetime. I would imagine that this trait carries forward to the mix too. So be prepared.
This is so true!!! I would have never believed a lab could shed so much until my son got a yellow lab. Thankfully he moved into his own home a few years ago. They shed and the hair is much harder to clean up, it sticks to everything!! I still dog sit for him whenever he travels and it's like they never stop shedding. He is now getting a black lab. It will be 8 weeks old May 1st, and we are all joking that now he will have black and yellow hair EVERYWHERE!!

I tell people all the time that labs shed worse then golden's and I don't think they believe me.
 

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looking for a golden retriever in texas but the cost of the puppies today is sky high and the risk of cancer also sky high. So i am wondering if getting a lab and golden mix even reduces those odds given the gene mix, also will they stand a chance of looking like a golden versus a lab as they grow up? Any reputable breeders of this mix in texas that you recommend? Thanks.
If price is a big limitation for you, rescue or the pound would be a good option. Mix bred dogs have some upsides and some real risks. First, mix-bred dogs will be more likely to be genetically diverse so the chances of ending up with two affect copies of genes does go down. This is great for things like GR Ichthyosis which is a single gene and a simple recessive disease. However, diseases that are not recessive are not less risky for mix breed dogs because only one “bad” copy of the gene is needed. Start thinking about disorders where there are multiple genes involved and yeah, it gets hard to wrap the mind around. Most cancers we don’t have the genes identified for and most do not seem to be a simple recessive.

Another downside is that mix bred dogs are not going to come from high quality stock. No good breeder of Goldens will ever purposely allow their dogs to be used this way. So, mix breeders usually source their dogs from not so great places like pet shops and high volume breeders. These sources don’t generally health test, care about what dogs are paired or temperament.

Another big downside to mix bred dogs is generally no one is tracking things like cancer. You could be getting a puppy from parents who have cancer deaths on both sides of the family tree but there is not a K9Data for mix breeds. Also most mix-breeders don’t follow up with the people who buy from them.

There are great dogs in the pounds and rescues. If you can’t stomach the price or cancer risk of a well bred golden, they are a great option. I just don’t know that they will be that much lower a cancer risk. So much is unknow that you could get luck or you might not. All dogs have cancer risks, Goldens just have a higher risk. You have to decide if the things that make Goldens so great outweigh the very real cancer risk. Some people can, some people can’t.
 

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you are correct. risk either way. but to think of paying 2 ork 3k, i want to ensure you are reducing the risk of cancer with those high price tags, and it seems like you arent, and possibly increasing the risk maybe - top performing dogs or show dogs are used over and over for breeding (maybe), while i am okay with a mix, it seems its hard to find a mix that actually looks like a golden (unless i am wrong)
 

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you are correct. risk either way. but to think of paying 2 ork 3k, i want to ensure you are reducing the risk of cancer with those high price tags, and it seems like you arent, and possibly increasing the risk maybe - top performing dogs or show dogs are used over and over for breeding (maybe), while i am okay with a mix, it seems its hard to find a mix that actually looks like a golden (unless i am wrong)

There is a risk with anything you buy, adopt, or own. I know cancer in Golden's is heart breaking, but there are many other problems that come up in all animals that can cost you equally as much. A golden, lab, or a cross could simply eat something they aren't suppose to, trust me both are chewers, and you could end up with an enormous vet bill. My sons lab got bored and chewed the back of his couch off. It was a pretty expensive couch. I laugh and tell him a golden would have been to smart to do it. I think it comes down to you want a Golden or you don't.

If you take $2500 and divide it by the average life span of a Golden it way less then buying a cup of coffee everyday. However, if the monetary part of owning a Golden is worrisome you may not want a Golden or a Lab. In my experience they cost about the same. Labs have their issues too.
 

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It's kind of like saying you want the world's fastest car, but it needs to be reliable and get 40MPGs. Putting an engine from a Yugo might get you those 40MPGs, but it won't be reliable or go fast...but it will still look fast.

Going with a mix sets you up for health traits (good and bad) of both breeds - not necessarily a good thing. Your best option is really to find a reputable breeder that does all the core health testing (and even more) as well as previous generations, which can be found on their OFA listings. The more history you have, the better chance you have at getting a healthy dog.

My last Golden did end up with cancer at 12 years old, but she had lived a very full and healthy life up until then. Other than annual checkups and vaccines, she was in the vet's office very few times and never for any major issue. Good luck!
 

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I totally agree. I guess because I owned a golden who died way too young from cancer and the vet who treated her cancer taught me alot about Goldens and cancer, I look at the risks differently now. Goldens are more prone to cancer then any other breed out there (recent years). I love goldens dearly and have owned both labs and goldens. The search for a golden today is such a different ballgame then years past - deposits on litters not even born yet, wait lists, questionnaires foe the buyers, just such a different experience.
 

