It is important to me that you know that first and foremost our pets are just that; PETS! They are beloved family members and whether we breed them or not, they will always be loved. They chase lizards, eat countless pounds of peanut butter, dig the occasional hole, and some of them (the girls! - Johnny wouldn't dream of getting dirty) wallow in the mud that used to be our pond before the drought. They are dogs and we let them be dogs (though perhaps they think they are humans?)
So here are some statements that define my approach!
We DO NOT breed anything but 100% English/European Lineage Golden Retrievers. We do not breed other breeds.
We DO NOT breed perfection, we AIM for perfection. There is a difference and part of breeding is seeking, sharing, and developing new methods for the betterment of the dogs we produce. The notion of having already attained perfection means there is nothing left to accomplish. This Kennel Blind philosophy has caused significant harm to breeding practices.
We DO NOT take our responsibility to love and honor our relationship with them lightly. We want YOU to love your dogs as we love ours! We do not sell to breeders, so please don't ask. We want the great dogs in families representing what a golden truly is. We will keep the occasional breeding animal or share with a highly qualified breeder to exemplify what is great about these dogs, but mostly we want the best dogs in YOUR family as YOUR pet.
We DO NOT put them in 8X10 enclosures on dirt or concrete merely to be bred when the time is right. We DO NOT HARVEST our animals every time they come into season!
We DO NOT buy the cheapest dog food we can find. In fact, I think its as expensive as you can get. BUT, you would never run a BMW or Mercedes on Moonshine right? Put the premium in and you'll get excellent performance.
They DO get the finest food and supplements I can find and I WILL tell you all about it because I think its so important. http://www.an-nat.com/endurancebooster_showstop.html#Q_&_A_ But there are many others as well. I have my own special 'doggie omelet' that I utilize at appropriate moments throughout the living and breeding cycles of their year.
They DO have free roam of our acre fenced in back yard that is far more for their pleasure than humans.
They DO have a devoted area in our house to be safe and quiet if its too hot, too cold, too rainy, or they just want some time inside. They are our house pets first.
They DO come inside our house and share our lives and when you visit my home you will see the dust bunnies that prove it. (And I'm perfectly fine with the fact that dog hair is part of my life, though if I brushed more it wouldn't be.)
I WILL be covered in dog hair even when wearing black. And though I'm fine with this, my teenage daughter is not (insert small 'mom of teenager' chuckle here!).
I WILL talk your head off about how much I love my guys and breeding. In fact, I think I have a reputation about this and either you will love it or you won't!LOL
I WILL want to hear how much you are going to spoil your puppy because it was my sweet baby first! And as your homework, you will want to watch two episodes of the Dog Whisperer to know, learn, and understand how a dog thinks and how to be YOUR pack's leader! http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/dogwhisperer/
Finally, when all is said and done and I am long gone it will be about the dogs I produced and the state of the breed 30 years from now. We must reverse the cancer statistics in the Golden. This is why we import, this is why we are passionate about our type of dog. We want there to be a golden in American families in the future.
What sets Lucky Lady Farm's Program above the rest? Of course this is just my opinion, but we have to set our aims high to achieve high goals. There are many wonderful breeders out there - sadly, there are also breeders out there who have put the Golden Retriever's Health and Temperament in jeopardy. First you have to start with sound, respected, tested, and successful lines. You have to add lots of love, a little intuition, and be devoted to the development of your puppies. A program does not develop overnight.
There is always room for improvement. Have an idea for me? Something I am not doing, the latest research? I love to learn from anyone and everyone. Also, as I get asked from time to time - I am happy to mentor a breeding program to the best of my ability and experience. I don't know everything and I'll always have a new experience to gain. But, if there are people out there who have a desire to improve and save the Golden Retriever - count me in! Whatever I can do to help - ethical breeders working together to improve what we have benefits all in the end. Among great breeders there is no competition - you will find this evident in most British Standard programs; we are quite friendly with one another. We proudly contribute to Ask a Breeder for the mutual interest of quality breeding practices.
We are licensed by the County.
We are also proudly inspected by the Department of Agriculture. Though ALL breeders are supposed to be, few are. We actually invited them into our home to review our practices. This assures you that we are quality minded and comforts us by knowing the best methods to use to provide safety for our animals and yours.
Most importantly we're inspected by YOU! You may meet all the dogs, dog areas, and discuss our practices and procedures. If you came into my home and found a mess, or a smell, or thought something wasn't right; THAT would be a problem.
I would rather not sell a puppy than place one in a home that is not perfect for them. Please understand my commitment is to the animal first.
On that note please be advised that a Puppy store contains only animals produced in Puppy mills or the desperate leftovers of a back yard breeder. Good litters NEVER have to go begging for buyers. NO good breeder would EVER place their precious babies to live for weeks on end in a crate where they eat, sleep, play and deficate. ALL puppies are cute in a petstore window or in a muddy back yard, its what you don't see that will cause you heartbreak down the road. Just as two simple examples, though I could write novels on this subject alone.
1. A puppy would never 'go' in their 'den'. It is just simply not nature's way. Their Mom and their breeder have carefully maintained clean conditions to reinforce this. However, a puppy store puppy has no other choice, so they unlearn this animal instinct. Don't expect them to be easily housetrained once they have been forced to 'go' in their crate for the past several weeks or months.
2. Pet stores and Back yarders do not care about genetic flaws. Though no one, not even an excellent breeder, can guarantee their animals are perfect. It costs a lot of money and patience (not to mention the occasional heartbreak) to test your breed stock and be willing to not breed an unfit animal. Puppy mills are interested in harvesting any registered unspayed female to increase their number of puppies to be sold. Back yarders typically have an unspayed female and Rover down the street was registered so they made cute little puppies. Little did they know or care that Mom maybe had bad hips and though Rover wasn't fixed, he wasn't a very good example of good Golden temperament or sound body type.
I have heard literally hundreds of horror stories from potential puppy families about why they are looking for a new puppy. It usually includes a tearful account of losing an animal before their true life expectancy. Or of an animal who could no longer walk or got cancer at a young age. Please know the lineage and health of your puppy BEFORE you buy it.
And one final note about the 'Rare White Golden'. Many breeders have joined the bandwagon in promoting how their animals are superior. I have discussed on the pedigrees and litters page about the kennel names and countries they are from. Breeders are thrilled to say how they have an English Golden now. Believe me, though our numbers are increasing - there are not a lot of English breeders here in the USA! A light American coat has NOTHING whatsoever to do with what we are talking about when we say English Golden. I tell people nearly every day who call on the phone as ask that "while their coats are beautiful, its their temperament and health standards" that make them superior.
No breeder whose efforts are based in research and devotion to the standard would refer to the standard as having 'white' hair. This would be a good clue in telling you how little they know about imported Goldens. Their kennel clubs DO NOT allow for white any more than ours do! White fur would indicate an albino animal in this case. Their standards call for cream to gold while the AKC calls for gold to red. It is easy to casually say when trying to convince someone how exotic and special your animals are that they are 'rare white goldens', but think about it - is that the best thing they can come up with about their dogs? I have said throughout this website that though the coats are beautiful, its the genotype that makes them great. The coat is the icing on the cake! If you truly have an English/European Golden, then you are aware of these differences.