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rec.pets.dogs: Golden Retrievers Breed-FAQ

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This article is Copyright 1997 by the Author(s) listed below. 
It may be freely distributed on the Internet in its entirety without
alteration provided that this copyright notice is not removed.  
It may NOT reside at another website (use links, please) other
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                             Golden Retrievers

     * Cindy Tittle Moore,
       with significant feedback and comments by
          + Bobbi Newman,
          + Helen Redlus,
          + Edell Marie Schaefer,
          + Susan Todhunter,
          + Plus the original Goldens mailing list, especially Eric
            Johnson, Barbara Kissack, Ed Morrow, and Paul Popelka.
   Handouts from the GRCA also contributed overall to this article.
   Copyright 1994-1996 by Cindy Tittle Moore.
   Revision history
     * Date Created: June 30, 1994
     * Additional information: December 15, 1994
     * GRCA comments and corrections added: March 26, 1995
     * AKC Standard removed August 5, 1995.
     * Comment on GRCA's proposed Code of Ethics added Oct 1995
     * Online information added Nov 1995
     * Minor typos, etc. corrected Mar 1996
     * General editorial cleanup, updating/correction of addresses,
       addition of new mailing lists, books, etc, Mar 1997
Table Of Contents

     * History
     * Characteristics and Temperament
     * Medical Problems
     * Grooming
     * Frequently Asked Questions
     * The Golden Retriever Club of America
     * The Golden Retriever Club of Canada
     * Breed Clubs
     * Hunting Clubs
     * Golden Retriever Rescue
     * Online Information
     * Bibliography
     * Periodicals

   During the nineteenth century, there was an ongoing quest among the
   British gentry for the perfect hunting dog. As a result, most of
   today's retrievers and many other hunting dogs have their roots in
   these early efforts. Many attempted this goal by acquiring and
   breeding good hunting dogs, using outcrosses to other breeds in an
   effort to bring in other desirable qualities. Sometimes this worked,
   more often it did not. That the exact origins of several of the
   retriever breeds is unclear is due to the somewhat haphazard or
   occasionally secretive methods used at the time.
   The origin of the Golden Retriever, in contrast, lies in the careful
   work of one man, Sir Dudley Marjoribanks (later the first Lord
   Tweedmouth) who also set out to breed a good hunting dog. A colorful
   folk tale has him buying Russian circus dogs, reportedly 100+ lbs., 30
   inches at the shoulder, pale blonde and extremely intelligent as the
   foundation for his breed. This fanciful story even appears in the
   GRCA's _Yearbook_ as late as 1950. However, examination of his Stud
   Book, covering the years from 1835 to 1890 and finally made publicly
   available in 1952, records no such purchase but instead details a
   careful line-breeding program unusual at that time and place for dogs.
   In 1865, Lord Tweedmouth purchased a yellow retriever "Nous" from an
   unregistered litter of otherwise black Wavy-Coated Retrievers. Nous
   was later bred with "Belle", a Tweed Water Spaniel, and the resulting
   litter produced four bitches that were instrumental to his breeding
   program. One of them, "Cowslip," he bred back to for over twenty
   years. Over the years, several outcrosses, to black Wavy Coated
   Retrievers, an Irish Setter, and later a sandy-colored Bloodhound
   occurred as he sought to improve and fix his new breed. The coat
   textures of the Goldens of this time reportedly varied, as did the
   color, which ranged from fox red to light cream.
   The Wavy-Coated Retrievers were the ancestors of today's Flat-Coat
   Retriever and they in turn were developed from crossing setters with
   the lesser St. John's Water Dog of Newfoundland. The Tweed Water
   Spaniel, now extinct, came from early water dogs crossed with land or
   field spaniels to develop Water Spaniels. These spaniels were
   developed in the Tweed River area and were described by contemporaries
   as a small liver-colored retriever ("liver" at the time signifying any
   shade from yellow to brown).
   The Kennel Club of England accepted the first Goldens for registration
   in 1903. At the time, they were registered as "Flat Coats -- Golden".
   By 1904 the first Golden placement at a field trial was recorded.
   Among the first shown in conformation were Culham Brass and Culham
   Copper. In 1911, they were recognized as a separate breed, at first
   called "Yellow or Golden Retrievers," but within several years the
   "Yellow" was dropped from their name.
   The first Golden in Canada seems to have been brought over by Hon.
   Archie Marjoribanks in 1881. The Canadian Kennel Club first recognized
   the breed in 1927. In 1928, Mr. M.M. Armstrong of Winnipeg took an
   interest in the breed and his Gilnockie kennel was started. At his
   death, Gilhockie was transferred to Col. Samuel Magoffin's kennel in
   Denver, Colorado, and from this he eventually imported his first
   Golden, Am/Can CH Speedwell Pluto.
   The Golden Retriever Club of Canada was formed in 1958 with the
   original name of the Golden Retriever Club of Ontario. In 1960 it
   became the Golden Retriever Club of Canada and to this day has grown
   Goldens have been in the US since about 1890, with the earliest
   recorded dog being Hon. Archie Marjoribanks's "Lady" in 1894. The
   first AKC registered Golden was Robert Appleton's Lomberdale Blondin.
   But there was no serious interest in them until about 1930 when
   Magoffin's import, CH Speedwell Pluto, captured widespread interest.
   The Golden Retriever was subsequently recognized by the AKC in 1932.
   At that time, they were a rare breed.
   In 1938, a group of Golden Retriever fanciers formed the Golden
   Retriever Club of America (GRCA) which is today among the largest of
   the parent breed clubs in the AKC, numbering over 5000 members.
Characteristics and Temperament