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I totally agree. I guess because I owned a golden who died way too young from cancer and the vet who treated her cancer taught me alot about Goldens and cancer, I look at the risks differently now. Goldens are more prone to cancer then any other breed out there (recent years). I love goldens dearly and have owned both labs and goldens. The search for a golden today is such a different ballgame then years past - deposits on litters not even born yet, wait lists, questionnaires foe the buyers, just such a different experience.
I agree that the search these days is different. I've owned Golden's for a long time. I do think that as a community we have learned a lot over the years. There are tests available to breeders now that we didn't have back then. I think you have to do everything you can to find a reputable breeder and go from there. There are some great resources on here. Good luck in whatever you decide.
 

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There are ways to help stack the odds in your favor with regards to cancer. The big one is not to spay or neuter early (before 12 months) and keeping them intact permanently reduces the risk of cancer to almost none for the main ones that Golden's get (mass cell, lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma).

But like everyone has said, there is no full proof way to keep a dog from getting cancer and there are no cancer free lines. Now, the better the quality of the lines and breeders I'd say that will help as well. Again all you can do is help stack the odds in your (or the dogs) favor.

The notion about how Golden's in Europe don't get cancer like the ones in the US, that may be true to a degree. In the US, all the rescues and vets since the 80's have been hell bent on population control and spay/neuter at 6, 5 3 even 2 months of age. This leads to significant increases in cancer rates since they stop all the hormones the reproductive organs produce. These are believed to help keep the dogs stay healthy. In Europe, they don't really believe in spay or neuter much and the vast majority of dogs stay intact. They usually only spay/neuter for health reasons like if an intact female develops pyometra infection. To save the dog the treatment is usually emergency spay.

So I'm not sure I totally buy the notion that the European lines are any healthier then the ones here in the US, but that we may be causing it from so much spaying and neutering, not that they are really any healthier.
 

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I totally agree. I guess because I owned a golden who died way too young from cancer and the vet who treated her cancer taught me alot about Goldens and cancer, I look at the risks differently now. Goldens are more prone to cancer then any other breed out there (recent years). I love goldens dearly and have owned both labs and goldens. The search for a golden today is such a different ballgame then years past - deposits on litters not even born yet, wait lists, questionnaires foe the buyers, just such a different experience.

How many years ago did you get your last golden puppy?

My feeling is that if you did not put down a deposit, fully vet breeders, get on a waitlist, questionnaires (or at least some form of those things) then perhaps you did not get a golden retriever from someone who was considered to be a reputable breeder who was breeding for health, longevity and adhering to the standard and following the CoE.

Was your golden AKC registered? Did your breeder do any health testing? Did you have a pedigree where you could trace back your dog's ancestors to see cause of death? Did you talk to your breeder back then about cancer in his/her lines? Did you neuter or spay early?

The Golden Retriever Club of American has been around since the 1930s, and although certainly the standard for quality breeders has evolved since then, there have always been breeders doing things the right way. Goldens have become SO popular today, that there are many dogs that are dying way too young of cancer among other things. When you take into account the number of backyard breeders, puppy mills or commercial kennels there are today...that number starts to make sense. The ratio of good to bad breeder is not equal.

My point is, acquiring a puppy today seems to be this extraneous process to some, but it is 2019. When you consider all of the things that a good breeder does to ensure that puppies and future generations are living long and healthy lives, it makes sense to pay that price for a truly well-bred dog with generations of health tests and longevity. When you purchase a puppy from a breeder who adheres to the CoE you significantly stack the odds of getting a healthy dog who will live a log life. No reputable breeder breeds without longevity in mind.


FWIW I had close friends who had two, male lab-golden mixes. They both died of cancer...which makes sense because both breeds are prone to cancer. One looked like a yellow lab, one looked like a golden and they were from the same parents so you never know what you are going to get.
 

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I know I am just one person but I had a spoiled Golden/Yellow Lab mix from a rescue in Houston and she passed at 10’from hemangiosarcoma. I am in your boat of living in fear that my next Golden will eventually get cancer. But this time I am stacking the cards in my favor with the knowledge and research I have done on breeders, diet, chemicals, etc. Best of luck!
 

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I understand your fear of cancer. While the dog we lost was not a golden, it has definitely placed that seed of awareness in my brain. I know there is a high likelihood I will lose one or both of my current girls to cancer, but I try not to dwell on that. When our shepherd was sick, my vet had some words that I found to be well stated. She explained how dogs do not live in the past or future, but in the present. With that, I try to focus on the "now" and if cancer becomes a reality in our lives again, we will face it then. Until then (hopefully not!), I plan to thoroughly enjoy my girls.

When it comes to the search of a new pup/dog, I would encourage you to look into rescue/adoption if the price tag of a puppy from a reputable breeder has you hesitating. There is risk with the unknowns of the dog genetically and behaviorally, but I have learned so much about our journey with Sasha (the GSD we lost to cancer) and now Rey (Golden/Lab/X). Definitely go into it with your eyes open and ready to learn and change. It did take close to a year of keeping an eye out and meeting many dogs, but Rey has truly been wonderful.

I wish you luck on your journey and hope you keep us all updated!
 

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Labs are just as prone to cancer as a golden retriever. It’s honestly the dreaded disease of any retriever owner.

