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Working versus show Golden Retrievers

Discussion in 'Gundogs & Gundog Training' started by Siskin, Nov 21, 2012.


  1. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    We have an elderly Goldie at the moment who seems to be trying to beat the record for being the oldest Goldie on record:) I have started to think about a new pup when she goes to the great dog kennel in the sky and I have been looking at the working goldies. I have had three GRs over the years, the first was what I feel as a more old fashioned gr. her father was Westly Samual and many other other older famous kennels were in her pedigree. She was a great dog, sound, gentle, a good golden colour and great with my kids. The next was almost white and really lived up to being a dumb blonde and although she lived til 14, she suffered badly from arthritis in the spine and her back legs slowly became unable to support her. The current dog has been a character to say the least and has not been good socially with dogs and strangers, rather out of character for a GR, hard work, but worth the effort. All three have come from show stock although the current dog has working dog on the female line. I like the darker colour of working dogs and the less profuse coat, but my main worry is that a working dog may be too much for us now. We are in our early sixties, still pretty fit and active and experienced owners of GRs as well as other breeds. Are the working line a more active dog? Would we be better to look at the show lines which tend to be quieter? Health is also a big factor in our next dog, hip scores etc will need to be good, and I assume a working line should be a better put together dog as they need to be fit and strong to work in the field.

    I hope some of you may be able to answer some of these questions. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    Personally unless you are going to work your Goldie in some way, I'd stick to the show lines.

    There seems to be a move in the show world back to darker coats and slightly smaller build :) :)

    If you want to find a decent breeder, Tashi is the one to speak to on here :)
     
  3. shamykebab

    shamykebab PetForums VIP

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    I would actually say the opposite. A working-bred Golden doesn't necessarily need to be worked, as long as it's given an active lifestyle and something to occupy it's mind. Having said that, some working-bred dogs are very laid back - it's all in the breeding.

    Make sure you find a reputable breeder, for as well as good health scores you'll also want a dog with an excellent temperament. There are a few Goldens about (as with other breeds) who tend to be, shall we say, bad-tempered.

    Breeders to consider amongst others are Holywear, Copleybent, Gaytonwood, and of course Gortons, and Castlemans.
     
  4. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    I agree with Shamykebab, I dabble with training my dogs, have had one of them out picking up very lightly before, my three Labradors are show bred, my other girl is a flatcoated retriever, she's very much dual purpose, her uncle is producing a fair smattering of progeny that are having a good go at competition, she is by far the most biddable out of my four retrievers.

    I don't think show bred dogs are necessarily more laid back, nor do I think working dogs are necessarily too hot to handle. I'd ask for recommendations from those who know of more laid back/biddable lines from either show/working, and perhaps try and meet one or two to see what you think.

    I actually spoke to a lot of people about my flatcoat and her breeding before seeing her, and as soon as I saw her and her mum and siblings, I knew she was right for me.

    Good luck in your search, another kennel name to mention for the working side which I can't see was mentioned is Canburne.
     
  5. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    Thank you for the help so far. I will check on the kennel names noted. Do tend to check pedigrees and I agree about health.
    I've not been quite so worried in the past and just checked out local kennels for a pup, but I do feel that GR health isn't what is was. There seems to be more skeletal problems now and I want to make sure our next pup is as healthy as we can manage. I am happy to travel a fair distance is necessary. Of course skeletal health doesn't mean your dog will be fit and well all it's life as there are plenty of other things that could go wrong, but I just have started to feel less inclined to go for a purely show line. Any recommendations for good breeders will be gladly accepted.
     
  6. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    Loops forgot to say. How is it best to get hold of Tashi? I see from forum rules that I have to have 25 posts before I'm able to use the PM feature
     
  7. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    She's seen this thread so if she's not too busy she may get hold of you.
    Otherwise just go and say hello to a few new people on the introduction section to up your post count. :)
    Will only take a couple of minutes ;)
     
  8. springerpete

    springerpete PetForums VIP

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    Hi, noticerd in your post that you had a little concern about your age, as long as you're fit age is just a number. I'm 68, attatched are some pics of my young goldie, Flyte, now 16 months or so, who I work picking up on a local shoot, I also have a Springer who also works as a 'Beating dog.
    I have a theory that it's my dogs that keep me going, I cant get ill 'cos they need to go out.......
    I agree with everyones comments but I will say that dogs from pure out and out working lines are just that bit more driven and, I believe, may need slightly more stimulation as far as training regimes are concerned. Good luck with whatever you choose. Pete.
     