   Dogs in general are pack-oriented animals. They need to interact with
   their pack on a regular basis to be secure. Goldens in particular have
   been bred through the years to make an excellent companion for people
   - whether it is to sit quietly in a duck blind until it is time to
   retrieve or as a service dog or in any other capacity. Because of
   this, they, even more so than some other breeds, need to interact with
   their people. Goldens are particularly forgiving dogs and will allow
   you to make many mistakes while still wanting nothing more than to
   please and be acknowledged for it with a scratch behind the ear. As a
   testament to their desire to please, the first three dogs to obtain
   Obedience Trial Championships were Golden Retrievers.
   Because Goldens are such people-oriented dogs, it's important that
   they live WITH their owners. A Golden relegated to the backyard while
   his family is in the house is an unhappy Golden. It is imperative that
   your Golden be regularly included in family activities. Once fully
   grown, they are a robust dog and will enjoy many activities with you
   such as walking, hiking, jogging, hunting, etc.
   As is common with the retriever breeds, this is a breed slow to fully
   mature both mentally and physically. At a year of age, they will have
   their full height, but their full weight will be another year or two
   in coming. Mentally, they remain puppies for a long time (up to two or
   three years of age) and many retain a very playful and clownish
   personality for most of their lives.
   Because of their kindly and easy going nature, Goldens are a popular
   breed. Many people, in hoping to cash in on this popularity, breed
   Goldens without regard to their temperament or other good attributes.
   You should be very selective in picking out a puppy from a breeder.
   Your best sources for Goldens are from a breed rescue organization
   that carefully screens its dogs, or from a reputable breeder who is
   dedicated to the overall improvement of the breed. The choice you make
   now will be one you live with for the next decade, so choose
Medical Problems

