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Super mom! ;)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been lurking here for a while and really appreciate everyone's advice. It's wonderful to hear what makes a good breeder and what to look for in puppies. We have 2 Golden boys at home, one of whom has osteosarcoma and it's been 6 months since his diagnosis so we are officially on borrowed time and loving every minute he is with us. However, our younger dog is a true dog's dog, and has always been around another dog (often 2 other dogs when we used to foster.) We also have 2 young boys of the human variety who are 2 and 4. We debated when we would get another puppy for a while after McGwire's diagnosis and finally decided that we were ready to find one.

I thought I had found a great situation. The sire and dam were top notch with all of their clearances and a great history of clearances and champions. The puppies were to be raised in the home, in the kitchen, and all the signs were positive. Unfortunately, the puppies were born yesterday by emergency c-section and only 3 females made it. We are on the top of the list (after the breeder I guess), BUT my husband really wants a male. I personally don't care, and would prefer a female because of the fact that I am the only 'princess' in a house full of princes. :p: I need more pink in my life, even if it's only a collar! ha! I do like the goofiness of the boys and the eagerness to play and be a part of a busy life. We used to foster Goldens (before kids) and I can't say that I saw a real difference between the boys and the girls, but it's hard to tell how much of it was really the gender differences and how much of it was the extenuating circumstances of having an adult dog come into a rescue for all the various reasons. (We had abuse/neglect, puppy mill dogs, overwhelmed parents, owners who died, etc.) I've talked with the breeder about it and she's understanding, and suggested some other puppies that might be available, but I haven't had luck there yet. I really loved the dad, and he's been bred several times, but haven't actually connected with his owner yet.

So the question is: Do we go with a female dog from the right breeder or begin our search all over?

Other complicating factors are these:

  • We don't know how long McGwire will be with us (obviously)
  • We own a lake house which we go to often during the summer and a March puppy would have been good because we would have had house training well underway by the time summer came around.
  • My oldest son will likely begin kindergarten in the fall, though I don't know what that will actually mean when it comes to routine.
  • We live in the middle of no-where VA about 2 hours SW of DC, 2 hours from Richmond and I've not had any luck finding a breeder who is less than 3 hours away.
  • My husband wants to be able to pick out the puppy, rather than having it 'assigned' from the breeder. (I understand why breeders do this, but agree that there has to be some sort of connection to the dog, and since he feels so strongly, there's no wiggle room there.)
  • The dog will be mostly a pet, though I'd love to get into agility and/or obedience. Our second dog, Mickey would have been great at agility, but I had taken a job which often involved teaching evening workshops to teachers so I couldn't commit to doing it. I regret it and would love to do more with a dog since I am now staying at home with the kids.
If you've read this far, thank you! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Murphy's mom
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I really understand your situation. We had our previous golden die and Tucker (our one year old boy golden) was used to a two golden household. We got a second golden from the same breeder Tucker came from, but I know my husband was very definite that we needed to get another male....he always likes the "love you love you" teddy bear quality of the males we had. But I was worried there wouldn't be enough males and so I kept pushing DH to accept if there weren't enough males...a female. Because as so many breeders told me....with goldens either situation will work. I was ready with my arguments, but in my situation, there were plenty of males... thus we now have Murphy. Both get along great, but I don't doubt a female and Tucker would have bonded as well. (and DH would have bonded too...if I could have talked him into a female.)

Good luck in your decision!
 

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IKE- Canine Blood Donor
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Firstly, I'm so sorry about Mac. I must have missed his condition before. I personally like males and have had two. That said, there are many, many members who have females and couldn't be happier with their girls. I'd be more inclined to go with this Breeder and a female, if they are who you trust and feel comfortable with. Ike is a January baby and when we brought him home in March, the timing was perfect...warming weather, longer days to explore outside, and by the time summer arrived, he was old enough to enjoy our boat and the water.

Good luck with your decision. Maybe you could persuade hubby to meet the pups...I'm sure he'll fall in love with the females and you'll have your answer. :)

Almost forgot....when we went to visit the litter we picked Sam from, our hearts were set on a female. I'd had mostly female dogs growing up and for some reason never considered getting a male. Well, the females were spoken for so we ended up getting our Sam, the runt male. He was my heart dog and best friend. He's the reason we now have Ike and why I now love males so much...maybe a little girl will be your surprise heart dog.
 

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I am sorry about the diagnosis of McGwire. I have always loved boys but girls are just as loving to me. Maybe you can go and meet with the breeder and the pups to help make your decision. It sounds like you really are interested.
 

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When I got my first golden, I knew it had to be a girl. This was just based on the fact that I'd always had girl dogs. There was a male puppy that I liked when I went to see the litter, but I would not get a male, had to be a female. So that absolute decision was not based on much.

Fast forward to the puppy I just got, several dogs later, and it absolutely had to be a male. I was on a waiting list for over a year and a half, and I made it clear to the breeder that I would not take a female. I prepared myself for the year and a half to walk away from the litter, even though I had so much time invested in waiting for it, if I couldn't get a male. Finally, this summer, a different litter(different breeder) that I was very interested became available (with males!), and instead of waiting around to find out if the original litter would or would not have males, I went ahead and went for the sure thing. This decision of I absolutely have to have a male was based on me spending time with both genders and prefering the characteristics of the male over the female (plus I've sworn never to have two females at the same time again becauses I've dealt with two that wanted to fight to the death).

