Info on Dog Breeders,certifications of Health, Costs, and What They Mean?

We lost our 4th Golden Retriever in December at the tender age of 3 due to cancer. We love the breed, but after the loss of this last one so young, we are looking for breeders that are testing the parents in hopes of finding a pup with "hopefully" a better chance of living a normal life that should be to age 10 to 12.

Other than finding out if the parents and possibly the grandparents had cancer, there is no test to see if the dog could "inherit" it, just like people. Cancer in large dogs is now on average of 4th in mortality.

In any breeder site I check out, I also check to see if they show the tests done on the eyes, hips, elbows and heart.

This is an example of one copied from a site.
Hips: GR-102639G25F-VPI
Elbows: GR-EL23830F25-VPI
CERF: Sept. 2010 GR-44387
Heart: SR54185701

I read in one blog that someone checked one out on the OFA site and found out that they did not register it, so question if I were to choose a specific breeder, how do you check this info. What is the registration # that I would input at the OFA to validate the above, if I was to check. Does any of those numbers reflect excellent or just normal.

Also, when someone gives the pedigree, by looking at all the other names, does not make sense to me. Is there an easier way to figure out pedigrees to know if good/bad.

So many of these breeders show their dogs, which we have no desire to do, but only gain a pet to love and take care of. Is these dogs worth more, because they won titles?

In the past 3 Golden's, just found through local advertisements, but due to so many health problems of Golden's, we are taking our time searching for the right dog and hope we get lucky.

So far have narrowed it down to 3 breeders. All want deposits to hold, which is no problem, but the 1st one stated was $ 1,700 to $ 1,900, depending on her costs. The 2nd one is $ 1,500 and the last one states $ 700, so for that much difference has set off "red alarms". All 3 have been breeding for over 30 years, and my guess is that the tests would cost on average of $ 500 plus?

The last 2 sites have an expected date of birth around late March and early April, so don't have a lot of time to wait and lose out on a pup.

Help, suggestions?


1. About the cancer, you really can't see about that. Yes, it does run in lines, but the best you can do is ask the breeder if the dogs in the line have gotten cancer.

2. The GR is for 'Golden Retriever' the 'F' is for female. Right off the bat check those letters and see if they match up. It's laughable how many BYBs have been caught scamming by using a number with 'M' in it for a female! Or a wrong breed abbreviation! The numbers match codes on their rightful websites.

I looked it up;

That is her page. So as long as that's her show name, the health tests are valid. If this is still a big concern, ask for the papers. The owner is sent a certificate once health tests are completed.

From this you can see she's 3 years old, a light golden, and can even look up her parents. Her hips are good and elbows are normal. Her heart is also normal, but the thing I don't like is it was done by a practitioner and not a cardiologist. That isn't a huge deal, it is just something not preferred.

You can see who her mom is. She'll be 6 this year. Hips, elbows, heart normal. Rose (the dam) has her sire and dam listed. This ******'s grandsire is actually titled CH. He will be 10 this year. Hips are excellent, elbows and heart normal, and the heart was tested by a cardiologist.

If you want to be picky, look at the grand sire's page and you'll see every puppy he's sired that has been health tested.

Get the idea? It's all a network you can gather SO much information on a pedigree/line from. Birthrates, color, titles, offspring, health tests, etc..

3. To check, just search. Go to and search for that dog by their name or number.

4. Pedigrees are easy to read! We'll use that same b*tch.

You can see her dam, Rose of Happiness, has 'CGC' at the end. This means Canine Good Citizen. That's a good thing and shows her dam has good temperament and is most likely easily trained.

Here is a list of titles from AKC for you to reference;

Based off that you can see her grand sire is American/Canadian Champion in conformation, has an international therapy dog title, has gotten his canine good citizen, is a show dog hall of fame, and is an outstanding sire.

Wow! So this means this line is filled with dogs of stable temperaments, trainable, of sound mind, and would be great family pets!

5. This line does have a lot of titles, but most are not champion or working dog titles. You really want a line to have some sort of titles or else you know nothing about those dogs. This line seems like a great line for you since you don't want a show dog but a pet. This is a healthy and good temperament line. So yes, in a way you are paying more, but you have to pay more for a guaranteed healthy puppy, which is what you want. You're not paying for the titles, you're paying for the guarantee.

6. Do not go for the $ 700 puppies if it doesn't feel right. That is an incredibly low price. For a nice Golden I would expect around the $ 1,500 mark. That litter may vary in price because of potential emergency pregnancy/birthing costs. My biggest suggestion? Don't let price dictate your decision. Choose a puppy you feel would best fit what you're looking for and whose breeder you would want to be in contact with for the puppy's life.

Don't rush! Choose wisely.

Good luck!

Source: Info on Dog Breeders,certifications of Health, Costs, and What They Mean?

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