  Hip Dysplasia
   The term hip dysplasia means poor development of the hip joint, and
   describes an inherited developmental disease in young dogs of many
   different breeds. Unsound hip joints are a common problem in many
   breeds, and hip dysplasia can be a serious problem in any dog that is
   to be trained for a demanding activity.
   Hip dysplasia may be diagnosed by x-ray between six months and one
   year of age, but this is not entirely reliable, and dogs intended for
   breeding should be x-rayed when fully mature. Two years of age is
   considered to be the minimum age for accurate determination of sound
   The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals is a organization with trained
   veterinarians that examine thousands of xrays and grade the hips they
   see. Dogs that are past a minimum age and have good hips are certified
   Fair, Good, or Excellent; hips that show signs of arthrosis and hip
   dysplasia do not get certified. Needless to say, both parents of the
   puppy you are considering should have OFA certification. The more OFA
   numbers in the pedigree (including littermates of the parents,
   grandparents, and previous offspring of either parent), the better off
   your puppy is. However, as the inheritance of hip dysplasia involves
   multiple genes, breeding only OFA certified dogs only _lessens_ the
   chances of HD in the puppies, not _eliminates_.
   Dogs not intended for breeding but who will be active in obedience,
   agility, hunting, etc. should be screened between 6-12 months of age.
   This way if there is a problem that shows up this early, you have
   several options for corrective surgery that are best done at this age.
   And if your pup shows no signs of hip dysplasia at this point, you can
   more comfortably continue with your planned activities without
   worrying that you are making a problem worse down the line.
   If your puppy has a persistent, unexplainable limp, he should be
   xrayed to determine if hip dysplasia or something else is the cause.
   On the other hand, Goldens and other retriever breeds often seem to
   have high pain thresholds and do not show signs of pain. An x-ray does
   not always show you how your dog feels, as many dysplastic Goldens are
   completely asymptomatic, especially when younger. Others that do
   display symptoms can often be helped with either medicinal or surgical
   intervention to alleviate the pain.
  Eye Disease
   Some Goldens carry genes for Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy
   (CPRA) which is a progressive deterioration of the light-receptive
   area (retina) of the eye, and may result in complete blindness at a
   young age.
   Hereditary cataracts are also common eye problems in the Golden
   Retriever. Examination by a Board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist
   is necessary to determine if the cataract is of concern from a genetic
   standpoint. If there are any questions, the dog should not be bred.
   Golden Retrievers used for breeding stock should be examined annually
   until at least eight years of age or longer, as hereditary eye
   problems can develop at varying ages.
   Dogs that have undergone examination by a Board-certified veterinary
   ophthalmologist and found to be free of hereditary eye disease can be
   registered with the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF). _Note
   that not all forms of cataracts disqualify a dog from getting a CERF
   number; you should ask to see a copy of the paperwork the vet filled
   out (the original is sent to CERF)._
   The breeder should be able to show you the paperwork on both parents
   for eye examinations. It's important to verify that the dogs are being
   examined annually and not just once. If the breeder has older dogs,
   ask if they are still being examined as well.
   Seizure disorders may arise from a variety of environmental factors
   including viral infections, other diseases and trauma. While an
   isolated seizure does not necessarily constitute a problem, dogs
   subject to recurring seizures should not be bred. Veterinarians can
   prescribe medication to control recurring seizures, however medication
   is not always completely effective. Epilepsy generally does not affect
   a dog's health or longevity, but all such dogs should be immediately
   neutered and not used for breeding stock: if it's hereditary, you
   don't want to pass it along to the pups'; if not, pregnancy increases
   the risk of a seizure, endangering both her and the pups' lives.
  Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis (SAS)
   SAS, a hereditary heart disease, is known to occur in the Golden
   Retriever breed. There is no registry for screenings for SAS, however,
   breeders have begun to have their dogs screened by Board-Certified
   Veterinary Cardiologists, and OFA is setting up a Heart Registry
   program as of mid-1996. The usual screening is auscultation (listening
   to the heart with a stethescope). If there is any suspicion in the
   cardiologist's mind, an echocardiogram is run to rule out any
   problems. The typical proof that a breeder has had their breeding
   stock screened for SAS is a letter signed by a Board-Certified
   Veterinary Cardiologist indicating that the animal is, in their
   opinion, free from SAS.
   Hypothyroidism is characterized by atrophy or malfunction of the
   thyroid gland. Clinical symptoms include obesity, lethargy, and/or
   coat problems. Affected animals may also have various reproductive
   problems including irregular or absent heat cycle and lack of
   fertility in both male and female.
   Diagnosis of hypothyroidism is by laboratory tests measuring levels of
   T3 and T4 (produced by the thyroid gland) in the blood. Treatment
   consists of daily administration of oral thyroid supplement. When
   treated successfully the prognosis is excellent and the dog's lifespan
   is normal. Lifelong thyroid supplementation may be required.
   Many clinically normal, healthy Goldens may test slightly under the
   accepted range of "normal" T3 and T4 levels and it is quite possible
   that the normal values for this breed may be slightly lower than the
   values used for the general canine population.
   There are some dogs that will have epileptic attacks when hypothyroid
   and stop seizuring when put on thyroid. While there is a link, the
   hypothyroid condition does not cause epilepsy, and the dog should
   still be monitored for epilepsy.
   Skin allergies are very common in Golden Retrievers and the offending
   allergens are numerous - a flea bite, airborne pollen, dust, mold,
   food. Symptoms can range from constant biting, licking and scratching
   to constant, chronic ear infections. In many cases diet can play a
   large role in the allergic dog. If you suspect you have an allergic
   animal, consult with a canine allergist to determine the actual extent
   of the problem.
   Allergies coupled with low thyroid levels are commonly seen and it is
   often worth testing for the other if you see the one in your dog.

