Before you even look at any puppies, learn about the breed.  Visit shows and obedience trials and even venture further afield to see Golden Retrievers working at a retrieving or tracking trial.  Talk with owners of Golden Retrievers.  Generally Golden Retriever owners are only too happy to talk about their chosen breed.

Additional information about Golden Retrievers is available from a variety of sources. There are many good books on the breed and information on the internet.

The Breed Standard

The Breed Standard is an important document.  It describes the perfect Golden Retriever in terms of his structure, size and colour.  Take some time to learn about the Breed Standard and good conformation.  A dog with good conformation is properly constructed.  Of course minor faults in colour or markings will not make any difference to a dog who is not competing in the show ring. 

Hereditary Problems

Learn about the hereditary problems in the breed, what examinations and certificates are available and what breeders are doing to minimise these diseases.  Consult your vet for additional information about these and other health problems.

The club recommends that no dog with a serious genetic defect should be bred from.  The Golden Retriever, in common with most dog breeds, is subject to some problems that may be passed on from parent to young.  These include;  Hip Dysplasia, which is a poorly constructed hip joint;  Elbow Dysplasia, caused by the incorrect growth of the elbow joint, several eye problems including cataracts and a heart condition called Subaortic Stenosis.

Poor temperament may also be a problem passed from the parent to puppy.

Before you select a puppy you should make sure that both the sire and dam have been x-rayed and their hips and elbows have been graded by an accredited hip scoring scheme.  All Golden Retrievers born after 1 January 2002 must have a hip certificate lodged with DOGS Victoria before registration certificates can be issued for any progeny.

The club also recommends that both the sire and dam have current eye certificates issued by a Veterinary Ophthalmologist.  Eye certificates are renewed each year.

A Heart Certificate should also be available certifying that the dog has no auscultatory evidence of heart disease.

The minimum requirement for a litter to be listed on the club’s puppy list is that the sire and dam both have hip and elbow certificates, current eye certificates and clear heart certificates.

Due to the nature of genetics there can be no guarantee.  Responsible and dedicated breeders do the best they can to reduce the incidence of hereditary defects for the betterment of the whole breed.

There is more information on hereditary diseases on our Hereditary Problems page.

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