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Hi. The fact that you ensured the breeder is not a puppy mill is a good first step. It is only the first step. Not having full clearances for a few generations is a bad sign. It’s a huge red flag. Depending on references is not enough. Even the most notorious puppy mills can provide good references.
This is an ethical issue and much more. By using this breeder, you can be setting both you and your dog up for possible years of pain, movement limitations, sadness, and incredibly expensive vet bills. My first steps would be to ask a Golden Retriever club what to look for and to ask a veterinarian about the breed and issues to watch out for.

When I looked for my new puppy, I searched over 150 breeders from California to Pennsylvania. I live in California. I know people who have experienced the pain and expense of a puppy whose sire and dam were not fully cleared. I didn’t want that experience, nor did I want to support such a breeder.
I looked at each website. If the clearances of both parents were not online, I dismissed that breeder. After that preliminary cursory look at clearances, I closely looked at them and at the pedigrees going back a few generations. I also made sure the puppy parents were registered with the AKC. After those steps, my choices were down to 81 breeders.

I then looked to see what type of training the dogs had (were they trained for therapy, agility, etc.). While this was not an absolute determining factor, it did help in reflecting the time and attention given by the breeder. I also looked at the home environment: is the litter raised with children, are they in the home most of the time, what does the outside look like, how much socializing will they receive? These were all important factors. After that part of my research, I was able to eliminate another 47 breeders, leaving me with 34 possibilities.

The next step was to find out at what age the puppies would go to their new homes. If they would be 7 weeks old or less, those breeders were out of consideration. Now I was down to 29. I then called each of the remaining 29. I had a list of questions asking about the temperaments of both the sire and dam, the home environment of each (it is rare that both live in the same home), how much socializing they will receive, if they will be socialized with children, and the name and contact information of their veterinarian. If the breeder wasn’t welcoming of my questions, that breeder was crossed off my list. I then contacted the veterinarians and asked about their experience with the breeder and the dogs.

After that, I was left with 17 breeders. I called each a second time and asked if they would provide photos of the litter once a week along with some additional questions ( these questions were based on the conversations with the specific breeder and respective veterinarian). If they weren’t going to provide photos and/or they were not receptive to my additional questions, they were off my list.

That left me with 11 breeders. I then looked at the next breeding for each. I wanted a breeding the result of which would mean that my puppy would come home any season but winter. It was my personal preference not to house train a puppy during a wet and windy winter.

I finally settled on a choice of 2 breeders - one in north east Illinois, and one in eastern Washington State. I went with the one in Washington. My Kyra was born in April of this year. My husband and I drove 16 hours each way to get her. We are thrilled with our choice. Our veterinarian is so impressed with her (health, growth, socialization, and behavior that she asked where I got her. The veterinary nurses love her and walk her around. When she was only 9 weeks old, they said she behaved as though she had completed at least 6 weeks of formal training. She had not yet even begun formal training. They said this was a sign of an excellent and caring breeder.

Yes, I did a lot of work. My dog will spend her whole life with our family. I wanted to do my best to ensure that the beginning of her life (from conception to at least 8 weeks old) was as good as possible, as this lays the foundation for the rest of her life. Next week she will get her AKC STAR puppy certificate!

Please don’t support any breeder who cannot provide good, complete, and up to date clearances at an absolute minimum. People who purchase puppies from such breeders perpetuate and encourage these unhealthy and unethical practices.
 

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Hi. The fact that you ensured the breeder is not a puppy mill is a good first step. It is only the first step. Not having full clearances for a few generations is a bad sign. It’s a huge red flag. Depending on references is not enough. Even the most notorious puppy mills can provide good references.
This is an ethical issue and much more. By using this breeder, you can be setting both you and your dog up for possible years of pain, movement limitations, sadness, and incredibly expensive vet bills. My first steps would be to ask a Golden Retriever club what to look for and to ask a veterinarian about the breed and issues to watch out for.

When I looked for my new puppy, I searched over 150 breeders from California to Pennsylvania. I live in California. I know people who have experienced the pain and expense of a puppy whose sire and dam were not fully cleared. I didn’t want that experience, nor did I want to support such a breeder.
I looked at each website. If the clearances of both parents were not online, I dismissed that breeder. After that preliminary cursory look at clearances, I closely looked at them and at the pedigrees going back a few generations. I also made sure the puppy parents were registered with the AKC. After those steps, my choices were down to 81 breeders.

I then looked to see what type of training the dogs had (were they trained for therapy, agility, etc.). While this was not an absolute determining factor, it did help in reflecting the time and attention given by the breeder. I also looked at the home environment: is the litter raised with children, are they in the home most of the time, what does the outside look like, how much socializing will they receive? These were all important factors. After that part of my research, I was able to eliminate another 47 breeders, leaving me with 34 possibilities.