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  9. luvmydogs

    luvmydogs PetForums VIP

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    I know of a litter right now that has mostly working but also show lines in it. Mum is SO laid back, lovely.
    Copleybent also have a litter afaik, I think pure working lines.

    ETA: Both litters are from health tested parents. :)
     
  10. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    Ohhhh don't tempt me. Our golden oldie has several medical problems including an enlarged heart, plus being a grumpy old soul, so we're not planning on getting a pup yet - just thinking ahead. But I will keep a note of the kennel name. The laid back mum one sounds interesting........ No mustn't.

    We also are planning to take a couple of trips to Canada and New Zealand in the future. As these will be at least six weeks each, I don't want to kennel a young dog for that long. So I fear there is going to be a break between dogs which will be very hard to deal with.
     
  11. Kinjilabs

    Kinjilabs PetForums VIP

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    My Bertie is Gortons sired, and his health tests and temperament are excellent:D
     
  12. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Just to note for interest, if young pups contract and survive parvo, this can cause joint deformities and an enlarged heart.

    I only know as someone who bred a litter suddenly had a couple of them die, literally drop dead. They were autopsied and found to have an enlarged heart, one of the litter had started having health tests done, and had come back with very high elbow grades, and I think one pup out of those that survived has an enlarged heart, the rest had no problems whatsoever. It was only after picking up on the heart and joint problems together, that it was linked back to a bout of sickness the pups had suffered when quite small, and it was known that parvo was in the area.
     
  13. Willylee

    Willylee PetForums Junior

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    Working or show, that is the question? What a question?
    Look at the parents, both of them.
    Check their age and what they can do, ie elasticity, flexibility.
    Shamykebab has the right idea mind. Show dogs are bred for looks, working dogs are bred for, well, work and as such no one wants a dog with muscle, joint or other problems prematurely. Their breeding therefore is aimed at longevity, capability and trainability.
    You state your age as being similar to mine and I have six working dogs, two are three years of age now.
    A pup will be a bit of a handful for you....if you let it.
    No...I don't mean you have to suppress it, but if you remain calm, so will the pup.....most of the time.
    First thing in the morning, just simply let it from it's cage (cages are good for lots of reasons)out to empty, don't talk to it!!!
    Keeping calm yourself and the pup will develope a similar frame of mind and temperament. There are exceptions of course, but other than a mental problem, pups have never been a problem.
    Working dogs are bred to be trained, to work as a team with it's handler and in my experience they settle to their "job in hand" far quicker than a show bred aniomal.
    Before the show fraternity starts shooting at me, I have trained show bred labs for the field and had some good results, BUT rarely do they reach trial standards.
    Working dogs are bred to work in unison with humans and work in your case is that of a companion. Stimulate it mentally and you will have a great pal. Train it from your armchair to bring the phone, inform you when it's ringing, or someone's at the door, pick small items off the floor and so on.
    Go on, you know you want to, nothing better than the gorgeous smell of a pup. Have fun.

    Willylee
     
  14. Hairydogs123

    Hairydogs123 PetForums Newbie

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    Love reading all your comments and certainly something to think about...
    I have 2 working goldens, my boy is now 10 and still loves life my girl is 7 and we still have 2 walks a day and have the obligatary 2 hr walk am.. (although my boy is getting slower by the end of the walk and has become a seriel sniffer..) I think its personal thing what you would want as to your own personal lifestyle would dictate and what you want out of a dog. I have a friend who has 2 Castlemans and just gorgeous, I would love a pup and to work it but at the moment Im going to be sensible and stick with my two. I also help with Golden Rescue from time to time here there seems to be more show lines than working.
    And have to say I do think its all in the genes we were lucky we saw both of our two Mum & Dad my boy is the image the Dad and has a similar personality,so guess we were lucky.?
    I love the breed but when one of ours goes to the kennel in the sky another will come into our home but until then....
     
  15. GoldenRetrieverman

    GoldenRetrieverman PetForums VIP

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    Looking at the mating inbreeding coefficient prediction values on the show lines where i got my dog from, her score very high at over 12%! having checked previous mentioned working golden retriever breeders on this thread, one litter i checked was just 0.3% coi! Is the kennel clubs prediction accurate? because if it is i will seriously be looking in at the working lines for my next golden.
     
    #15 GoldenRetrieverman, Oct 18, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
  16. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    Wow this is a blast from the past, my first ever thread:D
     
    Torin. and GoldenRetrieverman like this.
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