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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We have narrowed our search for a puppy down to two breeders. For various reasons, I am struggling with which breeder to go with. I would appreciate some thoughts that will help us (mainly me) make our choice.

Both breeders breed a similar "look" of golden retriever.

Breeder A is a well known breeder of golden retrievers with a large operation. Most dogs live in a kennel area. Puppies are also raised in this area. I believe they follow good breeding practices. All dogs have appropriate clearances. They didn't really ask us many questions, but know we have had golden retrievers in the past.

Breeder B is a smaller home operation. All dogs live in the house, and puppies are raised in the house. They required an on-line puppy application questionnaire, as well as a meeting prior to the litter being born. There will also be a meeting with us as the puppies are older, to determine which puppy will go to us. Both male and female have appropriate clearances. This breeder has used breeder A stud dogs many times in the past, in fact, the female has a number of breeder A's dogs in her lineage.

For both breeders, this is a repeat breeding of the same dogs. I am assuming that they liked the quality of dogs that these pairings produced. Both are in the same price range. Both are roughly the same distance from our home. I believe there will be more follow-up with breeder B than A.

Neither are show litters. Our dog will be primarily a family dog, but I do plan to do obedience and agility as I had in the past.

I realize that they sound fairly similar and that we should probably go with the one that we seem to prefer. From what I have posted, is there anything I am missing, or is there something I've posted that could lead me to one vs the other?

Thank you to all who take the time to read my post and respond.:)
 

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Being raised in the house is a deal breaker if all else is equal.
 
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now Mom to Kiwi
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Breeder B would be my choice. I like that they want to meet you prior to agreeing to place one of their puppies with you, also like Sally's Mom said them being raised in the house is important.
 

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Just to throw this out there, if neither are "show litters" did you ask them why they breed their dogs? Even if it isn't for show IMHO there should be a reason....
 

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Kate
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Just throwing in something else that I base my decisions on...

How do you feel about the breeders themselves? Do you get along with them? Which one do you personally have a better feel about? Somebody you will feel comfortable emailing and calling with questions down the road.

And how do you feel about the dogs? Even dogs who LOOK alike or come from the same lines can be completely different based on how they have been handled and raised. And I think some of that has an early impact on the pups. And it does matter if you are getting an obedience or agility dog.

The kennel situation might be good or bad... <- I used to be completely against any kennels, except we dealt with a breeder whose house was dirty, insane, chaos (dogs barking nonstop, puppies peeing everywhere in the house, etc) and dealt with a breeder whose kennel was quiet, clean, and organized.

My guy who came from a kennel situation was sitting by the door to go outside for potty... on the first day. And he never had an accident in the house. <- He was a very smart puppy and we were pretty experienced with non-repeating-earlier-mistakes by the time he came along, but the breeder did something right too.

Good luck in your choice.
 

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Frankly I'm not crazy about A or B. Sounds like they are both selling the same type of dog.. just that A has a lot bigger operation than B.

Why are you settling for a dog that is from a litter that isn't show quality (and I'm not just talking conformation)? Why would they even breed such a litter? I know that every pup in every litter isn't going to be show quality but isn't that the ultimate goal of any breeder? If not, whats the difference between them and a backyard breeder who is just in it for the $$$ that they will get by selling lesser quality pups?

Personally I think there are lots of small breeders (one or two litters per year) out there, with pups available, who strive to improve the breed with every breeding and are very choosy on who they breed their bitches to. Neither A or B sounds like this type of breeder.

Not sure why you are willing to settle.

P.S. If you tell us who the breeders are, I bet people here (who are very knowlegable about breeders) will be able to give you a better recommendation on whether to go with A or B or neither..
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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Given that obed & agility are near & dear to you...then conformation is critical...if they are not aiming for show pups, I would use caution with either....clearances are just the beginning.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you to all who have responded. I am at work, so I will clarify quickly :)

All dogs have their championship title (conformation). What I was trying to say, although not very well, was that neither litter was being bred for a specific reason. The dam and sire of both litter are only titled in conformation, although breeder A has produced more working dogs through the sire's line.

I don't feel comfortable mentioning either breeder's name on this forum. However, I can tell you, that both are mentioned quite positively on this board. There were a few inconsistencies with one of the breeders (which probably could be explained), which was our original choice, and why we went looking at others. Now I am "sitting on the fence", so to speak.
 

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Beware of Nestle Purina
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I have always preferred to purchase from breeders who raise their pups under foot. It is personal choice. Go with your gut. If your gut can't decide find another breeder.
 
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Thank you to all who have responded. I am at work, so I will clarify quickly :)

All dogs have their championship title (conformation). What I was trying to say, although not very well, was that neither litter was being bred for a specific reason. The dam and sire of both litter are only titled in conformation, although breeder A has produced more working dogs through the sire's line.

I don't feel comfortable mentioning either breeder's name on this forum. However, I can tell you, that both are mentioned quite positively on this board. There were a few inconsistencies with one of the breeders (which probably could be explained), which was our original choice, and why we went looking at others. Now I am "sitting on the fence", so to speak.
Well then I would go with breeder B ... for many reasons.

1. I prefer to support the small breeder just like I prefer to support the small business rather than the big box store.

2. I find customer support is usually better when dealing with small business.. and I suspect that may be the case with breeder B

3. I like to support breeders who raise their dogs in the home as members of the family rather than breeders who kennel their dogs full time... like livestock (assuming that the in-home living conditions are good)

4. Small breeder tend to do it for the love of the breed... large breeders tend to be more concerned with the $$$ aspect. ie. if a dog doesn't make the cut... he or she is gotten rid of. No pets allowed. Just seems too cold hearted to me.
 