So, after all that explaination, what I am trying to get at is that the first time had no good reasoning behind it and the most recent time my reason was based on experience. So I would stop and look carefully at why it is you want a male and if you think the family would end up just as happy with a female.
 

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Super mom! ;)
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am interested, but the breeder is 3.5+ hours away, and I told her that I'd let her know something tomorrow. She had 5 people on a definite list (palpated 5 pups) and several others who were a maybe, if the other people didn't work out and she needs to let them know what is going on. Totally respect that process! :)

I'm a big believer in fate, and initially today, I thought that maybe we were meant to get a female, but as the day went on, I started to wonder if we are even supposed to get a dog now. Hmmm

Louisiana, why did you want a male so badly this time? What specific characteristics do you see differently between them?
 

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So the question is: Do we go with a female dog from the right breeder or begin our search all over?

Your husband wants to choose the pup; if he has his heart set on a male, and you can't convince him to consider a female, you might have to look at other breeders. As for us, we've had a male and a female, and we've found it to be a good pairing. We started out with our first golden Jake, nearly 13 years ago, then purchased Alli about 2 years later from the same breeder, then, when Alli passed away nearly 2 years ago, purchased Mac from the same breeder. Sadly, Jake passed away last August so we know have just our Mac (who's a girl).

We don't know how long McGwire will be with us (obviously)

Puppies are a lot of work; a new puppy will take time away from McGwire in a sense. When we purchased Mac, Jake was 11 years old, but still quite spry. He really started to push himself to keep up with her, I noticed, when he turned 12. My husband spoiled Jake and laid a guilt trip on me when I didn't include Jake in activities with me and Mac--but Jake was getting old. Only you and your husband and family know how you'll handle taking care of a puppy, with responsibilities of caring for a dog that is facing cancer. For some, the timing will be perfect--for others, not quite right.

We own a lake house which we go to often during the summer and a March puppy would have been good because we would have had house training well underway by the time summer came around.

Maybe--and maybe not--depending on the care you have to devote to Mac. Maybe you would fall behind schedule if Mac needed more of your care--and then again, maybe not.

My oldest son will likely begin kindergarten in the fall, though I don't know what that will actually mean when it comes to routine.

Could complicate things--could make things easier. You're right. You don't know.

We live in the middle of no-where VA about 2 hours SW of DC, 2 hours from Richmond and I've not had any luck finding a breeder who is less than 3 hours away.

Sounds like this breeder is the closest breeder to you? If so, then maybe in the interim you could foster dogs should Mac pass on and you decide that a puppy from this litter isn't right for you (but you still want to provide a friend for your other golden).

My husband wants to be able to pick out the puppy, rather than having it 'assigned' from the breeder. (I understand why breeders do this, but agree that there has to be some sort of connection to the dog, and since he feels so strongly, there's no wiggle room there.)

And I assume this breeder is willing to work with you in this manner (but I also have to assume that the breeder is going to tell your husband, if he happens to feel a "connection" to a certain pup that might be pick, that she as the breeder feels a deeper "connection" to the pup!) Then it's just another sign pointing to still working with this breeder, but perhaps passing on this litter, and if Mac passes on in the interim, foster during that time (since you've done that before) and put your name down for the next litter.

The dog will be mostly a pet, though I'd love to get into agility and/or obedience. Our second dog, Mickey would have been great at agility, but I had taken a job which often involved teaching evening workshops to teachers so I couldn't commit to doing it. I regret it and would love to do more with a dog since I am now staying at home with the kids.

Hopefully you'll be able to drive to some training classes/centers--the most successful in those endeavors (agility and obedience) do not train alone but train in groups.

Hope this helps!
 

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Loisiana, why did you want a male so badly this time? What specific characteristics do you see differently between them?
I find the females overall can be a little more moody and can hold a grudge longer. Males tend to be more of the "whatever you want mom, life is wonderful!"

In all honesty, if I were getting dogs strictly as pets the subtle differences probably wouldn't matter as much to me. But since I am very heavily involved in obedience competitions, the males suit my training style better.
 

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I am so sorry to hear about your McGwire's condition, but also glad to hear that he is doing well thus far. No one can tell you what to do, but I know if it were me, I would wait out the time I had left with my older dog before bringing the stress of a new puppy into the household. And like mentioned previously, if you can't find a puppy right away after his passing, maybe you can foster a dog. But being a golden retriever, your other dog will probably be just fine with lots of love and cookies :) Like you mentioned, with your husband wanting to "pick" the puppy, that is not going to happen with only 3 in a litter. Especially if any are destined to be for show or competition and they fit the bill. I can see where you would want a female though...I love my girls. The boys are great too obviously, but I get along better with females, of the dog variety that is! Good luck with your decision.
 

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I think you've received some great words of wisdom.

Have you thought of delaying a new puppy until Mac has passed? We lost our female, RaRa to hemangiosarcoma in Dec. 08. We weren't interested in another dog at the time, but looking back I would recommend waiting. While osteo and hemangio are quite different yet similar, I don't feel that she would have been able to take a rascally puppy around in her declining condition. Unfortunately, RaRa's cancer got the best of her rather quickly. We wanted her last time at home to be all about her. While your 2nd golden may be grieving along with you when Mac does pass, I think that this would be the time that I would consider another golden. Our second dog Casey did very well. Our 2nd golden (rescue, not puppy) came about 4 months after RaRa's passing.

So I guess my vote is for- wait for her next litter or wait for the stud to produce another litter! :)
 
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