Explanation of Endorsements | Puppies

Your puppy’s registration document will show two endorsements ‘Progeny Not Eligible for Registration’ and ‘Not Eligible For Issue of Export Pedigree’. What this means is that you will need my permission if you wish to breed from the dog or if you wish to register it with an overseas equivalent of the Kennel Club.

Breeding restriction

Some breeders do not believe in lifting the breeding restriction because they wish to restrict the supply of puppies or because they do not believe that anyone else could care for a litter of puppies as well as they do themselves. Other breeders, myself included, aim to breed the best possible puppies and to help satisfy the demand for golden retrievers who are both golden and capable of retrieving, in which case it is only natural to want to see some of those puppies go on to have puppies themselves. The restriction is thus in place not to prevent breeding but rather to ensure that any breeding is in a responsible manner.

For me to lift the restriction, I would need to be satisfied that both you and your dog are up to the task. The job of dog breeder combines the role of care worker, recruitment consultant, chef and toilet attendant. You also face financial risk as you incur quite a bit of expense before you have any puppies to sell – and with no guarantee of how many puppies you will get. It is not for everyone! The Book of the Bitch is a very useful book to read for anyone thinking of becoming a dog breeder.

The Golden Retriever Club, Champdogs and the Kennel Club Assured Breeder scheme all require breeding stock to have a hip X-ray and an eye examination. As a start, a bitch would need to have any tests that those organisations regard as compulsory. There are also two common optional tests, an elbow X-ray and a DNA test for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). A male dog would normally need to have those non-compulsory tests too and score well with them.

While the result of the eye examination is clear-cut – you get a pass or failure each year, the hip and elbow tests are a bit more subjective. One view is that you can sensibly breed if the hip score is as good as the breed average (18) or better, though if the hip score is close to the breed average then you would want its mate to be rather better (i.e. lower) than the breed average. For the elbow score, it is usual to breed with a score of 0 or 1 but not to put together a pair of animals each with a score of 1.

Most top stud dogs have a clear DNA PRA status; if you intend to mate with one of these, you need not DNA test the bitch for PRA. However, if you wish to mate with an untested dog or to a known carrier, the bitch would need to have the DNA test and show a clear result. Sometimes we will want to choose the first mate for your bitch and will make you aware if this is the case.

In essence, if the bitch seems good enough that I would breed from her myself, I would not want wish to prevent another responsible person from doing so.

If you have a male dog, getting progeny from him is much harder. The bitch owners choose the stud dogs and naturally wish to find the best available stud dog for their bitch. In a large breed like goldens, there are many good and well-qualified stud dogs around. Realistically, unless you do well in the ring or in some other competitive discipline, the only people who might consider your dog for a possible mating are people you know personally. For some litters we will have agreed with the stud dog owner that male dogs from the litter will not themselves be used at stud and we will make you aware if this is the case.

Export restriction

The aim of the restriction on export pedigree is not to stop you from emigrating for to force you to leave your dog behind if you do. The aim instead is to stop the dog from falling into the overseas equivalent of a puppy farmer. If you do emigrate and wish to register your dog in your new country, it is unlikely that I would stand in your way. However, it is unlikely that I would lift the export restriction if you wish to sell the dog to someone overseas.