The next step was to find out at what age the puppies would go to their new homes. If they would be 7 weeks old or less, those breeders were out of consideration. Now I was down to 29. I then called each of the remaining 29. I had a list of questions asking about the temperaments of both the sire and dam, the home environment of each (it is rare that both live in the same home), how much socializing they will receive, if they will be socialized with children, and the name and contact information of their veterinarian. If the breeder wasn’t welcoming of my questions, that breeder was crossed off my list. I then contacted the veterinarians and asked about their experience with the breeder and the dogs.

After that, I was left with 17 breeders. I called each a second time and asked if they would provide photos of the litter once a week along with some additional questions ( these questions were based on the conversations with the specific breeder and respective veterinarian). If they weren’t going to provide photos and/or they were not receptive to my additional questions, they were off my list.

That left me with 11 breeders. I then looked at the next breeding for each. I wanted a breeding the result of which would mean that my puppy would come home any season but winter. It was my personal preference not to house train a puppy during a wet and windy winter.

I finally settled on a choice of 2 breeders - one in north east Illinois, and one in eastern Washington State. I went with the one in Washington. My Kyra was born in April of this year. My husband and I drove 16 hours each way to get her. We are thrilled with our choice. Our veterinarian is so impressed with her (health, growth, socialization, and behavior that she asked where I got her. The veterinary nurses love her and walk her around. When she was only 9 weeks old, they said she behaved as though she had completed at least 6 weeks of formal training. She had not yet even begun formal training. They said this was a sign of an excellent and caring breeder.

Yes, I did a lot of work. My dog will spend her whole life with our family. I wanted to do my best to ensure that the beginning of her life (from conception to at least 8 weeks old) was as good as possible, as this lays the foundation for the rest of her life. Next week she will get her AKC STAR puppy certificate!

Please don’t support any breeder who cannot provide good, complete, and up to date clearances at an absolute minimum. People who purchase puppies from such breeders perpetuate and encourage these unhealthy and unethical practices.
Hi there! I know this post is a little old now, but would you be willing to share the name of your breeder?
 

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Hi there! I know this post is a little old now, but would you be willing to share the name of your breeder?
I got my beautiful Kyra from Sweet Cream Goldens. Heather and Bart really worked with me and addressed all my concerns. I would definitely get another puppy from them.
They’re located a few miles out of Spokane, WA. I drove there and I can tell you they really care about their dogs.
Everyone who sees her (veterinarian, trainers, veterinary techs, etc.) tells me that she’s a very well-adjusted pup and that her breeder took great care in the breeding and in socializing during her first two months of puppyhood.
They will have some puppies available later this year. They’re online. Just look for Sweet Cream Goldens in Washington. If you want a puppy, I suggest you put a deposit on one ASAP.
On their website, they have the breeding schedule along with the names of the sire and bitch. Also on their website, they have the descriptions of their dogs. When you click on the photo of a dog their health reports, or links to their health reports, are available.
They’re also receptive to emails and phone calls.
I wish you success in getting your furry new addition to your family, whichever breeder you choose.
 

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I got my beautiful Kyra from Sweet Cream Goldens. Heather and Bart really worked with me and addressed all my concerns. I would definitely get another puppy from them.
They’re located a few miles out of Spokane, WA. I drove there and I can tell you they really care about their dogs.
Everyone who sees her (veterinarian, trainers, veterinary techs, etc.) tells me that she’s a very well-adjusted pup and that her breeder took great care in the breeding and in socializing during her first two months of puppyhood.
They will have some puppies available later this year. They’re online. Just look for Sweet Cream Goldens in Washington. If you want a puppy, I suggest you put a deposit on one ASAP.
On their website, they have the breeding schedule along with the names of the sire and bitch. Also on their website, they have the descriptions of their dogs. When you click on the photo of a dog their health reports, or links to their health reports, are available.
They’re also receptive to emails and phone calls.
I wish you success in getting your furry new addition to your family, whichever breeder you choose.
Thanks so much, Kathryn!
 

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Actually, I went to go see could I post links and it appears Kathryn has been told before that there are not full/correct clearances on any of the girls @ Sweet Cream. I'm sure she loves her puppy but if you want a health record you can hedge your bets with it is not found there.
 

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Sweet Cream (Heather and Bart Orth) are not breeders who I would send anyone to for a puppy.