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I think you should go with your gut. Which dogs do you like better? Which person do you feel a better connection with? If all of a sudden you found out Breeder A’s breeding didn’t take would you be relieved or disappointed? (Same with Breeder B.) Generally you can figure out what you want by doing that.

Are you sure the breedings aren’t being done for a specific reason? If all the dogs are finished champions, I would doubt the breeding is just being done for the heck of it. For example, our new puppy’s dam was bred to her sire to improve on the dam’s rear, overall substance/bone, height and coat. I was also hoping to get the sire's headpiece, but the dam's headpiece is already nice. But I doubt the people who bought the companion puppies from the litter would know that. I would ask before assuming. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think you should go with your gut. Which dogs do you like better? Which person do you feel a better connection with? If all of a sudden you found out Breeder A’s breeding didn’t take would you be relieved or disappointed? (Same with Breeder B.) Generally you can figure out what you want by doing that.

Are you sure the breedings aren’t being done for a specific reason? If all the dogs are finished champions, I would doubt the breeding is just being done for the heck of it. For example, our new puppy’s dam was bred to her sire to improve on the dam’s rear, overall substance/bone, height and coat. I was also hoping to get the sire's headpiece, but the dam's headpiece is already nice. But I doubt the people who bought the companion puppies from the litter would know that. I would ask before assuming. :)
Thank you everyone for the time you have taken to read my post and respond.

Both breeders have bred the dam/sire together in the past. The response I got from breeder A is that "if it isn't broken, why fix it". I believe both litters are meant to be more companion type puppies, although a male from a previous breeder A litter has gone on to achieve his championship (conformation).

My gut (and perhaps my common sense) is telling me one thing, my heart is telling me another.

I really appreciate everyone's feedback.
 

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Wyatt Earp
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They both sound fine. I would go with my gut and I also like to see both parents. That would be a big part of my decision. My Cody was a from a kennel breeder and I swear you could eat off their floors.....so don't dismiss because it's a kennel and not in home......
 

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Ack- just chiming in that I don't see any problem with breeding with the goal of producing nice, true to standard, companion pups.

It's exactly what drew me to the litter that produced my Lucky. He's from a Topbrass pairing of field lines x confirmation lines. I like to think of it as the best of both worlds, where the goal is a good all around dog that will make a great companion, conform to standards, and have the brains and the spunk to retrieve a bird or tackle an agility course if I want to do that. But if I don't, he'll still be happy with our daily walkies and the occasional swim.

However, that is NOT a breeding that anyone would expect to produce either a conformation champ or a field champ. Neither of which I wanted. I wanted a great companion dog. I was really happy to find someone reputable who does everything right and who is breeding for what I really want. That's not the same as 'settling' at all.
 

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Ack- just chiming in that I don't see any problem with breeding with the goal of producing nice, true to standard, companion pups.

It's exactly what drew me to the litter that produced my Lucky. He's from a Topbrass pairing of field lines x confirmation lines. I like to think of it as the best of both worlds, where the goal is a good all around dog that will make a great companion, conform to standards, and have the brains and the spunk to retrieve a bird or tackle an agility course if I want to do that. But if I don't, he'll still be happy with our daily walkies and the occasional swim.

However, that is NOT a breeding that anyone would expect to produce either a conformation champ or a field champ. Neither of which I wanted. I wanted a great companion dog. I was really happy to find someone reputable who does everything right and who is breeding for what I really want. That's not the same as 'settling' at all.
I agree with everything you said. My two girls were from similar breedings, from Topbrass, and they turned out to be terrific dogs, bright, happy, companion dogs, I think within the standard, not bred for the conformation ring, but as all around goldens. I don't think I settled for anything less than what I wanted either. And seeing as I have a male puppy coming home the end of January from a similar type Topbrass breeding, I certainly can attest to how satisfied I have been with my choice of breeders and the type of golden I want, a golden who looks good, can do my choice of dog sports, obedience, but also be terrific house dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ack- just chiming in that I don't see any problem with breeding with the goal of producing nice, true to standard, companion pups.

It's exactly what drew me to the litter that produced my Lucky. He's from a Topbrass pairing of field lines x confirmation lines. I like to think of it as the best of both worlds, where the goal is a good all around dog that will make a great companion, conform to standards, and have the brains and the spunk to retrieve a bird or tackle an agility course if I want to do that. But if I don't, he'll still be happy with our daily walkies and the occasional swim.

However, that is NOT a breeding that anyone would expect to produce either a conformation champ or a field champ. Neither of which I wanted. I wanted a great companion dog. I was really happy to find someone reputable who does everything right and who is breeding for what I really want. That's not the same as 'settling' at all.
Rob, you said it perfectly. I think both breeders are breeding their litters for the same reason, as you mentioned above. BOTH are reputable breeders, both produce excellent quality pups. A pup from either breeder will be a great all round dog that conforms to standards.

I am probably not giving all of you enough information as to why I am sitting on the fence, although I did allude to it earlier. There were some "inconsistencies" :confused: with information we were given by breeder A, about the sire of an upcoming litter. This breeder was originally my first choice, but with these "inconsistencies" (some found easily on the internet), I am somewhat hesitant to stick with them. We were originally interested in a pup from this litter, but changed our minds. There is another litter coming up that we are considering. This breeder is the more well known of the two, but more of the "big box" breeder.

I am not prepared to name either breeder :no:, as I can't be sure as to who is reading these posts.

Thank you all.
 
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