At this writing there are at least 500 citizens of North America who have gone into business breeding cream-coated British Retrievers– the accurate but often unwieldy term of art for our beautiful dogs.
We are importing the best dogs and bitches we can, thrilled to acquire some of the best bloodlines in the world. More accurately in Ardorgold’s case, I should say that we have imported one of each sex of Golden Retriever royalty, bloodlines hard to come by and that it is our responsibility to protect the many generations of hard work entrusted to us.
For there is a problem with this enterprise–even more than one problem . Many people who know nothing about the Golden Retriever– its origins and colorful history, the top influential bloodlines or the purposes for which it is bred, how it should look– its health and soundness issues et cetera, are turning puppies out many times a year, asking and obtaining around $3,000.00 for their puppies.
Goldens from abroad are accompanied by Export Pedigrees that in most cases are also Bills of Sale. These are beautiful documents. Then, many breeders are registering their dogs with the AKC, believed by most people to have some kind of prestige about it.
But in reality, to tell people your sires and dams are “AKC” means nothing. Anyone can register their dog with AKC these days, and then ask for more money on the puppy because it comes with its puppy paper, and states that one is the proud owner of a purebred dog.
The fact is that the Golden Retriever was developed in Scotland decades ago at a gorgeous Edwardian estate called Guisachen. Eventually the Guisachen dogs became the Yeo, Holway, and other bloodlines, and even further down the line, the Camrose, Combine, Nortonwood and Standfast lines. Forgive me for skipping generations and bloodlines here.
These became the first dogs in “The Golden Retriever Club” of Great Britain, whose site features what has come to be known as the “English” Golden Breed Standard, as denoted by its logo:
Thousands of Goldens of the FCI–Federation Canine Cynologique Internationale, Brussels, are also listed in their local kennel club and typically, when importing i.e. under cover of the Export Pedigree.
AKC, ever more full of itself and touting itself as the elite registry, keeps a database going back a number of years. However, so does the United Kennel Club, a greatly respected organization focusing on the purpose for which different breeds have been developed more than how a given dog or bitch looks trotting around the ring. Now thanks to the Internet, there are authoritative websites, k9data.com , and in the UK, the Standfast Database. Another pedigree database of chiefly European, Russian, Scandinavian and Slavic countries is in the works as well.
Those of us breeding our beautiful dogs are worried about flooding the market with gorgeous puppies until they become commonplace and worse–until they become regular habitues of animal shelters. We are trying to control over-breeding with the help of each club with a registry. But there are seemingly unlimited ways to falsify registration papers.
A registry is important. K9data is not a registry per se, but an invaluable database and resource for pedigree research. A registry is considered by some to be the proprietary database of a breed club. But a registry can also be themed, as is the case with the recently established “North American Imported Sporting Dog Association,” which keeps a record of hunting breeds brought to this continent and issues registration papers contingent upon agreeing to not sell breeding stock out of said imports to curtail the currently monsoon-level of interest in the “English Cream” Golden Retriever– a misleading term, as it implies a separate breed.
At any rate, k9data has in it thousands of dogs; it has become internationalized. Generally if you type in your puppy and his sire and dam you will have both a fourth and fifth generation pedigree, yours to print out and frame.
K9 Data posts the results of hip, elbow, eye and heart certification that are recorded in the Orthopedic Foundation Database as the OFFA at The University of Missouri; it also posts the DNA panel run by many breeders obtained to screen for other hereditary or congenital issues. Links to your k9data pages can be added to your website with the flick of a button, or you can harvest the html for your dogs from the database and display the whole pedigree on your site; the links are live so in a very real sense, you are inteRfacing with the site..
The principal reason to develop some kind of affIdavit of purebred status for one’s puppy customer is that most new owners are thrilled by their little aristocrat; they want proof of his or her status.
Ardorgold’s policy is as follows; We will provide you with copies of the parents’ Export Pedigrees and Affidavits of Lineage with a link to k9data, where we will have input the progeny of our dogs. We will also execute a Contract for Purchase and Certificate of Registration with you for $2500.00 per puppy provided that you agree not to breed. Most families and individuals don’t want to breed; we feel that this protocol is fair.
It is especially fair given that the current price for a puppy from imported parents is 3k and up and that some people have so lost sight of the need to be responsible that they pay thousands to an unknown breeder in India who has bred nice bitches to even nicer sires, and is brokering bloodlines–this is for-profit breeding, and it is a sin. We hope you will understand that our conscience keeps us from collusion with those who feel that the sky is the limit. We hope that our in house mechanisms for registration of your puppy will be meaningful and in accordance with being principled about having acquired Golden Retriever royalty. J.