   Because of the Golden's coat, you _must_ regularly groom your dog.
   Such grooming will also help reduce the amount of overall shedding and
   prevent painful mats from occuring.
   You should be sure to start grooming in puppyhood even when it's not
   strictly necessary so that he quickly learns to enjoy the process and
   not to put up a fuss.
   If you groom regularly, about once a week or two, the whole procedure
   will take about 1/2 hour. Brush a little daily while your dog is
   shedding and that will help control the amount shedded. Also if your
   Golden picks up burrs and other nasties while outside, take a few
   moments right away after you return to comb them out.
   Start with a thorough brushing. Use a pin brush on the featherings,
   chest, ears, and tail. Use a slicker on the rest of the body. After
   brushing, you can use a comb to remove more loose coat. Use this
   opportunity to check for fleas, ticks, and incipient skin problems.
   Goldens seem to be especially prone to hot spots. Inspect and clean
   ears at this time too, and trim your dog's nails.
   If you plan to bathe your Golden, brush him thoroughly first: wet
   tangles only become tighter and painful. Always use a shampoo
   formulated for dogs since shampoos for humans will dry the skin out.
   Goldens are double coated breeds and should not be bathed often to
   avoid losing the undercoat. In many cases, you can simply wash the
   legs and undersides if they are dirty, wait for the dirt to dry and
   brush it out, or (after brushing) rinse the dog off with plain water
   and no shampoo. A properly textured and maintained coat should clean
   up easily.
   Goldens with the proper coat texture should not have problems with
   matting if they are regularly groomed. However, a coat that is softer
   and silkier than the desired standard will mat easily: some owners
   have reported the overnight appearance of mats. Smaller mats may be
   picked out with a metal comb, if the dog is patient enough. Larger
   mats will need to be removed. Don't use scissors as it is too easy to
   injure the dog if he moves at the wrong time. Commercially available
   are mat breakers (check the mail order catalogs) which can safely cut
   through mats and make them easy to remove. Places to look for mats
   include behind the ear, along the feathering, especially in the rear,
   and the tail. For dogs with persistent problems, you may need to brush
   the problem areas more frequently, or even trim them to some extent.
   It may help to find a groomer you like and trust and ask them for
   advice. Since mats grow larger, and tighten the trapped fur, they are
   eventually painful to your dog. They also serve as an excellent area
   for fleas and skin irritations to start, so keeping your dog mat-free
   is important.
   Tips: Using a flea comb is a good way to check for fleas on your dog,
   remove undercoats, keep tabs on the skin's condition and minimize
   mats, all in one! If you get your puppy from a breeder, ask the
   breeder to demonstrate grooming techniques (most good ones will insist
   on doing so anyway).
Frequently Asked Questions

