I had an amazing conversation tonight with a Golden Retriever breeder that is helping me in my search for a breeder and litter. It was a great opportunity to really think about what exactly I am looking for in a puppy - I decided the biggest things are temperment, structure and movement.
We discussed what bloodlines I like and which ones I like less or dislike. I still have so much to learn, but I've already found there are some bloodlines I'm more attracted to than others. It's fun to look at various dogs from the same kennel and compare them to dogs from another kennel. You'll find you start noticing you like a certain look more than another. There are definitely some that I really prefer over others. One trend I've noticed is I like the lines where the goldens look like they are capable of doing what they were bred to be - hunting dogs. They have solid structure and from that comes good movement, and are not overly showy or flashy.
I have a list of breeders I'll be contacting when I'm snowed in this weekend - the news is predicting at least 2 feet of snow! I'm looking forward to reaching out to breeders and inquiring about litters - it will be neat to know what is out there. I already know about one litter that sounds very promising. The breeding will take place this spring - and the parents are gorgeous.
I'm anticipating it will be 1-2 years until I get a puppy, but it might be less. Most great breeders only breed a few litters a year, sometimes less than that, and you need to get on the waiting list.
My preference of gender is female, but I'd be willing to get a male if it's a great one. I'd much prefer a bitch though.
This past weekend I dog sat a beautiful Golden Retriever named Mason (check out his owner's company: Pennington and Bailes for great game day attire!). Mason was a total doll - sweet, perfectly behaved, adorable, willing to please, and great with Milly. It was a great opportunity to have an un-neautered male in the house to see what it might be like. He was perfect - on walks he did not stop to mark constantly, absolutely no humping, and a perfectly behaved boy in general. He has moved up boys in my eyes, and Milly was quite smitten with him. I did notice he got pee on his chest hair, and I'm not sure if most long haired boys have that problem. I still would prefer a female (Milly strangely gets along better with bitches) for my puppy, but I'm a lot more open to a male after having Mason for the weekend.
Well, I better run! I want to trim Milly's feet before the snow gets here! The news is calling it a "monster winter storm"... so I better prepare!