In the beginning of September we made the decision to get a new Golden Retriever puppy. Four years had passed since we lost our 14 year old Golden girl in 2008. At first we thought maybe it would be better to look for a different breed, so we wouldn’t have to be reminded of Nina too much. We had a look at other litters occasionally during the last years but eventually always ended up ogling at Golden Retriever puppies. We appreciate the characteristics of a Golden Retriever and always looked back at the wonderful times we had spent with Nina. Even though Nina wasn’t particularly bred for working, she was a freak when it came to retrieving, especially from water. She was a dedicated and fearless dog, jumping into frozen rivers, disappearing under waves in the ocean, or hunting for wild deer.
I started to look on the DRC (German Retriever Club) Website for current puppies but was in for a surprise when checking out the type of Goldens being bred. What I found were Goldens with short legs, sloppy backs, blocky heads, fur that almost reached the ground, heavy built and/or white Goldens.
Top left: Casper from http://www.countryacresgoldens.com/the-parents.html
Top right: Alice from http://www.littleflowergoldens.com
Middle: Blog by Retrieverman
Bottom right: http://yourpurebredpuppy.com
It seems, as if a lot of people develop a taste for the light cream colors, short legs and blocky heads. For more info, check out the Retrieverman‘s or Briton Golden‘s post about the development of the breed.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure those Retrievers are also lovely natured dogs but I was personally looking for the slimmer, more agile type.
Lately I heard of retrievers who don’t like to retrieve or swim, which would be a rather dramatic change of character from what we have been used to. So I came to read about the Working Line Retrievers.
Working Retrievers have a lighter built, longer legs and are more agile. Most of the times they are a darker gold and their fur is a little shorter.
Top left: Narla http://www.little-orchard.co.uk/goldbounty-golden-retrievers
Top right: Ru, Gemma and Sonny
Bottem left: Blitz and Hawk from http://www.redtail.com
Bottom middle: http://retrieverman.net/tag/field-line-golden-retriever/
Now these Working Golden Retrievers also have a higher energy level and need to be kept busy with hunting and/or dummy training and if you don’t they are likely to find ways to occupy themselves by digging up the garden, or chewing your furniture.
Since I want to get into dummy training and also appreciate an agile dog, I tried to find a Working Retriever breeder in Germany. I found two that currently have puppies and who still have a puppy available, as often they have been promised months in advance. Two calls later I sank in my chair. Both times the first question was: “What do you want to do with the puppy?” And when I explained that I don’t have a hunting license but I do want to do dummy training with her, the breeders didn’t want to sell their pup to me. Actually they were very unfriendly and I didn’t even feel like buying from a breeder like that.
Another week has passed and I found a website on which breeders advertised their pups. Eleven dark golden three-week old puppies were shown in the photo. The mother is a very dark Golden Retriever but no photo of the father yet. Location: Wilhermsdorf, near Nürnberg. I called my dad who was just on the 1500km way home from France and asked him whether he could have a look at the breeder, the puppies, the mother and the pedigree of the dogs. He wasn’t too impressed at the two hour delay but he went to have a look and take some more photos.
I really wanted to choose the pup myself but it’s a 5 hour drive one way, so dad had to do what he could.
He arrived home with photos of the three female Golden Retrievers, their pedigree and also a photo of the father.
We knew they were perfect. While the mother, Ilona von Schmiedorf, looks like a working type golden, the father, Arthos vom Königshof is international champion in the show and, more importantly, looks like a healthy and agile Golden. All health tests have best results, HD-A (HD 0-0) and ED-0.
Now we just had to choose one of the three females. Actually they look pretty much identical but after some consideration we went for the puppy with the purple collar. Since this is the breeder’s first litter, we chose a name starting with an A: Anna.
The only four week old Anna will need to spend another four weeks with her litter mates and mother while we are preparing everything at home to welcome our new family member on the 13th of October.
Boy, am I excited!