   _How much do they shed?_
     Goldens shed a lot. They have an abundance of coat as well as
     feathering and they will produce a more or less constant amount of
     hair in your house. Some of this can be alleviated with regular and
     thorough brushing, but if you have an aversion to dog hair in your
     house, a Golden will not be a good choice.
   _Are they good with kids?_
     Most Goldens are wonderful with kids, especially when they have
     been regularly exposed to well-behaved children as puppies.
     However, they are large and excitable and may easily knock children
     over if they jump up to lick their faces or propel a toddler along
     with a solid whack of their tails. Never leave very young children
     and dogs together unattended. Just as the dog could easily
     accidentally hurt the children, so could they hurt him by poking
     him in the eyes or ears or pulling his tail.
   _How much exercise do they need?_
     They are a sporting breed and as such need plenty of exercise. They
     will benefit best from regular periods of high intensity activity
     once they are fully grown. This includes a quick session of
     fetching, romping with other dogs, running along the beach and so
     on. You do need to be careful with puppies under 18 months or so;
     while they need exercise, it must not be forced or sustained. For
     example, you cannot take them jogging or biking with you until they
     are fully grown, or you will damage their joints
   _How about swimming?_
     Most Goldens love to swim, and it's excellent exercise for them,
     even when young. Introduce them to water and let them explore on
     their own. If they are unsure about the water, you might get in and
     swim out a bit to encourage them, but let them take their own time.
     Younger puppies might be more standoffish to water than they would
     be in another month or two; that's normal. Never toss a dog into
     water that doesn't want to go in! Sometimes a water crazy older dog
     is perfect to have along to help teach your dog to appreciate
     swimming. You might also try tossing in a toy for him to get, but
     be prepared to go out and retrieve it yourself if he doesn't!
     If you have a swimming pool, just remember that the dog hair in the
     pool will mean you need to clean the pool more frequently if you
     dog goes in it a lot. Be sure that your dog knows how to get out of
     the swimming pool; it's not a good idea to leave him unattended
     with access to the pool.
   _Do they bark a lot?_
     Not typically, but they can if they are bored.
   _How do they do in hot weather?_
     As long as they have access to shade, free moving air, and water,
     they will do just fine in the heat. Don't exercise them in the heat
     of the day, and be sure you have water with you when you do
     exercise them later.
   _They're supposed to be good in the obedience ring, aren't they?_
     Goldens are typically very eager to please their owners. This
     translates into their being both relatively easy to train for
     obedience and to having a good attitude in the ring. While not all
     Goldens make good competitive obedience dogs, you will see many of
     them in the obedience ring.
   _Are they any good as hunting dogs? In field trials?_
     Goldens do not do as well as Labradors in the field trials which
     are, in all fairness, biased toward the sort of work the Labrador
     was bred to do. But many Goldens make excellent hunters in real
     hunting situations.
   _Is there a split in hunting and show lines? What should I look for?_
     There is something of a split between show, field, and even
     obedience lines. As with any sport that becomes highly competitive,
     the specialization intensifies. With Goldens, that means the show
     dogs will have more coat and bone and be more laid back. The field
     dogs generally have less coat, more drive and be intensely "birdy"
     (interested in birds) with good noses. The obedience dogs often
     have less coat and a high drive but may or may not be birdy. You
     should consider carefully the differences between the different
     lines when picking your own dog out so that there are no surprises.
     Looking at the parents and any of their previous offspring is a
     good approach.
     But no matter which lines you are interested in, you should try to
     find the puppies that are well balanced with correct structure and
     conformation as the base. Whether you are interested in pet, show,
     hunting, etc., will determine other characteristics that you want.
     But an unsound dog does not make a good show dog, hunting dog,
     obedience dog, or pet!
   _Do males or females make better pets (what are the differences)?_
     Besides the physical differences, personal preference is probably
     the only big one here. Many people think that the males are
     slightly more "teddy-bear like" than the females. Neither should
     show any type of aggression (including dog aggression). If left
     unaltered, females will sometimes show a change in personality when
     they are coming into heat and when they are in heat. Most often,
     they seem to become a bit more clingy. During this time, they may
     not tolerate males sniffing around them or they may be extremely
     interested in males. If a male is left intact and used for breeding
     purposes and there is another intact male and a bitch in heat, the
     males might show some competitive aggression. However, neutered
     males and females will mostly differ in size (the females will be
     smaller) and their individual personalities. Both males and females
     are good with children. For your best predictor of personality, be
     sure to ask about and try to meet and interact with the puppy's
     sire and dam. There are tests that can be done to help determine
     the puppy's dominance, independence, and abilities. Be sure to ask
     your breeder about these. Also, socializing the puppy and general
     obedience training are always important.
   _What genetic screenings should you look for when puppy hunting?_
     The "big three" in Goldens are OFA, CERF, and SAS. The parents of
     the puppies you are considering should be cleared for at least
     these three. (For further information on these and other problems,
     see the Medical Problems section.)
     Other things breeders should or may take into consideration in
     their breeding stock include: Von Willebrand's, epilepsy,
     allergies, skin disorders. You should ask your breeder about these.
   _Why do your two Goldens look so different?_
     The Golden is supposed to be a mid-to-large size dog, suitable for
     sitting in a duck blind all day with, as well as small enough to be
     able to haul over the side of a boat all wet (after a retrieve).
     The standard has a range of acceptable sizes, for females it is 21
     1/2-22 1/2 inches at the shoulder, for males it is 23-24 inches at
     the shoulder, with an inch allowance either way. So, just in size,
     if you have a small female (which could be 20 1/2 inches, about 45
     pounds) and a large male (which could be 25 inches, about 95
     pounds) there is a BIG difference. Now, if you add variations in
     coat, which may come from the "type" of breeding, you can get quite
     a physical difference. Through the years, breeders have bred for
     different qualities. Some breeders are interested purely in
     physical appearance for show purposes. Since "big and hairy" looks
     stunning in the show ring and wins, these breeders have bred for
     those characteristics. Other breeders have bred only for field
     ability. Since the smaller (and often darker colored) dogs have
     been the ones that are faster and flashier in the field, these
     breeders have tended to breed for those characteristics. There are
     other types, as well, but these are the most common. Just because a
     dog is of the "conformation" type does NOT mean that it cannot work
     in the field, just as being of the "field" type does NOT mean that
     that dog cannot win in the show ring.
   _When do they grow up?_
     Physically, Goldens are completely mature by 2 years of age.
     Mentally, well, that depends on the individual, but usually not
     before 3 years of age. Even though Goldens are physically mature by
     2, you may notice changes in them well past that time. Remember, by
     nature Goldens are fun-loving and happy-go-lucky, so their
     perceived maturity may be less because of it.
   _What are hot spots?_
     They look like open, oozing sores about the size of a quarter or
     larger on the dog. Treatment involves keeping the sore clean and
     dry until it heals. Shaving the area promotes air circulation; both
     Sulfodene and witch hazel have been recommended as astringent
     cleaners. You should avoid ointments and other topical applications
     which would keep the area moist.
     Hot spots are often caused by allergies. This can be allergies to
     fleas (most common), allergies to food, or hormonal (including
     thyroid, adrenal, and even testosterone levels) imbalances.
     Goldens, especially those with allergies, seem to be subsceptible
     to hot spots. A book that is often recommended in helping to deal
     with allergies is Dr. Plechner's _Pet Allergies_ (see
The Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA)

