Last week I had a brief online chat with the breeder I hope to buy my first show puppy from, assuming all goes as planned. She let me know the bitch is showing signs that she will soon be in heat, and in the next few weeks the breeding should take place.
I've been searching for so long for the right breeder that I'm ready to prepare for my puppy! I can't do any shopping yet, as no breeding has taken place, and a lot can go wrong between now and the puppies being born. But I can learn as much as I can and prepare in other ways. I want to make sure I do everything right with this puppy, but I'm pretty sure that will be in possible and I'll make plenty of novice mistakes. Right now I'm trying to prepare for this puppy, and map out a course of action.
When I get the puppy, at around 8 weeks of age, I will want to immediately enroll in puppy kindergarten. I'm looking for a class with an emphasis on obedience, but nothing too intense, as these are babies. I want something with a puppy play session after class, and also educational aspects. I've found six dog schools offering these classes in my area. A big part of my decision on which school to use will be the class schedule. I want to enroll as soon as I get my puppy, and these courses tend to be run on 6-8 week cycles.
After puppy kindergarten I want to continue with obedience work, and I've found a good school for this in my area. The only problem, is the puppies need to be 6 months or older before enrolling. I might end up taking some other class at a different school after puppy kindergarten, but before my first "big dog" obedience class.
I will most certainly need to take conformation classes, also called handling classes, so both the puppy and I will be prepared for the show ring. I've found four schools with-in a reasonable distance of me (these are all much longer drives than the puppy kindergarten and obedience classes) that I will look into. I'm thinking I will call each dog school/kennel club that offers these classes and ask if I can audit a few classes before I get my pup. That way I will have a feel of teaching styles, and will know what will be expected of me and my pup. One of the kennel clubs that offers these classes also offers a weekly "mock show" where you pay $7 and can practice everything you would do in a real show ring, complete with someone putting their hands on your dog just like a judge would. This is very appealing to me, and I think I'd enjoy taking advantage of this after a month or two of handling classes. These classes start between 6-10 months of age, and are geared towards the adult dog.
I joined the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) and have already learned a lot, but I will also be joining my local Golden Retriever club. Through contacts I plan to make with my local club, I should be able to get some recommendations about good instructors to use.
I have been hesitant to post much on my potential future puppy, and the breeding, because I just don't want to jinx myself, but I can't hold it in any longer! I won't reveal the dam and sire's names until after the breeding has at the very least been confirmed, and possibly not until the litter is born, but I'll share pictures of the parents! All of my possibly future puppy's grand parents are at least AKC Champions, some are also Canadian Champions. All great grand parent's of my hopefully future puppy are either American or Canadian Champions, and in some cases both. In fact, in both the pedigrees of the sire and dam it's hard to find a dog that is not either a Canadian or American Champion for many, many generations. Note: I am using the terms AKC Champion and American Champion interchangably in this post, all American Championships are with the AKC.
This is the dam. I love how she is not at all overdone, and has beautiful correct structure. I also love her head. The dam has pointed in AKC, and both of her parents are Champions.
And here are some pictures of the sire of this planned litter. The sire is an American and Canadian CH, as are both of his parents. Isn't he simply breath taking? The combined pedigree of the sire and dam is sure to produce amazing puppies! I am so excited, and pray every night everything works out with me getting a puppy.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures! I'll share the pedigree when the time moves closer, and of course, I'm going to need my reader's help picking a name at some point down the road. The litter will have a theme, for example, a fire theme might have puppies named Kennel Name Fire and Ice or Kennel Name Can't Stop the Fire. An animal theme litter might have names like, Kennel Name Otterly Crazy or Kennely Name Making Ewe Laugh. A lot of times the registered name will be reflected in the call name, for example, Kennel Name Can't Stop the Fire might have a call name of "Ember", but you don't have to follow that rule with the call name. A call name can be whatever I'd like it to be.