Sweet Cream Maggie Doll - bred on hip and elbow prelims, and hasn't had finals done. Practitioner heart exam (deficient), and no public eye exam.
Lima Adekatos Poland - import, bred before she was 2 years; no public hip or elbow exams, so likely bred on FCI exams done before being imported. Deficient practitioner heart exam, and no public eye exam.
Sweet Cream Stella Hope - bred before she was 2 years old on prelim hip and elbow exams that have not been redone; deficient "specialist" heart exam (should be cardiologist), and no public eye exam.
Sweet Cream Opal Moon - has been bred and has only a deficient practitioner heart exam, no public hip, elbow or eye exams.
Golden Romance Martini Bianco - male, one of her imports. He has hip and elbow exams, a deficient practitioner heart exam, and an expired eye exam (from Jan 2019).
Shiny Moon Of Sleepsong - another import, likely bred on FCI hip and elbow exams. No public eye exam, and a deficient practitioner heart exam.

Would anyone like to see more reasons why this breeder is not considered a reputable breeder?
 

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Hello. We found a breeder who seems to have well-behaved dogs and she seems to breed a few times a year.
We put the deposit down but aren’t reconsidering as much as just wondering what we should be asking. We’re new to this.
I know this post is months old, but I’m curious as to why you asked in this forum only after you put down the deposit. Then went on to say you “make no apologies”. It seems like such a trite response when you broached the subject in the first place. Plus, you seemed to discount the responses regarding genetics. Genetics is a very real and important consideration with Goldens. So many responders would not be so concerned if experience with these genetic issues were not real and did not occur often. They do often occur. Too often. Often enough that it’s not something to be casual about or to dismiss.
Hopefully, you will have this dog for more than 10 years, yet it appears you didn’t seek advice from a Golden Retriever forum or research genetics before you made your deposit.
Then, when people gave you their opinions, for which you asked, it seems that you discounted them. If you’re not prepared for the answers and discussion, it’s best not to ask in the first place.
I hope you have have a wonderful and healthy puppy and that you enjoy many years together.
 

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Actually, I went to go see could I post links and it appears Kathryn has been told before that there are not full/correct clearances on any of the girls @ Sweet Cream. I'm sure she loves her puppy but if you want a health record you can hedge your bets with it is not found there.
I researched them diligently. They are reputable breeders. I can see that you’re a competitor. I also had people who I know and respect research them - people who work with Goldens. I received a lot of advice before putting down my deposit. I had professionals review their site. Yes, their dogs are from Europe. Just because they’re from Europe does not mean they’re from mills. Cream Goldens are popular in Europe and Canada, more so than in the US. You may not be familiar with EU clearances.
 

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The point is that the dogs are in the US and should meet the standards for the country in which they reside and produce. They do not.

The fact that you are satisfied with breeding practices that do not meet the minimum standard for breeders in the US is a choice you have made, apparently with a complete understanding of the deficiencies. That is a choice that each buyer should get to make for themselves. Your subjective assignation of the term reputable when the breeder discussed is behaving outside of the object standards for health, should not rob others of that informed choice. Anyone who is looking for a reputable breeder, meaning one that follows the ethical standards for breeding set forth by the breed club in the US, will want to know that this breeder is missing (as has been covered in detail above) on several points.
 

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I don't think Prism is in the same competition category with Sweet Cream Goldens at all. She has buyers in line for years worth of puppies because of the quality of her program. She loves the breed and her comments focus on if the Golden Retriever Club of America's Code of Ethics is being followed by having core health clearances reported to a public database like OFA. Even "Cream Goldens" should have hip, elbows, heart and eye reports that can be verified on OFA. It's a do or don't do thing that determines what most here consider reputable
breeding.
 

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I can see that you’re a competitor.
LOL! I'm sure Prism would be THRILLED if every breeder out there started doing all of the recommended health testing as a MINIMUM requirement before breeding goldens. I don't think any golden breeder worth their salt is worried about "competition." They are more concerned about the welfare of the dogs/puppies and preservation of the breed.
 

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I researched them diligently. They are reputable breeders. I can see that you’re a competitor. I also had people who I know and respect research them - people who work with Goldens. I received a lot of advice before putting down my deposit. I had professionals review their site. Yes, their dogs are from Europe. Just because they’re from Europe does not mean they’re from mills. Cream Goldens are popular in Europe and Canada, more so than in the US. You may not be familiar with EU clearances.
It’s not a matter of the dogs being from Europe or European countries having different guidelines on clearances. If the dogs are being bred here, they should have clearances done here in accordance with the GRCA code of ethics. And I don’t trust breeders who import adult dogs, it’s like a shortcut to start breeding right away instead of raising up the puppy yourself. In addition, generally any normal breeder would want to keep a promising young adult dog THEMSELVES, not ship it to the US. So, any dog that gets sent to the US as an adult is most likely either not good enough for the breeder or exhibitor to want to keep it themselves, or being sold by someone who’s in it for the $$$$ of selling a “proven stud” or a dog that is already a champion (in Moldavia or whatever tiny country). Plus, when it comes to importing dogs as adults, a lot of these less than great breeders only rely on FCI clearances done at 1 year, which 1) is considered underage in the US (where hip and elbow x rays must be done when the dog is at least 2 to be final) and 2) there’s not a publicly available database for FCI clearances so there can be issues with forged documents.
 