   The GRCA was started on May 6, 1938 when it was incorporated in the
   state of Colorado. Today, the club is one of the oldest and largest
   breed clubs in the United States with over five thousand members.
   The GRCA has an open membership policy. Some clubs have restricted
   membership, but the GRCA decided that the way to promote the well
   being of the breed was by encouraging membership.
   Currently the GRCA is considering a Code of Ethics for its members.
   The proposal is being debated and the decision whether to adopt it has
   not yet been made.
   The GRCA has several programs:
     * A kennel registry. This was started in the late 1989's by an
       individual who was frustrated to discover that another person had
       adopted an identical kennel name. The kennel registry is not
       official, and registering a name doesn't automatically prevent
       duplication, but the fact that it's registered gets it published
       and people seem to actively avoid duplication. The registery
       currectly has over 950 active and historical kennel names.
     * The Versatility Certificate program.
     * The Public Awareness Letter (PAL). This is a pamphlet freely
       available from the club and is also mailed out to persons
       registering their Golden Retrievers with the AKC.
     * Club funding of a Public Education Coordinator (PEC) on Prodigy;
       PEC's on other forums may soon follow.
     * WC and WCX certificates for Golden Retrievers. These are basic
       tests of a dog's hunting ability.
     * Pamphlets and Booklets available:
          + "An Introduction To The Golden Retriever," 1987, $5 For the
            new or prospective Golden Retriever Owner. Information on
            selection, care, training, breeding and exhibiting. 75pp,
            illus. paperback.
          + "Yearbook", yearly editions, The GRCA puts together
            "yearbooks" that list dogs achieving titles. Those that
            achieve more advanced titles have pictures and 3-generation
            pedigrees. These are available from 1938 onwards.
          + A list of Golden Retrievers with CERF/OFA ratings.
  GRCA Membership Information
   Must submit a new member application to Deborah Ascher, 102 North
   County Road 21, Berthoud, CO 80513 (you can also request
   applications). There is an application online that you may print out
   and fill in at
     * Single dues $50.00 (includes dues, subscription to GRNews and
       application fee)
     * Family dues $55.00 (includes dues, subscription to GRNews and
       application fee)
     * _First Class Mailing of GRNews (optional): $25.00 additional_
   These figures are for those in the United States; dues differ for
   other countries, or membership may be optionally requested without the
   GRCA Secretary
          Linda Willard, c/o 9900 Broadway, Suite 102, Oaklahoma City, OK
          512-301-3499 (
   GRCA Breeder/ Puppy Referrals/
          GRCA Breed General Information/
          GRCA Breed Standard
          Brigitte Konrad 703-341-7356 or Ann Grundy 313-281-0814
   GRCA Public Education
          Gloria Dittman 708-438-3346
          Gloria is active on Prodigy and Internet and can be reached at

The Golden Retriever Club of Canada (GRCC)

   Brenda Wilson, Sec'y, Membership
   6266 Island Highway W., Qualicum Bay, B.C. V9K 2E4
   Fax: 604-757-9205
   John MacDonald, President
   The Golden Retriever Club of Canada's "So, You Want To Buy A Golden!"
   (a guide for the prospective Golden owner) and a list of breeders by
   province may be obtained by contacting Cheryl Whittle at 905-679-2267.
Breed Clubs

   Write or phone your national breed club for information on your local
   Golden Retriever breed club. Even if you are not interested in
   breeding or showing in conformation, contact with such a club will
   help you keep well informed and you may find other events of interest.
   If you are primarily interested in hunting or obedience, it's still a
   good thing to join the club to help reduce the separation between the
   different interests. The more diverse a club's members are, the more
   knowledge that is pooled, the more well rounded its dogs can be.
Hunting Clubs

   North American Hunting Retriever Association
   P.O. Box 1590
   Stafford, VA 22555
   Tel: 800-421-4026
   (they can direct you to clubs in your area)
   NAVHDA (North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association)
   Box 520
   Arlington Heights, IL 60006
   NSTRA-GD (National Shoot To Retrieve Association)
   226 North Mill Street #2
   Plainfield, IN 46168
   Quail Unlimited National Headquarters
   P. O. Box 610
   Edgefield, SC 29824-0610
   For information about starting your own local chapter, if one does not
   already exist in your locale, direct your query to Winona Overholt,
   Assistant Director of Chapter Development at the same address or phone
Golden Retriever Rescue

   There are many active chapters on Golden Retriever Rescue throughout
   the nation. GRCA publishes a list of rescue programs at the beginning
   of each year. You should also try contacting your local breed club for
   information as well.
   For a state by state listing of Golden Retriever Rescue groups the URL
   For a listing of Golden Retriever Rescue groups who can be reached via
   email, the URL is:
   Finally a list of Canadian Golden Retriever Rescue contacs can be
   found at
Online Information

