POTENTIAL CONGENITAL ISSUES

Golden retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia, eye problems, and other maladies such as cancer. The goal of testing the parents of breeding pairs is to maximize the likelihood of healthy offspring. Although we do what we can, these congenital abnormalities still resurface from time to time. There are some things you can do to help minimize potential problems in the future:

·       Maintain pet insurance, so you can afford to catch problems early.

·       Until your puppy’s bones are completely formed around two years old, do not allow him to jump to or from high surfaces. This can stress the joints leading to arthritis, and dysplasia. Nutrition and regular moderate exercise are the most important factors in the good health, proper growth and development of any puppy. There are almost as many opinions about proper nutrition as there are pet owners, but suffice to say that high quality food will save you money in the long run.  Many veterinarians believe that dysplasia is highly environmental.

·       Golden retrievers have droopy eyelids which can catch small items such as grass seeds. These seeds can roll down under the eye and cause irritation. Watch your puppy closely for eye irritations as these problems are easily fixed if caught early, but extremely serious if not. 

POISONS

Many foods that you would eat are toxic if not actually dangerous poisons to dogs. Remember that dogs are not people. Human pain killers and artificial sweetener can KILL your puppy. Grapes and raisins are deadly. Depending on the animal, a quarter cup of grapes or raisins over the lifetime of the dog can shut down their kidneys. Chocolate is toxic, but it varies. Milk chocolate is very low in toxin, and even raw cooking chocolate requires a lot to make him sick, but why take a chance? Raw onions and many other things you would not realize, are toxic as well. Please puppy proof your house, maintain pet insurance, put plants out of reach, and research what you should and should not feed your pet. Stick with a good dry dog food and you will not go wrong.

Vaccinations:

Your puppy has had his first vaccinations, but you should understand that new puppies have very limited immune systems, and need to be isolated from other animals that have not received all immunizations. All immunizations must be administered as recommended by a licensed veterinarian. Strangers to the puppy should wash their hands before handling him or her to avoid transferring infections. Avoid areas where unvaccinated dogs may contact your puppy until all recommended vaccinations have been done, and have had time to work, at around three months of age.

SOCIALIZATION:

Time is of the essence to socialize your new puppy. Puppies need to be socialized by approximately four months of age or they may never learn certain social skills. They normally won’t receive all their basic shots until around three months. That leaves about one month for you to socialize him with other dogs so that the OTHER DOGS can teach him how to behave. One of the most important things he is taught by other dogs is called bite inhibition. He learns this skill by playing with other dogs. He has already learned much of it by playing with his parents and littermates, but must continue this schooling with other dogs a little longer.

Breeding and showing:

I cannot guarantee this puppy to have breeding or show qualities. At this early age we can only guarantee that the puppy is suitable for a healthy companion.  Your puppy may be suitable for breeding or showing but that cannot be evaluated with accuracy at this age. For that reason, this puppy is being sold with a non breeding agreement in place. If, once the puppy becomes two years of age or more, and shows no significant health or congenital abnormalities, the breeder would like to consider using the dog for breeding purposes. I would like to have it examined for genetic defects, and to include the dog in my own breeding program (with your consent).

Any puppies obtained from such mating would be the property of the breeder, but the buyer would be compensated for all reasonable pre-authorized costs related to the pregnancy, as well as the second pick from the resulting litter with a non breeding agreement, or equivalent value of a puppy, at the breeder’s option. Resulting puppies may be whelped and raised to eight weeks of age at the breeder or the buyers’ home, but the breeder will have final say. The whelping bitch will stay with the puppies at all times, even if temporary re-homing is required until the puppies are eight weeks of age.

If you are absolutely sure that you would not like to allow your dog to be used in my breeding program, I encourage you to have him / her neutered or spayed at the earliest recommended opportunity. Spaying before the first heat / maturity can lead to some medical difficulties though.