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I don't think Prism is in the same competition category with Sweet Cream Goldens at all. She has buyers in line for years worth of puppies because of the quality of her program. She loves the breed and her comments focus on if the Golden Retriever Club of America's Code of Ethics is being followed by having core health clearances reported to a public database like OFA. Even "Cream Goldens" should have hip, elbows, heart and eye reports that can be verified on OFA. It's a do or don't do thing that determines what most here consider reputable
breeding.
Understood. Also understood that Cream Goldens are not accepted AKC standards for showing at official AKC shows, which is strange because my pup and her bitch and sire are all fully AKC registered. She can’t be shown here in the US because her coat color is too light. Cream Goldens have no such restrictions anywhere else in the world.
I even consulted with a few AKC representatives who told me that this is an unfortunate restriction enforced by AKC and that it does not in any way mean that Cream Goldens are deficient. In fact by global standards, they are highly regarded.
Living in Northern California, I also consulted with vets from UC Davis in addition to my own vet.
I’m a scientist in research, so I always research things in detail and take all considerations in play. After all issues were considered, the consensus is that AKC does not officially (for purebred shows) recognize creams only because of their color.
I have no interest in showing here in the US. Many years ago I raised Goldens. Those with the coloring that adheres to AKC regulations. I know the difference.
If someone wants a show dog here in the US and/or only wants one that meets the color restrictions for showing here in the US, then go elsewhere. However, there are a few people in this forum who have Cream Goldens, so my opinion is that these dogs are respected and high quality.
I do not feel it is in the breed’s best interest that the AKC has this restrictive standard, nor do many both within and outside of AKC - both in the US and internationally.
My dog’s breeding (including both the parents pedigrees and health records) was researched by three different reputable veterinarians (I drove my husband crazy with all the research - but that’s another matter) who are familiar with both US and international standards. Their opinions and feedback - with their incredible knowledge and skill - are enough for me.
That’s fine if someone wants to stick with US and AKC standards. I have no problem with that.
I simply chose not to be so restrictive.
 

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The only disqualifications for the breed ring are bite and size. Any light colored dog can compete in AKC conformation if they have full registration. Those breeders simply choose not to put their dogs in the ring. And there are some fairly light dogs who've achieved a CH in the US, so I'm not sure where you're getting this information.
 

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Kathryn, posting sire x dam registered names would get me to believe your dog's parents meet the very low bar of the Code as far as clearances. And gosh- since the AKC piece you wrote is a completely inaccurate untruth, I'd love to know who @ AKC told you this. You supposedly 'met with a few' AKC reps- what??? That makes no sense. Where did you meet w them? There's usually only one @ a dog show and regionally as well. Have you ever been to a dog show? Obviously not. Plenty of light coated Goldens are entered. If they do not win, it's because there is a structurally better dog in the ring.

PS- nothing would thrill me more than ALL breeders of Goldens to do bare minimum clearances. Please look at post #27- THIS is the issue with this sort of breeder. Don't muddy the waters on competition/cranking out puppies, competition is a good thing. When we do not compete we do not even know what our dog looks like in comparison to others- another issue w this breeder imo. CH in a mini-eastern Euro country means absolutely nothing to anyone whose dogs actually compete.
 

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@KathrynH
Understood. Also understood that Cream Goldens are not accepted AKC standards for showing at official AKC shows, which is strange because my pup and her bitch and sire are all fully AKC registered.
****

This comment makes me think that you are under impression the "Cream Goldens" is a separate breed, they aren't, they are just a light shade of Golden Retriever.
879803
 

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Any shade of Golden can show and win in AKC assuming the dog is of correct structure and high quality. Here are two very light gold dogs of European breeding that come easily to mind that are AKC Champions.
Eddie - Pedigree: AmGCH CanCH Scandal Lover De Zelkova CGC
Sunnie - Pedigree: Am/Can CH Golden Graham's Forever Flowering Sunnie CCA

The whole “I can’t show my dog because of color” (dark or light) myth is usually perpetuated by those whose dogs lack of quality would see them unable to compete in the ring regardless of color.
 
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