  The Golden Retriever Mailing List
   You can subscribe to this list by sending email to with
                              subscribe golden
   in the body of your message (not the subject line) where you should
   replace (including the brackets) with your own real name. For example,
                        subscribe golden Cindy Moore
   The list is maintained by Wade Blomgren ( There
   are many active and knowledgeable people on this list and it has a
   very friendly atmosphere.
  Other Mailing Lists
   Mailing lists include:
     * WORK_GOLD, for those who seriously work and exhibit their dogs.
       Contact for an application to join.
     * The GoldenRetriever-H mailing list sponsored by Hoflin. Send email
       to with SUBSCRIBE in the subject
     * The Hunting Retriever mailing list. Send email to, with subscribe HUNTING-RETRIEVER in the
       body of the mail message to join.
     * The Gundog-L mailing list (gatewayed to rec.hunting.dogs). Send
       email to with subscribe GUNDOG-L yourfirstname
       yourlastname in the body of the mail message to join.
  The Golden Retriever WWW page
   There is a Golden Retriever WWW page which includes information on
   Golden Retriever rescue groups, breeders, pointers to other Golden
   Retriever related information available on Internet as well as
   pictures of several Goldens.
   The URL for the Golden Retriever WWW page is:
   The Golden WWW page is maintained by Helen Redlus
  Other Web Sites of Interest
     * Working Retriever Central, at
     * North American Hunting Retriever FAQ, at
     * Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, at
     * The Obedience FAQ, at