I lost Labradors to cancer at 5 and 7. I lost my golden retriever to lymphosarcoma at almost 11.

My “outlier” Labrador crossed the rainbow bridge two days ago two months shy of 14 because she suddenly could not get herself up. It was no life for her to live (she was in audible pain even on NSAIDs/Gabapentin) and while I’m absolutely gutted...no surgery would have changed an almost 14 year old dog. I fully suspect she had bone cancer that just had not progressed to the no eating...yet.
 

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looking for a golden retriever in texas but the cost of the puppies today is sky high and the risk of cancer also sky high. So i am wondering if getting a lab and golden mix even reduces those odds given the gene mix, also will they stand a chance of looking like a golden versus a lab as they grow up? Any reputable breeders of this mix in texas that you recommend? Thanks.
I volunteer with a service dog organization that breeds its own puppies. The organization has Labs, Goldens, and Lab-Golden crosses (LGX). A 50-50 LGX will look like a Lab. It's not until you get the Golden percentage above 50% that it has the Golden look and coat. The organization has some LGXs that are 75% Golden and 25% Lab. These will occasionally have a black coat, depending on the Lab lineage. People will often ask the folks puppy raising these puppies or the organization's clients who have been matched to such a graduate dog, "Where did you get a black Golden Retriever?"

I agree with the above comments that you are unlikely to find a private breeder who is producing LGXs with dogs who have been health tested according to the COE for Goldens or Labs. Service dog organizations produce LGX puppies because they have a solid success rate for maturing into a service dog. (It also helps keep up the genetic diversity within their population of breeding stock.) So, it's a very specialized and unique breeding use.

Service dog organizations spay or neuter the dogs before they graduate as a working assistance dog or are released from the program. The LGXs they produce have no possibility of being used in the pet population for breeding purposes.
 

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Labs are just as prone to cancer as a golden retriever. It’s honestly the dreaded disease of any retriever owner.

I lost Labradors to cancer at 5 and 7. I lost my golden retriever to lymphosarcoma at almost 11.

My “outlier” Labrador crossed the rainbow bridge two days ago two months shy of 14 because she suddenly could not get herself up. It was no life for her to live (she was in audible pain even on NSAIDs/Gabapentin) and while I’m absolutely gutted...no surgery would have changed an almost 14 year old dog. I fully suspect she had bone cancer that just had not progressed to the no eating...yet.
Labs are also prone to obesity due to a genetic condition that causes them not to feel full. (I haven't heard about Goldens having this gene. Maybe a breeder can chime in if they know differently.) Obesity brings its own health risks. All breeds face something.

I also own a Clumber which is one of the sweetest dogs out there but hip dysplasia is very problematic in the breed. Sure, it doesn't have the cancer problems found in Goldens but if the dog can't walk because of hip issues that doesn't make much difference. Again, all breeds face something.
 

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Labs are just as prone to cancer as a golden retriever. It’s honestly the dreaded disease of any retriever owner.

I lost Labradors to cancer at 5 and 7. I lost my golden retriever to lymphosarcoma at almost 11.

My “outlier” Labrador crossed the rainbow bridge two days ago two months shy of 14 because she suddenly could not get herself up. It was no life for her to live (she was in audible pain even on NSAIDs/Gabapentin) and while I’m absolutely gutted...no surgery would have changed an almost 14 year old dog. I fully suspect she had bone cancer that just had not progressed to the no eating...yet.
I'm sorry for your loss. 14 definitely is a good long life for a retriever but young or old, you still miss them a lot when they go.
 

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I volunteer with a service dog organization that breeds its own puppies. The organization has Labs, Goldens, and Lab-Golden crosses (LGX). A 50-50 LGX will look like a Lab. It's not until you get the Golden percentage above 50% that it has the Golden look and coat. The organization has some LGXs that are 75% Golden and 25% Lab. These will occasionally have a black coat, depending on the Lab lineage. People will often ask the folks puppy raising these puppies or the organization's clients who have been matched to such a graduate dog, "Where did you get a black Golden Retriever?"

I agree with the above comments that you are unlikely to find a private breeder who is producing LGXs with dogs who have been health tested according to the COE for Goldens or Labs. Service dog organizations produce LGX puppies because they have a solid success rate for maturing into a service dog. (It also helps keep up the genetic diversity within their population of breeding stock.) So, it's a very specialized and unique breeding use.

Service dog organizations spay or neuter the dogs before they graduate as a working assistance dog or are released from the program. The LGXs they produce have no possibility of being used in the pet population for breeding purposes.
I agree with this on LGX. I also volunteered with a service dog organization for 12 years on the east coast and all of them that are 50/50 look like labs (with their ears a little longer, is what I noticed). But they didn't ever produce golden coat styles.
 

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I'm sorry for your loss. 14 definitely is a good long life for a retriever but young or old, you still miss them a lot when they go.
thank you. We (my 17 month old golden) miss her a lot. It’s very quiet here. The most heartbreaking thing was after we got home, she grabbed her collar, and proceeded to lick it and cuddle it. Almost killed me.
 
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