Choosing Breeding Stock

After many years of indepth involvement with  American Golden Retrievers, I had absolutely no plan, nor any desire, to return to the arduous pastime of loving, training, showing and breeding Golden Retrievers again, until I saw our Angelo’s pedigree over a year ago.

If you are a pedigree fan, which I believe means that you are inherently devoted to a given breed, you simply cannot pass up the chance to acquire either a dog or a bitch by the great Ch Ashbury Angel Heart, much less out of a Lislone Garbank bitch.  In this case, Angelo’s dam is also the daughter of the 2015 World Winner Tramin Arni Joy, a magnificent product of Tramin’s pairing of two Glen Sheallag foundation dogs.

Angelo’s pedigree is, in a sense, a narrative of commitment to the Golden–in this case, as UK Goldens conform to the UK Breed Standard, which differs quite a bit from the American Standard.  More than those things, his pedigree is packed with the greatest Goldens who have ever lived.  Moreover, at a minimum, the dogs and bitches in the pedigree have hip and eye certifications for many generations.

This is my rule of thumb. Am I breeding not for the money, and certainly not for the setbacks, crises and unforeseen emergencies, but to preserve, sustain and exceed the two individuals I am putting together?  No one should breed without these goals in mind

Long before I acquired a well-pedigreed Golden, I had poured through books on the Golden and undergone mentorship by a great Colorado show kennel.  It was blind luck that I brought Gold Rush Sevilla into Colorado in 1994; see the Gilded Peak page for stories of our early years.  .

Myths vs. Reality

English Cream Golden Retrievers seem very exotic to the uninformed, and right now there are at least 200 breeders in America and many in Canada who produce fluffy cream-coated  puppies.

Not all of these breeders, however, are trustworthy.  Not all of them have acquired through deep focus and study, a sense of how the English Golden is put together, how and when European Goldens came to North America, and who the best, most ethical breeders are.

Beware of huge breeding operations, no matter how state of the art–great numbers of dogs are always about money, and many people are taking advantage of the general public’s naivete.  Right here in Colorado  are big USDA-inspected kennels with up to twenty bitches and numerous sires on-site.  The people who run such kennels have been known to refuse to permit anyone to reverse limited reservation in order to campaign a beautiful dog.  Caveat Emptor.

Do not be seduced by photos of beautiful puppies– educate yourselves in the art of stacking the puppy to ascertain correct conformation and a beautiful head.  Ask about the health history of the parents, demand paperwork/evidence of genetic testing. An educated buyer is one with questions people are eager to answer. Buy from someone who can show you his or her bloodlines in others’ pedigrees–a test of how that breeder is viewed by even the most nose-in-the-air AKC breed club fanciers.

English Creams are not a separate breed; nor does the breed require that all dogs be cream.  This shorthand for dogs and bitches imported from Europe and elsewhere abroad should be viewed only descriptively.  For English is a look, a type, of Golden, if you will.  And Cream is merely a coat color.

Some people importing “English Creams” have convinced a gullible public that such dogs are rare, and therefore cost more than American Goldens.  The going rate for a Ch-sired American Golden is about $1500.00.  Numbers of English Cream breeders have been capitalizing on American puppy hunger and ignorance, when they themselves have scant information on the breed as a whole, and on bloodlines, type, conformation.

You will fare better importing directly from Europe yourself and pay far less for a quality dog than patronizing most U.S. English Cream breeders.  Contrary to various opinions, eastern Europe has a number of illustrious breeders who show and breed sparingly.  You can import from a top kennel for between $2,000 and $2500.  Join the groups on Facebook–listen and learn and you will be led to a smorgasbord of litters.

To me, it is important to tell you who your puppy is.  I want y ou to know why he is unique, what his bloodlines are, the accomplishments of his immediate family.  For only when you understand that you are buying progeny from Golden Retriever royalty and further, from health tested parents, will you feel comfortable trusting a breeder and paying her reasonable price.