  Primary books
   Bauer, Nona Kilgore. _The World of the Golden Retriever: A Dog for All
   Seasons_; TFH Publications, Inc.; Neptune City, NJ; c1993; 480pp;
   indexed; illus.; bibliography; ISBN 0-86622-694-X.
     The most thorough book available to date on Golden Retrievers.
     Covers history, the standard, conformation, performance events
     (including but not limited to obedience, agility, field, tracking),
     working dogs (service dogs, therapy dogs, guide dogs, drug
     detection, arson detection, search and rescue, hearing dogs),
     genetic and helath disorders, the breed in other countries, and
     Golden rescue. This book is very well illustrated and has
     up-to-date information on present day dogs and breeders. Well worth
     this high purchase price; coffee-table size with hundreds of full
     color photos.
   Fischer, Gertrude. _The New Complete Golden Retriever_; Howell Book
   house; New York, NY; c1984 - 2nd edition; 304pp; illus.; bibliography;
   ISBN 0-87605-185-9.
     A "bible" for the breed. The 2nd revised edition contains a
     detailed history of the breed, an analysis of the standard by
     Rachel Page Elliot; information on field training by Forrest
     Flashman and Ann Walters; British field trials by Dora Gostyn; a
     short history of obedience dogs from 1945-1983; novice and tracking
     training tips from Eidth Munneke, and chapters on conformation,
     care, grooming, and puppies. There is also a chapter on guide dogs
     and children and Goldens. This book focuses on text, even though it
     has very nice black and white photos.
   Pepper, Jeffrey, _The Golden Retriever_; TFH Publications, Inc.
   Neptune City, NJ; c1984; 320pp; illus.; indexed; ISBN 0-87666-668-3.
     This book covers similar topics to those of Bauer and Fischer with
     more emphasis on specific dogs and kennels. There are very
     worthwhile chapters on purchasing a puppy, grooming, and breeding.
     Wonderful color and black and white photos.
   Schlehr, Marcia, _The New Golden Retriever_; Howell Dog Books, 1996.
     WRitten by a noted breeder and judge of Goldens. Diagrams and
     drawings by the author of good and bad dogs, also wonderful
     photographs of Goldens, well written. An all around must have book
     for the serious Golden person.
   The above mentioned authors have over 100 combined years of experience
   in Goldens.
  Other books
   Foss, Valerie. _Golden Retrievers Today_. Howell Book House. 160 pages
   hardcover $25.00
   Nicholas, Anna Katherine, _The Book of the Golden Retriever_.
     Great photos of great Goldens from the past, some history on older
     kennels (some still existing, others not). Good for researching
   Sawtell, Louise. _All About the Golden Retriever_. Pelham Books Ltd:
     Chapters on Goldens worldwide.
   Schneider, Evelyn M., _The Golden Retriever_; Denlinger's Fairfax, VA;
   c1986; 96pp.; illus.; ISBN 0-87714-122-3.
     Not much substance or depth; nice black and white illustrations.
     Recommended only for those people who have to have EVERYTHING
     written on the breed.
   Shaul, H. Edwin; _The Golden Retriever_; Indian Springs Press, Boston,
   MA; c1954; 119pp.; illus.; no ISBN, out of print.
     The first book written on the Golden Retriever in the US. Some
     information on the history of the breed, but deals mostly with
     general dog care and training.
   Tudor, Joan; _The Golden Retriever_; Popular Dogs, Londong, England;
   c1974; 245pp.; few illus.; index; no ISBN
     Written by a pillar of the breed, this text includes substantial
     chapters on the origin of the breed, its history from 1900-1939 and
     post war. Appendices include lists of postwar registrations and
     title holders. There are the usual chapters on breeding, showing,
     training, and health.
   Tudor, Joan; _The Golden Retriever Puppy Book_; Medea Publishing Co.,
   Washington DC; c1986; 111pp,; illus,; ISBN 0-9110-08-2.
     A better summary of the Golden Retriever than her previous book.
     Includes purchasing a puppy, raising a puppy, breeding, whelping,
     puppy care from birth to weaning, breed standards (British,
     American, Canadian); history of the breed (in England, America,
     Canada, and other countries). A fairly good overview.
   Twist, Michael; _The Complete Guide to the Golden Retriever_; Boydell
   Press, Suffolk, England; c1988; 183pp.; illus,; ISBN 0-85115-507-3.
     More field oriented, there are excellent chapters on early training
     as well as more advanced. Chapters are also included on showing,
     obedience and agility, British Veterinary Association and Kennel
     Club, Hereditary Eye Defects, and Hip Dysplasia Schemes, epilepsy,
     and breeding.
   _Breeders Directory To Golden Retriever Pedigrees 1971_; Purebred
   Associates, Inc., Melrose Park, PA, c1971; 56pp.; illus.; no ISBN, out
   of print.
     A collection of photos and pedigrees of historical interest for
     pedigree buffs.
   _Breeders Directory To Golden Retriever Pedigrees 1974_; Purebred
   Associates, Inc., Melrose Park, PA, c1974; 57pp.; illus.; no ISBN, out
   of print.
     Similar to the 1971 edition.
   _Golden Retriever Top Producers 1965-1988_; HIS Publications, Fresno,
   CA; c1988; 253pp.; few illus.; no ISBN, out of print. edited by Irene
   Castle Schlintz and Harold Schlintz.
     A statistical presentation of top producers that provides
     information on offspring. Similar information is available in the
     GRCA Yearbooks in a different format.
   Reflections (1985)
   Reflections (1989)
     Magazine special issues from GRCA that provide approximately 150
     pages of advertising, feature articles, and photos -- many in full
     color. Discontinued when GRCA started providing full color in the
     bimonthly newsletter. Still available for purchase through GRCA.
   _Solid Gold_. Write to Deni Elliott, Royal Ok, MI, c1977; 36pp.;
   illus; no ISBN, out of print and privately printed.
     Similar to _Breeder's Directory_ above -- full page collection of
     photos and pedigrees.
  Related, useful books
   Bailey, Joan. _How to Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves_. Swan Valley
   Press 2401 NE Cornell Rd., # 140 Hillsboro, OR 97124 (1-800-356-9315)
     Good coverage of the first year in the life of versatile and
     pointing dogs.
   Free, James Lamb. _Training Retrievers_.
     A classic. It outlines the long-standing training methods for field
     dogs. A good book even if some of it is outdated. An excellent
     description of training a dog to handle.
   Plechner, Alfred, DVM. _Pet Allergies: Remedies for an Epidemic_.
     While Dr. Plechner is not universally acclaimed by the veterinary
     community, his book does contain a number of suggestions diagnose
     problems with allergies.
   Rutherford,, Clarice and Cherylon Loveland. _Retriever Puppy Training:
   The Right Start for Hunting_, Alpine Publications, 1990.
     Good step-by-step training methods, explained and illustrated
   Rutherford, Clarice, Barbara Brandstad, and Sandra Whicker. _Retriever
   Working Certificate Training_, Alpine Publications, 1986.
   Spencer, James B. _Training Retrievers for the Marshes and Meadows_.
   Denlinger Publications in Fairfax, VA.
     It starts with puppy selection and goes on up to advanced marks and
     blinds. It is oriented toward the amateur gundog trainer and is
     well written aand comprehensive.
   Spencer, James B. _Retriever Training Tests_. Prentice Hall Press.
     Helps you to set up training situations and teaches you how the dog
     should react to things like hills, cover, land-water-land
     retrieves, how the wind affects them, etc. Lots of good problem
     solving materials.

     * _The Golden Retriever World_, Hoflin Publications, 4401 Zephyr
       St., Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033. $40/year ($44 outside the US).
     * _Golden Retriever News_. Published by the GRCA and available only
       to members. Many educational articles and issues of concern.
       Highly recommended.
     * _Golden Retriever Review_. 1017 North Currier Ave, Simi Valley, CA
       93065; Color magazine put out six times a year
       by Cathie Turner. It's focus is mainly conformation. $40/year/US,
    Golden Retriever FAQ
    Cindy Tittle Moore,
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